#35: A BFT Birthday

Anthem staking platform release, staking as a cryptoeconomic primitive, Edgeware slashing, hedged staking and updates on Solana, Celo, Cosmos IBC, and Tezos.

Dear readers, 

It has been a few weeks since the last issue, we apologize and will be back again to the usual schedule. We hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this pandemic. Our outlook on the bright future of the staking economy remains unchanged.

A Birthday Present for the Cosmos Hub
One year ago on the 13th of March, the Cosmos Hub produced its first block, marking the world’s first decentralized launch of a permissionless BFT network.

More than 5 million blocks later, stakers on the Cosmos Hub are now finally able to easily access the complete history of their staking portfolio in a single interface. Chorus One just launched the beta of Anthem, a multi-network staking platform, which focuses on providing accurate historical data on portfolio developments and staking rewards. With tax season around the corner, Anthem provides you with an easy way to export a CSV file including information on daily earnings from staking. You can try it out yourself with any Cosmos address at: https://anthem.chorus.one/ or check out the announcment post.

In other Cosmos-related news, the first demo and testnet for the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol are now available! The Internet of Blockchains may be coming sooner than most expect.

Staking Beyond Consensus
An op-ed by Union Market’s Shayne Coplan on the state and the future of the staking economy. Shayne describes staking and its function as a cryptographic primitive seeking to reduce transaction costs in marketplaces in the digital economy. It’s a very spot-on take that describes how staking mechanisms should be thought of beyond determining consensus participants.

Edgeware - A Slashing Case Study 
A slashing incident happened shortly after the Edgeware mainnet launch and now serves as a case study on remediating slashing events. Staking Facilities suffered the slashing penalty after a relatively short downtime due to a mixture of an unforeseen bug and high downtime penalties on Edgeware. The team has been working with the Edgeware community on how to deal with the situation since. The approach they have taken is to reimburse losses from their own funds first and issuing a proposal to Edgeware on-chain governance to recover lost funds from the treasury.

Read the writeup of what happened and check out the recovery proposal here. We also had an interesting discussion on the Staking Economy Telegram about this incident and the implications for validators, who are usually running beta software and may suffer from such slashing penalties for minor mistakes, or things that are completely outside of their control. Overall, the consensus was that slashing should be deployed carefully, potentially increasing penalties once the protocol’s software has matured significantly.

Hedged Terra Staking
Korean payments network Terra introduces an idea for another innovative financial product seeking to protect the principal used for staking from price volatility of the network’s native staking token Luna. Anchor’s design aims to allow users to receive staking rewards by pledging collateral denominated in stable tokens. This product is one of the first structured products that become possible when staking and decentralized finance intersect. 

If you are interested in this topic, make sure to join the next Liquid Staking Working Group call Wed 25, 5pm CET to hear Terra’s CTO Do Kwon present Anchor and Unslashed CEO Marouane Hajji present their slashing insurance model.

Network Updates

Solana Gearing Up for Launch
A lot of activity on Solana’s incentivized testnet and the upcoming mainnet launch. A token auction hosted on CoinList will be taking place Mar 24. A quick recap of what has been happening in the last couple of weeks.

Tezos Carthage and Lawsuit Settlement
The third governance-induced protocol upgrade passed all voting periods and was activated March 5. Meanwhile, the Tezos Foundation agreed to pay $25m in settle claims from an ongoing lawsuit claiming the 2017 ICO violated US securities laws. 

Celo Incentivized Testnet Summary and Alliance Formation
Celo’s Great Stake Off successfully concluded and saw participation of more than 100 entities, check out the details here! In addition, the Celo Alliance, a collective of organizations seeking to support and utilize Celo’s platform to bring financial tools to millions of users with a mobile phone, was announced.

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Staking Economy is written by Felix Lutsch with contributions from Chris Remus, operator of the Chainflow validators. Join us in the Staking Economy Telegram to discuss staking. Opinions expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Chorus One. All content is for informational purposes only and not intended as investment advice.