Interview with Felix Lutsch of Chorus One
We asked Felix‘s opinion regarding several topics such as decentralization, incentivisation, challenges and upcoming protocols in context of our Staking Ecosystem Case Study.
Chorus One is a community of ambitious, self-reflective people building core infrastructure for blockchain protocols. They believe cryptoeconomics and decentralized networks will enable peer-to-peer collaboration at scale and propel the next stage of human evolution. The technology they build is replacing inefficient legacy structures based on coercion with an emerging open financial system facilitating efficiency and permissionless innovation.
SR: In your opinion what is the best way to ensure and incentivize further decentralization within the staking ecosystem?
FL: I think the main factor that would improve decentralization is a wider token distribution. In most Proof of Stake (PoS) networks, the majority of tokens is held by very few early investors. We see some projects experimenting with novel ways of distributing tokens, e.g. via incentivized testnets or other mechanisms like the Edgeware lockdrop. I am excited to see more of these experiments to increase the engagement with staking tokens.
Other factors that I believe matter are educational resources on staking, improving the user-friendliness of staking, and technological improvements to make running secure validator infrastructure more accessible.
SR: What are the biggest challenges for Proof of Stake and Staking, that we still have to overcome or may still face?
FL: The biggest challenge that we are facing is to transition from early adopters of staking tokens to a wide, diverse range of token holders to create truly decentralized networks.
SR: What do you consider to be the most important aspects to attract delegators to your staking service?
FL: I think the most important factor is to build a community that aligns behind a vision. At Chorus One, we believe that decentralized networks can transform the way humans collaborate and engage in economic activities. We try to foster a community that wants to help us build a more sustainable, open, transparent and fair financial system.
SR: Which upcoming protocol projects are you most excited about and why? Is there a protocol no-one is paying attention to but should?
FL: I am excited about many highly anticipated base layer Proof of Stake protocols that will hopefully unlock the true potential of decentralized applications by being cost-efficient at scale and by providing a better developer experience. There are many talented researchers and engineers developing interesting protocols that fall into this camp, notably Ethereum 2.0, Polkadot, DFINITY, Solana, NEAR, etc. I’m positive that technical bottlenecks like scalability will be solved in the coming years, so I believe that building a strong community and sustainable governance structures will be what will make or break these protocols in the long run.
SR: Which value-added services or products are the main focus for you at the moment? (e.g. insurance, governance dashboards, staking mobile wallet, custodial services, open source contributions, community meetups etc)?
FL: Our focus lies on contributing in ways that help networks succeed and stay decentralized. That includes educational content, actively participating in governance, and also building things that we believe make staking more accessible and efficient. A recent example is our concept of delegation vouchers for Cosmos that our team implemented together with Dev Ohja of Sikka during the Cosmos Hackathon in Berlin. Delegation vouchers enable delegators to trade their staking positions or to utilize them in other contexts, e.g. as collateral in DeFi protocols. This could provide a decentralized alternative to potentially centralizing offerings that custodial services will offer in the medium term.
SR: Do you see the necessity to educate Delegators on Protocol Governance? Grassroots Democracy or parliamentary democracy?
FL: I definitely see the need to educate and discuss governance questions together with our community of delegators. As mentioned earlier, we strive to help create fair and sustainable decentralized networks. We aim to be clear as possible in communicating our decision-making process to the wider community. In the end, token holders should have the possibility to participate in governance themselves, but making decisions with lots of stakeholders isn’t very scalable. In this context, I think a hybrid model as e.g. implemented on the Cosmos Hub is a great compromise.