Discussion: Hop’s Mission and Primary Success Metric

In our eyes, Hop’s mission is:

Drive adoption of secure, trustless, and community-owned bridge infrastructure within Ethereum’s scaling ecosystem and connect Ethereum to the broader multi-chain world.

The cross-chain bridge market is extremely competitive, and not all competitors share this mission. We should expect competing bridges to make sacrifices on security and trust in an attempt to undercut and crowd out bridges like Hop. As such, we believe Hop will need to stay lean and aggressive in its fight to keep Ethereum’s bridge infrastructure trustless, decentralized, and secure.

Measuring Success

So far, our team has used monthly volume as the primary success metric for Hop. It’s simple and a great way to measure adoption compared to competing bridges.

A well-defined mission and success framework will give the community a straightforward decision-making framework to align itself around when discussing proposals. “Does this proposal advance Hop’s mission to drive adoption of secure, trustless, and community-owned bridge infrastructure as measured by monthly volume?”

We encourage you to discuss the above mission and primary success metric and propose additions and/or alternatives that the DAO can adopt.

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What are some other ways that have been discussed to measure the success of Hop?

Driving adoption should mean more users. Here are some ideas:

  • Number of wallets
  • Number of repeat wallets
  • Number of new wallets
  • Number of dapps that use Hop
  • Volume from those dapps
  • Monthly volume as a percentage of all bridged tokens
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The below assumes the mission statement you provided, I’ll make no judgement about the statement itself.

Monthly volume seems like a good starting proxy, but there could be value in considering the Paperclip Maximiser problem.

True long-term success as per your mission statement must also emphasise:

  1. Security & stability
  2. Safety & trust
  3. Community distribution of ownership
  4. Cross-chain balance

I have no strong opinions on the “how” of those, but suggestions could be:

  1. Divide monthly volume by hack/exploit value
  2. Measure the amount of “I don’t get it” or “I used a phishing site looking like HOP and lost money” tweets/reports
  3. Have some form of sybil-resistant measure of HOP token distribution
  4. Make a weighted overview of “HOP volume on Chain X” divided by “Volume on chain X”
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Volume is definitely the primary success metric in my opinion. Success however should be measured relative to the aggregate of comparable bridges since systemic developments are not under hops control.

By the way is that metric publicly available somewhere currently? Couldn’t find it in the hop dune dashboard which i use.

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There was a bit of discussion around using percent of marketshare rather than volume directly in Discord here:

My take is that it’s a better metric for success given your point about there being a lot of factors that affect volume that are outside of Hop’s control. This metric is especially useful for comparing Hop to other bridges on a per asset, per network, or per route basis.

The two biggest questions for me are 1) Does it makes sense to use total bridge volume across all networks and all tokens as the total market. 2) How do we track all of this reliably as the bridge ecosystem continues to evolve. Especially if not every network is supported by Dune.

For the second reason alone, it might make sense to use this metric for insights into growth opportunities but not as the primary metric until we can more reliably track it. Not a strong opinion though and would love to hear more thoughts on this.

I think it is always safe to be the first

The fund pool of cross chain agreements is the favorite target of hackers. In the past two years, a large number of hacker thefts have occurred in the field of cross chain bridges. If a bridge is stolen, all the markets will be lost soon. This is a terrible thing, so security is the first thing

In my opinion it makes sense to only compare like for like. That is compare hop’s volume to the volume other bridges make between the networks and assets which hop supports. If some networks are not supported by dune I presume its because they are small and thus shouldn’t affect the metric of hop bridge share too much?

I agree with the mission statement in general.

Only got 1 question.

How would you define community owned and how would you judge its success?

How would you define community owned and how would you judge its success?

This is a great question! Like I said in the temperature check post, I think it would be beneficial for the DAO to discuss and more clearly define what it means to be secure, trustless, and community-owned so it’s great to see this.

Here are my thoughts on what community ownership means and the current state of DAOs as a starting point:

  • There should be checks and balances between contributors, participants, and token holders.
  • A broad and even token distribution is something to strive for.
  • I think the DAO should closely follow governance experiments like Optimism’s two-house system and think about other ways to move away from pure token voting.
  • I think the DAO should consider what a community-led fork of Hop could look like and how to make it easier if possible. This is a messy but powerful last-resort tool.
  • Bribes, tyranny of the majority, and conflicts of interest are all unsolved problems in current DAO governance setups and should be discouraged at the social layer while better solutions emerge.
  • Giving participants ownership or giving them chances to earn it helps broaden the distribution and align participants.
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Here I think the trend and relative market share is important. I go off the assumption that increase in relative market share across multiple networks would be highly correlated. In financial markets and market shares in general this is usually a reasonable.

If we are OK with this assumption, it makes sense to use dune, even if they don’t have all the chains. We could pick n(any number that roughly reflects large chunk of volume, would go for single digit) number of highest volume chain-to-chain channels that dune provides data for. The makret share of volume in these channels going through HOP should be a good proxy I think.
Also, the specific highest volume chain-to-chain channels could be updated periodically (e.g. every 6 months) to reflect the reality.