You can watch the full interview with Claudio Cossio on YouTube here.

      Meta Pool

      Meta Pool is a Liquid Staking solution for the NEAR Protocol that enables NEAR token holders to leverage their holdings by allowing them to earn traditional staking rewards and participate in DeFi protocols simultaneously. Users can deposit their NEAR tokens into Meta Pool and receive stNEAR, this can be used on other Defi platforms ( collateral for loans) while their NEAR earns ~10% staking rewards.

      This week, we hosted Claudio Cossio of Meta Pool. We summarized some of his “alpha drops” below:

      Why you should not sleep on NEAR

      NEAR protocol has evolved and grown into one of the leading Layer 1 (L1) networks in crypto. The NEAR Foundation has embraced a community ethos that welcomes new builders and teams shifting from other networks and creating a platform for new use-cases. In a fiercely competitive market amongst different L1s, NEAR is taking a long-term approach to building the ecosystem – one that is focused on the education of the community and onboarding normies.

      The NEAR Foundation are builders at heart and relentlessly ships new features and improvements to the network. Amongst this, is a focus on educating the community through NEAR University – an educational program that is aimed at bringing sustainable growth and building a base where:

      1. People understand value creation and see the long-term vision
      2. You build the necessary skillset for people to build on top of that

      Once this is established and the community has a good understanding of what NEAR is trying to achieve, it really sets a strong precedent for a successful future. 

      How does stNEAR differ from stETH?

      There are key differences between stNEAR and stETH which gives it an advantage over the popular liquid staking asset developed by Lido Finance. stNEAR is not a rebase asset – this means that there is no potential for market pressure to cause a depeg in the price of stNEAR. Secondly, Meta Pool is a non-custodial smart contract built on NEAR. They are not waiting for a merge, as NEAR is already a PoS protocol. Lastly, users receive NEAR as rewards instead of stNEAR. By receiving the L1 tokens as a reward, Meta Pool avoids the issue of constant minting for rewards. 

      Some benefits of this include:

      • You will not have problems with losing its peg
      • Non-custodial
      • It makes it easier to bridge stNEAR to EVM-compatible networks
      • The team can leverage these benefits to form partnerships with lending and borrowing platforms 
      • More decentralized 

      Meta Pool is growing

      Meta Pool has almost 10 000 wallets connecting to the protocol and leveraging the liquid asset stNEAR. The team recently surpassed more than 10 000 000 NEAR staked via the protocol. The community has been paramount in the success of Meta Pool, when the protocol launched in August of 2021 they raised over $7 million of TVL in 24 hours and $23 million at the end of the community launch – this surpassed all initial expectations and showed the strength of the NEAR community.

      Meta Pool is well capitalized and recently completed another funding round with important backers, setting up the team for the next 2 years and enabling new solutions to be built on top of the liquid asset that is stNEAR. 

      stNEAR contributes to a prosperous De-fi ecosystem

      A liquid staking asset such as stNEAR allows people to take part in other De-fi protocols and removes a key constraint of native staking – lockup periods. It allows users to earn yields while also earning rewards for staking. In addition, it actually helps to onboard normies as most people don’t know how to stake their own crypto – so a liquid staking asset might be easier for them to use. Meta Pool has created an asset that accrues in value every 13 hours, this is perfect for self-paying loans or borrowing against it using different De-fi protocols. It also promotes partnerships between De-fi protocols as lending and borrowing networks work together to adopt this asset and make it freely available throughout the ecosystem.

      Can we bring this to game-fi, how can we bring this to the Metaverse?

      Meta Pool is evolving by looking at ways for stNEAR to become the standard, such that people who enter the metaverse utilize stNEAR as the ‘normal’ way to transact. The team is working on making it possible for any project in the ecosystem to integrate stNEAR via an API. Meta Pool sees itself disappearing and becoming an infrastructure provider instead, this allows them to be anywhere and integrate throughout the ecosystem. The team is pushing the limits in this regard by looking at integrations with NFT projects where users can buy NFTs using their NEAR rewards. Ultimately, finding new ways to use stNEAR so that they can bring value to the broader NEAR ecosystem.

      What is Meta Yield all about?

      Meta Yield is a way for people to support crypto projects, get rewarded the project’s native token, and contribute to the growth of the NEAR ecosystem without losing your staked tokens. It works as follows:

      1. Liquid stake $NEAR tokens with Meta Pool and get stNEAR.
      2. Lock your stNEAR to support crypto-based projects
      3. Earn new tokens: get tokens from new projects launching on NEAR at seed price
      4. Recover your NEAR: At the end of the locking period, you recover 100% of your NEAR.

      The key benefit of Meta Yield is that its supports ‘fair’ ICOs. It’s not a zero-sum game, there have been countless IDOs that have ended badly because of something that went wrong which left the team ‘rekt’ or token holders with the short end of the stick. The key benefits for backers and projects are:

      For Backers:

      • Exposure and access to different projects and their tokens
      • De-risked backing: backers are not giving away their NEAR tokens to a project, just the staking rewards generated during the lock period. Backers get ALL their NEAR back after the lock period
      • Backers get an IOU with the NEAR value of their deposit for backing

      For Projects:

      • Get exposure to and funding from the community
      • Contribute to and support the decentralization of NEAR
      • Accessible channel to distribute their tokens
      • Not a price discovery mechanism: projects are getting funding to kickstart the development

      Community members now have a way to use their NEAR rewards to back new projects and put their money to work without having to risk their core asset (NEAR).

      Upcoming projects in Meta Yield

      There are going to be 12 games that a gaming guild on NEAR is bringing in. To take part in this, community members will have to ‘vote’ with their $META tokens (governance token) to get access to the new projects that are coming onto the platform to be crowdfunded. 

      The $META Governance Token

      $META is a revenue-sharing token that users of Meta Yield use to vote for projects that can take part in the crowd-funding process. Holders of $META will receive a % revenue from the fees produced by the protocol itself. Revenue is produced by:

      • Fees from the project tokens that are being assigned to the crowdfunding process on Meta Yield
      • Fees from the stNEAR that is being rewarded to the protocol itself

      This goes to the Meta Pool treasury and is shared amongst $META holders. The governance framework for the token is still being developed through engagements and input from the community and firms like Dragonfly capital.

      What does a successful Meta Pool look like in the NEAR future?

      Meta Pool envisions stNEAR as a tool to onboard normies by making liquid staking the standard for newcomers into the space. The vision is to have stNEAR as an asset that can help protect people in countries like Argentina from hyperinflation. By using the native staking yield on NEAR (~10%) and offering the interest-bearing stNEAR as an asset to people in developing countries – you start to solve some core problems that they face and you onboard new people into your ecosystem. The team is trying to make stNEAR an on-ramp and off-ramp tool for developing countries. 

      About The Author

      Kilian Boshoff

      is purpose-driven, he loves researching and figuring out how technology can drive change in the world we live in. He is an avid crypto trader and spends his free time deep-diving into different projects on his YouTube channel. Kilian is currently on a mission to pioneer the institutional adoption of digital assets in his home country, South Africa.