Avalanche-native decentralized exchange (DEX) Trader Joe announced Thursday the launch of a $20 million liquidity mining incentive program in collaboration with the Avalanche Foundation.
The incentives will be applied “across the entire platform” but will focus in particular on “growth in native markets,” per a copy of the release provided to CoinDesk. The incentives will consist of $10 million in JOE tokens and $10 million in AVAX.
The $20 million in incentives is especially large given the current size of the project – accounting for 7% of the JOE token’s total market cap at the time of writing.
The incentives are part of Avalanche Rush, a mammoth $180 million ecosystem-wide incentive program announced in August.
“We’re really humbled to be able to participate in Avalanche Rush in a big way, putting us as the recipients of the second-largest grant – only Aave’s has been larger,” said pseudonymous Trader Joe co-founder 0xMurloc.
The exchange now counts $1.2 billion in the closely watched total value locked (TVL) metric, up from just $25 million at the start of August.
It has also managed to overtake rival exchange Pangolin in TVL and volume, accounting for 85% of swaps on Avalanche and capturing 90% of liquidity coming across the bridge, per Murloc.
“We want to be the largest exchange across all EVM [Ethereum Virtual Machine] chains,” Murloc said, adding that the team wants to expand to be a full-service DeFi platform offering lending and other services.
Its “Banker Joe” money market is expected to launch later this year.
Unlike many projects, however, Trader Joe won’t be going cross-chain any time soon, and Murloc says that sticking to Avalanche is part of a strategy to “stick with what works.”
Murloc said that part of the team’s faith in Avalanche comes from how quickly the ecosystem is developing.
“With all blockchains, at some point, you need the ecosystem to grow on its own and mature, and I think we’re getting to that stage in the lifecycle. We’re starting to have more projects being launched – it’s now impossible to keep up with it. It used to be a handful of developers in one single chat room, and now there’s a bunch of people showing up that no one’s heard of before – and that’s exciting,” Murloc said.
The incentive program is set to launch in mid-October.