EigenLayer is reshaping crypto-economic security provision and consumption in the Ethereum ecosystem with its restaking primitive, which enables the reuse of ETH on the consensus layer for extended crypto-economic security. It is now crucial for all participants in the Ethereum ecosystem to understand EigenLayer's restaking economy and its key players. Restaking and new consensus protocols like Eigenlayer have the potential to revolutionize the crypto world by maximizing non-zero-sum games and changing the nature of assets like ether.
EigenLayer leverages Spice AI’s enterprise-grade, high-availability infrastructure to solve a set of technical and community-focused challenges, including providing mission-critical beacon-chain consensus data. This case study will explore and discuss the collaboration between EigenLayer and Spice AI. It will take you through the key challenges EigenLayer and Spice AI have faced together and will walk you through the solutions they co-devised.
EigenLayer’s Story & Mission
EigenLayer is on a mission to increase open innovation. They are dedicated to enabling collaboration within the crypto community by providing mechanisms that allow anyone to build their own ideas and technologies into an interconnected system.
A protocol built on Ethereum, EigenLayer introduces restaking, a new primitive in crypto-economic security that enables the reuse of ETH on the consensus layer. Users staking ETH natively, or with a liquid staking token (LST), can opt-in to EigenLayer smart contracts to restake their ETH or LST and extend crypto-economic security to additional applications on the network to earn extra rewards.
EigenLayer plays a key role in solving critical issues for developers and users on Ethereum. Anyone building a new decentralized service for Ethereum must bootstrap a new trust network to secure their system which causes security to become fragmented. EigenLayer solves this problem by enabling any service, regardless of its composition (e.g. EVM-compatibility), to tap into the pooled security of Ethereum's stakers. By doing so, EigenLayer creates an environment for permissionless innovation and free-market governance.
EigenLayer launched on Ethereum Mainnet in June 2023. While EigenLayer is currently limited to restaking and withdrawing restaking assets, full functionality, including opting into services or delegation of assets, is being gradually enabled through protocol updates.
Currently available EigenLayer components:
When a staker participating in native restaking via an EigenPod wants to withdraw from participating in both Ethereum and EigenLayer, this contract serves as an escrow for their withdrawn ETH for seven days.
A contract that is deployed on a per-user basis and facilitates native restaking.
A contract that facilitates liquid restaking.
EigenLayer’s current components enable the following features:
- Ethereum holders who wish to start staking on Ethereum and natively restake on EigenLayer can set their validator withdrawal credentials to their EigenPod, while depositing their stake on Ethereum.
- Existing Ethereum stakers with a 0x00 withdrawal prefix can natively restake on EigenLayer by setting their withdrawal credential to their EigenPod.
- LST holders of stETH, rETH, or cbETH can participate in liquid restaking on EigenLayer.
- For LSTs and EigenPods, queued withdrawals have a 7-day hold before they are available to withdraw.
Partnering with Spice AI
Spice AI and EigenLayer’s relationship is built on shared values and a similar approach to solving problems. Both parties are dedicated to enabling open innovation and are highly committed to ensuring data integrity, security, and data-driven decision-making. Beyond the quality of Spice AI's enterprise offerings, it was this shared vision that attracted EigenLayer to work with Spice AI. While EigenLayer is pushing the industry forward via restaking, Spice AI is doing so through the provision of data and AI/ML-powered infrastructure.
Spice AI and EigenLayer are both currently based at the University of Washington’s CoMotion Labs.
Challenges & Solutions
To date, Spice AI has supported EigenLayer in completing three critical challenges and has helped deliver innovative solutions to overcome each one.
- Helping EigenLayer create a command center to monitor beacon data and EigenLayer contracts in real-time
- Providing a set of EigenLayer datasets to EigenLayer and the community
- Providing enterprise-grade data and infrastructure to support dashboards, operations, and runtime monitoring
Creating a Command Center to Monitor Beacon Data & EigenLayer Contracts in Real-time
For their initial launch, EigenLayer requested Spice AI’s support to help ensure that everything would run smoothly. Their aim was to create a command center for monitoring all their contracts. To achieve this goal, they needed reliable, real-time data.
Spice AI provides enterprise-grade, high-availability data infrastructure for the web3 community. EigenLayer relied on Spice AI’s real-time data to find a solution to monitor launch activity. With other services failing to offer the data and time-to-market speed required for the project, EigenLayer turned to Spice AI’s real-time data to find a solution to monitor launch activity.
