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Networks
Beyond Proof of Stake: How Berachain's Proof of Liquidity reimagines capital efficiency 🐻⛓
A comprehensive overview of Berachain, how it works, and use cases. ‍
April 5, 2024
5 min read

Chorus One is proud to be a validator on Berachain, a high-performance modular EVM compatible blockchain powered by Proof-of-Liquidity. In this article, we provide an overview of everything you need to know about Berachain, how it works and use cases. ‍

Berachain, currently in Testnet phase, is changing how DeFi users access liquidity, supercharging applications, and providing flexibility and adaptability to the thriving digital economy. It combines the capabilities of the Cosmos SDK and introduces its novel 'Proof of Liquidity' as well as their new modular implementation of the EVM called Polaris. This not only tackles current obstacles but also paves the way for fresh avenues of creativity and advancement within the DeFi industry.

A brief introduction to Berachain

Berachain is a DeFi-focused Layer 1 blockchain running on Proof of Liquidity consensus built on the Cosmos SDK. Berachain emphasizes modularity in its design approach. By incorporating Polaris, Berachain not only ensures EVM compatibility but also supports a modular framework that allows for easy separation of the EVM runtime layer and crafting stateful precompiles and unique modules enabling the creation of smarter and more effective contracts.

Berachain operates a tri-token system: BERA (native token of Berachain i.e gas), HONEY (stablecoin) and BGT (governance token). Berachain Blockchain also provides a user-friendly interface and a comprehensive array of tools for developers and builders to create and deploy their applications.

What is Proof of Liquidity(PoL)?

Proof of Liquidity is a concept introduced by the Berachain team that enables users to stake various tokens and delegate this stake to validators. Users can stake assets like BTC, ETH, L1 tokens wBTC, wAVAX, wETH, wADA, and stablecoins.

Proof of liquidity models seeks to address challenges in common decentralized systems like liquidity fragmentation and stake centralization. Though Proof of Liquidity builds on the concept of proof of stake, the token used for staking is no longer the same token used for many on-chain actions. Moreover, the sole way to acquire new governance tokens (BGT) is through providing  liquidity into DeFi applications.

Image source: Berachain Documentation

The concept behind PoL implies that users stake different tokens to enhance the chain's liquidity and bolster the Layer 1  security at the same time. This setup enables users to earn fees by contributing liquidity through staking while also receiving block rewards. Moreover, users have the option to mint HONEY by providing assets as collateral and utilize them within the Berachain ecosystem without constraints.

Berachain’s Modular EVM - Polaris

Berachain's EVM compatibility is derived from the Berachain Polaris EVM library, which enhances the EVM experience compared to the traditional Ethereum setup. Polaris Ethereum not only provides the standard Ethereum features but also empowers developers with the ability to design stateful precompiles and custom modules for crafting smarter and more robust contracts.

Polaris can be easily integrated into any consensus engine or application, including Cosmos-SDK. This modular approach streamlines the EVM integration process and reduces the time and overhead cost for developers to implement their own EVM features.

The Use Case of Berachain

For DeFi Users - Berachain BEX

BEX is Berachain’s decentralized exchange that allows users to add liquidity to an asset pool and receive trading fees and incentives.

BEX introduces the concept of House pools, which serve as the backbone of the exchange. These default pools hold significant importance as they generate BGT rewards, which could be staked later with validators to participate in governance.

BEX also introduces Metapools, a liquidity pool where LP tokens can then be used as part of an asset pair in another pool, helping to increase capital efficiency across the chain.

For Lenders - Bends

Berachain Bends allow users earn interest and rewards by supplying assets like (ETH, BTC, and USDC) and borrowing HONEY. On Bend users can deposit collaterals to contribute to the platform liquidity, earn BGT rewards by utilising and borrowing HONEY within the ecosystem.

Berps

Berps by Berachain (Perpetual Futures Contract Trading) provides users with endless trading opportunities with a wide array of asset access EVM and Cosmos.  It is liquidity efficient, robust and easy to use.

Chorus One’s role in the Berachain ecosystem

Chorus One will be providing staking services and contributing extensive knowledge in infrastructure development to the network. Our role as validators in the Berachain community symbolizes a collaborative effort aimed at delving into new horizons and enhancing the potential within this ecosystem.

Users providing liquidity in the BEX liquidity pools will gradually accumulate BGT, and can be used to create and vote on governance proposals such as proposals that decide on which LP pools receive BGT emissions.  BGT can also be burned 1:1 for BERA. This is a one-way function, BERA cannot be converted into BGT.

Reach out to staking@chorus.one to get started or to learn more.

To read more about Berachain, we recommend the official documentation available in docs.berachain.com.

About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally, operating infrastructure for 50+ Proof-of-Stake networks, including Ethereum, Cosmos, Solana, Avalanche, and Near, amongst others. Since 2018, we have been at the forefront of the PoS industry and now offer easy enterprise-grade staking solutions, industry-leading research, and also invest in some of the most cutting-edge protocols through Chorus Ventures. We are a team of over 50 passionate individuals spread throughout the globe who believe in the transformative power of blockchain technology.

‍‍

Networks
Aleo: Presenting the Privacy-Centric Future of Blockchain
An introduction to Aleo, a layer 1 blockchain leveraging ZK-proofs to ensure privacy to users
March 14, 2024
5 min read

Imagine a world where online interactions don't come at the cost of your privacy. Where you can participate, transact, and share data on your own terms, shrouded in a cloak of cryptography. This is the future envisioned by Aleo, a revolutionary blockchain project that throws open the doors to a privacy-centric internet. Let's delve into Aleo, exploring its technology, participants, and the diverse ecosystem it cultivates.

Decoding what Aleo actually is?

At its core, Aleo is a layer-1 blockchain that leverages zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) to unlock unprecedented possibilities for private applications. ZKPs allow users to prove the legitimacy of information without revealing the underlying data itself. This translates to applications where users can participate, interact, and share data confidently, with their privacy remaining more sacred.

Key Terminologies

Credit: A credit is the native asset of the network. It is used to pay for deployment and execution fees of zero-knowledge programs. Credits can also be staked on the network as a form of governance to protect the integrity and security of the protocol.

Microcredit: A microcredit is a subdivision of the native asset (credit). One credit can be further divided into smaller units, and a microcredit is one millionth of a credit.

Prover: A prover is a node on the network that computes zero-knowledge proofs. These proofs, which can be of two types (solutions and transactions), are crucial for validating and securing transactions and activities on the network.

Solutions: In the context of zero-knowledge proofs, a solution attests to the execution of a randomly-sampled Aleo program. When a prover successfully proves the execution, a reward is distributed to both the prover and the stakers on the network.

Transactions: Transactions attest to the execution of user-deployed Aleo programs. When a prover provides a valid transaction proof, a transaction fee is rewarded and distributed to the network.

Stakers: These individuals contribute to the network's security by locking up their Aleo credits (ALEO), earning rewards in return.

Validators: Similar to traditional blockchains, validators verify transactions and secure the network, ensuring its integrity and preventing fraud.

The Technology Behind:

The robust architecture of Aleo rests on three key pillars:

  • Leo (Programming Language): A user-friendly Rust-based DSL designed to simplify ZKP development, removing the barrier for programmers less familiar with complex cryptography.
  • snarkOS (Network Layer): A permissionless and scalable network specifically built for ZK-powered smart contracts, enabling secure and private on-chain execution.
  • snarkVM (Virtual Machine): A powerful virtual machine optimized for ZKPs, delivering efficient proof generation and unlimited runtime, catering to even the most intricate applications.

Dive deep into Aleo’s consensus mechanism - AleoBFT

AleoBFT is a DAG-based BFT protocol inspired by Narwhal and Bullshark. Validators propose batches of transmissions, await 2ƒ + 1 signatures, certify the batch, and advance rounds synchronously for an honest majority. In odd rounds, validators elect a leader for the previous even round, ensuring availability thresholds are met. This process ensures all validators advance together, assuming honesty.

