Don’t trust us (or anybody else) with your validator nodes and staking infrastructure

A critical and early part of our sales process involves explaining to customers what would happen if Launchnodes was no longer operating, if we were not an existing business anymore. We don’t wait for customers to ask the question, we lead with it. After all, these are the young teenage years of an industry that needs good regulation, but doesn’t have it yet. The failure of FTX, the shutdown of Kraken’s staking business, and the regulatory ambiguity of staking-as-a-service providers and DeFi protocols all point to that.  

We think that being transparent allows our customers, especially the business customers and those staking at scale, to understand their risk and have contingency plans, which in turn gives them the ability to become solo stakers.

So what would happen if we weren’t here anymore? By giving you a choice of open source client software to run under the terms of the GPL, and secondly, ensuring staking is on infrastructure you own and only you have access to, you stay 100% in control, without any custodial or technical risk. 

If Launchnodes did not exist as a business, your nodes keep on running.

Planning for failure

More specifically, we like to highlight what the executable plan is in the event of Launchnodes’ failure.

The options:

1. You can close your AWS or GCP account; a 100 nodes offline for 24 hours will cost about $20. You can then use your keys and mnemonic and go to another provider using the keys you have generated as a solo staker to bring nodes up on their platform,

OR

2. You keep your nodes up on AWS/GCP or bare metal and hire an engineer (or two) to update the software on the nodes manually,

OR 

3. Using your mnemonic and key pairs, set up the nodes on new infrastructure you have bought, and set up afresh in your data centre/office or bedroom.

The ease with which you keep staking if we are not around is the chief reason US regulated businesses choose Launchnodes. And we have seen a surge in the number of businesses and entrepreneurs who want to solo stake, post Shanghai.

Higher profits are enjoyed only after a poor UI

Solo staking is harder than using Lido due to a much poorer user experience. With staking-as-a-service providers, it is easier, if not fantastic. The price you pay for an improved user experience, evident in the staking returns, should be transparent. Today, it is not. Tomorrow, the UX that has made things easy is the intermediary layer between you and significantly higher returns, and that makes Ethereum structurally weaker.

“A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.” 

I think that is accurate. It also sheds light on why solo staking is not as popular as those forms of staking that have put a better user experience in front of them. But you do get higher returns for solo staking, today, tomorrow, and in the future. You also get an Ethereum network that is decentralised in terms of the data and the staking returns. The Ethereum core dev team and the client teams have not changed their mind on what ‘good’ looks like for Ethereum.

Our job at Launchnodes is to make the user interface for solo staking a much better joke. And we will. Our first step is being open about how much harder it is than some other user interfaces. Higher staking returns – and providing you and your engineering teams with all the technical handholding you need – does not wash away the fact that you do have to spin up servers and run software.

We promise to make it as easy as possible to solo stake – by making it easy for you to do it yourself, if you are working at scale using our products, or by our team doing it all for you. The upside of a relatively poor user experience is more money today, tomorrow, and in the future. Ethereum needs you!

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