Lost in all the hype surrounding Bitcoin’s now historical third halving and legendary hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones entering the Bitcoin market, a flurry of news has simmered beneath mainstream headlines. One of those developments was the launching of ARPA’s mainnet staking mining pool, which lowers the threshold for ARPA users to participate in securing multi-party computations on the network.
“We are pleased to announce that ARPA’s pre-alpha mainnet mining pool is now live and accepting staking,” details ARPA’s formal blog announcement. “Users can choose a mining pool, stake their ARPA tokens, and start earning computation rewards.”
The mainnet mining pool ostensibly enables users without significant ARPA token holdings to generate passive income by pooling their assets together to earn rewards. Mining pools are an integral part of public blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum and help to reduce the concentration of major players in the ecosystem.
For ARPA, the announcement is another step towards the official launch of the mainnet for its sMPC, layer two, and privacy-preserving technology, which is currently in its pre-Alpha mainnet phase.
Staking market and incentives expanding
ARPA made waves for its advanced sMPC technology, which has the potential to usher in a new era of computations between entities that preserves privacy for off-chain applications that are tethered to a blockchain.
The platform is at the bleeding edge of cryptography developments to emanate from the crypto market in recent years. It covers a vast range of applications from anonymous AI-based modeling of medical data to constructing trading dark pools and blind voting schemes.
ARPA relies on a staking-based incentive for participation in the secure consensus of the network, which is a trend quickly gaining traction in crypto markets. Users lock-up the native asset and earn interest on their deposits. And those deposit yields can be lucrative.
For example, Binance recently launched ARPA’s monthly staking airdrop program at the end of April, which generates 15 percent annualized returns. Staking-as-a-service (SaaS) is expected to continue its upward trajectory in 2020 too, as Ethereum gears up for its Ethereum 2.0 launch this Summer, and Polkadot prepares to go live.
Eventually, the maturation of liquidity and investment instruments in the DeFi and staking space may pull in investors from legacy markets.
Many investors discouraged by the outlook of formerly high-yield instruments in corporate debt may find an appealing alternative in DeFi, staking, and other services proffered by major exchanges like Binance in the next few years.
Especially with crypto-dollar volumes surging to new ATH’s in recent weeks, which have a particular flair for Asian trading hours, yields on DeFi instruments may cause an explosion in passive investment strategies by crypto investors.
ARPA mainnet launched
Outside of ARPA’s mining pool announcement, the project has been quietly churning out some impressive technical releases in the run-up to its official mainnet launch. In April alone, ARPA added some features to its threshold signature mechanism and crafted a pluggable audit framework survey for its sMPC.
It will take time for institutions, exchanges, and other organizations to understand the implications of standardized and widespread sMPC availability, but the eventual preponderance of the technology appears inevitable. Once considered a pipe dream in cryptography, the efforts by ARPA and other crypto researchers have noticeably pushed the needle forward on the technology’s realization.
The distinct advantages that sMPC offers in markets like digital advertising, finance, and healthcare won’t be overlooked because of high costs either, as sMPC task execution is cheap. Eventually, areas such as data renting, data marketplaces, and secure risk analytics will become endemic practices for most businesses, and sMPC will play a critical role.
Beyond the exogenous circumstances of COVID-19, 2020 has proved a dynamic year for the crypto industry already. With more headline-grabbing developments likely just over the horizon, expect smaller projects to officially go live with platforms that have been under development for years, perhaps under the radar this time around when compared to the mania of ICOs in 2017.