Here’s how the Quorum for Block Production in Even Rounds is achieved:

  1. Leader Election with ƒ + 1 Proposals from Next (Odd) Round:
  • Leader has a batch certificate in the even round with at least 2ƒ + 1 batch certificates from the prior (odd) round.
  • Leader has a batch certificate for the even round included by at least ƒ + 1 batch certificates for the next (odd) round.
  1. Quorum 2ƒ + 1 Achieved without Leader in Even Round:
  • If waiting for the leader times out, and the even round has more than 2ƒ + 1 batch certificates without the leader, validators can proceed without the leader.

The Fueling Force - Aleo Credits (ALEO):

The native token of the Aleo ecosystem, Aleo credits (ALEO), serve multiple purposes:

  • Staking: As mentioned earlier, users can stake Aleo credits to contribute to network security and earn rewards.
  • Fees: Certain network operations incur fees paid in Aleo credits, incentivizing proper resource utilization and network sustainability.
  • Governance: In the future, Aleo credits are envisioned to play a crucial role in community governance, allowing holders to participate in shaping the network's evolution.

How Aleo Credits are distributed:

Design of AleoBFT

AleoBFT operates over a simple set of data structures - a committee, batch proposal, and block. Let’s understand these one-by-one:

Committee:

  • Committee Formation and Membership: Validators, staking a minimum of 1,000,000 credits, govern a round collectively, deciding the BFT protocol until the next committee. It encompasses the starting round, total stake, and committee members with their stake and openness to delegators.
  • Bonding and Unbonding: Validators and delegators can bond and unbond each round, enabling new members to join or existing ones to leave. New validators require 1,000,000 credits, and existing validators must maintain this amount.
  • Leader Election: A cryptographic hash function selects the leader for each even round, considering the round number, number of validators, and their stake.

Batch Proposal: In each round, every committee member suggests a batch to certify, using batch proposals to communicate and maintain agreement on the DAG's status. Each batch proposal contains a Batch ID, Batch Header and a Batch Certificate.

Block: A block is created when the commit rule is activated in AleoBFT. It includes a block header, a sequence of batch certificates, ratifications, solutions, transactions, and a list of aborted transmission IDs.

Aleo’s Flourishing Ecosystem:

The true mark of a successful blockchain lies in its ability to foster a vibrant community and diverse applications. Aleo boasts a rapidly growing ecosystem with projects already exploring its potential across various domains:

  • Decentralized Finance (DeFi): Several DeFi projects are building privacy-preserving lending, borrowing, and trading protocols on Aleo.
  • Data Sharing and Management: Platforms are emerging to enable secure and controlled data sharing between individuals and organizations.
  • Supply Chain Management: Aleo's technology holds promise for tracking goods and materials through complex supply chains while safeguarding sensitive information.
  • Healthcare and Personal Data: Projects are exploring the use of Aleo for storing and managing highly sensitive medical and personal data securely.

Talking about recent updates - Aleo is now considered as one of the top 5 fastest-growing ecosystems for overall developers. Also, Aleo has completed the security audits of snarkOS & snarkVM, which was performed by Trail of Bits.

Aleo worked hard to make the technical details of the project easier to understand. They've simplified and explained the main basics in a straightforward way. For example:

Aleo’s Future:
  • Sustainability: Aleo is committed to eco-friendliness, utilizing a unique consensus mechanism called Proof-of-Stake with zkSNARKs (PoS zk) that consumes significantly less energy than traditional proof-of-work blockchains.
  • Strong Partnerships: The project boasts collaborations with industry leaders like Chainlink and Parity Technologies, indicating its potential for future growth and adoption.
  • Development Roadmap: While still under development, with its mainnet launch anticipated in the near future, the development roadmap showcases continuous improvements and exciting features on the horizon.

As a validator and staking infrastructure provider, Chorus One is deeply impressed by Aleo's groundbreaking approach to privacy in the blockchain space. The potential to unlock entirely new use cases and empower individuals with greater control over their data resonates deeply with our mission to build a more inclusive and accessible crypto ecosystem.

We're particularly excited about the unique technology stack, including snarkOS and snarkVM, which pave the way for scalable and efficient privacy-preserving applications. We believe Aleo has the potential to significantly impact various industries, from DeFi and healthcare to supply chain management, and Chorus One is proud to be a part of this journey. We are looking forward to actively contributing to the network's security and growth through staking infrastructure and look forward to witnessing Aleo's continued development and the exciting applications it enables.

Resources

Website: https://aleo.org/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AleoHQ

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@AleoLabs/featured

Github: https://github.com/AleoHQ

Discord: https://discord.gg/aleo

About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally operating infrastructure for 50+ Proof-of-Stake networks, including Ethereum, Cosmos, Solana, Avalanche, and Near, amongst others. Since 2018, we have been at the forefront of the PoS industry and now offer easy enterprise-grade staking solutions, industry-leading research, and also invest in some of the most cutting-edge protocols through Chorus Ventures.

Networks
An introduction to Stacks, the Bitcoin Layer 2 for Smart contracts, Apps, DeFi
We delve into one of the most thrilling projects in the Bitcoin Layer 2 ecosystem: Stacks.
March 8, 2024
5 min read

Since its introduction in 2008, the Bitcoin whitepaper has marked the beginning of a transformative journey. Nations have embraced it as official currency, companies have added Bitcoin to their assets, and in 2024, Bitcoin ETFs are actively being traded. Despite these advancements, Bitcoin has struggled to shed the perception of being merely a store of value, akin to digital gold. While it's true that facilitating smart contracts was not Bitcoin's initial aim, the explosive growth of decentralized finance (DeFi) prompts a thought-provoking question: could the functionalities of DeFi be integrated into Bitcoin?

This is where Bitcoin Layer 2 solutions, or L2s, come into play. Below, we'll delve into one of the most thrilling projects in this realm - Stacks.

⚡️Chorus One is proud to join the latest team of signers on Stacks and further enhance the network’s security and decentralization. Learn more here.

WHAT IS STACKS

It's widely acknowledged that Bitcoin stands as the most decentralized and secure blockchain. However, the high cost of its block space, low TPS, along with the need for additional computing resources among other factors, have made the development of smart contracts on its platform particularly challenging. This situation paved the way for the emergence of networks dedicated to smart contracting, such as Ethereum. Stacks, however, offers a solution to this issue.

Stacks is a novel layer built atop Bitcoin and it extends the utility of the most secure and decentralized blockchain by introducing smart contracts and dApps functionalities without altering Bitcoin's core protocol. This integration is facilitated through the Proof of Transfer (PoX) consensus mechanism, a pioneering approach that reuses Bitcoin’s Proof of Work (PoW) to secure the Stacks network, enabling smart contracts that directly interact with Bitcoin state and transactions.  The goal of the Stacks layer is to grow the Bitcoin economy, by turning BTC into a productive rather than passive asset, and by enabling various decentralized applications. The Stacks layer has its own global ledger and execution environment, to support smart contracts and to not overwhelm the Bitcoin blockchain with additional transactions. It also provides mechanisms for higher performance, such as fast blocks, decentralized peg, and subnets.

The question of the necessity for a Bitcoin Layer 2 revolves around the potential of integrating fully-expressive smart contracts into Bitcoin. Successfully embedding such functionality could revolutionize Bitcoin's application, ushering in new use cases worth hundreds of billions, including stablecoins, NFTs, and Automated Market Makers (AMMs). This evolution would transform Bitcoin from a passive asset into a cornerstone of digital finance, significantly boosting its demand, value, and utility by enabling a wide array of yet-to-be-explored applications.

HOW DOES STACKS WORK?

