EigenLayer Lifts Staking Cap, TVL Soars Past $3B

The temporary lift comes as restaking on Ethereum is booming despite warnings from developers that it might strain the network.

AccessTimeIconFeb 5, 2024 at 10:08 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 5, 2024 at 10:30 p.m. UTC
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Liquid restaking protocol EigenLayer has temporarily removed its 200,000 ether (ETH) per-protocol staking cap, spurring a $750 million rise in total value locked (TVL) in a matter of hours.

Data from DefiLlama shows that inflows of over 1 million ETH flooded EigenLayer within two hours after the restaking protocol lifted its cap on deposits, leading to a cumulative TVL of more than $3 billion. EigenLayer placed its official TVL at $3.2 billion at press time, representing a $1 billion increase over the tally from a day before.

Restaking is a strategy that investors can use to earn additional rewards on ETH that they've already "staked" on the main Ethereum blockchain. Staked tokens are locked up in an address on the chain in exchange for a steady stream of interest, and behind the scenes they help to secure the platform's "proof of stake" system.

EigenLayer allows investors to earn additional interest on their staked ETH tokens by "restaking" them to secure other chains. EigenLayer currently supports popular liquid staking tokens (LSTs) like lido staked ETH (stETH) and rocket pool ETH (RETH). Lido and Rocket Pool are among a slew of platforms that stake ETH on behalf of users; they issue LSTs representing one's stake which accrue interest and can be traded just like any other token.

Lido's stETH tokens led the pack on Monday, accounting for $560 million, or approximately 80%, of new deposits into EigenLayer.

The removal of EigenLayer's caps on liquid staking tokens (LSTs) was designed to "invite organic demand," according to a recent blog post from the project. A new cap will be applied on Feb. 9, though the project says that it plans to permanently remove the deposit limit at some point in the future.

EigenLayer also announced that it will soon roll out its mainnet launch for operators, a way in which investors can operate a node, and EigenDA, a decentralized data availability service that will become the first actively validated service to be built on EigenLayer.

Interest in EigenLayer has surged in recent months as a flurry of up-start projects like Puffer Finance and Ether.fi have begun offering outsized rewards – dubbed "points" – to users that restake with them. But alongside the restaking boom, some developers are warning EigenLayer's "shared security" model might overburden Ethereum or otherwise strain the network.

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Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.

Sam Kessler

Sam is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for tech and protocols. He reports on decentralized technology, infrastructure and governance. He owns ETH and BTC.


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