DVT Staking Ethereum SSV.Network

How does DVT help mitigate client majority risks?

Post preview image


The Ethereum community is now focusing on one critical theme: the risk of a supermajority client. Without delving too deep, as Dankrad Feist has already brilliantly explained this risk over two years ago in his article here, it's crucial to understand the serious threat it poses.

A bug in an execution client, if it is used by over 66% of the network, could force the community into painful decisions impacting network stability, users' funds, and the ETH token price.

The community is already showing positive signs, reducing Geth dependency from 84% (source: clientdiversity.org), which is a step in the right direction. While execution client matters used to be passive, recent bugs with Nethermind and Besu have sparked conversation and concern among investors and professional staking providers.


How DVT Helps
The demand for change is loud and clear. Large staking service providers, therefore, are reassessing their strategies to reduce their reliance on Geth. But what constitutes a sustainable change to mitigate supermajority risks today?

Imagine a scenario where providers start replacing Geth with another client, like Nethermind. This could inadvertently create a new supermajority. The Ethereum goal is a multi-client architecture where no single client software exceeds ⅓ of the total network coverage.

DVT is crucial here. By staking on SSV.network, for example, your validator is managed by a minimum of four node operators, significantly reducing the risk of a system failure. As long as three out of four operators (or the set threshold for larger clusters) are active, the validator remains online and continues earning rewards. This added fault tolerance benefits client-related bugs and common faults among node operators, such as power failure, connectivity issues, or even hardware or software failure.

However, this isn't a complete solution. Clusters of node operators belonging to one single entity are not unlikely to be seen, which can undermine the goal of decentralization. This becomes riskier if they use the same EL/CL setup, as a bug in one client could affect the entire cluster.

A takeaway from this for investors is to pay attention to which node operators are running the cluster, their setup, and how each node operator is correlated to others.

What P2P.org is Doing Now
Navigating these complexities can be overwhelming. That's why, at the end of last year, we developed our DVT Staking API solution, designed for large enterprises to automate staking and lower the risk of a penalty occurring due to client supermajority bugs.

This non-custodial solution, powered by DVT (SSV.network), gives instant access to a secure and diversified staking environment. By integrating a smart contract to manage $SSV on behalf of the client, we remove complex manual processes so that users can stake their ETH while having a top-performing cluster managing their validator.

Initially, creating a cluster with diverse EL/CL clients was challenging. Some node operators struggled with minority client synchronization, forcing a balance between performance and client diversification. Until recently, our network supported two operators running Geth. This has changed with the addition of RockX to our network. Their institutional expertise and focus on minority clients accelerate our path toward decentralization, ensuring no single execution/consensus client dominates our cluster.

P2P.org's Future Plans
P2P has been actively working on solutions to mitigate risks posed by an execution client supermajority and other systemic risks. But, we are far from being satisfied. While we've made meaningful progress, the issue of preventing future clients from gaining a supermajority remains. Our cluster can be decentralized further, and we're contributing toward achieving a network where no client has more than ⅓ of the nodes.

Institutions seek more control over their validators, including client selection, location, and MEV relays. We're responding to these needs by developing features starting with CL/EL selection. If you prefer using only minority clients for your validator, we're making that a reality.

Contact Us:

Do not hesitate to ask questions in our Telegram chat or contact Alessandro Maci.

We are always open for communication.

Web: https://p2p.org

Twitter: @p2pvalidator

Telegram: https://t.me/P2Pstaking

Subscribe to P2P-economy

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox

Alessandro Maci

Product Manager @P2P.org

Read more