Ethereum has grown so wide in use cases and applications that its proof of work consensus mechanism seems to be struggling with its high usage.
However, the upcoming Ethereum 2.0, which is supported by a proof of stake consensus mechanism, provides a better way for the Ethereum blockchain to handle transactions.
The proof of stake mechanism is supported by validators instead of mining which slows down ETH operations in proof of work. In proof of work, miners can only validate transactions by solving mathematical problems to earn rewards.
However, proof of stake allows validators to validate transactions by staking their tokens. Unfortunately, becoming a validator and contributing to the Ethereum blockchain has extremely high requirements.
To become a validator in the Ethereum blockchain, intending participants must stake at least 32 ETH. To be frank, not many people can afford to spare that. Staking here means you are locking your Ether coins to secure the Ethereum network.
Although the technical knowledge requirements for proof of stake are minimal, validators must allow their Ethrerem validator systems to run every time.
The disadvantages of owning an Ethereum validator independently continue to pile up, especially since stakers cannot withdraw their 32 ETH staking until withdrawal is enabled on Ethereum 2.0.
For many people, these requirements and their disadvantages are too much to bear financially. This is where ETH staking platforms like Lido come in handy.
What is Lido?
Lido is an Ethereum-based decentralized liquid staking platform for Ethereum. It offers an easy-to-use, user-friendly solution to stake a fraction of Ethereum, thereby lowering the cost of participating in securing the Ethereum blockchain.
Lido is beneficial since it allows users to join a validating pool without having to pay 32 ETH. Additionally, it eliminates the need to go through the stress of understanding the technical aspect of running the validator systems.
One important thing about Lido is the Liquid Staking feature. The platform offers ERC-20 stETH (Staked ETH) tokens that stakers can transfer freely while staking their ETH tokens.
Staking ETH on Lido qualifies stakers to receive a reward that is equal to the proportion of their staking in stETH. The stETH token represents stakers’ initial investment amount and daily token yields.
The stETH token is a 1:1 peg of regular ETH, and it can be used to lend or exchange across DEXes and protocols like Sushi and Curve.
Lido’s goal is to remove the entry barrier, requirements, and challenges associated with participating in the proof of stake mechanism of the Ethereum blockchain.
With Lido, you can stake your ETH tokens as freely as you like. You can also unstake it without worrying about withdrawal problems.
Staking and Unstaking Eth on Lido
Although staking Ethereum with Lido is easy and simple, unstaking it is not. Actually, there is no actual way of unstaking ETH. The only way to unstake ETH is by trading your stETH for ETH tokens on a decentralized exchange. So, when we mention ‘unstaking ETH’ it actually means swapping stETH to ETH tokens.
Lido rolled out support for freely unstaking ETH from their platform. Unfortunately, the support was canceled a few months later.
Meanwhile, that doesn’t mean stakers cannot unstake and withdraw their tokens from the platform. We’ll discuss the unstaking process in next section. But first let’s discuss about staking ETH on Lido.
Staking ETH on Lido enables you to passively earn an 8% APR yield return on your staked tokens.
For people who want to stake their tokens on Lido, here’s how to go about it:
Go to Lido’s website at Lido.fi on your web browser.
On the homepage, click STAKE NOW. This should take you to supported networks you can stake on Lido.
On the first option, choose STAKE NOW under Ethereum to stake your Ether tokens.
On the top right corner, click CONNECT WALLET. Accept Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.
Choose your preferred wallet option and approve the connection in the wallet. Once your wallet is connected to Lido, you can view available ETH tokens to stake.
Enter the amount of ETH you want to stake and tap STAKE.
Confirm the transaction in your wallet, and that’s all.
Once your staking is approved, the equivalent value of your staking will be represented in stETH. Your daily rewards will also be added to the stETH balance.
Steps to Unstake ETH on Lido
To unstake your ETH stakings on Lido, you need to use Curve Finance to unstake your stETH (or basically swapping your stETH to ETH). Curve Finance is a decentralized stable coin DEX on the Ethereum blockchain.
Here’s how to unstake ETH on Curve:
1. Visit Curve Finance
You first need to visit the official website of Curve Finance. Ensure you don’t visit any other phishing website which resembles Curve Finance.
2. Connect Wallet
On the homepage, click ‘Connect your wallet’ and choose the wallet that holds your stETH tokens. For Metamask wallets, select WalletConnect and pick Metamask from the available options. Approve connection in your wallet.
3. Choose stETH in the first field
Once you’re connected, choose stETH in the first field. This should show your stETH balance.
4. Choose the desired coin (or ETH) in the second field
Choose any stablecoin or ETH as the token you’re swapping your stETH tokens to.
5. Click ‘Sell’
Finally, click “SELL” to convert your stakedETH to ETH. Approve the transaction in your wallet.
And now you’ll have ETH in your metamask wallet. This is how you can unstake your ETH.
Is staking on Lido Worth it?
One of the primary watchwords of crypto and blockchain is the free ownership and decentralization that Lido offers.
With Lido, you have total control over your staked assets and yield rewards. As if that were not enough, you can unstake your assets at any time you want, regardless of the condition.
Although Centralised exchanges like Binance and Coinbase offer Ethrerem staking, your assets are totally locked off, and you won’t be able to access them till the lock period is over.
However, it is important to talk about the fee. While CEXes like Binance offer low fee staking for big and small volume traders, staking and unstaking with Lido incurs huge transaction fees.
Meanwhile, the transaction fee can take a larger percentage of your yield earning. Unfortunately, using Lido is not appropriate or recommended for traders staking small ETH volumes.
Yet, it is your best shot to having total control over your staked ETH assets.