- Staking surges after Ethereum's Shapella upgrade.
- Lido took off after staking risks diminished.
Lido is on quite a run.
According to DefiLlama data, deposits on Lido have soared 188%, to $17 billion, this year.
The cause? Big changes in the staking market.
When Ethereum executed its Shapella upgrade in April, the move opened up withdrawals from the blockchain’s staking contract. This alleviated an important concern for many prospective stakers — claiming back their coins.
Until then, it was only Ethereum’s most firm believers who were willing to risk tying up their Ether in staking.
But after Shapella, staking became a two-way street, letting users freely stake and withdraw Ether.
The reduced risk led to an influx of deposits that buoyed Ether staking to record highs. This was a huge lift for Lido, a so-called liquid staking platform that enables investors to stake their crypto for a number of blockchains, including Ethereum.
Users rushed for a slice of the yields generated by staking Ether.
Ether sloshing around
With little new money entering DeFi this year, other top protocols, such as Maker, Aave, and Uniswap have remained flat. But this hasn’t held back Lido, which gains deposits primarily from the unstaked Ether already sloshing around onchain.
Lido isn’t the only liquid staking platform out there. Competitors like Rocket Pool and Frax Ether have attracted hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Ether deposits.
But Lido accounts for 77% of the total Ether liquid staking market.
Many stakers prefer Lido over similar protocols due to the deep liquidity of its staking receipt token, stETH. With more stETH liquidity, DeFi users suffer less slippage when trading between it and other tokens on decentralised exchanges.
Some have raised concerns that Lido’s dominance could threaten Ethereum’s decentralisation. Even so, 2023 was the year of Lido, and it doesn’t look like this DeFi behemoth will lose its top spot anytime soon.