Dheeraj Borra of Stader Labs dropped by to talk to Andrew, our Editor-in-Chief, about the exciting things they have been working on and to take some questions from the community.
To celebrate the AMA, five members from our community who took part in the question-and-answer segment were selected to win a share of prizes worth $100!
If you would like more information about Stader Labs, please visit their website at https://staderlabs.com/.
Andrew: Alright, folks! It’s time for our AMA with Stader Labs! They’re joining us to talk about their project and answer some of your questions.
Here’s how it’s going to work:
- I’ll mute the chat so our guest can easily respond to my questions.
- After answering my questions, I’ll unmute the chat so you all can ask your questions.
- You’ll have one minute to get your questions added to the chat.
- After the minute is up, I’ll mute the chat again.
- Our guest will select 5 questions and answer them.
- Those 5 questions will be the winners of our $100 prize pool!
- Our guest can then choose to answer more questions if they have time to stick around.
- I’ll unmute the chat and you all call can discuss how you think the AMA went.
Now, let’s get this party started!
Andrew: Stader Labs Co-Founder Dheeraj Borra is our guest today. He’s heading all engineering for the Polygon launch at Stader. Prior to founding Stader Labs, Dheeraj worked as a core member of engineering teams at Facebook, PayPal, and LinkedIn.
Dheeraj: I’ll answer that in two parts. First, what is Stader Labs?
At Stader Labs, we are building staking infrastructure and staking solutions that make it easy for anyone to conveniently and safely stake their tokens. Our mission is to decentralize Proof of Stake networks.
We launched our liquid staking product first on the Terra network with Luna X in December last year. In just 4 months from launch, we already have ~800 mn $ in TVL with 30k+ wallets having staked with us. We also had a fantastic coinlist sale of our token that had ~1.2 mn registrations. So we are very thankful for the love that we’ve received from the community so far!
We’re now expanding our staking solution to multiple networks. The team is currently hard at work for the launch on Polygon, starting with liquid staking, and we are super excited!
The idea for the project came from our vision to solve the problems faced by stakers today. They face problems right across the staking value chain: discovering validators, managing staking rewards, claiming airdrops, finding strategies on staking rewards, expensive gas fees etc. We are simplifying and automating all of those with our smart contracts. Along with that, we are creating liquid tokens that can be further leveraged in DeFi protocols
You can read more about us in our litepaper here: https://staderlabs-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/Stader_Litepaper.pdf
Andrew: That is awesome. Gosh, you guys are already killing it. I’m pumped to see you guys expanding to Polygon!
Dheeraj: We’re excited too! The launch is just a few weeks away!
Andrew: And it’s so true, staking can be a bit difficult! Simplifying it with your platform sounds perfect!
Dheeraj: Very true. I can talk more about the liquid staking product later as we go along- hope that will be helpful to the community!
Andrew: Oh yes, that would awesome!
To start getting a little deeper, we all know there are so many projects out there. What makes yours unique and why should people invest?
Dheeraj: That’s a great question. Let me answer that in a few parts too. First on what makes our project unique. We pride ourselves in the fact that Stader is one of the most community and ecosystem focussed protocols out there.
Dheeraj: For example, we are on the verge of launching our 4th product on the Terra blockchain already- and and we have been live for less than a year as a company. Each of these products has been built after getting feedback from the community- Plain staking pools, liquid staking, Stake+ with chosen validators and we are just about to launch degen vaults. We will bring the same agility to Polygon and the other blockchains we’ll launch on
For instance, we’ve already been talking to community members in Polygon and we’ve planned our product roadmap according to their needs- we’ll start with making Matic staking convenient and liquid in our first iteration. And we are considering following that up quickly with liquid staking directly on the Polygon mainnet instead of on ethereum based on community feedback
On the second part of the question on why people should invest, well, we have an amazing track record already even though we’re less than a year old as a company 🙂
I already spoke about the traction we’ve seen on Terra with our launch.
In the coming year, we plan to be at close to 10B in TVL. By the end of 2022, we will launch Stader staking contracts on at least 10+ PoS networks. So besides Polygon which we are talking about today, we’ll also expand to Fantom Solana and Hadera
Andrew: It’s great to hear that you’ve connected with the Polygon community and are building elements to cater to their needs. I’m a big fan of Polygon so I love to hear that.
Dheeraj: Oh yeah, we’re big fans of Polygon here too 🙂
Andrew: 👀 Big plans as well, that’s fantastic!
Dheeraj: In fact, the good thing with Stader is that we are able to build relationships with both the community and also with more institutional type investors- we are also seeing a lot of large players staking their native tokens with us so that makes the project even more attractive and helps drive growth!
Indeed 😄 I’d love to talk more about the ambitious plans for Polygon staking later on!
Andrew: Great! I’ll certainly be asking about that. But let’s start with Polygon. Tell us why you’re excited about launching on Polygon.
Dheeraj: We are most excited about what Polygon has to offer to the broader crypto ecosystem.
Polygon’s unique decentralized Ethereum scaling solution combines the best of Ethereum and sovereign blockchains into a full-fledged multi-chain system which solves for transaction speed, costs & scalability on Ethereum – making it crucial for onboarding the next billion users into Ethereum.
