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Sell or stake: Ethereum staking giant Lido mulls choices for its $30M ETH

While LidoDAO’s current inflows of about 1000 stETH are sufficient to cover operating costs for the time being, it’s worried that may not last.

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The decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) behind Lido — the largest Ethereum staking pool — is deliberating whether it should sell or stake the $30 million in Ether (ETH) from its treasury.

A proposal was submitted on Feb. 14 by the DAO’s financial unit, Steakhouse Financial that considers four choices, one of which contemplates staking part or all of its ETH on Lido in the form of Lido Staked ETH (stETH).

Another would see LidoDAO selling a part or all of its 20,304 ETH for a stablecoin, with the purpose being to extend the DAO’s runway.

The proposal comes as ETH staking withdrawals will soon be enabled through Ethereum’s Shanghai and Capella upgrades expected to take place sometime in earl 2023 according to the Ethereum Foundation.

While converting the ETH to Staked ETH may lead to more protocol rewards, the DAO is wary that too much staking may risk it not having enough Ether on hand “in case of need.”

Regarding operating expenses, Steakhouse Financial suggested it may be necessary to swap Ether for a stablecoin in order to “preemptively secure additional runway.”

Steakhouse Financial noted that with LidoDAO’s current inflows at about 1000 stETH per month, the DAO is making approximately $1.3 million to 1.5 million per month with the price of ETH hovering between $1,100 and 1,700 over the past few months.

Steakhouse Financial said those figures alone should be “sufficient to cover monthly operating expenses.”

However, they’re still deliberating whether it is worth converting excess stETH into a stablecoin to better prepare for any change in market conditions that may lead to increased operating expenses.

A business development representative from LidoDAO noted that they’re not particularly thrilled with the current state of the stablecoin market:

It appears as though most LidoDAO members are in favor of partially selling and staking a portion of the 20,304 ETH locked in its Aragon smart contract.

The proposals come as the total value locked (TVL) of stETH fell 6.66% between Feb. 6-13.

The TVL of Lido is currently $8.13 billion, according to the on-chain metrics platform DeFiLlama.