Discussion: Finny & Let's Figure Out Where We Went Wrong

The post below by Finny on X needs feedback from Dfinity and comments from the community.

Let’s figure out where we went wrong so that the future of ICP can be better.

Finny started in June 2022 and by about September, the code was complete.

When we started Finny, there were no auditing firms, and Dfinity would not audit us. Perfect! We saw an opportunity to:

  1. Push the native language of the blockchain (this is what it REALLY looks like to “push a chain forward”)

  2. Bring a top-tier auditing firm into the ICP world

These auditors were recommended to us by Polychain, who have a solid network of good portcos

So, what went wrong?

  1. ICP is NOT built for defi
    1.a) We had to build tons of infrastructure for the chain + get that audited
    1.b) Borrow/lend is one of the most intricate defi products

  2. Motoko is very premature and leaves a lot to be desired
    2.a) Auditors had a large learning curve

We spent day-in and day-out pushing commits, tests, changes, new infra, etc. for the auditors to audit, but they just kept saying “this is the last one, this is the last one”

Then they’d ask for another 30k and extend the scope three months

But the fact of the matter is, the investors aren’t here, they left, and they aren’t coming back (if we continue on our path as a chain)

After telling us it was the last revision, the auditors have asked for another 60k installment. We simply don’t have that anymore as our original investment only had runway for a year and a half and DIDNT EVEN include the audit.

We stretched it as long as we could

So what needs to change?

We think a LOT. But let’s start with the obvious, we need investors on this chain. Builders don’t show up without them.

But they were here, where did they go?

Since starting Finny, we’ve seen a bunch of different “focuses” of ICP.

Right now, Dom seems to be stuck on AI. I get it, PI loves AI, right? I don’t think it’s as hot as we think (see below)

Investors HATE nonstop pivots into current meta. It seems desperate

On top of that, the foundation should push some community infra. When we built FinnyFeed, we spent about 50-75k of our seed funds to create it, we were in cahoots and shared the code with Dfinity.

Two months later they released their own.

Why not just make ours the standard?

It’s things like that that incentivize builders to get their name out there. The builders and the foundation of ICP are very segregated, and that’s a HUGE problem.

We have one last ditch effort we are making to retrieve funds from service providers and have an alternative option in place if that succeeds.

We’ll be sure to continue to be transparent on the situation.

Much love to everyone whos been with us since the start

source: x.com

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Polychain invested, so they’ve forced them to pivot to a joke chain. That’s all.

Is that confirmed or just speculation.

They’re moving to another chain.

For the sake of discussion, let’s agree that Motoko is not ready for production environments.

This constraint aside, the Internet Computer isn’t any less suitable for DeFi than any other chain. The primary difference is that the Internet Computer requires developers to consider how to recover from failure cases—something every traditional finance developer or any developer building mission-critical real-world software also has to deal with.

Yes, there are real issues with the Internet Computer that make it more challenging to build these types of products. Yes, there are real blockers too. However, saying “ICP is NOT built for DeFi” is a very… strange… argument. IMO It demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of both the capabilities of the Internet Computer and a lack of competence building asynchronous, financial systems. Instead of dismissing ICP outright, it would be more productive to focus on identifying the actual blockers the team hit… I suspect the team wouldn’t actually be able to produce any meaningful feedback as they were “Blockchain Developers”.

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They aren’t the only ones who have said DeFi on ICP is difficult. @Maxfinity I believe also has insight into this.

It would be great to get detailed enumerated lists of the issues ICP needs to resolve.

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This is an absurd statement. Motoko has been running in production for a number of canisters for a number of years.

@skilesare, I don’t know how or if I’m expected to respond to this… The crux of my post has nothing to do with Motoko. If you’d like though we could discuss whether or not Motoko is a production ready language in another topic.

I apologize for the terseness…my fence just blew down…literally. I shouldn’t have let it out here on the forum.

I’ve seen multiple accusations that this difficulty may have been the fault of selecting Motoko and your post seems to take it as a settled assumption. I’ve written production Motoko code and gotten it through a Trail of Bits audit.

The rest of your post is spot on. You have a higher burden to achieve with async systems. If you can reduce your system to a single canister you can greatly reduce the complexity of the items that you need to be atomic. The rest is just deposits and withdrawals. It’s a software architecture thing and we need better patterns and examples.

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Completely understand, hope you get things patched up and you’re back out there cooking soon!

What does Finny actually do? Is there any public description of the protocol?

The IC is a completely different model: more capable, extensible and general purpose. You can’t build game-engines on Ethereum, but in the same vein, building DeFi apps on the IC might require more care and attention due to the asynchronous programming model.

While I sympathise with the difficulty, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you can just deploy an EVM app to Bitfinity which runs directly from a subnet on the IC and is in main net. With Bitfinity, the IC literally has the best of both worlds.

I think the IC is amazing, and will shine as a chain orchestration tool. It’s so much more flexible as a compute environment than traditional blockchains. But for building DeFi, a practical way to get started is just by deploying to Bitfinity.

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Frontend and backend fully on chain, powered by Bitfinity:

There’s also lendfinity which is in the works.

So much easier to deploy EVM style DeFi apps to the IC now. @lastmjs

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