Liquid Staking Derivatives (LSD) is a relatively new industry that is disrupting how people earn rewards and how they interact with financial products. Token holders are given a derivative for their original token, which they can put to additional use, gaining rewards from two tokens instead of one.
unshETH.xyz is striving to take this industry a step further with a unified ERC-20 token (unshETH). All liquid staking derivative tokens on the Ethereum network can be swapped for this one token, increasing accessibility. Moreover, unshETH is taking a completely new approach to Liquid Staking Derivatives.
unshETH is aiming to ensure decentralization of Ethereum validator nodes, y allowing users to delegate with whom their eth should be staked. The protocol will also be open source, so that any other LSD provider can copy their features. This will help to strengthen and improve the overall ecosystem.
Decentralization of Ethereum Validator Nodes
Ethereum runs on validator nodes. These nodes ensure that the industry is impervious to a 51% attack and that transactions are legitimate. To ensure the longevity and viability of the Ethereum ecosystem, it is important that Ethereum validators are decentralized.
Currently, it costs nearly $50,000 (32 ETH) to run a validator node. This is not a flaw – the high price ensures that only those who are committed to the Ethereum ecosystem will invest for a long-time horizon. It also ensures that no single actor owns too many nodes, given the cost. The staked 32 ETH cannot be withdrawn, at least until the Shanghai Upgrade this March.
But while the overall validator nodes on Ethereum are increasing in their decentralization via the overall numbers, this has not been the case for Liquid Staking Derivative validators. The unshETH team witnessed this firsthand, having developed some of the first LSD’s themselves.
To this end, the core aim of unshETH is Ethereum validator node decentralization for liquid derivatives. One means they use to achieve this is that validator rewards decrease with the total amount staked. This should serve to greatly disincentivize centralization. The second is incentive engineering, whereby capital is distributed across the LSD ecosystem to promote decentralization.
The Benefits of Liquid Staking Derivatives
Liquid Staking provides multiple benefits for decentralized finance (DeFi) users. A derivative token is given to a user when the original token is staked. In this manner, the DeFi native gets staking rewards for the original token and can put the derivative token to a different use.
The use cases of liquid staking are innumerable. All traditional derivative products within the financial markets (such as futures and options) can be placed on a blockchain, with additional risk mitigation and transparency features. This would be done with a much smaller amount of red tape.
But all of these benefits can only come to fruition when the core network is sufficiently decentralized. unshETH provides a variety of mechanisms to restore decentralization for LSD nodes on Ethereum. It does this in an open source manner so that all other providers can assist with one of the most pressing issues of Web3 – node decentralization.
Why unshETH is a Game Changer for Liquid Staking Derivatives
unshETH allows liquid token holders to exchange their Liquid Staking Derivative assets (such as stETH or cbETH – built by Lido and Coinbase respectively) into one unified asset: unshETH. This is different from other providers that offer various derivatives for various tokens, resulting in a messy string of derivative pairs to keep track of. Moreover, they are focused on bringing back decentralization to the Ethereum LSD market.
Most, if not all, of the other LSD providers are not focused on assisting in decentralization of validators. They are interested in taking a profit through fees. unshETH is Ethereum-specific and takes a more streamlined approach with its unified token. This will restore integrity to the ecosystem.
unshETH aims to restore validator decentralization to the Liquid Staking Derivatives industry through incentive engineering, an idea that was strongly endorsed by Vitalik Buterin, the original Ethereum founder. This alone sets it apart from other providers. unshETH further allows liquid holders to consolidate a variety of derivatives into one functional and tradable unified token.
Users will be able to withdraw tokens after the Ethereum Shanghai upgrade in March. This is when the full version of unshETH will be unlocked. The unshETH team will then roll out Validator Dominance Options, a brand new DeFi derivative designed to add another layer of enforcement of decentralization, by redistributing staking yield away from monopolistic LSD providers via a novel mechanism.
UnshETH is a decentralized initiative for disrupting the dominance of a single Liquid Staking Derivative (LSD) on the Ethereum network by incentivizing the diversification of validator ownership through the use of incentive engineering. The core mission of unshETH is to ensure decentralization of Ethereum validator nodes, restoring original design principles. The protocol increases LSD market accessibility and helps users unlock the power of liquid staking derivatives in a fully decentralized manner.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.