I agree it’s an opportunity. It’s also a challenge.
Please check my reasoning.
Idle’s L2/multi-chain approach needs to fit overall product strategy. Idle is an aggregator and thus depends on base protocols for yield generation. Ultimately, funds have to be deposited into base yield bearing protocols. Also, Idle’s proposition so far has been a safe aggregator, as opposed to “test in prod” kind. So I see 2 main options here:
Option 1: Cloning. Deploy Idle copy to a cheap-gas L2/chain, where base lending protocols exist, and aggregate those.
Immediate problem with this is that 3 supported protocols - Aave, Compound, dYdX - only co-exist on Ethereum L1. Nor have they announced any plans that will conveniently put them together on some L2 or chain. If anything, they seem to be moving in different directions: Compound towards Optimism (and in longer term Compound Chain); dYdX to a zk-rollup; Aave launched Polygon-based markets, which may be a sign.
Large and reputable lending protocols are rare. Having more than one on the same chain, to be able to re-balance between them, is very rare.
Let’s say Idle decides to expand into less proven lending protocols (absorbing occasional losses with treasury). That may open more options, but we still need to find a cheap-gas chain with more than one base protocol worth re-balancing between.
Option 2: Bridging. Deploy Idle to a cheap-gas L2/chain as a gateway that collects funds and sends them via cross-chain bridge to Ethereum, where base protocols live.
This allows regular users to deposit and withdraw on cheap-gas chain, which is great. Bridge transactions can be expensive though - they transact on both chains, the cheap one and expensive one, so are, um, expensive in total. That means deposits and withdrawals have to be batched, so that Idle does not operate at a loss. Having to wait days for your deposit or withdrawal to come through is not ideal, but can be a good trade-off for many.
From technical point of view such cross-chain architecture is order-of-magnitude more complex, meaning risky, meaning expensive. Bridges normally involve parties that must be trusted, making entire solution less secure.