Canceling / Lowering the Early withdrawal fee for Alpaca Gov stakers

Summary : Cancel / Lower the early withdrawal fee from Alpaca Governance vault.

Abstract : I suggest canceling or at least substantial lowering the fee from Governance vault which is penalizing Alpaca gov stakers. This fee de-motivates people to stake into governance vault and is unreasonably high, especially after the emission of new tokens ended and we switched from inflationary to deflationary token. It also applies, that the reward for early withdrawal for Alpaca protocol is also close to 0 - so it is literally only very demotivating feature, which in its current state, brings nothing to the protocol and only harms Alpaca investors.

Overview : Governance staking and voting is an important part of Alpaca protocol. Reaching higher % of stakers is desirable, but at current state of things hard to reach. At present only 30 % of Alpaca are staked in Governance (and that is also due to lack of other options how to use Alpaca tokens, otherwise the % would be much lower).

When someone wants to join Alpaca governance he needs to take into account all the pros and cons.

The current % for infinite locking your Alpaca is 3.6 %. Gov staker has to lock his Alpaca tokens for 1 year, but to reach the official percentage (3.6 %), he would need to re-lock each week and thus keep it permanently locked for 1 year. If such person would lock for real 1 year (52 weeks) and came to withdraw the tokens after the locking period, the reward would be only half of the officially stated: 3.6 % for the first week and 0 % for the last week - so 1.8 % on average for 52 weeks.

On the other side, if someone want to withdraw Alpaca tokens from the vault, he must pay penalty. The early withdrawal fee is set as “0.75 % of the withdrawn amount per week of the remaining locked time.” So if someone really needs to end his staking - for any reason - being it personal, financial or his wallet was hacked, he would pay penalty which is much higher than is the reward.

Let’s assume someone stakes his Alpaca for 1 year. After 6 months he is forced to withdraw from governance for any reason . Even if he re-locked each week, his reward was ~ 1.8 % so far. On the other side, the penalty for early withdrawal is 0.75 % x 26 weeks = 19.5 %.

1.8 % reward vs. 19.5 % penalty!!!

Motivation : At these conditions it is hard to convince any people to stake in Alpaca Gov vault. And it is also the reason why there is not high demand for Alpaca - there is not much you can do with it, except keeping it in your wallet without any locking (as locking has more cons than pros).

References: I like how Fantom FDN handled this problem. The 1-year locking means really 1-year locking - you earn 6 % for the first week of staking and also 6 % for the last week of your staking (so the % is not gradually decreasing as it is in Alpaca). Moreover, if you lock your coins for 1 year (6 %), but decide withdraw sooner, you will not pay any penalty - you would still get your reward, but the reward would equal to the reward for no locking (2 %). If you were withdrawing your rewards each day, the difference would be subtracted from your invested principal. The only con is that there is 7-days unbonding period from staking. Something to think about - what we can take from this to attract more investors into Alpaca protocol.

Voting: My suggestion is: Cancel the early withdrawal fee for Gov Alpaca lockers. Alternatively, I suggest, the fee should be lowered to 0.01 % per week. In such case, if you decide to withdraw after 6 months, your reward so far would be ~ 1.8 % and the penalty for early withdrawal 0.26 % - much more reasonable numbers that it is now (1.8 % vs. 19.5 % penalty).


I recommend the COSMOS staking method.
When we lock into governance, it will not be automatically unlocked.
If we want to stop locking, we need to wait for some days to unlock. I recommend 28 days.

About early withdrawal fee, I think we need charge expensive penalty, we need to reduce the number of people using this feature, the 28 days unlock period is short enough.
We could increase the early withdrawal fee to 0.5% per day, so the highest penalty is 14%


The key is not early withdrawal fee, but people don’t want to stake without freedom to unlock their fund anymore.

Me too think Alpaca Gov should shift to another staking method.

I would say current staking mechanism extremely stops me from keeping staking.

veCRV mode is not a good mode, at least not for Alpaca, it is bringing too much uncertainty and anxiety to stakers.

I highly agree with Chin that among all existing staking methods Cosmos one is so far so good:

  1. Stakers can unlock their fund after a fixed-length period (subject to gov).
  2. Votes and share depend and only depend on locked alpaca (not a virtual xAlpaca).

I disagree with removing or lowering the governance fee as everyone will unstake given that the APY is currently low.

Also, people could just unstake when they see fit and then sell when there’s a pump etc…that defeats the concept of “long term staking”.

Also for example if it was easy to unstake, people could just stake to vote on gov proposals and then dump the tokens straight away.

I however agree we could take the time to explore other staking methods

Personally, I agree with Chin and Ian as their perspective resonates more with me. Considering the current context of Alpaca Finance, I am inclined to discontinue staking once my locking period ends. As a result, it might also undermine Gianni’s concept of “long-term staking.”

Instead of proposing specific ideas for alternative staking methods, I simply disagree with the current approach. The primary reason is that we differ significantly from CRV. As of today, we have yet to establish our definitive position in this DeFi space and are certainly not as indispensable as CRV. Without a promising revenue stream and consistent income, it seems unreasonable for investors to indefinitely extend the one-year lock since numerous changes can occur within the rapidly evolving DeFi landscape throughout the year.

Therefore, I wish to echo the sentiments expressed in all previous posts: Let us explore other staking methods!


we lock so many alpacas for these years it demonstrate that lock alpaca is useless for token price

I see there are some worries that if the unstaking penalty was low, people could buy, vote in their favor and then sell the tokens. Or unstake and sell the tokens just because the price skyrocketed at certain point.

