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MetaMask’s Pooled Staking Opens Ethereum Staking to More Users

Key Insights:

  • MetaMask’s new service lets ETH holders stake without the 32 ETH minimum, democratizing access to staking rewards.
  • 99% of ETH holders lack the 32 ETH needed for staking; MetaMask’s service enables broader participation.
  • The service enhances Ethereum’s security and decentralization, with assets unstakable at any time, depending on exit protocols.

MetaMask, a crypto wallet firm, has introduced a new staking service that allows Ethereum holders to pool their funds and stake their assets. This development addresses a significant challenge faced by most Ethereum holders: the inability to meet the 32 ETH minimum required for staking, which is currently valued at approximately $112,000.

Ethereum’s shift from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism necessitates validators to process transactions, store data, and add blocks to the Beacon Chain. Validators play a crucial role in maintaining the network’s security and decentralization. However, the high minimum staking requirement has hindered many users.

MetaMask’s new service enables users to participate in staking without providing the full 32 ETH. Users can collectively meet the requirement by pooling their assets and earning staking rewards. This initiative allows a broader range of Ethereum holders to contribute to the network’s security and benefit from staking rewards.

Decentralization and Security Benefits

Consensys, the blockchain software company operating the validators for MetaMask’s staking service, emphasizes increased staking participation’s security and decentralization benefits. Matthieu Saint Olive, a senior product manager at Consensys, stated, 

“Having more users staking and more ETH staked is beneficial for Ethereum security.” 

Moreover, he highlighted that the validator infrastructure is distributed across various cloud providers, regions, and clients, further enhancing the network’s resilience.

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Validators earn interest on the coins they stake for their participation. However, risks are involved, such as the potential for “slashing,” where validators lose staked ETH if they fail to perform their duties or engage in malicious activities. Despite these risks, Saint Olive assured Consensys validators have operated smoothly since 2020 without slashing incidents.

Accessibility for the Majority

According to MetaMask, 99% of ETH holders still need to possess 32 ETH to become validators. Additionally, 74% of ETH is currently not staked, with much of the staked ETH concentrated in larger pools. This concentration poses a risk to the network’s decentralization.

MetaMask’s pooled staking service aims to democratize access to staking by allowing users with less than 32 ETH to participate. The service provides flexibility, as users can unstake their assets anytime, subject to the validators’ exit queue protocols. This approach enables a wider audience to engage in staking, contributing to a more decentralized and secure Ethereum network.

Despite its potential benefits, MetaMask’s staking service has yet to be available to users in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company is actively working to extend the service to these jurisdictions. Saint Olive noted that the regulatory landscape in the US is evolving, with ongoing developments in Ethereum staking policy. MetaMask plans to roll out the service in the US once the policy framework is clearer.

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Similarly, the UK is expected to provide additional regulatory guidance to modernize the current regime and offer greater clarity to the staking market. MetaMask anticipates these changes will make the service available to UK users soon.

Comparison to Liquid Staking

Joseph Lubin, CEO of Consensys and co-founder of Ethereum, compared MetaMask’s new service to liquid staking, highlighting its convenience. He explained, 

“You can kind of flip a switch, and you can, in a pretty liquid way, allocate small amounts or large amounts of Ether and pull them back quickly.”

This comparison underscores the service’s user-friendly nature. It allows users to easily participate in staking without committing large amounts of ETH. Quickly allocating and retrieving funds enhances the service’s attractiveness, particularly for users with limited assets.

Editorial credit: Iryna Budanova / Shutterstock.com


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Curtis Dye

Curtis is a cryptocurrency news and analytics author with a focus on DeFi, BLockchain, CeFi, NFTs etc. He has publication skills such as SEO optimization, Wordpress, Surfer tools and aids his viewers with insights on the volatile crypto industry.

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