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(Re)staking Synopsis: Edition #1
A round up of the most important updates in ETH staking and restaking by Chorus One 🔥
February 20, 2024
5 min read

We're excited to announce the launch of "Staking Synopsis", a series dedicated to keeping Ethereum stakers and enthusiasts informed about the latest updates in ETH staking, including the developments at Chorus One.

With the highly anticipated launch of EigenLayer's Mainnet scheduled for April, and its rising prominence in the Ethereum community, we're kicking off the series with a special focus on Restaking.

As frontrunners in Ethereum research, we're focused on developing a carefully curated restaking strategy to optimize the benefits of this technology for our users.

So, our series will cover everything you need to know about our approach, which positions us as a top choice for ETH staking and restaking among node operators.

Let's dive into our first edition!

Ethereum In The News:

(Re)staking with Chorus One:

  1. Why choose restaking to EigenLayer?

Engaging with EigenLayer by depositing liquid staking tokens (LSTs) or your staked ETH enables you to accumulate ‘Restaked Points’, reflecting your contribution to the EigenLayer ecosystem's collective security. These points are calculated based on the duration and amount of your staking participation.

By accumulating ‘Restaked Points’, you not only enhance your rewards on your LSTs or staked ETH but also become eligible for potential airdrops!

Note: Please be aware that although staked ETH deposits into EigenLayer are currently accepted and can be withdrawn at any time, rewards can only be redeemed after the launch of EigenLayer’s Mainnet and once the Activated Validator Services (AVSs) utilizing EigenLayer's pooled security become operational.

  1. How can you get started?

Chorus One makes the staking and restaking process straightforward and efficient.

Here’s how it works:

  • Native Restaking: If you want to deposit your staked ETH to EigenLayer

  1. Visit the EigenLayer Dapp and create an EigenPod.
  2. Login to your OPUS ‘Dedicated’ account at
  3. Create your validator/s with the withdrawal credentials pointing to your EigenPod.
  4. Once your validators are live, you can restake your ETH on EigenLayer.
  5. Click on ‘Restake’.
  6. Confirm transaction!  

Delegating your restaked ETH to Chorus One

At present, you can only deposit your staked ETH into EigenLayer; the option to delegate to node operators is not yet available.

We will notify you once the delegation feature on EigenLayer becomes operational, indicating that it's time to delegate your restaked ETH. At that point, you will be able to delegate to Chorus One with just a few clicks.

Visit OPUS ‘Dedicated’ to get started.

  • Liquid Restaking: If you want to stake any amount of ETH, mint osETH, and deposit any accepted LST including osETH, stETH, cbETH or more into EigenLayer

Note: Restaking LSTs with EigenLayer is currently on hold and will resume once the deposit cap is raised. In the meantime, you are welcome to use OPUS 'Pool' to stake any amount of ETH and mint osETH.

  1. Visit OPUS ‘Pool’ at and connect your wallet.
  2. Enter the amount you want to stake.
  3. Click on ‘Confirm and Stake’.
  4. Confirm transaction!

Visit OPUS ‘Pool’ to get started.

Chorus One’s EigenLayer Restaking Strategy

Chorus One aims to make restaking as accessible and simple to all users as possible. In doing so, we have a tailored AVS and restaking strategy that makes this possible in the following ways:

Selective AVS Strategy: Contrary to other node operators who may aim to onboard as many AVSs as possible, Chorus One adopts a more strategic approach.

We prioritize security and are currently in the process of carefully vetting AVSs for which we provide infrastructure. Given any risks associated with restaking, we believe it's crucial to conduct thorough research on each project we support.

Enhanced Rewards with Adagio: As pioneers in MEV research, Chorus One stands out by utilizing an in-house Ethereum MEV-client, Adagio. This unique tool enhances the MEV yield for all ETH validators we run by implementing strategic timing games. Learn more about Adagio here.

By choosing to stake and restake with Chorus One, your validators benefit from using Adagio, yielding higher rewards compared to alternatives.

Top-Tier Security with ISO 27001:2022 Certification: Chorus One is among the select few node operators to achieve the ISO 27001:2022 certification, a globally recognized standard for security.

This certification isn't just a formality for us; it's a reflection of our deep commitment to maintaining the highest levels of security in our staking infrastructure, operations, and systems, ensuring our customers' peace of mind.

ETH Bites: On-chain Restaking Metrics

(Source: Dune Analytics)

  1. Total Restaked in USD: Approximately $7.5 billion (equivalent to 2.5 million ETH) has been restaked, at time of writing.
  1. LST Restaking Dynamics: The momentum for depositing Liquid Staking Tokens (LST) into EigenLayer has accelerated following the restaking cap raise. Currently, about $4 billion worth of LSTs have been restaked, with stETH, swETH, and mETH leading the charge as the most deposited LSTs into EigenLayer.

    Note: Restaking LSTs with EigenLayer is currently on hold and will resume once the deposit cap is raised.
  1. Insights into Native Restaking: A significant volume of 840,952 ETH has been restaked through EigenPods.

An EigenPod is a user-managed smart contract designed to aid in the administration of balance and withdrawal statuses within the EigenLayer protocol.

When organizing your EigenPod and delegating your restaked ETH to a node operator, consider the following: You may point multiple validators to a single EigenPod.

This underscores the importance of judiciously selecting a node operator to delegate your staked ETH to, taking into account their specific restaking and AVS strategies.

  1. LST vs Native Staking Dynamics:
Final word

If you’re interested in staking/restaking with Chorus One, or learning more, simply reach out to us at and we’ll be happy to get back to you! Here are some useful resources for your benefit:

Additionally, if you’d like us to share further resources on any topic, please let us know!

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.

Restake with EigenLayer Seamlessly via Chorus One's OPUS Pool: A Detailed Guide
Chorus One’s OPUS Pool allows anyone to stake any amount of ETH, mint osETH, and deposit any liquid staking token (LST) accepted by EigenLayer to participate in the ecosystem in a simple, seamless manner
February 6, 2024
5 min read


  • 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.
  • Chorus One’s OPUS Pool allows anyone to deposit any liquid staking token (LST) accepted by EigenLayer and participate in the ecosystem in a simple, seamless manner
  • To use the OPUS Pool, visit Here’s a comprehensive guide on how you can get started with the OPUS Pool - here

EigenLayer’s mainnet is just around the corner and has been the talk of town lately. In a nutshell, EigenLayer is a new primitive that democratizes access to restaked rewards by aggregating and propagating cryptoeconomic security to a broad suite of applications being built on top of Ethereum.

