EigenLayer, a much-anticipated Ethereum restaking protocol, has seen a partial launch on the Ethereum mainnet. This launch comes despite boasting over $13 billion in user deposits, raising eyebrows as some key features are still missing.

The announcement, made on April 9th through an EigenLayer blog post, highlights the platform’s current functionality. Notably absent are in-protocol payments from actively validated services (AVSs) to operators and a penalty system known as slashing, which punishes validators for misconduct.

Experts like Christine Kim, vice president of research at Galaxy Digital, have voiced their curiosity on social media regarding the lack of restaking rewards, a core function of the protocol.

EigenLayer’s core function is to allow users to “restake” their already staked Ether (ETH) tokens. This essentially unlocks additional rewards by leveraging a larger pool of ETH from other users. The restaked ETH is then used to collectively secure secondary blockchain networks called actively validated services (AVSs). These AVSs can encompass various applications, including blockchain bridges, exchanges, and oracles.

While the launch allows restakers to delegate their holdings to preferred EigenLayer operators running AVSs, functionalities like reward distribution and slashing are slated for a later rollout in 2024. This staged approach, with core features still under development, has sparked debate within the cryptocurrency community.

Despite the partial launch, EigenLayer’s initial success in attracting over $13 billion in deposits signifies strong user confidence in the restaking concept. The coming months will be crucial as EigenLayer unveils its remaining features and determines its impact on the Ethereum ecosystem.