Dappnode - Decentralized Infrastructure for Everyone

Project Name:

Dappnode

Describe your project and why you classify it as a Public Good

Dappnode is a Free Open Source Software project with the mission to make web3 infrastructure accessible to anyone. That is: for everyone to be able to run validators and nodes, and decentralize the networks they use and love - regardless of their technical ability or economic situation.

It’s a public good because we do not only not charge anything for the software, and we keep the values of decentralization, self-sovereignty and privacy as our main design principle: we don’t capture telemetry and we don’t know how many people use dappnode except if they decide to self-identify as validators in EVM chains by putting the word “dappnode” in the graffiti.

The FOSS nature of it means that individuals use it, teams use it, companies use it and even knowledgeable developers use it despite having the knowledge to run nodes and validators by themselves because it makes their life simpler.

What are your main project funding sources?

Grants funding, User donations, Other

How much have you raised from each of your funding sources and from who?

482000 from EF, Aragon, Gitcoin Grants and Giveth

Are you seeking:

Funding for general operations

Has your project launched or planning to launch a token?

We do not have a token.

Dappnode had a governance token called $NODE that was hacked. Anyone providing LP was reimbursed on their ETH and GNO positions by Dappnode. This token was not sold - no money ever entered our treasury thanks to it - and contributed negatively to Dappnode’s sustainability because of the hack refunds… we lost a bunch of money. There is no token at the current moment nor plans to restore it in the near future.

Does your project plan to run funding rounds, giving funding to other projects?

Yes

What milestones have you achieved?

Ideated in 2017 but born in 2018, we have achieved a lot since :slight_smile:

  • Full GUI to manage deployment of nodes
  • First decentralized dappstore: A Smart Contract on Ethereum is the repository, containing IPFS hashes where the latest version of the node software can be downloaded.
  • SDK to permissionlessly contribute to the ecosystem, create dapps/dappnode packages, upload them to the dappstore. Everyone can make a dappnode app of any node without having to consult us!
  • Access to the machine via VPN for remote access to the GUI
  • Opt-in Auto-updates: hands-free node updates. Extremely useful for users but also networks as they get the subset of nodes running on dappnode automatically updated - simplifies potential fork situations.
  • Stakers UI: A dedicated UI for EVM/Ethereum-like Proof-of-Stake validator setups (choosing EL, CL, Web3signer, MEV Boost) - intuitive and easy to choose! Allows for almost-instant consensus client switch without risking slashing to promote client diversity.
  • Ethical Monitoring: Tor-based monitoring system to alert users when their Dappnodes are down but respecting the privacy of the user: we route liveness pings via Tor so we never get IPs! - Coordinated a standard API for the keymanager with Ethereum Core developers to facilitate validator key management between clients and other software.
  • Developed a FOSS dashboard to manage keys irrespective of the underlying client software (using the Key Manager API)
  • Created Smooth, a MEV Smoothing Pool to counterbalance the centralizing forces of the uneven distribution of MEV rewards that makes it that effectively pools with lots of validators end up with higher rewards than the median/expected solo staker. Smooth validators get 104% MORE execution layer rewards (DOUBLE!) than the expected non-smooth solo staker. This is absolutely necessary to make it economically fair for solo stakers and keep promoting decentralization.
  • Operation Solo Staker with Ether.fi provided dappnode machines to community members around the world to geographically decentralize the node set of Ethereum and allow them to run validators and get benefits without needing to put the ETH themselves. This was our first economical accessibility project after years of working on technological accessibility.
  • Being alive through bear and bull markets alike since 2018!

Tell us more about milestones you’d like to achieve

The next upcoming milestones are:
• Revamp the developer experience to make it easier for projects to create and maintain their own dapps/dappnode packages. This includes documentation, educational videos and a devrel program. Creating a healthy ecosystem around the dappstore will bring value to existing users and expand the reach of the software to other communities.
• Partnering with Gnosis Chain to bootstrap decentralized validators via a validator incentivization program. We are expected to make grow the number of nodes significantly.
• Smooth v2, improving on the first design of the MEV Smoothing pool considering the feedback of current users and expand the reach so solo stakers will get better rewards.

