EigenLayer: AVS's, staking, and $EIGEN


EigenLayer recently announced the launch of their mainnet stage 3 launch, as well as their native token, EIGEN. As of today, EigenLayer has over $14B in total value locked, placing it second, only behind Lido, for the highest TVL protocol in the entirety of DeFi. With stage 3, EigenLayer will focus on launching and incubating AVSs in the EigenLayer ecosystem.

EigenLayer is a restaking protocol, which allows for ETH stakers to rehypothecate their staked ETH to earn

rewards by providing cryptoeconomic security to other modules that utilize EigenLayer to bootstrap security.

Stakers restake their ETH in EigenLayer, which is a set of smart contracts on top of Ethereum, to opt in to validate modules, such as consensus protocols, data availability layers, virtual machines, keeper networks, oracle networks, bridges, threshold cryptography schemes, and trusted execution environments, built on top of Ethereum mainnet. EigenLayer imposes additional slashing conditions on their staked ETH, in exchange for rewards from modules for the economic security they provide.


As mentioned previously, EigenLayer introduced their native token EIGEN, which they refer to as an “Universal Intersubjective Work Token”.

Through EIGEN, EigenLayer attempts to leverage Ethereum's security for objective faults and its own social consensus for intersubjective faults, without overloading Ethereum's social consensus. As a token, EIGEN can be staked to perform any task, even those that are intersubjectively verifiable (i.e., any two reasonable people can agree whether the worker acted properly), through intersubjective staking.

EIGEN's social consensus is used to resolve potential faults in tasks due to the tyranny-of-majority. In case of malicious behavior, EIGEN's social consensus can canonize a fork of the EIGEN token that penalizes the malicious operators by slashing their staked EIGEN tokens.

Operators and AVSs

At the core of EigenLayer are node operators and AVSs.

Operators are entities or individuals which help run AVSs (Actively Validated Services) built on top of EigenLayer. Restakers can delegate their ETH to operators, who in turn opt-in to provide security or other services to AVSs.

AVSs can range from decentralized sequencing networks, such as Espresso, to data availability layers, such as EigenDA. AVSs generally require some form of stake for cryptoeconomic reasons, such as slashing, where validators may be penalized for behaviors that are detrimental to the network’s security and integrity. Notably, the first AVS on EigenLayer was EigenDA, EigenLayer’s data availability solution. We published a short article on EigenDA, which you can find here.

According to EigenLayer, AVSs will be rolled out progressively to ensure stability. Recently, EigenLayer introduced a new set of AVSs, including MACH AVS, rollup acceleration for fast finality on optimistic rollups (ORUs), Brevis ZK Coprocessor, trustless on-chain computations, eoracle, an oracle service, Lagrange State Committees, secure light client functionality for ORUs, and Witness Chain’s DePIN coordination layer, a coordination layer for decentralized physical asset networks.


Non-LRT restakers who want to restake to an AVS need to delegate their ETH to an operator that has opted into an AVS. For example, if a user wants to restake to EigenDA, they would need to restake their stake to an operator that has opted into EigenDA. Operators can opt into multiple AVSs. In this sense, it is important for users to choose node operators carefully, to ensure that their stake is being used for an AVS that they wish to provide services to.

As of date, EigenLayer does not support slashing or in-protocol rewards. As EigenLayer has stated, the reasoning behind this choice is to allow operators to establish themselves within the EigenLayer ecosystem and for the EigenLayer marketplace to develop and stabilize.

Delegate to ValiDAO

ValiDAO is currently opted-in to EigenDA, Omni Network, Witness Chain and eoracle. If you’d like to delegate your ETH to ValiDAO, to ensure that big validator doesn’t win, and to make sure that your stake is handled with care, organically and in a free-range environment, you can do so here:

Note: You can redelegate to a different operator, but will have to wait seven days to complete the redelegation.

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