On Eigenlayer Self-Limitation and Beaconchain Stability

Hi, I’m kassandra. I’m a developer in defi, an ethereum home staker, and a cautious optimist about the potential of restaking. I’m crossposting this (with some edits) from twitter as asked by @kydo

I find the debate around restaking and its fragility/alignment really interesting! From a theoretical PoV it’s fascinating. I’m currently taking the view of someone who is neutral on eigenlayer but really wants to see a truly decentralized ethereum (scaled via the rollup centric roadmap) succeed long term.

Restaking (in some form) seems important for accelerating ethereum’s scaling goals.The based rollup with fast preconfirmations thesis is a good example and shows that researchers at the heart of ethereum are open to the idea of restaking constructions in some form. On the other hand restaking creates unknowns for beaconchain stability. All of this makes me uncertain how I should understand eigenlayer or any restaking protocol as a possible threat to the beaconchain if my main concern is a maximally healthy and decentralized ethereum.

One of the biggest questions I have is whether restaking can/should be maintained by one overarching restaking system (eigenlayer) safely or whether similar to LSTs, the best outcome from beaconchain PoV is a mix of entirely decoupled restaking solutions which all self-limit their growth?

I think for sure if eigenlayer has centralizing controls / governance / upgradeability or backdoors over the entire staked ETH balance within eigenlayer system, then my view is eigenlayer should self-limit until eigenpods are fully immutable and don’t have additional assumptions. I think having some controls at the beginning is probable for the eigenlayer protocol, thus my view would be that eigenlayer should be open to self-limiting beyond critical thresholds to avoid central attack vector on the beaconchain via eigenlayer.

Where its more nuanced and uncertain to me is if eigenpods were 100% trust minimized smart contracts (no gov etc), would it now be “ok” to have majority stake in eigenlayer or eigenlayer-like system as long as no eigenpod or avs has more than some threshold of stake individually? Even here, this only makes sense to me if it’s mandated somehow in the protocol that no AVS can get more than a certain threshold of beaconchain staked ETH pledged to it. Because if an AVS has more than e.g. 33% of the stake, we again face the potential for overloading ethereum consensus (as far as I currently understand). I’m open-minded about how I should understand this topic and the risks, though in this conversation I’ll remain firmly someone much more concerned with the success of ethereum than the success of eigenlayer. How can we say that eigenlayer is not co-opting or endangering ethereum if it’s possible for some AVS to amass the majority of staked ETH?

Hopefully this post makes enough sense to start a conversation :slight_smile:

Thanks for reading!