Aside from specific milestones, we would like to keep working on 3 directions:

  1. advocacy and practical solutions implementation to defend decentralization like the Keymanager API, Smooth.
  2. Technological accessibility - keep improving our software to fulfil our general mission to bring ease of use for the web3 decentralized stack and make it more accessible. Decentralization through good UX.
  3. Economic accessibility - keep forging partnerships within the ecosystem to bring the economic barriers of entry to Staking down (<32 ETH) to gain users and stakers in regions of the world with less disposable income and increase decentralization.

The Moonshot objective for this year are to explore AI integrations. Dappnode, as software that you install in a machine at home that is 24/7 online (needs to be to validate), is perfectly positioned to also be a private local server for personal AI assistants.

Funding Goal and Budget:

Our burn rate is of around 650,000 yearly (yes, we try to keep costs low - missionaries not mercenaries!). Needless to say, if instead of maintaining our current team we could grow, we could advance much faster on the milestones and expand on other activities :).

Tell us more about your team:

Founders:

Jordi Baylina - OGs know him as part of the WHG who participated in the recovery of funds in The DAO and the Parity multisig hacks. Since then has founded Dappnode but also Iden3, Hermez - now Polygon ID and Polygon ZKEVM. Jordi is no longer active in the development of Dappnode but is an advisor to the project.

Griff Green - Founder of Giveth, Token Engineering Commons, Commons Stack and Dappnode. Met Jordi during his WHG work and has worked in blockchain for good tirelessly since then. Griff is no longer active in the development of Dappnode but is an advisor to the project.

Eduardo Antuña Diez - Telecommunications Engineer, founder and current CTO of Dappnode and tech lead at the Polygon ZKEVM. The architect of most of the code and solutions in Dappnode.

Team: While the founders are not active in the day-to-day operations, the team carrying away the good work are the following:
Pol Lanski - Project Lead - His interest in decentralized systems started with the realization that countries’ political sovereignty is subordinated to the economic sovereignty. He saw Open Source, forkable scarce mechanisms like Bitcoin as a way to create opt-in economies led by the participants in them, and started mining Dogecoin because was late to papa BTC. Currently serving as coordinator and Moloch slayer for the amazing talent in the Dappnode team.

The rest of the team does not participate so much in conferences and did not have available bios at the moment of request.
Pablo - Engineering Lead
Diego - Integrations Lead
Marc - Senior Developer
Mateu - Junior Developer
Luka - DevOps
Clara - Marketing Lead
Chuy - Community Manager

Social Credibility (development progress, awards, notable GitHub commits, referrals)

Dappnode’s privacy and self-sovereignty principles have made us build a product that captures no telemetry and only by opting in to our service of Ethical Monitoring you’d share any data with us.
Lots of users don’t do that so we don’t have user metrics like other projects.

We can, nonethless, get some proxy metrics like:

  • Number validators that have self-reported as Dappnode users by including the word Dappnode in the graffiti: Entity Profile: dappnode - Ethereum Staking | EthSeer.io
  • 1 of the top 25 graffitis of Ethereum and Gnosis chain is “validating_from_Dappnode”, our default grafitti that users can change at any point.
  • 1960 validators joined Smooth, the MEV Smoothing pool.

Probably the most important social validation is just searching for “dappnode” in X and seeing the incredible amount of love that we get from users and high profile members of the community: x.com

Other links:
Github - more than 280 repos for all the packages and core components: dappnode · GitHub

    • Dappmanager (Github): the heart of dappnode and what makes everything tick!

Documentation - to get a feel for what dappnode can do: https://docs.dappnode.io Dappnode

Driving School - Short form videos to get started on Dappnode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh5hADm1Iuk&list=PLpMpAvZuB3w56Z__TProOhu767X1Udoyc

Dappnode Crash Courses - Longer form videos on long tutorials for how to use dappnode in depth with particular use-cases and community QA at the end.

Keymanager API: Keymanager-API

Smooth: https://smooth.dappnode.io/

Why’s your project important?

Dappnode has established itself as a decentralization advocate. Thousands of users use dappnode to validate on Ethereum, Gnosis Chain and LUKSO and we continue to advocate for increasing nodes run in home setups and in underrepresented geographical regions.

Decentralization is a spectrum where different properties emerge: Got 2 nodes? you have data redundancy. You have a few nodes in different countries? Political interference resilience. You have nodes in different power grids? You have resilience to power grid failure. In different hardware? You have resilience to 0 day attacks, etc. The firm belief that an uncensorable, self-sovereign platform needs decentralized infrastructure to maintain these properties is why we will keep pushing to make it extremely simple to achieve such degree of decentralization.

