Blast launches Ethereum L2 mainnet unlocking $2.3B in staked crypto

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The Ethereum layer-2 Blast launched its mainnet on Feb. 29 at 9:00 pm UTC unlocking nearly $2.3 billion in staked crypto previously locked up on the network, with about $280 million making an initial exit .

The optimistic rollup blockchain scaler gives users up to 5% annual percentage yield on Ether (ETH) and stablecoins held on the network generated from staked ETH and United States Treasury Bills (T-Bills) managed by blockchain protocol MakerDAO.

Crypto sent to the network was locked in before the mainnet launch, giving its 180,000 users no way to withdraw sent funds until now.

Blast’s total value locked (TVL) saw a high of $2.27 billion on Feb. 29, which has now fallen to under $2 billion after the launch, according to DeFiLlama.

Blast’s total value locked hit a high of nearly $2.3 billion, falling to $1.99 billion after its mainnet launch. Source: DeFiLlama

The network had passed its $2 billion TVL milestone for the first time days earlier on Feb. 27.

Airdrop hunters have flocked to the blockchain, farming it in hopes to be cut in on a Blast token the team has said is coming in May.

Blast’s launch has come with controversy, too.

Dan Robinson, research head at Blast seed investor Paradigm wrote in a November X post that the venture firm didn’t agree with Blast’s decision to “launch the bridge before the L2, or not to allow withdrawals for three months” believing it “sets a bad precedent for other projects.”

Related: Crypto miner Marathon Digital unveils Bitcoin layer 2 network Anduro

“We also think much of the marketing cheapens the work of a serious team,” Robinson added. “We don’t endorse these kinds of tactics.”

The network has already seen its first alleged exit scam on Feb. 26 when a gambling protocol called “Risk on Blast” took off with 420 ETH — around $1.25 million worth at the time — of user funds it collected for its marketed RISK presale token.

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