Spice AI’s real-time data allows EigenLayer to track data at speeds that are not possible via other services. Through the provision of Spice AI’s real-time data, EigenLayer was able to develop Eigenpod tracking datasets, which allowed for high-speed and complex tracking necessary to monitor the launch.
“We were initially like, it’s such a departure from where they are. It’s going to take them a long time and, in a few weeks, it’s like magic. We had everything working exactly as we wanted, and it’s amazing.” <div class="author_name">Sreeram Kannan</div><div class="author_title">Founder and CEO of EigenLayer</div>
Following launch, EigenLayer saw the value of tokens deposited on the protocol quadruple to around $90 million. According to the website DeFiLlama, EigenLayer’s restaking capacity for liquid staking tokens increased to 45,000.
On the first day following launch, EigenLayer's limit for stETH and rETH (Lido and RocketPool's liquid staking tokens) was reached. cbETH (Coinbase's staked ETH) hit its capacity on the second day, highlighting the enthusiasm of crypto users toward EigenLayer.
Providing Unique Datasets Including Beacon-Chain Consensus Data
EigenLayer required unique datasets that were unavailable via other providers or protocols, especially beacon-chain consensus data. If you are involved in the restaking ecosystem, it is mission critical that you have access to consensus data.
EigenLayer uses data, including slots, validators, deposits, exits, and slashings, from Spice AI's Beacon Datasets and JSON RPC APIs to make data-driven decisions, such as onboarding operators.
In EigenLayer, security providers (restakers) restake beacon ETH or LST to opt into securing Ethereum-based service modules. Security consumers (service modules) can, in turn, choose the level of decentralization by selecting types of restakers.
During the initial launch, Ethereum stakers could restake to EigenLayer easily by depositing liquid staking tokens into EigenLayer contracts. It was also possible for participants to create an EigenPod and set Beacon chain withdrawal credentials to their EigenPod address. Additionally, Spice AI enables participants to run calculations like TVL from beacon validators whose withdrawal addresses have been set to EigenPods.
Providing Enterprise-grade Data & Infrastructure to Support Dashboards, Operations & Runtime Monitoring
Right after the launch, 100s of millions of dollars had already been deposited into EigenLayer’s contracts. Again, EigenLayer leveraged Spice AI’s platform for enterprise-grade data and infrastructure to support dashboards, operations, and runtime monitoring.
Beyond the quality of Spice AI’s enterprise-grade data and infrastructure, EigenLayer chose to work with the Spice AI team because of their proven operational capability. Having Spice AI deliver the resources and expertise to achieve their objectives freed the EigenLayer team to concentrate on improving restaking.
Speed was a critical factor in EigenLayer’s choice to go with Spice AI’s established and ready-to-use platform, rather than building in-house. Developing infrastructure in-house would have required at least one full-time engineer. Maintaining the project on a 24/7 basis, which was essential, would have required two or three full-time engineers. As everything EigenLayer needed was included within the Spice AI platform, it proved to be the fastest and most cost-effective solution. Spice AI’s experienced cloud team, with backgrounds at Microsoft, AWS, and Google, was another critical factor in EigenLayer choosing Spice AI as their partner for this particular task.
The Outcome of Our Collaboration
Leveraging Spice AI’s platform and enterprise-grade services has made it possible for EigenLayer to achieve objectives that would not have been possible via other service providers. As a byproduct of the partnership, EigenLayer’s datasets are now available within the Spice AI platform, accessible to users looking to solve similar problems.
Spice AI and the Spice AI platform continue to serve EigenLayer, providing enterprise-grade, high-availability data infrastructure.
Where We Are Now & Where We Are Going Next
EigenLayer has a range of upgrades planned for the coming months. The next protocol upgrade will enable operators to register with EigenLayer and allow restakers to delegate to those operators. Subsequently, the protocol will also be upgraded to enable on-chain contracts of service modules to interact with EigenLayer. This will allow operators and restakers to opt-in to validating for those service modules. In addition to these upgrades, EigenLayer has recently announced EigenLayer DA, providing hyper-scale data availability for rollups. Learn more about EigenLayer DA here.
Spice AI and EigenLayer have further joint projects planned and continue to work closely with one another. As AVS and operators come online for EigenLayer’s M2 and M3 milestones, significantly more data will be generated. All of that data will need to be queried for monitoring and analytics. Spice AI will be on hand to provide EigenLayer and the community with the enterprise-grade data and infrastructure they require for every new challenge they face.
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