For blockchains with native smart contract capabilities, essential features include the ability for smart contracts to be fully secured by the network's security mechanisms, such as hash power in Proof of Work (PoW) systems or staked assets in Proof of Stake (PoS) systems. This ensures that smart contracts benefit from the same level of security as the underlying blockchain. The smart contracts not only need to have ‘read’ but also ‘write’ capabilities. As a layer on top of Bitcoin, Stacks plans to bring these features to Bitcoin through the following elements:

STX: STX, the native token of Stacks, plays a pivotal role in the PoX (Proof-of-Transfer) consensus mechanism, serving two main functions: (a) incentivizing miners to secure the Stacks global ledger, which operates independently of Bitcoin's Layer 1, and (b) ensuring the operational continuity of the sBTC peg by providing rewards to threshold signers involved in the peg mechanism. STX was distributed to the public through the first-ever SEC-qualified token offering in US history and currently enjoys a market capitalization of over $4B.

PoX: Proof of Transfer (PoX) is a unique consensus mechanism to the Stacks blockchain that is designed to leverage the security and robustness of Bitcoin, while allowing Stacks to introduce smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps) on top of Bitcoin. In typical Proof-of-work (PoW) systems, miners must solve complex mathematical problems. In PoX, miners must transfer a base cryptocurrency (in this case Bitcoin) to join the mining process. This Bitcoin is transferred to STX holders that participate in the network by sta(c)king their STX STX tokens, thus securing the network. So in PoX, you’re bidding Bitcoin in the hopes of being selected to add the next block to the chain versus committing computation power in the case of PoW. Like other networks, the miners on Stacks get block rewards but in STX and not BTC. This dual mechanism integrates the economic incentives of both Bitcoin and Stacks.

Stacking: Stacking is not staking, but the fundamental concept is very similar. Staking involves locking up token X and getting rewards with staking yields in the same token X. Eg - Stake SOL and get rewarded in SOL. Stacking mandates depositing STX tokens to get rewarded in a different token (BTC). This synergy between BTC and STX is interesting and actually incentivizes BTC holders to participate in the STX ecosystem. STX holders on the other side are incentivized to stack their tokens to be rewarded in arguably the most decentralized and secure cryptocurrency token BTC.

Signing: Post the Nakamoto release, the role between Miners and Stackers has been segregated. Where previously, miners decided the contents of the block and also decided whether or not to include them in the Stacks chain, now they would only be deciding the contents of the block and the stackers would be taking on the role of deciding whether to include them in the block or not. Stackers validate and sign blocks through a distributed signing protocol, requiring a significant fraction of locked STX to agree on block inclusion, thus preventing forks and enhancing the chain's integrity. Chorus One is proud to join the team of signers on Stacks along with other industry leaders likeBlockdaemon, NEAR Foundation, DeSpread, Alum Labs, Kiln, Luganodes, Copper, and Figment.

sBTC: sBTC is a fungible token that is pegged 1:1 with Bitcoin to enable Bitcoin holders to participate in the Stacks ecosystem. Users who want to interact with BTC and developers who want to create apps with BTC programmability can both use sBTC, thereby extending BTC’s utility beyond Bitcoin. To deposit BTC into sBTC, a Bitcoin holder would create a deposit transaction on the Bitcoin chain. This deposit transaction informs the protocol of how much BTC the holder has deposited, and to which Stacks address the holder wishes to receive the sBTC. The sBTC system responds to the deposit transaction by minting sBTC to the given Stacks address. To withdraw BTC, a Bitcoin holder creates a withdrawal transaction on the Bitcoin chain. This withdrawal transaction informs the protocol of how much sBTC the holder wishes to withdraw, from which Stacks address the sBTC should be withdrawn, and which Bitcoin address should receive the withdrawn BTC. In response to this transaction, the sBTC system burns the requested amount of sBTC from the given Stacks address and fulfills the withdrawal by issuing a BTC payment to the given BTC address with the same amount.

Clarity: Stacks also has its native programming language called Clarity, crafted with a focus on safety and security. The inspiration for Clarity's development was drawn from analyzing and addressing vulnerabilities commonly found in Solidity. By integrating these lessons, Clarity was meticulously designed to offer a secure coding environment, prioritizing the prevention of exploits right from its core. You can read more about Clarity in the online book - Clarity of Mind.

STX tokenomics

Total supply: ~1.82B

APY: 6% (BTC)

Chorus One and Stacks

We currently support infrastructure for over 50 networks, and we're thrilled to announce that Stacks will mark our inaugural support for a Bitcoin Layer 2 solution. This is a significant milestone for Chorus One, largely due to the exceptional team behind Stacks, whose expertise and dedication have been evident over many years of development.

If you have STX tokens and would like to stack them, feel free to reach out to one of our experts at staking@chorus.one.

To read more about Stacks, we recommend the official documentation available in docs.stacks.co.

About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally operating infrastructure for 50+ Proof-of-Stake networks, including Ethereum, Cosmos, Solana, Avalanche, and Near, amongst others. Since 2018, we have been at the forefront of the PoS industry and now offer easy enterprise-grade staking solutions, industry-leading research, and also invest in some of the most cutting-edge protocols through Chorus Ventures.

Guides
Networks
OPUS Pool under the hood
An in-depth guide to restaking osETH on Eigenlayer with Chorus One: In 3 simple steps you can deposit any amount of ETH, mint osETH, and deposit your osETH into Eigenlayer.
February 9, 2024
5 min read

Summary

  • In 3 simple steps you can deposit any amount of ETH, mint osETH as a liquid staking token and deposit your osETH into Eigenlayer. We dive deep into each step and unravel what happens on a technical level.
  • Under the hood, we’re using Stakewise v3, a permissionless non-custodial pooled staking solution. What’s unique about their architecture is the permissionless onboarding and various flavors of vaults (custom MEV strategy, public, private, etc.) that can be setup seamlessly by node operators.
  • Our Stakewise vault allows you to mint osETH- a liquid staking token called osETH to provide liquidity to its stakers. The issued liquid staking token- osETH- is overcollateralized, meaning the underlying assets in the vault are worth more than the osETH issued. One interesting feature of osETH is that it has a built-in slashing protection mechanism for its stakers and an automated liquidation mechanism, to ensure the excess backing of osETH.
  • Even before the Eigenlayer AVS mainnet launch, you will be able to deposit your Liquid Staking Tokens via the OPUS Pool and be early start in the restaking ecosystem. Once the AVS go live, you will be able to delegate to Chorus One and receive rewards from your restaked ETH or Liquid Staking Tokens.
  • To use the OPUS Pool, visit https://opus.chorus.one/pool/
  • For a high level, step-by-step guide on how you can use the OPUS Pool, please visit https://chorus.one/articles/how-to-stake-eth-with-chorus-one-and-restake-with-eigenlayer
  • For an introduction to OPUS Pool, its benefits for institutions and investors, and use cases, please visit https://chorus.one/articles/introducing-opus-pool-eth-staking-for-all

A technical in-depth guide of our OPUS Pool to demystify pooled staking with Stakewise and restaking osETH on Eigenlayer with Chorus One.In a nutshell, the steps are as follows:

  1. Go to Opus Pool, connect your wallet and deposit some ETH into our Stakewise vault.
  2. Once deposited successfully, you can now mint your osETH in 1-click.
  3. Deposit your osETH into Eigenlayer.

These simple steps will get you ready to participate in the restaking ecosystem. If you’re interested in reading more about what happens in each step, below we will unravel what happens under the hood.

Step 1: Go to Opus Pool, connect your wallet and deposit some ETH into our vault

Go to Opus Pool, connect your wallet and deposit some ETH into our Stakewise vault. Traditional staking usually requires a staker to deposit 32ETH to spin up a validator on Ethereum in order to start earning  rewards. Our 1-click staking experience enables users to stake any amount, powered by Stakewise. Stakewise v3 offers a permissionless, non-custodial pooled staking solution enabling any node operator to create a “vault”. A vault is essentially an isolated staking pool managed by the node operator and providing an automated process for ETH deposits, reward distribution, and withdrawals. You can learn more about Stakewise in our extensive guide here.

