Furthering Lido’s Commitment to Infrastructure Decentralization
During August and September of 2023, the Lido Node Operator Subgovernance Group assessed 117 applications to the Lido on Ethereum Wave 5 Onboarding round that culminated in a shortlist proposal to the Lido DAO for the onboarding of 7 new Node Operators. This follows Stage 1 of the onboarding round where two Node Operators (Launchnodes and SenseiNode) were successfully onboarded.
Node Operators were assessed by a committee of over 30 teams consisting of existing Lido Node Operators in addition to independent parties. The Lido on Ethereum Wave 5 assessments also included participation from many of the client teams onboarded as operators during Wave 4.
The Wave 5 Stage 2 Onboarding Snapshot vote has passed, and as the new Node Operators are onboarded they will improve the Lido on Ethereum set by meaningfully adding to the diverse mix of geographic and jurisdictional representation, as well as infrastructure hosting setups, and client types.
As outlined in the Factors to Consider section of the Wave 5 Onboarding announcement, the LNOSG suggested the following characteristics be prioritized for this onboarding round:
- Reducing the overall percentage of validators in the Lido on Ethereum set using Geth, Prysm, or Lighthouse.
- Reducing the overall percentage of validators in the Lido on Ethereum using public cloud infrastructure.
- Promoting additional geographic diversity of Node Operators using the Lido on Ethereum protocol with an emphasis on onboarding operators outside of the EU and United States (as this is where the majority of current Node Operators are located).
The Path to Diversifying Lido Validation Infrastructure
Lido on Ethereum Node Operators disclose information in the aggregate to the Ethereum community via the quarterly Validator and Node Operator Metrics (VaNOM) report. By analyzing these metrics, the LNOSG seeks to assist the DAO to onboard Node Operators that will promote further decentralization of infrastructure and jurisdictions for larger-scale Node Operators.
Of the Node Operators proposed for onboarding, all 7 utilize minority execution layer (EL) clients and have committed to using Geth for <30% of their Lido-related validators within 6 months of onboarding, each use at least one minority consensus layer (CL) client, and no operator uses the public cloud for their primary infrastructure.
Onboarding Ethereum Client Teams
Among the Node Operators proposed for onboarding during Wave 5, Develp GmbH, the team representing the consensus layer client Nimbus, was included in the suggested shortlist.
As discussed in the Lido on Ethereum Wave 4 blog post, the Lido Node Operator Subgovernance group has suggested the onboarding of additional Ethereum client teams through its recommendations to the Lido DAO.
The onboarding of client teams began during Wave 4 and since then has had a meaningful positive impact in terms of furthering the decentralization and resilience of the Ethereum base layer, as well as providing client teams secondary sources of revenue and – most importantly, a guiding voice in the Lido community on a diverse set of topics and initiatives from PBS (and MEV Boost usage), to client diversity and onboarding.
As one example, ChainSafe, the team behind the consensus layer client Lodestar, was among the Node Operators onboarded during Wave 4. At the time Chainsafe applied for the Wave 4 onboarding round, the team was running < 200 validators on mainnet utilizing the Lodestar client. As of 18/9/23, ChainSafe is now utilizing Lodestar for over 9,500 validators via the Lido protocol.
ChainSafe joining as a Node Operator not only allowed for one of the smallest consensus layer clients to grow and further decentralize the CL, but also allowed the team to improve Lodestar to the point where it is now among the best performing CL clients utilized by Ethereum Node Operators.
Stage 2 Proposed Cohort
A41 is a blockchain infrastructure service provider based in Seoul, South Korea. Incorporated in May 2022, we successfully have supported a total of 19 mainnet networks. Our commitment to the industry is to become a reliable and secure partner in bringing the Crypto Economy to everyday life. Joining the Lido community is another step we are taking to get closer to our vision.
We believe the contribution that we are going to make through Lido participation will be significant. And, A41 is ready to engage with other Lido node operators and community members to make the ecosystem more sound and colorful.
