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Reviews/Rocket Pool

Rocket Pool

Van Thanh Le

Feb 29 2024

7.6 / 10

Summary

Confused about Rocket Pool? This review cuts through the noise, revealing everything you need to know!

Pros

plus

Robust Security Measures

plus

Low Entry Barrier

plus

Liquid Staking & rETH

plus

DeFi Integration

Cons

plus

More Support Options

plus

Node Operators Fee

plus

Technical Complexity

Rocket Pool Review Scores

7.6

colored-star

Overall

Information

8

colored-star

User Experience (UX/UI)

Information

8.5

colored-star

Security Measures

Information

7.5

colored-star

Reward Structure

Information

6.5

colored-star

Customer Support

Information

8

colored-star

Stability and Performance

Information

7

colored-star

Fees and Costs

Information

An Introduction to Rocket Pool Detailed Review

Rocket Pool, a decentralized ETH staking service, stands out with its liquid rETH tokens and low entry barrier. It's the second-largest ETH 2.0 pool, boasting 1.13M ETH staked ($3.9B TVL) and 3,569 global node operators spread across 139+ regions. This review explores its features, usability, security, and support to guide your ETH staking journey.

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Key Takeaways

Rocket Pool offers a comprehensive platform for Ethereum staking, accommodating users of all experience levels. Here's a distilled rundown of key insights from a thorough exploration:

  • Accessibility: Rocket Pool lowers the staking entry barrier to 0.01 ETH, democratizing Ethereum staking with its rETH tokens, which represent staked ETH plus rewards.
  • Flexibility and Rewards: Offers liquid staking with a starting point of 0.01 ETH and node operation with just 8 ETH, providing flexibility and enhanced reward potential.
  • User Experience: The platform is user-friendly for basic staking activities, though running a node or migrating validators presents complexity suited for the technically inclined.
  • APR Details: Liquid stakers enjoy a 2.94% APR, while node operators can see a 6.73% APR, balancing reward potential with the costs and efforts of node management.
  • Security Measures: Emphasizes security with multiple independent audits and an open-source, community-verifiable approach to smart contract reliability.
  • Community Support: Lacks traditional support channels, favoring a community-driven forum and Discord for user engagement and problem-solving.
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Rocket Pool is the second-largest ETH staking platform by TVL that DefiLlama tracks.

Rocket Pool’s Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Low entry barrier for ETH staking, starting from 0.01 ETH, democratizing access to Ethereum staking.
  • Offers liquid staking with rETH tokens, which can be traded, used as collateral, or utilized in DeFi applications, enhancing the flexibility and liquidity of staked assets.
  • Integrated with leading DeFi platforms, expanding utility and liquidity of staked assets.
  • Comprehensive security measures, including multiple independent audits and open-source, verified smart contract code, ensuring a high level of trust and safety.

Cons

  • Liquid stakers part with around 14% of rewards as a fee to node operators, which could be a significant deduction for some users.
  • Lacks traditional customer support channels, relying on a community forum and Discord for user support, which may not meet the needs of all users seeking immediate or personalized assistance.
  • Running a node involves costs and technical complexity, including dedicated hardware or cloud server fees, plus the gas for getting started and ongoing operations, potentially limiting accessibility for some users.

1. What Is Rocket Pool?

Rocket Pool stands out in the crypto space as a trailblazer, having been brought to life in 2016 by David Rugendyke. It's on a mission to democratize Ethereum staking, breaking down the barriers with a minimal staking requirement of just 0.01 ETH—far less than the hefty 32 ETH needed elsewhere. 

This platform isn't just about lowering the entry point; it's about opening doors to liquid staking yields through its innovative approach and tokens like rETH, which symbolizes your staked ETH plus rewards. It’s a prime spot for ETH enthusiasts looking for flexibility and growth.

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Features of Rocket Pool:

  • Liquid Staking:
    • Stake any amount of ETH, starting from 0.01 ETH.
    • Receive rETH, representing your staked ETH and accruing rewards.
    • rETH can be traded, used as collateral, or utilized in DeFi applications.
  • Node Staking:
    • Run an Ethereum node with only 8 ETH.
    • Earn additional rewards in RPL (Rocket Pool's native token) and commissions.
  • Creating New Minipool:
    • If you choose to stake 8 ETH, you borrow 24 ETH from the staking pool, requiring a minimum RPL stake of 2.4 ETH and a maximum of 12 ETH. 
    • If you stake 16 ETH, you borrow 16 ETH, with a minimum RPL stake of 1.6 ETH and a maximum of 24 ETH.  
  • Solo Migration and Validator Conversion:
    • Tools for solo validators to migrate to Rocket Pool.
    • Convert 32 ETH validators into more accessible 8 ETH validators.
    • Access to balanced rewards through the Rocket Pool Smoothing Pool.
  • DeFi Integrations:
    • rETH and RPL tokens integrated with leading DeFi platforms.
    • Expands utility and liquidity of staked assets.
  • Smart Nodes:
    • Specialized node software to enable anyone to run a node on the Rocket Pool network.
    • Spreads losses across the network, reducing individual risk.