Chorus One has long been immersed in the ecosystem, and has now proudly launched our newest solution to further simplify ETH staking - OPUS Pool. This new product allows any user to easily stake ETH, mint osETH, and integrate with EigenLayer seamlessly, streamlining the process for both new and existing customers.

Additionally, users have the extra benefit of depositing not only osETH, but any other accepted liquid staking tokens (currently, stETH, cbETH, and rETH) into EigenLayer - making it significantly easier for anyone to participate in ETH restaking and earn additional rewards.

Kick-start your ETH staking journey with Chorus One! Enter the OPUS Pool here.

In this article, we break down the fundamentals of EigenLayer and Restaking, key benefits and risks, Chorus One’s involvement in the ecosystem, and how investors and institutions can restake seamlessly using the OPUS Pool. Dive in!

What is Restaking?

Restaking in the context of Ethereum, as defined by Vitalik Buterin, is a process that allows stakers to extend their staked assets' utility beyond the Ethereum network. This concept, integral to Ethereum's Proof of Stake (PoS) framework, enables staked ETH to not only support Ethereum's network but also to bolster the security and trust systems of other blockchain platforms.

Through restaking, assets that would otherwise be dormant within Ethereum gain a new functionality, serving multiple networks simultaneously and offering stakers the opportunity to earn additional rewards from various sources. Ethereum's dense network of validators and the spread of staked assets contribute to its robust security, making it an ideal candidate for restaking.

Restaking with EigenLayer: How does it work?

EigenLayer has pioneered this primitive by integrating smart contracts into Ethereum, facilitating restaking and expanding the possibilities for asset utilization.

It creates a market-driven ecosystem where security is pooled and governed by supply and demand. Users can opt-in to EigenLayer smart contracts to restake their $ETH or LST(liquid staking token) and extend cryptoeconomic security to additional applications on the network. Part of EigenLayer’s potential, therefore, lies in its ability to aggregate and extend cryptoeconomic security through restaking and to validate new applications being built on top of Ethereum or beyond.

Actively Validated Services (AVS), essentially new projects or applications building on Ethereum, can tap into this pool, consuming security based on their needs while validators opt-in at their discretion, weighing risks and rewards. This system negates the need for AVSs to establish their own validator networks, instead allowing them to utilize Ethereum’s existing security infrastructure.

EigenLayer not only enhances capital efficiency by enabling staked tokens to be used across multiple protocols but also simplifies the process. Ultimately, it aims to unify cryptoeconomic security within a single ecosystem, reducing the fragmentation of security across protocols and increasing trust through a larger validator network.

There are two key advantages:

Firstly, stakers can earn or stand to earn additional rewards through restaking by taking on more responsibilities.

Secondly, emerging protocols benefit from the robust security provided by Ethereum's established pool of validators. This creates a mutually beneficial relationship between Ethereum's foundational layer and other blockchain protocols, enhancing the overall ecosystem.

Before taking a deeper look into the ecosystem and how users may get involved, let’s take a look at the fundamental ideas introduced by EigenLayer:

  1. Pooled Security through Restaking: EigenLayer introduces a pooled security mechanism by allowing Ethereum validators to restake their ETH to secure additional blockchain modules, rather than using separate tokens for each system. Validators opt into modules by setting their withdrawal credentials to EigenLayer's smart contracts and running necessary software. This restaking process offers validators extra revenue from securing these modules, with added slashing risks for breaches. This expands the security and innovation potential beyond Ethereum's smart contract DApps to include various blockchain components, enhancing the overall security network.

  2. Open Marketplace: EigenLayer provides an open market for blockchain security, allowing validators to opt into various modules and lend their restaked ETH as they see fit. This market-driven approach enables validators to assess and choose modules that offer sufficient incentives, balancing the potential rewards against the risks of additional slashing. This system enhances the core blockchain's governance with a dynamic, free-market mechanism, facilitating the launch of new functionalities and allowing for a more nuanced balance between security and performance.

By combining these ideas, EigenLayer serves as an open marketplace where AVSs can rent pooled security provided by Ethereum validators.

Addressing EigenLayer’s Risk Concerns

While Restaking with EigenLayer presents numerous benefits, there are certain challenges and risks.

There are primarily two categories of risks associated with restaking with EigenLayer:  

(1) many operators may collude to attack a set of AVSs simultaneously

With only a subset of operators choosing to restake in specific AVSs, this selective participation opens the door to potential collusion among operators, who might conspire to compromise the system for financial gain, particularly if they are restaking across multiple AVSs with substantial total locked values.

(2) the AVSs built on EigenLayer may have unintended slashing vulnerabilities — this is the risk of honest nodes getting slashed.

The risk of unintended slashing is significant, especially in the early stages of AVS deployment before thorough battle-testing. Vulnerabilities, such as programming bugs, could trigger slashing and result in losses for honest participants. To mitigate these risks, EigenLayer proposes rigorous security audits of AVS codebases and a governance layer capable of vetoing unjust slashing decisions.

We’ll cover the potential risks and management strategies in more depth in an upcoming article in this EigenLayer series, stay tuned!

Restaking with EigenLayer and Chorus One: How is Chorus One supporting EigenLayer’s ecosystem?

Chorus One has been actively engaged in the EigenLayer ecosystem since its early days, evolving alongside it, and has recently integrated EigenLayer restaking into our latest product, OPUS Pool.

OPUS Pool is our latest addition to the OPUS product suite enabling anyone to stake any amount of ETH with Chorus One. Not only that, users also have the extra benefit of depositing any other accepted liquid staking tokens (including osETH,  stETH, cbETH, and rETH) into EigenLayer in one go!

Essentially, we have opened up an avenue for anyone (OPUS and non-OPUS users) to participate in restaking as easily as possible.

For a step-by-step guide on how to get started with restaking with Chorus One, visit our comprehensive guide.

Additionally, we have been greatly involved within the ecosystem in a multitude of ways:

  1. We’re key contributors to the EigenDA Testnet, the first AVS.
  2. We’re part of the EigenLayer operating working group
  3. We’re an investor and operator in Rio Network, a liquid re-staking protocol
  4. Our research experts continue to monitor and carefully select upcoming AVSs that we’ll be running infrastructure for

…. And more!

Opportunities for investors and Institutions - Why Choose Chorus One for Restaking with EigenLayer?

EigenLayer revolutionizes staked asset utilization, enhancing validator rewards and strengthening protocol economies. It catalyzes the creation of innovative protocols and services, enriching the Ethereum ecosystem. This advancement fosters Ethereum's growth, making it more attractive to institutional investors by allowing a single staking mechanism to secure diverse protocols, improving resource use and network efficiency, and broadening the stakeholder base.

