Rocket Pool, a decentralized Ethereum 2.0 staking platform has surpassed $350 million worth of total value locked (TVL) within five weeks of its official launch.

The project aims to remove the barriers to entry for Eth2 stakers and node operators. It allows any user to run a node for 16 ETH ($59,000), which is half of the 32 ETH ($119,000) required in the Eth2 deposit contract. Users with as little as 0.01 ETH can also stake their funds and receive yield.

According to data from DefiLlama, Rocket Pool has surged up the decentralized finance (DeFi) staking platform rankings to sit at third with a TVL of $355.64 million at the time of writing. The project is currently behind the Keep3r Network at $584.34 million, and Lido Finance in first place with $6.04 billion.

Lido Finance was launched in December 2020 and currently towers over its competitors in terms of TVL however, it only had 14 node operators as of Q4 2021.

In comparison, Rocket Pool has around 635 node operators which the platform says contributes more to the decentralization of Ethereum. Around 67,000 ETH worth more than $252M is staked, with the remainder of the TVL from the platform’s own token RPL.

The project officially kicked off on Nov. 22 after a successful Beta launch two weeks prior that saw Rocket Pool register 237 node operations with a total of 1,088 staked Ether (ETH) in the space of two days.

The project touts its decentralization, liquid staking pool, commissions and staking rewards as its major selling points. and the platform also enables users to stake their ETH and receive the rETH token against their holdings, which also accrues staking rewards over time.

Speaking with Cointelegraph, Rocket Pool general manager Darren Langley cited the platform’s decentralization as a key reason for the platform’s strong launch, noting that:

“In the staking market, there was significant latent demand for a decentralized option — it just needed our launch to spark an inferno.”

“If you respect the principles of Ethereum you will stake with a decentralized pool. From Ethereum’s perspective, a decentralized pool is as secure as solo staking. Operational decentralization is extremely important,” he added.

Questioned on how Rocket Pool is gearing up for the long-awaited transition to Eth2 and a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism slated for mid-2022, Langley stated that it would provide many opportunities for the users.

“Liquid staking will become more profitable after the Merge so we are expecting a surge in interest,” he said and added that “validators will start receiving priority fees that PoW miners are currently receiving.”

Related: A fair comparison? Ethereum growth outpaces Bitcoin in 2021

Looking forward to 2022, Langley also noted that the company hopes to ramp up the adoption of its liquid rETH token and expand the services on the platform.

“We want rETH to be ubiquitous across the Ethereum ecosystem so we are focused on DeFi integrations (AMMs, lending, wallets, farms). Additionally, we will work to leverage layer-two to optimize aspects of Rocket Pool.”