We’re thrilled about the possibilities enabled by this faster, cheaper layer. For instance, Polygon estimates that it saves as much as ~$140M daily in avg Gas fees! Our staking solution will help to further strengthen the thriving Polygon ecosystem which sees ~3m+ daily transactions, ~130m+ unique users and has more than 7000 dapps.
Andrew: 100%. I love using Polygon because it really does save so much on gas fees. Plus, everything is super fast.
Andrew: Now, would you mind explaining for our audience what liquid staking is and what Defi possibilities liquid staking opens up for the Polygon community?
Dheeraj: This is my favorite part of staking 😉
Currently, when someone stakes Matic, their tokens get locked in and they are unable to use these for DeFi possibilities. When you stake Matic via Stader’s liquid staking product, you will mint a liquid token called MaticX.
MaticX represents the fact that you have staked Matic through Stader. You can use this MaticX token to get instant liquidity for your staked Matic in DEXs and also unlock multiple other Defi possibilities.
Additionally, the MaticX token will be an interest-bearing Token that continues to increase in value relative to Matic as the staking rewards flow in.
We feel that liquid staking can add ~10% extra APY to most Defi strategies! I am just listing a few possibilities here to show the versatility of the MaticX token. Users could swap MaticX for Matic and get instant liquidity on DEXs, can participate in liquidity pools for Matic <> MaticX, MaticX <> USDC. Use MaticX on lending and borrowing protocols.
They could even borrow Matic with MaticX as collateral – stake and get MaticX and come back and borrow more Matic and do leveraged yield farming. Of course, all of these possibilities are on top of ~10% APY that MaticX will generate from staking rewards.
Andrew: Huge fan of that. You’re right. Having your Matic locked up and earning is okay, but it really limits you. Having that MaticX token offers so many other options while you stake. That’s awesome!
Dheeraj: Yes, we could circumvent the bonding period as well. So no more lock-ups!
Andrew: Love it! Well, there are clearly a ton of benefits to using your platform. Are there any other benefits to staking with Stader that you’d like to mention before we dive into chatting about safety?
Dheeraj: A couple of other key benefits
1) Help decentralize the network through one click staking with a chosen pool of validators without users having to manually do so. Will help simplify the whole validator discovery process for users in this manner which is tricky
2) We will simplify the whole staking experience for users with a delightful, 1 click staking solution.
More importantly, we are here to make all polygon holders earn more through staking by increasing capital efficiency.
Andrew: Great! I’m always a fan of simplification. There are so many different aspects to crypto so it’s great to see your platform making things easier for everyone.
Dheeraj: I know, right? For most users in Crypto, staking tends to be their first touchpoint to Crypto finances and we are set to simplify, make it user-friendly even more.
Andrew: Truth. The easier the staking, the more people we can onboard to the crypto space in general.
As promised, let’s talk about safety. How will you ensure safety for users when staking via Stader?
Dheeraj: Our tech team is incredibly skilled at building Crypto applications. As mentioned earlier we have built 4 products on Terra and hold more than $800M in assets staked through us. We use multiple layers of security so we absolutely protect our users’ funds.
We also work with the best auditors (Halborn, Oak, Certik) to ensure our contracts are audited multiple times. Plus because of the unbonding periods common across PoS blockchains, our contracts tend to be of minimal risk than DeFi usecases.
Andrew: That’s great to hear. I know our audience is always curious about security and audits so it’s great to see you checking off all those boxes.
Dheeraj: Safety & security is top of mind for us. A lot of our teams funds are staked through our products. So we definitely put money where our mouth is.
Andrew: Can’t beat that!
You mentioned your tech team, talk to us about your team. Who do you have involved and how will their unique skills help Stader Labs succeed?
Dheeraj: Sure. I am Dheeraj and I am one of the co-founders at Stader Labs. I am currently leading Stader’s engineering and product design on Polygon. I have ~10 + years of experience across tech having worked in the Web 2.0 world at Facebook, Paypal, LinkedIn , Blend Finance among others.
Amit, another co-founder comes with ~10 years of strategy consulting and start-up experience. He has lead transformation changes at unicorns like Swiggy.
Sid, our tech co-founder, comes with a decade of experience in tech and crypto. He’s operated his own mining hardware for years and is the in-house expert on Crypto.
Andrew: How cool! You’ve certainly got some legit experience across your entire team. That obviously shows by the quality elements you’ve already been pushing out.
Dheeraj: Founding team is from several unicorns across the world. Our team is defintely tech heavy 🙂
Andrew: Sounds like the perfect combination for a successful crypto project!
You’ve already talked about a lot of big things you and your team are working on and I know your project roadmap for Polygon is ambitious + filled with awesome checkpoints. What are some of the future developments you are most excited about?
Dheeraj: First of all, since Polygon is a Layer 2 solution for Ethereum all staking for Matic currently happens on the Ethereum Mainnet. Unfortunately this means that the gas fees involved in Staking can sometimes be quite high. So the first major update we’re planning to bring to the product after launch will be a unique offering to allow users to stake their Matic solely on the Polygon mainnet.
