Today we are excited to announce the release of the testnet for the first stage of the EigenLayer protocol. This marks an important milestone on the road toward the future of cryptoeconomic security, by creating a free market for decentralized trust. We can’t wait for restakers, validators, and builders to join the ecosystem and embrace this new paradigm.
The launch of EigenLayer will be phased in three stages to onboard various participants into the ecosystem, and ensure focus and a smooth experience for all participants:
- Stage 1: Stakers - where stakers will be onboarded into restaking on EigenLayer
- Stage 2: Operators - where node operators will be onboarded and can receive delegation from restakers
- Stage 3: Services - where the first actively validated services on EigenLayer will be onboarded
The current launch of the Stage 1 testnet is built on the Ethereum Goerli network. We caution that this is an early and non-incentivized testnet, with code undergoing active development. We expect to make improvements in advance of mainnet, and we hope you'll contribute your feedback, comments, and ideas to help us do so.
EigenLayer's design is based on the core principle of credible neutrality - enabling intersubjectivity by allowing participants to make subjective decisions instead of being subject to protocol decisions. Thus, the EigenLayer protocol empowers services built on EigenLayer to choose which restaking modalities they value and trust, including specifying whether to accept native restaking and/or liquid restaking for security, as well as specifying which liquid staking tokens to accept.
The Stage 1 testnet supports the following restaking modalities:
1. Liquid Restaking
EigenLayer supports various liquid staking tokens to be restaked on the EigenLayer contracts. The testnet supports stETH and rETH as examples. Assets that will be supported on mainnet will be announced in advance of the mainnet and based on community input.
2. Native Restaking
- New ETH stakers: Can set their withdrawal credentials to their own EigenLayer smart contract “pods” when creating new validators.
- Existing ETH stakers: The upcoming Shapella upgrade to Ethereum, scheduled for April 12, 2023, enables existing native stakers to participate in EigenLayer:
- Existing stakers with withdrawal credentials beginning in 0x00 can repoint their withdrawal credentials to an execution layer address such as their own EigenLayer smart contract "pods", after the upgrade goes live. This does not require exiting from the beacon chain.
- Existing stakers with withdrawal credentials beginning in 0x01 can participate in EigenLayer by withdrawing from the beacon chain and depositing as a new validator, after the upgrade goes live. It is not possible currently to simply repoint withdrawal credentials for those with 0x01 credentials.
The EigenLayer contracts are under active audits, and a bug bounty program will be launched after audit completion. The code is licensed under a BSL license for two years, after which it converts into an MIT license. We welcome the community to provide any comments regarding the codebase on the GitHub repository.
The initial EigenLayer design optimizes for caution and security of user funds by using training wheels, which can eventually be removed. The EigenLayer contracts have two different multisigs: a team multisig, which controls limited functionality, such as pausing and adding new restakable tokens; and a community multisig, which controls upgradability. For this testnet, both these multisigs are handled by the early builders of the EigenLayer protocol.
Users interested in EigenLayer can familiarize themselves with the EigenLayer restaking module on the testnet, as well as the associated interfaces. While the Stage 1 testnet is mainly intended for stakers, other ecosystem participants, such as operators and builders, can learn more about EigenLayer, as well as understand the basic structure of the codebase. In addition, the testnet offers teams building staking functionality the opportunity to understand various ways to integrate EigenLayer restaking into their protocols.
An important consideration for the phased launch is that it enables the community to start engaging in stewarding the protocol and code design. Please join us in Discord to discuss.
How to participate:
- Check out the testnet
- Read through the documentation
- Look through the codebase and provide comments and feedback on GitHub
- Provide feedback and discuss ideas in Discord
- Participate in research discussions on the Forum
- Follow @eigenlayer on Twitter
We are thrilled to be taking these first steps towards the launch of the EigenLayer protocol, and welcome the community to join in building the restaking collective, with the goal of creating a platform that maximizes the surface area of permissionless innovation.
Looking forward to building!