Stader Labs — An Interview with the co-founder Amit Gajjala
Although the crypto world is still in its nascency, new platforms that provide different services continue to emerge on a daily basis. But in general people tend to opt for portals that consolidate services and make the task of growing their funds simple. SaaS, Staking-as-a-Service platforms enable crypto investors to stake their stakable PoS digital assets via a third-party service that takes care of the technical aspect of the staking process.
They lower the barriers to entry so that individuals with limited or no technical know-how can participate in the staking economy.
Driven by a strategy that focuses on delegators first, Stader Labs is designed to offer a convenient and safe way to maximize user returns on staking. By deploying curated vaults of Validators within a specific network’s Validator ecosystem, it assures maximized yields. With all of these offerings bundled into one platform, Stader Labs essentially empowers delegators and provides them with end-to-end stake management. For more details about Stader Labs, check out my earlier article.
Sid Doddipalli and Amit Gajjala, two active stakers founded Stader Labs on the principle of simplifying staking while offering risk-adjusted returns. The vision of the platform in the words of Amit is “One billion delegators” so that Staking-as-a-Service (SaaS) becomes a principal feature of PoS networks and a vehicle for onboarding more users to the crypto market.
In an interview with Amit Gajjala we delve deeper into the inspiration behind StaderLabs’ delegators-first approach, how it is different from other Saas platforms, the current problems associated with staking, future plans of Stader, and much more.
The interview with Amit follows below.
Q1. Tell us about yourself? How did you get into this industry and how Stader was born? And could you elaborate on Staders vision of One billion delegators?
Sid and I have known each other for over two decades & over this period have experience in top start-ups across technology, strategy, and scaling businesses. Sid has deep expertise in staking, building and managing mining pool optimizers, while I have held multiple top management positions with several start-ups & been dabbling in the crypto space for a few years.
We have seen firsthand how difficult and effort-intensive it was to choose a mining pool and we see the same thing happening in staking. We aspire to make staking effortless while unleashing several innovations on staking. This desire to make Staking mainstream led to us starting Stader
Over the next five years staking is expected to grow manifold from where it is today. The crypto world will potentially have hundreds of blockchain networks across L1s, NFTs, Gaming, L2s. PoS and Staking will be the fundamental layer that powers these blockchains. There will be an explosive growth in innovative staking solutions built on top of the PoS chains.
The next One Billion retail users & institutions entering crypto would demand access to convenient and innovative staking solutions within the mainstream apps they are buying crypto assets.
Stader is building the key staking middleware infrastructure layer for multiple PoS networks that will power the above staking-related opportunities while solving the key challenges. We are taking an extremely modular approach to building our contracts so third parties can leverage our components to build several staking solutions on top of it.
Q2. a. Explain staking with Stader.
Staking with Stader will be effortless & give users access to a world of innovative features.
Stader’s smart contracts to be launched in a few weeks have the following capabilities:
- Users can stake with any group of validators (validator index) in a single transaction. Stader monitors validators’ performance and rebalances across validators for optimal performance.
- User can deploy staking rewards on any DeFi protocol/ game, claim airdrops in 1-click
- Ability to issue a liquid staking token (will be launched few weeks after v1 launch)
b. How does it simplify staking and what problem does it resolve?
Stader simplifies staking by addressing the core problems of the key ecosystem stakeholders.
Delegators face three major problems
- Limited awareness of staking-related metrics, such as Uptime.
- Effort-intensive validator discovery and delegation process.
- Manual tracking and management of staked assets, rewards and airdrops.
Stader also addresses the problems faced by networks wrt centralization of stake & enables mid to long tail validators attract delegations.
Q3. Is there a risk to the tokens being staked? Which risks should users be aware of? Who holds custody?
Stader is completely non-custodial, users have full control of their tokens. The risk of staking with Stader is quite limited vis-a-vis a DeFi protocol as tokens are locked on the validator.
We minimise the slashing risks as we select the best quality validators and allocate stake across them. Additionally, we monitor the performance of our pools regularly & optimise to minimise slashing.
