The EigenLayer protocol is popular for pioneering restaking of Ethereum tokens. However, its recent decision to ban US- and Canada-based users from participating in its upcoming EIGEN token airdrop has brought prominence to other staking protocols like Karak and Symbiotic.

But how different are Symbiotic and Karak from EigenLayer?

In this guide, we will study the emerging staking protocols Symbiotic and Karak, how they differ from the EigenLayer protocol, and how they differ from each other.

What Is Restaking?

Restaking refers to taking staked assets, or liquid staked assets, and staking them further to secure other networks or applications.

The concept aims to repurpose dormant assets to cover the start-up costs of new protocols and, in the process, incentivize restakers through restaking rewards.

What Is EigenLayer And Its Role in the Ethereum Restaking Ecosystem?

EigenLayer facilitates restaking of staked ETH and allows stakers to earn additional restaking rewards for their contribution.

The protocol leverages restaking to export Ethereum’s trust infrastructure to newer protocols that lack sufficient resources for incentivizing new validators.

With that said, EigenLayer’s current focus is on restaking staked ETH assets and Lido’s liquid staked tokens (LSTs) with plans to expand the network’s reach in the future.

This initial scope has created opportunities for its two emerging competitors, Symbiotic and Karak. 

What Is Symbiotic?

Symbiotic is a new contender in the restaking space for validators to restake their assets in a permissionless protocol that facilitates shared security.

Symbiotic has a modular design that supports restaking of various ERC-20 tokens, including stETH, and empowers developers with complete control of the entire restaking process The protocol’s minimal coordination layer can plug into existing or new protocols. Furthermore, its flexible restaking logic allows developers to choose collateral assets of their choice, validator nodes, rewards, and slashing systems.

Key Features of Symbiotic

Here are the main components of the Symbiotic protocol:

  • Multi-asset collateral: Symbiotic supports restaking from a variety of networks, including ERC-20 compatible assets, LP tokens, and other digital assets. 
  • Vaults: These are custom contracts that handle the delegation of collateral to operators across the networks. 
  • Operators: These are entities that manage infrastructure on behalf of networks.
  • Resolvers: Versatile contracts tasked with approving or rejecting slashing penalties incurred by operators on networks where they provide services. 
  • Networks: These are protocols that require a set of validator nodes to provide trusty minimized services. 

Pros and Cons of Symbiotic

Here are the benefits and drawbacks of Symbiotic:

  • Offers flexibility for developers to tailor their restaking protocol to their needs: Networks are responsible for their restaking implementation, and restakers can opt in and out of shared security contracts. 
  • Offers security at an affordable cost: Provides quality security by leveraging collateralization of a multitude of assets, which not only makes it affordable to share costs the security of new blockchain networks but also eliminates the complexities of building secure protocols from scratch.
  • Promotes capital efficiency: Symbiotic’s permissionless network offers a scalable approach for crypto restakers to finance start-up costs for new projects. 
  • Limits on collateral size: There is a limit on the number of collateral assets during the rollout phase and only those from major protocols are supported.  

What Is Karak?

Karak, another new entrant to the restaking space, distinguishes itself from EigenLayer and Symbiotic by offering a more holistic approach to shared security.

The protocol supports various assets such as EigenLayer core offerings like ETH and LST but goes further to add LP tokens, stablecoins, WBTC, StaFi’s liquid staking tokens (LRT), and more. 

Karak enables stakers to restake their staked coins, as well as commit their assets to a Distributed Secure Service (DSS) on the Karak protocol, and grant additional enforcement rights to their staked assets. 

Key Features of Karak

Here are the main features of the Karak protocol:

  • Restakers: These participants secure Ethereum and other networks in exchange for rewards. 
  • Distributed Secure Service: DSS utilizes restaked assets to improve security while reducing operational costs.
  • Chains: Chains or rollups use the services provided by distributed secure services. 
  • Operators: These can be individuals or entities who conduct validation for distributed secure services. 

Pros and Cons of Karak

Here are the benefits and drawbacks of Karak:

  • Multi-asset restaking: This component gives restakers the ability to provide a basket of assets to a DSS and thus prevent the failure of a single asset from compromising the DDS. 
  • Unlimited restaking: The protocol allows developers to build products on L2s and sidechains instead of focusing on Ethereum L1. 
  • Turnkey development: Karak’s robust protocol allows developers to seamlessly iterate and deploy new unique services. 
  • Reward staking isn’t viable for ETH assets: A sustainable yield model can only be achieved through the acceptance of assets with a lower cost of capital than ETH. 

EigenLayer vs. Karak vs. Symbiotic: A Comparison 

Here is a comparison of the three restaking protocols:

Eigen Layer  Karak  Symbiotic
Supported assets for restaking Ethereum tokens (ETH), Liquid staked tokens (LST) ETH, LST, StaFi (LRT) tokens, Stablecoins, LP tokens, Wrapped Bitcoin ETH, ERC-20 tokens
Protocol architecture The protocol enables multiple staking modalities, such as native restaking, staking LP tokens with ETH, and staking LP tokens with LST.  Turnkey development design allows developers to whitelist and iterate from the original protocol. Modular design that enables participants to flexibly opt in and out of security arrangements. 
Governance  Veto committee comprised of reputed individuals in the Ethereum community. A multisig team of seven signers will be responsible for routine operations, network upgrades, and maintenance.  Developers define the rules of engagements that participants need to subscribe to for secondary networks.


Symbiotic and Karak offer two compelling approaches to transforming restaking as we currently know it. EigenLayer, with its focus on Ethereum’s core infrastructure, provides a robust and solid foundation for building secure decentralized applications.

But this is only scratching the surface of a well of possibilities. 

Symbiotic is emerging as the leader in enabling networks to derive economic security from a diverse set of collateralized assets. Its scalable network empowers other networks to customize their restaking implementations.

Karak is opening new possibilities for interoperability and capital efficiency across multiple ecosystems through its wide scope of supported assets. The protocol may, in the future, introduce a double-sided approach to staking, which encourages both users and service providers to actively participate in the network.

The Bottom Line

As Symbiotic and Karak continue contributing to the restaking space, network builders and users will come to appreciate their respective capabilities and limitations. By improving the utility and security of staked assets, these protocols are poised to drive more innovation in the Ethereum ecosystem.