What is Persistence? - The Liquid Staking Hub of DeFi

January 10, 2024

In conclusion

Introduction: LSTfi 101

Post-Shanghai, interest in ETH staking saw an unprecedented rise. Who would decline risk-free returns on a blue-chip asset such as ETH? The unique combination of EIP-1559 and the ETH 2.0 release means that a minor uptick in on-chain activity ensures ETH goes deflationary - ultrasound money, eh? I’m no economist, but a consistently shrinking supply could only mean one thing, right? Anyway, the prospects of yield on a deflating token are appealing. With additional clarity on withdrawals after the Shanghai hard fork, users flocked to stake their ETH on the Beacon Chain. Initially, the staking queues were long, however now the dust has settled - but the underlying trend is clear, ETH staking is up only!

Source: Staking Rewards

The staking ratio for ETH has risen by ~10% in the last year and currently sits at ~24%. This is the ratio of staked ETH by circulating ETH. What’s more is that as compared to other alternate L1s, there’s still room for expansion. For instance, ADA’s staking ratio is ~64%.

In essence, ETH or otherwise, there’s interest in earning a yield on the native coins of popular blockchains. Usually, this yield is inflationary, i.e., new tokens are minted to support the network and incentivize validators. For retail to participate in this activity, they usually rely on delegation, delegating their stake to a validator. The validator then shares rewards with their delegators. 

However, there are multiple, critical issues with vanilla staking.

  1. Liquidity Constraints: For starters, traditional staking often locks up crypto, making the coins illiquid. This means that once your coins are staked, you cannot use them for any other purpose until the “cooldown” period ends, after having unstaked. 
  2. Inflexible: Traditional staking usually comes with fixed terms or periods during which your coins are locked. Withdrawing assets before this period ends can lead to penalties or losing out on rewards.
  3. Capital Inefficiency: In regular staking, your capital is solely dedicated to staking and can't be used elsewhere. This means you might miss out on other investment opportunities.
  4. Complexity: Traditional staking can sometimes be complex, especially for new users, with various technicalities involved in choosing validators and understanding staking terms.
  5. Centralization Risks: Traditional staking can sometimes lead to centralization if a few large whales i.e. validators control a significant portion of the delegation.

The solution? Liquid Staking Tokens (LSTs) aka Liquid Staking Derivatives (LSDs)

So, how do LSTs address these problems? I’m glad you asked!

  1. Unlock Liquidity: Liquid staking allows users to retain some form of liquidity. Users receive a representative token which can be traded or used in other DeFi protocols.
  2. Flexibility: Liquid staking is more flexible, allowing users to enter and exit their staking positions without strict penalties or terms.
  3. Capital Efficiency: With liquid staking, the derivative tokens received can be used in various DeFi protocols, enabling users to earn additional yields or engage in other investment strategies.
  4. Ease of Use: Liquid staking solutions are often more user-friendly, and integrated into easy-to-use platforms that simplify the staking process.
  5. Decentralize the Network: Liquid staking can potentially mitigate this risk vector by enabling a broader distribution of validators. Although, the jury is out - ahem ahem Lido…

The incredible popularity of LSTs is a testament to their significant advantages. LSTs have revolutionized the staking landscape by offering unparalleled liquidity, allowing users to stake their assets while retaining the flexibility to use their staked capital in various DeFi activities. 

This dual benefit not only enhances capital efficiency but also opens doors to additional yield-generating opportunities through yield farming or lending. Moreover, LSTs cater to a more diverse investor base by lowering the entry barriers and complexity typically associated with vanilla staking. They also address centralization concerns, fostering a more decentralized and secure network. The agility and multifaceted utility of LSTs have driven their rapid adoption, marking a transformative shift in how digital assets are managed and utilized for yield generation in the dynamic crypto ecosystem. PMF is as clear as day. For a detailed exploration of liquid staking, be sure to check out our guide here.

Following the surge in popularity of LSTs, the emergence of LSTfi – a specialized segment of DeFi focusing on LSTs – is further catalyzing this growth. LSTfi represents an innovative convergence of liquid staking and DeFi, offering a more integrated and sophisticated ecosystem. This sector leverages the liquidity and flexibility of LSTs, enabling users to seamlessly interact with various DeFi protocols without relinquishing their staking positions. As a result, participants enjoy enhanced yield-generating opportunities, ranging from liquidity provision to leveraged trading, all while contributing to network security through staking. 

