StaFi Original Validators AMA on rETH: InfStones & P-OPS

As closing to the launch of rETH-staking derivative for ETH2.0, we invite validators Rudy from InfStones and Soph from P-OPS to talk about the liquid solution of ETH2 and their experiences on validating on rETH.

Q1. Could you please give us a brief introduction of yourselves and your teams respectively? Please Rudy first.

Rudy: Thanks Liam! Hi everyone, I’m Rudy from InfStones. InfStones is a leading blockchain infrastructure and nodes management provider, and we have provided staking services for nearly 3 years across nearly 40 blockchains. Currently we have operated thousands of staking nodes on Ethereum 2.0, Polkadot, Cardano, EOS, TRON, Cosmos, Tezos, Dash and so on. We are looking forward to cooperation with our old friend StaFi.

Soph: Hello Everyone, my name is Soph from the POPS validator team. I am one of the team members of the POPS validator team mainly focusing on Harmony One network so far. We are running their entire testnet infrastructure (internal validator, external validator, RPC endpoints, explorer dashboard, DNS…) and We are now looking to expand our expertise to other networks like StaFi.

Q2. We know that ETH2.0 beacon chain has run for a while, and around 72,422 validators are joining in. Could you tell us how many beaconchain validators have you runned and share the pros & cons learned from your past experience in ETH2.0 validation?

Rudy: I’m sorry that I couldn’t tell the exact number, but we have indeed run large number validators on the beacon chain. Many people complained that creating a validator is so difficult, but I want to share that it’s just the simplest one, since keeping nodes from offline penalties and slashing are the most challenging things. You could see those slashed validators when you open the slashing board on beaconscan. In addition to this, The long and uncertain lock-up period is also a major concern to investors. However apart from above, 10% ARR is so attractive! That’s why nearly 2.5M ETH have been staked.

Soph: This was my first time running an ETH2 validator. So my experience has been limited to this StaFi rETH test. Overall the experience has been really great, the documentation was sufficient for me but while helping the community of rETH validators to come online, I realize there are improvements that can be done. Everything can be done with a few command lines which make the validator experience really enjoyable for the skilled validator.

Q3. ETH2.0 PoS has not designed a staker and validator delegation mechanism so that all the 32 ETH are coming from validators. This is a huge financial burden on validators. How do you think this design and how do you deal with it?

Rudy: ETH2.0 hasn’t designed the delegation mechanism, but it supports the separation of validator keys and withdrawal keys, so validator keys for the validator, and withdrawal keys for the staker. That’s the compromise method adopted by almost all providers, except those custodial providers. It’s inconvenient for sure, because the staker should know how to generate withdrawal keys by themselves.

Soph: My answer below is based on the fact i never run an ETH2 validator before.

ETH2 with the 32 ETH deposit design is a nightmare financially, especially now with ETH above $1000. We never run or had to gather the 32 ETH but we would have for sure rely on investors and agree with them on the reward split. This is a big risk for the investor as they have to trust POPS.

Q4. I know InfStones has already partnered with some ETH2.0 liquidity solutions projects, could you tell us how do you think of these solutions? And StaFi rETH has released testnet and will be launched in around 2 weeks, do you have any suggestions on StaFi rETH solution?( Rudy Only)

Rudy: There are many ETH2.0 liquidity solutions in the market, because this is a pain point that everyone has seen, and solving this pain point will create a huge new market. So I think it’s very reasonable that there will be many kinds of xETH (including rETH) coexisting in the market. I’ve investigated the design of rETH. It’s one of the most disclosed solutions, and it’s so impressive. I think what makes rETH most unique is that it already has a mature public chain behind it to support its decentralization, which I can hardly see in common solutions. I would like to suggest you to consider more the trust that different staking provider brands can bring, which will attract big providers to join the rETH network.

Q5. Soph, you are our rETH validator testing helper and have deeply participated in the testing. How do you think of rETH’s solutions as a validator? Do you have any suggestions to make it more attractive for stakers and validators?(Soph Only)

Soph:The staFi rETH solution is a really innovative way to address the ETH liquidity issue. To make it more attractive for staker, a few things are required 1) develop the defi products and secondary market around reth is very important else, you can’t do anything with your reth 2) Having marketing and reward activities to invite friends to stake their ETH.

For validator, I feel like there are still some limitations, validator has to deposit/block a certain amount of ETH which, in a way, is also staking (same as the staker), however that amount is not converted to rETH for the validator to use. Having a certain amount back would incentivize them to run the node. Also the proposed liquidity program will mainly help with the operating expense of the node but it won’t allow the validator to play around with the rETH DeFi product the staker can enjoy

Q6. The last question, As a validator, what makes you choose to join in a certain liquidity solution platform? Could you share your most valued things when choosing?

Rudy:1) Risk Isolation. Usually we only take care about our own nodes, and therefore are responsible for our staker customers. But in StaFi we and other node operators co-manage keystores and share revenues, maybe also penalties, that’s what I care most about and maybe Liam could dispel my doubts.

2) Transparency. I think StaFi does well in this area.

3) Ecosystem. Enter more DeFi or other applications to make liquidity token valuable.

4) Deposit requirements. Less is better for us, providers couldn’t afford too much deposits.

Soph: there would be a few criteria : 1) The vision shared by the liquidity solution platform 2) the proposed solution to address the liquidity and how big is the ecosystem around it 3) the minimum ETH requirement to enter the program

About StaFi Protocol

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. FIS is the native token on StaFi Chain. FIS is required to provide security to the network by staking, pay for transaction fees on the StaFi chain, and mint & redeem rTokens.

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