Fantom: an inside financial peek at being a “crypto company”

Andre Cronje
4 min readNov 28, 2022


16 June 2018 — Fantom raised $40,000,000 (mostly in ETH @ $450-$700).

Dec 2018 — Fantom sells the ETH to USD for an average price significantly less than it raised. Fantom has less than $5,000,000 left.

Major expenses include $3,000,000+ in listing fees for exchanges, $500,000+ “sponsorship fees” for “influencers”. We decide to never pay for exchange listings or influencers again. Fantom becomes incredibly frugal. Complete marketing freeze. Hiring only essential staff. C-level staff all decrease their salaries, some work for free. We get our burn to below $500,000 / year. We have ~4 years left.

7 May 2019 — Fantom has less than $2,000,000 left in non FTM. 100,000,000 FTM worth ~$900,000.

We periodically sell FTM to help fund unplanned expenses.

2 Feb 2020 — Fantom has just over $3,000,000 left in non FTM. 45,000,000 FTM worth ~$400,000

Fantom starts aggressively participating in decentralized finance using profits to purchase FTM.

28 Feb 2020 — Our goal is to grow to $8,000,000 before end of 2020. This will give us a $1,500,000 / year burn, we need to scale.

Mar 2020 — Burn is $600,000 / year. We are earning 20% APY on $3,000,000, or ~$600,000 / year. We are happy, we start thinking of scaling up.

Jun 2020 — COMP launches. Earning $20,320 / week from sUSD, earning $39,071 / week from COMP. From $2,000,000 to $6,000,000 (incl FTM)

12 Jul 2020 — +57,933,544 FTM off the market. Treasury at $8,000,000, predominantly from yield farming on COMP and SNX.

13 Jul 2020–207,378,636 FTM total treasury holdings, added over 150,000,000 FTM to our holdings.

20 Aug 2020- $18,000,000 (incl FTM), $11,000,000 in stables, $7,000,000 in FTM. A RPC service provider asks us $8,000,000 for integration, we decline.

30 Oct 2020 — $27,114,975. Including locked tokens; $39,687,104. We are almost at the $40,000,000 Fantom originally raised.

1 Jan 2021 — $51,684,378 (incl FTM), yearly revenue $2,009,849

2 Feb 2021 — $146,792,798, ~$20,000,000 in stables, ~$50,000,000 in FTM, ~$50,000,000 in CRV

15 Feb 2021 — Earning over $1,000,000 / week

23 Feb 2021 — We announce the sale of 81,500,000 FTM to Alameda at an average price of 0.428831 for $34,949,726.5

24 Feb 2021 — We sell 10,384,165 FTM to Blocktower for $5,000,000

3 May 2021 — $1,478,471,641 (incl FTM), liquid “only” $300,000,000. We scale up and increase our burn rate. Over 400,000,000 FTM. Not a typo, yes, $1.5bn

30 Sept 2021 — $263,000,000 (excl FTM)

5 Jan 2022 — Alameda asks for further cooperation, we pass.

14 Jan 2022 — An exchange asks us $300,000,000 for a listing, we pass.

May 2022 — $50,000,000 in losses having had treasury in BOO, CRV, YFI, CVX, and ETH. Still > $100,000,000 in stables.

Oct 2022 — An NFT exchange asks us $100,000,000 to deploy. We pass.

Nov 2022 — Over 450,000,000 FTM, > $100,000,000 in stables, > $100,000,000 in crypto assets, $50,000,000 in non-crypto assets. Salary burn rate $7,000,000 / year. We have ~30 years left (without having to touch FTM)

Income / Revenue

Validators — Fantom runs 9 validators, for a total stake of 60,708,615 FTM. This earns us ~ 4,182,823.5735 FTM / year.

Delegators — Fantom delegates approximately 60,000,000 FTM to Fantom validators. This earns us ~4,100,000 FTM / year.

Network revenue — Fantom ecosystem earns 10% of all transaction fees.

With an average daily transaction fee of 30,000 FTM this earns us >1,000,000 / year. The average fee per transaction is less than $0.005.

Defi revenue — Fantom earns ~$5,980,000 from various defi strategies across the Fantom and Ethereum ecosystems.

Fantom currently earns >$10,000,000 / year, excluding any capital gains.

We are cash flow positive.

We are still scaling up.

A few lessons learned;

Don’t try to compete with competitors for “integrations”, “listings”, “partnerships”. Unlike most of our competitors, the foundation owns a relatively small amount of FTM. Most comparable L1’s own between 50% — 80% of their token supply. At launch, Fantom owned less than 3%, today we own more than 14%. We prefer buying our token, we don’t “sell” our tokens for “partnerships”.

Blockchain companies don’t make revenue. Being a validator is not part of the foundation, we do that to support the network we believe in, and for that we earn fees. This however is not part of core business, which is building the most scalable and robust L1. Network revenue is something unique to Fantom, but again, these fees aren’t planned for the foundation, they will become platform revenue for dapps launching on Fantom. This again, is not a core business, any dapp launching on Fantom will earn these, not us. Decentralized finance & treasury management, while historically has proven very successful for Fantom, is not our core business.

Blockchain companies, realistically, only make money by selling their token, these are finite models.

We spend a lot of time comparing finite models versus infinite models. We ask ourselves, “what impact does this partnership make in 10 years”, “how do we sustain this action in 10 years”, “if we pay for this launch, how long before this partner simply deploys on other chains”, we base our decisions off of these answers.

Other than ETH, Fantom is the oldest non-fork L1 with any real TVL, we have been operating for over 4 years, we plan to continue operating for at least another 30 more. We have a proven track history of technological advancements and delivery

If your entire revenue model is selling your token, you are doing a disservice to yourself, your blockchain, and your supporters.

If defi didn’t exist, we would likely not be operational today. I believe the same is true for many companies out there.

Crypto is dead. Long live crypto.