RGP-29: Ribbon Lend Referral Program


Protocols like Lido [1] have found tremendous success with their referral program. Almost 1.5 million ETH (~$2.4B at current prices) was staked [2] through referrals. We aim to duplicate their success by implementing a similar referral program for Ribbon Lend, whereby users can generate referral links and share it with others to earn a percentage payback in $RBN of the deposits. New lenders via the ref links would also earn a percentage payback - something called a double-sided referral program.

This program intends to positively impact the number of active lenders, and subsequently, the amount lent with Ribbon Lend.


Word-of-mouth marketing is a high leverage growth tactic to boost awareness and mindshare of a product. Although liquidity mining programs are effective at attracting capital from those who are already aware of the product and know where to look, they do nothing for propagating mindshare throughout the ecosystem. Referrals programs pick up where LM programs fall short – they are highly optimized for getting unaware users through the door cheaply. Furthermore, it incentivizes wallets and other DeFi / CeFi venues to integrate with the lending platform by earning payback rewards through referrals.

We propose the following parameters:

  1. Allocate 3M RBN (~$1M at current prices) to the reward pool for referral rewards
  2. If the referral program finds traction (to be discussed), the DAO can allocate another 3M RBN (~$1M at current prices) for an extended referral program for the Ribbon options vaults
  3. Users are given the ability to generate a unique referral URL that is specific to their Ethereum address and share across twitter, telegram, and other platforms. Note: for protocols and wallets it will also be possible to indicate the address during an interaction with the deposit smart contract
  4. A referrer will receive RBN as a reward after their referee lends at least 100 USDC using the unique referral link
  5. A referral receives 0.25% payback in RBN of the USDC lent with their referral link. This means that if a user deposits 10K USDC, the referrer earns $25 worth of RBN
  6. A referee receives 0.25% payback in RBN of the USDC they lent. This means that if the user deposits 10K USDC, they earn $25 worth of RBN
  7. Referral/Referee reward amount in RBN is calculated each payout week based on RBN/USD 14 days (whole referral period) TWAP to be 0.25% payback
  8. Each Rewarding Calculation Period takes 2 weeks. During this time a referral preliminary rewards are calculated based on the referee staking. Payout Period that comes after is the time to check and filter abuse cases and approve rewards. During Payout Period approved rewards are allocated to Rhino [3] for referrals to claim gas-less on their L2

Note that this is a dual-sided referral program in which both the referrer and the referee earns a reward. Although this opens the door for more potential abuse cases (see conditions) than a single-sided referral program such as Lido’s, this is also widely known to be the most successful type of referral structure since the referrer feels more inclined to share the link as it benefits others as well.

Also note that eventually this program may morph into a more sustainable whitelist-only referral program involving wallets and other CeFi/DeFi protocols similar to Lido. This is why we propose a moderate one-time allocation so that it can be used for less aggressive affiliate / referral programs in the future without having to create a new proposal.

Expected Results and Evaluation of the Results

With an allocation of 3M RBN (~$1M at current prices) and a 0.5% payback on deposit amount, we will have exchanged 3M RBN for 200M USDC deposited through the referral program. We recognize there will be attempts (some successful) to abuse the program and cycle lend by depositing, withdrawing, and depositing again (see conditions).

We will measure short-term success by the amount of new deposits through the referral program and the number of unique addresses who deposit through the referral program (abuse may skew this).

We are targetting 50M USDC in deposits through the referral program within the first three months.

We will measure long-term success by

  1. direct customer lifetime value (LTV)). The protocol earns 5% on the borrow APY. For example, if the borrower is paying 10% interest on $1M, the protocol will earn ($1M * 10% * 5% = $5K a year). With the current reward (0.5% on every dollar) and borrow rate (9%), the lender will need to have deposited for ~1 year to breakeven
  2. increase in liquidity. By increasing the pool sizes by depositing capital, it makes institutions and larger holders more inclined to deposit since the amount of liquidity available for instant liquidity increases (15% buffer)

Reports will be prepared, and we will together evaluate the success of the Ribbon referral program and decide whether to continue, amend or stop it.


  1. The Ribbon Lend referral program does not have any timeframe. The program ends when there are no more tokens in the reward pool or when the DAO makes an active decision to cancel it.
  2. The DAO can cancel or pause the program at any time.
  3. The DAO can at any time change the RBN token reward.
  4. The DAO can at any time change the way the RBN referral program is implemented.
  5. Participants involved in abusive, incorrect, suspicious behavior that is against Ribbon DAO values and goals will be excluded from the program and will not be entitled to RBN rewards. This will be at the discretion of the team. If abuse gets out of hand, we will make amendments to the program.


This program will complement our liquidity mining program well as one is highly optimized for sustaining TVL and the other is highly optimized for attracting new users and TVL.

Special thanks to Lido team for feedback and for inspiration for this proposal!


This proposal will be posted on the forum for 1 week prior to voting. Voting will then be open on Snapshot for 5 days. This vote will be a single choice vote. You may vote on the proposal by selecting “Yes, let’s do it” or “No, this is not the way”.

If this proposal is successfully approved, the Ribbon Referral Program will start on November 14 2022.


  1. Lido
  2. Lido Referral Program Metrics
  3. Rhino Finance