Liquid restaking, a process that involves tokenizing deposits to the restaking protocol known as EigenLayer, has recently exceeded $600 million in total locked value and continues to grow. Protocols such as Ether.Fi, Kelp DAO, and Renzo are at the forefront of this liquid restaking movement.
These protocols provide a platform for DeFi users to stake their Ether, which is subsequently auto-restaked in EigenLayer. In exchange for their deposits, users are issued liquid restaking tokens that serve as a form of receipt.
LSTs are tokens that represent a claim on staked ETH in a proof-of-stake (PoS) network, such as Ethereum 2.0. By depositing ETH to a liquid staking provider, such as Lido, Rocket Pool, or EigenLayer, users receive LSTs in return, which can be traded, lent, or used as collateral in other DeFi protocols. This way, users can enjoy both the staking rewards and the liquidity of their ETH.
EigenLayer is pioneering a new approach to the utilization of staked Ether, extending its security capabilities beyond the Ethereum network. This groundbreaking method has garnered significant interest, with deposits exceeding 150,000 Ether, approximately valued at $350 million, since January. The total amount deposited in EigenLayer has recently surpassed $1.7 billion.
The Future of Liquid Restaking and DeFi
The surge in deposits can be attributed to EigenLayer’s reward system, which grants points for deposits. This system has sparked speculation among users about a possible future airdrop, introducing a sense of thrill and expectation.
Despite the rapid expansion, it’s not without its difficulties. The Ethereum community is currently engaged in discussions regarding the potential risks this growth could present to the network.
The team at EigenLayer, under the leadership of its founder Sreeram Kannan, is cognizant of these issues and is actively developing solutions to mitigate them. As the mainnet launch of EigenLayer is anticipated in the first half of this year, the excitement surrounding these advancements is expected to escalate.
According to DeFiLlama, a DeFi analytics platform, the total value locked (TVL) in liquid staking protocols has surpassed $26 billion, making it the largest category in DeFi. Lido’s stETH, the most popular LST, has over $23 billion in circulation and is integrated with several DeFi platforms, such as Aave, Curve, and SushiSwap.