The advent of LSTfi signifies a major evolution in DeFi, promising to unlock new levels of efficiency, returns, and functionality. This synergy between staking and decentralised financial services is a fundamental shift, expanding the utility and appeal of staking in the broader landscape. So much so that, as a category, Liquid Staking toppled Lending by TVL.

Source: DefiLlama

With that as the pretext, how do the prospects of a purpose-built, Layer-1 blockchain, that specializes in unlocking the liquidity of staked assets sound?

Well, that’s Persistence in a nutshell. Of course, there’s more, much more that we’ll explore in this deep dive. So strap in, as I break down what Persistence is, the ecosystem, the XPRT token, the team, and much more!

What is Persistence?

Alright, folks, gather around the blockchain campfire and let me spin you a tale about Persistence. Think of it as the Swiss Army knife in the world of DeFi, but instead of scissors and a tiny saw, it's got some serious tools for unlocking the liquidity of staked assets. Yep, we're talking about the big guns here!

Persistence is this nifty, decentralised, Tendermint-based Layer-1 blockchain, which is just a fancy way of saying it's a super-efficient, highly specialized chain that's powering a whole galaxy of DeFi applications. But here's the kicker – it's not just about creating a myriad of applications; it's about redefining the staking game. In other words, Persistence is a Cosmos app-chain for liquid staking DeFi.

Now, let me take you back a bit. Remember the days when staking was like putting your digital assets in a high-yield savings account? You'd stake your assets, earn some decent rewards, and help secure the network. Pretty neat, right? But then, DeFi swaggered onto the scene, with its yield farming and liquidity pools, making staking look like an old-school savings bond your grandma bought you.

Enter liquid staking, the hero we didn't know we needed. 

Liquid staking, as explained above, is like having your cake and eating it too. You get to stake your PoS coins, earn rewards, and still jump into the DeFi party. Persistence is at the forefront of this revolution, turning staked assets into stkTokens via pSTAKE (more on it later). Imagine earning staking rewards while diving headfirst into DeFi use cases like borrowing, lending, and liquidity provisioning. It's like turning your stationary bike into a high-speed motorcycle – same bike, way more vroom vroom!

But Persistence isn't just about making your assets work harder. It's about opening doors, breaking down walls, and basically being the Kool-Aid Man of the blockchain world. With core-1 chain and CosmWasm, developers are building dApps via smart contracts. We're talking about a whole new playground of possibilities!

Why Persistence, you ask? Well, let's look at the numbers. DeFi's hit a whopping $240B+ in TVL, while staking's grown to a colossal $100 billion in global staked value. But here's the twist – while staking's been raking in the participants, it's also been hoarding potential from the DeFi space. Liquid staking changes the game by marrying the security of staking with the flexibility and composability of DeFi. It's like the ultimate power couple.

As for Persistence, it's not just content with being a part of the narrative. It's writing the story, setting the stage for a world where your liquid-staked assets aren't just sitting pretty – they're out there hustling, making you more yield, and being the belle of the DeFi ball.

Persistence is not just a network; it's a movement, a philosophy, a way of life in the crypto universe. It's about taking control, breaking free from the shackles of traditional staking, and diving headfirst into the limitless ocean of DeFi opportunities. And who knows? With Persistence, you might just find your digital assets doing backflips and somersaults you never thought possible. Welcome to the future, folks – it's looking persistently bright!

Ecosystem Deep Dive

As we navigate the intricate tapestry of the Persistence Ecosystem, transforming into a thriving Liquid Staking Hub, let's delve into the various components that make this ecosystem tick as a beacon of innovation and utility in the web3 realm.

pSTAKE Finance

Enter pSTAKE Finance, the multi-chain Liquid Staking Provider that's redefining asset liquidity. For Cosmos-based assets, pSTAKE has innovatively built a module atop the Persistence chain. As for other assets like ETH and BNB, implementations are adeptly crafted within their respective ecosystems, embodying the ethos of versatility and integration. Continue reading to learn more about pSTAKE.


