BTSE AMA Highlights: A Conversation with Stefan Rust, Founder & CEO of Trusted Node, on September 23, 2021

On September 23, 2021, the BTSE Telegram Community invited Trusted Node Founder and CEO Stefan Rust for an AMA.

Trusted Node is creating a validator network for proof-of-stake and next-generation blockchains. It allows for professional stewardship of the network while providing yields to stakeholders who participate in the decision-making around nodes in the network infrastructure.

Here are the consolidated and edited highlights of the AMA.

• • •

Trusted Node’s Team

BTSE Moderator:

Hi, welcome to today’s AMA. Today we are honored to have Trusted Node as a guest with us. Please go ahead and introduce yourself and your team.

Stefan Rust:

Hey, I’m Stefan, former CEO of bitcoin.com, and I have been in crypto since 2012. I’ve been building developer communities worldwide for globally leading technology companies pretty much all my career, both as an entrepreneur and for Java at Sun Microsystems.

I founded Trusted Node a couple of months together with an amazing team with an aggregate of 30+ years of experience in crypto and technology.

The team has been leading product management, development, and marketing with leading companies, including bitcoin.com, crypto.com, Nest, Horizon, AAX, and Amadeus. I’m super excited to be working alongside such talent and crypto believers.

• • •

What Does Trusted Node Do?

BTSE Moderator:

In a few sentences, please introduce what the project does.

Stefan Rust:

Simple: Trusted Node allows users to become node validators by staking their assets on our platform, keeping control over their funds at all times.

When you participate in our governance, you can also boost these validation yields with the $TNODE.

• • •

What Problem Does Trusted Node Solve?

BTSE Moderator:

What is the main problem that the team is targeting to solve?

Stefan Rust:

When you delegate your funds to a validator node to secure the blockchain, your funds are locked up. With liquid staking, you can free up your funds to earn additional rewards while keeping base capital untouched.

Using this liquid token, you can then boost your rewards while your base capital stays untouched.

BTSE Moderator:

How is the team going about solving the problem?

Stefan Rust:

The user will commit their delegated funds into a “locked” wallet in return for a wrapped token which will represent the equal amount of delegated funds.

These wrapped tokens can then be used to stack yield by locking them into yield generating vaults or can be used for trading and maybe in the future used as collateral against a loan.

• • •

Trusted Node’s Partners & Investors

BTSE Moderator:

Please share with us the investors and partners that your team is working with. Also, are there any plans for partnerships with other projects?

Stefan Rust:

Our partners and investors include Allnodes, Autonio Foundation, Plutus VC, Sonic capital, Highvibe Network, and Hydro Labs.

We have additional partnerships coming.

• • •

Inspiration Behind Trusted Node

BTSE Moderator:

One of the product’s visions is to equalize access to Proof-of-stake network rewards; what inspired your team to have this vision?

Stefan Rust:

Well, we all have funds on exchanges or with other types of custodians, who we felt weren’t passing on these Proof of Stake rewards to their owners for the coins on the exchange while they were operating the nodes.

At the same time, your coins in a wallet don’t generate yield, whereas the networks are offering yields.

All the while, it is challenging to set up and maintain your POS nodes and wallets to earn the yield. We wanted to provide this access to users and crypto participants.

• • •

Supported Blockchains

BTSE Moderator:

What are some of the supported blockchains in Trusted Node’s ecosystem?

Stefan Rust:

You asked about partnerships earlier, and I didn’t mention our blockchain partnerships.

We are focusing our efforts around the Cosmos and Polkadot ecosystems.

Cosmos (DVPN, IRIS, REGEN, and CRO) and Polkadot (Nodle, KSM, HydraDX, and Moonriver)

In addition, we will support other major blockchains. We are looking to add Cardano, Avalanche, Polygon, Terra, Solana, and maybe others.

Most importantly, we are also looking to the community to tell us which ones we should focus on next.

• • •

Trusted Node’s Liquidity Solution

BTSE Moderator:

One problem with providing liquidity is having locking assets into the protocol for lengthy periods. What is your team’s solution to this?

Stefan Rust:

This is where we offer our liquid staking option. Our solution is liquid staking. Unlocking your delegated capital by providing you with a synthetic representation of your delegated tokens.

The base capital will stay untouched and still earn delegation rewards.

• • •

Trusted Node’s Milestones

BTSE Moderator:

Is the project already live? Could you give us a teaser on what are some of the key future milestones of the platform?

Stefan Rust:

The PoS delegation portal will be live in the coming weeks. With the delegation portal, we will also be offering our Governance portal, where users can participate in these chains’ governance through our portal.

We then plan to launch our TNODE token and then offer our liquid staking with our yield generating Vaults coming just before that as well still in progress, but just to give you a flavor of what to come.

• • •

Trusted Node’s DAO Governance

BTSE Moderator:

There have been quite a few successful DAOs in the market. Can you explain why TNODE will adopt a DAO model of governance and what that means?

Stefan Rust:

We’re building a product for the people, and we’re looking for the community to tell us how to develop the product over time.

We believe that thanks to the tokenomics, users are now also shareholders.

In the past, these have always been two separate constituents, providing considerable conflict at the product or business level.

Whereby, unfortunately the user always seems to lose out as we have been educated to focus on “shareholder value,” not customer value.

We believe the DAO aligns the interest. Not only will TNODE holders be able to participate in the governance of Trusted Node, but they will also be able to participate in the governance of the underlying blockchains through their ownership of TNODE.

• • •

Tokenomics

BTSE Moderator:

Alright! I like where the project is heading to. Let’s talk about the project’s tokenomics.

What are the benefits of holding $TNODE tokens?

