EthStaker --- [ Welcoming first, knowledgeable second ]

Octant Epoch 1

Project Name

EthStaker

Project Description and why it’s classified as a Public Good

EthStaker is a non-profit entity dedicated to decentralizing the Ethereum Beaconchain. This benefits the users, the app-builders, the Layer 2s, and anyone who interacts with Ethereum in any way. The decentralization of the Beaconchain is the fundamental value of Ethereum and keeping it healthy is imperative to maintaining the value of everything built on top of it.

Supporting decentralization means that, when possible, we encourage users to stake from home and we support and draw attention to projects that make the solo staking user experience easier and/or better incentivized. We also encourage liquid staking diversification for those who choose to stake with a provider.

Main Project Funding Sources

  • The Ethereum Foundation
  • Gitcoin Grants
  • Octant Epoch 0

Seeking project-specific funding or funding for general operations

General operations

Educational content

  • Rhino Review is a biweekly staking updates newsletter that EthStaker supports
  • The Knowledge Base, built by Eridian Alpha and Spacesider, is an EthStaker community effort that we’re proud to support
  • ethstaker.cc aims to create a one-stop shop for people looking for a comprehensive place for staking resources and content
  • EthStaker hosts community calls with staking-related projects to help the community engage with them, ask questions, and get answers on how these projects function

Live events

  • Devconnect Istanbul Staking Gathering: last year’s staking gathering at Devconnect 2022 was livestreamed and hosted individual and project speakers, roundtables, and a hackathon - it cost in excess of $240k to put on. This year, we’re running the event again at Devconnect 2023 and aim to run it at cost.

Software and resources that makes solo staking an easy choice

  • Wagyu installer by EthStaker: This is in the concept-phase at the moment. It would create a graphical user interface for eth-docker
  • eth-docker by EthStaker: This is a well-documented text user interface that needs better marketing - it is a robust tool that containerizes and automates node setup - we feel that stakers could benefit from more educational content about eth-docker
  • Smoothly: Smoothly is creating a way for solo staking to be competitive with large staking pools that are able to pool MEV rewards and capture more stability in proposal payouts. EthStaker is helping to test their infrastructure and also supporting them through their audit process
  • EthStaker maintains a list of MEV relays and their characteristics
  • EthStaker maintains a faucet-like service that assists stakers in making their deposit to run validators on testnet while they learn how to stake. The service makes the deposit for the user in an effort to mitigate the hoarding issues that testnet ETH deals with while making sure that running a validator on a testnet is always available to new stakers

Decentralization efforts

  • EthStaker assisted ether.fi with their solo staking initiative that aimed to increase the geographic diversity of solo stakers. ether.fi provided ETH and hardware to people in countries underrepresented in staking, helping provide a way for these stakers to earn a portion of staking rewards while also becoming knowledgeable on running a validator
  • EthStaker is a partner with Rocket Pool’s many community-led initiatives to increase the validator set on decentralized smart contracts
  • EthStaker added $5k to a Lodestar user incentive program pool that aimed to increase minority validator adoption
  • EthStaker is published a data-driven blog post to highlight the available options for large-scale operators to diversify into minority execution clients in an effort to push for execution client diversity

Ethereum network support

  • EthStaker currently runs 40,000 validators on the Holešky testnet and has provided financial support for some small home stakers who altruistically run thousands of validators for the testnet.

Team Information, including backgrounds and roles

EthStaker is a 50k member community and would not function without its community. Its core activities are spearheaded and actively maintained by seven members who receive small stipends for their continued involvement - viewable on EthStaker’s public address. When those members can no longer dedicate a significant portion of their time to EthStaker projects, they may step down to retired status and may or may not continue to provide advice without any expectation of time commitment and no compensation.

There are other members who dedicate their time to a specific project but not EthStaker as a whole - these members currently include the Knowledge Base maintainers who receive a very small stipend for their work.

Active stewards

  • Nixo
  • Remy Roy
  • Nolan Ross aka Lamboshi
  • Sam Coffey aka greywizard (affiliation: POAP)
  • Thorsten Behrens aka yorickdowne (affiliation: Cryptomanufaktur)
  • Butta (affiliation: beaconcha.in)
  • Hanniabu (affiliation: EtherAlpha)

Support

  • EridianAlpha (Knowledge Base work)
  • Spacesider (Knowledge Base work)

Retired members

  • Patricio Worthalter (affiliation: POAP)
  • Colfax Selby
  • Unvetica
  • Superphiz

More info about team members can be found here: About EthStaker | EthStaker Community

Social Credibility

Discord contact

  • Nixo (@nixo.eth)
  • Butta (@butta)

Eligibility Criteria

Do you have a commitment to open-source (i.e. every open-source license accepted by the Open-Source Initiative) technology and sharing results publicly?

Absolutely yes! We, first and foremost, support open source and permissionless software, protocols, and projects. Our own community-created software, all our resources, and our website are all open source.

Have you provided transparency about how exactly funding will be used?

Yes. Funds reside in our onchain treasury and are transparently spent

Are you advancing values of freedom and privacy (no surveillance and handling of personal data)?

Yes! These values are at the core of our mission. We support protocols and projects that embody these same values and any of our community-created software doesn’t collect user data at all (ethdocker, Wagyu Installer).

Are you supporting decentralization in various fields (for example building Web3 projects)?

Most definitely - maximum decentralization of the Ethereum Beaconchain is EthStaker’s explicit goal

Have you provided social media channels to the extent that we can confirm social proof of your project?

3 Likes

An update post Epoch 1!

Last month, we hosted the Devconnect Staking Gathering with 60 speakers in 51 sessions over two days in Istanbul, Türkiye. The talks were livestreamed on both Youtube and StreamETH, and each talk was then subsequently separately posted to the EthStaker youtube channel. Funds from Epoch 0 were used for this endeavor and we’re very grateful because we got incredible feedback on the entire event and look forward to hosting it again at the next Devconnect!

We’re now spearheading the DVT Home Staker Program in a 10-week pilot program to create new node operators and subsidize their hardware. Ethereum has plenty of validators - we’re reaching 900k validators after a sharp uptick post-Shapella - but we don’t have enough operators. One entity can come online and drop 1000 validators, but it’s a lot more valuable to the value of the network if 1000 operators come online with 1 validator each. It’s better for resilience, censorship resistance, and decentralization. So I don’t think we’ll ever be done trying to create new node operators so that the stake isn’t solely operated by large staking operations.

Applications for this program are now OPEN!

For Epoch 2, we plan on using funds for general new-year operational details - getting things up-to-date, some accounting, and new-year software subscriptions.

And as for other funding - we do not take VC money (haha why would they?) or do any sponsored content. Our funding since Epoch 0 has been the Ethereum Foundation, Gitcoin, and Octant. We had sponsors at the Devconnect Staking Gathering but we intentionally ran the event at cost because we thought that would bring the most value to the community

Thanks very much to the Octant community!

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Thanks a ton for providing the update @nixo !! I saw the announcement of the DVT home staker program and its f’ing awesome! Highly encourage anyone who might be interested to check it out.

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EthStaker is unable to give a formal update for the time being due to the fact that they’re officially transitioning from a nonprofit LLC to a nonprofit 501(c)(6).

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