MetaMask offers pooled staking service, excluding US and UK

Self-custodial wallet MetaMask has launched a pooled staking service that allows ether holders to stake any amount with validators operated by Consensys. However, the service is initially unavailable to users in the UK and the U.S. due to regulatory restrictions.

Before this launch, only users with at least 32 ETH ($113,000) could stake directly in validators operated by Consensys. The new pooled staking service enables all MetaMask users to contribute to Ethereum network security and earn validator rewards, regardless of the amount of ether they hold.

MetaMask users can unstake their ether at any time, though the process may be subject to varying wait times depending on the current Ethereum validator exit queue. The service rollout is being conducted in phases, with a portion of eligible users gaining access today and more in the coming days. It leverages the open modular architecture of the Ethereum liquid staking protocol StakeWise to power its smart contracts.

“With Pooled Staking, MetaMask users now have an easy way to stake ETH in enterprise-grade validators while maintaining full control of their ETH, earning rewards and making Ethereum more secure,” said Consensys Senior Product Manager Matthieu Saint Olive. “We’re excited to bring our staking solution to many more MetaMask users.”

Currently, 27.1% of the ether supply is staked on the network, with much of it concentrated in a few large pools. Consensys plans to make native Ethereum validator staking more accessible through MetaMask’s pooled staking.

Liquid staking solutions from providers like Lido and Rocket Pool offer similar services for smaller amounts of ether without requiring the full 32 ETH. These solutions also provide a liquid staking token that can be used in other DeFi applications while still earning staking rewards.

The initial launch of MetaMask’s pooled staking service will not be available to users in the U.S. or UK due to regulatory uncertainties. Consensys plans to extend the service to these markets in the future.

Consensys claims that MetaMask’s pooled staking is supported by over 33,000 hosted Ethereum validators in a multi-cloud, multi-region, and multi-client infrastructure, with more than 1 million ETH staked, zero penalized validators, and a participation rate exceeding 99.9%.

Last month, MetaMask announced plans to support Bitcoin, following similar moves by other web3 wallet providers like Phantom. In April, MetaMask integrated with Daylight, allowing users to check their eligibility for airdrops and potential NFT claims.