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MetaMask rolls out Validator Staking, opening path for user-run Ethereum nodes

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MetaMask rolls out Validator Staking, opening path for user-run Ethereum nodes

MetaMask, the non-custodial wallet developed by Consensys, has launched Validator Staking on MetaMask Portfolio, enabling users to run their own Ethereum validator nodes but with a 10% fee.

As per the Jan. 18 announcement, the feature will allow users to operate their Ethereum validator node without the complexities of pooling or the need for specialized hardware.

MetaMask will operate validator nodes for stakeholders who deposit 32 Ether (ETH), a commitment valued at approximately $78,752 based on the current Ethereum market prices.

The crypto wallet provider will ensure the security and efficient management of these nodes, promising to streamline staking rewards while mitigating risks associated with slashing and downtime.

Slashing, a penalty mechanism in the Ethereum network, results in validators losing a part of their stakes for misbehavior, such as incorrect block attestation or inactivity.

Consensys, managing the new service, boasts a commendable track record, having operated without any slashing penalties for over two years, managing more than $2 billion in ETH across over 33,000 validators.

The service may appeal particularly to beginners or advocates of decentralization, as it addresses concerns about centralization linked with large liquid staking providers like Lido.

However, the service is not without costs. Staking through MetaMask offers an annual yield of 3.8%, from which the platform deducts a 10% commission on validator rewards.

The fee structure has drawn criticism from some industry experts, like Lefteris Karapetsas, founder of Rotkiapp, who pointed out the relative unattractiveness of the service compared to other options in the market.

The net yields from staking through MetaMask, after accounting for its fees, are comparable to the 3.4% offered by Lido.

In the broader context of Ethereum staking, Lido currently stands as the predominant liquid staking platform, with about 40% of the total 28.8 million ETH staked, which translates to around $22.9 billion.

Ethereum holders also have the option of using centralized exchanges for staking, such as Coinbase, though they charge a significantly higher 25% cut on staking rewards.

This latest development follows MetaMask’s recent expansion of its global footprint. In December, the company announced new partnerships in several countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Egypt, and Chile, aiming to offer users more localized options.

Through collaborations with various payment solutions, such as VietQR, GCash, and QRIS, MetaMask is making strides in integrating its services into the financial ecosystems of these regions.

Metamask also extended its reach to Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea, offering additional support for local transfers through strategic alliances with Unlimit, a borderless payment solution, and TransFi.