#55: Multichain DeFi

ETH2 liquid staking dashboard, Cosmos Gravity DEX and bridge, Kusama parachains, NEAR Aurora & more.

💰Economics

Staking Pool Data on Ethereum
With liquid staking moving so fast, more tools are being built that help track the growth of the paradigm. Elias Simos has released a dashboard for liquid staking on Dune Analytics that shows metrics such as the amount of ETH in liquid staking pools and the % of ETH in pools compared to other ways of staking. To date there is 630k locked in ETH liquid staking (accounting for just over 20% of all ETH staked) with a clear lead by Lido, which has around 450k ETH staked with it. 

🌐 Ecosystem

Relaunch of the Staking Academy
The Staking Academy is a platform to aggregate educational content around blockchain, staking, and DeFi. It was initiated by Staking Facilities and everyone at Staking Economy is contributing to curate content for this awesome project that seeks to help newcomers break into the crypto community. Check the new website out here and use it as a resource to introduce your friends interested to learn more about staking and blockchain.

Multichain DeFi is coming to Cosmos
Gravity DEX is close to going live on Cosmos, the incentivised testnet saw 20,000 traders swap $900m in over 715,000 transactions. Gravity DEX will open up a new era for permissionless innovation on Cosmos, as developers will be able to bootstrap liquidity on a native Cosmos DEX when launching their own token and find price discovery much quicker. For example, users can participate in early-stage networks such as Regen Network, without having to wait for it to list on a centralised exchange. Gravity DEX is the first multi-chain DEX of its kind, utilising a new ‘equivalent swap pricing model’ (ESPM) that eliminates slippage and front-running. Gravity DEX leverages IBC and the Gravity Bridge (the first ETH <> ATOM bridge on Cosmos). Soon, a native DEX on Cosmos will exist that democratises access to DeFi for users, as liquidity is transported from Ethereum and IBC-connected Cosmos chains into one vortex of interconnected value.

Kusama Parachain Launches
The release of Polkadot version 0.9 marked the beginning of the final phase of Polkadots’ phased launch. It introduces the necessary logic to release parachains through slot auctions or crowdloans first on Kusama, and later on Polkadot once a new audit is completed and everything has been tested on Kusama. In this post, Gavin Wood shares more about the launch of parachains.

Track your Solana Staking Rewards 
Delegators on Solanas’ Mainnet Beta can now track their staking rewards on a per-epoch basis via Solana Beach for each of their Stake Accounts. Next to the SOL-amount of rewards, delegators also find their post-reward balance, the APR for the respective epoch as well the percentage change that came through their rewards. To track your rewards, look up your Stake Account and visit the ‘Stake Rewards’ tab at the bottom of your Stake Account Details page. 

⛓️ Network Updates

Dfinity Launch 
On May 7th, Dfinity, a smart contract platform often dubbed ‘The Internet Computer’, hosted their Genesis Launch event for Mercury, their Beta Mainnet. Dfinity is set out to build a scalable, decentralized, cloud-like computation platform that supports data storage and community-driven governance through locking $ICP tokens, which launched on May 10th. You can learn more about the utility and mechanics underpinning $ICP as well as how token holders can earn voting rewards through locking their $ICO into ‘Neurons’ in this blog post. On the same day, the Dfinity Foundation open sourced its source code, ultimately putting an end to the ‘black box’ narrative that has evolved around Dfinity in the months leading up to Mercury. 

Centrifuge Sale
Centrifuge, the substrate-based DeFi network connecting real-world assets (RWA) to the blockchain, completed their public token sale on Coinlist. There were 600,000 registrations to participate in the sale and only 36,000 were lucky enough to be allowed access to invest. In addition, Centrifuge announced their experimental Altair parachain on Kusama.

Celo Donut Hard Fork 
Celo underwent a hard fork, ‘Donut’. The Donut hardfork included CIP-20 (a cryptography upgrade) CIP-25 (a proposal by Chorus One to enhance interoperability of Celo) and CIP-35 (allowing metamask compatibility). The CIPs included in the Donut hardfork all target bridging and interoperable standards to enhance the developer experience and attract users from other networks. 

