Layoffs at crypto firms have grabbed the headlines in the aftermath of FTX’s collapse, but it’s not all grim news in the sector. None of the staking firms the The Block spoke to reported dismissals, and a few are actively hiring.
The Ethereum network has yet to introduce a means for the withdrawal of staked ETH, so those who do stake are in relatively long positions. Staking providers still see hundreds of millions of dollars in assets locked or under management. With an operational runway otherwise secured by funding for most organizations, most staking providers appear to be focused on growth and increasing revenue streams — without staff cuts.
Here's a look at six staking firms and how they're faring in the current market.
Everstake, a decentralized staking provider, is no stranger to crypto winters, having been founded in the last downturn. The self-funded — and profitable — business said it took “top-notch” risk management “to overcome the hurdles associated with recession,” head of growth Vlad Likhuta told The Block.
“The company never ceased to be profitable, even now, even after the fall of Terra, and other major shocks that stressed the market this year,” he said, adding that Everstake validates more than 70 blockchains.
“The obvious upside to that is the fact that the large number of blockchain networks we support allows us to wait when some of them face a hard time,” Likhuta said. “So, we keep evolving no matter what.”
Everstake neither owns nor manages its delegator’s assets; however, Likhuta said “more than 625,000 users delegated over $1 billion worth of different tokens to us.”
To grow revenue, in addition to keeping developers focused on uptime, Everstake is exploring new wallet partnerships, joining new protocols and cultivating communities across the blockchains it supports, he said.
Non-custodial staking provider Luganodes is still in a growth phase and is hiring despite industry-wide restructuring, CEO Anuj Shankar told The Block via email. The company has more than a year of runway and $500 million in staked assets under its management, and it is building out channels to grow.
Otherwise, Luganodes is seeking to increase revenue by gauging which liquid staking protocols it should engage with — if any — and building its staking platform to offer institutional and retail customers portfolio transparency, he said.
With enough demonstrated customer demand, Luganodes will also explore building a Staking API Platform.
Staking service provider InfStones is operating above break-even and doesn’t need external capital, the platform’s head of global marketing Al Leong told The Block.
The team is expanding with a continued focus on developers and sales, Leon said, but it is also “consistently trying to minimize expenses.”
To increase profit margins, the company is “continuously integrating more blockchain protocols on our platform so that we can serve more customers in different ecosystems,” Leon said.
Staking company Figment raised $110 million in a Series C round, led by Thoma Bravo in late 2021, said its director of protocol strategy Clayton Menzel, adding that the company continues to be well funded.
However, in an effort to “deliver the best-in-class staking product to institutions,” Figment “made the decision to pause serving application developers with full nodes and staking and developer APIs,” he said. The service remains available to staking customers.
Figment is looking to liquid staking and rewards optimization through MEV solutions to boost revenue, Menzel added.
If it charged money on Ethereum, StakeWise would be profitable, said co-founder Kirill Kutakov, who estimates that company currently has more than two years of runway.
Although there are no staff cuts, the company is extending “more oversight over expenditure,” Kukatov said.
The total value locked on StakeWise stands at 82,000 ETH ($104 million) with another 64,000 ETH ($81 million) locked on the company’s StakeWise Labs arm, he said.
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