2. How User-Friendly Is Rocket Pool?

While Rocket Pool strives for a user-friendly experience, it caters to varying degrees of technical expertise. Setting up was straightforward: switch your wallet to the Ethereum Mainnet, add the rETH token using a specific contract address, and transfer some ETH. Their staking portal, https://stake.rocketpool.net/, was a no-brainer to navigate. 

Connecting your wallet and depositing ETH was as simple as pie, albeit keeping an eye on gas costs and slippage. The process felt seamless, and watching my balance update post-transaction had its own thrill. For a newbie in staking, Rocket Pool seemed to hold my hand every step of the way.

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Liquid staking interface.

Yet, it's not just about staking ETH; for those venturing into running a Rocket Pool node or migrating a solo validator, the platform shows its complexity. With detailed guides and a Terminal User Interface (TUI) for the tech-savvy, managing services becomes less intimidating. Adjusting settings in the new service config TUI or navigating the intricacies of node setup and minipool creation, Rocket Pool equips users with the tools for a deeper dive into the staking ecosystem. 

Personally, I stick to the basics, as my tech skills (and my computer's capabilities) are more modest. However, for those looking to maximize rewards and contribute to network safety, Rocket Pool's comprehensive yet user-friendly approach offers a rich, rewarding experience.

3. What Are the Staking Rewards and Conditions?

Staking ETH on Rocket Pool isn't just about locking up digital assets; it's a strategic play with varied yields and conditions. Let's dive into the specifics:

  • Liquid Staking: Offers a 2.94% APR based on a 7-day average. Rocket Pool shines here by not charging fees for matching liquid stakers with node operators. Yet, liquid stakers part with around 14% of rewards as a fee to node operators. Remember, gas fees might bite into profits for smaller transactions, and pool limits could test your patience.
  • Node Staking: Steps it up with a 6.73% APR, thanks to a mix of Beacon Chain returns, commissions, and other perks. The catch? Running a node involves costs like dedicated hardware or cloud server fees, plus the gas for getting started and ongoing operations.
  • Solo Staking: Sits in the middle with a 3.49% APR, striking a balance between effort and reward.
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Rocket Pool sets itself apart with its reward structure, operating on a 28-day cycle for calculating node operator rewards in both RPL and rETH tokens. This dual-token reward system is transparent and doesn't influence future intervals, allowing rewards to accumulate without pressure to claim.

Comparing Rocket Pool's offerings to the market, it's evident they've crafted a nuanced staking model. From liquid staking's accessibility to the deeper involvement and higher rewards of node operation, there's a clear attempt to cater to different types of stakers. The transparency and structure of rewards, especially the 14% fee from liquid staking and the detailed costs associated with node operation, underscore a commitment to clear, informed staking choices.

4. What Security Measures Does Rocket Pool Employ?

Rocket Pool takes security very seriously, employing multiple layers of protection to safeguard user assets and data. However, it's important to remember, as with any DeFi protocol, the inherent nature of smart contracts carries an element of residual risk.

Here's a breakdown of their security measures:

  • Multiple Audits: Rocket Pool's smart contracts have undergone rigorous audits by independent security firms like Consensys Diligence. These audits help identify and address vulnerabilities, but as discovered in the January 2023 Atlas release audit, the possibility of undiscovered vulnerabilities remains.
  • Open Source and Verified: Rocket Pool's open-source smart contract code allows anyone to scrutinize and verify its functionality. This transparency fosters trust within the DeFi community and allows for community-driven security improvements.
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The warning you'll see before connecting your wallet to the platform. 

While I'm not affiliated with Rocket Pool, their commitment to security through regular audits and open-source practices is a positive sign for potential users. However, it's essential to conduct your own research and understand the inherent risks associated with DeFi protocols before participating.

5. How Does Rocket Pool Support Its Users?

Rocket Pool prioritizes community-driven support, offering a comprehensive knowledge base and fostering an active user community. They address basic inquiries through dedicated sections on their platform, covering various aspects like the protocol itself, its benefits, and potential earnings.

However, Rocket Pool lacks traditional customer support channels like live chat or email. Instead, they rely on a dedicated community forum where users can post questions and engage in discussions with each other and the Rocket Pool team. Additionally, they maintain an active Discord channel for real-time interaction with the community.

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The answers for common questions can be found.

Furthermore, Rocket Pool's Medium page provides detailed guides and resources to help users navigate the platform and understand its features thoroughly. They also encourage user participation through a grant application process, allowing users to propose and potentially receive funding for implementing new features or improvements.

While Rocket Pool's approach fosters a collaborative and engaged community, it may not be ideal for users seeking immediate or personalized assistance. However, user feedback on the forum and Discord channel suggests that the Rocket Pool team is responsive and helpful, actively seeking community input on new features. This demonstrates their commitment to user satisfaction and continuous improvement.

Conclusion: Is Rocket Pool Right for Your ETH Staking Needs?

Rocket Pool offers a compelling option for both novice and experienced ETH stakers. Its low barrier to entry caters to beginners, while its node operation features empower advanced users to maximize rewards. Carefully consider the trade-offs between user-friendliness, reward potential, and commitment level explored throughout this review to determine if Rocket Pool aligns with your staking strategy and investment goals.

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