MetaMask Adds Pooled Ethereum Staking Service—But Not for US or UK

MetaMask, a leading Ethereum wallet and browser extension, has announced the launch of its pooled staking service, allowing users to stake any amount of ETH. This service aims to enable users to contribute to the network’s security and earn rewards, even if they do not meet the 32 ETH requirement to become a validator. However, the service will not initially be available in the United States or United Kingdom due to regulatory restrictions in these countries.

In the U.S., the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has imposed significant penalties on crypto staking services, considering them unregistered offerings of securities. This crackdown has affected platforms like Kraken and Coinbase. In the UK, while the situation is less dire, there is still a lack of clarity regarding staking and stablecoin rules. However, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury has expressed confidence in implementing these rules in the coming months.

The regulatory challenges and lack of clarity have spurred some members of the Ethereum community to advocate for further decentralization of the network. Currently, the U.S. dominates the number of validator nodes, followed by Germany, South Korea, and the UK. MetaMask’s pooled staking service aims to provide users with simplicity and control over their ETH, while Consensys Staking, the company behind MetaMask, boasts zero slashed validators and a high validator participation rate.

MetaMask’s entrance into the pooled staking market will pit it against established players like Lido and Coinbase. Lido, the largest liquid staking platform, offers users the ability to stake ETH and earn stETH tokens, which can be utilized in DeFi applications with an annual percentage yield (APY) of around 3.8%. Coinbase, despite its staking service limitations, remains the second-largest provider in the market by a significant margin.

Overall, MetaMask’s new pooled staking service aims to offer users an attractive option for staking ETH and contributing to Ethereum’s security, although its availability is currently limited to certain regions. As the service expands, it will compete with other established players in the market for a share of the staked ETH.