Introducing Clam Island
After two months of intensive development, we are proud to finally lift the lid on Clam Island.
So what is Clam Island? It’s our take on the intersection of yield farming, NFTs and gamification on the blockchain, masterminded by DkNinja, a veteran in the yield farming space whom some of you may recognise.
We created Clam Island because we saw a problem and an opportunity.
But before we dive in, a warning — we have created a relatively complex ecosystem that might take you some time to digest and understand, and this introductory article is unavoidably on the lengthy side. Even then, there are details and nuances to the ecosystem that probably extend beyond the scope of an introduction, and we will spend some time exploring each key element of the ecosystem through deep dive articles in the weeks to come.
Let’s dig in then.
The “yield” farming problem
With the rise of BSC came extremely low barriers to starting your own yield farming project. This has been both a blessing and a curse for the space in general. Even after navigating through the minefield of rugs and exploits, we found ourselves asking, but what “yield” are we really farming? And since new clones sprout daily like weeds, what really prevents a user from just chasing the next clone for higher APR?
There is a reason why people compare degen yield farming forks to Ponzi schemes. PancakeSwap printed CAKE tokens to incentivise liquidity pools because it was an exchange, and an exchange needs TVL in liquidity pools to earn money and establish itself as a legitimate project. The degen yield farming forks, on the other hand, are NOT exchanges, despite forking part of an exchange’s code. There is, in fact, nothing of value supporting the native token’s price, other than the hopes of other people buying the token with the same hopes of earning yield, which itself is distributed in the same (worthless?) native token.
Don’t get us wrong, we are big fans of the degen farming experience. Earning 100,000%+ APR in the beginning of a project? And if you’re successful, maintaining 1000%+ APR for weeks and 100%+ APR for months over the longer term? Sign us up! In fact, some of our team members are seasoned yield farmers from before BSC yield farming became popular. But how do we ensure that we can maintain these kinds of yield sustainably?
The solution is obvious. Create an actual product that backs the value of the native token. And there is no better choice for this than NFTs.
But, we don’t mean more of the same pointless, static and boring NFTs, which some yield farming projects have attempted to “integrate”. We want to be clear about this. NFTs may be enjoying the current hype very much as yield farming has been, but if we paid an artist on Fiverr $100 for a piece of artwork, minted 100 copies of it as an NFT and called it “limited edition”, that does not mean these copies are now worth $1,000 each even if we managed to sell them for that much. Viewing NFTs in this light is like viewing the potential of blockchain through the lens of SafeMoon.
Enter Clam Island.
Clam Island seamlessly integrates yield farming with a fully developed collectible NFT system with provable rarity. It’s a way to have degen farming while backing the reward system with products of real value and longevity.
The primary currency on Clam Island is $GEM. In addition to serving as the farmable reward currency, $GEM is burned in order for the user to mint Clam NFTs. There are over 100,000,000 different possible trait combinations (including a variety of shapes, colours, tongues, patterns etc) available for Clams, and of course some are rarer than others. Here’s a sneak peak of two types of Clams from our amazing in-house artist:
The Clam NFTs can be separately staked in order to farm Pearl NFTs. A staked Clam will produce a Pearl at random between 5–10 days. The collection of a produced Pearl will also require you to burn $GEM.
Each Clam has a limited lifespan which defines how many Pearls it can produce before the Clam dies and can no longer produce Pearls. A dead Clam still exists as an NFT and can be traded, but there is one important thing that it won’t be able to do, which we will explain later in this article.
There are over 86,000,000,000 possible trait combinations for our Pearl NFTs! And of course again, certain types of Pearls are rarer than others. The type of Clam that you have can also influence the types of Pearls that you are more likely to produce. Here’s a sneak peak of two of our Pearl NFTs:
So how does this solve the degen yield farming problem? Well, to start with, we have created an actual product in the form of a collectible NFT game. We then integrated this product with yield farming by making the farmable token, $GEM, the required currency in order to play the game. Not only that, we made sure that $GEM is being burned in exchange for the NFT game assets. This simultaneously solves the issue of the farmable reward token being worthless, and the issue of constant inflation through farming.
We also integrated NFTs with yield farming in such a manner to incentivise full participation in the Clam Island ecosystem.
Staking above a set number of Clams in the Clam Farm will increase your yields in native token farming pools by up to a maximum of 30%. Burning Pearl NFTs will boost your rewards in native token farming pools by a set amount of $GEM, released over time, depending on the traits of the Pearl. Only a set number of Pearls with specific traits can be burned to boost rewards each week, and the traits are randomly changed by our smart contracts at the beginning of every new week. This helps Pearls of all types and attributes establish a floor value and give them utility beyond the collectible factor.
A second token
Take a deep breath now, we are not nearly done yet. We have also created a secondary, non-farmable token called $SHELL. $SHELL liquidity pools will also emit $GEM as rewards.
The only way to get more $SHELL (other than buying on the market) is through harvesting (burning) Clam NFTs. Each Clam that is more than 48 hours old can be harvested in this way for 5 [UPDATED TO 1] $SHELL. However, there is a twist — you can harvest a Clam for 0.5 [UPDATED TO 0.1] extra $SHELL with each Pearl that it produces, but once the last Pearl is produced and the Clam dies, you can no longer harvest it for $SHELL at all. This is the other significance of a Clam dying, which we alluded to earlier in this article. To add a further twist just to make things interesting, a Clam’s chances of producing rarer Pearls increase towards the end of its lifespan (so that last Pearl has the highest chance of being a very rare one!).
$SHELL is an additional layer that gives immediate value to each Clam acquired through burning $GEM. It will also be the governance token in the future, when further enhancements to the ecosystem and new feature development will pass to a DAO system.
To control the inflation of $SHELL, the amount of Clams available for minting each week is limited, initially to 500 [UPDATED TO 2,500] and reducing by 10 [UPDATED TO 50] per week until there are only 100 [UPDATED TO 500] Clams available per week. The price to mint a Clam is initially set at 500 [UPDATED TO 150] $GEM and will be dynamically adjusted from week to week based on the demand for Clams in the previous week, with a max increase of 100% in price each week.
Phew! That was a lot of information. To help you digest it, here’s a simplified visual summary:
There are not many projects that truly attempt to integrate NFTs with yield farming, but even those that do tend to have the same old farming UI, which looks like NFTs were added as an afterthought or gimmick. We grew tired of seeing this lazy approach. We have designed an immersive, gamified UI that starts with Clam Island in all its glory in an interactive, 3D animated form, complete with flying seagulls and swimming dolphins! We will release the website soon, but here’s a sneak peak:
We have also introduced characters on our Twitter, with whom you will be interacting to access the different interfaces of the ecosystem (exchange / LP staking, NFT farming, NFT minting etc).
In order to bootstrap the launch, we are opting to run two separate presales, one for the $SHELL token and one for Clam NFTs. There will be no presale for $GEMs or Pearl NFTs — you will need to farm them, or buy $GEM at launch when we add a limited amount of liquidity.
Details of the presales, including dates, will be released soon. Rest assured that there will be a reasonably small hard cap and individual cap to ensure the fairest distribution. We will also be implementing our own custom presale contracts, which will effectively eliminate bot sniping.
In the meantime, to stay informed, don’t forget to subscribe, follow us on Twitter and join us on Telegram / Discord for all the up-to-date info.