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EigenLayer vs Symbiotic: Dive into The Restaking War

Discover the unique features and advantages of EigenLayer and Symbiotic, two cutting-edge restaking protocols shaping the future of blockchain security.




22 juin 2024

EigenLayer vs Symbiotic: A Comparative Analysis of Cutting-Edge Restaking Protocols

In the dynamic world of blockchain, the quest for secure and efficient decentralized networks is relentless. Enter EigenLayer vs Symbiotic, two groundbreaking platforms that are revolutionizing the landscape with innovative restaking protocols.

These platforms promise to redefine how security and utility are managed in decentralized ecosystems by enabling more efficient and versatile use of staked assets. Let's explore how EigenLayer and Symbiotic tackle these critical challenges and the implications of their respective approaches for the future of blockchain.

Understanding Restaking

Restaking is a novel mechanism in the blockchain world that builds on the concept of staking, where token holders lock their assets in a network to secure it and earn rewards. Restaking extends this idea by allowing staked tokens to be used for securing multiple services or protocols simultaneously. This approach enhances capital efficiency and security, as the same staked assets can now support a variety of applications without the need to increase the overall stake. By enabling this multi-use of staked tokens, restaking protocols like EigenLayer and Symbiotic are revolutionizing how security and utility are managed in decentralized ecosystems.

Eigenlayer has been the first project to launch restaking as a service for AVSs (Actively Validated Services), harnessing this way partnerships with many projects, and offering ethereum stakers an additional potential source of revenue.

As it happens in all markets, once projects start seeing demand for a specific product, potential competitors might arise and enter the market, and this is precisely what has happened with Symbiotic. Symbiotic restaking has seen a potential opportunity following a different approach, and the ecosystem is becoming more and more interested.

Symbiotic: Permissionless Restaking Protocol

Symbiotic, developed by Paradigm and Cyber Fund, is a permissionless protocol providing shared security through restaking. Symbiotic stands out with its flexible, modular architecture, allowing for the use of various assets as collateral and offering developers complete control over their restaking implementation.

The product they offer is essentially equal to that of Eigenlayer: the possibility to rent security throughout restaking an asset, leasing security of such assets to projects seeking to launch and renting it. The most novel introduction, as we will explore later in the article, is the approach Symbiotic has taken, offering vaults which will potentially accept a basket of assets to restake.

Key Features of Symbiotic:

  • Modular Architecture: Symbiotic's design allows developers to tailor the restaking protocol to their needs. This modular framework lets projects adjust security settings and integrate various assets, ensuring optimal performance

  • Permissionless Protocol: Symbiotic enables any developer to implement restaking strategies without needing special permissions. This inclusivity fosters innovation and broadens the ecosystem

  • Diverse Collateral: Initially supports staked ETH variants (ex: Binance Staked Ether, Swell Staked Ether, Lido Staked Ether…) with plans to expand to a broad range of ERC-20 assets.

  • Vault Management: Vaults in Symbiotic handle deposits, withdrawals, slashing, reward distribution, and delegation strategies. This comprehensive system ensures secure and seamless restaking operations

  • Operator Flexibility: Operators can select and configure nodes based on performance and other criteria.

By integrating these features, Symbiotic not only enhances the restaking landscape but also positions itself as a leading solution for developers aiming to maximize security and efficiency in blockchain projects. For a detailed overview, visit our Symbiotic presentation article.

Core Components of Symbiotic:

  1. Networks: Symbiotic supports a variety of networks, including appchains, rollups, and application-specific virtual machines (AVVs)

  2. Operators: Operators manage the network’s infrastructure and execute the protocol. They select and configure nodes based on performance, ensuring optimal operation and security

  3. Resolvers: These entities or contracts manage slashing penalties and maintain network security, ensuring that any malicious activities are penalized to uphold the network's integrity

EigenLayer: Leading Restaking Protocol

EigenLayer has introduced Actively Validated Services (AVS) throughout the last couple of months, marking a significant advancement in blockchain security and efficiency. By utilizing Ethereum restaking, EigenLayer enables developers to harness Ethereum's robust security infrastructure without the need to create new cryptographic systems. This approach optimizes capital efficiency and enhances security by decoupling from native token volatility.

Restaking allows AVSs to benefit from renting security in 'hard currency' rather than building a new security system from scratch. This method optimizes cost-effectiveness and scalability, making it an attractive option for developers. Furthermore, restaking enables the use of liquid staking tokens with validators in other networks, which increases rewards and bolsters security in Proof of Stake (PoS) networks. This flexibility and efficiency are key advantages for AVS developers looking to maximize their project's security and economic viability.

Key Features of EigenLayer:

  • Restaking Mechanism: EigenLayer utilizes staked ETH (ex: Coinbase Staked Ether, Lido Staked Ether…) to secure new AVSs with updated slashing conditions, enhancing capital efficiency.

  • Security and Efficiency: Developers can leverage Ethereum's existing security, reducing costs and complexities associated with building new systems.

  • Flexibility: EigenLayer supports the use of liquid staking tokens, which increases rewards for participants while bolstering security within Proof of Stake (PoS) networks. This flexibility allows projects to maintain liquidity without compromising on security.