Stefan Rust:

With $TNODE, you will be able to:

1. Stake your $TNODE and boost your delegation reward

2. Benefit from the utility of the liquid staking functionality to benefit from the yield stacking

3. Participate in yield generating vaults and liquidity pools

4. Participate in the governance of Trusted Node DAO

5. Participate in the governance of the POS networks through the aggregate voting weight of Trusted Node

BTSE Moderator:

Will users be able to stake or farm? How does that work?

Stefan Rust:

Yes. They can stake their tokens in our vaults, which generate a yield. Additionally, some vaults will also provide yield boosting opportunities, providing additional rewards to the POS delegation rewards.

• • •

Trusted Node vs. Competitors

BTSE Moderator:

What do you think are the key unique selling points of your platform versus other delegators?

Stefan Rust:

1. Easy to use

2. All in one

3. You control your funds

4. Yield boosting

5. Cross-chain liquid staking

• • •

Questions From Community

GARBAGE (@LesterSchmitz):

Almost 80% of investors have just focused on the price of tokens in the short term instead of understanding the real value of the project. Can you tell us on motivations and benefits for investors to hold your token in the long term?

Stefan Rust:

The delegation of your tokens towards POS networks is a sign of committing your funds to secure a blockchain that ideally represents your commitment to that chain and its utility.

With TNODE, we’re trying to incentivize you to hold your token, increase the yield while your base capital stays untouched, and you can also participate in the governance of the blockchains.

• • •

Ara Dowling (@AraDowling):

Do you guys feel satisfied by seeing your progress and achievements till now, when you look back to the day when you have started this project?

Stefan Rust:

A week feels like a month, and we’re super pumped to work on this and to see the progress we’re making. The team is also really “gelling” together as we drive to building out this product, and it’s amazing to see how the culture is such an important element in pursuing the goal.

• • •

Lucile Mosley (@JermaineDominguez):

The goal of DeFi is to create a new financial system that eliminates subjectivity, bias, and inefficiency by relying on programmable terms. Does your project support this vision, and how does it participate in the DeFi space?

Stefan Rust:

1000% we support the whole blockchain infrastructure, and we want people to participate in the Proof of Stake and governance along with the security of these networks.

All-new generation blockchains are using Proof of Stake.

• • •

Lea Loki Two Spirit (@LokiTwoSpirit):

Do you have any Bug Bounty to check for weakness? In what way do you plan to make Your project more complete??

Stefan Rust:

Yes, we plan to do this along with DeFi insurance options and a security audit of our smart contracts.

Safety and security are super important to us.

• • •

Lizzette Newsome (@jacobmorgs):

I love that this project places importance on the community aspect. It’s something that I think is lacking in a lot of projects. How can early investors help the project grow before it launches? From providing liquidity to general participation, what different roles are there when it goes live?

Stefan Rust:

The early members in a community are always rewarded by their early participation. We love feedback in the product, from a user experience, the governance portal, and how we can improve this. We are looking for an active community and want to listen and incorporate the feedback.

Obviously, the early participants generally benefit financially. The yields early in genesis are higher, as well as your voice in the project development.

• • •

Twitter Questions

Q1 — Don Chuks

Would there be a specific pool where the synthetic token can be pooled, or can it be used in any pool?

Stefan Rust:

There will be incentivized liquidity pools for these synthetic tokens on our platform, and then we will collaborate with strategic partners and protocols to spread these tokens across the DeFi space.

• • •

Q2 — Akihisa Mori

How can the community contribute to the progress of your project? Do you have a Governance model? Do you care about community requests while you decide?

Stefan Rust:

We are working on a governance portal. The community will be able to submit and vote on proposals for TNODE and all the PoS networks we are running validators for. Basically, cross-chain governance.

• • •

Q3 — Mohammad

I would like to know if you’ve completed any security audits? Perhaps by third parties? We’ve seen dozens of hacks, exploits, and stuff like that this year. What measures have been taken to protect the community from it?

Stefan Rust:

Our code is being reviewed by an auditor right now. We may do additional audits after launch. We are also talking with some DeFi insurances as well as bug bounties to help protect our community.

• • •

Q4 — Bobby M

Can you please tell us more about the team vision? What is your strategy to increase attraction towards your project?

Stefan Rust:

We have a roadmap and token emissions for the next five years. The goal is to make the platform sustainable and totally DAO-governed by then. Our team will drive business, partnerships, and development all the way to realize this vision.

• • •

Q5 — mccoyevans.bit

There are three core issues prevalent in a blockchain project: Security, interoperability, and scalability. How does Trusted Node overcome these issues?

Stefan Rust:

Security is always taken care of with our Quality Assurance process, 3rd party audits, and insurance coverage.

Interoperability is solved by our liquid staking solution being cross-chain, and later on, we may deploy our vaults on different chains and allow bridging capabilities.

We already have unique relationships with many PoS blockchains and will help with scalability. Moreover, our platform will help secure these chains by bringing more staking there.

• • •

Future Plans

BTSE Moderator:

Please share with us any future plans you have in place, any new exciting partnerships or developments?

Stefan Rust:

We will be offering some exciting partnerships with new blockchains and should have some 15 blockchains you can delegate to in the next couple of weeks.

For additional partnerships and announcements, you’ll have to follow our Telegram, Twitter, and Medium channels.

BTSE Moderator:

Lastly, as closing remarks, what should the community anticipate in the near future?

Stefan Rust:

We are adding new blockchains and vaults’ functionality, an NFT campaign, and our SWAP functionality.

• • •

Social Media

Stefan Rust:

We will update users through our social media. Please follow us on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Trustednode

Telegram: https://t.me/trustednode_io

Medium: https://trustednode.medium.com/

Website: https://trustednode.io

Really great questions! Thanks, everyone! You can ping me @srust99 on Twitter.