What’s your project’s Twitter handle?

@dappnode

GitHub Link:

Project Discord Link:

Project Website:

Team Social Accounts:

x.com, x.com, Warpcast

Anything else you’d like us to know?

Dappnode doesn’t take a cut of any validators running on them and Dappnode users are completely self-sovereign, but at the same time Dappnode has tried to find many ways to financial sustainability, to continue supporting the thousands of users that use our software. On one side, some of them have bought the Dappnode Hardware, making a contribution with their payment to the team that also builds the software, but that unfortunately is not enough to maintain the project at the current rate of updates in the sector. Our intention is to become sustainable and not to rely on grants, and we believe we can find a non-extractive business model that will leverage web3 characteristics to create truly win-win-win situations.

What can the Octant team help you with?

There are many things we could do to collaborate and help Dappnode:

  1. With 100,000 ETH staked, it achieves enough smoothing effects to get Execution rewards a lot closer to the average than the median. By joining Smooth with even just a portion of such validators and thousands of Solo Stakers would benefit from exposure to the MEV of the blocks produced by such a big influx of validators, effectively smoothing their rewards to the same level as validator pools and centralized actors. Octant would be contributing to all solo stakers and also to Dappnode in a more long-term sustainable way with the 7% fee on Execution Layer rewards of the pool.

  2. Would love to hear more about how Octant is running these validators. At dappnode we can provide you with a turnkey solution to put all or some of these validators in more decentralized setups but without losing control - by distributing machines to team mebmers and using DVT to reduce impact of downtime of some of machines. This would put a substantial amount of ETH validating in completely decentralized setups, being completely ethereum aligned and actively pushing for decentralization while engaging the team to do it.

Another model is to allow for a contest where we distribute such machines and DVT setups to applicants in different places in the world to achieve maximal geographical decentralization and then move part of Octant’s ETH to validate in these machines. Would love to hop in a call to jam ideas on this!

How do you define impact for your project? What metrics are you tracking?

For Dappnode, impact is defined by how much we can contribute to the decentralization of the web3 infrastructure. Our primary measure of impact would be the number of nodes and validators running on Dappnode, as this directly reflects our mission to make web3 infrastructure accessible to all. We would also consider the geographic distribution of these nodes, as this is a key indicator of the networks that we serve’s resilience to various potential challenges. I say WOULD because since our design principles are decentralization, privacy and self-sovereignty, we actually do not track our users. Some metrics that we can track is how many users self-report as using Dappnode by putting Dappnode in their grafitti and we also track how many validators have decided to share this information with us. That makes around 7400+ validators on Ethereum and more than 20000 on Gnosis Chain. We can’t track the usage of our FOSS at a user level, but we do establish partnerships with companies and networks/foundations: Dappnodes Partners - Building a Decentralized World We believe that the widespread usage of our software is a testament to its utility and effectiveness. Finally, we monitor the growth and activity of our on-chain product, Smooth, and of the activity in our community. The first directly impacts the smoothing effects and the increase in rewards for Solo Stakers, and the second, the engagement of our community, is crucial to our mission and serves as a barometer for our impact.

Share your project impact metrics and results

Link 1: Graffiti word cloud where we can see the Default validator of Dappnode as one of the top 25 graffitis. Since the graffiti can be changed at any time and many users do, this is a “lower bound” metric. Link 2: The same for Gnosis Chain. Here we can see that dappnode appears in different variations of the biggest graffitis. Link 3: 14 companies and their partnerships with Dappnode are described in our partners page. Link 4: The Smooth stats page helps show the number of validators impacted but also how it doubles execution layer rewards for the participants, aside from more information from the blocks and MEV rewards going into the pool.

Link 1:

Link 2:

Link 3:

Link 4:

I confirm that my project has/is:

Commitment to open-source technology and sharing results publicly, Determined to provide transparency about how exactly funding will be used, Advancing values of freedom and privacy (no surveillance and handling of personal data), Supporting decentralization in various fields (for example, building a Web3 related project), Social proof, being recognizable in the area the project is being developed in

I confirm that my project is not a:

For profit project, Financial (lending, investing, trading) product

1 Like

Love what dappnode is doing. Circling around the website for some time deciding when to pull the plug.

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