Liquid Staking – A Boon to the Ethereum Ecosystem

Azeez Mustapha


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L****** S******: Ethereum’s Hidden Gem
If you’ve been following my calls and updates over the past few months, you’ve probably heard me talk quite a bit about staking.

Staking has been the big buzzword in cryptocurrency circles over the past 6 months as Ethereum finally moved to a proof-of-stake system, and began unlocking those stakes earlier this month.

A brief recap: Staking is an alternative to proof-of-work (i.e. mining), and relies on deposits by users to operate the blockchain.

Without getting into too much detail, staking is a way to maintain a resilient blockchain while securely verifying transaction accuracy.

Stakers place deposits as collateral which they risk losing if they cheat or break the blockchain rules. In exchange, stakers earn a steady stream of interest for their contribution.
Liquid Staking – A Boon to the Ethereum EcosystemCurrently, that interest rate is about 5%. Unlike other DeFi interest rates, the interest carries far less risk, is paid directly by the Ethereum blockchain, and is practically guaranteed in all but the most extreme cases (e.g. Ethereum gets hacked or one of Ethereum’s validators attempts to cheat).

The downside, however, is that staking requires losing a bit of freedom.

When a user deposits money to stake the Ethereum blockchain, they’ve committed their Ethereum for a certain amount of time and lose the flexibility to sell it.

In some cases, it can take a day or two to withdraw Ethereum from staking.

Enter liquid staking…
Liquid staking marries all of the best parts of staking (earning interest) with the best parts of not staking (having the freedom to sell whenever).

The way it works is that a user deposits Ethereum in a smart contract operated by a liquid staking platform like Lido.

Lido then takes that Ethereum and stakes it on behalf of the user.

In exchange, Lido gives the user a new coin, stETH (staked ETH). stETH is almost like an IOU from Lido.

Users are free to sell their stETH whenever they like, and anyone who owns stETH can exchange them with Lido back into Ethereum.
Liquid Staking – A Boon to the Ethereum EcosystemUnsurprisingly, Lido has become one of the most popular DeFi applications on the blockchain.

Nearly 30% of all Ethereum currently staked is held by Lido. Users clearly love being able to earn interest while also having the flexibility to sell at any point.

For Ethereum investors, the opportunity is almost a no-brainer.

Although stETH is not currently available on major exchanges, Coinbase users can buy and sell cbETH, Coinbase’s own version of stETH.

Although cbETH isn’t as prominent or widely used on DeFi exchanges as stETH, it still accomplishes the same goals of earning yield and providing trading flexibility.

Best of all, cbETH avoids the headaches and fees associated with using decentralized exchanges.

With the completion of the Shanghai merge earlier this month, Ethereum has finally begun to allow users to unlock their stake.

With the development of liquid staking, users now have the option of earning interest without waiting a day or more to unlock their Ethereum.

For new and existing Ethereum investors, the interest earned by replacing ETH with cbETH or stETH may be an opportunity worth looking into.

Best of all, accessing cbETH is as easy as staking your ETH on Coinbase. Coinbase users have the option to withdraw their stake at any time by converting it to cbETH without having to wait for an unstaking period.

Author: James Altucher
Source: Altucher Confidential

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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