Technology promises change across all markets, but not all technological advances are as beneficial as they seem. In some industries, attempts at improvement end up producing inferior, complex protocols that cost more and don’t work as well as the protocol it was designed to improve.
For example, when WordPress became the dominant web publishing platform, it brought all kinds of positive change to the world of website development. WordPress put website design in the hands of average people with absolutely no technical knowledge. WordPress didn’t make developers obsolete, but developers were no longer necessary to get
a basic site up and running, which is what most people wanted.
We know that the crypto industry is working hard to make blockchain technology user friendly, but we are still in the early stages of development. In the case of the NEAR Ecosystem, we are collaborating everyday, building and proposing improvements to keep the blockchain protocol healthy and by it’s ability to be permissionless and decentralized.
However, this innovation comes with tedious security and consensus protocols that when left unchecked results in a weak blockchain protocol. That is why as an ecosystem we need to always understand how we can improve and work together to maintain it secure and decentralized.
Core NEAR Developers and the NEARverse community are continuously releasing improvements and trying to stay ahead. It’s a lot of work. The irony is, many people who will use NEAR don’t actually know they need it.
The NEAR Guilds are creating a robust ecosystem so users, developers, creators, artists and token holders can learn and collaborate to improve the NEAR blockchain.
With any emergent technology there is no end to the complexities created by ‘simplifying’ the blockchain development process. There is still a lot of work to be done.
At Meta Pool we are also doing our part to support the vision of NEAR Protocol. That is why we have built a liquid staking solution on top of their blockchain technology and in doing so we are helping to keep the NEAR network secure and decentralized.
What is Meta Pool?
Meta Pool is a liquid staking solution for NEAR Protocol backed by community staking providers. Meta Pool lets users stake their NEAR, in order to receive a liquid, NEP-141 standard token they can use to participate in on-chain activities, e.g. lending. Nowadays, staked NEAR is locked and can not be used in Decentralized Finance (DeFi).
Our goal is to solve the problems associated with staking Proof-of-Stake networks: illiquidity, immovability and accessibility. We aim to increase the liquidity of staked NEAR tokens, by distributing them across multiple validators to improve censorship-resistance of the NEAR network.
What is Liquid Staking?
Liquid staking allows users to earn staking rewards without locking their funds. Users can deposit tokens and receive a tradable liquid token (stNEAR) in return.
This helps decentralize the network and increase network security, through the distribution of staked NEAR across low-fee, high-performance validators below the top validators and making the network more censorship-resistant.
We wrote an essay on why liquid staking will benefit the NEAR Ecosystem.
Making NEAR staking easier and reducing risk
When staking with Meta Pool, users receive stNEAR tokens representing their share of the total supply of metapool’s staked NEAR. stNEAR tokens can be used like any other NEP-141 Token to earn yields and lending rewards. The stNEAR price is updated every epoch to reflect NEAR Protocol staking rewards.
By using Metapool, users can “liberate” their currently locked funds (more than 340m NEAR). Funds will be still staked and for NEAR stakers we reduced risk by automatically allocating the staked NEAR to the best performing validators. Stakers get stNEAR liquid tokens so they can participate in the DEFI space while staking.
Meta Pool will allow users to skip the unstaking waiting period by providing a liquidity pool for liquid unstaking. This simplifies NEAR staking, making staking and unstaking simple and immediate.
If at any given moment the NEAR Protocol implements slashing, the platform will help stakers de-risk their delegated NEAR tokens.
When NEAR token holders stake on Meta Pool, the protocol will look for the best staking opportunities through the network of validators. Helping the decentralization of the network through less concentration of NEAR tokens on validator nodes and reinforcing its censorship resistance.
With this in mind, we realized, to continue to succeed, solutions on NEAR can’t be isolated, they need to be an amalgamation of products, solutions and teams. By creating stNEAR through the use of the Meta Pool protocol it opens up the possibilities for NEAR token holders to use it as collateral for DeFi platforms on NEAR.
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