In decentralized finance (DeFi), Ethereum (ETH) liquid staking has become a significant market valued at over $15 billion. This market is set to see a significant boost with the upcoming Shapella upgrade, which is expected to unlock the entire liquid staking market in less than a week, according to DeFi researcher Thor Hartvigsen.
Liquid staking allows users to earn staking rewards while maintaining the flexibility to use their stakes assets for other purposes. It’s a win-win situation for both the protocol and the user, as it helps to secure Ethereum’s network while generating additional revenue for the user. With this said, what protocols are better positioned to benefit from the next Ethereum Shapella upgrade?
3 Protocols To Watch Ahead Of Ethereum Shapella Upgrade
Liquid staking has become an increasingly popular way for investors to earn rewards on their Ethereum holdings while maintaining flexibility in their usage. According to Hartvigsen, since the start of the year, the total amount of ETH staked via liquid staking has increased by a significant 21%, from 6.8 million to over 8 million ETH.
However, despite the benefits of liquid staking, there has been a lingering concern among investors regarding the risk of being unable to unstaked or redeem their liquid-staked assets at their true value. Fortunately, the upcoming Shapella upgrade is set to address these issues.
According to Hartvigsen, few protocols have gained market share and are well positioned to continue the increasing trend of liquid staking post-Shapella. These protocols include:
- Rocket Pool is a DeFi staking network that allows users to stake any amount of ETH, regardless of the size of their holdings. The platform has been gaining traction in the market, as evidenced by its recent Q1 stats.
In the first quarter of the year, Rocket Pool saw an inflow of 90,000 ETH staked on the protocol, a significant increase from the previous quarter and indicative of the growing demand for liquid staking services. Rocket Pool’s market share increased from 4.9% to 5.3% in the first quarter.
- Lido Finance is a liquid staking protocol that allows users to stake their ETH and receive a tokenized representation of their staked ETH, known as stETH. The platform has been gaining momentum in the market.
In the first months of the year, Lido Finance saw an inflow of 1.09 million ETH staked on the protocol, representing a significant increase of over 22% from the previous quarter. Despite a slight decrease in market share from 74% to 72%, Lido Finance remains a dominant player in the liquid staking market, according to Hartvigsen. In addition, Lido Finance’s native token, LDOUSD, has seen a significant increase in value. It has risen by 152% in the first quarter.
- StakeWise is also well-positioned ahead of the upcoming Shapella upgrade. StakeWise is a prominent DeFi staking platform that allows users to stake ETH and receive a fixed interest rate. The platform has been steadily gaining popularity in the market.
In Q1, StakeWise saw an inflow of 10,000 ETH staked on the protocol, according to Hartvigsen, representing a solid increase of 12% from the end of 2023. Furthermore, the platform generated $1.68 million in fees during the first quarter.
In addition to its strong market performance, StakeWise’s native token, SWISEUSD, has seen a significant increase in value, which has risen 128% in the first quarter of 2023.
According to Hartvigsen, as the Ethereum liquid staking market expands, each protocol has arguments for future growth. According to the researcher, the ETH liquid staking market is set to experience significant growth in the coming months and years.