Under the hood: On a more technical level, when you stake into our Stakewise Pool, the flow works as follows:  

A user deposits ETH into our MAX-MeV Stakewise vault. Once enough ETH has accrued (32 ETH), we can deposit a new validator in our vault. This is done by running an additional piece of software, stakewise v3-operator, alongside our usual Ethereum validator infrastructure, which listens to Deposit events and initiates the validator registration process. This architecture offers some very unique features. For one, the permissionless onboarding. Stakewise makes it possible to create your own vault with customized experiences, such as a private vault- only allowing stake from whitelisted addresses, a public vault- allowing stake from everyone, MEV smoothing and many more. Secondly, the ability to initiate a forced-exit by the Stakewise DAO. The Ethereum protocol requires validator exit messages to be signed with the validator signing key (the key held by the node operator required to operate the validator for signing blocks and attestations).

This means that, until EIP-7002 is implemented to support signing exit messages with withdrawal credentials (the key the staker holds to withdraw their funds), users depend on the node operators to exit validators on their behalf. To remediate this potential attack vector in a fully permissionless environment, there are certain steps a node operator must go through when registering a new validator. They submit shards of their signing keys to all Oracles through a process known as Shamir-secret sharing, a secret sharing algorithm which enables trustless and secure sharing of distributed, private information. Moreover, the pre-signed exit transaction messages are sent to the oracles in an encrypted manner. This allows the DAO to exit a validator on their behalf, should a node operator go rogue. Once oracles have approved registration, the operator sends the validator registration transaction to the so-called Keeper contract- essentially the brain in the architecture- which executes the deposit on-chain. EIP-7002 is still in its design phase, but it will open up new solutions to remove the need for Oracles by enabling the execution layer to trigger validator exits under certain conditions.

After a successful validator registration process, we’re ready to run a validator and collect rewards in our vault. Similarly to other liquid staking protocols, Stakewise relies on several oracles to fetch rewards from the Beacon Chain. Since The Merge, Ethereum’s architecture consists of the Consensus Layer (“Beacon Chain” which contains the consensus state and validator management) and the Execution Layer (“the EVM” which handles execution payloads, maintains a mempool of transactions). While combining both layers facilitated an easy transition to a Proof-of-Stake chain, it left the communication between both layers via Engine API somewhat limited- the Consensus Layer can query the Execution layer, but not the other way round. Essentially this means there’s no trustless way for the EVM to connect to the Beacon Chain to e.g. fetch validator rewards data. As a workaround, Stakewise employs trusted Oracles which regularly fetch rewards data from the Beacon Chain and vote for the rewards/penalties from all vaults. The vault rewards are saved as a Merkle tree and uploaded to IPFS, e.g see this example. The Merkle root is saved in the Keepers contract, again, the brain of our architecture. If you’re not familiar with Merkle trees, proofs and roots, they are one of the founding blocks of how Ethereum works, here’s a recommended read.

Essentially, it’s a data structure that helps us verify data consistency and make efficient proofs of inclusion (Merkle-proofs) to verify a piece of data is in the tree. More concretely, since the Merkle root is stored in the Keepers contract, it’s easy to verify that the stored Merkle tree hasn’t been tampered with.
To keep a vault’s state up to date, the Keeper contract needs to be “harvested”, meaning that the vault can fetch the Merkle root from the Keeper and derive validators rewards/penalties to update its state. If the state isn’t updated in a specified timeframe, any user interaction will be blocked.

With EIP-4788, which is implemented in the upcoming Dencun Upgrade (currently being rolled out to all testnets), the parent (previous) beacon block root will be included directly into the execution block enabling the EVM to access the block root from a trusted source, and thus removing the need for an Oracle and instead, enshrining it in the protocol. The way it will work is similar to the implemented workaround- the parent beacon block root represents the hash of the entire header of the previous block. A smart contract deployed on Ethereum will hold a limited number of parent beacon block roots, such that the execution layer can derive the consensus state in a trustless manner.

With this foundational knowledge in mind, let’s look at a specific example transaction of someone depositing 0.01 ETH into our Stakewise vault:

You can see the address which deposited 0xe46825... calls the deposit function on the Chorus One vault address 0xe6d8d8… . As we mentioned in the previous section, the v3-operator listens to DepositEvents emitted. Looking at the event logs, we get a good glimpse into what happens when you deposit into a vault:

The address is recorded along with the amount of your stake (assets), resulting in a number of “shares”which are calculated as follows: assets * total shares in vault / total assets in vault, see contract code for reference. The calculated shares will be the indicator how much of the rewards accrued by the Ethereum validator will be paid out to the staking  address.

Step 2: Once deposited successfully, you can now mint your osETH in 1-click

Once you’ve deposited successfully in our Stakewise vault, you can go ahead and mint your osETH in 1-click. The minted osETH should be visible in your wallet after the transaction was successful. If it’s not visible, you may need to add the token manually, e.g. for MetaMask see this resource.

Under the hood: As mentioned above, Stakewise offers a liquid staking token called osETH to provide liquidity to its stakers. This is a fantastic improvement on the staking experience, because you get a representation of your staked ETH which you can use to earn additional yield in the DeFi world. During vault setup, a node operator may choose to configure a vault that allows to mint an ERC20 token or whether the vault is tokenless. The issued liquid staking token- osETH- is overcollateralized, meaning the underlying assets in the vault are worth more than the osETH issued in order to cover potential losses from slashing. The biggest risk for staking is the risk of getting slashed, e.g due to double signing, which could result in losing part of the stake. Slashing is usually the consequence of bad key management practices that optimise for speed rather than consistency. It’s therefore important for node operators to apply sound security and key management practices, in order to minimize the risk.

One interesting feature of osETH is that it has a built-in slashing protection mechanism for its stakers. During the minting process you might have noticed that you can only mint up to 90% of the staked ETH. The excess backing insures stakers against poor staking performance or slashing events. Such penalties are absorbed by the excess backing.

To keep track of this, Stakewise defines a certain parameter known as “position health” which monitors the value of osETH minted relative to the value of their ETH currently staked in the Vault (see in screenshot above). The value can be Healthy/Moderate/Risky/Unhealthy. A “Healthy” position means that minted osETH doesn’t exceed 90% of the staked ETH. If the value of minted osETH grows faster and suddenly exceeds 92% of the staked ETH in the vault, the position status will move to “Unhealthy”. Let’s look at a concrete example: Imagine a user minted osETH against a staked position worth 100 ETH in Vault X. Suddenly, Vault X decided to increase its fees much higher than other vaults. During an incident, the node operator was forced to migrate their keys and started producing inconsistent attestations and downtime causing inactivity leaks all resulting in penalties and lower profit accrued in the vault. On top of that the bull market hits and demand for Ethereum validator exceeds current supply making the validator activation queue extremely long, but still growing overall TVL. A month later the minted osETH is now worth 92.01 ETH, making the user's position status "Unhealthy" and opening up for liquidation because the value of minted osETH relative to their ETH stake exceeds the liquidation threshold, i.e. is >92% enabling the DAO to liquidate a vault (if you remember, they have the ability to exit validators on a node operator's behalf), in order to ensure the excess backing of osETH.

Step 3: Deposit your osETH into Eigenlayer

The final step in our OPUS Pool journey let’s you restake your freshly minted osETH and other liquid staking tokens with EigenLayer.

Now what’s Eigenlayer and why will it bring more yield? To sum it up: “Restaking offers stakers the flexibility to contribute to the security of multiple networks, potentially earning rewards, verifying trust, or engaging in blockchain events. Users that stake $ETH can opt-in to EigenLayer smart contracts to restake their $ETH and extend cryptoeconomic security to additional applications on the network”. To read more about how it works, head to our blog article on Eigenlayer.

