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What are the risks of staking with Lido?
What are the risks of staking with Lido?

Smart contract and slashing risks exist when staking with Lido.

Updated over a week ago

Lido is a liquid staking solution built on Ethereum. Launched in December 2020. Lido Protocol prides itself on its approach to transparency and security, and Lido contributors strive to deliver the best-in-class staking solution to users.

Amongst other things, this translates to:

  • Open-source development work & continuous review of all code.

  • Committee of elected, best-in-class validators to minimise slashing risk.

  • Use of non-custodial staking service to mitigate counter-party risk.

  • Use of DAO for governance decisions to manage risk factors.

Lido Protocol audits can be found in more detail here.

Risks of staking with Lido

The Lido DAO is driven to mitigate above risks to the extent possible. Despite this, a number of potential risks still exist when staking ETH using Lido:

  • Smart contract security

    There is an inherent risk that Lido Protocol could contain a smart contract vulnerability or bug. The Lido code is open-sourced, audited and covered by an extensive bug bounty program to minimise this risk.

  • Technical risk

    Lido Protocol is built atop experimental technology under active development, and there is no guarantee that ETH has been developed error-free. Any vulnerabilities inherent to ETH brings with it slashing risk, as well as stETH fluctuation risk.

  • Adoption risk

    The value of stETH is built around the staking rewards associated with the Ethereum beacon chain. If ETH fails to reach required levels of adoption we could experience significant fluctuations in the value of ETH and stETH.

  • Slashing risk

    ETH validators risk staking penalties, with up to 100% of staked funds at risk if validators fail. To minimise this risk, Lido Protocol stakes across multiple professional and reputable node operators with heterogeneous setups, with additional mitigation in the form of insurance that is paid from Lido Protocol fees.

  • stETH price risk

    Users risk an exchange price of stTokens which is lower than inherent value due to withdrawal restrictions on Lido, making arbitrage and risk-free market-making impossible. The Lido DAO is driven to mitigate the above risks and eliminate them entirely to the extent possible. Despite this, they may still exist and, as such, it is our duty to communicate them.

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