Dexter is an interchain DEX focused on yield-generating assets and stable swaps. While Dexter operates independently, it receives support from Persistence Labs, fostering collaborative development. The protocol is built by several teams, but is maintained majorly by Persistence Labs and entirely governed by XPRT holders, making it a crucial part of the ecosystem.

As of writing, Dexter boasts an impressive TVL on the protocol of ~$4.6M and has surpassed total trading volumes by upwards of $6.3M in its lifetime. To no surprise, the ATOM/stkATOM is the most liquid pool and also contributes the highest daily and weekly volume. Liquidity providers stand to earn ~36% APR, providing liquidity in this pool.

Furthermore, a remarkable feat of Dexter is the USDC/USDT pool, which, with over $300k in liquidity, offers more efficient stable swap rates than anywhere else in Cosmos for certain swap amounts. This efficiency is not a mere coincidence but a result of meticulous design and strategic positioning. Dexter is set to redefine stablecoin swapping efficiency within the Cosmos ecosystem, providing users with optimal rates and fostering a stablecoin yield environment that is second to none. To top it off, liquidity providers are incentivised in XPRT, shooting the APR on a stable pool to a respectable ~38%.

Essentially, the goal is to position Dexter as the go-to DEX for LSTs and native stablecoins (USDC from Noble and USDT from KAVA) on Cosmos.  Its vision is to become the liquidity hub for the Persistence ecosystem, a vital cog in the wheel of the Cosmos network's DeFi machinery.

Other Projects

The Persistence Ecosystem is a constellation of projects orbiting the Persistence chain. While all of these projects operate independently, they receive support from Persistence Labs, weaving a fabric of unified innovation. Keep your eyes peeled, as more exciting projects are on the horizon.


The robustness of the Persistence Ecosystem is underpinned by a set of 100 validators, the guardians of network safety and security. Their role transcends mere validation and block production; they are active contributors to governance, infrastructure, and analytics, fortifying the ecosystem’s foundations.

XPRT Token

Now, let's turn our spotlight to the star of the Persistence show, the XPRT token. Launched with a flourish in April 2021, $XPRT is the lifeblood of the Persistence Ecosystem.

The Role of XPRT

XPRT plays a multi-faceted role in the Persistence universe. It's the native staking token of the Persistence Core-1 chain, but its purpose extends far beyond mere transactions. This token was born with a vision – to ignite a DeFi ecosystem that transcends traditional boundaries and explores innovative use cases. It's the catalyst that propels network adoption, kickstarting ecosystem applications into action.

When it comes to securing the core infrastructure, XPRT is the knight in shining armor, ensuring the network's integrity through staking. But that's not all – XPRT holders are bestowed with the power to influence the network's trajectory. By participating in governance, they actively shape the ecosystem’s evolution. They are the architects of Persistence’s future, steering the network towards continued success and innovation.

Utility of XPRT

The true essence of XPRT lies in its utility, woven intricately into the fabric of the Persistence Ecosystem. Its value is amplified through its integration with modular apps like pSTAKE and dApps built using smart contracts, such as Dexter. These applications leverage the robust infrastructure of the Core-1 chain, and by extension, XPRT, to build groundbreaking use cases around staked assets.

Imagine a world where staked assets from varied ecosystems converge on the Persistence Chain. Here, XPRT shines as a unifying force, transforming the Core-1 chain into the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) hub of the Persistence Ecosystem. It's the glue that binds different assets and applications together, creating a harmonious symphony of interoperability and utility.

In the grand tapestry of the Persistence Ecosystem, XPRT is not just a thread; it's the weaver itself, intertwining the various elements into a cohesive and dynamic narrative. It's a token with a purpose, a mission, and a vision, driving the ecosystem toward a future where DeFi transcends its current horizons and explores realms of untapped potential. The journey of XPRT is one of innovation, security, and governance, making it a token that is the heartbeat of Persistence.

LSTfi Governance – Steering the Ecosystem

In the realm of LSTfi, XPRT stands as a beacon of governance. It's the key that unlocks decision-making power across the entire chain, including governing Dexter. Holding XPRT is about holding a stake in the future direction of the Persistence Ecosystem. XPRT holders have a direct say in pivotal decisions, from protocol upgrades to feature implementations, shaping the ecosystem's trajectory. This level of governance ensures that XPRT holders are active participants in the ecosystem's evolution.