Aurora on NEAR 
Near launched ‘Aurora’. Aurora combines the EVM with their cross-chain bridge, ‘Rainbow’. Assets on Ethereum can be seamlessly bridged to NEAR and dApps built on Ethereum can now be deployed on NEAR with no code changes.


Follow Staking Economy on Twitter or subscribe to the newsletter to make sure you don’t miss an issue.

Staking Economy is written by Felix Lutsch from Chorus One with contributions by Chris Remus (Chainflow), Robert Dörzbach (Staking Facilities), and Xavier Meegan (Chorus One). Join us in the Staking Economy Telegram to discuss staking.

Opinions expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of our companies. All content is for informational purposes only and not intended as investment advice.

Looking to break into the staking industry? Chorus One and Staking Facilities are hiring for multiple roles.

#54: Superlinear Staking

Chainlink staking whitepaper, Lido for Solana, The Graph Subgraph Migration, SKALE Denali upgrade, and more!

💰Economics

Staking is Coming to Chainlink
Chainlink released their whitepaper for Chainlink 2.0 on April 15th. Chainlink 2.0 introduces the concept of super-linear staking (or quadratic staking) to ensure nodes are incentivised to always report correct values (as agreed upon by other nodes). One honest node now stands to receive all rewards of all dishonest nodes if they successfully notify a ‘second-tier’ of nodes that the aggregated value being reported is incorrect. This means the minimum a briber must pay to all nodes is the maximum amount one node could receive (making it quadratically higher). Chainlink 2.0 also caps the amount of fees that one node can earn to encourage further nodes. This is supposed to achieve economies of scale as new nodes are set up to capture the fees being generated and each new node that joins the oracle network provides security at a lower cost (due to super-linear staking). 

On Staking Derivatives
Liquid staking is becoming a key narrative especially due to its success on Ethereum (together, all tokenized staking pools already have more than 10% market share). Paradigm, who recently joined the Lido DAO with a bunch of other notable investors, released an article on the topic that specifically covers Ethereum 2 staking and the role and rationale of staking pools differentiating between centralized and decentralized solutions. They conclude that staking derivatives are bound to exist and the crypto ecosystem would be best off if a non-custodial, robust solution will win this market.

Felix agrees with this notion. Specifically, I believe that custodial/exchange staking is one of the core dangers to decentralization. Current non-custodial staking implementations often have a bad UX and limit the user in their ability to use staked assets in DeFi. That is why we are excited to share that Chorus One is proposing to build a liquid staking solution for Solana with Lido. Read the full proposal here. If accepted, LDO holders on Ethereum would govern the liquid staking token (e.g. determining validators) on Solana. As part of the proposal, Chorus One as the main developers would receive LDO token incentives depending on milestones hit and a revenue share of the fee that the protocol will be charging.

🌐 Ecosystem

Corporate Staking
More and more corporations are becoming a part of the ecosystem of node operators in decentralized networks. One of the first players in this space was T-Systems, who recently also joined and invested in the Celo ecosystem. Gleb, who had led this initiative shared a tweet storm on his journey to get one of the biggest communications providers to participate in networks like Chainlink, Flow, and now Celo. Meanwhile, Ubisoft joined Tezos as a baker with the help of Nomadic Labs. It will be interesting to follow if this trend is to continue and what impact it will have on independent providers. In general, we feel these news are a vote of confidence in Proof-of-Stake and decentralized networks and are looking forward to more!

Injective Raises $10 Million
The Injective Protocol raised $10m from investors including Mark Cuban, Pantera, and others for their cross-chain derivatives exchange. The Injective Protocol, which is built on the Cosmos SDK, aims to create a front-running resistant exchange that is more efficient and allows anyone to create their own markets.

⛓️ Network Updates

Byebye Hosted service, Welcome Web3! 
The Graph Foundation recently announced that nine more subgraphs are joining PoolTogether in the decentralized mainnet by moving over from the hosted service. This marks a very important milestone for The Graph and means that Indexers need to brace themselves for an increase in query traffic. The 'Mainnet Migration Partners' are a mix of DeFi, NFT as well as entertainment projects with prominent names such as Gnosis or Audius. The migration will happen in a multi-phase process in the course of the next months. 

