A recent surge of negative sentiment against the decentralized staking protocol Rocket Pool (RPL) has puzzled data onlookers.
According to crypto analytics provider Santiment, RPL saw a spike in mentions on Nov. 6, topping the trending chart with 40% of that chatter’s negative tone.
The vitriol stands in stark contrast to the sunny outlook for Ethereum (ETH), which garnered over 54% positive and 29% negative sentiment on the same day.
What is Rocket Pool, and why the hate?
Rocket Pool aims to open up Ethereum staking to users who lack the 32 ETH needed to run a solo validator node. Using a tokenized staking system called rETH, users can stake with as little as 0.01 ETH and earn staking rewards.
The protocol also enables node operators to earn higher returns than solo staking by taking a cut of rewards from user deposits. Rocket Pool emphasizes decentralized governance and trustless operations in line with Ethereum’s guiding principles.
The latest controversy stems from Rocket Pool Proposal 30 (RPIP-30), currently up for a community vote. RPIP-30 would overhaul RPL emission schedules to align incentives better. The most contentious change is a new two-step withdrawal process that locks RPL for 28 days before it can be removed from the protocol.
While supporters argue this will discourage governance attacks, critics blast the move as antithetical to Rocket Pool’s ethos. Detractors also worry the change will trap assets and enrich early investors at the expense of newcomers.
Rocket Pool community advocate Jasper explained that he supports the change.
He further cited researchers at Nethermind who argue that node operators are sensitive to Rocket Pool’s annual percentage rate (APR), especially when the collateral is set at 10%. For this reason, the researchers suggested a 15% APR.
With the vote set to close on Nov. 17, the coming days will prove decisive for Rocket Pool. But regardless of the outcome, the heated debate highlights the growing governance pains Ethereum faces in its gradual transition to proof-of-stake.