Blockchain tools and infrastructure developer Nethermind announced a partnership with EigenLayer, a restaking platform that leverages Ethereum's security.
The collaboration seeks to drive permissionless innovation within the blockchain ecosystem by combining their respective Ethereum infrastructure and restaking capabilities, according to a statement.
“Through strategic collaboration with EigenLayer, Nethermind will help design and explore what is possible to build with restaking on Ethereum and other chains,” Nethermind CEO Tomasz Stańczak said. “The Nethermind team, always caring about sustainability and security of the Ethereum protocol, is excited about the opportunity to ensure alignment of safety, censorship and attack-resistant chains and creativity when bringing restaking to the Ethereum ecosystem.”
The partnership has already borne fruit with Nethermind’s restaking dashboard for users and helping to establish specifications for node operators within EigenLayer.
"The vision of EigenLayer is to empower protocols and developers with the ability to borrow the security guarantees of Ethereum,” Sreeram Kannan, the founder of EigenLayer developer EigenLabs, added. “Through our partnership with Nethermind, we are confident in realizing this vision and propelling unprecedented innovation within the blockchain space.”
Future initiatives include Nethermind's participation in the governance community multisig for EigenLayer’s core protocol, helping to distribute the decision-making process and encourage a more decentralized ecosystem.
Restaking benefits and risks
EigenLayer allows users to harness Ethereum's security and restake their already-staked ether or Ethereum liquid staking tokens (LSTs) — such as Lido’s stETH, Rocket Pool’s rETH and Coinbase’s cbETH — on other protocols. Restaking enables holders to double down on their staked assets for additional yield, albeit trading off additional risk.
EigenLayer went live on Ethereum last month with an initial $17 million LST deposit limit. The project previously raised $64.5 million, including a $50 million Series A funding round in March backed by Blockchain Capital, Coinbase Ventures and Polychain Capital.
However, restaking has also drawn criticism from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and others in the ecosystem, with Buterin noting that while re-staking could be used for low-risk purposes, it could also compromise the mainnet’s security in some situations.
“We should tread lightly when application-layer projects aim to extend the ‘scope’ of blockchain consensus beyond the validation of essential Ethereum protocol rules,” Buterin stated in a May blog post.
Swapnil Raj, head of the EigenLayer efforts at Nethermind, is delivering a presentation on EigenLayer nodes at the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) in Paris tomorrow.
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