Under the hood: As of the time of writing, no AVS are live on mainnet yet. Until the EigenLayer protocol goes live with EigenDA (AVS developed by the EigenLayer team), restakers will receive restaked points as a measure of the user’s contribution to the pooled security, while securing the opportunity to be rewarded as an early restaker. Once AVSs go live, you will be able to delegate to Chorus One and receive rewards from your restaked ETH or Liquid Staking Tokens. This graph below shows what will happen once we enter this Stage:  

The (re-)staker deposits their osETH (or other Liquid Staking Tokens) into the EigenLayer StrategyManager contract, which is responsible for accounting and allowing restakers to deposit LSTs into the given strategy contract. When users deposit into the StrategyManager, the funds are transferred to the respective LST’s StrategyBaseTVLLimits contract e.g. osETH or stETH, which returns shares proportionally to the users stake. The number of shares is calculated using an internal exchange rate which depends on the total number of deposits.

Here’s an example transaction of a user depositing osETH into the StrategyManager via our OPUS Pool. The event logs show the address where the funds were deposited from (depositor), the address of the token contract (in this case osETH token contract), and the address of the strategy contract (the address of the osETH strategyBaseTvlLimits contract).

Once the AVSs go live on mainnet, restakers will be able to delegate their LSTs to Chorus One. This is done by calling a function on the DelegationManager which manages delegation and undelegation of the stakers to operators. As of now, this functionality is paused, so stay tuned for the next EigenLayer mainnet upgrade and don’t miss your chance to delegate your restaked tokens to your favourite node operator.

Resources

A step-by-step guide to staking ETH on OPUS Pool

Restake with EigenLayer Seamlessly via Chorus One's OPUS Pool: A Detailed Guide

Learn more about Adagio, Chorus One’s pioneering Ethereum MEV-Boost client

MEV Max - Introducing Chorus One’s Liquid Staking Pool on Stakewise V3

Considerations on the Future of Ethereum Staking

About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally operating infrastructure for 50+ Proof-of-Stake networks, including Ethereum, Cosmos, Solana, Avalanche, and Near, amongst others. Since 2018, we have been at the forefront of the PoS industry and now offer easy enterprise-grade staking solutions, industry-leading research, and also invest in some of the most cutting-edge protocols through Chorus Ventures.

Networks
News
RollApps and beyond: A comprehensive guide to Dymension
Chorus One is proud to invest and provide insitutional-grade staking services for Dymension
February 7, 2024
5 min read

After what might have been the most anticipated launch so far, we're thrilled to be part of the continued innovation of blockchain technology by championing Dymension, as they work to pioneer the 'Internet of RollApps' with their unique modular features. Chorus One runs a public validator node and has also invested in Dymension through Chorus Ventures.

Dymension makes it easy for anyone to create and deploy their own blockchain, while providing its users the infrastructure and flexibility to scale and compete with other modern-day blockchain implementations.

In this guide, we'll cover what Dymension is and how it's pushing the boundaries of blockchain capabilities.

What is Dymension?

https://dymension.xyz/

Unlike traditional blockchains that integrate data availability, consensus, settlement, and execution into a single layer, Dymension adopts a modular approach. This innovative method allows delegating one or more of these components to external chains, significantly enhancing performance, scalability, and efficiency.

Dymension aims to improve upon the current reliance on shared bandwidth systems used by many popular blockchains by using a multi-layer blockchain protocol. Consisting of a network of modular blockchains, known as "RollApps", these blockchains are powered by the Dymension Hub which is responsible for both consensus and settlement.

While initially the Dymension team will oversee RollApp approvals, the network aims to evolve into a permissionless ecosystem with the ultimate goal of serving as a decentralization router that connects RollApps to the crypto economy. In the long run, this will allow Dymension to be a "Internet Service Provider" for crypto and blockchain technologies.  

To further detail its architecture, Dymension utilizes the Cosmos SDK for interoperability across blockchains, enabling RollApps to efficiently communicate and transact. The use of Tendermint Core for consensus ensures high security and fast transactions across the network. This technical foundation allows Dymension to support a wide range of applications, from finance to gaming, by providing developers with the tools to create highly scalable and customizable solutions.

As Dymension evolves, its architecture is designed to support a growing ecosystem of decentralized applications, ultimately facilitating a seamless connection between users and blockchain services on a global scale.

Dymension's unique proposition lies in its sophisticated modular architecture, designed to decentralize and optimize the components of blockchain functionality. By enabling external chains to handle aspects like data availability, consensus, and execution separately, it aims to not only significantly boost performance but also provide improved scalability and efficiency for all.

Here's how the Dymension team explains the ecosystem:

Dymension is similar to a full-stack web application where users interact with RollApps (front-end), Dymension (back-end) acts as the coordinator for the ecosystem, and the data availability networks (database) provide a place to publicize data.

https://twitter.com/yishayRL/status/1749696640477278702

Key features of Dymension
  • Modular blockchain network: Dymension is a network of modular blockchains called Rollapps offering a flexible alternative to traditional, monolithic blockchain structures like Ethereum.
  • RollApp ecosystem: The network is composed of RollApps, which are modular blockchains responsible for executing transactions within the network, which provides significant flexibility and enhanced performance.
  • Dymension Hub: This central element of the network is responsible for both consensus and settlement, streamlining these critical blockchain functions.
  • Liquidity: Dymension uses an embedded Automated Market Maker (AMM) designed to expose RollApps to efficient asset routing, price discovery, and most importantly shared liquidity for the entire ecosystem.
  • Data availability partnership: Dymension compliments external data availability providers such as Celestia, ensuring robust and efficient data management at scale.
  • IBC implementation: Dymension utilizes the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC), which is critical for facilitating seamless interaction between different blockchain networks.
  • User-friendly RollApp creation: The platform enables easy creation of RollApps, allowing developers to efficiently build and deploy execution layers.
  • Staking mechanics: Using the Cosmos SDK chain, Dymension allows participants to stake or unstake tokens with validators, contributing to the network's security and integrity.
  • Community and developer support: Dymension offers in-depth education, resources, and documentation and is supported by an active community on platforms like GitHub, Twitter, Discord, and Telegram.

https://portal.dymension.xyz/rollapps
Staking mechanics of Dymension

Using the Cosmos SDK, Dymension incorporates a staking mechanism that enables participants to stake or unstake tokens with validators. This feature is central to maintaining the security and integrity of the network, allowing stakeholders to contribute to the ecosystem actively.

To kick off Genesis Rolldrop Season 1, Dymension is working to incentivize its users and builders by providing a significant allocation of tokens to pay tribute to three verticals within crypto, culture, money, and tech.

The tokenomics ($DYM) as of Feb 6th is as follows:  

Total Supply: 1,000,000,000

Chorus One Valoper address: dymvaloper1ema6flggqeakw3795cawttxfjspa48l4x0e2mh

Security

The Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol is an important aspect of Dymension. IBC is a battle-tested bridging protocol that allows secure communication between different chains. RollApps connect to the IBC economy via Dymension Hub, similar to how a server connects to the internet via an internet service provider.

Dymension is working to reduce the reliance on centralized and commonly used multi-sig bridges prevalent in Ethereum and L2 ecosystems with IBC-connected rollups. By utilizing IBC for rollups, Dymension validates that all funds deposited into a RollApp are as secure as the Dymension Hub itself.

Chorus One's involvement with Dymension

We firmly believe Dymension stands at the forefront of the next generation of blockchain technology, with its modular architecture promising to improve upon scalability and efficiency challenges faced by traditional blockchains. As supporters and collaborators, we continue to advise the team to best position themselves for a successful mainnet launch and beyond.  

We are excited about the potential of Dymension to revolutionize the blockchain ecosystem, reinforcing our commitment to innovation and the growth of blockchain technology.

