Binance Labs backs Renzo, an Ethereum liquid restaking protocol

Binance Labs, the venture capital and incubation arm of crypto exchange Binance, has made a strategic investment in Renzo, an Ethereum liquid restaking protocol that leverages EigenLayer technology.

Renzo is a protocol that allows users to stake their ETH and receive rETH, a liquid token that represents their staked ETH and the rewards they earn. Users can use rETH as collateral, trade it, or restake it to compound their returns. Renzo claims to offer the highest APY among all liquid restaking protocols, as well as the lowest fees and the most security.

Renzo is the second liquid restaking protocol that Binance Labs has invested in, following its backing of Puffer Finance last month. Puffer Finance is another EigenLayer-based protocol that offers pETH, a liquid token that can be swapped for ETH at any time. Puffer Finance has grown rapidly since its launch on Feb. 1, reaching over $1 billion in total value locked (TVL) within its platform.

EigenLayer is a layer-2 solution that enables scalable and secure restaking on Ethereum. EigenLayer launched its restaking system in June 2020, and has since attracted over $7.8 billion in TVL, according to DeFiLlama. EigenLayer-based protocols, such as Renzo and Puffer, have collectively amassed over $3.5 billion in TVL, making them the dominant players in the Ethereum restaking space.

Ethereum restaking is a booming trend in the crypto industry, as it allows users to earn passive income from staking their ETH, while also retaining liquidity and capital efficiency. Liquid restaking protocols “play a pivotal role in unlocking liquidity and maximizing capital efficiency, while also abstracting technical complexities for users,” Yi He, co-founder of Binance and head of Binance Labs, told The Block.

Binance Labs’ investment in Renzo comes shortly after the startup raised $3.2 million in a seed funding round at a $25 million valuation last month. Renzo founding contributor Lucas Kozinski told The Block that Binance Labs’ investment has the same structure as the seed round, i.e., equity with token warrant in a 1:1 ratio.

Renzo is currently live in a mainnet beta, and plans to launch its general mainnet after EigenLayer’s Stage 3 launch. Renzo’s other investors include Maven11, Figment Capital, SevenX Ventures, IOSG Ventures, and OKX Ventures.

Renzo also accepts deposits of wBETH (Binance’s liquid staking token) and stETH (Lido’s liquid staking token) for restaking, in addition to native ETH. Kozinski said that Renzo remains focused on building new restaking integrations for BNB Chain users, as well as expanding its ecosystem partnerships and community outreach.

You can use Renzo here.

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