With investments from Paradigm and Lido, what advantages does EigenLayer have over Symbiotic?

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This paper introduces the core concepts of the Symbiotic shared safety system and its application prospects.

Original title: From Staking to Restaking

Original article by Arjun Balaji, Dave White, Georgios Konstantopoulos, Paradigm

Original translation: Ismay, BlockBeats

Editors Note: On June 11, Symbiotic announced its official launch and said it had completed a $5.8 million seed round of financing, led by Paradigm and Cyber Fund. This morning, the re-staking protocol Symbiotic tweeted that Symbiotic reached the staking limit of 41,290 wstETH in 5 hours. Symbiotic, which has been the focus of the market since its birth, can be said to be very successful. Last month, it was reported that Lido co-founder and Paradigm were secretly funding a new company, Symbiotic, which would compete in the re-staking track. Symbiotic allows users to use Lidos stETH to re-stake with other assets that are natively incompatible with EigenLayer. This means that Symbiotic will become a direct competitor of EigenLayer.

This article introduces the core concepts of the Symbiotic shared security system and its application prospects. As a flexible, permissionless protocol, Symbiotic allows network developers to fully control staking implementation and operator selection while providing a wide range of security services. In the short term, Symbiotic is mainly used to launch new consensus instances, such as the election of new L1 operators and decentralized sorting. In the long term, Symbiotic will also support use cases such as block production and multi-party computation. In addition, Paradigm has developed Reth Execution Extensions (ExEx) to further enhance shared security services based on Symbiotic.

The following is the full text of Symbiotic written by Paradigm:

Decentralized networks require coordination mechanisms to incentivize and monitor their node operators. This mechanism started with Proof of Work and then evolved into Proof of Stake, an important development that enabled the network to obtain the security of validators through economic collateral. The next frontier is shared security, which expands the services that PoS node operators can provide while leveraging the same economic collateral.

Symbiotic is a general purpose, permissionless protocol that provides shared security through restaking. We invested in Symbiotic alongside our partners at Lido and other protocols, Cyber.Fund.

We believe that Symbiotic’s flexible and permissionless approach will be a good fit for many of the most useful consumers of shared security, and over time it could become the default choice for launching decentralized networks.


Lido is Ethereums largest liquid staking token, founded on the insight of separating staked capital from validator infrastructure (labor) without modifying Ethereums consensus mechanism, using a smart contract layer to distribute users stakes to operators in a decentralized manner. This separation becomes delegation which is a natural inherent trend of the proof-of-stake system. Lido enables proof-of-stake to scale on Ethereum without compromising decentralization by matching staked ether with the highest quality infrastructure operators.

Paradigm began working with contributors to the Lido protocol in 2021. Since then, Lido has grown from ~$800M to over $36B in staked ETH deposits and has fostered the strongest ecosystem of node operators: reputable, geographically distributed, diverse, and consistent.

Paradigm has also been a long-time supporter of the Cosmos ecosystem, leading the initial Series A round for Tendermint Inc. and later investing in Osmosis and dYdX. Through Cosmos, we have observed the challenges of recruiting validators and capital from scratch every time a developer wants to launch a new chain, which greatly limits the speed of innovation.

The natural “second phase” of Ethereum staking is to repurpose the staking and validator infrastructure and expertise to go beyond L1 consensus to secure multiple protocols simultaneously. This makes it easier to build new protocols. Cosmos pioneered the idea of “shared security”, and EigenLayer’s “re-staking” recognizes that an Ethereum-centric approach can successfully launch this validator ecosystem. This original mechanism is novel and powerful, but needs to be designed properly to safely enable useful applications given the risk of overloading Ethereum consensus.

As we were thinking about the market, we realized that Konstantin was also interested in it. Through him, we met Misha and Algys, founders of Statemind, a top auditing firm that works closely with Lido (i.e. their V2 audit), Curve, InstaDapp, etc. We were very aligned in our views on their respective markets and jumped at the opportunity to collaborate.

About Symbiotic

Symbiotic is a new shared security system. It is designed to be an extremely flexible, permissionless, and reliable lightweight coordination layer. Symbiotic allows network developers to have full control over their (re)staking implementation and operator settings. Overall, the long-term goal of the protocol is to provide foundational components that help networks navigate the roadmap to decentralization while prioritizing security and capital efficiency.


Protocols built on Symbiotic can control their collateral assets, rewards, and penalty criteria. Symbiotic will initially focus on staked ETH, as this is the largest pool of staked capital. However, the protocol is generic and can accept any ERC-20 asset as collateral. Over time, we expect Symbiotic to serve multiple assets and associated operator infrastructure groups.

Symbiotic Network developers will also have full control over its operator selection mechanism. Over time, it will be possible to maximize the number of participants, their geographical distribution and their overlap with other protocols, reputation, and other selection criteria.

No permission

Symbiotics core contracts are immutable, which eliminates external governance risk. Symbiotic will never have a central multi-signature, penalty committee, or other permissioning mechanism for shared security services. Services built on Symbiotic will be able to support multiple different penalty resolution mechanisms, which we believe is critical to innovation.


Building a network of infrastructure operators is challenging, something we learned from our work with Lido. Symbiotic will ensure that restaking is scalable by bringing in reputable and geographically diverse infrastructure partners, and supporting smaller operators.

What should be built on Symbiotic?

At Paradigm, we believe that the core of the restaking protocol is a delegated staking system. Stakers are incentivized to vote for operators they believe will be honest validators. In a sense, this is exactly how Ethereum staking (via stETH and other liquid staking tokens) already works today.

In the short term, we believe the clearest and safest use case for shared Delegated Proof of Stake security is for launching new consensus instances:

  • Elect new L1 operators (e.g. Cosmos application chains, sidechains, etc.)

  • Decentralized sorting

  • Distributed auctions (e.g. leaderless auctions)

  • Multi-party computation (MPC) and threshold decryption network

In the longer term, we are also interested in L1 block production use cases, such as new MEV auction types, pre-confirmation, and base ordering. However, we believe block production use cases may take longer to flourish: they generally benefit from adoption by more L1 proposers, and may pose a more immediate security risk to Ethereum L1.

To achieve this vision, we also created Reth Execution Extensions (ExEx). ExEx allows data to be quickly extracted and processed from nodes, and enables networks/services to peer with other ExEx to reach a state that should eventually be injected into Ethereum. We hope to make ExEx the best tool for building shared security services using Symbiotic.

Of course, Symbiotic is a general purpose system that developers can build any protocol on top of, without having to obtain permission or use our codebase. These are just our intuitions about the types of use cases that are most likely to succeed.

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