Why should you choose Chorus One for Restaking?

  • Enterprise-grade Infra: Our team is comprised of? world-class engineers who manage infrastructure for various AVSs, leveraging our strong track record in uptime, a history of zero-slashing incidents, leading MEV rewards, and top-tier security practices.
  • Strategic Risk assessment: We selectively manage infrastructure for Active Validation Services (AVS), making strategic choices based on risk assessment to safeguard customer funds. Our expertise in discerning and mitigating risks in new networks is a key reason clients trust us.
  • Simple, secure, and efficient: We’ve made the restaking process as simple as possible to enhance the staking experience, ensuring it's both straightforward and secure.
  • Comprehensive rewards reporting: The OPUS Pool offers detailed rewards reporting, allowing users to access and claim their rewards at any time and view a comprehensive history of their earnings for a seamless experience.

Ready to Restake with Chorus One and EigenLayer? Enter the OPUS Pool!

To start your ETH staking journey with Chorus One, head to OPUS Pool!  

Check out our step-by-step guide for a comprehensive overview of how you can get started.

For any questions, information, or suggestions, please reach out to us at, and we’ll be in touch!


A step-by-step guide to the OPUS Pool for ETH Staking

MEV Max - Introducing Chorus One’s vault on StakeWise V3

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.

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!

“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, 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.

Ecosystem Review - Injective
As part of the first edition of our ecosystem review series, published originally in our Q3 Quarterly insights, we take a closer look at Injective and provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of the ecosystem.
January 9, 2024
5 min read
  • This is an excerpt from the Quarterly Insights Q2 2023 report. Find the full report, here.

The Cosmos ecosystem is one of the most diverse in crypto as it allows for experimentation and simple bootstrapping of new ideas, due to the accessibility of the Cosmos SDK stack. The result is the launch of multiple chains on a monthly basis, each one targeting specific issues or innovative solutions. As a recent highlight, the Cosmos Hub is on the forefront, with the implementation of ICS v1 (“replicated security”), becoming the first shared security solution in production.

The previous edition of our Quarterly Insights report covered the basic concepts and related projects pushing the boundaries for innovative solutions in staking. You can download it here.

This article starts a series of reviews of well known projects, aiming to uncover the present state of these “long lived” protocols. This edition focuses on Injective, a fast and cheap blockchain built for finance, featuring 0.9s block times and less than $0.01 fee per transaction. Injective provides infrastructure that is optimized for enterprises to build a diverse array of institutional grade financialapplications. An example of a high level contribution is the module that allows the implementation of an on-chain order book. The OpenDeFi Foundation is the non-profit organization behind the Injective protocol. Backers include high profile names, such as Binance, Jump, Pantera and Mark Cuban.

Technical architecture

Injective is a Layer 1 (L1) blockchain built on top of the Cosmos SDKand the CometBFT Consensus protocol. The network is operated by60 validators at the time of writing. The number of validators may seem low when compared to other delegated PoS blockchains (e.g.Solana: 1900 validators), but it can still be considered similar to otherCometBFT based chains. The protocol is proof-of-stake based and has a limited validator set to optimize for throughput. The expected tendency is for the network to be secured also by social consensus,with delegators working on identifying more reliable and trustedvalidators to delegate to.

In the Injective case, the super-majority is formed by 4 validators that hold more than 33% of voting power at the time of writing.Aware of the risks imposed by centralization, and to incentivize contributions from other node operators to the development of the ecosystem, the Open DeFi Foundation recently announced theFoundation Delegation Program to increase the voting power controlled by relatively smaller validators.

From a validator's perspective, Injective can be a demanding network to run due to its short block times and, consequently, higher chance of failing to sign blocks. This characteristic is reflected in the validator “uptime”, which varies from 80% to 99% on Injective amongst all validators, while for other networks the uptime is on average closer to 100%. The update process has consistently been well-managed and smooth. Overall, we have a positive impression of the network's technical architecture.

Staking distribution at the time of writing. Source:

The most popular dApp on Injective is Helix, a decentralized exchange that allows for spot and derivatives trading of cross chain assets. More than $10B have been traded since the launch in November 2021, with derivatives being responsible for $9.3B. The total value locked in pools (TVL) is $11.5M and the most active perpetual markets are BTC/USDT and ETH/USDT. INJ/USDT is the most liquid spot market.

Helix creates a seamless trading experience, with a  user interface comparable to a centralized exchange, low costs and advanced features, such as order types, graphical indicators and liquidity analysis. To start using Helix, users can connect from a Metamask, Keplr, Ledger, Cosmostation, Leap, or Trezor wallet.

Injective trading interface. Source:

The Open Liquidity Program (“OLP”) is an initiative recently announced to foment on-chain liquidity: beginning June 13, 2023,60,000 INJ can be earned during each epoch by those executing trades through the API or on decentralized exchanges built onInjective. The program prioritizes deep, long lasting liquidity, by using the following metrics to measure the quality of the activity: dual sidemarket making, uptime, volume and spread. All information on the reward calculations and API can be found in the OLP docs here.

Additionally, the first Injective Hackathon recently concluded, with the submission of 300 projects, and 357 builders, attracting developers, entrepreneurs, and blockchain enthusiasts, the four week online event fostered new innovations across Web3. Highlights from submissions involve options trading, asset management tools, money marketing platforms and NFT marketplaces. Additionally, the Injective Ecosystem Venture Group is a group of prominent institutions and venture funds that have come together to back the future of the protocol with a $150 million initiative. The focus is to support promising projects building within a diverse array of sectors including interoperability, DeFi, trading, PoS infrastructure, rollups and scalability solutions. Visit the official page to be informed on criteria and the process to apply.

Cross-chain Composability

Given Wormhole integration and IBC compatibility, from the userperspective, it is fairly easy and cheap to interact with multiple blockchains from- and to- Injective. According to the Map of Zones, Injective communicates with 19 different Cosmos chains. The biggest flow of assets happens between Injective and the CosmosHub.

In May 2022, the protocol started working with the Wormhole bridge, making it easier for users and developers to interact with other blockchains. The most common asset bridged to Injective isUSDT, with more than 11 million of USDT at the time of writing. Other bridged assets include wETH, USDC, SOL, wMATIC and LINK.

Also, in March 2023, Cascade was launched - a layer-2 testnet that utilizes the Solana’s Sea Level Virtual Machine (SVM) provided byEclipse. This means that Solana developers can test their apps for use in the Cosmos without needing to change the programming language or tooling used. More information can be found here. April 2023 was the time for Injective to start communicating with Polkadot. The integration happens through the Celer Bridge, and allows users to transfer INJ, ATOM, ASTR and DOT between the Injective blockchain and the Astar parachain. More information can be found here.

