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The Recap of AMA with RockX

On September 9, StaFi invited Zhuling Chen, the CEO at RockX to the StaFi community to talk about the latest development of RockX and cooperation between RockX and StaFi.

The full Recap content is organized below.

1.Please tell us more about yourself and RockX?

Zhuling: Hi, my name is Zhuling Chen. I have been in the crypto space for over four years, with a focus on building a public blockchain and helping projects to grow. With the experience in building public blockchain, I see the big potential of web 3.0, bringing privacy and control of the internet back to users. Smart Contracts with the power of POS consensus is a crucial component to that goal, which is why I co-founded RockX with a few crypto friends to safeguard promising public blockchains, allowing any token holders to enjoy the staking rewards, and also build tools for developers. So far our validators are staked with over 200mil USD of tokens, particularly on Polkadot, Kusama, Ethereum, Solana, Terra and Oasis.

Besides our staking service, RockX is also a technical workshop to contribute to the technical aspects of public blockchains. With over three years of validator service, we have encountered zero slashing events and have developed web wallets for Oasis Labs, IDE tool for Algorand, and participated in all the testnets for Solana, Oasis and Ethereum since day one. It has been a great journey so far!

2.Can you share more on why RockX is providing validator services and what has RockX been working on recently?

Zhuling: As mentioned above, we believe in Web 3.0 and hence want to ensure the security of each blockchain that will become part of web 3.0. We are particularly looking at blockchains that bring scalability, interoperability, privacy and also decentralization to the space. That’s how we select blockchains to run validator services. We are a technology focused team. We get first-hand knowledge of the latest technology (a lot of learnings come from testnet experiments), and shape a clear idea of where the space is heading to.

To give you an idea of the exciting things we’re doing , wee are working on a few really exciting ideas recently:

1)Robust and automatic validator infrastructure: With more and more validators set up and more tokens staked, we are further enhancing our validator infrastructure. For example, we have set up a monitoring system to monitor all the technical aspects of our validators, automated scripts to manage batches of validators (imagine we are managing thousands of ETH validators, manual maintenance wouldn’t be possible), a technical architecture combining multi-cloud and datacenter to ensure high availability.

b. Research in MPC and privacy: We are serious about technical research. In the blockchain world, key storage and user privacy are crucial to building trust. We see huge potential in using multi-party computation to bring in more decentralization and using zk-snark for private transactions. We will soon launch a research arm called X-matrix labs to publish our findings and tools. We believe these research resources will be very helpful to developers in the space

C. Liquid staking and associated DEFI market: We are big supporters of liquid staking. We believe it can create a new type of crypto asset (yield bearing tokens)!

3.What is your personal opinion on liquid staking?

Zhuling: Early 2020, our team was doing research for Terra and we actually proposed a liquid staking solution for them (unfortunately back then we were all too occupied with other work). That is a testimony of how convinced we are in liquid staking.

Furthermore, our team has been in Ethereum staking since the very beginning, where we started testing the testnet in September last year. However we feel uncomfortable to ask our users to stake ETH without the capability of unstaking (that means they have to wait for at least one year to get their ETH back).

This is why we only introduced ETH staking to our users (before that we used our own ETH for validators) after we partnered with Stafi and Lido. So far we are running validators for liquid ETH and also liquid Solana. We expect our validators will be managing over 500mil USD of liquid staking assets by the end of this year (excluding non-liquid staking assets).

4.Can you also share more on the recent partnership with StaFi? Why StaFi?

Zhuling: We love Stafi! It is one of the pioneers in liquid staking and actually brought a few liquid tokens in the space already!

On one hand, we want to bring our secure validator service to all liquid staking users, so that anyone can enjoy the yield without worrying about slashing or node performance. One of the major concerns in holders of liquid staking tokens is unaware of which validator they are staked on. If a validator gets slashed, all users will feel the pain. Therefore we feel it is important to offer our service to ease the concern.

On the other hand, we also want our customers to know more about liquid staking and enjoy it while staking with us. This means that they can trade freely while the underlying asserts rested securely with us.

We have built a good relationship with the StaFi team since the beginning of the year. We are impressed by their vision of creating a liquid staking ecosystem as well as managing customer’s risks. The security deposit we put for each validator (4ETH out of the 32ETH for each validator) is a crucial assurance for users’ funds. So far we really enjoy the open discussion with the StaFi team and look forward to more collaboration in the future.

5.Is there anything which we can expect in the near future from the collaboration between RockX and StaFi?

Zhuling: We are discussing a few really exciting things and hoping to bring to all users in the near future:

1)Integrating rTokens on our website so that our customers can get liquid staking right away — this will expand the customer base for StaFi

2)Establishing the DeFi market for rTokens, right now we are together looking at building tools to allow users to increase their staking yield via lending protocols. We are looking at mechanisms to allow customers to take leverage from lending protocols with a single click and also with liquidation protection — all customers will enjoy much higher yield in the future!

3)Introduce secret shared validators to further enhance validating service offered by RockX. Ethereum staking is a huge market and probably will be the largest rToken for StaFi. The Ethereum foundation has brought up a new idea called “secret shared validators” to allow one validator to be managed by multiple operators, so that it can avoid a single point of failure. This will greatly reduce the chance of slashing for ETH validators. RockX is a pioneer in adopting this technology, we are working with a team on test running SSV. Once our test is accomplished, we will introduce SSV into our technical architecture and our customers will be even more confident in our validator services.

6.Last question to end the session, as RockX is also an institutional validator for StaFi network, can you share why should stakers consider RockX as their validator?

Zhuling: Located in Singapore with three years of operating history, we are one of the leading staking providers in Asia, with a focus on serving large institutional clients. Our vision is to bring yield bearing crypto assets to the mainstream. Our clients choose us for our professional operation of validators, friendly and personal service and also our continuous involvement in the ecosystem. Last year, we announced a 20-mil USD commitment over 5 years to support the DOT ecosystem. Moreover, so far we are helping Parastate, Equilibrium, and now StaFi to grow. So if you are interested in staking securely, as well as earn yield without doing anything, RockX is the smartest platform to do so with a peace of mind!

About StaFi

StaFi is the first DeFi protocol unlocking liquidity of staked assets. Users can stake PoS tokens through StaFi and receive rTokens in return, which are available for trading, while still earning staking rewards. rToken is a synthetic staking derivative issued by StaFi to users when users stake PoS tokens through StaFi rToken App ( rTokens are anchored to the PoS tokens staked by users and the corresponding staking rewards. rTokens can be transferred and traded at any time.

rToken App:
Twitter: @Stafi_Protocol
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StaFi_Protocol A Decentralize Protocol to Provide the liquidity of Your Staking Assets