None of the teams / tokens I used to stake before was worried that someone could game the system with staking rewards / voting results - as his buys would increase the price and that wouldn’t be financially beneficial for him. Especially true for deflationary coin with no new coins emitted - as is Alpaca now. Best at this was UniDex - there was no staking. Anyone who held tokens in the wallet, was getting regular rewards from the protocol and could vote with his coins.

But back to our current staking: I am not worried, that people would unstake, if they could. I am worried that people would not be willing to stake at these conditions (low reward, high penalty).

I personally am staking less than 3 % of my holding. The remaining 97 % are kept in my wallet so I can theoretically dump them anytime for any reason. That is because the high penalty for early unstaking just led to keeping my tokens in the wallet. Thus the probability of dumping Alpacas from my side is much higher compared to more favorable conditions for gov staking (when I would rather stake them).

Punch line - high penalty for early unstaking leads to tokens rather being not-staked and thus higher chance of them being suddenly dumped. Have a look at the 14.4 M whale. He is not staking any more. Once his staking ended, he transferred the tokens to the exchange - and this is the highest danger of a sudden price dump - not that people would unstake and sell if we cancel the high penalty.


In a first look I don’t agree with this proposal. The locking period and withdrawal fee is there to favor long term investors and penalize short term holders. If you really believe in the project you should not have any problem staking your ALPACA for a long term even if the reward is not that big.

The rewards depends on revenue, now we are having a bad period that is why is so low now.

The withdrawal fee makes sense in my opinion because if you really want to sell you ALPACA locked for any reason then you can do so favoring again long term holders that do not want. Then removing paper hands from the market and reinforcing long term holders.

The locking period is necessary otherwise it would not make sense to give revenue for free to people that can stake and Ă­nstame whenever they want. You are giving rewards in exchange of removing ALPACA from the market cap for a period of time then increasing the possibility of a price increase.

Maybe there is a better way but I don’t see it.


I suspect the rationale behind this post is partially that right now there’s no real benefit to staking compared to holding. You’re locking for 52 weeks for a little APY. When governance vault the APY was like 15% and that was more interesting to people. We had over 10% for a while in the last 3 months which is very good for a deflationary token.
With more revenue will come higher APY

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Hi all. I would like to provide some comments and feedback on this topic

1.) @jarmush From the technical standpoint, we could easily change the the early withdrawal penalty to be lower (as long as it’s still a linear decay model.)

However, the responses so far have the replies been negative, so unless we see more positive response for the option, it won’t go for a vote.

2.) @SirIan @Chin It seems like you guys are also exploring an alternative model. If / once you have a specific model you would like to propose, you can create a separate thread for it so we can discuss and push it through AIP and voting if it gets support.

  • For the “Cosmos” model you brought up, the implementation should be relatively straightforward (1 sprint) , but there are a lot of dependencies that we will need to move together to the new vault (rewards feed, etc.) so the total effort will be around 2 sprints (~4 weeks)

Thank you , I will see whether I can compose a draft asap.

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Agree that staking needs to change. The reward Vs penalty is too drastic. If I were a new investor I would absolutely not stake.

Guys consider effort vs value and the cost-opportunity

HC sized this as circa 1 month of work for a team.

We could use that month to expand to a new chain, that would be much more valuable than changing our staking system (which then would benefit from increased APY from revenue)


Talks about expanding to different chains are going on for more than a year - with zero results. The answer is always the same - that would require huge TVL, very fast and very cheap chain and we are not aware of any such chain besides BSC.

Let’s assume the team would really expand to a new chain and it would double the rewards - from current 4.3 % to 8.6 %. If I stake and decide to withdraw after 1/2 year of staking, the reward so far would be only 4.3 % but the penalty incomparable higher - 19.5 %. It would take several years of staking just to be able to pay for such penalty.

At current state, I am not going to stake as it is not financially beneficial for me. I didn’t even stake when we had 2 parallel grazing ranges and rewards around 18 % - as I knew that will only last for circa 2 months and is not worth the risk / reward.

If we change our staking model to something more acceptable, I might unlock my 3 % of staked Alpacas and sell.
But if we do not change the model, I am prepared to sell remaining 97 % of not-staked Alpaca almost anytime.
We need to improve the staking conditions for people - so they would be willing to stake and lock - even for a short period of several weeks instead of keeping the coins in the wallets, being prepared to dump within a second. For me the highest priority goes to the new staking model.

What i am saying is that while your thinking has got merit, the root issue is that the governance model we have now would work if we had more revenue. I am just not sure that we are solving the right problem and that we are potentially using dev capacity not in the right way

Expanding to new chains and protocols is a must. We are extremely dependant on BSC and PancakeSwap. We are sitting on a chair with one leg - if this leg breaks, we fail. So expanding is a must for our protocol and we are talking about it for years.

Expanding would solve the diversification risk, but not the staking problem. As I stated before, I would not stake - not even if we were on 1-2-3-x protocols - until I have to re-stake each week to get the max yield while there is 0.75 % penalty for each week I have to withdraw sooner than 365-days unstaking period ends. It has nothing to do with number of protocols - just with time and penalty.

Please keep the discussion related to the governance vault withdrawal fees, you can create a new proposal to talk about a multichain expansion.

Side note 1, consider that the chain requirements we had for LYF on AF1 may or may not be different from AF2.
Side note 2, any expansion on a different chain would probably require incentives to make it competitive as for any new product launch

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