DeFi Rides the Wave of Renewed Interest with Rising Restaking Trend

By Aaron Feuerstein February 10, 2024 In Cryptocurrency, DeFi, Ethereum
Source: Adobe Stock
  • The DeFi sector is witnessing a resurgence with USD $64.7bn in total value locked (TVL), driven largely by Ethereum and its layer-2 networks.
  • Restaking, especially with EigenLayer, is becoming a key driver for growth in the DeFi space.
  • While restaking offers potential returns similar to earning interest, it comes with risks.
  • EigenLayer’s TVL has been soaring to over USD $5.66bn, following a decision to remove deposit caps to encourage more investments.

The decentralised finance (DeFi) sector is experiencing something of a comeback amid what seems renewed interest in the area and buzz about new developments. The total DeFi sector currently holds USD $64.7bn (AUD $100bn) in total value locked (TVL).

TVL is a key metric in DeFi, especially as a growth indicator. The sector hasn’t seen these sorts of volumes since 2022 – with most of the activity coming from Ethereum and its layer-2 networks, accounting for a whopping USD $37.7bn (AUD $58bn) in TVL.

Source: DeFiLlama

Restaking Becomes Driver for DeFi Growth

Much of the growth in the DeFi sector can be attributed to liquid staking and restaking – both fairly recent innovations, dominating the DeFi narrative.

So, what exactly is restaking?


Imagine you’ve earned rewards from staking your crypto, contributing to the security and operation of a blockchain network. Restaking is the process of reinvesting these staking rewards to earn even more.

It’s like putting your winnings back into the game, using the rewards you’ve earned to further increase your potential earnings.

EigenLayer: Introducing Rehypothecation for Staked ETH

EigenLayer introduces a revolutionary concept to restaking. Traditional restaking involves reinvesting your staking rewards to compound your earnings within the same network.

In contrast, EigenLayer’s approach allows you to leverage your already staked assets to participate in and secure additional networks or applications – also called rehypothecation for staked ETH.

This gives users more options for their staked capital, enabling the ETH you’ve staked through EigenLayer to be reused across multiple platforms, thereby enhancing the security and interoperability within the blockchain ecosystem.

This is a shift towards more efficient capital allocation, allowing participants to support a wider range of protocols without additional investment.

Beware: Risk Involved

Of course, there is risk, this is crypto after all. If the value of your staked crypto takes a nosedive, your investment might not look as fresh. Then there’s the lock-up period to consider. Some staking arrangements require you to lock up your assets for a certain time, during which you can’t access them.

If you need to get your hands on your coins quickly, you might be stuck. So, while restaking can be a smart move, it’s worth weighing up the potential downsides before diving in.

There are also risks specific to EigenLayer, these include the potential for validator collusion, unintended slashing vulnerabilities, and reliance on a complex rebalancing algorithm.

EigenLayer’s Impressive Growth

As mentioned EigenLayer is an Ethereum restaking protocol, and has become the fifth-largest DeFi protocol as its TVL skyrocketed to over USD $5.66bn (AUD $8.72bn), marking a 231% increase in the past month.

EigenLayer, source: DeFiLlama

This growth, part of a 2250% increase since mid-December, was spurred by EigenLayer’s decision to temporarily remove deposit caps for all tokens, a move aimed at boosting deposits while maintaining a commitment to decentralisation. 

This strategy not only attracted a significant influx of investment but also positioned EigenLayer for further expansion by making it more accessible to investors.

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

You may also like