The latest project under the Spotlight is Stader, a multi-chain liquid staking platform that provides a simple staking process with multiple advantages such as auto-compounding, validator selection and participation in DeFi opportunities to help our users maximize yields on their native crypto tokens while also enjoying staking rewards.

Let's get into it!

1. What is your core business? Can you expand on your business strategy to those unfamiliar with your project?

Stader Labs is building the infrastructure for staking, as a multi-chain liquid staking platform. We simplify the staking process and enable 1-click staking with benefits like auto-compounding, validator selection and participation in DeFi opportunities to help our users maximize yields on their native crypto tokens while also enjoying staking rewards.  

Staking is already a 300 Bn USD market and is poised to grow manifold. Our dream is to onboard a1Bn+ users across the world.

2. When was the idea behind Stader born, and what led to it?

When we learned about staking, we were super excited by the opportunity to earn rewards on our existing native crypto tokens. However as stakers, we soon realized that the process was quite complex. We wished for a more efficient solution and hence decided to create one ourselves!

We identified that discovering & monitoring validator performance, monitoring portfolio across validators & blockchains are all quite time-consuming and cumbersome activities.

We wanted to build a protocol that simplifies staking for all types of users. On top of simplifying staking, liquid staking amplifies the ability to enhance yield via DeFi opportunities. That was the genesis of Stader.

3. Can you tell us more about your team's background and introduce the core members?

We are a team of 40+ people based across multiple countries. We have an incredibly talented and experienced leadership team with 50+ years of collective deep expertise in scaling companies worldwide. The company is led by 3 co-founders

  • Amitej Gajjala is the Co-Founder and CEO of Stader Labs. I have 10+ years of experience in Business strategy and scaling start-ups across India, SEA, and Europe.
  • Sid is our Co-Founder and  CTO. He has a decade of technology and crypto experience. Alumnus of Columbia and IIT.
  • Dheeraj is our third co-founder and protocol lead. He has 10+ years of experience in building and scaling technology applications in blue chip silicon valley companies, including Linkedin and Paypal.

Apart from the co-founders, the leadership group includes several top professionals from Ivy Leagues (Harvard, Columbia) and tier-1 companies across the globe, including Mckinsey, BCG, ATKearney etc.

4. What are the main advantages of Stader, compared to a similar project from a mainstream financial or DeFi market?

There are several advantages to Stader’s solution depending on which aspect of the business we are comparing it to.

When compared to centralized finance players, the main advantages are:

  • Decentralization/ Non-custodial: Stader is a smart contract based non-custodial platform i.e. users are in complete control of their funds. We have undergone multiple audits (Halborn, Peckshield etc.) and follow best-in-class security practices including continuous monitoring, multi-sig with completely independent parties etc.
  • Transparency: We are an on-chain solution, so users can clearly see where their BNB is staked and can draw comfort that the funds are clearly visible in our contract through third party explorers
  • Equal access (Permissionless): We are a completely permissionless protocol and hence anyone can become a user whether you have 0.1 BNB or 1mn BNB, it doesn’t matter.

When compared to traditional staking solutions on chain and in the centralized world

  • Instant Liquidity: When you stake your BNB with Stader you get back our liquid token BNBx that represents staked BNB. BNBx can be swapped to BNB on a DEX without waiting for the unstaking period.
  • DeFi Opportunities: With our BNBx tokens, stakers not only get instant liquidity but also have the option of participating in yield farming opportunities to amplify yields based on your choice of risk.
  • Auto-Compounding: With Stader’s solution, the rewards generated through staking will be restaked automatically. This is in contrast to the traditional staking solutions of BNB where the user has to manually stake their rewards back into nodes. This feature helps investors gain more returns from their BNB.
  • Auto-Rebalancing: Stader monitors and manages the validators for you, so get a balance between APR and diversification. We constantly monitor key health metrics for all validators like uptime, slashing history, fee, APR, etc, and optimize the BNB allocation across various nodes so that you get the best risk /reward balance.

5. Stader will soon launch a liquid staking solution for BNB! Can we talk about the reward structure?

Yes, the launch of BNBx, our liquid token is imminent. We have some early users already testing out the product in Beta mode. There are several ways in which BNBx will enhance user rewards and some it goes back to the design of the product.

Typical current yield for staking is 4% - 6%, we can enhance this by 15-25% through optimal validator selection and auto-compounding . But this is just the start, the real opportunity for yield optimization lies in participation in DeFi using our liquid token. We are currently working with leading DEXs, money markets, yield optimizers, and other protocols to bring a host of opportunities to the users. Below are some of the examples

Graphical user interface, text

Description automatically generated

6. Can you tell us more about your security strategy? How do you protect your users?

Security and safety of user funds are paramount for us. and we have followed a four-pronged approach to ensure our users get the most secure experience possible when they stake their BNB with us

  • Built-in security features: We have used multi-sig admins and best-in-class cloud security features while developing our solution.
  • Multiple third-party smart contract audits: Our code has been audited by two of the best-known firms in this space, Halborn and Peckshield
  • BNB Chain collaboration: We have had a deep collaboration with the BNB chain team, who have given feedback on the architecture and also tested our code
  • Ongoing monitoring: We are engaging with various security firms that specialize in ongoing monitoring and threat detection, to ensure security on an ongoing basis

7. Let’s say I want to start using Stader straight away. Where do I start?

You can follow our dedicated Twitter handle for BNB (@stader_bnb) for the latest updates. We will be announcing the launch date and our dApp URL very soon. For now, our Alpha testing program is currently running, and you can sign up for that using this link.

Here is a quick sneak peek of how the UI looks:

8. What do you see as the main challenge for the future of DeFi?

We believe that DeFi has a bright future in the long term as it is fixing some of the structural inefficiencies and structural challenges in traditional finance. Key challenges facing DeFi and potentially limiting its adoption are security, ease of usage of the platforms.

Crypto and DeFi projects and the community must do more to distinguish quality projects and make them easier to find among the vast array of protocols. Some of this work is already starting, and we see more focus on the team background, quality of implementation and security from foundations and users, which is welcoming. The other immediate challenge is to make users aware of the core strengths of DeFi in protecting user funds in case of market collapse and ensuing contagion. Too often, we see DeFi projects lumped into the same bucket as funds and centralized money managers who have collapsed, whereas because of the permissionless and non-custodial nature of true DeFi solutions, user funds are actually less prone to counterparty risks.

Another key challenge limiting the adoption of DeFi is difficult to use interfaces, complex UI/UX. Most protocols are realizing this and making appropriate design choices.

9. And last, tell us where you see DeFi and BNB Chain in five years?

We see DeFi being accepted by mainstream users in the next five years and a significant portion of financial activity being handled in a decentralized fashion. Some portions of traditional finance have a lot of friction and fees, these will probably be the ones disrupted in the near term. We also see DeFi maturing with industry standards in security, usability, connectivity and user fund protection being developed and adopted by major market participants.

The BNB Chain is already a very vibrant ecosystem with hundreds of protocols offering various solutions across many industry verticals. With such a strong base, global pool of users, and continued efforts and investment toward growth and decentralization, it’s easy to envision the BNB Chain as one of the most used L1 protocols.

Follow us to stay updated on everything BNB Chain!

Website | Twitter | Telegram | Youtube | Discord | Reddit | Build N' Build Forum