This would offer tremendous benefits in gas fees for the community. No other liquid staking provider is currently offering this in the market. We hope to go live with this a few weeks after the initial launch.
Besides this, a couple of other key products we are already considering bringing to the Polygon community.
1. We are going to build a staking solution that allows users to conveniently stake with a carefully selected basket of validators. Also, we will spread the stake across multiple validators in the pool. If users want to do that today, they need to manually stake multiple times to help with decentralization. Imagine the amount of gas savings here!!
2. Vaults – We can build vaults where the rewards can be tranched and married to risk profiles. This will go well with the DeFi usecases
We could also integrate key farming strategies directly building on our liquid staking solution at the base.
Andrew: Fantastic! Those are some great elements that would make using Polygon even better. I’m really looking forward to seeing that all come to fruition!
During some of my personal research, I saw that you guys have some awesome partners supporting your project. Who are some of those and how will these partnerships help bolster your project?
Dheeraj: On the partners that we have for our project, one of the most important partners for us are actually various blockchain foundations – we collaborate closely with many foundations. We also have major crypto funds backing us. From the Polygon ecosystem specifically, Stader has received angel funding from the founders of Polygon – Sandeep and Jayanti. You can find out more here https://staderlabs.com/.
Andrew: I did see that, how awesome! It’s great to see you connecting with so many awesome players in the crypto space and even getting funding from the founders of Polygon!
Dheeraj: Indeed – great to have all this support to help us execute on our vision!
Andrew: Yes! And now, I’ll have you tell our audience how they can support you as well. Where are the best places to follow your project and join the Stader Labs community?
Dheeraj: Oh yes, we’d love to have you all as part of the Stader fam 🙂
We’re going to go live in a couple of weeks so do visit the Stader dApp and stake your Matic with us (or any of the other tokens we currently support!)
When you stake your Matic you’ll recieve MaticX tokens in return which you can leverage across DEXs and lending/borrowing protocols
We also have an early access waitlist at https://forms.staderlabs.com/polygon-waiting-list-optin-form/
Andrew: Perfect! Fam, go join their communities and be sure to be ready for all the great stuff they have coming your way!
Now, it’s time for some community questions!
@DarleneNess: Can you give an overview of your Tokenomics, and the UTILITY of Token?
Dheeraj: There are 4 major utilities for the Stader tokens
First validators will have to stake a minimum amount of SD tokens. The amount of delegations that are going to be distributed to different validators in a pool, will be somewhat proportional to their token stake. At the same time, these SD tokens will be used as an insurance against slashing risks.
Second, whoever stakes SD token will get a small discount on the fees we’re going to charge across our staking solutions
The third – Stader token holders can deposit many different pairs on Satder and earn rewards for doing that
The last major utility is governance based – SD token shareholders will get a chance to propose and vote for different types of policies like validator addition, exit of validators, setting thresholds etc
@JeannetteHerbert: What is your top 3 things for priorities in 2022? Could you share some plans for the upcoming year?
Dheeraj: Our immediate priorities- 1 Like I had mentioend earlier, beside Polygon, work is on full swing for also bringing our liquid staking solution to Solana, Fantom and Hedera
By the end of the year we are planning to be live on 10 major PoS blockchains
And we’ll bring our full suite of staking products to all these networks, helping us progress on our mission of decentralizing PoS networks!
@NenitaHarp: Revenue is an important aspect for all projects to survive and maintain the project/company. How have you been able to build a complete project and what is the way to generate profit/revenue of the token? What is the income model?
Dheeraj: SD Tokens is mainly earn revenu through 3 mechanisms
1- will be Commission on reward strategies: 3-10% management fees on staking rewards, if elected by governance stakers
2. Commission on liquid staking tokens: 5-10% commission on staking rewards, if elected by governance stakers.
3. Distribution commission from validators: 10-20% distribution fees on validator commissions, again, if elected by governance stakers.
The distribution of Stader tokens has been planned to incentivize the users and key stakeholders to actively participate in the network while also reserving a suitable portion of Stader tokens to incentivize third parties to build on the Stader platform.
@Elizabet_Cheung: Audit is important for both trust and security. Have you done any audit of smart contract?
Dheeraj: Indeed! Our Terra launch went through 3 major audits. On the Polygon launch we’re already in touch with two of the top auditing firms. Like Dheeraj mentioned earlier, we’re paranoid about security here at Stader!
@Florentina_Van: Can you please provide me your official telegram group links and social media links? I have seen many similar groups
Dheeraj: We have a polygon-specific Twitter handle where we’re working on bringing more education about liquid staking and our offerings. You can follow it here: https://twitter.com/stader_polygon
Besides this we also have a stader labs handle which is a community of 50,000+ https://twitter.com/staderlabs
Hope this helps you follow us along on this journey!
Andrew: Thank you so much for joining us to tell us about Stader Labs! I’m looking forward to seeing you all do big things.
And a huge thank you to our community for joining us for this AMA and submitting your questions! You all rock!