[IDEATION]: Increasing Revenue by Enabling Dynamic Referral Payments with Cinch Protocol


Shapeshift DAO can make ~2% on all volume deposited into DeFi thanks to dynamic referral payments. Affiliate programs available through Cinch are standardized and generate more revenue than protocol-driven affiliate programs. This post suggests implementing a pilot program with two reputable dApps as a starting point. No resources are required from the Shapeshift DAO to move forward with this pilot program.


Monetizing a non-custodial platform is difficult, and doing so without negatively impacting the community is even harder. Shapeshift DAO can overcome this challenge by enabling dynamic referral payments from dApps. Cinch Protocol’s smart contracts act as middleware and require no development resources to use. Cinch turns every dApp into an affiliate partner and delivers ~2% of DeFi TVL to platforms like Shapeshift.


Monetizing a non-custodial investment platform is hard. Monetizing an investment platform that offers yield products is even harder, because users don’t transact as frequently in a year. One way to monetize is to charge users. However, charging users/community is not a sustainable way to monetize by itself. If the goal is to become sustainable, DAOs need sustainable business models.

All financial products need distribution. The most successful financial products (checking accounts; Fidelity mutual funds) are not the best performing or the cheapest - they are the products with the best distribution networks.

dApps are willing to pay for distribution. Shapeshift - as a non-custodial investment platform - is the ideal distribution partner for dApps. Cinch allows Shapeshift to generate ~2% on all volumes deployed into DeFi thanks to dynamic referral payments from decentralized applications


Decentralized applications democratize access to financial products and economic opportunity. Today, their impact is muted by a lack of distribution. Cinch’s mission is to give decentralized applications the distribution they deserve.

Our smart contract enables dynamic referral payments from any DeFi product. Our contract acts as a middleware layer so that referral payments are immediately compatible with any platform partner, including Shapeshift.

Instead of deposits going into the underlying product contract directly, deposits made through Cinch’s vault automatically trigger the programmed referral payments. This allows for dynamic referrals and customizable referral logic within the Cinch contract.

We suggest implementing a pilot program with two reputable protocols: Ribbon and Metrix (a dHedge product). Both dApps have strong reputations. Metrix also has high quality investing content that can be shared via co-marketing so that the entire Shapeshift community benefits from their addition to the platform. The pilot program would involve adding Ribbon and Metrix to Shapeshift’s Earn page somewhere below the Idle opportunities.


  • Shapeshift DAO makes ~2% on all volume deposited into these pilot program dApps
  • Higher profitability without charging community members
  • Shapeshift DAO gets closer to becoming sustainable
  • Opportunity to greatly improve profitability by using Cinch’s infrastructure with additional dApp partners
  • Standardized affiliate program reduces managerial burden on the Shapeshift team


There are no known drawbacks to implementing this proposal. However, as with any new program, there may be unforeseen challenges that arise.


For - Formalizes the community is “for” implementing the pilot program with Ribbon and Metrix.

Against - Formalizes the community is “against” implementing the pilot program with Ribbon and Metrix.

Thank you all for reading this and considering this proposal.

Hey @MaxLS this is something that could go through our Partnership Funnel instead of the governance process. I would say that we currently have rev share agreements in place with Idle and previously with Yearn as well,

If you are in the discord, I’d go through #partnership-request and get a thread set up.

thanks for this proposal @MaxLS!

agree that this would be better suited to go through the partnership funnel, but the draft proposal gives great context. i for one would be interested in exploring a partnership with Cinch further. please ping me @willyfox in discord once the channel is set up and we can schedule a call.

we have a thread setup for this already.

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shared this in the partner thread in discord, but reposting here for posterity:

had a great call with @MaxLS earlier and think what they’re building at Cinch could be a great fit for ShapeShift.

tl;dr - they are building a referral marketplace to make it easy for protocols to offer affiliate revenues to interfaces/wallets, and to make it easy for interfaces/wallets to integrate and monetize integrations with defi protocols.

to start, they already have dhedge and ribbon signed up, and to drive adoption, ribbon is currently offering 100% of their performance fees to partners like shapeshift that integrate and drive volume. dhedge is not single-sided staking yield so not as clear of a fit as ribbon imo, but ribbon would fit nicely into the existing Earn implementation.

Going forward, Cinch will onboard more DeFi protocols, and if ShapeShift decides to integrate them, the DAO won’t have to negotiate/set up distinct affiliate revenue relationships; it can all just flow through Cinch to the DAO’s treasury. I think we should strongly consider integrating Ribbon via Cinch in this next 3 month phase to add an additional revenue stream (which we could also incentivize with FOX rewards), which will hopefully be the first of many defi protocols integrated through Cinch

That sounds really great actually! In theory s

aving us a ton of work for each protocol /wallet etc