Kolibri is now LIVE on Mainnet!

8 min readFeb 18, 2021

By Hover Labs

The symbol of the Kolibri Stablecoin

Kolibri, the algorithmic stablecoin pegged to the US dollar we’ve been working on for the past few months, is now live on Tezos mainnet! This represents a huge milestone that we’ve been clipping towards, and it’s so exciting to see it finally in a state where we’re opening it to the world.

This week, we deployed a release candidate of the Kolibri production contracts, using the past week or so to perform extensive testing. Today we finally feel confident opening those contracts to the public.

Kolibri represents an independently useful asset which enables trustless stable value payments on the Tezos network. It also represents a massively useful building block for other DeFi (“Decentralized Finance”) projects building on Tezos.

We’ve already seen broad support for Kolibri across the ecosystem. kUSD tokens should appear automatically in Galleon, Kukai and Thanos. We expect a kUSD / XTZ liquidity pool to be live on Dexter (A decentralized exchange on Tezos that launched last year) later today. Thank you to the Madfish, Kukai, and CamlCase teams for supporting the project and making this available on day one. We’d also like to give a shoutout to SEXP, a binary options exchange launching later this month which will use kUSD as it’s settlement asset.

We’ve also partnered with Tessellated Geometry who will bake for assets in the in-protocol Developer and Stability Funds, Exchange Liquidity Pools, and any ovens who choose to delegate. A portion of baking revenue is passed back to Hover Labs to help sustain the project and encourage future feature developments.

We’re stoked to see such broad support for Kolibri on day one. If you’re a developer and you’d like to support Kolibri, please reach out to Hover Labs via email or come say hi on our Discord — we’d love to hear what you’re working on!

A Broader Ecosystem

Kolibri is more than just a set of smart contracts and corresponding web applications. Over the last few weeks we’ve been open sourcing and adding more features and designs, including public monitoring and statistics, real time events reporting, and an SDK.

In the coming weeks and months, Hover Labs intends to continue to refine and open source more of our tool chain for the ecosystem as well, with our focus set on establishing distributed governance so the holders of Kolibri can help steer and dictate the protocol. In addition, we’re going to be open sourcing the contracts, frontend, and tooling we use to manage our multisig contracts. Watch this space for announcements as they roll out!

Now that we’re launched, we need your help. These projects don’t flourish in a vacuum, and building our community of supporters is a huge part of running a successful project like this. Here are some examples of what you can do to help us today:

Get Involved

Join the Community:

  • Join our Discord, and come engage with us on ideas you’d like to see or bugs you find
  • Come meet us at our (virtual) launch party this Friday afternoon at 3:30PST on Discord (Join Here!).

Use Kolibri:

  • Disclaimer: None of the following is financial advice. Please do your own research to make sure you understand the risks of Kolibri and associated products.
  • The more people that participate, the more stable the asset becomes, head to https://kolibri.finance to get started minting kUSD today!
  • Go provide some of that kUSD you mint to new tools as they emerge, and support existing tools like Dexter by becoming a liquidity provider. You earn a portion of fees, and this is another super important step to help stabilize the price. (definitely use the testnet versions of these things before putting real money in though!)
  • If you’re interested in running an arbitrage or liquidation bot, wire them up and get them arbitraging the price on places like Dexter, this can net you a healthy profit while again helping to stabilize the project itself!

Track the Progress of the Ecosystem:

  • Kolibri Metrics: Which provides high level metrics about system health
  • The Kolibri Discord Bot: Which announces events happening on chain in real time to the #kolibri-updates and #kolibri-updates-testnet channels

Build on Kolibri:

A Note on Governance

We built Kolibri as an upgradeable protocol, which lets us tweak it’s behavior with new smart contracts or by updating parameters in the existing contracts. Kolibri is built as a minimal viable product which will function on its own, but over time, we want the protocol to be able to refine itself, add features, and rearchitect its own governance. While the next bit of this post is a bit technical, it is important that users of the protocol understand and consent to the current governance mechanism, and understand the path that it will take moving forward.

Users of the protocol should be aware of two governance functions, the Governor and the Pause Guardian. At current time, both of these entities are implemented with a timelock multisig contract.

The Pause Guardian may pause the system (deposits, withdrawals, mints, burns, liquidations). This is a safety mechanism meant to be an emergency stop in case of a 0 day bug, an oracle exploit, or other external event that could put users’ funds at risk. During a pause, token transfers may still proceed and interest on borrowed kUSD is still accrued. Only the governor can unpause the system. The pause guardian is a 1 of 3 multisig contract, with a 0 second time delay, so initially any of the core developers can pause the system if we suspect something might be awry.

The Governor can control both economic parameters and contract upgrades. It may also unpause the system after an emergency stop is activated. The governance contract is controlled by a 2 of 3 multisig timelock, with an 8 hour delay.

