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Jan 6, 2020

Ready, Set, Stake!

Don’t want to run a node? Don’t know how? Maybe you’re a little short on STG, or don’t have the resources or availability to run a reliable node of your own? Maybe you’ve got the opposite problem, and have some STG to spare? Don’t worry, we’ve got everyone covered. Stegos staking pools are here.

While community infrastructure builds up in and around the Stegos network, we’re taking the initiative to put together a number of public staking pools. And unlike other networks, where pools are just functional and dull (if they exist at all), we want to give our pools a little Stegos spin.

We’ll be launching different pools across the eight different Stegos nodes we run, with different types designed for every different kind of staker, with different levels of commitment and risk/reward balance. Of course, they all have the same thing in common: you put your STG into the pool and get rewards out later! But you’ll need to choose carefully: you can only commit STG to one pool.

Staking with Stegos

Using our staking pools is simple and rewarding. We’ll run the nodes which host the staking pools. You send your STG to the pool of your choice, where it is combined (or “pooled”, rather) with other contributors’ STG. Everyone’s coins contribute towards the stake, and as the node earns staking rewards these are allocated to participants, directly proportional to their holdings. When you withdraw, you’ll receive your initial investment plus your proportion of that pool’s staking awards.

There are a couple of things to bear in mind before joining a pool:

  • This is a first-party, custodial service. You will need to transfer your STG to us. We’ll keep them safe and automatically track your balance and all the rewards you earn.
  • Because Stegos is currently based out of Europe and staking pools are a custodial service, unfortunately KYC will be required. This is as annoying for us as it is for you, and we’ll make this as minimal and non-intrusive as possible while we search for more private alternatives. This only affects first-party pools. You don’t need KYC to stake independently or use Stegos to send money and messages, and you never will.
  • We’ll be offering different pools, with different rules, limits and bonuses. You can only join one (although you will be able to switch between them if it doesn’t break any lock-up rules).

These are necessary components to make sure these pools run smoothly and without interference. The benefit, in return, is hassle-free, staking opportunities.

The Important Part: HUGE Staking Launch Bonuses and Zero Fees (Time-Limited)

We want as many of the circulating STG to be actively staked as possible. The bigger the global stake, the more robust the Stegos network becomes. The tokenomics of staking also suggest that a bigger global stake will translate into favorable market pressure on STG.

To encourage participation in our staking pools, the first type of pool we’re opening is the most lucrative: The Vault! The Vault is a pool for long-term staking, and comes with big bonuses on your staking rewards. The longer you keep your STG in The Vault, the bigger the bonus you’ll receive:

  • 10% staking premium for 1 month
  • 50% staking premium for 3 months
  • 100% staking premium (double block rewards) for 6 months

On sign up, you must opt in to a staking period. During this time period, your STG deposits will be frozen and ineligible for withdrawal. So make sure you think about the best bonus package for your situation!

As an added incentive, anyone who signs up in January and commits to one of the bonus periods above will have zero withdrawal fees at the end of their lock-up period.

There’s limited space in The Vault, so if you’re interested, get in touch on Telegram or in our forums. Depending on demand, we plan to launch as soon as next week.

What will future pools look like?

Stegos attracts users from all over the world with different needs, priorities and budgets. We want the Stegos staking pools to have different characteristics and benefits so there’s something for everyone.

We’re keeping the precise details about future pools under wraps for a little longer, but expect pools that play with the usual Stegos rules around staking thresholds, staking rewards and the VSA.

More Competition = More Fun

Staking is inherently a competitive mechanism. Each participating node works to their maximum capacity to receive the most rewards possible. Most projects brush over this competitive nature and leave members to themselves to work independently without regard for other participants. But where’s the fun in that?

Competition is an important component in any healthy network, and we see staking as a great opportunity to introduce another level of friendly competition between our community members.

Once the pools are established, we plan to open up other types of collaboration and competition, including voting mechanisms and pool-based games. We hope that each pool will have its own “identity”, set by the participants. We anticipate this quality to manifest to be more than just an ID. Pool members are at complete liberty to create artwork, back stories, and memes pertaining to their own group and that of their competition.

Like rooting for a sports team, we envision our members will root for their pool and jab at the others (in a friendly way!).

Clan Games Ahead?

Pool identities are just the beginning. If you haven’t worked it out by now, we at Stegos love games, contests and gamification. Numerous games and projects have already proven that a great way to build engagement and introduce healthy gamification is through clans.

Down the road, these staking pools are intended to operate akin to the clans you may see in a setting like Clash of Clans. We’ll be hosting off-chain games and competitions that will pit pools against one another. This may look like recruitment events, media creation contests, or staking tournaments (may the best pool win)!

What about the VSA?

Stegos stands apart from other staking-based crypto because of the validator service award (VSA), the accumulating jackpot which is randomly awarded to a single validator and regularly tops 1 million STG. In fact, just yesterday one lucky user won 1,114,104 STG!

Because they’re just normal Stegos nodes at heart, the official staking pools will also be eligible for the VSA. In fact, if you’re having difficulty meeting the 100% uptime requirement for VSA eligibility, staking pools may be your best way to participate in the VSA lottery. (Note that, other than being very stable, the Stegos nodes have no particular advantage in the VSA, which is decided via verifiable distributed randomness. If you can run stable nodes, please do!)

If a staking pool node is awarded the VSA, everyone in that pool will win! However, unlike the block rewards, and in keeping with the spirit of the VSA, winnings will be distributed evenly amongst all participants, regardless of stake.

One of the big decisions users need to make is balancing the number of nodes they run versus participating in the staking pools. Look out for an article on the game theoretical side of Stegos’ gPoS consensus mechanism and our staking pools next week.

What If I’m Already Staking?

If you’re already running a node or planning to set one up, this won’t change your rewards or the staking process at all. If you want to stake independently or you’re having difficulty setting up a node of your own, ask on our Telegram or forum or look out for our guide coming next week.

But if you can’t run a node, or simply would prefer not to — we’ve got you covered.

What Now?

The big fun and games are still a little way off. For now, we’re concentrating on getting the first pool, The Vault, up and running. Then we’ll be launching an upgraded version of our bot Jerry, from our recent $200,000 bounty and hackathon, to automate the process of applying, withdrawing, and checking all the juicy stats.

If you’re interested in placing some STG in the Vault to qualify for some sweet bonuses, then get in touch on Telegram or in our forums. Remember, space is limited!

In a perfect world, everyone is staking their coins. This promotes maximum security of the network, engages our entire community, and contributes to STG scarcity. Pools are designed to encourage staking two-fold: by making staking more accessible, as well as more engaging and exciting to participate in!

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First published on 5th January 2020 on Medium

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