SKALE S-Chains Go Live
SKALE completed the Denali upgrade. The upgrade brings SKALE chains to the SKALE network. SKALE chains allow the deployment of Dapps to the network. So this upgrade can be seen as enabling real usage on the SKALE network, approximately 6 months after its mainnet launch. Validators had three days to complete the upgrade.

SKALE chains were first deployed to a testnet, which ran over the course of months. Only after the testing was completed did the mainnet migration happen.  To Chris, this is a hopeful sign, as too many networks seem to be testing in production these days.

Brian from Chorus One and Chris from Chainflow participated in a related validator panel discussion hosted by SKALE. You can find 20 takeaways from it here.

Pyth Network to be built on top of Solana
On April 7th, the Pyth Network announced its mission of providing a reliable and fast oracle solution for financial market data. Pyth could be described as a mixture of Chainlink and The Graph running on top of Solana as it combines several stakeholders with different roles into an open, accessible marketplace for financial market data. In the upcoming Solana Season Hackathon, everyone is invited to tinker with Pyth amongst other things. 

Oasis Cobalt Upgrade
The Oasis network successfully finished its first decentralized upgrade titled Cobalt and unlocking tools to bring DeFi and privacy functionality to Oasis, e.g. through the Parcel SDK. Read more about the upgrade here.


Follow Staking Economy on Twitter or subscribe to the newsletter to make sure you don’t miss an issue.

Staking Economy is written by Felix Lutsch from Chorus One with contributions by Chris Remus (Chainflow), Robert Dörzbach (Staking Facilities), and Xavier Meegan (Chorus One). Join us in the Staking Economy Telegram to discuss staking.

Opinions expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of our companies. All content is for informational purposes only and not intended as investment advice.

Looking to break into the staking industry? Chorus One and Staking Facilities are hiring for multiple roles.

#53: Crowdloans and Cross-Chain

Polkadot Crowdloans, IBC and Cosmos zone launches, Mina launch, and more!

With this issue, we welcome Xavier, who recently joined Chorus One as a Research Analyst, as a new author for Staking Economy. We’re excited to welcome Xavier, who has already written a bunch of great content — such as a report on the non-financial risks in decentralized finance — to the Staking Economy team.

💰Economics

Parachain Crowdloans
Polkadot is edging one step closer to its goal of providing cross-chain interoperability. On March 26th, Polkadot auctioned off the first public parachain on Rococo testnet to Acala. Polkadot is experimenting with a revolutionary token distribution model by auctioning off parachains to teams that lease a ‘slot’ for a given amount of time (max. 2 years). A unique aspect of parachain auctions is that teams can either bid for a parachain themselves, or borrow from existing DOT holders to increase their chance of success in winning a parachain auction (known as a ‘crowdloan’). Acala is the first team to bid on a public parachain and whilst it is only a testnet, Acala will get exclusive access to testing Polkadot interoperability and it is likely other parachain public slots will be auctioned off on Kusama and/or Polkadot in the near future.

🌐 Ecosystem

Cosmos Ecosystem Update
The Cosmos ecosystem is expanding with IBC going live and mainnets launching for Persistence (focused on bridging traditional and decentralized finance, e.g. through the commodities DEX Comdex), Sentinel (e.g. hosting the decentralized VPN network dVPN), and others such as Regen Network (focusing on climate finance) and Agoric (focusing on secure JavaScript smart contracts) getting close to their public launch. Chainflow hosted an AMA on the Agoric testnet, a summary of which can be found here.

With IBC live, blockchains in the Cosmos ecosystem can now connect and transfer value and data between each other. Check out this post on the Cosmos blog or this article from Messari on why this is a big deal.

Dapper Labs Raise
Dapper Labs, the company behind the NFT-optimized Flow Blockchain, raised $305 million at a reported $2.6 billion valuation. Investors included Michael Jordan (yes that one), as well as many other professional athletes from the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball. The hugely popular NBA Top Shot platform runs on Flow and has generated over $500 million in revenue in its short existence.

