AMA Highlights: Trusted Node
By Daniel Dal Bello, Director.
November 3, 2021–8 min read.
Trusted Node is creating a validator network for Proof-of-Stake systems and next-generation blockchains.
On Trusted Node you can stake native assets to PoS nodes, re-stake liquid tokens to vaults, and join multichain governance through their DAO.
This enables you to simultaneously reap double rewards and exert voting power.
We were curious to learn more about maximizing PoS staking yields.
In this post, we have compiled key questions and answers from the event.
Hi Stefan, welcome! Over the past months, we’ve been speaking with different projects that are looking to maximize yields, we are curious to learn more about your approach — which is specifically focused on maximizing the yield opportunity in PoS systems.
Before we start, would you like to introduce yourself and Trusted Node?
By way of introduction, I am Stefan, the former CEO of bitcoin.com, and have been in cryptocurrency since 2012.
I’ve been building developer communities around the world for globally leading technology companies pretty much all my career, both as an entrepreneur as well as for Java at Sun Microsystems.
At Trusted Node we have pulled together an amazing team with an aggregate of 30+ years of experience in cryptocurrency and then in technology as well. The team has been leading product management, development, and marketing with leading companies including bitcoin.com, crypto.com, Nest, Horizon, AAX, Amadeus, and more.
I wanted to set up Trusted Node as I had a lot of different coins in various wallets and on exchanges. None of these were yield-bearing. In fact the exchanges I found out were leveraging the coin deposits for the various PoS networks to capture rewards as they secured the networks with the customer's funds.
In addition to this, they weren’t necessarily sharing the airdrops that users were eligible to for having specific coins.
How can we aggregate all staked coins and capture the rewards for users across multiple networks? Trusted Node. Simply said, Trusted Node allows users to become node validators by staking their assets through our platform, keeping control of their funds at all times.
Simply said, Trusted Node allows users to become node validators by staking their assets through our platform, keeping control of their funds at all times.
Now you have your base capital locked into the various networks how can you retain the rewards for securing the networks while leveraging that base capital and using it to work in various DeFi opportunities?
This moved us into the liquid staking arena where we want to offer our users the ability to create a synthetic token for their base capital and use this synthetic token in DeFi products and earn additional yield.
We came across Hydro Labs, your incubator for decentralized finance with the manifesto quote, “Not watching change happen. Making it happen.’’
How does your vision and experience with Hydro Labs tie into the ambition for Trusted Node? What role does Hydro Labs play for Trusted Node?
Hydro Labs basically incubated Trusted Node. We had some core team members in Hydro labs, my co-founders Robin, Cameron, and Alyssa. We believe execution is everything.
You position yourself as an alternative to holding tokens on centralized exchanges (where staking rewards are not shared), in order to be a viable alternative the derivative tokens — which are minted 1–1 pegged to underlying staked tokens — should have sufficient liquidity/active markets.
What is your approach to secure secondary markets for your derivative tokens?
We have liquidity vaults ready to bring the synthetic tokens into secondary markets, having incentives for liquidity through AMMs.
Since it’s also benefiting each of the underlying networks and their DeFi ecosystems, this also benefits them. We are working with these networks and their specific ecosystems from a business development standpoint.
For example, connecting to the exchanges on their networks and DeFi solutions they offer.
You’ve integrated Keplr Wallet with your beta products, which provides staking in its desktop app for all tokens currently listed on your beta platform (e.g. Sentinel, Regen, Persistence, etc.).
Can you please elaborate on the choice to integrate Keplr wallet first and the visible overlap between the projects?
For now, there is not much value-added. Later when users stake through our platform they will receive an additional incentive resulting in a ‘dual reward’ for our users.
Also over time, we will be integrating other wallets across other networks, e.g. Terra which will be ready in the coming days — we will have the TerraStation integrated.
We will be integrating other wallets across other networks e.g. Terra which will be ready in the coming days, we will have the TerraStation integrated.
What has your experience been like working with these networks?
It’s been great. We’ve had very good support and interaction with them. In fact, you can see the announcement with Sentinel and DVPN token, and there are a couple more coming very soon.
Regarding the ‘dual rewards’ notion, users can create synthetic (derivative) tokens which can be staked in the ‘vaults’ for extra yield, can you tell us more about the dynamic of this and the strategic choices made?
