The Podcast
Ep 12 - Mike Silagadze from EtherFi

Ep 12 - Mike Silagadze from EtherFi

Staking without being stuck


Liquid restaking on Ethereum is one of the largest categories in DeFi. $14 billion is locked in Ethereum liquid restaking protocols. That is close to 14% of all TVL on-chain.

EtherFi is the leader in the category, with $6.3 billion in TVL. 

Restaking allows users to use their staked ETH to secure other networks in exchange for additional yield. This can be done by staking Liquid Staking Token (LST) variants of ETH into restaking protocols or by staking ETH into protocols that offer native restaking, such as Eigenlayer.

Liquid restaking takes it a step further by generating a Liquid Restaking Token (LRT), which can be used in other DeFi protocols to generate additional yield.

EtherFi’s TVL growth from $107 million to $6.3 billion is pretty indicative of the demand for such products. If all of that sounded technical, don’t worry. Today’s issue breaks how it works in depth.

Today, we’re joined by Mike Silagadze, the CEO and founder of EtherFi. Before EtherFi, he was the founder and CEO of Top Hat, a dynamic courseware company for educators. He scaled that to over 500 employees and $60 million in revenue before switching his focus to crypto.

Mike was also early to Bitcoin. His first Bitcoin purchase was at 80 cents in 2011, and he has been closely following the space ever since.

Our conversation delves into the waters of the liquid restaking landscape, discussing the value and risks associated with it.  We uncover the genesis and evolution of EtherFi over the years. Mike shares how EtherFi went from being a hedge fund to becoming the largest liquid restaking protocol on Ethereum. 

One key driver of growth was the various DeFi integrations early on. This allowed EtherFi to grow alongside protocols such as Pendle and Eigenlayer. For users like myself, EtherFi was the first protocol that gave exposure to Eigenlayer without being a VC or a solo staker.

We also get Mike’s thoughts on the difficulties of doing an airdrop and the low float high FDV meta.Listen for a crash course on liquid restaking and the road ahead for EtherFi. 

Navigating Bitcoin L2 islands,
Saurabh Deshpande

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