Ethereum is one of the most popular blockchains for being the first to implement the concept of smart contracts. However, there are areas that can be improved.
A long time has passed since the early days of Bitcoin, and one of the most anticipated developments is the migration to ETH 2.0. This involves Ethereum transitioning from being a Proof of Work (PoW) based blockchain to a Proof of Stake (PoS) based blockchain. In other words, there will no longer be miners and instead, tokens will be staked in order to achieve greater decentralization and reduce carbon footprint.
When Vitalik, the founder of Ethereum, announced the transition from PoW to PoS, this opened up a world of possibilities around staking. The team at ssv.network firmly believes that the more decentralized Ethereum is, the better it will be for everyone. In the future ETH 2.0, anyone can be a validator if they have enough Ethereum (currently 32). But ssv.network wants to go further by making staking-as-a-service more secure and inclusive.
Many people think that ssv.network is one of the many staking services available. They are mistaken. It is actually an open-source protocol that anyone can implement to create a decentralized staking infrastructure, allowing for the execution of an Ethereum validator in a distributed manner. We will explain exactly what this consists of in the following paragraphs.
A Decentralized Method of Staking on ETH
Staking on ETH has always been open. Anyone who owns at least 32 ETH can help secure the network and receive compensation for that help. The main obstacle is that 32 ETH is a lot of money - as of August 2022, it is more than €30,000. Another barrier to adoption is the need for technical knowledge to run a validator 24/7 with a stable internet connection. These two major obstacles make it difficult to create validators.
But what if there was a way to run a validator in a shared and custody-free manner?
The goals of ssv.network are several:
- To enable the execution of a validator without previous technical knowledge
- Staking clients must reside in a fault-tolerant, slashing-resistant, and decentralized infrastructure and must benefit from that staking.
- Developers of applications/researchers/analysts must be allowed to build applications on SSV in a decentralized way. For example, DeFi protocols will be able to offer ETH staking and liquidity, with 0 infrastructure, while maintaining decentralization.
An Open-Source Protocol by and for the Community
ssv.network is a completely decentralized and open network. The core of our protocol is called Secret Shared Validators (SSV) - a way to split a validator's private key among nodes that do not trust each other.
In other words, the public key is "split into pieces" and distributed among multiple nodes, so that if one validator node is compromised, the key remains secure. If a validator node fails, the protocol detects the failure and allows block signing to continue if a majority of nodes are still operational. This protocol also prevents malicious operators from performing fraudulent actions.
This technology allows anyone to run an ETH validator, whether they are end-users, staking pools, or large institutional staking services.
Anyone who wants to join ssv.network as an operator must run an SSV node, generate operator keys, and join the network. If we simply want to be a validator (staker), we must generate new keys in Ethereum's Launchpad and deposit our validator in the smart contract. Once this is done, we can choose from multiple staking providers spread throughout the world.
Both stakers and operators are members of the DAO and can participate in the governance of the ssv.network.
The end result is a protocol that allows new ways of staking, obtaining benefits, and all in a decentralized and secure manner.