Injective Peers according to Map of Zones.


Injective mainnet is live since November 2021. INJ, its native token,has multiple purposes in the ecosystem, as it is used:

I. to secure the PoS chain;  

II. to participate in the on-chain governance;  

III. to pay for exchange fees, and in the buy back and burn model;

IV. as margin and collateral backing derivatives positions. The current supply of INJ is 600m tokens and it increases over time through block rewards - incentives to token holders when locking INJ to help secure the Proof of Stake (“PoS”) network (“staking rewards”).

The emission rate (“inflation”) at the time of writing is 10% per year, and 62.5% of INJ total supply is currently locked in staking, resulting in 15% yearly yield. INJ is being traded at $7.94 and the fully diluted market cap is $794million. INJ price has been showing resilience throughout this bearmarket, as it was able to recover a good part of its value, despitemost of the market still struggling with low prices in the same period.

According to IntoTheBlock, Injective has a 94% concentration bylarge holders, i.e. whales - addresses with more than 1%; and investors - addresses with more than 0.1% of circulating supply.

The protocol suggests a global minimum fee structure, meant tofavor those adding liquidity to markets, also known as “marketmakers''. Maker fee is 0.01% of the total amount of the order, whilemarket taker orders - those trading against the orderbook, pay0.02% of the trading amount. Although the maker/taker model iscommon on centralized exchanges, Injective fees are half of what auser would pay when trading on Binance, for example. For a more indepth analysis of fee models in different exchanges, we recommend this article by Deribit.

Additionally, as a way to support the applications, the protocol transfers 40% of trading fees back to the dApp. This value can be used to source the trading activity on the exchange, offering fee rebates and other incentives to increase financial yield to users. The other 60% are kept by the protocol and periodically auctioned in exchange for INJ. The INJ proceeds of this auction are then burned, thus creating a potential deflating mechanism in the total INJ supply.  Each application built on top of Injective may implement fees and incentives in a slightly different way. For example, Helix adds discounts to the taker fees, depending on the amount of INJ staked by the user and the amount traded in the last 28 days. Discounts start at 7.5%, when staking 25 INJ and trading volume $100,000. It can get to 80% for users staking at least 75,000 INJ and $100m trading volume.

$INJ price chart - log scale. Source:

Wrapping Up

Injective has been actively working on growing its ecosystem, tackling the different aspects to promote the activity and adoption of the network. On the TVL level, Injective is the 52nd chain on the DeFiLlama ranking. There are relatively few spot and derivative markets with significant liquidity levels - greater than $10,000 on the top of the book, and trading volumes are still low compared to otherdecentralized exchanges. On the other hand, Injective provides a fully on-chain experience, in contrast with most decentralized exchanges, through its order book and seamless trading experience, including advanced order types and technical analysis tools, that are partially unique in the crypto space, and we consider to be good differentials for the protocol.

Centralization of stake in a small number of validators is another concern for this network. Both points are subjects of the initiatives created by the Foundation and presented in detail in the previous sections.

When looking at tokenomics, the INJ token is one of the most valuable assets in the Cosmos, second only to the $ATOM token according to Mintscan. It also has multiple use cases, from staking to buy back and burn auction, which tend to power the demand and keep its value in the future. In terms of price, it has shown resilience compared to most assets in the Cosmos ecosystem during the recent tumultuous times crypto and global markets went through. The staking yield of around 15% annually is also aligned with other high value Cosmos chains.

As our final impressions, Injective seems to be taking the right steps to address its short comings while pushing ahead with its coremission. Chorus One is an Injective validator. You can find more information on how to stake INJ tokens on or reach out to us:

To stay up to date with Injective


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.

Reflections #3: Networks added in 2023
A recap of all the new networks added in 2023
December 19, 2023
5 min read

In 2023, we're proud to have added staking support for nearly 20 new networks. This edition of Reflections recaps all the networks we have added support for this year and how you can start staking with Chorus One. Dive in!

  • MARS

Mars is a multichain credit protocol enabling borrowing and lending primitives in the Cosmos. With Mars v2, the protocol introduced "Rover credit accounts" to Osmosis. Much like Binance subaccounts, credit accounts act as transferrable NFT containers where users can deposit assets, and use them as collateral for borrowing, spot or margin trading, leveraged yield farming, and hedging — all with a single liquidation point.

Learn more:

Stake MARS:

  • Gnosis

Gnosis Chain is EVM-based and secured by over 100k validators around the world. It hosts a very diverse validator set and it is propped up by the community governance of GnosisDAO to ensure it remains credibly neutral at a much lower price point than Ethereum mainnet. It powers an ecosystem of DApps including POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol, the original NFT protocol), Dark Forest (a fully decentralized strategy game, built with zkSNARK technology), Giveth (public goods, peer-to-peer direct funding platform), and much more.

Learn more:

Stake GNO:

  • Quicksilver

Quicksilver is a permissionless and sovereign Cosmos liquid staking protocol that provides liquid staking to all networks in the Cosmos Ecosystem. The Quicksilver protocol is one of the first blockchains to participate in Interchain Security, and will become a Consumer Chain of the Cosmos Hub. By staking your tokens with Quicksilver, you receive a representative token (qTOKEN) that can be used later on in DeFi.

Learn more:

Stake QCK:

  • KYVE

Kyve is a PoS blockchain built with the Cosmos SDK. It has two layers: the Chain Layer and the Protocol Layer, each with its own node infrastructure.

Kyve aims to revolutionize customized access to on- and off-chain data by providing fast and easy tooling for decentralized data validation, immutability, and retrieval. With these tools, developers, data engineers, and others can easily and reliably access the trustless data they need in order to continue building the future of Web3.

Learn more:

Stake KYVE:

  • Noble

Noble is a Cosmos application-specific blockchain purpose-built for native asset issuance. Noble brings the efficiency and interoperability of native assets to the wider Cosmos ecosystem, starting with USDC. Noble’s vision is to be the world’s premier issuance hub for digital assets that connect to other blockchains seamlessly. Noble leverages the Cosmos-SDK – a flexible toolkit that allows developers to leverage existing modules, and to seamlessly integrate custom modules that add virtually unlimited functionality for asset issuers onthe Noble blockchain.

Learn more:

  • Onomy

The Onomy Network is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain constructed using the Cosmos SDK framework, which enables it to achieve scalability by leveraging the infrastructure supported by a network of institutional validators, like Chorus One.

