The Trader Joe Thesis

Trader Joe
6 min readJun 12, 2021



Trader Joe is a one-stop trading platform on Avalanche. It will launch first with regular trading and later with lending, which combine together to offer leveraged trading.

Many DEXes like to shift their focus on other horizontals. As degen DeFi users, we are focused on what we know best: DeFi. Nothing else.

DeFi is still young and with so many problems to solve such as capital efficiency, on-chain order books, limit orders and derivatives. We’ve made it our mission to solve problems in this space.

Eventually, this leads us to our ultimate long-term vision:

To make Trader Joe an R&D-focused platform for new DeFi primitives not yet seen on any blockchain — not just Avalanche.

Core Values

The Avalanche blockchain is all about speed and innovation, and we believe the top DEX must also embody those qualities. Because of this, we have defined our core values as:

  1. Build Fast and Securely
  2. Be Innovative and Different
  3. Put the Avalanche Community First


Our roadmap is divided into three phases:

Phase 1:

A Revamped DEX with:

✅ A completely new UI

✅ A candlestick chart

✅ 1-click Zaps

✅ 1-click LP Migration from Pangolin

✅ Voting when your JOE is staked

✅ DOUBLE reward farms

Lots of low-hanging fruit all at launch.

Phase 2 (July-August):

Lending and Leveraged Trading:

▢ Isolated pair lending that allow users to trade on leverage

▢ On top of a vault to allow yield optimizers to implement lending strategies

Phase 3 (August & beyond):

R&D Phase:

▢ Explore current DeFi research, particularly in limit orders and derivatives

▢ Write research papers in those areas

▢ And translate research into code


Every great product requires a strong team to drive it forward.

So who are we? Are we just larpers who know how to make hype minecraft videos?

Allow us to introduce ourselves…


@cryptofishx is a full-stack and smart contract engineer who has contributed to projects in Avalanche: @throwsnowballs, @Pandaswapex and @sherpa_cash.

He most recently worked at FAANG and a crypto derivatives CEX. He also holds a master’s in computer science from a top US university.

He has been in crypto since 2017 and got into Avalanche when it was introduced to him by a friend. Since then, he’s gone all-in on Avalanche and has never looked back.


@0xmurloc is also a full-stack developer and product manager.

Recently, he was Head of Product at a leading unicorn startup that went IPO recently. He holds an electrical engineering degree from a top US university.

He has been a bitcoin holder since 2014, got into DeFi earlier this year and has been hooked ever since.

Hiring Values

Going forward, our vision for Trader Joe is to become the birthplace of new DeFi products.

To get there, we are committed to hiring research scientists and engineers working at the top DeFi projects, quant trading firms and tech companies around the world.

Our goal is to create a small, solid core team of talented individuals with a flat structure.

We want the people to work with us to:

  • Have freedom to pursue something they find interesting
  • And feel like they are supported in their roles in every way.


Earn Fees as Token Holder

The trading fee for all swaps is 0.3%.

Similar to SUSHI, users will be able to convert JOE to xJOE to receive 0.05% of all swaps, of which the other 0.25% will goto the liquidity providers.

In the future once we launch lending, xJOE holders will also earn a percentage of earned interest and closed liquidations.

Vote on Governance

Projects have historically struggled to get a high enough quorum for votes. Our goal is to make voting as frictionless as possible.


  • All governance will be done off-chain via Snapshot.
  • There will be no minimum requirement of JOE to create a proposal.
  • You will be able to vote even when your JOE is staked in xJOE or the JOE/AVAX farm.

Because staking in JOE/AVAX incurs a high risk, each JOE staked in that farm will count for 2 votes.


  • 1 JOE free in your wallet = 1 vote
  • 1 JOE staked in xJOE = 1 vote
  • 1 JOE staked in JOE/AVAX farm = 2 votes

Token Distribution

Trader Joe will be launched fairly via liquidity provider rewards farming.

There will be no pre-sales, seed investors or VC allocations.

However, we are very cognizant that the ambitious plan we have laid out will require significant marketing expense and talent that is hard to come by. So we have reserved 10% for potential strategic investors in the future.

Cliffs and Vesting

The team allocation will have a 3 month cliff, after which the vesting will follow the usual token emission schedule.

The potential strategic investor allocation will be locked until an investor has been found. When that happens, a 3 month cliff will be introduced and the tokens will be vested according to the token emission schedule.


The treasury is a community-owned allocation that will be used for:

  • Marketing expenses
  • Paying contractors/freelancers (these are usually designers)
  • Running competitions for community engagement

Any treasury expense over $50k will need to be voted on by the community. Smaller expenses are decided on by the core team.

We believe the use of DAO treasury funds is an ongoing area of innovation for DeFi. In the future, we plan to explore ways to use the treasury as an investment vehicle for early stage projects in Avalanche that will benefit our token holders.

Token Emission Schedule

JOE is rewarded per second instead of per block to account for wildly fluctuating block times on Avalanche.

Some key notes:

  • Fixed supply of 500M
  • 33% emitted after 3 months
  • 55% emitted after 6 months
  • 80% emitted after 12 months
  • 100% emitted after 30 months


Our thesis for token emissions is that they should either be 1) inflationary or 2) fixed and emitted over a reasonable period of 2–4 years. Anything in between does not make much sense (e.g. fixed and emitted over 28 years).

We believe that inflationary tokenomics are suitable if your platform revolves around many farms (e.g. Pancakeswap). If the token supply is fixed however, then the value of the token revolves around having multiple use cases for it (e.g. SushiSwap).

With a fixed token supply, our approach will be the latter: starting with a 0.05% trading fee and later, a percentage of earned interest and closed liquidations.

With the rollout of more products in the future, we will ensure the JOE token will remain valuable to holders.

By the end of emission at 30 months, we are confident that we will have built enough use cases for JOE.


The governance model of Trader Joe is team-driven and community-first.

What that means is that the product will be driven forward by the core team, but the community’s input will always be listened and acted upon.

If the community expresses a majority opinion that goes against the opinion of the team, then the team will engage the community and either :

  1. Carry out the community’s wishes.
  2. Or discuss the matter in a series of debates and try to find a diplomatic resolution (through compromise).

However, there are certain high level things that will not be open to community vote for the time being:

  • Whom the team hires.
  • General roadmap direction. E.g. If the community decides they want an NFT marketplace but the team does not want to build one nor do they think it’s the right direction, then the team will not do it.

Wen Launch?

Last week of June. Stay tuned.