What is DVT and why do we need it?

MarkoInEther
3 min readAug 26, 2022

Distributed Validator Technology(DVT) like @ssv_network & @ObolNetwork allows technically minded laymen(like me :) ) to stake SAFU full stop!

It allows everyday people without ton of resources and fancy infrastructure to participate in staking and even becoming SAAS providers! Defeating economies of ⚖️scale…

POW story

In POW it is stark, and there are no hobbyist left staking. if you have massive 💰 you can move your operation to a place with cheaper electricity, get discount on mining hardware, overhead is smaller etc. Put simply, the more funds you have, the better yield you can make. There is a good discussion on this in the episode of @uponly with @zooko https://twitter.com/UpOnlyTV/status/1552804746297237506?s=20&t=B-sRbP8vfm_eho0MtV6p2A[]

Yea, yea, yea, we all know this about POW but doesn’t POS solve this?
Yes and no.

POS story

POS flattens the curve and levels the playing field to an extent, but even if you have ~$50,000 at hand(32eth), running a validator if you have this much money on the line is still a serious business.

Is your setup Safe, Redundant, Online 24–7?
How confident are you you don’t get slashed? 99%?

If so, your expected loss is $500. Maybe better to pay a pro? If the answer is yes, you are like most of us and economies of ⚖ although smaller still apply. We can clearly see this in rise of LSDs(not trips to other galaxies, but Liquid Staking Derivates) like $stETH $rETH and SAAS(Staking as a Service) companies.

DVT solves this…

How? Running a solo staker, you have no safety net. If something goes wrongs, you loose your money. Running a staker on top of DVT gives you & others a safety net. How? Think of DVT as of a mini blockchain. You are part of DVT network, which operates multiple stakers. e.g. in @ssv_network there are currently four (can be more in the future) different operators running together a single staker. If something goes wrong with one of them, no problem, the other 3 still come to consensus (similar to a blockchain) and are able to run the staker without any hiccup.

One of the operators — could be you, can go offline or even double sign, but the other three still come to consensus and the staker is happily chugging along!

Basically you have each other’s back in case something goes wrong and the probability of something going wrong for multiple operators at the same time is much, much lower. In the future, tens of operators running can be running a single staker together. Wait what? Sounds like a blockchain… It makes DVT a metablockchain on top of which the actual blockchain is run!

Bottom line…

Staking as we know it today is a serious business for professionals. While SAAS providers have invested huge amount of capital into having safe & robust infra, all the companies repeat the same thing in their own silo. Sounds a bit like web2… DVT does the same job but better. It is a public good for everyone, developed out in the open and with practically no cost to the staker!

It levels the playing field for virtually everyone who is willing to dedicate time to become a staker or staking as a service (SAAS) provider!

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MarkoInEther

Passionate about pushing my limits, self experimenting, bio-hacks, complex and distributed systems, mechanism design.