February 4, 2023

This post was originally published on Marinade

Hi everyone, it’s hard to believe we’re already into the final month of the year. Following a travel-intensive and event-filled November, Marinade is busy wrapping up several projects and initiatives before taking a little time off for the holidays and resting up to hit the ground running for 2023 which has plenty of opportunities for Marinade and the Solana ecosystem.

Marinade spent a good deal of November collaborating with the Solana ecosystem following meetings and discussions at Breakpoint and dealing with the fallout of the FTX-Alameda crash. There have been many conversations and roundtables with validators, investors and protocols. Now nearly a month after FTX, it is clear that there are many Solana builders who aren’t going anywhere and remain committed to the value proposition of the blockchain. Despite its early association with SBF and Alameda, the ecosystem has been moving out of its shadow for a while now, and teams across NFTs and DeFi are ready to drive the ecosystem into a prosperous future.

The Marinade protocol has been keeping a close eye on validator performance this month, and see some conflicting signals. First off, Solana blockchain performance continues improving, which is leading to faster epochs, and that means staking rewards more often. The improved performance means Marinade has enjoyed a nice boost in its APY

That said, it’s clear that the SOL price action is causing a harsher reality for Solana validators to maintain operations, and the master Chefs are regularly identifying cheaters who are changing commissions to 100% right at the epoch boundary. These validators are quickly caught and blacklisted from receiving Marinade stake, and the offenders’ stake will be distributed to the rest of the pool.

Marinade Devs have also been discussing on Github a solution to prevent validators from cheating at the epoch boundary, and an update should be pushed soon that prevents this type of behavior from occurring.

Lastly, you may have seen an update to the validator dashboard on the staking page. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and Marinade will launch a brand new validator insights dashboard that brings some never-before-seen insights and transparency to the Marinade delegation strategy and validator performance. We can’t wait to share it very soon!

Here are some of the latest updates from mDAO on the build and governance and marketing:

Marinade’s multisig update complete

As initially announced in its FTX-Alameda retroactive article, Marinade can officially announce it has completed its update of the signers to the main contract multisig. This multisig controls contract-code upgrades. Marinade removed three parties including Serum and Alameda, and added five new parties who have demonstrated responsible commitment to the Solana ecosystem. The multisig now has 13 wallets, and 6 wallets must sign to perform any update to the contract.

The new signers: Marinade (3), Jupiter, Mango, Miton C, Orca, Phantom, Raydium, Solend, Solflare, Staking Facilities, and Triton.one.

Marinade is committed to being governed by the ecosystem, and having 10 wallets outside the Marinade core team controlling the contract reflects this mission. Read more about Marinade’s three multisigs in the docs.

Validator Gauges now directing 20% of Marinade Stake Pool

Starting with Epoch 376, the mDAO Validator Gauges will begin directing 20% of the Marinade stake pool. This completes mDAO Proposal 20 passed in October. Since originally executed, the Marinade stake pool has been operating at 15% gauges allocation. During this time no negative impacts from the raise in gauges percentage were identified, so the stake pool will increase to 20% gauges stake.

As a reminder validators must be eligible for Marinade stake in order to receive SOL thru the gauges and cannot receive more than 1.5% of the total Marinade stake pool SOL.

Chefs, be sure to vote for your favorite validators with you MNDE in the gauges.

First mDAO grant committee project completed

Many thanks to k2rbpz who completed the Growth Dashboard Bounty. It was the first project granted by the newly formed grant committee. The bounty requestor Ricardo confirmed that they went “above and beyond” in building the dashboard.

You can view the growth dashboard, which is dynamic and updated automatically, is public, on Flipside’s app here.

Do you have an idea for a grant that will benefit Marinade? You are welcome to post your idea for discussion by creating a new forum topic. You don’t have to be part of the Marinade mDAO to have a grant considered.

Updates to deposit stake account

Did you know that if you have a validator stake account, it’s easy to deposit it in Marinade and receive mSOL instantly? It’s a great way to get instant liquidity from traditional SOL stake. The Marinade devs have been working on UI improvements to better show eligible stake accounts that can be made liquid. If you visit the staking or DeFi page and have an eligible SOL stake, it will be automatically detected, and you can swap it easily. Check it out!

Marinade coming soon to Solana Mobile

One of the most exciting developments right now in the Solana ecosystem is the launch of the Saga, the new Solana mobile phone. Prior to breakpoint, Marinade was announced as one of the initial DApps to be building on the first-ever Web3 mobile phone. Over the past month, the design team has been working on a product flow for mobile and recently held some user testing sessions to get initial feedback.

Keep an eye out for the latest news on Solana Mobile and be sure that when it launches, Marinade will be available!

mTransaction update

Marinade announced its MEV plans prior to Breakpoint in November, and can now share the latest with its new mTransaction product. Marinade has found two validators to use in the pilot for mTransactions, which will enable priority transactions. Marinade is looking for more testers. Eligible validators at this time are any with over 200k SOL staked, and have US-EAST or EU-CENTRAL nodes. If you’re interested reach out to the Validators channel in Discord.

November mDAO Treasury Report

During the month of November, Marinade earned 4,247 mSOL (corresponding to $81,415 in USD at an average price of $19.17/mSOL). Those revenues respectively came from the management fees (2,121 mSOL) and the Liquid unstake fees (2,126).

For the first time, unstake fees went above staking fees as the month of November saw FTX collapsing and a rush for liquidity, depleting the unstake pool completely. The pool has now recovered and stands strong at around 453,000 SOL available for liquid unstake.

Regarding expenses, $119,717 USDC and 179,153 MNDE (for a USDC amount of $41,205 at an average price of $0.23/MNDE) were used to cover salaries and Breakpoint travel, for a total value of $160 922.

Only 1,938,174 MNDE out of the 4M monthly budget were disbursed through the Liquidity mining program, due to the presence and large share of the “Return to treasury” gauge. Allocations for the team for November accounted for 4,400,000 MNDE.

The total balance, in terms of USDC, is -$38 302 for the month of November. In order to tackle the loss of revenues due to SOL price and TVL going down over the last months, Marinade is currently working on finding ways to extend its runway and bear through the crypto winter. While times are tough, Marinade is committed to showing that a community-led protocol with no initial VC funding can help lead the ecosystem and carry on with its mission to make Solana more robust and censorship-resistant.

Marinade in the News

Marinade teamed up with Solana Insiders, a fantastic educational community on Telegram, to share how Marinade’s liquid staking works. Solana insiders also offered a bounty and we’re pleased to hear that over 600 people took the challenge to win mSOL.

ALso, Marinade Ambassador Knox-Trades recently made a new educational YouTube video on Marinade. This topic covers how easy it is to earn SOL staking yield through Coinbase thanks to the centralized exchange adding mSOL as a tradable asset. In fact mSOL is the first ever third-party staking token available for trading on Coinbase!

Also, thanks to the Famous Fox Federation for staking more SOL to Marinade to benefit their treasury. The success of the Foxes is well deserved. They continue building in this market and are what the Solana NFT community is all about!

Also, in November, Marinade sponsored another Alpha League Racing event, bringing Marinade Island back for another jam-packed race. Marinade put up some prize money for the event and racers won MNDE. Thanks again to ALR for the event and congrats to all who conquered Marinade’s custom race track!

More Marinade media and social coverage

Marinade featured in Step Data Insights

Goose FX covers Marinade

Crypto for Dummies explains Marinade liquid staking

The Brutal investor covers Marinade on YouTube

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