In both cases, the timelock keys are held by the owners of Hover Labs:

Keefer Taylor:
Luke Youngblood:
Ryan Sears:

While we realize that the current model presents a trustful model, we aim to achieve progressive decentralization over time, akin to the models pursued by many popular DeFi projects on Ethereum (ex. Compound, Uniswap, etc). Over time we intend to relinquish control of these contracts as the economic parameters and safety is proven, and we intend to seal the door behind us so that no entity can ever fully control Kolibri. Eventually, this means moving to a model where Kolibri is fully controlled by the community.

In the short term, we intend to gradually increase the timelock for these roles to a period of 3 days and expand our pool of multi-sig holders after we identify community members who would be good candidates. This helps increase decentralization outside of the Hover Labs team, but we obviously have to be very careful about how we go about it (like making minimum thresholds 5 if we expand the pool to 10 people). Additionally, we do not plan to upgrade contract behavior prior to identifying a proper model to achieve broad consensus on upgrades outside of the Hover Labs teams or before there are community members holding signing keys for the multisig. Sometimes real world outcomes change our underlying assumptions, so we might have to change that but this is a snapshot of our beliefs at the current time that we strongly hold.

With all that said, for the time being, use of Kolibri implies a level of trust that two holders of the multisig will not collude in a malicious manner. Luke Youngblood has been in the Tezos ecosystem since before mainnet, is well known in the Tezos Ecosystem and manages the Tezos Foundation’s bakers. Keefer Taylor runs a public baker and has been building on Tezos since 2018, and has contributed a number of projects to the ecosystem (TezosKit, Harbinger, TezosKMS). Ryan Sears has previously worked with Luke, and both Keefer and Luke have a high degree of trust in Ryan’s character and trustworthiness. He’s also been within many positions of trust within the security industry, and has a positive reputation in that industry.

What’s Next

Kolibri is the first big ticket item Hover Labs is launching, and we built it for the Tezos community. We did this because we love to give foundations to other protocols and products, inspire other developers in the ecosystem, and to just generally make useful products. As long as products are able to be made, developers keep creating and users keep using our products, we’ll keep building more stuff.

Hover Labs aims to build decentralized products, infrastructure and services. We aim for our products to be additive, interoperable and to strengthen the value proposition of each other.

We built Kolibri conservatively and we expect that over time we’ll add additional features and upgrades. We also strongly suspect Kolibri is not our last product. We already have a few products (both serious products and one-off side quests) in mind, but for now we want to play some of these ideas close to the chest ;).

In the meantime, if you’re curious to learn more, follow Hover Labs on your platform of choice, whether that is Twitter, Discord, Medium or GitHub.

Thank You!

Kolibri stands on the shoulders of builders, developers and tooling of the Tezos ecosystem. We’d like to thank the following folks (alphabetically):

  • Arthur Breitman — For architectural analysis and programming pointers.
  • Baking Bad — For making BetterCallDev and a litany of other tools that make developing on Tezos much much easier.
  • CamlCase — For building Dexter and making kUSD available at launch
  • Claude Barde — Who has consistently provided high quality technical feedback and written accessible content about our posts.
  • Cousinit — Who tirelessly helped us conform to metadata specs so that kUSD can be broadly and easily adopted, and for supporting kUSD in Kukai at lauch
  • Cryptonomic and Mike Radin — For ConseilJS which we use to build and deploy contracts, and for supporting kUSD in Galleon at launch
  • Jacob Arluck from TQ — For Governance and general advice
  • Madfish Solutions — For building Thanos, Quipuswap, and supporting kUSD at launch in Thanos. We appreciate the tireless work to help us debug and for fielding our feature requests.
  • Seb Mondet from TQ — Who provided invaluable help in configuring contract metadata and multisig contracts, often late at night or over the weekend.
  • The SmartPy Team — Who builds the smart contracting language that makes all of this work, who offered tens of hours of assistant and who built entire features to make Kolibri possible.
  • The Tezos Foundation — For a generous sponsorship of the security audit.

Most importantly, we’d like to thank the 160+ users in our Discord who created 260+ ovens, locked over 1 million (testnet) XTZ and provided invaluable feedback. Your enthusiasm inspires us and keeps us going — thank you for all your help.

Technical Details

It is important to trust the software that you interact with. The official software released by Hover Labs is:

The token contract contains valid metadata describing the properties of the token. These details are reproduced here for readability, and can be verified within the contract:

Hover Labs does not recommend purchasing kUSD for speculative investment purposes. kUSD tokens may lose value or have no value and may have no market. Note that if applicable law does not allow all or any part of the above limitation of liability to apply to you, the limitations will apply to you only to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.




Kolibri is a system of smart contracts on Tezos which issue kUSD, a trustless, algorithmic stablecoin that is collateralized to XTZ and soft pegged to USD.