How Rook Labs Uses Sablier for Payroll

An in-depth look into one of Sablier’s largest users.

How Rook Labs Uses Sablier for Payroll

Rook Labs is building the Rook Protocol, which uses the power of coordination to create more efficient markets by capturing and redistributing MEV to the users and protocols that create it.

The Challenge

Rook Labs, the organization which contributes to the Rook DAO, is actually not a company. Employees of Rook Labs are spread all around the world, working from different locations in full remote. Additionally, as is often the case in crypto, some of Rook Labs’ employees are anonymous, meaning that even Rook’s CEO doesn’t know their real identity.

These three reasons make it pretty much impossible for Rook Labs to compensate employees without using crypto.

But even using crypto is not enough. Simple lump payments present several problems when it comes to salaries and token-vesting:

  1. It requires a lot of manual work to manage the monthly payroll for 30+ employees and keep on top of everything.
  2. Employees also need to trust their employer that they will receive their compensation in due time.

The Solution

With Sablier’s money-streaming solution, employers and employees have a mutual trust relationship, and very little work is needed to handle payroll.

Streams take 30 seconds to create, and can be created for a year or longer. Once the stream is set up, nothing needs to be done from the employer’s side.

Employees can then withdraw the streamed funds at any time. If they want to leave their funds in Sablier, that’s fine. Sablier has been running on Ethereum Mainnet since 2019, and has never been hacked. The protocol is also fully decentralized, meaning the Sablier team doesn’t have access to users’ funds.

Sablier is one of those protocols that just makes sense and is a true disrupter. What would require a large payroll deppartment and a payroll processor acting as a middleman in the real world is now replaced by trustless, open code.

Sablier has helped Rook Labs save a tremendous amount of time and effort in paying our contributors and we are excited to see how they iterate on this powerful tool.

— Matt G, Treasury Specialist at Rook Labs

If employees leave the company in the middle of the month, Rook Labs can simply stop the stream and get back the funds that have not been streamed yet. This is especially useful when starting to work with an anonymous employee or a freelancer, when you are a stage where you don’t know yet if you can fully trust that person.

Thanks to money streaming, employees are paid by the second while they do the work, so they don’t have to worry about not being paid or receiving their paycheck with some latency.


Rook Labs is a growing organization, and onboarding new employees is now a very smooth process. A stream for the salary, paid in USDC, is set up. Afterwards, another one is created for token-vesting to introduce the right incentives for employees by rewarding them with the ROOK token.

That’s it. Now the streams are live, Rook Labs doesn’t have to manage their payroll anymore until the end of their streams. There is a mutual trust relationship between both the employer and its employees, as Rook Labs can stop a stream at any time if needed, and employees are paid while they do the work.

If you have any questions, ideas, or issues, ping us on Discord or Twitter — we’d love to hear from you.