Staking Circle
Staking Circle
Jan 29, 2024
3 min read

Actively Validated Services – AVSs

Actively Validated Services – AVSs

AVSs are services or protocols within the EigenLayer ecosystem that utilize the security and validation mechanisms provided by Ethereum’s staking model. EigenLayer's framework allows for the restaking of ETH, where validators can validate both the Ethereum Proof of Stake chain and these AVSs simultaneously. This system provides a way to secure AVSs and generate rewards, which could potentially offer a higher yield than ETH staking alone.

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EigenLayer whitepaper

AVSs within EigenLayer play a crucial role in enhancing the security and integrity of the network. They provide innovative use cases and are integral to the ecosystem, leveraging Ethereum's shared security. By enabling validators to participate in the validation process of these services, EigenLayer aims to address challenges such as fragmented security and capital costs in the Ethereum ecosystem, creating an environment where validators can freely participate based on risk/reward preferences and contribute to the security of AVSs.


  • Cost-Efficiency: Typically, launching a new blockchain service requires a considerable investment in setting up a network of validators to ensure the security and integrity of the system. This not only involves technical hurdles but also economic ones, as validators need to be incentivized, usually through token rewards. AVSs remove this barrier by allowing developers to use Ethereum’s existing validator network, thus saving on the costs associated with bootstrapping and operating a new network of validators.

  • Security: The decentralized nature of Ethereum's validator base provides a high level of security due to the large amount of staked capital and the distributed consensus mechanism. By using AVSs, new services can tap into this established security framework, benefiting from the collective security efforts of Ethereum's validators without the need to replicate such a system themselves. This borrowed security can help protect against attacks and enhances the overall trust in these new services.

  • Scalability: Scalability: AVSs, by utilizing EigenLayer's shared security and validation services, can more easily scale their operations. They do not have to manage the complex and resource-intensive process of scaling a network of validators on their own, which can often be a major challenge for growing blockchain projects​​.

  • Resource Optimization: AVSs enable more efficient use of blockchain resources. By restaking in the EigenLayer ecosystem, validators can participate in securing additional protocols without the need to separate dedicated resources for each service. This leads to a more efficient use of the staked assets and the computational power of validators, optimizing the overall resource utilization in the blockchain network​​​​.


  • Potential Threat to Ethereum's Social Consensus: Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has raised concerns that projects expanding validator capabilities, like those involved in restaking for AVSs, could pose a threat to the blockchain's "social consensus". This refers to decision-making processes that go beyond just economic stakes and consider broader community perspectives. There's a risk that powerful projects could exert undue influence over community decisions, potentially undermining Ethereum's neutral status.

  • Dominance of node Operators: There's a concern that EigenLayer node operators might gain a dominant position among Ethereum validators. This could give them undue advantage and influence, particularly in practices related to maximal extractable value (MEV), which could impact the fairness and security of the network.

  • It's important to note that these risks don't negate the benefits of EigenLayer and AVSs, but they do underline the need for careful consideration and responsible management as this technology continues to develop and integrate with the broader Ethereum ecosystem.

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