Useful Links and Resources:

About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally operating infrastructure for 50+ Proof-of-Stake networks, including Ethereum, Cosmos, Solana, Avalanche, and Near, amongst others. Since 2018, we have been at the forefront of the PoS industry and now offer easy enterprise-grade staking solutions, industry-leading research, and also invest in some of the most cutting-edge protocols through Chorus Ventures.

Guides
Networks
How to stake ETH with Chorus One and restake with EigenLayer
A step-by-step guide to staking any amount of ETH seamlessly and Restake with EigenLayer through OPUS Pool
February 6, 2024
5 min read
What is OPUS Pool?

OPUS Pool, powered by Stakewise, is our latest addition to the OPUS product suite which enables anyone to stake any amount of ETH with Chorus One, mint osETH, and directly deposit into EigenLayer in one flow.

Not only that, users may bring in liquid staking tokens (LST's) from any external platform, including osETH, wbETH, rETH, cbETH, stETH, oETH , ankrETH , swETH, ETHx, and directly restake with EigenLayer if they wish to do so.

Start using OPUS Pool to stake ETH. Visit  https://opus.chorus.one/pool/stake/  

OPUS Pool facilitates greater participation in securing the network but also allows a wider range of Chorus One stakers to earn rewards and gain access to a suite of benefits, including top-tier MEV yields, low fees, and the assurance of enterprise-grade security, among others.

Below, we will take you through the steps of how you can use OPUS Pool to

  1. Stake any amount of ETH
  2. Mint osETH
  3. Restake any LST directly with EigenLayer

Before moving on to the guide, let’s first take a look at some of the benefits of using the OPUS Pool.

For investors and Institutions -

  1. Stake any amount of ETH and mint osETH

As previously mentioned, the OPUS Pool enables any user to stake any amount of ETH and receive rewards instantly. Additionally, users have the ability to mint osETH, a liquid staking derivative, and use it in DeFi or deposit into EigenLayer to gain additional rewards directly on OPUS Pool in one go.

This means that you do not have to switch between platforms to Stake and Restake your ETH (an industry first! ).

  1. Low Fees

The OPUS Pool sets itself apart from current liquid staking protocols by offering users the advantage of highly competitive staking fees. At just 5%, our fees are among the lowest in the industry, making it more accessible for a broader spectrum of users to stake their ETH and earn rewards.

  1. Top-Tier MEV Yields:

As pioneers in MEV research, our latest ace, Adagio, is an MEV-Boost client that changes how transactions are handled for increased MEV capture.

Adagio's design allows for more efficient interactions with Ethereum’s transaction supply chain, directly enhancing MEV rewards for stakers. Fully integrated with OPUS Pool validators, Adagio ensures that anyone staking on OPUS Pool can benefit from these increased MEV rewards.

Want to learn more about Adagio and its mechanics? Read all about it here.

  1. Restake osETH, stETH, cbETH, rETH with EigenLayer in One Go.

OPUS Pool offers a unique feature: users can deposit not only osETH minted through OPUS Pool but also liquid staking derivatives like osETH, stETH, cbETH, and rETH minted on other platforms, directly into EigenLayer.

This flexibility allows users to either mint osETH with OPUS Pool and deposit it into EigenLayer, or bring in any accepted liquid staking derivatives and seamlessly deposit them into EigenLayer in a single step.

For institutions -

The OPUS SDK : In addition to the benefits mentioned above, our Institutional clients can leverage the OPUS SDK to integrate ETH staking into their offerings, providing their customers with all the benefits of the OPUS Pool seamlessly. To know more, please reach out to staking@chorus.one.

We’ve covered all the benefits, and in-depth overview of the OPUS Pool and how it works in our blog. Check it out here.

Now, let’s move on the guide.

💡Remember, you can directly Restake your staked ETH (including osETH, wbETH, rETH, cbETH, stETH, oETH , ankrETH , swETH, ETHx ) by skipping directly to Step 3: Restake with EigenLayer, if you do not wish to stake ETH and mint osETH on the OPUS Pool first!

Step 1: Stake any amount of ETH

  1. Log in to the OPUS Pool by clicking on https://opus.chorus.one/pool/stake/
  1. Then, connect your wallet.

  1. Once you have connected your wallet, you have the option to:

  • Stake ETH
  • Mint osETH
  • Restake via EigenLayer

We will walk you through each option in this guide.

To start staking, enter the amount of ETH you would like to stake. Once you have done this, click on ‘Confirm and Pool’.

5. Confirm your transaction.

  1. You have now staked ETH successfully!

Step 2: Mint osETH

  1. To start minting osETH, click on ‘Mint osETH’ on the OPUS Pool page.

  1. Enter the amount of osETH to mint and click on ‘Mint’ .

  1. Confirm your transaction.

  1. Once your transaction is confirmed, you have successfully minted osETH!

Step 3: Restake with EigenLayer

  1. To deposit your osETH, or any accepted staked ETH into EigenLayer including wbETH, rETH, cbETH, stETH, oETH , ankrETH , swETH, ETHx, click on ‘Restake’ in the menu bar and select the asset you wish to deposit.

  1. Then, enter the amount you wish to restake and click on ‘Restake’.

  1. Confirm your transaction.

  1. You have successfully restaked your staked ETH with EigenLayer!

Unstake from OPUS Pool

1. To unstake from OPUS Pool, click on the ‘Unstake’ in the menu on the left navigation bar.

2. Then enter the amount of ETH you would like to unstake.

3. Confirm the transaction

4. After confirming the transaction, please save the transaction hash for your records.

  • If the Pool had surplus unbonded ETH to fulfill the unstake request, the transfer will happen immediately. Otherwise, a validator exit will be initiated.
  • It can take up to 8 days for the validators to exit and ETH to become claimable, but you will continue to earn staking rewards while the validators are in the exit queue.

6. After the 8-day escrow period, please connect to the Chorus One MEV-MAX vault on Stakewisev3 at https://app.stakewise.io/vault/0xe6d8d8ac54461b1c5ed15740eee322043f696c08

7. The unstaked ETH will be available to withdraw from the vault. Please click on “Claim” to withdraw the funds to your wallet.

You have now successfully unstaked from OPUS Pool.

Final word

To learn more about the OPUS Pool, visit our blog here.

To learn more about EigenLayer, visit our introductory blog here.

If you have any questions, or want more information, or interested in the OPUS SDK, please reach out at staking@chorus.one, and we’ll be in touch!

About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally operating infrastructure for 50+ Proof-of-Stake networks including Ethereum, Cosmos, Solana, Avalanche, and Near amongst others. Since 2018, we have been at the forefront of the PoS industry and now offer easy enterprise-grade staking solutions, industry-leading research, and also invest in some of the most cutting-edge protocols through Chorus Ventures.

Networks
Others
Chorus One partners with BitGo to offer institutional-grade staking for ZetaChain
Read our Network 101 for a concise overview of ZetaChain and how you can stake $ZETA seamlessly with Chorus One
January 31, 2024
5 min read

We're proud to announce our latest partnership with BitGo, an industry-leading digital asset custodian, to provide institutional-grade staking for ZetaChain. In this article, we provide an overview of everything you need to know about ZetaChain and how it works. To start staking ZETA seamlessly with Chorus One, simply reach out to us at staking@chorus.one!

“To be interoperable, or not, that is the question”

Facing the decision of which blockchain to build on is among the most challenging dilemmas for developers. Various factors, including the security of the underlying chain, cost, and its throughput, play a crucial role in influencing this decision. With the proliferation of blockchains, it has become evident that no single chain can dominate them all. Thus, the notion of interoperability has gained significance. Interoperability entails the capacity for users to engage in transactions across multiple chains, resulting in increased liquidity, enhanced capitalization, a larger user base, and greater innovation in use cases overall. Numerous mechanisms have endeavored to address this challenge through means such as bridges (e.g., Wormhole, Allbridge), and interoperability standards (IBC). However, these initiatives still grapple with problems like centralization, diminished user experience, the necessity for protocols to conform to specific standards, and vulnerability to exploits. Achieving genuine interoperability remains elusive at present. This is precisely where ZetaChain steps in.

