Concerns Arise as Another Ethereum Researcher Becomes EigenLayer Advisor

As a researcher, I find these developments deeply concerning. The potential for conflicts of interest between Ethereum researchers in their roles as advisors at EigenLayer is a significant issue that could undermine the credibility and neutrality of the broader Ethereum ecosystem.

The collaboration between Ethereum researchers and EigenLayer, where they serve as advisors, has sparked debate among the blockchain community over possible conflicts of interest and maintaining impartiality.

Another Ethereum Developer Joins EigenLayer

Multiple Ethereum researchers joining the EigenFoundation has caused a stir in the blockchain world. Dankrad Feist, a developer at the Ethereum Foundation, revealed his new role as an advisor for the EigenFoundation, which advocates for the EigenLayer restaking protocol.

Feist’s announcement came through a post on, where he stated, 

“I am taking this position personally, not representing the Ethereum Foundation, and with a focus on risks and decentralization. I am therefore fully expected to take contrarian views on Eigenlayer.”

Community Concerns

Feist’s promise to remain impartial hasn’t put doubts to rest in the community, as they’ve flagged the possibility of a conflict of interest. This suspicion is well-grounded since Feist recently joined EigenFoundation, much like Ethereum Foundation member Justin Drake did before him, receiving a significant token reward, estimated to be worth millions over three years. These events have sparked intense discussion about the potential impact of such advisory positions on the Ethereum ecosystem as a whole, with concerns focusing on security and decentralization issues.

Ethical Questions and Credible Neutrality

The debate escalated when crypto analyst Cobie challenged Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin over the ethical implications of core developers receiving compensation from competing projects for their guidance. Buterin highlighted Ethereum’s tradition of transparent discussions and took pride in it. Nevertheless, this statement failed to ease the apprehensions within the community.

Feist and Drake have been vague about the exact dates they began advising EigenLayer. Feist has made it clear that his earnings from tokens won’t influence his impartial perspective in shaping the protocol.

Despite this, there are still doubts among the Ethereum community regarding the ability to uphold impartiality under such conditions.

Community Reactions

The distinction between Feist and Drake’s advisory roles and their duties at the Ethereum Foundation is being emphasized as a personal matter. However, questions remain regarding the impartiality and possible conflicts of interest in these roles.

Lefteris Karapetsas, the founder of Rotkiapp, expressed his strong opposition to Ethereum Foundation researchers being paid generously by protocols, considering this an unacceptable conflict of interest that merits no leniency.

I was accompanied by two users, eMon and safetyth1rd, who raised doubts about the impartiality of my research in such contexts. eMon questioned the credibility of neutrality, while safetyth1rd expressed concerns that substantial compensations from organizations with conflicting interests could potentially sway my decision-making.

The collaboration between prominent Ethereum developers and EigenFoundation brings up significant concerns about Ethereum’s future and the moral dilemmas that come with holding advisory roles.

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2024-05-23 17:06