Posted on May 15, 2023Read on Mirror.xyz

Announcing Hourglass Launch & $4.2M Seed Funding

Hourglass is thrilled to announce the first-ever marketplace for trading Time-Bound Tokens (TBTs). TBTs are a growing class of tokens that represent staked assets in DeFi protocols that are committed for a period of time. From Lido’s withdrawal queue to Frax’s $200m+ of locked liquidity, TBTs are expanding faster than ever as protocols seek long term liquidity.

Starting today, Hourglass will support everything from the trading of locked frxETH to early exits from Lido’s withdrawal queue. Hourglass enables users to earn rewards for long-term alignment and protocols to find committed liquidity.

To support this mission, Hourglass raised a $4.2 million seed round led by Electric Capital with participation from Coinbase Ventures, Circle Ventures, Tribe Capital, hack.vc, and angels across the ecosystem.

Hourglass Launches with Frax Staking and Lido Withdrawals

Semi-Fungible Token Liquidity

DeFi’s flagship apps like Uniswap and Aave have enjoyed widespread adoption for their liquidity and lending of permissionless fungible tokens. Unfortunately, these models don’t work for time-bound tokens. For example, 1-week and 2-week locks of ETH are fundamentally different, so they cannot be pooled together. Hourglass solves this problem with a novel token primitive for semi-fungible tokens.

On May 12th, Hourglass will use this primitive to tokenize Lido’s withdrawal queue. Over $10 billion dollars of Lido’s stETH is available to unstake, which can clog the exit path for weeks or even months. The Hourglass marketplace allows users to trade their place in line, and this is just the beginning. From Maple’s institutional pools to Eigenlayer’s restaking, protocols across crypto benefit from rewarding their long-term participants. Hourglass provides critical Infrastructure to make this easy.

Hourglass Enables Committed Liquidity: a New Era for DeFi

The launch of Hourglass marks a new chapter for DeFi. With time-boosted liquidity, protocols incentivize committed liquidity for themselves and the greater crypto ecosystem. Hourglass provides a critical next step in making time-bound tokens liquid and composable with the rest of DeFi.

Users interested in trading their time-bound tokens can try it out on the live app anytime, and protocols who’d like long-term liquidity should reach out on Twitter. Everyone else, from builders to developers, we invite you to join the community on Telegram or Discord.

Hourglass is excited to see how its time-based token primitive will empower a new era in the open-source economy.