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Liquid Staking Report: Bridging Proof-of-Stake and Decentralized Finance

Over the past few months, Chorus One has led the Liquid Staking Working Group to investigate approaches and implications of tokenized stake in Proof-of-Stake networks. Today, we are proud to share the final report that we put together as part of this Interchain Foundation research project.

The Liquid Staking Research Report seeks to lay the foundation for a broader discussion around the trajectory of Proof-of-Stake and the role of staking assets in the emerging decentralized financial economy. The 88-page report covers five main topics:

1) The Capital Cost of Locking Staked Assets in Escrow

Staking requires users to lock their assets to earn rewards for securing the underlying network. The way most current protocols are designed, this means the burgeoning decentralized finance ecosystem is not accessible to staking users. In addition, protocols enforce waiting periods for users wanting to withdraw their stake. The report goes into why these restrictions exist and what kind of costs they imply to users.

2) The Trajectory of Exchange Staking

By pooling staking assets of their customers, cryptocurrency exchanges can alleviate some of the costs for staking end users. Through clever liquidity management and by allowing users to simultaneously stake and access services such as (margin) trading on their centralized platforms, exchanges are able to offer superior products to token holders seeking to participate in staking. The report illustrates this trend and its potentially detrimental second order effects to Proof-of-Stake.

3) A Taxonomy for Liquid Staking

The core goal of the report is to examine alternative staking models that could allow non-custodial staking to rival the centralized custodial experience. To do this, we define liquid staking as protocols that tokenize stake in some form. Tokenized stake, sometimes also referred to as staking derivatives, could allow staking users to access decentralized finance helping them to manage their positions in a flexible and non-custodial manner. The report differentiates between native, non-native, custodial, and synthetic approaches to liquid staking.

The liquid staking taxonomy (taken from the Liquid Staking Report).

4) Risks and Benefits

The report takes a look at the high-level risks and benefits of liquid staking taking into account the user, network, and legal perspective. We discuss everything from potentially interesting staking-related financial products, over the effects on network centralization and governance, to the regulatory implications of different approaches.

The final part of the report describes proposed designs within the space going into potential benefits and weaknesses of models brought forth by project teams like Rocket Pool, StakerDAO, Stake DAO, Acala and others.

Download the full research report here:

We’d like to thank everyone that provided us with feedback or contributed to this research in any other way. We are looking forward to continuing to push forward the decentralized Proof-of-Stake ecosystem. Visit our website at to learn more about our services.

About Chorus One

Chorus One is providing staking services and developing cross-chain communication technologies for Proof-of-Stake blockchain networks.


About Interchain Foundation

The Interchain Foundation (ICF) is a Swiss foundation, founded in 2017, with the mission of promoting and advancing research and development in open and decentralized networks, with a particular focus on the Cosmos Network.


About The Liquid Staking Working Group

The Liquid Staking Working Group is committed to advancing the state of the art in staking economics and understanding the broader impact of advanced staking protocols. Join the official Telegram to participate in the discussion.The Liquid Staking Working Group has been hosting meetings in which implementing teams and other relevant projects presented their work. Recordings of these meetings during which representatives of companies like Terra, Matic, UMA, and Unslashed presented can be found on the Chorus One YouTube channel.

Originally published at on June 16, 2020.



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Chorus One

Chorus One

Chorus One offers staking services and takes part in building tools and protocols to advance the Proof of Stake ecosystem.