With a block time of just five seconds, and its high throughput, low latency, and low fees features, the Onomy network is made to be ideal for financial transactions.

Learn more:

Stake NOM:

  • Aptos

Aptos is a high-performance layer 1 proof-of-stake protocol that aims to be one of the safest and most scalable protocols, with a core focus on user experience. It was initiated by Aptos Labs, a venture founded by former engineers and scientists from Diem (formerly Facebook), with a vision to build their own, permissionless blockchain. Aptos is built using the Move programming language along with the Move Virtual Machine for dApp development. The team behind Aptos was actively involved in the development of Move, with a focus on flexibility, customizable transaction logic, and provability to enhance the safety of writing smart contracts.

Learn more:

Stake APT:

  • Sui

Sui Network is a permissionless Layer-1 blockchain and smart contract designed from the ground up to make digital assets ownership fast, secure, and accessible to the next generation of Web3 users. Its pioneering architecture is implemented to create a world-class developer experience, in addition to vastly improving performance and user experience of L1 blockchains.

Learn more:

Stake SUI:

  • Neutron

Neutron is a blockchain network that brings Smart Contracts into the Cosmos-family blockchains using CosmWasm. Neutron works with networks using the IBC protocol. Neutron security (block validation) is provided by the Cosmos Hub network using Interchain Security.

Learn more:

  • Archway

Archway Network is a testament to visionary architecture. By leveraging the Cosmos SDK, Tendermint, and CosmWasm, the Archway team have built an infrastructure that excels in speed, scalability, and security. What truly sets Archway apart is its seamless interoperability through the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol, which fosters a cohesive ecosystem where data and value can flow freely between different blockchains.

Unlike L1 blockchains that primarily focus on token distribution to early participants, Archway takes a different approach. It recognizes the value and impact of developers and builders by incentivizing them based on their contributions to the network. This unique model aims to level the playing field among developers, providing equal access to capital and support, regardless of their connections or associations.

Learn more:

Stake ARCH:

  • GoGoPool

GoGoPool is the first permissionless staking protocol built for Avalanche Subnets, allowing node operators to launch validators cheaper and faster using the GGP token. Currently, we cater to node operators and liquid stakers.

Learn more:

Stake GGP:  

  • Play3ull

PLAYA3ULL is a Gaming Publisher that merges PC-based games with crypto. The project uses the 3ULL token in the games and produce that token from Nodes.

Learn more:

  • Stride

Stride is a multichain liquid staking zone (appchain) on the Cosmos Blockchain. Stride allows users to stake any IBC-compatible tokens, and receive stTokens in return, which are redeemable for the original token at a 1:1 ratio. By staking their tokens using Stride, users will be able to earn staking rewards, while also retaining liquidity in the form of stTokens, which will allow them to take advantage of Cosmos DeFi and pursue more yields there.

Learn more:


Sei has positioned itself as the fastest Layer 1 blockchain with a lower bound of 300ms and an upper bound of 20,000 OPS for processing. Designed specifically for trading, Sei has meticulously optimized every layer of its infrastructure to provide unmatched speed and efficiency, targeting exchanges and various trading applications. One standout feature is its native order-matching engine within Layer 1, enabling exchange apps to scale more effectively than on other Layer 1 blockchains.

Learn more:

Stake SEI:

  • dYdX v4

dYdX v4 is the latest iteration of dYdX, one of the most prominent decentralized exchanges and premier trading platform for cryptocurrency.  The DEX initially launched as an Ethereum-based Layer 2 solution and has now made a significant move by transitioning to its dedicated blockchain, known as the dYdX Chain (or dYdX v4), built using the Cosmos SDK. We've compiled all the essential information about the chain, complete with an in-depth exploration of their move to Cosmos and Chorus One's ongoing involvement with dYdX since the very outset in a comprehensive guide. Check it out here.

Learn more:

Bridge and Stake DYDX:

Stake DYDX via Keplr:

  • Celestia

Celestia is a modular network that makes it easy for builders to launch their own blockchain by focusing solely on data availability. It allows developers to easily deploy blockchains on top of Celestia, much like deploying smart contracts. This accessibility empowers individuals to create their own unique rollups and blockchains, serving a multitude of purposes and ensuring scalability for a broader audience.

Learn more:

Stake TIA:

  • Chainflip

Chainflip is a cross-chain decentralized exchange based on a proof-of-stake validator network that offers users the simplest way to swap assets across different chains. Fully permissionless, it simplifies trading for users who can select the coins they want to trade and submit the transaction. No wrapped tokens, synthetic assets, KYC, P2P counterparties, or any other time-consuming complexities are requisite. Chainflip is designed to minimize slippage and offer great pricing for high-liquidity trading pairs.

Learn more:

About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally operating infrastructure for 45+ 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.

Hedging LP positions by staking
We explore challenges for Liquidity Providers (LPs) in DeFi, discussing the impact of real-time market price discrepancies and proposing MEV-optimized staking for mitigating these issues.
November 15, 2023
5 min read

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is a profound paradigm shift, redefining how the world engages with financial services. At its center, open liquidity provisioning allows for seamless decentralized trading,lending, and more complex financial strategies. In contrast to traditional finance, centralized intermediaries are not required as liquidity providers, instead, users are empowered to bootstrap liquidity.

Automated Market Makers (AMMs) - see e.g. Uniswap - allow anyone to contribute assets to pools and thus facilitate trading. Users are compensated with a share of trading fees, and potentially,idiosyncratic incentives added by parties benefiting from liquidity (e.g. a project issuing a token). AMMs are simple - users may provide liquidity over the entire price range, or for a specific pricing interval.

DeFi composability and the absence of asset custody by intermediaries push market participants to opt for AMMs over centralized exchanges (CEXs). AMMs have the potential to outperform centralized exchanges in terms of liquidity provision (G. Liao and D. Robinson).

Conversely, Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) driven by a Central Limit Order Book (CLOB) - see e.g. dYdX v4 - demand a substantial pool of assets and ample order book depth for smooth operation. A CLOB is adept at consolidating liquidity around the market price and has the flexibility to adjust quotes as needed.

However, the process of actively matching buy and sell orders to connect traders is complex and rewards sophistication. Market makers in CLOB-based DEXs must consistently update their positions to prevent their orders from becoming stagnant. This dynamic nature of CLOBs, while offering powerful tools for price discovery, also renders liquidity provision a more intricate endeavor. This complexity is particularly pronounced for those traders who may not have access to real-time market data, as remaining profitable in such an environment requires a deep understanding of market dynamics and order flow.