Traction – The Catalyst for Incentivisation

XPRT also plays a critical role in driving traction within the LSTfi ecosystem. Used as an incentivisation tool, it encourages participation and contribution across various dApps within the ecosystem. This incentivisation isn't just about rewarding participation; it's about fostering a vibrant community where each contribution is valued and propelled forward. XPRT thus becomes a catalyst, not just for growth but for sustained engagement and innovation within the ecosystem.

Security – The Foundation of Trust

In the digital world, where security is paramount, XPRT underpins the safety and reliability of the Persistence Ecosystem. By incentivising validators through staking rewards, XPRT ensures the integrity and security of the network. This process creates a trusted environment where transactions are not only secure but also contribute to the overall robustness of the blockchain. Thus, XPRT is more than a token; it’s a guardian of trust and reliability within the ecosystem.

Transaction Fees – Facilitating Access and Utility

Finally, XPRT finds its utility in facilitating transactions within the LSTfi ecosystem. Acting as the medium for transaction fees, it ensures smooth access to various services and functionalities within the ecosystem. This role is crucial in maintaining an efficient and user-friendly environment, where each XPRT transaction furthers seamless interaction and access across the Persistence chain.

In essence, XPRT is the linchpin of the Persistence Ecosystem, interlacing governance, incentivization, security, and accessibility. It’s the thread that weaves together a diverse range of functions and applications, driving the ecosystem toward a future where DeFi and liquid staking coalesce into a realm of boundless potential. With XPRT, we're not just witnessing a token in action; we're experiencing the pulse of an evolving digital ecosystem.


Diving deeper into the world of XPRT, we find ourselves exploring the dynamics of its tokenomics. XPRT is an economic engine designed to sustain and secure the network while incentivizing participation.

XPRT Inflation - The Balancing Act

XPRT operates on an inflationary model, akin to the native tokens of many other Cosmos app chains. This inflationary aspect is crucial for maintaining chain security and block validation. It incentivizes network stakeholders to engage in XPRT staking, which involves a 21-day lockup period, in return for staking rewards. These rewards are a blend of XPRT inflation and transaction fees. Looking ahead, ecosystem dApps might share revenue with XPRT stakers – a decision resting in the hands of XPRT governance.

The distribution of XPRT inflation is thoughtfully structured: 90% of it is earmarked for staking rewards, while the remaining 10% is allocated to the XPRT Community Pool.

Dynamic Inflation Parameters

XPRT inflation isn't static; it's influenced by several on-chain parameters, all governed by XPRT:

  • Minimum and Maximum Inflation
  • Inflation Rate Change
  • Target Bonded Ratio
  • Halving Schedule (approximately every 2 years)
  • Block Time

This dynamic system ensures that XPRT inflation decreases gradually if the bonded ratio surpasses the target, and vice versa. In simpler terms, less XPRT staked leads to higher inflation, which in turn boosts staking rewards. This mechanism intertwines XPRT inflation with chain security, aiming to maintain a balanced staked ratio.

Genesis and Halving

At its inception, XPRT inflation was set at 35%, with a minimum of 25% and a maximum of 45%, targeting a 67% bonded ratio. XPRT experiences halving approximately every two years post-Genesis, creating a soft maximum supply cap. By 2035, it's projected to reach around 403 million XPRT. However, following a governance proposal, the daily issuance was reduced by 50% which will result in a significantly lower soft maximum supply.


Interestingly, the first XPRT inflation halving, initially slated for August 2023, was moved ahead to May 2023. This change, driven by the Persistence Community, responded to an altered block time influenced by a more decentralized validator set and increased on-chain activity. With subsequent halvings, the issuance of XPRT will continue to reduce, aligning with the chain’s growing dApp activity, and establishing a soft cap on XPRT's maximum supply.

Since its launch in April 2021, XPRT inflation has decreased by approximately 60.45%, reflecting the evolving nature of the network’s economy.