Stader separates the principal capital & the rewards with different contracts. This ensures that the base capital staked is always isolated from the interactions with other protocols. Stakers can choose various strategies with rewards based on their risk appetite.
Q4. What are you most excited about? From simplifying staking to creating a derivatives market for it, there can be endless possibilities. Can you discuss one such strategy?
We believe there are five major groups of staking products that cater to the majority of the demand
- Protect principal assets and build an ecosystem around rewards.
- Decentralized Liquid staking tokens of various types.
- Leverage staking rewards for entertainment.
- Staking platforms for institutions.
- All-in-one staking APIs for exchanges.
I am personally most excited for the liquid token as it opens up countless possibilities on top of staked assets:
Users can leverage liquid token as collateral on lending protocols, get access to staking rewards and continue to earn airdrops. Users can also benefit from potential LP pool provision on DEXs.
Q5. How is Stader different from other Saas platforms? What’s its added value in comparison with other competitors?
Stader is building a modular platform which allows anyone to use Stader’s pre-existing components to build their own staking solutions. As staking evolves over the next few years, our architecture allows flexibility to grow and incorporate new features day in and day out. Extensibility is woven into Stader’s technical blueprint, with a system of highly-interactive smart contracts. Incorporating a new strategy or pool would just require a few changes in a specific independent contract.
Our core added value is that it opens up opportunities for third parties to interact with any of our smart contracts and build additional staking use-cases.
Q6. What led Stader to begin its journey on Terra as opposed to other networks?
Stader started with Terra because of the ecosystem’s focus on staking, bringing mainstream users to blockchain and the speed of development happening on Terra. Terra also has a mature DeFi ecosystem that can be leveraged to build strategies with staking rewards.
The Terra team has been very helpful and supportive in the initial product development. We believe Terra will be one of the largest crypto ecosystems and millions of mainstream users will enter crypto via Terra blockchain.
Q7. How does Stader plan on staking across multiple chains?
In the short term, Stader is building native staking smart contracts across multiple chains including Terra, Solana, among others. Over the next two-years Stader aims to integrate with the top 7–10 PoS blockchains.
Stader also aims to provide Staking infrastructure for upcoming blockchains, including L2s and side-chains. Upcoming blockchains desire to build their staking infrastructure already optimized for the staker’s experience. Stader can be the go-to provider of staking middleware for newer blockchains. Conversations with upcoming blockchains are ongoing.
Q8. I see a Litepaper is already in the making with social media announcements pointing at Oct end as the launch. So the ultimate question — Wen launch ser?
Stader’s v1 contracts are currently under-going an audit and are expected to receive feedback by end-October. We plan to launch the first version of Stader on Terra mainnet by mid-November (tentative plan as per current estimates).
Q9. A lot of enthusiasts are excited about staking with Stader. Will there be an advance notice for users to unstake their Luna to bring it over to Stader?
Stader’s V1 contracts are currently undergoing extensive testing post audit.
Stader V1 will be launched with a community farming event on Nov 20th. We have reserved 6 million SD tokens (4% of the total supply) for community farming.
You can find more information about Stader Community farming event on our blog here.
Q10. Thinking about the future, do you have a roadmap with respect to relevant upgrades or partnerships?
In the short term, we will be launching Stader V2, which will unlock more possibilities for staked assets. We will add multiple ecosystem integrations to power strategies on top of staking rewards and airdrops.
Beyond V2, Stader’s expansion will be focused across two dimensions:
- Additional third-party App integrations and innovations on Terra
- Launching and integrating other blockchains (Solana, Near, EVM chains, etc.)
Stader aims to be present across the top 7–10 PoS blockchains over the next one-two years. In the long term, there are several multi-billion dollar opportunities and markets Stader can explore:
- Institutional-grade customized staking products.
- API layer to connect mainstream fintech applications.
- Staking infrastructure for upcoming blockchains.
- Investment grade products like staking ETFs built leveraging native Stader vaults.
- And many more…
Thank you, Amit.
Note — Save The Date.
Winter is coming and so is Stader.