PotionLab’s new DeFi protocol promises long-term crypto-survival

Potion Labs (now Ntropika Labs)
3 min readApr 7, 2022


Published in Crypto.news

As we all know, crypto markets are a lot more volatile than most traditional asset classes, which means they experience wilder moves with a higher frequency.

This means that Liquidity Providers (LPs) are exposed to potential bankruptcy when betting systematically. Nobody wants to lose their capital in the long-run — but is this just a risk we’ve got to accept in the crypto sphere?

Not according to PotionLabs. They believe the problem isn’t with crypto itself, but with the mathematics that has traditionally been used to price derivatives. Models based on Black-Scholes, which until now have been the gold standard in the industry, price crypto risk too cheaply in some cases and too expensively in others.

A new mathematical model for pricing crypto risk

The Potion Protocol is based on the Kelly Criterion, a systematic allocation strategy used by some of the best risk practitioners in the world (including titans such as Taleb, Buffett, Simons, and Thorp). It provides a mathematical framework to make optimal capital allocation decisions under uncertainty and has been shown to work in practice.

In fact, it’s the perfect choice for LPs, because it is optimized for survival and growth over repeated continued risk exposure, as opposed to opportunistic single event risk tasking.

As Nassim Taleb puts it: “Smoking one cigarette won’t kill you, but repeated smoking over years will. Kelly wouldn’t allow this”. Kelly selects for trades that when performed repeatedly lead to consistent long-term gains, similar to the strategy of the house in a casino.

The one-of-a-kind bonding curve used in the protocol can price any asset depending on the LP’s risk. That means that it can mitigate the severe risk in long-term liquidity supply that currently exposes LPs to extreme capital losses. Furthermore, the curve has been integrated into a ‘Kelly Machine’, allowing LPs to exchange collateralized risk contracts openly and transparently on-chain, with all of the transactions being automatically risk-managed by the protocol.

In summary, compared to models based on Black-Scholes, the Kelly Machine:

  • Is significantly less risky
  • Has a lower maximum draw-down
  • Leads to long-term positive alpha expectation
  • Provides a more user-friendly experience for LPs and traders
  • Allows for the formation of a market equilibrium

A novel approach to open-source the protocol into the public domain

Potion Unlock is a ground-breaking NFT game that encourages the Potion community to work together to release the protocol. With this one-of-a-kind strategy based on “aggressive decentralization”, Potion Labs seeks to avoid the dangers of a traditional project launch, such as a small number of users wielding significant power over a protocol.

Potion Labs turned the complete protocol coding and supporting documentation into an encrypted file and deposited it in IPFS. Following that, they split its password into 10,000 NFTs, creating private keys which interested investors can acquire in a Dutch-style auction starting on the 14th March 2022.

Once players have an NFT in hand, they will have to work together to decrypt the entire protocol. The game itself is totally open-ended: players will have to self-coordinate — without the input of Potion Labs — to find their own solution to the problem.

When the protocol’s file is decrypted and released into the public domain, a community with ‘skin in the game’ will have been formed. This community will then have power and stewardship over the future of the Potion Protocol as a public good. In this way, Potion Labs hopes to have created a new, fully regulatory compliant paradigm for decentralized software release into the community.

The result? Long-term crypto survival by the masses, for the masses.

Delve deeper

There is a LOT more to learn about Potion Protocol and Potion Unlock then can be included in one article. Luckily, Potion Labs have produced a lot of great content to explain the mechanics.

If you want to take part in Potion Unlock and become an NFT owner yourself, read this Medium post and watch this video.

If you’re a DeFi enthusiast, you can join the Potion Discord channel where you can access the latest community updates and engage further with the excitement building around Potion Unlock.

Ready to play?

​​Twitter: https://twitter.com/PotionLabs

Deep dive: https://Linktr.ee/PotionLabs



Potion Labs (now Ntropika Labs)

R&D powerhouse specialized in web3 for the world. Join us on Discord: https://discord.ntropika.io