Solana DeFi Investment Vehicle
OKEx and MXC, two southeast Asia cryptocurrency exchanges are partnering with the Solana Foundation to fund projects building on top of the Solana blockchain. While there is a focus on DeFi projects, the $40 Million reserved for strategic investments are also going to be used for projects that expand the resources required to bring new decentralized apps and protocols to market.

⛓️ Network Updates

Mina Launch
The Mina mainnet launched on and a public sale over CoinList that will take place on April 13–18 was announced. Learn about the details here. As of now, there are 256 active block producers on the network and 750m MINA from early investors are already being staked. Check it out yourself on Figment’s Hubble explorer.

Livepeer Investment Trust
Livepeer’s visibility received a significant boost when Greyscale announced its Livepeer Investment Trust. Livepeer, a decentralized video streaming platform, was one of the first staking-backed network to launch back in 2018. Chainflow’s supported the project since the early days, as Chris was drawn to its practical, real-world use case having first met the team in 2017. Livepeer hopes to provide a streaming video platform at a fraction of a cost of legacy, centralized streaming platforms.

Solana Beach Version 2 is live
Solana Beach v2 went live on March 24th and is now a full-fledged block explorer through which you can explore, analyze, and track the Solana network. Staking Facilities closely collaborated with the VGNG team to build out Solana Beach into a high performance block explorer, suitable for Solanas’ throughput. In case you have any feedback, questions, or feature wishes, please let us know!

Explore Solana now at: https://solanabeach.io


Follow Staking Economy on Twitter or subscribe to the newsletter to make sure you don’t miss an issue.

Staking Economy is written by Felix Lutsch from Chorus One with contributions by Chris Remus (Chainflow), Robert Dörzbach (Staking Facilities), and Xavier Meegan (Chorus One). Join us in the Staking Economy Telegram to discuss staking.

Opinions expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of our companies. All content is for informational purposes only and not intended as investment advice.

Looking to break into the staking industry? Chorus One is hiring for multiple roles.

#52: Consolidation or Centralization

Liquid staking on Terra, validator M&A, decentralizing Binance Smart Chain, Mina release candidate launch, and more.

💰Economics

The Defiant published an editorial Chris wrote called "Rich Getting Richer in PoS Chains”. The post started as an idea to discuss how he feels stake isn’t decentralized at the moment. It turned into a summary of many of his thoughts and observations over the past 3.5 years on the problems and trend of stake centralization.

The post was not necessarily meant as a critique of proof of stake, but rather the intention was to warn of the direction that proof of stake chains are heading.

🌐 Ecosystem

Liquid Staking on Terra and Anchor Launch
Lido is expanding to the multichain world via the liquid staking token Bonded LUNA (bLuna) on the Terra blockchain, which was launched alongside Anchor Protocol. bLuna is a liquid staking token pegged 1:1 with LUNA that is staked with whitelisted validators. On Anchor, a savings protocol on the Terra blockchain, borrowers are able to use bLuna as collateral for a UST (Terra USD stablecoin) denominated loan, whilst borrowers deposit UST and receive interest (in UST) on their deposit. The unique design of Anchor transfers staking rewards from the borrower’s collateralized bLuna to the depositor, boosting their yield. This is the first time in cryptocurrency history that staking rewards have been taken from a liquid staking derivative and transferred to another party. There has been clear demand for the LUNA liquid staking derivative as 8,445,477 bLUNA ($144,872,700 USD) were minted within 24 hours after launch.

Validator M&A
Chorus One acquired Cryptium Labs validators on the Tezos, NEAR, Polkadot, and Kusama blockchains after the Cryptium Labs team decided to depart from the staking provider industry to focus on protocol development. This first of its kind deal between independent staking providers allows over $125 million in assets that are staking with Cryptium on these networks to continue to earn staking rewards.

