Liquid Staking Tokens Rally as Kraken Shuts Staking Service to Settle With SEC

The sudden price uptick of governance tokens for the largest liquid staking protocols – Lido Finance, Rocket Pool and Frax Finance – was a counterweight to the decline of the broader crypto market.

AccessTimeIconFeb 9, 2023 at 9:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 10, 2023 at 5:10 p.m. UTC

Governance tokens of the largest liquid staking protocols surged on news that U.S.-based crypto exchange Kraken had settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday to sunset its crypto staking service.

The LDO governance token of Lido Finance, the largest liquid staking protocol with some $8.4 billion of staked ether (ETH) on the platform, jumped 10.4% in an hour, according to data by CoinGecko. Competitor Rocket Pool’s RPL jumped 7.3%. Smaller liquid staking platform’s tokens such as Persistence’s pSTAKE and StaFi’s FIS gained 6.7 and 11.4%, respectively.

Prices have more recently pared some of their earlier gains.

The rally served as a counterweight to Thursday's downturn in the broader crypto market. The CoinDesk Market Index (CMI), that tracks the price of a basket of cryptocurrencies, decreased 2.2% in an hour. Bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are both in the red in the past 24 hours, with much of their declines occurring in the last three hours.

Staking is the consensus mechanism to validate transactions for proof-of-stake blockchains, including Ethereum, which also offers a way for investors to earn yield on their digital asset holdings. However, the SEC has been vocal about its concerns that staking services are the equivalent of unregistered securities according to present regulations.

The settlement between Kraken and the SEC might be a boon for decentralized rivals to grab market share from centralized service providers. Some of the largest centralized exchanges, such as Binance, Coinbase and Kraken, let users stake cryptocurrencies and earn yield as a service on their platforms and have been popular staking providers. Staking on centralized exchanges takes up about 28% of all staked ether, data by Dune Analytics shows.


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Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.