Current Economic Snapshot

  • Current XPRT Inflation: ~13.84%
  • Current Staking Rewards: ~15.54%
  • Maximum XPRT Inflation: 25%
  • Minimum XPRT Inflation: 12.5%
  • Next XPRT Halving: March, 2025
  • XPRT Bonded Ratio: ~80.1%

Token Release Schedule

At Genesis, 100 million XPRT were minted and allocated across various categories including Validator Incentivisation, Private Sale, Team, and Ecosystem Growth. As of now, 96.9% of these tokens have been released into the ecosystem. The final unlock, encompassing the remaining 3.1 million XPRT, is set for March 2024.

In summary, XPRT’s tokenomics are a carefully crafted system designed to incentivize participation, ensure network security, and manage supply in a way that aligns with the ecosystem's growth and activity. It's a testament to Persistence’s commitment to creating a balanced, sustainable, and robust economic model.

pSTAKE Finance: Unleashing the Power of Staking

pSTAKE is the liquid staking protocol within the Persistence Ecosystem, ingeniously designed to unleash the true potential of staked PoS assets. It's where holders of PoS tokens, such as ATOM, can stake their assets and in return, receive stkTokens. These stkTokens are not just digital tokens; they're symbols of staked positions that accrue rewards in the background while simultaneously opening doors to the DeFi world for additional yield generation.

Currently, pSTAKE supports liquid staking on Cosmos, Persistence, Ethereum, and BNB, each offering unique opportunities for users to unlock the liquidity of their staked assets.

pSTAKE for Cosmos

Let's focus on stkATOM for a moment. In the Cosmos ecosystem, staking involves locking up tokens as a security deposit. If validators misbehave, a portion of this deposit can be slashed as a deterrent. Yet, for the vigilant and the wise, staking rewards flow proportionally to the value of their staked assets. But with the introduction of stkATOM, pSTAKE transcends traditional staking by transforming these locked tokens into liquid assets, maintaining their staked status while becoming tradable and usable across DeFi protocols. It's the magic of liquidity while retaining the security of staking. To alleviate user friction and create a seamless process, the Liquid Staking Module (LSM) was rolled out earlier in the year. It allowed for the smooth conversion of native staked ATOM into liquid staked stkATOM instantly.

In terms of strategies, users can provide liquidity in the stkATOM/ATOM pair on multiple DEXs, including Dexter, Osmosis, Crescent, and Shade. stkATOM can also be lent on Umee, a decentralised lending & borrowing protocol built on Cosmos.

Furthermore, pSTAKE also supports liquid staking for OSMO for stkOSMO. As for strategies, liquidity can be supplied in the stkOSMO/OSMO pool on Osmosis for some lucrative yield.

pSTAKE for BNB - A New Frontier

Now, let's sail to the shores of BNB Chain, where pSTAKE introduces a new paradigm in BNB staking. Users deposit their BNB into pSTAKE’s StakePool contract, which then delegates to validators. The ingenious part? The creation of stkBNB, an asset whose value increases with accrued staking rewards. It's a model inspired by Compound’s cToken, allowing users to stake BNB, earn rewards, and have the flexibility to trade or utilize their assets in DeFi without the wait of an unbonding period. It's like having your BNB and staking it too.

In summary, pSTAKE within the Persistence Ecosystem is a bridge connecting the world of staking with the dynamic universe of DeFi. It's a testament to the ecosystem’s commitment to innovation, security, and utility, making staked assets not just productive but also versatile. Welcome to the era of liquid staking, where your assets are free to explore the boundless opportunities of DeFi while still contributing to network security and earning rewards. This is the pSTAKE promise – fluidity, flexibility, and financial empowerment.

pSTAKE Token

Venturing further into the realm of pSTAKE, we encounter the PSTAKE token – a vital cog in the mechanism of the pSTAKE protocol. As an ERC-20 token, PSTAKE is the cornerstone of governance and incentivization within this innovative liquid staking solution.

Governance - The Heartbeat of pSTAKE

Governance in the pSTAKE protocol isn't just a feature; it's a responsibility and a privilege. PSTAKE holders aren't mere spectators; they are active participants, steering the direction of the protocol. Their voices and votes shape the future of pSTAKE, molding it to ensure its security, efficiency, and long-term success. Participation in governance is not just encouraged; it's integral to the protocol's ethos and evolution.

