Aleksandr Tetiukhin, Everstake’s Neo blockchain manager, joined Neo Global Development’s AMA series, Neo Live, on Thursday, Nov. 18. Everstake is a staking services provider that aims to run highly secure and reliable nodes for Proof of Stake protocols using enterprise-level hardware. The company offers users the ability to delegate their voting rights to Everstake across various PoS networks. In Jan. 2020, Everstake became the first non-Neo ecosystem entity to deploy an N3 TestNet consensus node and currently serves as a Neo Council member.

In the AMA, Tetiukhin discussed the origins of Everstake as a services provider, how Everstake participates in Neo’s governance process, goals for increased transparency in voting, how Everstake overcomes the risks associated with validating nodes across multiple blockchains, and long-term plans.

The full transcript can be found below:

Riley (Neo Telegram admin): Alex, could you introduce yourself?

Aleksandr Tetiukhin (Everstake blockchain manager): Hi everyone! It’s a real pleasure and an honor to be a part of this AMA. My name is Alex, and I am a blockchain manager at Everstake. One of my main responsibilities is being in touch with the Neo community and keeping the Everstake team informed about every major thing happening in the network. Today I am excited to share a little bit about our team and our role in the Neo Smart Economy.

Q1: What is Everstake?

Alex: Everstake is a team of experienced developers, financial experts, and blockchain enthusiasts. The company was founded by Attic Lab, an EOS block producer from Ukraine, in 2018. Everstake helps institutional investors and retail token holders profit off their crypto assets.

Currently, Everstake is the #1 staking provider, according to the Staking Rewards platform. We successfully provide staking services on MainNet and TestNet for more than 45 blockchains such as Neo, Tezos, Cosmos, Mina, Elrond, Solana, Cardano, Cartezi, Polkadot, Kusama, Near, Terra, Polygon, and many more.

More than 465,000 users have chosen Everstake as their reliable staking provider, which equals over US $6.2 Billion as staked digital assets. Everstake is the most trusted staking provider in a number of networks. For example, in Cardano, we have more than 200,000 delegators, in Solana, over 100,000 delegators, in Tezos and Cosmos, more than 50,000 delegators.

We run highly secure and reliable nodes for PoS protocols using enterprise-level hardware to ensure maximum efficiency and security. DevOps specialists monitor Everstake’s infrastructure around the clock, and this guarantees that our nodes’ performance is 99.99% and our delegators receive their rewards. In case of unlikely failure, all our nodes have backups that ensure the highest reliability.

Q2: What makes Everstake different from other staking-as-a-service platforms?

Alex: First of all, Everstake is a very experienced staking provider, more than three years on the market and, as was mentioned earlier, we successfully operate in a vast number of chains. We know how everything works and how to solve emerging challenges.

One of the main Everstake goals is the education of the crypto community. We produce tons of educational materials for beginners, explaining how everything works: you may find a simple explanation of almost all blockchains; how a blockchain functions and its structure; how to stake your assets and get profit; how to use DEXes; what is crypto security and many many more topics. We can’t say that our materials are of utmost importance only for newcomers, it may come in handy even for veterans. If you haven’t managed to get needed information from our articles, you can always ask for assistance in our Telegram channel – Everstake Chat. We will gladly help you.

Another distinct feature of Everstake is our blockchain teams. We’re providing services in plenty of networks, and the obvious question is, “How can you guarantee perfect service in so many networks?” Of course, one person or even a team can not be everywhere, monitor everything, be aware of every network update, create helpful, and importantly, entertaining content. That’s why Everstake decided to introduce a separate blockchain team that consists of dedicated DevOps and blockchain managers. These teams ensure that our infrastructure works perfectly and that delegators are satisfied with the service provided.

Q3: How does Everstake participate in Neo’s governance?

Alex: Everstake is an active governance member in a lot of networks, as well as in Neo. We are honored to be one of the 21 council members. It is a huge responsibility to make decisions that are of paramount importance for the network’s wellbeing.

The council is responsible for maintaining the health and liveliness of the Neo network.

Responsibilities include adjusting blockchain parameters, such as system fees, and electing oracle nodes.

We are happy to be a part of the Neo Council and ready to support Neo with all the required technical and human resources so that the network can grow faster and benefit hundreds of thousands of Neo users.

For instance, last week, we voted for reducing the Oracle Gas Fee by 80% to make the Neo N3 ecosystem more attractive for dApp developers. It was a very important decision for the whole ecosystem, and the whole council board decided that we need to change the oracle request fee from 0.5 GAS, which is considered quite expensive and may affect the dApps’ use levels. Everstake fully supports the idea and initiative; that is why we signed for the GAS change. Thus, Council members unanimously decided to reduce the fee down to 0.1 GAS.

Q4: Which other blockchains does Everstake work with?

Alex: We’re currently working with around 45 MainNet projects and about 20 on TestNet. As mentioned earlier, each project gets a dedicated DevOps and Blockchain Manager who ensure that Everstake operates the latest information, runs the latest version of the nodes, creates high-quality content for the community, and provides the best service.

Everstake started its service with Tezos, Icon, and Cosmos. You know that PoS blockchains began to emerge not so long ago, and three to four years ago, there were not so many blockchains functioning on Proof of Stake and Delegated Proof of Stake consensus algorithms. Staking and delegating was not a thing back in those days; everyone focused on PoW and similar blockchains.

