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Ethereum Foundation’s Justin Drake Takes on Critical Advisory Position at EigenLayer

2 mins
Updated by Lynn Wang
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In Brief

  • Ethereum Foundation researcher Justin Drake has accepted an advisory role at the restaking protocol EigenLayer.
  • Drake emphasized his commitment to addressing restaking risks and ensuring alignment with Ethereum's interests.
  • He pledged to reinvest earnings from his advisory role back into the Ethereum ecosystem for further development.
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Ethereum Foundation researcher Justin Drake revealed that he became an advisor to the EigenFoundation, an independent non-profit focused on the restaking protocol EigenLayer.

In an extensive May 19 post on social media platform X, Drake revealed the extent of the relationship with the project and how he plans to operate.

EigenLayer Gets New Advisor

The Ethereum researcher explained that he took the job because he felt he “did too little too late with regard to liquid staking,” and this was “an opportunity to not repeat the mistake with restaking.” So, after an extensive consultation period that exceeded a year, he accepted the new role at EigenLayer.

His new role would entail focusing on restaking risks, and his default public stance would be critical of EigenLayer. However, he promised to make his criticism constructive and advocate for mitigating risks like the erosion of solo validators and the intersubjective overloading of Ethereum consensus.

Drake also dismissed concerns that EigenLayer might be systematically bribing or corrupting the Ethereum Foundation (EF). He noted that the EF is a large organization with over 300 people, making it unlikely for EigenLayer to influence.

“To my knowledge, three EFers have a formal relationship with EigenLayer entities: one as an early EigenLabs investor and two as recent EigenFoundation advisors. EFers are among the highest integrity people I know, and I don’t see the 1% of EFers formally involved with EigenLayer compromising their morals,” he added.

Read more: Ethereum Restaking: What Is It And How Does It Work?

Meanwhile, his new role offers significant incentives that could run into “millions of dollars of tokens vesting over 3 years.” However, he plans to reinvest these proceeds within the Ethereum ecosystem.

Also, Drake emphasized that his commitment to the EigenLayer advisory role is rooted in its alignment with Ethereum’s interests. Any misalignment, he asserted, would result in the termination of the appointment.

“I pledge to reinject all advisorship proceeds towards worthy projects within the Ethereum ecosystem, either as investments or donations. I also stand ready to end the advisorship at any time, e.g. should EigenLayer go in a direction I deem to be against Ethereum’s interests,” Drake stated.

EigenLayer is a platform that enables users to re-stake their Ethereum to secure third-party networks. DeFiLlama data shows EigenLayer now has over $15 billion worth of total value locked (TVL) in the platform since its launch.

Read more: What Is EigenLayer?

EigenLayer's TVL
EigenLayer’s TVL. Source: DeFiLlama

Despite its success, EigenLayer faces strong competition from rivals like Symbiotic, reportedly backed by the co-founders of the Ethereum liquid staking platform Lido.

Top crypto projects in the US | June 2024

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Oluwapelumi Adejumo
Oluwapelumi believes Bitcoin and blockchain technology have the potential to change the world for the better. He is an avid reader and began writing about crypto in 2020.
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