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It’s never a better time to be a solo-staker on Ethereum. From the lower financial and technical barriers to entry to the abundant opportunities from ETH staking projects, both new and old, the stage is set for the rise of a new class — the “sovereign staker.”
Lower Barriers to Entry
Running your own validator node was historically an exclusive activity. You needed both the financial (32 ETH) and technical (Linux sysadmin) chops to participate and many individuals did not have one or both components.
This is why liquid staking — abstracting both requirements away from the everyday user — is one of the most popular DeFi use cases today (US$27bn TVL).
However, both requirements are becoming easier to fulfil for individuals today.
On the financial side, liquid staking technologies (LSTs) allow node operators to get started with way less than 32 ETH — e.g.
- Rocketpool: 10.4 ETH, of which 2.4 ETH is in RPL tokens
- Stader Labs: 4.4 ETH, of which 0.4 ETH is in SD tokens
- Diva Staking: 1 ETH
- Lido: TBC
- NodeSet: 0 ETH
Sweetening the deal further, hardware grants from the Ethereum Foundation (+ others coming soon!) offset your fixed costs of $800. (note that the current grant wave are closed, but you can still apply for funding through standard applications)
On the technical side, the level of community support and quality of documentation/guides is unprecedented (shameless plug ahead) — e.g.
- Community support:
- Step-by-step guides
So if the free market is making things easier for solo-stakers, you can probably guess where the $27 billion liquid staking TVL is headed.
With an easier time getting started with your own validator node, you will now be able to rack up hands-on experience and an on-chain track record to showcase your proficiency.
This will then enable you to participate in emerging testnet initiatives of new LSTs and other ETH staking projects. Doing this will allow you to build off-chain reputation with the projects you participate in and likely earn yourself a priority when it comes time for them to allocate TVL to solo stakers.
Some testnet initiatives you can participate in today include:
- Lido: Simple DVT, Community Staking Module
- Diva Staking
- Stader DVT
P.S.: You'll only need a single set of hardware to participate in all initiatives.
For the end game, you could then spin up your own liquid staking pool using Stakewise V3 and start to attract your own TVL 😎 — I describe a way to do that here.
The Solo-Staker’s Roadmap
Given the exciting developments described above, we can distil this information into a roadmap for solo stakers.
|Acquire skill set
|Practice for free on the testnet
|Offset fixed costs
|Apply for hardware grants to offset fixed costs - e.g. EF's Run-a-node grant + more to come
|Build on-chain credentials
|Get started on the mainnet using minimal ETH using LSDs – e.g. Rocketpool, Stader, + upcoming ones in (4)
|Build off-chain reputation
|Participate in emerging testnet initiatives – e.g. Lido Simple DVT & CSM, Diva Staking, NodeSet, Ether.fi, EigenDA
|Partner up with creators, community builders, DAOs, funds, and usehttps://twitter.com/stakewise_ioStakewise V3 to spin up a mini staking pool
So there you go. This is the new meta — The golden age of solo-stakers.
Check us out!
Feel free to reach me on Telegram if you’d like to know more about upcoming testnet initiatives you can participate in as a solo-staker. Check out our very own Stakesaurus liquid staking pool and consider staking some ETH with us to support our work of growing the solo staking community in Southeast Asia
*We use only minority clients for the safety of our stakers
For more of my writings or to know more about us, visit our LinkTree.
Samuel Chong is the founder of Stakesaurus, which helps people in SEA become ETH node operators. Stakesaurus’ mission is to grow the grassroots solo staking community in SEA to help strengthen the consensus layer of the Ethereum network and, at the same time, leverage on this skill set to improve the lives of the less privileged in this region. Samuel is also a CFA charterholder and spent 5 years as a SEA-focused venture capital investor at TNB Aura.