Birth at ETHGlobal MarketMake & First Contributors
First contributors getting together.
Jan-Feb 2021 Mikael came up with the idea and took it to the finals of ETHGlobal MarketMake 2021 hackathon. The idea at first was to make a Uniswap leverage trading engine. It was considered to be undercollateralized lending as it allowed users to operate with more funds than they owned themselves. Looking back, this already wasn't the case as users would never have access to those funds directly. It was already bigger...

First Contributors Getting Together

Feb 2021 Ilgiz came across the project as a possible investment and shared it with ivangbi. After the first call they got so impressed with the idea and had such good vibes that they actually started working together. They quickly got into the rhythm and kept improving the initial vision, the architecture, the product strategy, etc.
Mar 2021 After getting the architecture and math together, core builders reached out to DeFi founders and builders across the space. Many have positively responded and fell in love with the narrative. They gave feedback on the product, on the competitive advantages, on the way to best approach the user base... those were the first external contributors - about 20 people continuing to help Gearbox develop from every angle.

Getting Ops & Plans in Order

Apr-July 2021 This was the time when the architecture took changes, audits started happening, and product testing began in their raw form. The question of the most applicable launch strategy and positions has also appeared. Many operational things in the background needed fixing before starting a community. The tech paper was finalized, the contracts were frozen for the first audits, and integration discussions started.

Seeding the Information about Gearbox

August - November 2021 Once the decision was reached to remove all control from the core contributors, initial governance model and distribution of voting had to be designed. Learning from many DAOs in the space (especially voter apathy and plutocracy issues) - a governance model was chosen to go live with. But before letting the community take control over something, they should know what they are laying their hands on, right! This means educating as many developers as possible on the architecture, the use cases, the possibilities to get involved and take control. Which, next to content, it implied product testing.
Then, the protocol was tested. The improvements have been made on the feedback of hundreds of testers. They became the next contributors of the Gearbox protocol. And it was time to let them and other DeFi builders take control over the protocol. To remove the power from the hands of the previous developers and turn Gearbox from a passionate project to a fully-accessible live protocol.