Ethereum Researcher Predicts Solo Stakers May Get Airdrops
Solo nodes would bolster the Ethereum network’s decentralization.
Justin Drake, a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, said there might be airdrops on he way for individual stakers in the Ethereum network.
“My prediction is that there is going to be special airdrops specifically for solo validators,” Drake said during an April 12 interview on the Bankless podcast.
Drake’s prediction may serve as an incentive for ETH stakers to run solo nodes, which would bolster the network’s decentralization. The comment came on the same day that Ethereum completed its long-awaited Shapella upgrade, which enabled Ethereum stakers to withdraw for the first time.
Drake implied other organizations, not necessarily the EF, were tracking information that is publicly available on the Ethereum blockchain, to identify the wallets of the most committed Ethereum users.
“What is happening right now, this is information that I know internally, there are some people looking at the metadata set for validators,” Drake said.
But Ethereum detractors are decrying the network’s lack of privacy.
Drake said the metadata collected includes deposit and withdrawal addresses, fee recipients, IP addresses, and indicators suggesting multiple validators could be operated by the same entity.
Pledditor, a pro-Bitcoin commentator, likened Ethereum to the dystopian surveillance state depicted in George Orwell’s novel, 1984, in response to the news. “When you stake your ETH, you can be tracked via IP address,” they said.
The Ethereum Foundation is keen to encourage more stakers to participate as solo validators to further decentralize its validator ecosystem.
Lido, a liquid staking provider spanning 29 independent node operators, is the largest Ethereum staker with 21% of staked ETH, according to Dune Analytics. Lido is followed by centralized exchanges Coinbase with nearly 13%, Kraken at 7%, and Binance with 6%.
Ethereum’s eight largest validators represent more than two-thirds of all staked Ether combined.