Interview with leaders: CEO of stakingrewards.com
Let’s establish the background first. Can you tell us a bit about how you discovered crypto and founded Stakingrewards?
When I was a kid I used to study and compare different bank savings accounts to get the best returns — nowadays the interest in banks is zero.
I first learned about Bitcoin in early 2013 as the payment solution for the original Silkroad by Ross Ulbricht. I was fascinated by the innovation of trustless and permissionless “bank accounts”. I imagined Bitcoin as the first alternative for the world’s reserve currency, open for everyone, and free of the existential risk of hyperinflation.
But pretty soon I realized blockchain technology had way more to offer than underpinning a currency and store of value that Bitcoin embodied. Thousands of alternative protocols evolved and I figured Proof of Stake would be a better solution for most of those protocols. I dug deeper, invested, and staked a lot of them — but the biggest hurdle for me was to find information regarding risks and rewards of Staking.
I curated a huge collection of research and data — that I used to evaluate Staking networks. Then I decided to open source my research at Stakingrewards.com in early 2018 in order to contribute to the crypto community and build a platform that fosters an open and healthy Staking ecosystem. I wanted to make it easier for everyone to identify opportunities, vet risks, and build passive income portfolios. We are lucky to know crypto — so we are on a mission to establish a culture around savings, interest, and passive income.
How would you describe StakingRewards now, and where do you see it in 5 years?
StakingRewards.com is already the go-to platform if you want to earn interest on your crypto. The platform provides users an independent view and reliable information on the most relevant opportunities to earn crypto with their crypto. It has everything that one needs to get started: information on all the blockchains with staking rewards, adjusted yield, current assets’ prices, and a lot more.
5 years in crypto is an extremely long timeframe, but I see thousands of new opportunities to earn interest will pop up and we will make it easy and accessible for everyone to utilize them. Data will be further standardized and abstracted to lower the entry barrier for the retail investor.
So your project focuses entirely on PoS consensus chains. How do you see the balance of PoW and PoS on the market in the future?
The market is currently shifting from PoW to PoS, and I firmly believe that over 90% of all cryptocurrencies will be based on some kind of Proof of Stake. It has already been proven to be the consensus solution that fits a multi-chain ecosystem.
Proof of Work still has certain benefits, but it has many limitations and drawbacks as well. I believe it is and will be the perfect fit for Bitcoin, but almost every other chain is better off using PoS.
How do you see PoS-market changing over the next year?
Ethereum Staking will mark an important milestone for the Proof of Stake economy. Exchanges are already testing the waters with other networks, but I am sure by then Staking will become mainstream and almost every professional crypto solution(custodians, banks, exchanges) will offer it to their users. At the same time, the user experience for non-custodial staking will improve significantly and abstract away a lot of the technical knowledge required to date. Staking will be more and more utilized and natively integrated into DeFi apps and other Earn products for consumers.
You’re making a strong case for PoS and staking, but are there any critical hurdles that PoS networks are facing now?
It is still uncertain what level of security and incentives is best for PoS networks. Slashing and Lock-Up Periods provide security and stability for networks, but they degrade the User Experience. Inflation incentivizes validators to participate, but it dilutes the supply of non-participating parties — which is harmful to many users. Issuance should be kept to a minimum required level.
Governance works as intended in most networks, but as optimal economics are still being leveled out — I believe many projects will suffer from their poor initial economic model and incentives design. It is more important than anything in PoS.
What kind of solutions would you propose to tackle these problems?
Projects should be careful about their initial set up and keep things as transparent and open as possible to make adjustments on the go, as the market evolves.
However, the Issuance of supply should be projected and hard-coded into protocol code — not decided by foundations.
The utilization of network transactions should be incentivized and promoted in order to increase staking rewards originating from transaction fees.
Does that mean Bitcoin will eventually become obsolete? What are your thoughts on the future of Bitcoin?
Bitcoin will always be the number one currency of the internet. The one single truth for value.
Do you participate in any staking or network validation yourself?
I do some staking myself — only for me personally. But I prefer to delegate my funds across trusted providers in the network wherever possible.
I used to operate a full staking provider operation with Hotstake but decided to sell the business to Stake Capital in order to remove any potential conflict of interest with Staking Rewards. Our unique value proposition is listing all staking service providers in a credible and neutral fashion.
At what point do you think the blockchain industry will reach mass adoption?
I think mass adoption will likely occur once crypto is abstracted to the point where most people use it without knowing that they are using crypto/blockchain technology.
A bit of a funny question for dessert — Is Craig Wright the new Satoshi Nakamoto?
Satoshi Nakamoto is a Meme — “an element of a culture or system of behavior passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.” Craig Wright has certainly succeeded in becoming a meme as well, but he’s not the real Satoshi.