Blockchain Regulation in the EU
Together with the European Blockchain Association (EBA), Staking Facilities co-hosted a panel discussion about the ‘Regulation & Taxation of Digital Assets’ on March 2nd. The panel was composed of three legal and tax law experts, namely Werner Hoffmann (CEO & Co-Founder of Pekuna), Florian Wimmer (CEO & Co-Founder of Blockpit) as well as Dr. Markus Kaulartz (lawyer at CMS Hasche Sigle). During the 90 min event the experts answered questions about staking, DeFi as well as the general regulatory situation in which stakeholders of the digital assets space find themselves in. You can read about the main takeaways in this blog post

The event was an initiative by the EBAs’ Proof-of-Stake Working Group, which has the clear goal of actively approaching and educating EU regulators so that they can draft proper and forward-looking regulation. In a recent interview, Julius Schmidt, chairman of the working group, addressed some of the issues the industry is currently facing and suggested possible solutions. 

⛓️ Network Updates

Decentralizing Binance Smart Chain
In recent weeks, we have seen DeFi gain traction outside of Ethereum. Most notably, volumes and TVL in DeFi protocols on Terra and Binance Smart Chain have skyrocketed. PancakeSwap, an AMM on Binance’s EVM chain (BSC) for a moment eclipsed Uniswap in terms of volume, now seemingly settling in close to the competitor on Ethereum with $800m daily volume.

In the wake of this adoption, Binance Smart Chain is making a push to decentralize and a blog post was released covering the staking model and how validator and BNB holders can engage. BSC is maintained and governed by 21 validators that are determined based on their BNB stake backing. Validator candidates are required to put up at least 10,000 BNB as collateral themselves. Learn more here.

Mina Release Candidate Launch
The Mina project was decentrally launched by over 130 validators and is now running in beta mode. Mina is using zk-SNARK technology to create a lightweight blockchain that allows participants to quickly verify they are on the correct network. Mina’s design allows privacy preserving and truly trustless blockchain applications. Observe the release candidate network here and join the Illuminate Genesis event to hear more about the Mina protocol and to learn about the mainnet launch.

Casper Labs Token Sale
From March 23rd through March 28th, Casper Labs is selling CSPR, the native token of the Casper Network, via a Coinlist public token sale. Casper is a Proof-of-Stake smart contract platform based upon the original Casper CBC specifications you might remember as ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost’ introduced by Ethereum in 2018. Casper is set for mass adoption by combining developer & user friendliness (support of WebAssembly, upgradeable smart contracts, stabilized gas fees), with flexible permissions so that enterprises have the option to choose between private and public applications.

Compound Gateway
After announcing the plans to launch a native, interoperable Compound blockchain earlier this year, the Compound team released details about Gateway, Substrate chain that the cross-chain interest rate protocol will run on. Learn more here.


Follow Staking Economy on Twitter or subscribe to the newsletter to make sure you don’t miss an issue.

Staking Economy is written by Felix Lutsch from Chorus One with contributions by Chris Remus (Chainflow), and Robert Dörzbach (Staking Facilities). Join us in the Staking Economy Telegram to discuss staking.

Opinions expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of our companies. All content is for informational purposes only and not intended as investment advice.


Looking to break into the staking industry? Chorus One is hiring for multiple roles on the operations and engineering side.

#51: New Frontiers

A look at slashings on Eth2, Avalanche downtime, Cosmos Stargate upgrade and more!

💰 Economics

Ethereum 2.0 Slashings

The 10th Bison Trails Eth2 update dives into three recent slashing incidents that “…now account for 81% of all slashings on eth2 and roughly estimated total losses of $600k between slashing penalties and missed rewards.”

One of these mass slashings can safely be attributed to Staked, one of the largest staking providers that accounts for upwards of 5% of all current validators, who published a post-mortem on the incident.

🌐 Ecosystem

Shapeshift New Frontiers

Shapeshift released this report comparing and contrasting Cosmos, Polkadot and NEAR. It provides a useful primer on the three networks, while the comparison chart on p.36 provides further beneficial framing.

Written in a largely unbiased way, one of the report’s key takeaways is that “2021 is Cosmos’ time to shine”.

