Ethereum 2.0 is on the horizon. The ‘Serenity’ upgrade, which is now a completely new chain from Ethereum 1, is slated for release in Dec 2020 and will finally see the protocol move from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. Many in the industry are now preparing for the new consensus mechanism and among them is Attestant, a UK-based company that offers managed staking services to institutional participants. I chatted to Dr. Steve Berryman, Technology and strategy advisor to find out more.
Attestant is primarily about helping institutions, exchanges and large ETH holders to stake ETH. Institutional participation in the digital assets space is picking up pace but along with that comes the need to maintain the discipline of mainstream finance. Attestant is a solution for this audience, smoothing entry for some of the most risk-averse companies. So whilst KYC is not strictly necessary for staking, and there may be wiggle room on the regulatory side, the team are not cutting any corners.
Since the testnet ‘Medalla’ launched last week, Attestant has been one of the most active participants. It’s a great time to get into the industry as Steve explained,
Eth 2 presents an opportunity to be part of a genesis block again! The first to stake on the new Beacon chain will earn around 22% APY with the rewards dropping over time, so it will pay to be one of the first’
The nuts and bolts
For those who don’t know, staking is the process of securing transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. This is done through a network of validating nodes that earn a proportion of the transaction fees in return for their services. One validator is required for every 32 ETH staked meaning the number of validators required for institutions could be sizeable. Attestant can take on the setup and management of these validators on behalf of clients and mitigate the risks of slashing and DDOS that come with larger staking operations.
Staking management services are not unique but Attestant has a team and proprietary technology that speaks for itself. The project has been devised by six members of the Ethereum London Meetup, with a string of accolades amongst them, including coding the first Bitcoin Wallet in 2012! The Attestant staking mechanism uses a best-in-class system for distributed remote key management called Dirk, devised by the project’s CTO Jim McDonald. Dirk has all the hall marks of an industry standard as it creates better protection for users and includes inbuilt slashing protection.
For more information on Attestant see attestant.io