Will the synthetic tokens be exclusively paired with your own utility token (TNODE), or will you also facilitate pairs with other crypto-assets or stablecoins for the most popular synthetic tokens?
Initially, it will be paired with TNODE. The business development team is working on building out pairs with other crypto-assets and stablecoins. We may be launching a liquidity paring with an up and coming very interesting stablecoin.
How will staking rewards from the underlying PoS nodes be distributed technically?
Will derivative tokens be automatically distributed to holders proportionally to the underlying staking rewards? Or do you have another mechanism?
For the staking rewards, users will claim it.
In the context of liquid staking, the user's rewards will be either compounded or claimed in native or synthetic tokens.
How are the derivative tokens tied to the value of the staked tokens when the derivatives are tradable on secondary markets?
Based on what can users claim their staking rewards?
They can always give back their derivative token to withdraw the native tokens.
Does this mean the native token claims (rewards) are based on the derivative token holdings, regardless of how they were acquired (either from staking and receiving derivatives or buying derivatives directly on the secondary market)?
We have 2–3 different ways to solve this and are working on the optimal solutions. Either it’s tied to the synthetic asset or to the user address.
Liquid staking is launching in a few months and we will have more details on that soon.
How are tokens staked in Trusted Nodes managed? Are they held in public smart contracts — as we are seeing mentioning of operating non-custodial?
The native PoS staking will be non-custodial following the native mechanisms of these chains. For our vaults, it’s going to be smart contracts that have been audited by Obelisk, these audits have been completed.
What is your take on transparency? Will the code be open-sourced?
I’m totally for transparency. My work with Java was all about open source and I have spent most of my career working with open source software and communities.
We will be sharing our audit reports and open-sourcing our code for others to review, and we will be having bug bounties and other bounties.
What is your take on security? Do you plan to integrate insurance providers in your services such as Nexus Mutual?
Security is super important to us. We’re dealing with our user's money who are even more sensitive to their assets.
We are therefore insuring our TVL and will be offering our users the ability to put insurance on their staked assets. We will be announcing something soon on this.
Have you already decided on the insurance parties involved?
We are in the final stages with a crypto-insurance partner for exactly this, stay tuned on our channels!
From where and how will the Trusted Nodes be operated? And how are their operational expenses covered?
Our nodes are multi-cloud so they’re not just on AWS and have dedicated DevOps managing and maintaining the nodes.
Regarding the fees, some of the validators have minimal commission requirements, however, we are going to make our revenue with minimal transactions charges when the user interacts with the Trusted Node app.
Right now our priority is growth.
Talking about growth, congratulations on securing the partnership with Tavis Digital — an investment firm based in Switzerland. It’s reported they will utilize Trusted Node’s PoS staking and liquid staking for their clients.
What will be the exact nature of their usage? Will they be using Trusted Node in the same way as any public participant or will they have a different arrangement with the Trusted Node entity?
I can’t speak for Tavis Digital but we really like the partnership with them and see a lot of mutual potential as institutions migrate to yield-seeking opportunities.
They are going to be using Trusted Node in the same fashion as everyone else. There is not a different arrangement with them. It’s all online and again all transparent.
What is your business development strategy on this, are you looking to actively pursue professional investment firms? What has your priority focus — institutional or retail?
Our focus is more retail and we are for now providing Trusted Node to the decentralized generation ‘D-Gen’.
However, as of late we are finding interest among the foundations to put their funds to work as well as with hedge funds and family offices that have crypto-assets and are looking to get a return on those with low risk rather than sitting idle in a wallet or in custody.
As of late we are finding interest among the foundations to put their funds to work as well as with hedge funds and family offices that have crypto-assets and are looking to get a return on those with low risk rather than sitting idle in a wallet or in custody.
It’s funny though the institutions, in general, are more interested in centralized custodial solutions, however keen to try out and learn.
Slowly slowly I guess, hence our focus and priority with the D-Gen.
Hillrise Group supports ambitious Web3 startups with early-stage venture capital and fundamental research.
Trusted Node provides instant access to PoS rewards, DeFi yield, and multichain governance — all through a network of Trusted Nodes.