Lido Call for Validators

Lido, the largest staking pool solution validating over 5% of the staked ETH supply, plans to expand its node operator set to improve decentralization. A sub governance group for node operators has been formed that plans to provide recommendations to the Lido DAO for 3–5 new node operating entities that should be onboarded. To apply, fill out this form until EOD Feb 28. Check out this Dune Analytics dashboard to learn more about the growth Lido has experienced over the past few weeks.

Cryptium Shutdown

On February 17th, we were saddened to find out that fellow independent validator and node operator, Cryptium Labs is shutting down their services by March 15th. Based in Switzerland, they offered validation services for Tezos, Cosmos, Iris Network, Polkadot, Kusama, Near, and eMoney. The team behind Cryptium did amazing community work as well as protocol research and core development for Tezos and Cosmos. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

⛓️ Network Updates

Cosmos Stargate

Cosmos successfully completed the much anticipated Stargate upgrades on Thursday, 18 Feb. The release brings inter-blockchain-communication (IBC) to the Cosmos Hub.

The network stopped as planned at 0600 UTC. It came back online about 5.5 hours later. This is quite a bit longer than previous upgrades. Chris is curious about what contributed to this longer upgrade window and plans to take a look into it. He did mention on Twitter that the upgrades seemed to happen faster before some of the bigger exchanges started operating large validators.

Avalanche Invalid Mint

The Avalanche mainnet experienced issues on February 11 after an increase in network traffic due to the Pangolin (automated market maker) exchange launch. Some nodes accepted invalid mint transactions, while others refused to honor them, which led to a stalling of the network’s EVM-based “contract chain (C-chain)” for multiple hours.

The invalid transactions were not rolled back; instead, developers issued a patch that had all nodes accept the invalid blocks. Since these blocks contained an additional 790.2160157 AVAX, the Avalanche Foundation decided to burn an equal amount from their treasury to honor the 720m AVAX supply cap.

The official preliminary analysis and Emin Gun Sirer’s initial twitter thread on the issue contain more information.

Solana Staking Rewards

On February 10th, the Solana community passed a vote to enable inflation on Mainnet Beta. Delegators are now rewarded for their contribution to the security of the network and receive staking rewards at the beginning of every epoch (~2.5 days). The initial inflation rate is set to 8% but will decrease by 15% year-over-year until it settles at 1.5% annually. With roughly 35% of the total supply staked, the current APY is 23% (not including validator commission). There are more than 500 validators to choose from, so stake wisely and help to #KeepStakeDecentralized. Check out this piece by Felix about the staking economics and make sure to read the official Solana staking FAQs.

Tezos Edo Upgrade

On February 13th, the fifth Tezos upgrade, Edo, was successfully implemented at block 1,343,489. Besides minor bug fixes and improvements to the performance and gas consumption, Edo also included the addition of an additional period to the upgrade process as well as two new features, namely Sapling and Tickets. Sapling and Tickets beef up the capabilities and development of Tezos smart contracts. For more, please refer to this post by Nomadic Labs on Agora.

The Graph Multichain Support

Just two months after the launch of mainnet, The Graph announced plans to add support for four additional Layer-1 blockchains, namely Celo, Near, Polkadot, and Solana. The team emphasized that the support for these chains should not be considered exclusive but rather a major step towards The Graphs’ mission of becoming the indexing and query layer for the whole Web 3.0 ecosystem. Support for other chains such as Avalanche, Bitcoin, BSC, Cosmos, and Flow is currently being explored.

Injective Protocol Equinox Staking

Injective, a layer-2 order book-style derivatives DEX built on the Cosmos SDK, announced their initial validator set that will participate in their incentivized testnet before the decentralized mainnet launch follows later in Q1 2021.


Follow Staking Economy on Twitter or subscribe to the newsletter to make sure you don’t miss an issue.

Staking Economy is written by Felix Lutsch from Chorus One with contributions by Chris Remus (Chainflow), and Robert Dörzbach (Staking Facilties). Join us in the Staking Economy Telegram to discuss staking.

Opinions expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of our companies. All content is for informational purposes only and not intended as investment advice.


Looking to break into the staking industry? Chorus One is hiring for multiple roles on the operations and engineering side.

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