What is a liquid staking token (LST)?

When participating in liquid staking, you stake you SOL to a smart contract or staking pool—instead of directly to a validator.

In return for staking your SOL, you receive a different type of token that represents your staked SOL. This new token is referred to as Liquid Staking Token (LST) and can be traded, used in DeFi applications, or transferred while still earning staking yields.

What does "Sanctum LST" mean?

The "Sanctum LST" tag indicates that the particular LST was issued in partnership with Sanctum, whereby:

  1. The LST was minted using the Sanctum Single Validator SPL Stake Pool Program or the Sanctum Multi-validator SPL Stake Pool Program

    1. Single: SP12tWFxD9oJsVWNavTTBZvMbA6gkAmxtVgxdqvyvhY

    2. Multi: SPMBzsVUuoHA4Jm6KunbsotaahvVikZs1JyTW6iJvbn

  2. The project is a Sanctum partner and has been vetted by Sanctum

Further, we classify LSTs on Solana into two categories to facilitate the ease of your assessment when browsing LSTs – Sanctum LSTs vs. Others

Are LSTs safe?

Most LSTs that Sanctum supports use a version of the SPL stake pool program 4. Multiple security firms have audited the stake pool program nine times to ensure total safety of funds. So far it has controlled $1B+ of value over more than two years, with no exploits found. Of course, just because a contract has not been exploited in the past does not mean it will never ever be exploited in the future, but it is clear that the stake pool program is one of the safest programs in the world.

We also support the Marinade and Lido programs, which are also battle-tested and have undergone multiple audits.

Who controls the LSTs?

We have launched many new LSTs; some have asked who controls these. The individual projects do not control the LSTs. Rather, it is controlled by a multisig.

The upgrade authority of Sanctum’s LSTs is currently held by a 9-member multisig. All members are highly reputable actors in the space: Jupiter, Laine, Mango, mrgn, Solblaze, and Sanctum. Any changes to the LST program will have to be approved by a majority vote from this multisig. No single party can unilaterally change the program. We plan to significantly grow the size of the multisig and eventually freeze the program.

How does Sanctum pick projects to launch LSTs with?

We currently vet our projects very closely to make sure that 1) they’re legit projects, and 2) there’s differentiated utility for the LST they want to launch. However, we this process will become more and more permissionless over time. We won’t control what LSTs will be out there, but we are building LST dashboards (one already exists at SolanaCompass), to let people know if this happens. Here again thanks to Sanctum, it’ll be very quick and easy to swap from one LST to another.

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