As the deposit contract for Ethereum has gone live, we have been helping clients across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia deploy their Ethereum and run Validator nodes. Clients can now stake Ethereum on Eth2.0 using Prysmatic Beacon nodes and Validator nodes through 2 different products in AWS Marketplace.
If this newsletter has a simple takeaway, it is this: Being an initial Validator on Eth2.0 as it goes live, is exciting and likely to be very profitable. New technology and new processes mean there are risks, but if the amount of staked ETH required for go-live is reached, then that makes for a profitable and exciting December 1st – as per Martin Young’s article on the Crypto Potato.
The increasing price of ETH, however, means that people are finding it harder to lock in 32 ETH. As such, it is possible that the network will go live with fewer initial nodes. If this happened, it would mean even larger returns for those who are validating from day 1.
This – along with the fact that we have re-launched our website based on warmly received brutal feedback about how we needed to make it a little less “village”, all makes for positive news.
We are learning massive amounts as we onboard clients, many who do not have technical skills but who are simply financial investors who want to be part of what is in my view the most significant engineering event since Netscape launched in 1994. The link is useful as I suspect many of you reading this are not dinosaurs like me, and are too young to remember how big a deal it was.
What We’ve Learned
The learnings are as follows. Depositing Ethereum, getting keys and creating wallets does not have a friendly user experience, and is still too scary. Our job, and that of others who build in the space is to change this and make it easier and easier. One of my biggest fears, aside from failure and having to sell my kidneys to feed my kids, is that the price of 32 Ethereum becomes too high for a really broad range of stakeholders to become stakers, run nodes and generate ongoing returns.
If staking is “captured” exclusively by the usual stakeholders – namely financial services businesses and extremely wealthy asset and capital holders, then we will have missed a trick about how to deal with a whole host of global problems that derive from a lack of stable sources of income for individuals, communities and government functions (eg. education and healthcare).
I don’t have good answers on how to stop that, so being a dutiful child of the Washington Consensus, we continue to have discussions with financial institutions in London, New York, Mumbai and Mexico City about what the possibilities are around ETH 2.0 staking products and services, with a view that some of them give us some money for our excited hand waving, hockey stick graphs projecting future profits, and maybe run a few nodes in their AWS plane.
As customers and people who are part of our community, my ask is that you run nodes and stake Ethereum, read all you can, tell your organisations, colleagues and friends about Ethereum 2.0 and start thinking about what you can do to be part of the network – by staking and building.
Until next time