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Staking Wars: Lido Co-Founders Back New Challenger to EigenLayer's Restaking Throne

With EigenLayer's recent disappointing token launch, the door is open for Lido and Symbiotic to steal the show.

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The world of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is heating up with a brewing battle in the restaking space. EigenLayer, the rising star, has captured the market's attention with its innovative restaking protocol.

However, the established leader, Lido, is not going down without a fight. Their recent proposal for an "Ethereum-aligned ecosystem" outlines a network of DeFi applications that would seamlessly integrate with stETH, Lido's liquid variant of staked ETH. This strategy aims to leverage Lido's existing user base and create a powerful network effect to counter EigenLayer's influence.

EigenLayer's Rise & Lido's Response

EigenLayer's protocol allows users to not only secure the Ethereum network with their staked ETH, but also bolster the security of other DeFi applications, earning rewards in the process. This versatility has propelled EigenLayer to a meteoric rise, attracting a passionate community.

However, EigenLayer's success has come at a cost to Lido, the dominant player in liquid staking. Lido revolutionized the space by offering a tokenized version of staked ETH (stETH), allowing users to participate in staking while maintaining liquidity. But as EigenLayer's user base grows, Lido's market share has begun to shrink.

However, EigenLayer's recent token launch cast a shadow over its early momentum. The airdrop, highly anticipated by the community, only distributed 5% of the tokens initially, with a significant portion going to insiders. The tokens were also initially non-transferable, and some platforms like Pendle were excluded from the airdrop. This underwhelming distribution strategy fueled disappointment and accusations of a "scam" from the community, potentially dampening EigenLayer's appeal compared to its well-funded competitors.

EigenLayer Launches Native Token, Details Airdrop But Not All Users Happy
The initiative aims to incentivize community participation and reward early supporters of the project, but the community isn’t too enthused.

Now, in a surprising turn of events, news broke that Lido's co-founders, along with their venture capital partner Paradigm, are secretly funding a new competitor – Symbiotic. This new platform aims to offer a more inclusive restaking solution by accepting not just native ETH like EigenLayer, but also Lido's stETH and other ERC-20 tokens. This move is seen as a direct challenge to EigenLayer's dominance.

The Stakes Are High

Sreeram Kannan, the founder of EigenLayer, is facing an unexpected situation. The rejection of his project by Paradigm, who now backs his competitor, adds fuel to the competitive fire. Both platforms – EigenLayer with its passionate community and Symbiotic with its wider token support – are attracting developers and users eager to join the restaking revolution.

Lido's established presence and network effect are formidable, but EigenLayer's innovative approach and community loyalty can't be ignored. The success of Symbiotic hinges on its ability to effectively integrate with existing DeFi protocols and offer a seamless user experience.

One thing's for certain: the recent disappointment surrounding EigenLayer's token launch, with its limited airdrop and non-transferable tokens, has dented its initial momentum. This misstep opens the door for Lido and Symbiotic to capitalize on user frustration and potentially steal some thunder. Ultimately, the victor will be the platform that delivers the most user-friendly, versatile, and secure restaking experience. This DeFi battle royale is just beginning, and the stakes are high for both users and the future of the entire staking ecosystem.

Multi-Factor Dangers of Crypto’s Billion-Dollar “Restaking” Bet
Restaking is drawing significant attention, with platforms like EigenLayer drawing over $3 billion in ETH and token derivatives from speculators, alongside millions from investors chasing early adopter airdrops. However, the resurgence of speculative investment chasing high rewards raises concerns.