The original version of the Sablier protocol supported payment streams that were strictly linear. During every second of the stream, the same amount is allocated from the sender to the recipient.
As a result, we used to be laser-focused on the concept of token streaming at the time. However, with the advent of Sablier V2, this is no longer the case. On top of the streaming functionality, we are now more generally focused on token distribution, which includes streaming, but many other types of payments, too.
With V2, not only can you create linear streams, but you can also explore timelocks, immediate unlocks, exponential streams, and other payment types. These are all powered by our flagship smart contract LockupDynamic.
In this blog post, we will explore the payment types available in our interface, but it is worth noting that the potential for innovation is limitless when you interact programmatically with the contracts. For instance, it is possible to create streams that unlock assets at the end of each calendar month or even streams that follow a polynomial distribution.
Unlock In Steps
The Unlock In Steps streaming curve is literally just that: a traditional vesting contract with periodic unlocks.
After each period, a specific amount becomes unlocked and available for the recipient to withdraw. Past unlocks accumulate, so if the recipient doesn't withdraw them, they will be able to withdraw them later.
The advantage of using Unlock In Steps instead of a normal vesting contract are three-fold:
- User experience; Sablier provides senders and recipients with an end-to-end solution a native and easy-to-understand user interface.
- Automation; Sablier automates the entire process. No more worries about setting up vesting contracts or creating a user interface for your employees to claim their tokens.
- Cost reduction; calling a function in a pre-existing Sablier contract is cheaper than deploying a custom vesting contracts.
A Timelock stream is a temporary vault where the tokens are locked up for a pre-defined amount of time, and then subsequently released in one go to the recipient.
This is similar to Unlock In Steps, except there is just one step as opposed to several. This can be very useful if you are a looking to make a Timelock payment, but you don't want to have to deal with setting up a custom smart contract. Sablier offers a smooth user experience for both sender and recipient to keep tracked of the time-locked tokens.
A portion of the deposit amount gets immediately unlocked, and then a linear stream follows. It's a great choice for use cases in which an upfront deposit is needed, like freelancing.
This is similar to Unlock-Linear, except in this case, the initial unlock is followed by a Linear Cliff stream.
In practice, this means that:
- An initial amount is initially directly unlocked
- Then, a cliff period begins during which nothing is streamed
- At the end of the cliff, a new immediate unlock takes place
- From there, the remaining funds are streamed linearly over to the recipient
Exponential streams allow for streams where the recipients receive more and more tokens as time moves forward.
This is a great fit if you are looking to airdrop tokens to your community, as instead of receiving the tokens all at once (no streaming) or in a linear fashion (linear stream), your community members will receive the majority of the tokens towards the end of the stream.
This incentivizes long-term behavior and a constructive attitude.
The Exponential Cliff streaming curve is similar to the Exponential stream, but there is a cliff preceding the exponential curve.
The stream starts with a cliff (however long you want), a specific amount is then instantly unlocked and streamed over to the recipient, and from there the rest of the streaming curve is increasing slowly and then exponentially.
This is an excellent fit if you are a company looking to vest tokens for your employees. It will incentivize them to stay with you for the long run, as the more time moves forward the more they will earn.
Sablier V2 is the most powerful and advanced on-chain payment protocol in web3. This article is just a teaser of what our smart contracts can do.
Want to build your own custom stream? Dive into our docs:
You'll find out how to whip up any function and turn it into a cool streaming curve. Or, just hit us up on Discord and we will build it together.
Finally, make sure to check out our app. It's the easiest way to get started with Sablier.