Incentivization - The Fuel for Growth

Incentivization is where the PSTAKE token truly shines. It's the carrot and the stick of the pSTAKE ecosystem. PSTAKE serves as a reward for those who contribute meaningfully to the protocol, nurturing and driving its growth. But it's not just about rewards; PSTAKE also plays a role in maintaining the integrity of the protocol. It acts as a disincentive for any malicious actions or lapses in duty, ensuring that stakeholders remain aligned with the protocol's goals and values.

Token Distribution - A Blueprint for Decentralization

With a Genesis supply of 500 million, the PSTAKE token's distribution is a masterclass in balance and foresight. The goal is straightforward yet profound: to maximize the decentralization of protocol governance while ensuring core contributors are adequately incentivized for their role in the protocol’s growth. This approach to distribution underscores a commitment to a decentralized future, where governance is not just a concept, but a distributed reality.

In essence, the PSTAKE token is more than just a digital asset; it's the lifeblood of the pSTAKE protocol. It empowers holders with governance rights, rewards contributors, and safeguards the protocol's integrity. As we embrace the future of liquid staking, PSTAKE stands as a testament to the power of decentralized governance and the importance of aligned incentives in building a robust and thriving DeFi ecosystem.

Looking Forward

As we turn the page on a momentous 2023, it’s exhilarating to anticipate what lies ahead for Persistence in 2024. Last year was a testament to Persistence's relentless drive, marked by significant achievements and strategic alignments. Now, we stand on the cusp of a new era, poised to elevate the LSTfi landscape and carve out a unique niche in the broader Cosmos ecosystem.

2023: A Year of Foundational Growth

The year 2023 was a pivotal chapter in Persistence's story. It was a period of laying down the structural beams of our ambitious project – from the successful rollout of pivotal dApps like pSTAKE Finance and Dexter to the strategic implementation of key governance initiatives like XPRT inflation halving. Each step was a building block towards a more robust and versatile ecosystem. The on-chain traction, as evidenced by pSTAKE’s Total Value Unlocked and Dexter’s impressive liquidity and volume, laid a solid groundwork for what’s to come.

Strategic Ecosystem Alliances: Expanding Our Horizon

A significant highlight of 2023 was the strategic alliances forged with Cosmos Hub and Astroport on Neutron, marking Persistence as a trailblazer in LSTfi integration. The liquidity-as-a-service agreement with Cosmos Hub and our active participation in AstroWars 2.0 underscore their commitment to not just grow within but also contribute significantly to the Cosmos ecosystem.

2024: The Year of Traction and Expansion

Looking forward, 2024 is poised to be a year where Persistence shifts gears from building to amplifying reach and traction. They’re set to extend pSTAKE to burgeoning assets like DYDX and TIA, introducing new dynamics to our liquid staking offerings. The upcoming launch of stkXPRT, in collaboration with Dexter, promises to add a new layer of utility and liquidity to the ecosystem.

The Emergence of an LSTfi Super App

Envision a ‘LSTfi super app’ – a seamless gateway to all liquid staking features within Persistence and beyond, bridging into the broader Cosmos network through IBC. This super app concept is not just a leap in technology but a stride toward making DeFi more accessible, intuitive, and interconnected.

In summary, 2024 for Persistence is all about growth, traction, and expanding reach. It’s about transforming our LSTfi vision into a tangible reality, one that resonates with users and developers alike. Learn more about the successes of 2023 and the future outlook in this blog post.


Finally, in the end, all I can say is that I’m in total alignment with Persistence’s vision and mission. Liquid staking is by far the most adopted DeFi use case. The intricate ecosystem that Persistence has woven is commendable. Multiple stakeholders and parts uniting for a common goal, love to see it. Furthermore, the token will also play a crucial role in aligning everyone within the ecosystem. Being a Cosmos-based app chain, Persistence will also have exposure to one of the most thriving crypto ecosystems. I can’t wait for more dApps to deploy on Persistence, the DeFi shenanigans (which are already underway) will be a sight to behold.

That’s all for today, frens! Don’t fade these giga chads, building on the bleeding edge. Try Persistence for yourself today.


Website: https://persistence.one/

X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/PersistenceOne

Docs: https://docs.persistence.one/

Blog: https://blog.persistence.one/

Governance Forum: https://forum.persistence.one/

pSTAKE Finance: https://pstake.finance/

Dexter: https://app.dexter.zone/

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