Left - Interoperability today. Right - Interoperability with ZetaChain. Source: ZetaChain

What is ZetaChain?

ZetaChain is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain built on Cosmos SDK and Tendermint PBFT (Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) consensus engine. As a result, ZetaChain enjoys fast block time and instant finality. Smart contracts on ZetaChain support arbitrary logic that executes conditionally on external chain events, and can directly update external chain states via its TSS (Threshold Signature Scheme) signed transactions. ZetaChain thereby enables omnichain dApps that interact with different blockchains natively and directly without wrapping or bridging any assets. Unlike Ethereum where a smart contract can be trusted to manage assets according to predetermined rules, except on ZetaChain, a smart contract can leverage and manage assets on any connected blockchain.

Do we need one more chain that promises interoperability?

If you've ever explored bridging or engaging in cross-chain transactions, you've probably encountered the challenge of true interoperability. Blockchains usually operate as closed systems, limiting transactions to the state of their respective blockchain. External information integration into the blockchain without a trusted third party, like an oracle, is not reliably achievable. For transactions that span multiple blockchains, reliance on a trusted intermediary, often a CEX (centralized exchange), is currently necessary. Consequently, there's a lack of a decentralized, permissionless, and public service enabling generic atomic transactions involving multiple blockchains. Even platforms like Cosmos, while enabling the creation of interoperable blockchains, require additional bridging mechanisms to connect with chains beyond the IBC ecosystem.

ZetaChain aims to solves this problem of partial interoperability.

Architecture of ZetaChain

In this section, we break down the different architectural elements of ZetaChain and its roles.

Validators : ZetaChain uses the Tendermint consensus engine, each validator node can vote on block proposals with voting power proportional to the staking coins (ZETA) bonded. We cover more about the ZETA coin below. Just like other chains, validators need to be online all the time, ready to participate in the constantly growing block production. In exchange for their service, validators will receive block rewards, and potentially other rewards such as gas fees or processing fees, proportional to their bonded staking coins. Contained within each validator is the ZetaCore and ZetaClient. ZetaCore is responsible for producing the blockchain and maintaining the replicated state machine. ZetaClient is responsible for observing events on external chains and signing outbound transactions. ZetaCore and ZetaClient are bundled together and run by node operators. Anyone can become a node operator to participate in validation provided that enough ZETA are staked. Chorus One is one of the node operators and you can stake your ZETA with us to ensure high rewards backed by robust security.

Observers: Observers are tasked with monitoring external chains for relevant transactions. This observer system is segmented into two key roles: sequencers and verifiers. The sequencer's responsibility is to identify relevant external transactions, events, and states, reporting them to the verifiers. The verifiers verify and vote on ZetaChain to reach consensus. The sequencer does not need to be trusted, but at least one honest sequencer is needed for liveness.

Signers: ZetaChain possesses a set of standard ECDSA/EdDSA keys that facilitate authenticated interactions with external chains. To prevent any single entity or a small fraction of nodes from having the ability to sign messages on behalf of ZetaChain on external chains, these keys are distributed across various signers to ensure that only a supermajority of them can sign on behalf of ZetaChain and it employs bonded stakes and a system of positive and negative incentives to ensure economic safety.

In practice, all above roles (except sequencer) are collocated in the same computer node, sharing software and credentials such as validator keys and bonded stakes and the associated rewards/slashing.

High level architecture of ZetaChain. Source: ZetaChain whitepaper

The ZETA token

ZETA token is a multi-chain utility token that play various roles like:

  • Securing the ZetaChain conensus via staking/delegation/slashing.
  • Gas asset used to pay gas fees on multiple chains
  • Represent value that can transfer from one blockchain to another

Total initial supply: 2,100,000,000 (two billion, one hundred million)

Inflation:  10% of the total supply (210m ZETA)  is allocated to the initial emissions pool on ZetaChain. This pool allows for block rewards targeted to sustain and secure the network over the first 4 years of network growth. After this pool is depleted, the protocol will introduce a planned 2.5% inflation through validator rewards, separate from the emission curve. More information here.

Summing up ZetaChain

As we’ve seen above, ZetaChain promotes true interoperability between different blockchains and has a unique mechanism to facilitate that. There’s no disagreement over the fact that we’ll have dozens of chains with their own use-cases and the current interoperability solutions do not provide a great user experience or efficient capital flow. We’re proud to be steadfast supporters of ZetaChain and the Cosmos ecosystem in general and look forward to the variety of applications that ZetaChain can enable. From multi-chain NFTs to omnichain DeFi, the possibilities are endless.

How to stake ZETA with Chorus One?

Ready to stake $ZETA? Simply reach out to us at staking@chorus.one, and we'll get you set up in no time!

About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally operating infrastructure for 50+ Proof-of-Stake networks including Ethereum, Cosmos, Solana, Avalanche, and Near amongst others. Since 2018, we have been at the forefront of the PoS industry and now offer easy enterprise-grade staking solutions, industry-leading research, and also invest in some of the most cutting-edge protocols through Chorus Ventures.

Opinion
Networks
Initiatives
How Soarchain unlocks dePIN's potential
A deep-dive on Soarchain, and how it unlocks the full potential of DePin technology
January 26, 2024
5 min read

In an era of rapid technological evolution, Soarchain emerges as a vanguard in the automotive industry, redefining the landscape of vehicle-based applications and services. By harnessing the power of blockchain and hardware, Soarchain simplifies the complexities of vehicular connectivity, offering a platform for applications ranging from real-time insurance adjustments to AI-driven diagnostics and safety enhancements. With its Layer-1 Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Network (DePIN) built on the Cosmos SDK, Soarchain is set to transform the mobility sector, offering a more inclusive, transparent, and scalable alternative to the proprietary networks dominating today's market.

In this article, we explore how Soarchain unlocks dePIN’s full potential.


Disclaimer: Buckle Up, But Don't Hit the Gas Just Yet!

Quick pit stop to share that we at Chorus One are on the journey with Soarchain as proud investors.

However, please note that our support and enthusiasm for this venture should not be interpreted as financial advice. While we're keen to explore the blockchain landscape with Soarchain, we advise you to make investment decisions based on your own research and judgment. Consider us as companions sharing insights, not as guides for your financial journey.

What is DePIN?

In a gist, DePIN refers to decentralized networks that employ the use of hardware to enhance data collection for specific use cases. For a wider view of the entire ecosystem, please refer to Mesari’s 2023 report.


DePIN & Existing limitations

Traditional Verification Methods and Conflicts of Interest:

  • Traditional methods often lead to conflicts of interest, inactive service providers, and susceptibility to fraudulent activities.

Unwanted Permission Layers and Security Vulnerabilities:

  • Many DePIN systems introduce permission layers or are susceptible to security vulnerabilities. Hardware verification methods, such as manufacturing-embedded key pairs or using secure elements like trusted execution environments, often lead to restricted network access and are prone to security vulnerabilities.

Scalability Constraints and Oracle Problem:

  • DePINs face challenges in verifying physical sensor data due to scalability constraints and the oracle problem (the difficulty of verifying real-world data in a decentralized context).

Specific Network Challenges:

  • Networks like IoTeX face scalability and privacy issues, Helium and MXC deal with centralized hardware dependence, and IOTA grapples with centralization due to its Coordinator.

Verification in DePIN Projects:

  • Current hardware-based approaches to verification, such as embedding key pairs or using trusted execution environments, have limitations like permissioning and vulnerability to hacks.

Incentive Challenges:

  • DePIN networks often suffer from incentive-related issues like self-dealing, lazy providers, and malicious providers.

Soarchain tackles these through decentralized sequencers, governance frameworks, and a layered approach to network architecture, enhancing scalability and privacy.

