Just in time for Ethereum’s consequential Shanghai update, which will soon allow users to withdraw ether (ETH) they’ve “staked” to help secure the network, popular wallet provider MetaMask is taking a swing at helping more users stake in the first place.
ConsenSys, the company behind MetaMask, said on Friday it is adding a staking feature to MetaMask Portfolio – its newly launched one-stop shop for users to view their crypto holdings and send (or “bridge”) them between different blockchains. MetaMask’s new staking feature will allow users to stake via Lido or Rocket Pool, the two leading community-led validator services.
Staking via Lido and Rocket Pool involves locking up one’s ether in a smart contract on the blockchain, where it will accrue rewards. Currently, this usually requires visiting Lido and Rocket Pool’s respective websites.
“By allowing staking through the MetaMask Portfolio dapp, we are providing MetaMask users with a convenient way to interact with staking providers,” Abad Mian, product manager at MetaMask, said in a statement shared with CoinDesk.
Staked ether – and whatever rewards it accrues – will remain impossible for users to withdraw until Ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade expected in March. Liquid staking services such as Lido and Rocket Pool get around this limitation by giving their depositors tokens representing a one-to-one claim on their staked ETH. These tokens, Lido’s stETH and RocketPool’s rETH, tend to trade on the open market at a slight discount to normal ETH, offering stakers a way to enter and exit staking positions even as withdrawals are currently locked.
With MetaMask staking, “customers can swap their stETH and rETH back to ETH via MetaMask Swaps, subject to certain fees,” ConsenSys said in a statement.
Representatives for ConsenSys declined CoinDesk’s interview request in advance of this article. When asked via email if MetaMask would expand staking to other staking services or to blockchains in addition to Ethereum, Mian said ConsenSys aimed to make staking via MetaMask the “easiest and most convenient way to stake across Web3.”