AMMs and decentralized CLOBs are the dynamic engines driving the DeFi ecosystem. For Liquidity Providers (LPs) navigating the DeFi landscape, a central challenge looms – adverse selection, as extensively explored in J. Milionis et al for AMMs and U. Natale et al for CLOBs. This article delves deep into these mechanisms, highlighting challenges and opportunities facing LPs. We’ll zoom in on Uniswap v3, the most widely used AMM, to explore the complexities and potential solutions in this dynamic landscape. In the final section, we argue that staking, specifically with a validator optimizing for MEV, is a way of recouping potential losses.

LPs profitability and adverse selection

Uniswap is the leading DEX by volume with $1.5 trillion in lifetime volume since its 2018 debut (cfr. DefiLlama), and over $1 trillion alone processed by Uniswap v3 (H. Adams et al). Central to its operation is the concept of concentrated liquidity (CL), empowering LPs to offer assets within specific price ranges. LPs facilitate the smooth flow of assets and liquidity, making the success of these AMMs critically dependent on LPs participation, who provide liquidity in exchange for trading fees.

For LPs participating in AMMs, the primary challenge is adverse selection, cfr. J. Milionis et al. This issue arises because parties with access to real-time market prices can exploit price discrepancies between AMMs and other platforms. These transactions often involve arbitrage between CEXs and DEXs. To succeed in capitalizing on price disparities, individuals need not only priority access to the first few on-chain transactions in a block (T. Gupta et al) but also the ability to execute high-quality trades on CEX. This transaction flow between different venues forms the backbone of efficient AMM trading, however, it can have adverse effects on LPs via adverse selection.

In U. Natale et al, we evaluate how pricing on dYdX v4 could be impacted by the presence of another CLOB with higher liquidity, for a given asset - e.g. on a CEX. However, it's important to note that this platform is not live at the moment. This means that making an exact comparison of the profitability of professional Market Makers in a decentralized order book like dYdX v4 is currently unfeasible. Consequently, for the remainder of our analysis, our primary focus will be on Uniswap v3, where Concentrated Liquidity presents opportunities and challenges worth exploring.

LPs’ PNL Estimator

Estimating the effective profit & loss (PNL) for a LP has been a subject of extensive study in literature. One widely debated estimator, frequently discussed in the context of the profitability of ETH/USDC LPs on Uniswap v3, revolves around markouts, as outlined in a series of medium articles by Ambient finance, formerly known as CrocSwap. However, it's crucial to highlight that markouts, as an estimator, may not present a holistic view of LP profitability on Uniswap v3.

This is because markouts typically overlook the genuine liquidity and the precise price range within the pool. Consequently, they may overlook changes in the value of the numéraire within the pool, focusing solely on the risky asset's fluctuations. The omission of these critical factors can significantly impact the accuracy of LP profitability assessments.

In order to avoid possible biases in the analysis, we decided to use an estimator that is dependent on the actual variation in pool value, see here for the description of the mathematical framework.

Uniswap v3 PNL Estimate

To estimate the PNL, we built a Dune Analytics dashboard, where we consider the USDC/ETH pool with 0.05% fees.

The picture above shows the final Pool’s PNL since the beginning of the year, which corresponds to a general gain of around $35M. Let’s observe that, to achieve this figure, we need to consider the total TVL as capital deployed for the strategy. At current TVL of $206.59M, this corresponds to a 16.9% gain, instead, by considering the maximum historical TVL (~$320M) the total gain since the beginning of the year is around 10% of the capital deployed.

If we focus on the PNL from pool value variation, i.e. no fees, we can see how the overall gain is primarily driven by accrued fees. Indeed, the adversarial selection produced - at time of writing - a loss of $400k, with a maximum loss of ~$1M in May.

If we compare with the ETH price movement during the same time period, we can see that this effect is primarily driven by the movement in ETH price.

More precisely, this is an effect related to price volatility, as shown in Milionis et al. Indeed, when price volatility sharply increases, the price discrepancy between Uniswap v3 and other venues also increases, amplifying the MEV size. The two plots below show the pool value variation due to Toxic Flow and the correlation between pool value from toxic flow and spikes in volatility (24h Moving Average). Here by Toxic Flow we indicate all the transactions coming from informed traders that generate a negative PNL for the LPs. Given the nature of DEXs, informed traders aim to include their transactions in the top part of the block (we used the first 10 txs in the block) to avoid price movements due to market activity.

Before concluding this section, it's worth mentioning that, despite the PNL of $35M due to the accrued fees, being competitive and effectively implementing a strategy that generates a positive PNL is a complex undertaking. This is because there are sophisticated LPs, and the accrued fees need to be divided among all participants. Barriers to entry include access to highly performant price feeds and pricing models, as well as optimized execution. Furthermore, the previous estimator considers the PNL from the pool value, inherently assuming that the entity deploying the strategy has infinite capital that can be allocated each time the price moves. If we utilize the estimator defined in Eq. (8) of this document, we can illustrate how an LP with a fixed initial amount deployed in the liquidity provision strategy experiences a PNL of -30% (without accounting for the fees), as demonstrated below.

Additionally, by updating the positions every minute, the LP accumulates a total gas cost of $2M since the beginning of the year. It's important to note that this cost can be hedged with solutions like Alkymia, in which Chorus One has invested.

Re-Capture MEV by staking

We have seen how LPs, who diligently provide liquidity, may face losses as arbitrageurs exploit price differences between centralized and decentralized platforms. Staking represents a strategic approach for LPs to recapture a portion of the extracted MEV. This is particularly advantageous when LPs choose validators that are actively working to optimize MEV yields, like Chorus One (see previous chapter). By aligning their staked assets with validators who specialize in maximizing MEV yields, LPs can amplify their returns while bolstering their resilience against the challenges of adverse selection.

This endeavor is not about exploiting MEV at the expense of the ecosystem but rather about recapturing it for the benefit of those who contribute to the DeFi landscape. Maximizing MEV yields is a way to ensure that the value generated from the MEV ultimately flows back to the stakers, aligning incentives and fostering a fairer and more rewarding DeFi ecosystem. Moreover, the staked amount can be thoughtfully hedged against price fluctuations using external sources, creating a comprehensive strategy to safeguard LPs' investments and enhance their gains.

In summary, LPs, who play a pivotal role in DeFi liquidity provision, can employ a multifaceted strategy combining liquidity provision, staking, and hedging to mitigate the impacts of adverse selection and recapture a portion of the extracted MEV. By making strategic choices in validator selection and actively managing their positions, LPs can navigate the complexities of the DeFi landscape and emerge as resilient and profitable participants.

About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally operating infrastructure for 45+ 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.