Soarchain’s Governance Framework

Soarchain introduces a robust architecture for onboarding new factory manufacturers and hardware providers in a secure and scalable manner.

The Hierarchical Certificate System
  • Master Certificate: The Soarchain Master Certificate sits at the apex of this structure, acting as the ultimate authority and trust anchor. It meticulously verifies and authorizes factory certificates, forming the backbone of the network’s security and trust.
  • Factory Certificates: These certificates, issued to hardware manufacturers, symbolize their commitment to quality and security. They play a crucial role in integrating new hardware providers into the Soarchain ecosystem, ensuring that each component adheres to the highest standards.
  • Device Certificates: At the grassroots level, device certificates verify the authenticity of individual hardware devices, safeguarding against tampering.

Manufacturers can generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) using the on-chain Root Certificate through governance proposals. Soarchain aims to incorporate tier-1 manufacturers. This specifically targets those incorporating secure elements in their Electronic Control Units (ECUs) or modules, a growing trend for enhanced security in automotive electronics. This integration will unlock new possibilities on Soarchain, like supply chain management, manufacturing process optimization, and trustless Over-the-Air updates for ECU firmware/software, a long standing costly challenge.

The system allows factories to submit governance proposals for inclusion, followed by proposals to issue a certain number of certificates. A key concern is that issuing non-time-bound or non-quantity-bound certificates grants manufacturers indefinite production rights. This could lead to a lack of accountability for their manufacturing processes and the products they produce. This innovative approach leverages Cosmos SDK and democratizes the onboarding of new manufacturers. It ensures that every level of the manufacturing and device integration process is secure, flexible, transparent and scalable.

Scaling with the Runner Network - The Celestia of DePIN

To address scalability, Soarchain implements a layer-2 solution with runner nodes that handle the bulk of data processing. This significantly reduces the load on the main blockchain and enhances the network's capacity to handle large data transactions. Runner nodes in Soarchain parallel the function of sequencers in the Celestia network. They manage data flow, gather public keys, create Merkle trees, and submit these summaries to the blockchain. From the Layer 1 perspective, the addition of thousands of vehicles and hundreds of thousands of new messages translates to only a moderate increase in network transactions.

Soarchain employs a Verifiable Random Function (VRF) within its core layer-1 virtual machine to dynamically select a consensus group from the pool of runners, preventing data validation centralization and potential collusion, operating like a decentralized sequencer. Runners in the consensus group are tasked with receiving, ordering, and verifying messages from vehicles, using these to create Merkle trees. They then generate and submit claims about these trees to validate their honesty and correctness. The system involves a distributed key generation process (Shamir Secret sharing algorithm) and threshold public key encryption to ensure that the content each runner submits is identical, maintaining the integrity of the verification process.

Users can operate a 'runner' via the Motus Connect and Drive mobile app. This setup allows users to earn extra network rewards. Runners are akin to Celestia's light clients but with an added responsibility: they sequence messages and verify their authenticity, ensuring the content is original, unaltered, and plausible. Similarly, more runners in Soarchain increase the number of supported vehicles, thereby expanding the network's message broadcasting capacity (as long as a certain percentage of full / validator nodes operate as runners).

Runners are also required to delegate a minimum amount of tokens to a validator. This serves two purposes:

  • It prevents unhealthy competition between runners and validators. As the number of runners grows, more tokens are delegated to validators, enhancing network security.
  • It ensures runners have a stake in the network, aligning their interests with its overall health and security.

Just like that, Soarchain presents the first ever mobile / app based shared sequencer to operate light clients.

Solving Privacy: The Role of zk-SNARKs

Soarchain has integrated zk-SNARKs, particularly through the Groth16 scheme, to ensure robust data verification while maintaining confidentiality. This technology allows vehicles to generate cryptographic proofs of data authenticity and integrity without revealing the underlying data, thereby preserving privacy.


Uses of zk-SNARKs
  • At the core of Soarchain's privacy solution are Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge (zk-SNARKs).
  • This cryptographic method allows vehicles within the Soarchain network to prove the authenticity and integrity of their data without revealing the actual content.
  • The integration of zk-SNARKs maintains data confidentiality, ensuring sensitive vehicular information remains private.

Data Verification and Privacy
  • Vehicles transmit Parameter IDs (PIDs) to the blockchain, which are standardized diagnostic codes containing vital vehicle information.
  • This data is securely signed with the vehicle's certificate (containing public keys) derived from device certificates, validating the data's origin and ensuring integrity.

The use of zk-SNARKs, particularly through the Groth16 scheme, allows for efficient management of multiple proofs for similar types of PID data, crucial in Soarchain's network. Soarchain employs a unique method to verify the plausibility of PIDs (Parameter IDs) through two approaches: individual analysis of each PID and joint analysis of PIDs with known high correlations.  Each Performance Indicator Data (PID), like fuel pressure or engine temperature, is validated meticulously, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of data transmitted via distributed MQTT brokers. This process ensures user privacy, as it doesn't require decrypting plaintext data on the public blockchain. Instead, plausibility checks are conducted while preserving privacy. This is made possible through specially designed arithmetic circuits, verified using zero-knowledge methods, ensuring that no sensitive data is exposed during the verification process.

A physical decentralized oracle

The oracle problem, particularly in the context of Soarchain, refers to the challenge blockchains face in accurately interacting with external, real-world data. For Soarchain, this data is physical, real-time mobility information generated by sensors, cameras, and actuators on vehicles and road users. The key issue is ensuring the data's authenticity and that the data sources are honest. To address this, Soarchain uses hardware equipped with a secure element, ensuring that a) the hardware runs the intended firmware, preserving the operational integrity, and b) private keys corresponding to public keys and certificates are securely stored, safeguarding the security, integrity, and authenticity of the data.

Once these pre-verification checks are completed, the data is transformed into "messages" akin to transactions and sent to Soarchain's verification layer. This layer constructs Merkle trees using these messages and generates a proof once a certain number of messages are aggregated. The proof is then submitted to the chain, and the metadata of the data is immutably recorded on the blockchain. This process enables any entity on the chain to interact with a reference to the proven and verified data originating from real-life sources.

To overcome the oracle problem's scalability constraints and complexities, Soarchain combines decentralized oracle systems with hardware-accelerated and proof-based mechanisms. While centralized oracle solutions pose a risk of single-point failure and require significant trust, decentralized oracles, though more secure, often lack a hardware-accelerated, proof-based system. Soarchain's runner architecture not only serves as an incentivized, trust-minimized oracle network, but it also acts as a scaling layer. This allows for the aggregation and proof of pre-verified data messages without needing to submit each message in full to the blockchain. This method significantly reduces the burden on the blockchain while maintaining the integrity and trustworthiness of the data being processed.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Soarchain stands at the forefront of revolutionizing decentralized mobility and related applications. Its robust Layer 1 blockchain technology enables a myriad of real-world applications, from decentralized ride-sharing platforms, offering a more equitable and transparent system, to smart parking solutions that ensure secure, fraud-resistant transactions. Additionally, Soarchain plays a pivotal role in the coordination of autonomous vehicles, promoting safety and efficiency through real-time communication and decentralized consensus.

Soarchain represents a significant leap forward in the world of decentralized networks. Its innovative governance framework, the integration of zk-SNARKs for data verification, and the unique approach of using runner nodes and a decentralized sequencer collectively forge a path towards a more secure, scalable, and trustable digital future. With these technologies, Soarchain is not just solving the present challenges of dePINs but also paving the way for the untapped potential of hardware based decentralized networks.

About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally operating infrastructure for 50+ Proof-of-Stake networks including Ethereum, Cosmos, Solana, Avalanche, and Near amongst others. Since 2018, we have been at the forefront of the PoS industry and now offer easy enterprise-grade staking solutions, industry-leading research, and also invest in some of the most cutting-edge protocols through Chorus Ventures.

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