A Web3 infrastructure provider has launched a cutting-edge solution for some of the biggest issues and challenges associated with the long-awaited launch of Ethereum 2.0.
Ankr aims to make the deployment of blockchain nodes easy, accessible, affordable and instantaneous — with a decentralized staking infrastructure that’s designed to lower barriers to entry for developers, enterprises and everyday crypto enthusiasts.
At present, someone can only become a validator on ETH 2.0 if they have 32 ETH to stake. Given how this crypto was worth over $14,000 at the time of writing, it’s fair to say that this requirement could shut out a sizable chunk of the community. Another challenge lies in how ETH will need to be locked up for 18 to 24 months, depriving users of liquidity.
Making ETH staking easier
Ankr’s new protocol, known as Stkr, offers a workaround by offering Micropools, meaning people with a lower ETH balance can get involved. Stkr also caters to higher net worth individuals who want to stake large amounts of Ether, but don’t want the responsibility associated with running the nodes themselves. In one click, these users can stake up to 1,000 ETH — with the firm’s system automatically assigning their crypto to nodes with the best reputation.
To overcome the hurdles associated with locking up ETH, Stkr plans to give users a synthetic asset known as aETH on a 1:1 basis — representing their stake. This means that users have the freedom to sell or spend their staked assets, or use them in DeFi applications, at any time.
“It is not easy for the average user to deploy an Ethereum 2.0 node,” Ankr said. “There are many small issues along the way and you need to go through the documentation before being able to set it up and maintain the node.”
The launch of Stkr is the latest milestone for Ankr, which was founded in 2017 at Berkeley University of California. Over the past three years, the company has made the transition from securing startup funding in an ICO to a respected brand with compelling products and a diverse range of customers.
With support for ETH 2.0 now available, Ankr now supports more than 50 blockchain protocols — including Binance, Bitcoin, Celo, Chainlink, Neo, Polkadot and Zcash. Nodes can be deployed in minutes, and flat monthly fees give users peace of mind on pricing.
The company’s ambition doesn’t stop here, either — adding: “We aim to support every new popular chain out there, as we also see many opportunities for DeFi product on other chains than Ethereum, such as Binance Smart Chain, Polkadot and Solana.”
A game changer in the PoS landscape
Ankr’s enthusiasm for proof-of-stake networks is palpable — and the company says the launch of Ethereum 2.0 is shaping up to be one of the most significant events in the crypto industry. Executives say the firm’s technology, and in-depth knowledge and experience of staking, means they are well-suited to help the public make the most of the opportunities that PoS provides.
Underlining the significance of the blockchain’s move from proof-of-work, currently used by the likes of Bitcoin, Ankr explained: “As most DeFi products are Ethereum based, Ethereum 2.0 will change the experience significantly by lowering fees and increasing throughput.”
This is also a business that’s full of optimism for the potential of Web3 — proclaiming on its website that it has the potential to revolutionize how we use the internet, paving the way for a new generation of private, secure, reliable and censorship resistant platforms and apps. Away from staking, Ankr also offers a dedicated token for making payments, and aspires to make it easier for everyone to build on blockchains and participate in ecosystems.
The future is looking bright for Ankr. Since its node market launched, the company has expanded to a team of 70 around the world — with offices in San Francisco, Shanghai, Bucharest and Amsterdam. More than 100 organizations and 4,000 individuals now use its services globally, and over 8,000 nodes have now been deployed by customers.
Despite the delays that Ethereum 2.0’s Beacon Chain has faced, Ankr is positive that Phase 0 will launch on Dec. 1 as planned — and the Stkr mainnet deposit contract has now been released.
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