– John Park, CEO
Develp GmbH (Develp) provides core infrastructure and operations services to support staking protocols on Ethereum. It is committed to decentralisation of the Ethereum network, use of minority clients in its operations for the Lido ecosystem, and draws on the skills and expertise of the Nimbus client team in providing these services. Through this, it aims to contribute to further development of the client.
– Carl B, Co-founder of Status Network
Ebunker is a tech-driven Ethereum infrastructure company based in Hong Kong. We primarily serve institutional and individual clients in the Asia-Pacific region by offering Ethereum non-custodial staking services as well as a range of other innovative solutions, including consumer-grade validator hardware.
Our mission is to help Ethereum achieve true decentralization. We support the use of multi-client setups and non-public cloud infrastructure for operating Ethereum validators. We aim to lower the threshold for Ethereum staking, aspiring to enable millions around the world to become part of the validator ecosystem.
We are thrilled to be a part of the Lido ecosystem. With our technological expertise, we’re committed to making both Lido and Ethereum more robust. Leveraging our influence in Asia, we also aim to broaden awareness and encourage greater participation in the building of the Ethereum and Lido ecosystems.
– Allen Ding, CEO of Ebunker
Joining the Lido ecosystem has given us an amazing opportunity to showcase our technical acumen and advanced capabilities when it comes to building validator infrastructure solutions tailored to further decentralizing the web3 ecosystem in relation to staking services.
We also devote a lot of focus on working with node client diversity to allow a more systematic way to enable the growth of additional Ethereum clients in the space. We’ve been able to deploy our deep infrastructure knowledge, coupled with our extensive core development experience to serve the many leading solutions in the crypto space.
– Cuautemoc Weber, Co-Founder and CEO of Gateway.fm
Numic is a quantitative investment and blockchain infrastructure company based in Brisbane, Australia. Numic has a history of developing and trading statistically driven strategies that produce great returns by adhering to mathematical and statistical models.
Numic also offers Ethereum and Cardano staking services, allowing customers to stake their crypto assets. Led by a team with expertise in computer science, finance and software engineering, Numic aims to stay ahead in the blockchain revolution and financial markets.
– Frank Тhurnbacher, Director
ParaFi Technologies LLC
ParaFi Technologies LLC develops and runs advanced blockchain infrastructure. We are an experienced group of engineers and operators who have been deeply involved in DeFi since 2019.
At ParaFi Technologies, we have amassed unique knowledge and understanding in the areas of infrastructure, custody, data analytics, and on-chain services. We pride ourselves in running sound infrastructure– sufficiently decentralized, scalable, and secure for the Lido ecosystem. We are thrilled to be working alongside the community to further the long-term health, ethos, and success of the Ethereum network.
– Kevin Yedid-Botton, on behalf of ParaFi Technologies LLC
In allowing users to seamlessly stake Ethereum, Lido has meaningfully accelerated the growth, security and democratization of the world’s largest and most valuable computing network. We are excited to join its validator set and support Ethereum’s increased decentralization. As more users participate in Ethereum consensus, the decentralized financial system it underpins will grow more innovative and enduring.
Since its founding, RockawayX Infrastructure has been designed to support that future.
Across our industry, server security has been consistently prioritized; our firm has achieved top performance in that area, and has pioneered new physical security and decentralization standards. We only operate bare metal private rack infrastructure from three Tier 3 colocation centers, that are located in Europe and operate under tight access controls. Our uptime has consistently exceeded 99.9%, and our validators are operated by an internal team, with no material reliance on third-party providers.
We look forward to partnering closely with the global LIDO community for years to come.
– Tomas Eminger, Chief Technology Officer, RockawayX Infrastructure
With the Snapshot successfully concluded, an on-chain Aragon vote is planned for October 3rd. If the Aragon vote successfully passes, the new Node Operators will be able to participate in utilizing the Lido protocol to run mainnet validators by the end of October.
Over the coming months, additional proposals to the DAO are expected that may allow for the onboarding of Node Operators across novel formats to the protocol. Notably, the next Distributed Validator Technology testnet with Obol Network and SSV Network is planned to take place in Q4. If you are a solo or community staker interested in participating, please signal interest via this form.