ETH2 New Node Operator Wave 1 Recommendations

The Lido Node Operator Subgovernance Group came to an agreement on the first wave of recommended new node operators for the Lido staked ether product. We have decided to settle with 4 organizations out of 13 applicants given the growth Lido is experiencing and our goal of balancing profitability and decentralization. These 4 node operators will be suggested for onboarding to the Lido DAO via a Snapshot vote that will run until March 21, 2021.

Over the past few weeks, we collected applications, had some conversations, evaluated applicants and got together on March 8 to finalize our recommendations. We settled on the following four node operators and have had additional calls to confirm their fit and interest to join Lido over the past few days:

Blockscape: Blockscape is a team relatively new to the staking industry, but with lots of experience in traditional infrastructure operation/DevOps. The team based in Stuttgart, Germany, has contributed to the Lido DKG ceremony and ran nodes on multiple internal testnets, showcasing their skill and willingness to provide value to Lido, which is why we are excited to recommend them!

DSRV: This team from Korea has built some amazing dashboards and products for other networks, including e.g. Chaiscan for Terra and a Node-as-a-Service platform for Mina. They also built a liquid staking prototype during a NEAR hackathon, so they are familiar with Lido’s core proposition. We are excited to recommend this organization to improve Lido’s decentralization and strengthen Lido’s presence in Asia.

Everstake: Everstake is a large staking provider based in Ukraine with potentially the most comprehensive portfolio of supported protocols. The team has a history of building tooling and participating in the community via content creation, dashboards, and also development: e.g. on the Wormhole bridge. The Everstake team is well-known to our current node operators and we are happy to recommend them and excited to hopefully see them contribute to Lido soon.

SkillZ: This French team is building a “Blockchain Infrastructure as a Service” product initially focused on Ethereum, Tezos, and the Pocket Network. They convinced us with their technical sophistication, as well as interest and understanding of the Lido product and vision. We are sure the SkillZ team would push Lido forward and are thrilled to include them in this first shortlist.

The Onboarding Process
Should LDO holders signal approval for the chosen operators through the Snapshot vote, each of them will issue a vote to be added to the Lido DAO. In parallel, new operators can join the Lido testnet (more info coming soon) in which upcoming Lido functionality will be tested. Once accepted, new operators will provide keys for 100 Beacon Chain validators and issue a vote to increase their staking limits. The Lido protocol will distribute freshly provided ETH to the new operators and there will be another vote to raise the staking limits of new operators after the initial 100 key testing phase (this is planned to happen around 2 weeks after the first validators ran without incidents).

How We Evaluated Applicants
We did our best to settle on an evaluation practice that is transparent while respecting the node operators privacy, as well as ensuring our own ratings are unbiased. We settled on keeping the actual evaluation that each of the Subgovernance members did and that we aligned on in a call private, but wanted to share the high-level criteria that each of us took into consideration in the process. We covered these in the recording of the evaluation call that can be found here. Each of the Lido Node Operator Subgovernance Group members has had a slightly different focus, and we tried to incorporate factors such as infrastructure setup, track record, level of contributions / potential to provide value to Lido, long-term alignment, as well as other strategic factors such as geographical location into consideration.

The Way Forward
We would like to encourage LDO holders to vote on Snapshot and would like to thank all node operator applicants for applying. We are looking forward to bringing Lido to further networks and expanding the validator set with further onboarding waves! We encourage node operators to apply to these. We’ll be contacting all the applicants when the next batch will be announced. Please, reach out if you want to be in our contact list.

Felix (in the name of the Lido Node Operator Subgovernance Group)