Ethereum merge changes staking: an interview with Filipe Gonçalves, Head of Staking and DeFi at Ankr

Ethereum merging proof of work and proof of stake is the most significant industry news. Media argues that it can change the staking, locking assets for a certain period of time to help the operation of the blockchain. We asked Filipe Gonçalves, Head of Staking and DeFi at Ankr to comment on the news and explain staking to our readers.

Pleasure to have yo, Felipe. Can you tell us more about yourself and your work at Ankr?

Filipe Gonçalves, Head of Staking and DeFi at Ankr 

Thank you for having me, and yes, of course. I am the Chief of DeFi at Ankr and oversee our entire suite of staking and earning solutions. Ankr was one of the first companies to bring a new kind of staking to market – liquid staking. This has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for freeing up the liquidity that was previously locked up on Ethereum and other Proof-of-Stake blockchains, making it possible to deploy across DeFi ecosystems. My work has been finding the most innovative and efficient ways for users to stake while allowing them to make the most of their staked assets in different DeFi earning strategies.

What do you think about Ethereum merge? Do you think that proof of stake can work at Ethereum’s massive scale?

The Ethereum merge will mark a very significant development for stakers. Since the services of all Ethereum’s miners will no longer be necessary, those substantial rewards will be redirected to the efforts of Proof-of-Stake validators – and thus to stakers.  As Ethereum provides a stable base of rewards, it will provide a very sound foundation for the security and validation system it depends on to operate. There is much speculation on how this could affect the average APY of ETH staking, with many thinking it will provide a significant boost, but anything could happen, especially as many more stakers join in. 

Will Ethereum merge change the staking scene? What’s your favorite chain for staking?

The merge will definitely change staking as it will expand its users greatly as they will have more flexibility. Stakers will soon be able to unstake their assets after the merge, providing the freedom to take profits, restake in other solutions like liquid staking, or leave their ETH to collect rewards.

It is impossible to choose a favorite from all of the blockchains available on our Ankr Staking platform! We currently have seven Proof-of-Stake options available, plus our newly released ANKR token staking. However, our BNB liquid staking product has a large variety of DeFi earning options available to stakers now.

There are a lot of projects providing liquid staking nowadays. What makes Ankr stand out?

As the first to introduce liquid staking for Ethereum, Ankr has had a long time to perfect the product. Ankr provides a great APY while offering users an easy onramp into different DeFi ecosystems. Because Ankr already has integrations with the best DEXs, it is easier to find earning opportunities for our liquid staking tokens like aETHc. On our DeFi aggregator tool, you can easily see all the additional earning opportunities waiting for your staked assets like liquidity pools, farming rewards, and vaults. These extra earning strategies can go a long way to boost the returns on your digital assets.

Recently Binance Labs invested in Ankr. Can you tell us more about the deal?

Ankr has long been a BNB Smart Chain validator and has worked with the BNB ecosystem teams very closely over the past couple of years. All of our improvements to Binance infrastructure, liquid staking, and everything else has not gone unnoticed. We also created the architecture for BNB Application Sidechains and overhauled the BNB Smart Chain node client in the past year, which made Ankr invaluable as a contributor to the BNB ecosystem. We couldn’t be happier that Binance Labs has taken an active interest in Ankr’s vision for the future of Web3 with their strategic investment.

Can you explain liquid crowd loans and vaults (yield aggregators) to our readers?

Liquid Crowdloans is Ankr’s product built to support the Polkadot ecosystem. Projects that want to lease a slot to run their project on a Polkadot Parachain need to raise a substantial amount of DOT in order to be selected. Ankr lets community members back their favorite Polkadot projects by contributing their DOT but allows them to receive back a liquid token that they can use in the meantime if their project has won. This is important as it gives them liquidity during a potentially long lease period lasting up to 2 years.

Vaults or yield aggregators are a good way to earn DeFi yields with little effort involved. Vaults automate the DeFi earning process for users – all they have to do is contribute their assets and wait as the vault generates yields by executing many different strategies automatically across DeFi. This is a good option for those who don’t want to go through the time-consuming and gas-consuming processes of executing DeFi strategies on their own. 

Any future developments at Ankr that you could share with us? Exciting news?

Ankr Staking is taking a more Business-to-Business approach to staking as we gain more integrations from wallets, dApps, and DeFi protocols that want to give their users easy staking solutions. We have a few projects coming using liquid staking to power their decentralized stablecoin platforms. This is very exciting as it provides many more onramps to our products while providing more users better ways to earn with their assets.

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