Rocket Pool Adoption Surges After Atlas Upgrade
Liquid Staking Protocol Sees Influx Of Displaced Stakers From Kraken
By: Samuel HaigDeFi News
Rocket Pool is enjoying a surge in adoption following the successful deployment of its Atlas upgrade last week, which halved the amount of collateral that “minipool” operators must provide from 16 ETH to 8 ETH, significantly lowering the barriers for participating in Ethereum staking.
Users are currently staking 500,600 ETH via Rocket Pool, an increase of 11% since the April 17 upgrade went live, according to Dune Analytics. The platform is the fifth-largest staking provider behind Lido and centralized exchanges Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken.
“Our primary objectives were to facilitate seamless withdrawals and elevate Rocket Pool to the next level of scalability,” Darren Langley, general manager of Rocket Pool, told The Defiant. “Although it is still early, we are witnessing the fruition of these goals.”
The protocol’s RPL token rallied leading up to Atlas, with the token retesting its November 2021 high of roughly $61 on April 17, for a 200% gain since the start of 2023.
RPL Price. Source: Coingecko
However, RPL has tumbled 23% to $47 since Atlas went live on Apr. 17.
Staked ETH Withdrawals
Rocket Pool’s Atlas upgrade added support for staked ETH withdrawals, which were activated for the first time alongside Ethereum’s Shapella upgrades.
While Ethereum stakers usually must post collateral of 32 ETH to run a node, Rocket Pool’s minipools reduce that requirement, allowing users to source the remaining required Ether from liquidity providers. Users must also provide 2.4 ETH worth of Rocket Pool’s RPL token as collateral to launch a minipool.
Langley said Rocket Pool is “delighted” by the initial success of Atlas, noting that the number of minipools is up 26% in just two weeks.
“Our rETH capacity has significantly increased, allowing us to accommodate a growing influx of demand,” Langley said. “Node operators can access both their accumulated and ongoing rewards and can also fully withdraw their stake from the beacon chain.”
Atlas also allows solo stakers to migrate to Rocket Pool without needing to exit their validators.
Rocket Pool is also attracting some of Kraken’s displaced stakers.
Kraken announced it would shut down its custodial staking service in February after settling an SEC lawsuit alleging the service comprised an unregistered security offering. But as withdrawals were not yet activated at the time, users staking via Kraken had to wait until after Shapella to access their funds.
Kraken raced to withdraw customers’ ETH following Shapella, currently accounting for more than 35% of all withdrawn staked Ether with nearly 600,000 ETH, according to Nansen. The exchange launched a claims process for its ETH staking clients on Tuesday.
Despite the sizable withdrawals, Nansen estimates Kraken’s nodes still control more than 1.3M ETH.
On Monday, Torran G, a blockchain analyst, tweeted that more than 10,000 Ethereum validators were waiting to come online, suggesting Kraken’s displaced staking clients could be among the pending nodes.
“This is likely due to validator reshuffling, compounding of rewards into new validators, RocketPool 8-ETH bonded minipools since their Atlas upgrade, and institutional stakers that have been waiting for withdrawals,” they said.
“We’ve already seen movement of ETH from Kraken into $rETH,” tweeted Jasper, a Rocket Pool advocate.