GIP-20: Financial reporting through Messari's Protocol Services

Authors: Jack Purdy, Messari

Summary: Messari becomes a core investor relations arm for Goldfinch providing in-depth financial reporting and research, along with increasing the Goldfinch network’s reach and visibility by promoting and circulating these reports on Messari’s channels.

This includes building out a standardized protocol-level income statement with long-form reports contextualizing the data. These reports will live as free resources on Messari’s site and be sent out to 250k subscribers as well as through our distribution partners including S&P Global and Bloomberg.

Motivation: Investor relations are a necessary function of any company to keep existing stakeholders adequately informed while also attracting new ones through better surfacing of fundamental data. This is even more essential in the open-source world of crypto where there are a wider set of stakeholders including users, developers, and investors that can actively contribute value to the DAO allocating their time and money to grow the network.

While the Goldfinch community recently launched new Borrower Communication tooling to facilitate in-depth, tactical, NDA-protected investor relations between Borrowers and those Investors who are actively participating in their pools, there is still a need for digestible public reporting on the network’s growth and performance as a whole.

As we continue in a bear market, this becomes increasingly important as people tend to overweight price as their barometer of project success. By outsourcing this critical investor relations function of semi-annual performance reporting to a specialist firm, Goldfinch can be better positioned to withstand turbulent times and retain the mindshare of major crypto participants.

Specification and Rationale: Messari will create two semi-annual reports following a general structure we’ve worked on previously for other DAOs that will present and analyze key KPIs and fundamental metrics (loans originated, liquidations, interest income, etc.) from both a macro protocol level as well as more granular looking at individual pools, contextualized by broader macro economics that are affecting the protocol as well. The report will also delve into major governance developments, upgrades, and key roadmap initiatives.

The offering is priced as follows:

  • 2 semi-annual reports ($25k/per)

Total: $50,000 payable in stablecoins

For an example of the types of content generally included in these reports, view the State of Compound Q2 2022. For this report the following metrics will be assessed:

  • Credit Analysis
    • loans outstanding
    • loans repaid
    • interest earned/received
    • yield changes and market forces
  • Lender Analysis
    • borrower pool distribution (users and concentration)
    • senior pool distribution (users and concentration)
    • turnover analysis in senior pool
  • Borrower Analysis
    • on-chain descriptive stats (number of unique borrowers, payment history, repeat customers)
    • borrower diversification/concentration
  • Treasury Analysis

Messari will work with Goldfinch community members to ensure that the Goldfinch DAO’s needs are being accurately and adequately met by the semi-annual public performance reporting.

These performance reports will provide increased public visibility to the work being accomplished by the Goldfinch community, for both the community’s active participants and for the larger market of Messari, S&P, and Bloomberg readers who may be interested in participating in Goldfinch in the future.

Benefits:
These reports will better inform existing stakeholders by providing actionable insights on strategic direction for the DAO.

In addition they will attract new stakeholders through the reach of 250k crypto professionals subscribing to Messari as well as the traditional finance market via distribution through S&P Global’s Capital IQ platform and Aftermarkets research along with the Bloomberg terminal.

Downsides:
Cost: Adequate public performance reporting provides an essential service to the community, and is worthy of dedicating funds toward to ensure the reporting is of a high enough quality to satisfy investors’ needs. In addition, Messari’s reach and visibility combined with the reach and visibility of S&P and Bloomberg distribution are providing high-quality promotion and marketing to the work being accomplished by the Goldfinch community.

Voting:
A “yes” vote entails spending $50,000 for the services outlined above

A “no” vote entails not moving forward with the services outlined above

Resources:
Messari: https://messari.io/research
Example quarterly report: https://messari.io/article/state-of-compound-q2-2022

1 Like

As an avid Messari user, I must say, I believe they would be a great partner to Goldfinch. They definitely match Goldfinch’s calibre of execution and professionalism. Big supporter of this proposal.

I am a fan of Messari, but from an ROI standpoint, this is ridiculously expensive. It’s like slapping a Big 4 price tag to generate graphs and charts for something that is already completely open and publicly available. The added commentary is nice, but Messari should be generating these reports for free to give users a reason to pay for Messari Pro, and the fact that they expect protocols to foot such a huge bill tells me they need some competition.

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I like Messari and what they are doing in Crypto world. But the price seems extremely high as most of the data is publicly available. Keeping in view messari’s reach and it’s reputation, may be 20,000$ per year (both reports combined) might make it more reasonable. Just my 2 cents.

