An exploration into Ankr, an LSD

Greythorn Asset Management
4 min readMar 28, 2023

Launching on ETH mainnet in 2019, Ankr is a decentralised infrastructure provider in Web3. It focuses on early-stage cloud calculation and blockchain node deployment in an economically efficient way. Recently, instead of developers and institutions as their main target audience, Ankr expanded its business scope to serve retail. Apart from offering API endpoints, Gaming SDK, Ankr AppChains and running RPC nodes, staking solutions including liquid staking & delegated staking have become the new highlight for the protocol.

Liquid staking tokens are shown in the form of ankrX (e.g. ankrAVAX, ankrETH, etc.). They are reward-bearing tokens representing the staked asset plus all future staking rewards. The number of ankrX does not grow, but the value of each token will increase over time as staking rewards accumulate.

Apart from staking rewards, stakers can benefit from the transaction fees from liquidity pools on DEXs, farming rewards, and manual compounding. A 0–5% commission fee is charged from rewards, depending on the token.

In Ankr 2.0, Delegated Staking gives users the right to choose from a larger range of validators (i.e. Ankr-owned node providers & various node providers supporting Ankr Network 2.0) to stake with, where anyone that meets certain criteria can stake to become a node.

30% of the revenue goes to the Ankr Treasury which is managed by the DAO, 21% is allocated to the self-stake pool (node provider), and the remaining 49% goes to the staking insurance pool (individual stakers).

Use Cases

  • Governance token for Ankr DAO
  • Rewards node providers for serving network traffic while also rewarding ANKR token stakers to secure the network.
  • Fees are accrued from developers for on-chain data access (RPC request).
  • Collateral deposits (self-stake) are required to become a node provider on Ankr’s network (100,000 ANKR/node).

Token: $ANKR

TVL: ~$190m

Market Cap: ~$288m

FDV: $353m

Tokenomics

1. Total Supply: 10,000,000,000 ANKR

2. Circulating Supply: 9,662,899,378 ANKR (97%, ~2% burnt)

3. Tokenomics Distribution

Figure 1: ANKR Tokenomics, Source: Greythorn Research Team Data: Protocol Docs

* ICO: Sep. 2018. 100% of tokens had been unlocked by Aug. 2022.

Comparables

Figure 2: Top 7 LSDs, Data: Greythorn Research Team, DefiLlama

Bullish Fundamentals

  • Extensive Application: Liquid Staking is available on eight chains. For chains that allow unstaking such as Avalanche, Liquid Staking tokens enable elastic token supply, under which the circulating supply expands or contracts to offset changes in a token’s price via rebasing.
  • ANKR tokens play a central role in all aspects of the new decentralised Ankr Network.
  • The service is transferred from the consensus layer to the development layer, which is more decentralized and transparent. ‘All tokens are fully minted, with no inflation.
  • Potential growth of node infrastructure: The rate of staking may increase following the Shanghai Upgrade.

Bearish Fundamentals

  • Limited superiority to fellow LSDs.
  • Negative PR from the Ankr exploit on 02/12/2022.

Closing Remarks

Ankr is a Web3 infrastructure provider that offers staking solutions such as liquid staking and delegated staking. Its AnkrX tokens provide stakers with rewards, transaction fees, farming rewards, and manual compounding. Ankr’s governance token plays a central role in the new decentralised Ankr Network, and the potential growth of node infrastructure may increase following the Shanghai Upgrade. Despite limited superiority to fellow liquid staking tokens and negative PR from the Ankr exploit in 2022, Ankr has managed to earn itself a spot within the top 10 LSD protocols.

References

  • CoinGecko. 2023. Cryptocurrency Prices, Charts, and Crypto Market Cap | CoinGecko. [online] Available at: <https://www.coingecko.com/> [Accessed 16 March 2023].
  • CoinMarketCap. 2023. Cryptocurrency Prices, Charts And Market Capitalizations | CoinMarketCap. [online] Available at: <https://coinmarketcap.com/> [Accessed 20 March 2023].
  • DefiLlama. 2023. DefiLlama. [online] Available at: <https://defillama.com/> [Accessed 16 March 2023].
  • Welcome to Ankr docs (2023) Ankr. Available at: https://www.ankr.com/docs/ (Accessed: March 22, 2023).

Important notice and disclaimer

This presentation has been prepared by Greythorn Asset Management Pty Ltd (ABN 96 621 995 659) (Greythorn). The information in this presentation should be regarded as general information only rather than investment advice and financial advice. It is not an advertisement nor is it a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any financial instruments or to participate in any particular trading strategy. In preparing this document Greythorn did not take into account the investment objectives, financial circumstance or particular needs of any recipient who receives or reads it. Before making any investment decisions, recipients of this presentation should consider their own personal circumstances and seek professional advice from their accountant, lawyer or other professional adviser. This presentation contains statements, opinions, projections, forecasts and other material (forward looking statements), based on various assumptions. Greythorn is not obliged to update the information. Those assumptions may or may not prove to be correct. None of Greythorn, its officers, employees, agents, advisers or any other person named in this presentation makes any representation as to the accuracy or likelihood of fulfilment of any forward looking statements or any of the assumptions upon which they are based. Greythorn and its officers, employees, agents and advisers give no warranty, representation or guarantee as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information contained in this presentation. None of Greythorn and its officers, employees, agents and advisers accept, to the extent permitted by law, responsibility for any loss, claim, damages, costs or expenses arising out of, or in connection with, the information contained in this presentation. This presentation is the property of Greythorn. By receiving this presentation, the recipient agrees to keep its content confidential and agrees not to copy, supply, disseminate or disclose any information in relation to its content without written consent.

--

--

Greythorn Asset Management

Melbourne-based asset management firm, focused primarily on Tech | Web3 | Crypto | Blockchain | DYOR/NFA. Subscribe to hear our latest industry insights.