Cornerstone — the Ultimate Metagovernance Protocol on NEAR


Cornerstone is a metagovernance protocol for DeFi, Web3, social, gaming and more for the NEAR ecosystem.

The protocol is founded on two pillars — Metagovernance and Protocol-Controlled Value (PCV). The native token $CORN enables its holders to participate in DAO governance of various Dapp protocols and capture value from the entire NEAR ecosystem. PCV consists of an array of mainstream assets (such as $USDC, $USN, $NEAR, $LiNEAR, $Aurora, etc.) accrued by Cornerstone treasury. $CORN holders can decide the allocation of PCV across different Dapp protocols and thus share the revenue streams.

What is Metagovernance

Metagovernance refers to governing multiple Dapp protocols with one single token. For early Cornerstone users, $CORN enables its users to participate in various Dapp protocol’s governance while generating yield. In addition, Cornerstone plans to later expand the scope of metagovernance to more Dapps and protocols on more blockchain networks.

The economic value of DAO governance is best manifested in the Curve War. In short, Dapp projects on Curve strive for the most $CRV rewards allocated to their own pools, in order to boost their liquidity. $CRV rewards are determined by veCRV voting (Liquidity Gauge). Therefore, it is natural for projects to bribe veCRV holders with their own tokens. The governance of $CRV has tangible economic value.

As the evolution of single token governance, metagovernance has offered the following advantages.

First, the use cases of governance have been greatly expanded. By holding the metagovernance token, users can influence the governance of various protocols and even the entire on-chain ecosystem with a deeper impact.

Secondly, the Curve bribing has been growing in popularity among different protocols. Metagovernance thus aggregates such incentives for users and greatly boosts the participation of governance across protocols.

Finally, there will be more composability and synergy in the design and strategy of the metagovernance protocol. For example, the treasury usually consists of a variety of protocol tokens and interest-earning mainstream assets. The diversification of assets can not only reduce users’ financial risk, but also contribute to the value capture of $CORN.

What is Cornerstone

Cornerstone aims at becoming the most widely used metagovernance protocol across Web3, with an initial focus on the NEAR ecosystem. There are many governance tokens for DeFi, social, and NFT protocols in the Cornerstone treasury that enables users to participate in the governance of multiple Dapp protocols. If we view the DAO of a single protocol as the parliament of a country, then the Cornerstone DAO is more like the United Nations that formulates international rules to promote cross border collaboration.

In short, Cornerstone contains three main functions: minting, staking, and voting.

Minting is an automatic decentralized pricing mechanism to achieve ROI (return on investment) based on the supply and demand of the tokens in the treasury, without relying on external oracles. The minter pays the corresponding assets to the treasury and gets the newly minted $CORN at discounted price. This is one of the main mechanisms for the treasury to absorb governance tokens and mainstream assets in a sustainable fashion. The value of $CORN is also supported by the governance value of the entire ecosystem as well as the treasury yield bearing assets, ensuring that $CORN has a strong foundation for long-term value capture.

Staking means that users stake their $CORN to receive staking rewards. This is the strategy to generate a long term passive income stream. By binding the staking rewards to the overall growth of the treasury, $CORN can offset volatility to a certain extent.

Voting refers to locking $CORN and obtaining voting rights that decide how to utilize the Cornerstone treasury assets and participate in other projects’ DAO proposal voting. Later on, Cornerstone will also launch its Vote-To-Earn platform (a Bribe marketplace), which allows users to receive voting incentives provided by other Dapp projects.

Core strengths of Cornerstone

DAO of DAOs: As the ultimate governance layer, Cornerstone boosts participation in DAO democracy, maximizing yield for users.

Incentive alignment: Cornerstone treasury holds assets of all protocols it rules, preventing irresponsible voting.

Sustainability: Backed by the ecosystem governance value streams and mainstream assets in its treasury, $CORN has a strong foundation for long-term value capture.

Growing ecosystem: Some of the largest projects have partnered with Cornerstone. In addition, Pret Finance (the only money market that supports flash loans on Aurora) and LiNEAR Protocol (the safest liquid staking protocol on NEAR) are the two projects directly incubated by Cornerstone, of which value will be fully captured by the Cornerstone treasury.

Why Corn is a Win for Every Party

For users, Cornerstone helps maximize their return on token holdings. With $CORN, users can capture governance value of the entire ecosystem with only ONE token, automatic and hassle-free.

For DeFi & non-DeFi platforms, Cornerstone can massively reduce selling pressure on their governance tokens. The platforms can acquire semi-permanent liquidity and make governance more effective.

For all other protocols and tokens, Cornerstone maximizes capital efficiency. It influences token emission of multiple protocols via a single market.

For the NEAR ecosystem, Cornerstone brings in synergy and reduces cannibalization among protocols. It lowers the cost of liquidity and enhances the governance culture.

Thanks to the above advantages, some of the best projects on NEAR have joined the Cornerstone ecosystem. There are core infrastructure projects like NEAR Protocol, Aurora and Octopus; DeFi projects like Orderly, Jumbo. Exchange, Ref.Finance, Trisolaris, Bastion, Burrow, Crafting Finance, Pinkpea and PembRock; NFT and Metaverse protocols like Few and Far, Paras and Reality Chain; gaming platforms like Above.Land and Evosversel; Web3 platforms such as Niche, Meem, Connect3, TSquared, and Notifi; and ecosystem tools like Roketo, Magna, and Sender Wallet.

$CORNomics and its use cases

$CORN is the native token of Cornerstone, representing the ownership of Cornerstone treasury, and thus the governance power over Dapp projects of the NEAR-Aurora-Octopus ecosystem. The value of $CORN is backed by 1) PCV and the treasury growth and 2) the economic value generated from the governance of various protocols.

The NEAR ecosystem has seen exponential growth in the past few months with hundreds of projects spanning DeFi, NFTs, Web3 and more. With Cornerstone, these protocols and dapps can achieve better synergy, which in turn provides $CORN with aggregated governance value.

The value of $CORN is backed by the governance tokens and the mainstream assets of the treasury. In the event of extreme market conditions, $CORN holders can choose to burn $CORN to obtain tokens from the treasury. As a result, the $CORN price has a strong bottom support.

Simply put, $CORN holders will be able to enjoy both the governance incentives and financial rewards. $CORN grants its holders voting powers to allocate the treasury’s assets; users can vote on important parameters and the reward distribution of the projects in the Cornerstone ecosystem, affecting hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars worth of assets on-chain $CORN holders thus have the power to direct where the liquidity would be deployed and how a protocol can grow.

$CORN also brings rich financial rewards to its holders. $CORN holders can stake to earn $CORN rewards brought by yield-generating investment from the treasury. In addition, $CORN holders can also participate in the voting of DAO proposals of Cornerstone and various app protocols through the Vote-To-Earn platform, and obtain rich and diverse governance rewards.

$CORN Premining Rules

Cornerstone is expected to go live on mainnet in Q3 2022. To incentivize early adoption of the Cornerstone ecosystem, 3% of $CORN’s total supply will be allocated to early users of the two Corn-incubated projects, LiNEAR and Pret. 1% will be distributed to LiNEAR users based on size and duration of their $LiNEAR positions, and 2% will be distributed to Pret users who deposit and borrow using the platform. More details will be released soon.

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