A sneak-peek at validator side MEV optimization
With Ethereum staking rates having risen to currently around 23% of total supply, validator-side MEV is quickly becoming a topic of immense interest. So take a sneak peek behind the curtains in the first article of this Quarterly Insights report.
November 7, 2023
5 min read
  • This is an excerpt from the Quarterly Insights Q3 2023 report. Find the full report, here.

Staking rewards generally derive from a combination of inflationary rewards, transaction fees, and MEV. We are certain that a complete understanding of the Ethereum PBS pipeline allows validators to extract more MEV through targeted infrastructure optimizations.

While adjacent topics have been discussed in literature (e.g. Schwarz-Schilling et al., 2023), Chorus One is the first node operator to successfully test out different optimization approaches on mainnet. We find that the most impactful improvements are contingent on comprehensive internal data, and have generally not been discussed in their specificity.

The goal of this article is to share the results of a recent pilot. We will follow-up with more detail in a later, comprehensive study, which we are co-authoring with one of the most recognizable and competent teams in the MEV space.The pilot makes use of several modifications which positively impact MEV extraction. The rest of the article will discuss one straightforward, illustrative example in more detail, and present the overall results of the pilot so far.

There are two components to APR optimization. Firstly, we should maximize the payoff of the blocks we propose, and secondly, we should minimize the likelihood of missing our chance to propose (i.e. missing our slot). The first of these is more complex and can be approached in several ways, including via latency games, and other infrastructure optimizations.The latter is more accessible, and primarily hinges on running a robust infrastructure setup with appropriate redundancy. However, relay selection also plays a role. Let’s dive in!

A basic illustrative adjustment: drop underperforming relays

The goal of this section is to give an example of a straightforward MEV-adjacent infrastructure adjustment that can positively impact validator APR by minimizing the probability of a missed slot. This modification is not central to our MEV strategy in terms of impact, but it is illustrative of the Ethereum MEV supply chain.

As per conventional wisdom, a validator is best off integrating with a large number of relays, as the mev-boost auction will yield the highest bid, i.e. there is no obvious downside to soliciting a maximum number of bids.

This is only half of the story. Let’s recall how validators and relays interact in more detail. First, the validator requests a block header from a relay, which then delivers the header corresponding to the most profitable block available to the relay. In parallel, the validator also solicits bids from all other relays it is integrated with. The mev-boost auction then determines the highest bid, the validator signs the header associated with this bid, and asks all relays to deliver the payload associated with this header.

The relay that is quickest to respond (typically the relay that delivered the original bid) then broadcasts the block and returns the associated payload to the proposer. This may be done with a delay versus previous implementations (i.e. at proposer’s slot t=0), as early distribution of the payload theoretically allows an unethical proposer to build an alternative block exploiting the transactions in the block received from the relay. This vulnerability has been outlined by the “low carb crusader”, and more details can be found in this post by Flashbot’s Robert McMiller.

The upshot is that in addition to transferring bids from builders, relays also carry responsibility for propagating the final signed block to the network. This is more pronounced now than previously, as the time available for this step has been decreased. Therefore, validators should favor relays that deliver payloads rapidly, or run an idiosyncratic risk of missing their slot, for relays that underperform.In practical terms, we find that relays can diverge significantly on delivery speed, and that for one relay in particular, a routine network disturbance could lead to a missed slot if the validator depends on it to deliver a given block.

The following graph shows the cumulative probability distribution for the maximum time at which a block becomes eligible within each slot, and each line represents a relay.This is a snapshot that is relative to a subset of our nodes over a limited period, and relay performance can vary over time, i.e. should be constantly and granularly monitored. Relays are currently a costly pro-bono good, and we appreciate providers subsidizing the network in this way.

In practical terms, for this particular cluster of nodes, running the relay color-coded light blue is a negative EV decision, i.e. it should be dropped. This is due to the consistent delay it exhibits in making blocks eligible, as compared to other relays.

Our current MEV pilot: A first look at the results

Our current MEV pilot combines straightforward adjustments, like the relay selection process illustrated above, with more significant and systematic infrastructure optimizations.

The below graphs are a first look at the results, and summarize performance over approximately a quarter.

As such, getting a grip on variance requires robust statistical processing. As MEV is tail-heavy (i.e. most profit is produced by rate opportunities), results can vary significantly over time, and capital invested. We are comparing the MEV payoff distribution of the pilot with the MEV payoff realized by a set of Lido nodes. On a per-block level, we find that our pilot has improved MEV rewards significantly:

This extends to the aggregate case - over our sample, the pilot has extracted higher rewards than a “vanilla” setup with a probability approaching 100%:

The upshot is that we feel highly confident that the infrastructure optimizations implemented in our pilot study aggregate out at an APR that is consistently higher than what a non-optimized setup typically achieves.We will elaborate further on specifics in a forthcoming study. If you are interested in learning more about our approach to MEV, please reach out to us anytime at

About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally operating infrastructure for 45+ 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.

Ecosystem Review: NEAR
We examine NEAR's technical framework, cross-chain composability, significant on-chain activity spurred by the recently launched KaiKai shopping app, and the transition towards a Blockchain Operating System (BOS) that seeks to transform Web3 accessibility.
November 7, 2023
5 min read
  • This is an excerpt from the Quarterly Insights Q3 2023 report. Find the full report, here.

This edition of the Ecosystem Review covers NEAR, which in technical terms, is a layer one, sharded, proof-of-stake blockchain, and in practical terms, targets to become the operating system (“OS”) for an open web.

Each transaction in the NEAR blockchain costs less then $0.01 and blocks are finalized in only 2 seconds, placing the protocol in the group of fast and cheap blockchains. The decision to dive deeper into Near this quarter is based on the attention it’s getting from the announcement of Blockchain Operating System and other apparently successful initiatives for expansion of the ecosystem, which have been reflecting in increased on-chain activity (Fig 1), despite the current market scenario.

Before revealing the main actor behind the spike in network activity, this article will review the protocol’s technical architecture, the staking and economics parameters and other relevant aspects, like cross-chain composability.

For the new and old fans of NEAR, the community is meeting up in person in the upcoming NEARCON, a 4-day event to take place in Lisbon in November.

Fig 1: Ecosystems Comparison - Number of Daily Transactions. Source:

The NEAR protocol is a proof-of-stake network which means that Sybil resistance is done by staking the native token, also called NEAR or Ⓝ. The time is measured in epochs. An epoch is made of 43,200 blocks. Ideally an epoch lasts about 12 hours, but in practice it lasts longer than that, since average block time is currently around 1.11 seconds according to - the official block explorer.