  • Diverse AVS Support: EigenLayer supports a variety of AVSs, tackling topics from oracles to gaming and data availability. This diversity enables developers to leverage EigenLayer’s infrastructure for a multitude of applications

Examples of AVS on EigenLayer:

  1. EigenDA: EigenDA helps reduce the data storage burden on Ethereum, facilitating more efficient transactions and improved scalability for rollups

  2. Brevis: Introduces a ZK Coprocessor model for dApp development, lowering costs, reducing latency, and improving user experience through Zero-Knowledge proofs

  3. Altlayer: Provides comprehensive security services for rollups, ensuring decentralized verification, accelerated finality, and censorship-resistant transaction sequencing

  4. Eoracle: Develops Ethereum-native oracle solutions, delivering reliable real-world data feeds for decentralized applications

  5. Omni: Creates a unified DeFi experience across all Layer 2 solutions, leveraging Ethereum’s security for seamless cross-rollup communication

EigenLayer vs Symbiotic

Now that we have solid understanding on the foundations of both protocols and how they approach restaking, we can compare Symbiotic vs EigenLayer about what they are offering and how they are offering it.

Security and Efficiency

  • EigenLayer: Offers enhanced security by leveraging Ethereum's existing validator network and staked ETH, providing a robust and cost-effective solution.

  • Symbiotic: Provides a flexible security model, allowing the use of various assets as collateral and offering a customizable approach to restaking.

Flexibility and Customization

  • EigenLayer: Focuses on Ethereum-based assets and offers a variety of AVS tailored for specific applications, such as oracles, gaming, and data availability.

  • Symbiotic: Features a modular architecture, enabling developers to use any ERC-20 asset as collateral and providing extensive customization options for vault management and operator selection.

Ecosystem and Adoption

  • EigenLayer: Integrates seamlessly with Ethereum's existing infrastructure, attracting projects that want to leverage Ethereum's security without building new systems.

  • Symbiotic: Aims to be a unified capital coordination layer for all asset types, offering a broader scope of applications and attracting diverse projects seeking flexible and customizable security solutions.

Slashing and Governance

  • EigenLayer: Includes specific governance mechanisms for handling slashing and rewards.

  • Symbiotic: Slashing takes place at the vault level, and this can be delegated to either to the contract creator/vault operator, or it can be set and immutable, offering more versatility.

Future Outlook of the Restaking War

As the restaking landscape evolves, the competition between EigenLayer vs Symbiotic highlights the strategic importance of leveraging restaked assets for enhanced blockchain security and utility.

Strategic Influence of Restaking Tokens (LRTs)

Restaking tokens (LRTs) such as Etherfi/Renzo play a crucial role in bridging stakers and Actively Validated Services (AVSs). Marketplaces like Symbiotic and EigenLayer may issue their own LRTs to maintain control and balance power within the ecosystem. A competitive market ensures balanced power dynamics, preventing any single entity from dominating.

Mellow Protocol is emerging as a significant player by supporting both Symbiotic and EigenLayer. It enhances liquidity and rewards for participants, contributing to the ecosystem's overall growth. By depositing funds into Mellow, users earn points from both Symbiotic and EigenLayer, demonstrating Mellow's integrative approach to restaking.

Karak, another innovative protocol, is gaining traction by focusing on optimizing restaking processes. Karak aims to streamline operations and improve security measures, positioning itself as a key player in the restaking market.

Exclusive AVS/Network Partnerships and Subsidies

To differentiate themselves, restaking marketplaces may secure exclusive AVS or network partnerships, akin to exclusive game titles driving console sales. This strategy can foster adoption and loyalty among restakers seeking unique opportunities.

Many AVSs and networks initially lack funds for operator payments. Restaking marketplaces may advance these payments, anticipating future returns through airdrops or token allocations. This competitive edge in business development and market positioning will be critical moving forward.

Long-Term Vision: AVS Graduation from Marketplaces

As AVSs mature, they may transition away from restaking marketplaces, opting to use their own tokens and validators. This dynamic is reminiscent of dating apps, where successful users eventually leave the platform, presenting a retention challenge. Marketplaces will need innovative strategies to address this potential churn.

Final Verdict: EigenLayer vs Symbiotic

Both EigenLayer and Symbiotic present innovative approaches to enhancing blockchain security through restaking. EigenLayer leverages Ethereum's robust network to provide secure and efficient solutions for decentralized applications, while Symbiotic offers a highly customizable and permissionless protocol, enabling the use of various assets as collateral.

As the blockchain ecosystem continues to evolve, the unique features and capabilities of EigenLayer vs Symbiotic will play crucial roles in shaping the future of decentralized security. Developers and network operators must carefully evaluate their specific needs and goals to choose the protocol that best aligns with their projects.

Restaking marketplaces are evolving to offer a full suite of microservices for Web3, mirroring the role of cloud providers like AWS, and it is an exciting outcome for the industry.

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Get started with staking

Dive into blockchain governance with Imperator. Join our staking program for up-to-the-minute updates and take an active role in shaping the future of decentralized finance.

Latest popular protocol

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