Launch of the Stage 2 Testnet: EigenLayer & EigenDA

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of a new Goerli testnet experience for EigenLayer and EigenDA, representing Stage 2 of development towards the full EigenLayer vision.

In June we launched Stage 1, introducing restaking on mainnet Ethereum. Through a series of security-focused TVL cap increases, 170,000 ETH has been restaked on the EigenLayer protocol. Caps on restaking of Liquid Staking Tokens (LSTs) remain in place, though we plan to add several new supported LSTs over the coming months, as well as continue to raise and eventually lift the caps.

Stage 2 is an exciting evolution of the protocol. For the first time, Operators can register to the network and begin validating for the first AVS, EigenDA; Restakers can delegate their stake to Operators and start putting shared security to work with EigenDA; and Rollups can integrate with EigenDA to begin experimenting with cost-effective, hyperscale throughput use cases.

Restake ETH > delegate to operators > operators validate EigenDA -> provides DA to rollups

Please note that in this testnet, our primary objectives are to test the protocol and its security and continue to iterate and improve its functionality. We’re eager for your feedback – your participation will enable EigenLayer to make progress rapidly towards mainnet.

Below, we first describe how to get involved with the EigenLayer testnet as a restaker, operator, or AVS developer. Second, we describe how to get involved with the EigenDA testnet as an operator or rollup developer.

I. Using the EigenLayer Testnet

Below are the different components of the EigenLayer testnet for restakers, operators, and AVS developers.

Restakers: Restake & Delegate to an Operator

As a restaker, you can first restake Native Goerli ETH or LSTs, then directly delegate to the operator of your choice. Operators choose which AVSs to support; when you choose an operator, you are also choosing the AVSs you’d like to support. For this testnet, EigenDA is the only AVS option available. You can easily undelegate your stake from any operator, and redelegate it on demand.

View operator profiles from the operator dashboard and restake to them directly.

Operators: Register to EigenLayer

As an operator, you can now register on the EigenLayer network via the Operator CLI. Operator registration is permissionless, and we look forward to welcoming all kinds of participants, from solo stakers to large institutions.

Node operators registered to the EigenLayer testnet.

AVS Developers: Explore Live AVS Code

As an AVS developer, you can explore the first testnet example of an AVS, EigenDA. In addition, we built a demo AVS called Incredible Squaring, which includes sample onchain contracts and offchain node software. Using these examples, developers can learn how to build their own AVSs.

II. Using the EigenDA Testnet

EigenDA is the first AVS to launch on EigenLayer.

EigenDA empowers rollups with cost-efficient, hyperscale-throughput data availability, benefiting from shared cryptoeconomic security provided by EigenLayer restakers. To read more about EigenDA and the technologies it employs, such as erasure coding, direct unicast distribution, and dual quorum staking, please see the comprehensive Intro to EigenDA blog post.

For this testnet, we’re adopting a measured rollout of EigenDA’s full feature set and functionality. EigenDA will launch with an initial throughput target of 1Mbps facilitated by 30 operators, and incrementally scale to a target throughput of 10Mbps with many more operators participating.

EigenDA's AVS summary shows restake distribution and participating operators.

Operators: Validate for EigenDA

As an operator, once you’ve registered to EigenLayer via the Operator CLI (see the “Using the EigenLayer Testnet” section above), you can also opt in to validating for EigenDA.

Any operator can permissionlessly opt in to validating for EigenDA. For now, only the top 30 operators by delegated stake can actively participate in validating for EigenDA. This limit on the number of active operators will be raised progressively as we test the system.

EigenDA Goerli blob explorer.

Rollup Developers: Integrate EigenDA

As a rollup developer, you can now integrate EigenDA as your data availability layer. EigenDA is intended to enable hyperscale throughput use cases such as high-frequency trading, social networks, gaming, and more.

For this testnet launch, we’re inviting interested rollups of all kinds to come collaborate with our team and test the system’s fit for your use case. Potential benefits of working with us now include strategic partnerships, co-marketing opportunities, and joint research and development.

We look forward to hearing from you and learning about your rollup.

III. Technical Support

If you're looking for technical support as a restaker, operator, AVS developer, or rollup developer, we have the following support channels available:

IV. The Path to Mainnet and Beyond

Our goal with this Stage 2 testnet is to learn, iterate, and improve the user experience for restakers, operators, AVS developers, and rollup developers. We have twin North Stars: innovation and security. With those as our guide, we expect the Stage 2 mainnet to launch in the first half of 2024. 

Stage 3 will introduce AVSs beyond EigenDA. We expect Stage 3 to go to testnet and mainnet in 2024.

We’re proud of what this Stage 2 testnet represents - the culmination of an immense amount of research and hard work - yet recognize fully that we are still very early on the journey to realizing the full EigenLayer vision. We’re excited to keep building out a universe with open innovation at its core, powered by Ethereum programmable trust.

This vision can only be realized with your support, interest, and engagement. To our Discord members, Forum posters, X/Twitter followers, Telegram groups, summit attendees, online supporters, IRL friends, and many more, and beyond - thank you for being an integral part of the EigenLayer story.