An Introduction to Liquid Staking With LiNEAR Protocol

4NTS Guild
5 min readApr 27, 2022

LiNEAR Protocol is a new non-custodial liquid staking protocol built on NEAR that focuses on increasing liquidity and security for the NEAR ecosystem. Although at first glance LiNEAR might look similar to other liquid staking protocols, its vision and value proposition makes it stand out for its design ingenuity, future positioning in the emerging Cornerstone Ecosystem, and its ability to consistently provide the highest value to its users.

In this piece, we go over some of the key features that make LiNEAR a unique product for liquid staking on NEAR.

LiNEAR Vision and Mission

The mission of LiNEAR Protocol is to create a better system on NEAR to increase validator security and maximize staking rewards for users. As a liquid staking protocol, LiNEAR focuses on making staking on NEAR lucrative, beneficial, and easy — but also more secure and decentralized.

Like other liquid staking protocols, LiNEAR offers users an attractive APY (11.73%), instant unstaking, and a staking derivative through which they can engage with DeFi protocols on both NEAR and Aurora. Whether it’s lending protocols, DEXs, or stablecoin protocols, LiNEAR empowers users to boost their yield from staked $NEAR. However, beyond simply offering users the opportunity to improve their yield from a staked NEAR token, LiNEAR is being rolled-out to guarantee additional rewards from other primitives on NEAR and Aurora participating in the Cornerstone Ecosystem.

LiNEAR vs Other Liquid Staking Protocols

At the most fundamental level, all staking protocols share the same attributes; (1) they provide access to a liquid token when staking, (2) a high APY as an incentive, and (3) instant unstaking.

What is Liquid Staking on NEAR? Liquid staking refers to the process by which a user may stake a $NEAR token through a NEAR Validator, but still possess the ability to utilize that token for other purposes. In short, liquid staking allows users to benefit from the network rewards on $NEAR (and its high APY), while also possessing the ability to re-use that same token across other primitives on NEAR or Aurora.

LiNEAR differentiates itself from other liquid staking protocols for its approach to decentralization and the central role it is going to play on a larger matrix of products that will increase the value of LiNEAR and offer users more rewards over time!

No Governance Token

Unlike other liquid staking protocols, LiNEAR does not implement a governance token. For LiNEAR, a governance token does not adequately capture the underlying value generated from the system and has the downside of attracting people with inflationary tokens. LiNEAR will instead focus on generating more sustainable and valuable rewards for its users by creating synergies with other protocols, such as Burrow, Aurigami, and Bastion, but also Pret, and Cornerstone, in which LiNEAR will play a central role in the near future.

LiNEAR’s Own DeFi Lego

LiNEAR is positioned as one project, among multiple others, that will connect with each-other to maximize user return, while also streamlining value into other protocols and DeFi primitives. Herein lies the real innovation behind LiNEAR protocol: It is one core primitive of what will soon be known as the Cornerstone Ecosystem — a meta-governance protocol where the governance treasury accumulates governance tokens of other protocols. Future primitives like Pret (a lending protocol), will work in harmony with LiEAR and compound its own rewards with it to offer users an extra layer of rewards. Ultimately, LiNEAR users will be rewarded with $CORN through which they will be able to participate in governance of the different DeFi lego’s participating in the Cornerstone Ecosystem.

This advanced mechanism design, makes LiNEAR’s liquid staking protocol one lego in a much larger, and rapidly expanding ecosystem spanning across both NEAR and Aurora. Such a design streamlines value to users according to a very simple logic: More projects within the Cornerstone Ecosystem, allows for rewards to compound between the projects involved. For LiNEAR this means that any liquid staker on LiNEAR can receive upside from any other Cornerstone ecosystem project.

Access To Higher Rewards

Last but not least, LiNEAR Protocol provides different opportunities for its users to access rewards:

  • 11.73% APY upon staking
  • Higher rewards on staking farms compared to stNEAR. Users who hold LiNEAR can obtain incentives for other tokens in addition to the staking reward from the NEAR Network.
  • Access to higher value airdrops (e.g.$CORN)
  • Access to rewards opportunities on Pret (coming soon)
  • More applications in stablecoins, derivatives, and yield aggregators across the NEAR and Aurora ecosystems (into the future).

Higher Decentralization

A final value proposition of LiNEAR is that it implements a system for the selection of validators that requires no manual adjustments, while also providing more decentralization of staked value on the NEAR network. LiNEAR aims to fully decentralize the selection processes of staked NEAR tokens, to existing NEAR validators, using formulas and algorithms that will allocate tokens in a fair and increasingly decentralized manner — no single validator gets all of the locked NEAR tokens, substituted for LiNEAR staking tokens. Notably, this is done automatically behind the scenes, so users can enjoy reliably APY’s while contributing to strengthening the network.

Getting Started On LiNEAR

To get started on LiNEAR is very simple, go to its website, connect your wallet and start staking in no time. For more information on how to do that please consult this step-by-step guide by the LiNEAR team.

What’s Next?

About LiNEAR
LiNEAR is a liquid staking solution built on the NEAR Protocol. LiNEAR unlocks liquidity of the staked NEAR by creating a staking derivative to be engaged with various DeFi protocols on NEAR and Aurora, while also enjoying over 10% APY staking rewards of the underlying base tokens. LiNEAR is the cornerstone piece of the NEAR-Aurora DeFi ecosystem.

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