Kintsu's Core Values
Sep 20, 2023
Kintsu is building next-gen liquid staking infrastructure. In this post we will outline the DNA of the project to share more about what we're building and why we build it!
Liquidity in web3 was initially dreamed to be efficient, but similarly to in TradFi, it has become very fragmented. We have many different chains and assets spread across them, often causing not just inefficient markets, but security risks. Similarly with validators, we have [and want] many validators, but without a product to unify and tokenize their work, opportunities are missed. In the aggregate we are stronger together, but not if the pieces lay broken apart.
This is where the name "Kintsu" originates from! The ancient Japanese art of kintsugi is the art of mending broken pottery with gold. If you imagine a bowl, accidentally elbowed off the table, falling to the ground and shattering into a hundred pieces, in many ways this is the financial ecosystem we reside in today. The practice of kintsugi, or more generally, kintsukuroi is the ancient practice of mending those broken pieces with liquid gold. Once fragmented, the breakage is part of our history and journey, but the golden mending and reassembled product is even more beautiful than before.
At Kintsu, it is our mission to be the gold lining in everything we do, stitching together and unifying the web3 ecosystem.
Kintsu's premier liquid staking token (“LST”) solution – sAZERO – allows users to stake their AZERO to earn rewards, all while simultaneously utilizing them in DeFi protocols and beyond. Normally, when you stake, you can’t use your tokens, they’re simply staking. But with the science of liquid staking, you can earn rewards by just holding and even when you put the LST into other protocols.
This new paradigm provides enhanced liquidity and unity to the Aleph Zero ecosystem by elegantly compounding staking rewards into a tokenized, decentralized staking pool. With Kintsu, network level staking & nomination no longer compete with other use cases; in fact, they become stronger together.
The composable nature of the Kintsu protocol allows DeFi, Gaming, and many other protocols to easily integrate Kintsu LSTs to create compounding opportunities. With Kintsu it is simple to leverage LSTs because the core export is a standardize token that represents your slice of the automatically compounding staking pool. This symbiotic relationship of processing transactions, securing the network, earning rewards, and being able to incorporate that into anything is our super-power.
While it is important to emphasize that decentralization is a journey, it is a core requirement of everything we do that the systems we build trend toward full decentralization. With our first liquid staking solutions offering a scalable and diverse set of validators, Kintsu promotes decentralization within the network.
As Kintsu grows, we plan to add more validators and progressively decentralize the protocol itself. This is crucial for maintaining decentralization at the network level as we continuously work with the community to scale and evolve the validator set and integrate into a wider array of applications and use cases. As we continue to evolve, look forward to discussions about how we can transition from multisig to governance-driven operations with all core functionality.
Kintsu is built to be a fully compliant DeFi solution. While we push the boundaries of what web3 is capable of with general-purpose smart contract programmability, privacy-enhancing tools, and highly composable products, having compliance at the core is paramount. At the same time, we must align with legal frameworks to ensure the security of our users and the products we build.
As of writing, 99% of blockchain activity is fully transparent. This is a great starting point, but it is only a starting point. When you get paid at the end of the month, pay rent or a mortgage, you do so expecting privacy in your transactions. The future of web3 will inevitably be the same, and at Kintsu we align the technology we build such that it accelerates that vision.
With the growth of zero knowledge cryptography and multi-party computing standards starting to emerge and enter production, mass adoption will follow.
Lowering Barriers To Entry
Liquid staking tokens can make staking more accessible to a broader audience. Users who might not want to commit to long lock-up periods can participate, expanding the user base, and there are no limits on how many tokens to stake. This is but one specific instance, overall lowering entry barries and making products for the masses is a core philosophical value of Kintsu.
Improving Validator Participation
In all blockchain use cases, it can't be emphasized enough how important validators are. As the cohort actually processing transactions and securing any blockchain network, it is critical that systems are built to attract a diverse set of validators. A growing set of validators means increased competition and better trust guarantees for everyone leveraging the network. This competition can lead to better incentives for validators to provide reliable services, ultimately benefiting the entire network's security and performance. Over time this creates an additional avenue for high performing validators of all sizes to get additional nomination.
The liquid staking token itself can have utility within the DeFi ecosystem, serving as collateral or governance tokens in various protocols, further increasing its value. Community Participation: A liquid staking token can foster an active and engaged community of stakers and DeFi enthusiasts, which can be invaluable for protocol growth and development.