Candidate proposal for Stake DAO (Stake Capital) as an ETH2 and Solana node operator for Lido

Objective of the proposal: Further decentralize Lido by adding Stake Capital as an ETH2 and Solana node operator via Stake DAO. This should lower the risk to stETH and stSOL holders by improving contingency handling through introducing more uncorrelated setups and adding a robust and reliable node operator. Especially important in light of Eth2’s anti-correlation penalties 11.

Brief description of organization
Stake DAO is at the cross-section of DeFi and staking-as-a-service with its partner Stake Capital, which offers decentralised validator services. Stake Capital has over $200 million delegated to its validators across 9 different networks: Avalanche, Polygon, Solana, Nucypher, Tezos, Cosmos, Elrond, Harmony and Livepeer.

Brief description of performance track record
Stake Capital validators have been running for over four years and the number of supported networks is growing quickly.
For instance, in September we launched validators for Livepeer ranking top by performance in Europe within 1 week and top 5 Globally the following week. At present we rank #7 Globally and #1 in Europe.
Achieved uptime is 99%+ or better on all networks (only less during maintenance) and all our validators are linked directly on the UI for tangible proof of competency.

Motivation for application
Lido benefits from further distributing the number of reliable validators as this contributes to a more robust architecture thereby providing a more compelling offer. Node operators need to be trusted and experienced entities that are able to run validating nodes of the highest possible quality in terms of security, availability, and reliability. Stake DAO has been an early supporter of Lido’s stETH, building a strategy and incentivising users to provide liquidity to the steth/eth pool on Curve; also working towards an options strategy similar to our previously deployed puts and calls that leverages stETH. We believe that Lido has delivered an exceptional product for users and is exceedingly useful to the wider ecosystem. We want to deepen our relationship with Lido on Ethereum and Solana (and hopefully on more networks over time), and this proposal is the right way to do it.

Security set up and history
ETH: Anti DDOS, technical help 24/7, Monitoring alert, cross-region disaster recovery strategy in place ; history of participating in ETH testnet: ran ETH and GETH nodes. 99+% uptime.
SOL: Stake DAO has been running two solana nodes with 99+% uptime and with cross-region disaster recovery strategy ; one with foundation delegation, and one for anyone to participate with over $70M in delegation.

REASONS FOR

  1. Dedicated team/company that can respond to potential incidents 24/7.
  2. Experience in operating staking infrastructure with over $200M delegated.
  3. Stake Capital has operated nodes for over 4 years, and is well aligned with the ethos of Lido. Stake Capital will therefore be able to be a partner to Lido for more networks as well.
  4. Experienced with running ETH and SOL validators and have a reputation amongst networks for our solid node infrastructure, business development and bridging DeFi to different ecosystems.
  5. We are developing analytics, tooling, smart contracts and interfaces for staking as a service and would be eager to work with Lido to propagate the mission of ‘liquid staking’ by actively building out smart contracts and infrastructure to democratise staking for everyone.

REASONS AGAINST

  1. The Lido community feels they have enough validators for Ethereum and Solana
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Hey Stake DAO / Stake Capital,

Thank you for your Node Operator application.

Please note that we’re now processing Node Operator applications only during open onboarding rounds, and Node Operators must apply for each protocol separately. We aim to have a new onboarding round for Ethereum in the very near future; for Solana we’re not quite sure yet when the next onboarding round will be. Please check here Validator Admission Process for the general process and reach out to me via telegram (@isidorosp) if you’d like to arrange a call to go over any questions!

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