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Safety-First Protocol Design

The Argo programs are designed from scratch and optimized for the goals of safety.

Layered Security Approach

Argo's layered security approach uses multiple layer of security features to protect USDA. Obviously, it is ideal for no exploits to ever happen. Security audits and proper architecture helps reduce issues, but there is more that can still be done to mitigate tail risks. While many of these layers of protection will hopefully not be triggered, they combine to provide additional safety.

Layers of Protections

  • System-wide USDA mint ceiling: Argo limits the total amount of outstanding USDA that can be minted. Manual intervention is required to increase the limit.

  • Time-based mint limits: The debt of the system can only increase by a set amount every hour, limiting the potential damage from a security incident.

  • Conservative risk parameters: Argo lists relatively safe and stable assets as collateral. Risk parameters are picked with a safe and backtested methodology.

  • Isolated vaults: Collateral tokens are stored separately for each vault so that vulnerabilities that affect one vault can't affect another vault.

  • Oracle-free liquidation auction: Dutch auction liquidations are used to competitively find the best price on the market without oracle manipulation risk.

  • Free-market liquidation system: Anyone can become a liquidator to compete to offer the best prices. There is no dependence on centralized keepers.

  • ArgoSAFE oracle filter: A fail-safe oracle interface that enforces freshness and prevents wrongful liquidations from oracle issues.

  • Medianizer oracle: A meta-oracle that takes the median value of specified oracles, preventing a a minority (<50%) of oracles from manipulating the price.

  • Argo Adjusted Timestamp: Argo liquidations is engineered to be robust even during blockchain downtime and timestamp warping.

  • On-chain auditability: All collateral backing USDA is stored on-chain. All funds can be audited by anyone without requiring permission.

  • Real time monitoring: The Argo system will be monitored in real time to detect anomalies or issues, to allow both human and automated intervention.

  • Emergency pause: In case of emergency, the system can be temporarily paused. USDA will always be transferrable and transfers can't be paused.

  • ... and more: Security is the most important focus of Argo. The protocol will continue to evolve and get stronger over time.