NEAR is a layer one blockchain. Because of its sharded architecture, a block in NEAR includes one chunk for each shard, and the chunks respectively  include the transactions executed for its associated shard. In terms of network participants, the block producer is a heavy duty, since it requires participants to store the full ledger (aka full node) for all chunks. In order to scale and decentralize the set of operators, the protocol is designed to allow a lighter type of node in addition to the block proposer, called chunk-only producer, who creates blocks for single chunks.

NEAR features a runtime layer to execute code, and supports the deployment of applications, a.k.a smart contracts. Smart contracts are written in either JavaScript or Rust, and the NEAR SDK compiles the contracts into WebAssembly (WASM). The NEAR runtime uses the concept of Gas to unify the cost of execution and bandwidth. Each WASM instruction or pre-compiled function gets assigned a gas fee  based on measurements on a common-denominator computer. Same goes for weighting the used bandwidth based on general unified costs.

Gas is priced dynamically for each block, and adjusted based on the consumption of the limit in the previous block. When a smart contract wants to store some data, storage cost is computed, and the appropriate amount of NEAR tokens is “locked” on the account. When data is removed, tokens are unlocked. Unlike gas, these tokens are locked in the smart contract’s account, so the user doesn’t directly pay for it. 30% of gas fees users spend on a particular application will go to the contract’s account, generating revenue for the deployer via usage.An interesting aspect of the NEAR protocol lies in the accounts system: it natively supports account abstraction, which means that instead of identifying users by their public/private key pairs, it defines accounts as first-class entities. The implications in usability, are:

  • users can use readable account names, ex: `chorusone.near`
  • multiple key pairs with different permissions can be associated to a single account
  • hierarchical accounts structure used to manage multiple smart contracts under one parent account - since each account holds only one smart contract
  • accounts/public keys are created using transactions, they are stored and can be found querying the ledger.

A complete overview of the technicalities of the Protocol can be found in

Cross-chain Composability

As stated previously, NEAR has its own runtime, which is not compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine. However, using a Layer-2 like approach developers can deploy Ethereum-compatible applications to NEAR, and leverage its lower cost and higher throughput platform. It is the case of the Aurora project, an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) built on top of the NEAR Protocol. The most popular tools built for EVM development are also available to be used on Aurora.Also adding to interoperability, the Rainbow Bridge plays an important role as it allows transferring assets between the Ethereum Blockchain and NEAR. The Rainbow Bridge protocol is a trustless, permissionless protocol for connecting blockchains, developed in-house, by the NEAR team.

The core idea behind it is to implement an Ethereum light client in Rust as a NEAR contract, and a NEAR light client in Solidity as an Ethereum contract. Trust assumptions are minimized using this protocol, as anyone can deploy your own instance as a smart contract. This can facilitate simple (e.g. a canonical token migration) and complex interactions between NEAR and ETH, for example, allowing ETH holders holding a given token to vote in your DAO on NEAR.


In contrast to other ecosystems, the NEAR blockchain was able to keep up a relatively high level of daily transactions over the past year, despite the dramatic slow down the whole crypto space has seen. Activity metrics have spiked at a daily 1M transactions in August 2023, leaving behind previous heights of approximately 500k daily transactions (Fig 2).

Fig 2: Number of daily transactions executed by the NEAR Blockchain. Source:

Leveraging NEAR account system, and Flipside Crypto to plot the top accounts by number of transactions shown in Fig 3, the main driver of the increased activity can be spotted: the accounts and tokens related to Kai-Ching, or $KAIC, the token of KaiKai, a Singapore-based shopping app:

Fig 3: Top accounts by number of transactions per month since January ‘23. Source:

KaiKai is an application built by Cosmose, a nine-year-old company targeting the use of artificial intelligence to improve off-line shopping with ultra precise recommendations and advertising. Cosmose was featured in the list of the 100 world’s most promising private AI companies in 2022. With a team distributed across Warsaw, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Paris, the company recently raised an undisclosed amount at a $500 million valuation, up from $100 million when it closed its $15 million Series A financing in 2020. The Near Foundation has made a strategic investment in Cosmose, announced in April '23, according to

Fig 4 illustrates the relevance of KAIKAI-related transactions in the ecosystem, in contrast with overall transaction volume.

Fig 4: KAIKAI related transactions in contrast to other transactions. Source:

KAIKAI uses AI to curate and personalize vendors’ offers and partnerships. In contrast with the conventional e-commerce, users shop online through the app but pick it up in person. With every purchase, users are rewarded with the $KAIC as cashback that never expires. The token is also used in the app to facilitate refunds, but at this point, it can not be traded anywhere, nor exchanged for Fiat.

This year, the Foundation also launched Near Horizon, a social platform to connect everyone involved in the ecosystem: builders, contributors and backers can create a profile to share and discuss ideas, hire members to the team, apply for funding etc. This came shortly after NEAR announced its transition to a Blockchain Operating System (BOS), an initiative to establish NEAR as the entry point into the decentralized internet - the Web3. BOS is designed to effortlessly create and distribute decentralized apps on any blockchain, not only on NEAR. BOS is focused on accessibility.

You can use javascript, the most popular programming language (according to to create, fork and reuse components already published by other users; connect with a NEAR account to retrieve owned components; and deploy and host naturally open source apps on-chain. Not only adding value to the ecosystem, BOS seems like a good progress to the onboarding of developers to Web3.

Staking and Economics

At the time of writing, the project was valued at more than $1 Billion (source: ) and the NEAR token was traded at $1.04, not far from its launch price in October 2020 - see Fig 5. The Proof of Stake network is run by 213 nodes and secured by 604.9M of staked NEAR, equivalent to $630M, or 60% of the total token supply. Judging by the list of nodes, most of them are managed by professional infrastructure providers, and are distributed globally. The largest validator concentrates 7.8% of voting power and the super minority is formed by only the top 8 validators.

Fig 5: $NEAR token price history since launch. Source:

The annual inflation rate is 5% and the staking APR is 7% according to Staking Rewards. The inflation is distributed to stakers every epoch in the form of block rewards. The protocol supports staking delegation, which means that token holders can natively and securely stake their tokens with node operators they trust. During each epoch, validators’ voting power in the network remains constant. Changes to stake amounts are processed at the beginning of the next epochs, e.g. it takes a maximum of 12 hours to start participating in rewards after delegating NEAR. The unbonding period is also comparatively short: upon unstaking, users receive their tokens after 3 full epochs (36-48 hours). Follow the full staking guide in this link to learn how to create and fund a NEAR account, stake your tokens and withdraw rewards.

About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally operating infrastructure for 45+ 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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