Polkadot researchers propose major change to staked DOT unbonding process Polkadot researchers propose major change to staked DOT unbonding process

Polkadot researchers propose major change to staked DOT unbonding process

Stakeholders in the community have raised concerns about the centralization risks attached to the proposal.

Polkadot researchers propose major change to staked DOT unbonding process

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Two researchers at Web3 Foundation, the organization behind Polkadot, are requesting comments on a proposal to reduce the unbonding time for staked DOT tokens.

Alistair Stewart, the head of research at the Web3 Foundation, and Jonas Gehrlein submitted the proposal to the Polkadot Fellowship committee on June 19.

The proposal

The proposal introduces a flexible unbonding mechanism for Polkadot’s native DOT token and its canary network, Kusama’s KSM token, while enhancing user experience and maintaining network security.

The key aspect of the proposal is to shorten the minimum unbonding period from 28 days to 2 days. According to the proposal’s GitHub document:

“New requests are executed with a minimum of 2 days, when the queue is comparatively empty, to the conventional 28 days, if the sum of requests (in terms of stake) exceed some threshold.”

The researchers further explained that the unbonding durations will scale according to the number of requests in the queue but will not exceed the current 28-day maximum.

If approved, the proposal will expedite the unbonding process while maintaining Polkadot’s ability to slash tokens backing malicious validators. This means tokens will not be unbonded immediately, but the process will be significantly faster.

Meanwhile, the proposal focuses solely on staking locks, leaving other locks, like governance locks, unchanged. The researchers also suggested piloting the model on Kusama before implementing it on Polkadot.

Community Concerns

Lurpis Wang, cofounder of the Polkadot-based Liquid Staking protocol Bifrost, expressed concerns about potential centralization risks posed by the proposal. He argued that reducing the unbonding time would not address the centralization issues linked with the liquid staking protocol.

Similarly, Gregus Jakub, the cofounder of Hydration, echoed concerns about the possible centralization risks attached to the new proposal, stating:

“Liquid staking didn’t proliferate on Polkadot more than anywhere else, actually its dramatically lower than on other networks. I would argue that current set is centralized already a lot but w/o any involvement of LST providers, P2P ~ 10% of stake, then Jaco, Zug Capital, maybe some other and we might be easy around 33% of PoS security threshold.”

In response, Gehrlein emphasized that the proposal aims to improve the user experience without undermining liquid staking providers. He stated:

“This proposal is not designed to undermine liquid staking providers but rather to improve UX for users that choose to stake directly on the Relay Chain anyway.”

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