2 Likes

While I completely understand the concerns raised by @Orion and @velvetdoctor, I also believe that in order to grow Goldfinch’s TVL (which is the key limiting factor right now), it is important for the protocol to begin to engage with a broader set of investors in the most professional way possible. Even though Goldfinch already has a dashboard, it is also important to make it as easy as possible for new investors to keep abreast with Goldfinch’s progress. Given that Messari has arguably established itself as the most professional cypto-bloomberg-terminal for digital assets, I believe the strategic synergies of a pottential Goldfinch/Messari partnership exceed the financial costs.

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The proposed fee looks incredibly high. However, I admit that this proposal (if passed) would bring the Protocol to another level from investment relationships point of view.
Nevertheless, I would expect the author of rhis proposal to make a comparative analysis of the pricing for the same quality products both in DeFi and TradiFi worlds. This will let the community reach the consensus faster.

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses! It seems the biggest point to address is the price. To provide more details on that, it’s a resource intensive undertaking spanning data science/engineering to pull everything on-chain, research to write the reports, and marketing to distribute them to a wide audience.

If you think about doing this in-house, it would certainly cost more to hire a designated “protocol CFO” to put these together. We’ve done these for over 25 top projects (Compound, Uniswap, dYdX, Solana, Avalanche, etc.) so have a number of efficiencies to provide this at a lower cost.

Regarding comparables the two closest are:

  • Fei had Llama DAO provide financial reporting for $120,000 on just 1 quarter

  • MakerDAO has a Strategic Finance team doing their reporting for $1.3 million/year.

I’ll add that neither of these has nearly the reach of Messari getting in front of over a quarter million crypto professionals let alone distribution through the two largest tradfi channels with S&P and Bloomberg (even more to come on this front soon!)

1 Like

I support the opinion of the majority of those commenting that the price for services seems too high.

$50k might SEEM like a lot but it is totally worth it in my opinion especially if we are trying to attract institutional investors. These investors want a trusted source of information and as good as Dune Dashboard and other crypto analytics tools might be, it is open source and these tradfi investors don’t have the time and resources to go through each dashboard and do dd on the queries. Given Goldfinch’s growth trajectory/market timing and the fact that we focus on emerging debt markets where credit risks can be high, a professional report done by a reputable team/service provider is a MUST IMO.

I’m with you here. I would have to jump through hoops to justify a Goldman Sachs report for $25k a pop (though I could). Goes without saying that a GS report would do way more for Goldfinch…

Totally agreed.

I advocate for quarterly reports in line with industry standards. Reporting gap of 6 months may be a long gap.

It’s important to note here that the cost is not solely for generating the reports, it’s primarily for their distribution.

  • Reports will be free on the Messari site and send to all 250k newsletter subscribers, so there is no pitch for Messari Pro
  • Reports will be distributed via all of Messari’s distribution partners, including being posted with S&P and on Bloomberg Terminal, gaining Goldfinch extremely valuable tradfi exposure.

Compared to the cost of PR services ($35k-$100k/month for good ones in this space) this kind of media exposure will likely have a valuable ROI for Goldfinch.

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Could not agree more with @pepsinated on this front. For the distribution of these reports to institutional investors, on easily accessible channels that they know and trust, this cost is not unusual.
I’d also note @JackPurdy_Messari’s data points above on the costs other DAOs have paid for financial reporting ranging from the hundreds of thousands to millions per year. In my mind that cost would not be justifiable solely for data reporting, but in this case the opportunity to expose Goldfinch to tradfi investors on professional, trusted platforms is immense.

On the distribution side I’ll add some numbers:

  • S&P has 15,000 institutions that use their platform

  • Bloomberg has ~350k active users

We also have a number of translation partners that redistribute to their international audience including:

  • Korbit (Korea)

  • Mercado Bitcoin (Portugal)

  • Luna DAO (Turkey)

1 Like

Many thanks for the comparative analysis and a deeper insight on the distribution side. Now I’m voting “yes”.

Yeah, overall I agree the cost is high. However, the value is high as well. Messari has a great reputation in the space, and these reports get in front of a unique and important audience for Goldfinch (namely, institutions and funds). Also, I appreciate that @JackPurdy_Messari is suggesting we do two reports, instead of the standard 4, which keeps overall costs down. I think we get a lot of the benefit for just the two reports. To me, this can be thought of like a bit of an experiment. After putting out the reports, the community can get a feel for how much they attract attention, and whether they are worth doing again.

So I’m a cautious, but optimistic “yes” on this. If it turns out they don’t do anything, or no new leads come in, I would be a definite “no” for the next year.

2 Likes

Sounds very fair. Totally agree.

I had doubts about the cost, but I voted “Yes”. I think and hope these reports will be very helpful.

I can’t tell if the price is right or not. But I think it’s good as an advertisement, so I agree.

Council has approved the proposal