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Wrapped eETH

Last Updated: March 19, 2024

weETH is a wrapped non-rebasing ERC-20 version of the token eETH.

eETH, a rebasing ERC-20 liquid staking token, is the primary product of ether.fi, a decentralized, non-custodial liquid staking protocol for Ethereum which also allows for the creation of a node services marketplace.Holding weETH allows users to gain native ETH staking rewards and EigenLayer Rewards, all while being able to participate and earn additional rewards in other DeFi protocols on Ethereum and compatible L2s.

There main differentiators for this protocol are:

  • Stakers hold their own staked ETH keys while delegating staking
  • Withdrawals are enabled – you can always redeem eETH for 1 ETH
  • Stakers maintain their token’s composability for use in DeFi

Background

ether.fi was founded in 2022 by Mike Silagadze and Rok Kopp to build a non-custodial ETH staking protocol for liquid staking that “allows stakers to retain control of their keys while delegating validator operations to node operators.” The ether.fi Foundation team believes “decentralized, non-custodial staking is an essential and foundational good for Ethereum.”

Launch

  • On May 3, 2023, ether.fi launched its mainnet, which included delegated staking of ETH to whitelisted validators.
  • On November 15, 2023, eETH fully launched, allowing anyone to mint eETH for ETH at a 1:1 ratio.

How does ether.fi work?

How Ethereum staking works

Staking offers crypto holders a way to earn passive income by locking up digital assets with a blockchain platform to help run it and maintain its security. It is made possible through the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism which is a method used by certain blockchains, including Ethereum to select honest participants and verify new additional data blocks.

Node operators will be required to stake $ETHFI as “skin in the game” in order to ensure the nodes operate with minimal slashing risk. Once a node operator is approved by the community, they will deposit a specific amount of $ETHFI per node before receiving delegated validator keys. This stake needs to be maintained in order to continue operating the node. Rewards are derived from consensus rewards, transaction fees and maximum extractable value (MEV).

Liquid versus non-liquid staking

Liquid staking allows users to access their tokens while they are staked. It allows stakers to delegate their Ether to node operators and receive a tokenized representation redeemable for the tokens staked. This new token can also be traded or used as collateral in DeFi protocols, thereby unlocking the liquidity of the staked assets. Traditional staking, on the other hand, requires users to lock up their tokens for a certain period of time to become validators on the network and earn rewards.

 

Liquid staking tokens (LST)

An LST is a utility token issued upon securing a PoS blockchain by depositing native cryptocurrency in a dedicated protocol. There are three main LST types:

  • Rebase tokens: tokens that automatically adjust their balance in response to deposits. For example, eETH is a rebasing ERC-20 token that is a 1:1 representation of ETH. Rather than the price of eETH appreciating against ETH as staking rewards accrue, a user’s balance of eETH rebase daily to reflect the earning of rewards.
  • Reward-bearing tokens: tokens that increase in value over time, with the value and rewards determined by the changing exchange rate between the token and the staked asset.
  • Wrapped tokens: certain LST, such as eETH are available in a wrapped version, weETH and after wrapping, these tokens no longer experience automatic balance adjustments and become reward-bearing tokens. Changes in the balances of wrapped tokens are achieved through minting, burning, or transferring.

 

Liquid staking risks

While liquid staking aims to mitigate risks, there are no guarantees that assets will remain completely secure. Risks include:

  • Exposure to risks in broader DeFi markets – such as from vulnerabilities or bugs in such smart contracts, or attacks on the underlying PoS network.
  • Market volatility which can create negative impact to LST value – not only are LST prices not pegged to underlying assets, but also their trading volumes are typically lower than that of the underlying assets.
  • Slashing due to validators who do not live up to the expected values – loss of assets can trickle down to users with staked assets.

 

ether.fi benefits

With ether.fi, the staker controls their keys and retains custody of their ETH which reduces risk, while delegating staking to a node operator. The ether.fi mechanism also mints an NFT for every validator that is launched via the protocol. weETH is minted from a liquidity pool that contains these NFTs. These NFTs control the ETH staked and store metadata related to the validator. These NFTs can be used to create a programmable layer on top of staking infrastructure.

ether.fi also collaborates with EigenLayer, a native restaking solution that borrow’s Ethereum’s security offerings to validate new applications on the networks and allows stakers to earn additional rewards on ETH.

 

ether.fi staking rewards

Except for solo stakers, the staking minimum is .001 ETH which mints the equivalent amount of eETH. On top of an annual percentage rate (APR) and potential restaking rewards from EigenLayer, for each 0.001 ETH staked via ether.fi, a user earns one ether.fi “Loyalty Point” per day. The ether.fi whitepaper states, “Loyalty Points will play a role in decentralized governance.”

Forks and Airdrops: While Bullish makes no commitments regarding potential or proposed forks or airdrops, or its support for or listing of new cryptocurrencies involved in forks or airdrops, Bullish expects that it the future it will seek to support significant airdrops on weETH. Any announcements we make regarding such topics will be communicated via email, our website and/or social media. Please refer to the Bullish Exchange Terms of Service for additional information

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