Goldman Sachs and Pornhub on Ethereum Client Diversity

I have always wanted to provide my customers with 100% transparency on the technical stack we use to help them stake ETH and to make non custodial meaningful rather than simply factually true. Launchnodes’ choice of client is Prysmatic. The vast majority of staking of ETH uses this client (over 60%). This is now proving to be contentious as the new decentralised architecture we all subscribe to would naturally see one client software (open source though it is) owned by one company as a centralised single point of failure/horder of excessive power.

However that in some way is to misunderstand

  • nature of software eco-systems
  • how multiple layers of value get built
  • sources of innovation springs.

Google predominantly uses Linux on their servers. Apple uses Linux for their Operating System.  Goldman Sachs made their own version of Java and the 17th most popular website in the world is pornhub, which utilized a then-new technology called latent semantic indexing. Or LSI, that allowed their algorithms to detect whether a certain set of keywords were closely related to another set of keywords. Video buffering technology involving playing large video files over the internet without storage needs from the user, was tested and pioneered by Pornhub as a way to get their videos across the web without making users wait for too long.

Prysmatic is our choice. Today

The Prysmatic client is a technology layer which others will build upon and connect to. We use Prysm because they have adopted rigorous engineering patterns that work at scale and hyper scale. If one of our clients is looking to stake $150k – $30M, they are often nervous as this whole staking world is new.  Whilst they understand the risks, they use us to take that risk away, which means we have to be 100% transparent about how we bake our cake and its ingredients.

After doing some research on the number of commits made to the different clients’ core repos, or looking at the code, they would ask me why we were not using Prysm. Prylabs’ Medium article seems to reflect the challenge, and balance potential solutions well. We want more diversity of clients, but today Prysmatic is our choice. We salute their hard work, continue to see what’s out there and promise to keep an open mind.  

Interesting times

On the subject of open minds, I am challenged by the fact that the cost of living is now a real problem, not an abstracted crypto one, in the UK and across the world. Whilst I still think inflation is transitory, what if that transition is 2 years long.  The globalisation of food and goods and ‘real stuff’ has never seemed more fragile. Resilience becomes what sensible people talk about, rather than capital flows.  Resilience and a pull back from globalisation slightly contradicts my march of Ethereum theory.  It also contradicts my borderless and distributed databases friends telling us that all we need to do is decentralise money and data, remembering they are now the same thing and all will be well. 

Happy staking

Jaydeep Korde

CEO, Launchnodes

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