When we started Ankr back in 2017, the blockchain space was full of both hope and confusion. Knowing that infrastructure is the backbone of all technologies, especially in finance, our goal was to build the foundation for the emerging crypto industry. Therefore, we focused on what we did best at the time: cloud computing and infrastructure services.
Since then, the industry has grown immensely — and so has our experience and capabilities. Today, Ankr is much more than a node infrastructure company, as we offer a variety of products for Web3 and decentralized finance.
In this article, we want to outline what exactly we’ve built so far, how these products benefit the crypto space, and what our plans for the future look like.
One suite entailing all Ankr’s services
In 2020 we launched an array of new products on Ankr, significantly expanding our operation. Those products might serve different purposes, but they are all related to Web3 and the idea that the Internet of the future is powered by blockchains. This concept has always been at the cornerstone of our company’s agenda.
In 2021, we will work on consolidating all our products into one suite, where they will be divided into 4 following categories:
- Staking nodes
- API services and developer nodes
- Ankr Staking DeFi & DAO
- Layer-2 services for Ethereum
Let’s see what each of these categories will entail.
Ankr started to build the one-click node-as-a-service platform in early 2020. Over the year, we have added support for over 50 blockchains. In this first year we have learned a lot about communities and end-users for staking nodes, which are not always accessible for regular users due to increasingly high entry barriers.
We at Ankr are good at breaking down the technical entry barriers by creating easy node deployment applications, where even non-techies can deploy and run any node of their choice. However, the financial barriers — namely the minimum number of tokens required to run your own staking node or validator — are set by the projects themselves. In many cases, that’s thousands or tens of thousands of dollars worth of tokens — a sum that an average retail user would never spend on staking.
Considering the above, we have decided to focus more on the most popular and widely used protocols to deliver the very best experience for stakers. We have a very clear view on which ones have gained the necessary adoption and traction in the markets and we will focus on those ones, mainly Ethereum, Polkadot, Kusama, Binance Smart Chain, Flow, Avalanche, Elrond and a few more.
API and node services for Web3 developers
While the industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds, it is our mission at Ankr to provide Web3 app developers with instant APIs to most popular and active chains. Eventually, this will become a separate service with a new all-in-one website to access all services.
First, there is Ethereum, which is currently the most used blockchain. With their migration to PoS, we expect even more user and developer activity on their network. Therefore, in addition to easily deploying Ethereum nodes we also provide easy API access for developers through our Ethereum API service.
In the upcoming year, we are also going to focus on providing API services for Polkadot, Kusama and Binance Smart Chain, as we also expect them to attract a lot of developer activity, especially in the wake of increased Ethereum network congestion.
We are also ever expanding our suite of developer node (full nodes) for developer and data analytics companies to easily connect to blockchains and fetch on-chain data. Recently we have added Bitcoin, Dash, Decred, Elastos, Hedera Hashgraph, NEAR, NEO, NULS, OKchain, Sifchain, Terra, Tezos, Zcash and more.
Ankr Staking DeFi & DAO
Formerly known as Stkr, Ankr Staking has quickly evolved into one of our flagship products. Ankr Staking democratizes Eth2 staking by providing best-in-class services with instant liquidity and highest level of safety.
Specifically, it allows to start staking with as little as 0.5 Eth and provides instant liquidity by replacing the staked ETH with a synthetic asset called aETH, which users can use to trade or participate in DeFi (we explain how aETH works further below).
Additionally, Ankr Staking offers three separate roles — staker, node provider and governor — with their unique benefits.
Layer-2 services for Ethereum
We at Ankr strongly believe that Layer-2 solution services will greatly benefit the Ethereum network in the future, especially until it solves its scalability issue (which won’t happen for at least another 12–16 months until Phase 2.0 goes live).
Therefore, we’re putting a lot of effort into collaborations with L-2 developers, to provide easy-to-integrate solutions for Ethereum. We will announce more details about these services soon 👀
ANKR and aETH: Ankr’s native tokens and their roles
There are two tokens used within the Ankr ecosystem: ANKR and aETH. Here’s what they do:
ANKR is the native governance token of the Ankr and Ankr Staking platforms. It can be used as a payment method for services, such as node deployment and app usage, and also acts as an incentive for network participants, who receive ANKR for different activities and reputation. By holding large amounts of ANKR tokens, users can participate in governance across the platform.
aETH is a reward bearing bond asset that enables instant liquidity for the Ethereum 2.0 network.
Essentially, aETH represents the ETH staked via Beaconchain nodes, plus all future staking rewards.
At the beginning, aETH is issued at an approximate ratio of 1:1 to the amount of ETH staked. aETH is then expected to grow in ETH value over time, as it contains both the principle stake plus staking rewards — which makes it a great asset for those who believe in Ethereum in the longer term.
We are constantly adding more use cases and liquidity options for both ANKR and aETH, as we intend to make them the key assets for decentralized infrastructure. Moreover, we’re planning to launch more synthetic assets in the very near future, so stay tuned for further updates!
Collaborations and third-party services
In addition to the aforementioned Ankr services, we are working closely together with various projects to complete our ecosystem with more DeFi services.
Current collaborations adding use cases for ANKR and aETH include:
Website | Twitter | Telegram Announcements | Telegram English Chat| Telegram Node Support Group | LinkedIn | Instagram | Ankr Staking