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How to Restake on Symbiotic

How to get started with EigenLayer's big challenger.
William M. Peaster William M. Peaster Jul 8, 20244 min read
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How to Restake on Symbiotic

EigenLayer changed the game by introducing the restaking primitive to the Ethereum ecosystem, yet it was only a matter of time until challengers rose up and started trying to beat EigenLayer at its own game!

The big challenger making a big splash lately is Symbiotic, a new restaking protocol that aims to offer restakers more options beyond just ETH. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the big ideas of Symbiotic and then show you how to get started with your first deposits 👇


What Is Symbiotic?

Launched in June 2024, Symbiotic is a shared security protocol for network builders to create and manage their own staking implementations in a permissionless fashion. 

In other words, Symbiotic lets networks customize their staking processes, collateral types, node operator selection, rewards, and slashing mechanisms, all while maintaining security through non-upgradeable core contracts on Ethereum.

via DefiLlama

Notably, Symbiotic is already the second-largest restaking protocol behind only EigenLayer. Yet unlike EigenLayer, which is centered around ETH, Symbiotic offers a wide array of collateral options for more flexibility.


via Symbiotic

How Does Symbiotic Work?

Symbiotic operates through the coordination of its five main pillars. These elements are as follows:

  1. 🪙 Collateral — The onchain assets used to provide economic security in Symbiotic. These can include ERC20 tokens, Ethereum validator withdrawal credentials, and other assets across various blockchains.
  2. 🛅 Vaults — These customizable components act as Symbiotic’s delegation and restaking layer. They handle deposits, withdrawals, slashings, and reward distributions. 
  3. 🦸 Operators — The entities that run infrastructure for networks, such as validators and sequencers. Operators can opt into networks and receive economic backing from restakers through vaults.
  4. ⛑️ Resolvers — These are the entities or smart contracts tasked with passing or vetoing slashing penalties incurred by operators. They ensure penalties are fairly arbitrated.
  5. 🌐 Networks — Protocols requiring decentralized infra to deliver services, such as transaction sequencing, data consensus, and protocol automation. Symbiotic allows network builders to manage the onboarding, incentivizing, and penalizing of operators and their delegators.

Why Symbiotic?

It makes sense that there won’t just be one winner in the restaking category. And among the field of contenders, Symbiotic currently looks like the protocol best positioned to give EigenLayer a run for its money in the months ahead. 

That said, if you’re generally bullish on restaking, then Symbiotic is a project to consider because it’s early, promising, and has plenty of potential to grow with its differentiation via ERC-20 support. 

Of course, a Symbiotic airdrop is also a likelihood not to be ignored. EigenLayer has EIGEN, and it seems inevitable that the Symbiotic Points system will be used to go a similar route in facilitating an airdrop of a native token to early users. Restake now; get paid later. 

Lastly, there are some interesting Symbiotic integrations live today that offer double-whammy earning opportunities. One is Mellow, a liquid restaking token (LRT) project offering Mellow Points and Symbiotic Points to users who deposit into Symbiotic through its platform. 

via Mellow

How to Restake on Symbiotic

If you’re interested in restaking on Symbiotic, head over to https://app.symbiotic.fi/restake and connect your wallet. Note that some regions are geo-blocked from accessing the front end. 

On the main “Restaking” page, you’ll see the list of vaults for offer like the one in the picture below. Note that some vaults, like the Wrapped Lido Staked Ether (wstETH) one, have currently reached their temporary deposit limits, while other vaults, e.g., Coinbase Wrapped Staked Ether (cbETH), are still open for depositors. 

So let’s say you have some cbETH, and you want to start staking. Simply click on the cbETH vault, which will take you to an interface like this:

At this point, you’d simply input your desired deposit amount, and then complete the ensuing transaction to begin restaking. You can withdraw your funds through this same interface or track your deposits and points through the Dashboard page as needed. 

Note that if you’re interested in doubling up your points by restaking through Mellow, the depositing process is virtually identical. Pick your vault, input your desired deposit amount, complete the transaction, and then the points will flow.

via Mellow

Zooming Out

As the restaking ecosystem evolves, protocols like Symbiotic can significantly impact how network security and economic incentives are managed across the cryptoeconomy. 

With its modular design and support for ERC-20 collateral, Symbiotic challenges the existing restaking paradigm and also opens new avenues for innovation and flexibility.

How will Symbiotic’s approach influence other protocols, and what new opportunities will arise from its capabilities? We’ll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, it’s a project worth watching and trying!

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William M. Peaster

Written by William M. Peaster

635 Articles View all      

William M. Peaster, Senior Writer, has been with Bankless since January 2021. Immersed in Ethereum since 2017, he writes the Metaversal newsletter on the onchain frontier, covering everything from AI projects to crypto games, as the team’s lead NFT analyst. With a background in creative writing, he writes fiction and publishes art on Ethereum in his free time. He lives in Washington.

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