Nevertheless, Everstake decided to focus on staking as we saw great potential in it, just as we did with Neo. Among the few PoS blockchains, Tezos, Cosmos, and Icon were already active and well functioning, so we entered these networks successfully as validators. As more and more PoS blockchains emerged on the market, Everstake continued to grow further. We started to join new promising networks, which we continue to do today, expanding our team and improving the service. In some projects, Everstake was invited as a reliable staking-as-a-service platform. Other projects we searched for ourselves; at the moment, our research team has about 30 projects on its waiting list.

I think that it’s quite unnecessary to describe and name every single network where we participate. Please visit our website and check the relevant information.

Q5: When did Everstake join the Neo N3 ecosystem?

Alex: Everstake became a Consensus Node on the Neo N3 Preview1 TestNet in early 2020. And since then, Everstake has been an active network participant.

Erik Zhang, founder and core developer of Neo, noted, “We are glad to welcome Everstake as one of our consensus nodes on the Neo3 Preview1 TestNet. As Neo3 development accelerates, we appreciate the help from the ecosystem to facilitate Neo’s development and the decentralization process.”

And this marked the beginning of decentralization on the Neo3 TestNet!

Q6: Why did Everstake choose the Neo Smart Economy?

Alex: There are thousands of different crypto projects on the market these days, and we obviously don’t have the resources to cover them all, so we have to pick the ones we focus on carefully. When we joined Neo almost two years ago, there were not many projects on the market, in contrast with the current situation. Back in those days, we could not miss the opportunity to be the ecosystem member of such a promising network with very innovative and challenging ideas. And we made the right decision.

We choose blockchains based on the potential that we see in them, and we look at how the code is written, at the governance system, token distribution, network’s contribution to the Blockchain World, their ideas, team members, etc.

We decided to enter the Neo ecosystem because it is a very innovative and unique blockchain that we see great potential. Neo was one of the first blockchains that introduced smart contracts. How could we just ignore it? The Smart Economy is the future!

Q7: How does Everstake overcome challenges associated with being a validator (i.e., rewards duration, lockup period, validator node costs)?

Alex: Everstake is a staking-as-a-service platform, and we can not change the protocol functioning. Parameters such as rewards duration and lockup period are hard-set in the blockchain itself and can not be changed in any way in most cases.

Neo, however, does not have such a problem. You can just hold NEO and earn GAS tokens passively by voting for any of the 21 Council member nodes without the need to lock your NEO. We have covered this process in our migration-staking guide.

It is noteworthy that many people do not understand that validators can not change some protocol parameters on their own. Council members should make a request and vote for it, and it’s a complex governance process.

Validation node costs can indeed be a bit pricey as we use enterprise-level hardware to provide the best performance and reliability. The costs are covered by our fair and competitive fee % that we manage to keep quite low in the blockchains that we work with.

Q8: What are Everstake’s long-term plans?

Alex: We’re already ranked #1 by total staked value and users in the StakingRewards list. So we, as a staking provider, are planning to keep this status and work hard on bringing our delegators the best services possible in every promising network.

Everstake is planning to enlarge the list of supported networks so that our delegators have a wide choice of networks where they can participate and be sure about their rewards and the service provided.

We will continue being active contributors in every blockchain that we support, including Neo. Everstake is currently busy developing products for many networks, such as dashboards, blockchain explorers, validator tools, etc. Nevertheless, if we see that we can make a great contribution to the Neo ecosystem and create a product that will help the community, be sure that we will consider this option.

Expect more entertaining or helpful content in the upcoming months. We love creating different games, contests, quizzes, and AMAs for our community’s entertainment. Stay tuned for future updates.

Q9: What is Everstake’s vision and future plans about decentralized voting system and voting pools?

Alex: Transparency of voting is of utmost importance for us. Decentralization and blockchain, to some extent, mean transparency of actions. Everyone can monitor your decisions and moves. And that’s great! Transparent governance is an obligatory part of decentralized voting systems. Neo Council members are currently thinking about making this process more transparent so that every Neo community member can check what is on the agenda right now, who votes for or against an action, and so on.

From our considerable experience, unfortunately, plenty of community members in various networks do not pay attention to the governance. Maybe this is because our delegators entrust us with the important decisions and are sure that we vote for the best option.

We are always transparent about our decision-making process. You can join our Telegram channel and ask about the current state of governance decisions there anytime. Moreover, if there will be some questions of paramount importance, we can make a poll on request, to know our community voice.

By choosing Everstake as your trusted validator, you can be sure that your vote goes towards the growth and transparency of the Neo N3 ecosystem.

Q10: Does Everstake have any plans to spread awareness to new users and non-crypto users? Especially non-English speaking countries that may be barred from accessing the project?

Alex: Actually, one of our main goals, as mentioned earlier, is the enlightenment of the crypto community, especially new and non-crypto users. We try to describe in simple language complicated notions from the crypto space. Moreover, we see decentralization as the ability of every person to learn new information in their preferred language, despite their native one.

Not everyone knows English as a native speaker, and understanding complex technical ideas and notions could be a real challenge. And we understand this. That is why we make translations of our educational materials in different languages. You may find information about different blockchains in multiple translations in our Medium blog.

We perform translations of our materials into French, Spanish, Italian, German, Ukrainian, Russian, Chinese, Korean, Turkish, Indonesian, Vietnamese. Of course, the main language is English. Nevertheless, if we see a massive demand in some language communities, we will give a helping hand. If you see that some language is missing, you can always ask us to consider adding another translation in our Telegram chat, or Everstake’s Twitter page, or my Twitter page for Neo related questions.

Note: Some edits have been made for formatting and readability.

The full AMA can be found at the link below: