Ankr’s Core Role In Eigen Layer & AVS Operations

Kevin Dwyer

Kevin Dwyer

April 1, 2024

4 min read

In Brief

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    Ankr has become an integral part of Eigen Layer as we provide the infrastructure behind its core components, such as node operations, liquid staking, and Scaling Services that streamline the launch of new AVS projects. This article dives into Ankr’s core role in Eigen Layer operations while providing a refresher on Eigen Layer’s principles.

    Why Eigen Layer for Web3 Development?

    Simply put, Eigen Layer is a security layer that new protocols can plug into and avoid the immense amount of work it takes to bootstrap validation and staked capital from scratch. This shared security model makes it easier and cheaper for developers to build new protocols while inheriting the security of the Ethereum network (without its scaling issues). It also helps improve scalability for the overall Ethereum ecosystem.

    • Shared Security: New protocols typically need their own security measures in place to function safely. Building robust security from scratch can be expensive and time-consuming for developers. Eigen Layer allows new protocols to leverage the existing, battle-tested security of the Ethereum network. This is because Eigen Layer enables them to restake ETH that's already securing Ethereum. Essentially, new protocols piggyback on the security of Ethereum, making them more secure without needing to build everything themselves.
    • Faster Development and Lower Costs: By not having to focus on building their own security infrastructure, developers can concentrate on building the core functionalities of their new protocols. This can significantly speed up development times and reduce costs associated with security development.
    • Scalability Benefits: Eigen Layer can help address scalability issues on the Ethereum network. It does this by offloading some of the data storage burden from Ethereum to itself. This can lead to faster transaction processing and lower fees for new protocols built on Eigen Layer.

    Learn more about how Eigen Layer works

    What are Eigen Layer AVS Projects (Actively Validated Services)

    In Eigen Layer, Actively Validated Services (AVSs) are the term used for specialized protocols and applications that build on top of Ethereum's existing security without its scalability constraints. These AVSs provide various functionalities to the blockchain ecosystem, and Eigen Layer allows them to leverage the security of Ethereum without needing to set up their own complex validation systems.

    Think of AVSs like apps on your phone, but for the blockchain. Just like apps offer different features (games, social media, etc.), AVSs offer various functionalities like:

    • Storing data more efficiently and cheaply (data availability layers)
    • Enabling faster transactions (sidechains)
    • Connecting different blockchains (bridges)
    • Running new types of programs (virtual machines)

    Learn more about Eigen Layer AVS

    How Is Ankr Supporting Eigen Layer AVS Projects?

    Ankr is supporting Eigen Layer by facilitating ETH restaking (with ankrETH), assisting AVS projects with their node operations, and offering an entire scaling suite to help them build. Ankr provides infrastructure for every step of the development process and helps AVS projects get up and running many times faster with a suite of products and services to assist developers.

    Node Provider: By opting in as a node operator, Ankr commits to providing a range of essential services to various AVSs. This includes operating validators for each of the AVSs we support, participating in distributed validation processes, enhancing network security, and contributing to the overall functionality of the AVS ecosystems we support. Our active involvement ensures that these advanced services can operate smoothly, securely, and in a more decentralized manner.

    • High-performance node operations for AVS
    • Distributed validation
    • Around-the-clock support & maintenance

    Restaking Provider: As the inventor of liquid staking, Ankr will facilitate the restaking of ankrETH tokens to Eigen Layer, supporting validation for a variety of AVS projects. With a TVL of over $86 million on Ankr Staking, Ankr is one of the largest Ethereum stakers with an industry-leading node delegation system and security. Ankr is the go-to staking infrastructure provider for ecosystems like the BNB Smart Chain, Polygon, and more.

    • ankrETH liquid staking token
    • Liquid staking operations
    • Restaking support for Eigen Layer

    Rollup as a Service Provider: Ankr’s Scaling Services (Rollups and Sidechains as a Service) offering an easy path forward in creating new modular layer 2 blockchains with the ability to integrate with the various data availability layers, oracle networks, bridges, and other protocols operating as Eigen Layer AVSs.

    • Rollups as a Service
    • Sidechains as a Service
    • Full scaling solutions & engineering

    Final Thoughts

    Ankr plays a vital role within Eigen Layer by providing the infrastructure for key functionalities like node operation, restaking, and scaling services. This empowers developers to leverage Eigen Layer's shared security model and simplifies the launch of innovative AVS projects, ultimately contributing to a more scalable and secure Ethereum ecosystem.

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