Welcome to the Ethereum Mainnet, EigenLayer and EigenDA!

EigenLayer, an Ethereum "restaking" service with $12 billion in user deposits, launched to the mainnet today. The launch coincides with EigenDA, a data-availability (DA) service from EigenLayer.  

EigenLayer had already become one of the most popular destinations for crypto inflows before its launch, partly due to its highly touted pooled security innovation, which could transform the industry by extending Etheruem's security apparatus to other crypto protocols.  

EigenLayer allows other blockchain protocols borrow Ethereum's security by letting users "restake" their ETH with a larger pool of ETH from other users for extra interest. Restaked ETH secures actively verified services (AVSs), such as blockchain bridges, exchanges, and oracles.  

Eigen Labs created EigenDA, the first AVS, to help other blockchain protocols store transaction data and other data. As the blockchain business has grown, protocols like Celestia have become essential infrastructure. Last Monday, Eigen Labs CEO Sreeram Kannan called EigenLayer's first release a "beta" version, which will have limited features.  

AVSs outside Eigen Labs' EigenDA can "register" with the protocol but cannot deploy yet. "This mainnet launch does not include: (1) in-protocol payments from AVSs to operators; and (2) slashing," EigenLayer stated in its X forum.  

EigenLayer will use "slashing" to keep AVS operators honest: The protocol will use a proof-of-stake system like Ethereum's, where validators (AVS operators) risk losing their stake if they act maliciously. EigenLayer will eventually pay restakers interest, but Eigen Labs must sort out its "in-protocol payments" scheme first.

"We are allowing the EigenLayer marketplace to develop and stabilize before introducing in-protocol payments and slashing to mainnet later this year," EigenLayer wrote in the post.  

Eigen Labs funded $100M last year from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), and its points system, a loyalty score consumers believe to be tied to a future token airdrop, has driven billions of dollars in deposits into the protocol. A cottage industry of "liquid restaking" protocols like Ether.fi and Puffer has emerged to feed money into EigenLayer on behalf of users and offer points systems as an incentive for depositing.  

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