Pooled security via restaking. EigenLayer provides a new mechanism for pooled security by enabling modules to be secured by restaked ETH rather than their own tokens. The modules then have the ability to impose additional slashing conditions on the staked ETH of validators who opted into the module. We call this mechanism restaking. In return, validators gain additional revenue from providing security and validation services to their chosen modules. When coupled with an on- chain verifiable slashing mechanism, this mechanism of restaking allows for a deep transfer of cryptoeconomic security For example, if the module is a Data Availability layer, restakers via EigenLayer will receive a payment whenever data is stored through the module. In return, restakers are subject to slashing conditions that are exercised through proof-of-custody. Thus Eigen- Layer expands open innovation beyond the smart contract-based DApps enabled by Ethereum, to virtual machines, consensus protocols, and middleware. Any AVS with an on-chain slashing contract can be secured by EigenLayer.

  1. Open marketplace. EigenLayer provides an open market mechanism which governs how its pooled security is supplied by validators and consumed by AVSs. EigenLayer creates a market- place in which validators can choose whether to opt in or out of each module built on Eigen- Layer, as pictured in Fig. 4. The various modules will need to sufficiently incentivize validators to allocate restaked Eth to their module and validators will help determine which modules are worthwhile to assign this additional pooled security given the potential for additional slashing. The opt-in dynamics of EigenLayer have two important benefits: (1) the stable, conservative gov- ernance of the core blockchain is complemented with a fast and efficient, free-market governance structure for launching new auxiliary capabilities; and (2) opt-in validation makes it possible for new blockchain modules to exploit heterogeneous resources among validators, resulting in bet- ter tuned trade-offs of security and performance. We explore these benefits further in Section 4.

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