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Staking Circle
Staking Circle
Mar 22, 2024
9 min read

Exploring AVSs w/ Drosera

Exploring AVSs w/ Drosera

Drosera is at the forefront of security in the Defi Space, having introduced a marketplace for security infrastructure that enables protocols to proactively resist threats via consensus-triggered actions. Drosera, which works closely with the EigenLayer ecosystem, intends to strengthen the foundation of AVS security, as demonstrated at our most recent AMA session.

This AMA included information about Drosera's novel security automation, development progress, and strategic significance within and beyond the EigenLayer ecosystem. As Drosera works to revolutionize blockchain security, the AMA highlights are must-reads for anybody interested in the intersection between cybersecurity and Defi:

X Spaces: Exploring AVSs with Drosera Spotify: Exploring AVSs with Drosera

Speakers:

Index:

  1. Drosera Overview
  2. Protocol Functionality and Use Cases
  3. Drosera’s Contribution to EigenLayer Ecosystem
  4. Future Applications and Impact
  5. AVS Decentralization and Security
  6. Development and Performance
  7. Developer Experience and Integration
  8. Go-to-Market Strategy and Partnerships
  9. EigenLayer Collaboration and Stability
  10. Risks and Alternative Mechanisms
  11. Final Remarks and Community Engagement

1. Drosera Overview

  • Drosera is a security automation protocol offering a marketplace for security infrastructure to delegate to decentralized node operators:

Boba - “Drosera is essentially this security automation protocol. And this is essentially a marketplace of sorts where protocols create their security infrastructure as smart contract code. And they put it on this security marketplace to delegate to a decentralized set of node operators.”

  • It lets protocols define emergency conditions and responses, carried out by nodes through consensus when needed:

Boba - “And when there's an emergency condition that's triggered, then this set of nodes, they basically come to consensus on whether this event occurred. And then they perform an emergency response.”

  • Drosera is seen as proactive 'armor' against security threats, designed to work with existing measures while providing accessible, scalable solutions:

FDR - “It is a reality that these bigger top 10 groups can shell out money to build these systems or create these things themselves. But why even do that if what Drosera delivers is, quite frankly, the armor, right? It's that dynamic 24-7 piece that complements those other facets”

2. Protocol Functionality and Use Cases

  • An example of the protocol's application: Acts in response to an event like USDC de-peg by doing pre-defined emergency actions, such as switching assets to something more stable or swapping into USDC as a riskier move:

Boba - “Maybe you're doing something with treasury management and you see USDC de-peg by like 30% in like over a period of like two blocks or three blocks. And maybe your emergency action is, oh, this thing is de-pegging, like we need to swap. assets to something that's more stable”

  • Drosera enables protocol developers in the EVM ecosystem to create 'traps', which are smart contracts containing emergency logic:

Boba - “Like, because it's an automation protocol, this means that it's essentially like this sandbox, where any protocol developer, anyone that knows how to use Solidity or smart contract code, Can use this kind of Drosera toolkit to make what we are calling traps. And these traps are just contracts with emergency conditions and emergency response logic”

  • The protocol can work with any on-chain feature, responding based on set conditions, and adaptable to various DeFi applications:

Boba - “You can see how you can set up different types of traps. And the use cases range from Querying Oracle data, querying on-chain DEX data, looking at something as simple as perhaps you're like a DAO or maybe you're doing something with treasury management”

3. Drosera’s Contribution to EigenLayer Ecosystem

  • As part of the EigenLayer ecosystem, Drosera plans to become the foundation security layer for AVSs (Autonomous Validation Systems) and restaking by offering key security services:

FDR - “Where as the core security service for EigenLayer. We are essentially securing this application layer and then we're on this, you know, the fact that Eigenlayers is covering this crypto-economic security layer”

  • FDR talked about the support from the EigenLayer team and the aim to create the top Web3 security product on EigenLayer:

FDR - “There was actually this funny conversation that I had with Sriram. Many moons ago was giving us a lot of strong advice and helping us a lot. And I asked him, I said, man, you're so helpful. What's the best way that I could like... You know, repay you he's like, I want you to make the best security product in Web3 on EigenLayer, right? And it's like, that's been our mission from the start”

  • Drosera actively works with other AVSs in the ecosystem, sharing research and promoting community growth:

FDR - “There are ways that we can start to work together at a social community level and really start to grow and even pool, right, some of the research that we're doing of how XAVS interacts with YAVS, right, and start to get that information out to the community”

4. Future Applications and Impact

  • Beyond EigenLayer, Drosera's flexible technology could be used for lending platforms, layer twos, oracles, governance systems, IoT devices, and other blockchain protocols or DApps:

FDR - “We've actually put together quite a lengthy protocol research and use case documents, kind of explore everything from lending platforms, layer twos, oracles, governance mechanisms, etc. Even stuff like IoT devices”

5. AVS Decentralization and Security

  • FDR described Drosera’s method of security using traps and the idea of staking to run them. They talked about the ultimate vision for Drosera as being like Uniswap for cybersecurity, where protocols invest their "military defense budgets." Traps allow protocols and users to stake, getting the community involved in security:

FDR - “I think Drosera has the capability to become what is effectively the Uniswap for cybersecurity, because you'll have all of these protocols with what is effectively their... military defense budgets”

  • The traps are made to give operators staking rewards instead of subscription fees. Operators can run multiple traps, and their reward potential is based on how much they choose to manage. The community can also help with security by staking money:

FDR - “The way that those traps are deployed, how they continue running, how operators continue to see interest in them is that the protocol or the project or the user is not necessarily paying some. You know, outdated SAS model subscription fee, they're essentially putting stake into that trap”

6. Development and Performance

  • Boba said that Drosera is currently running on DevNet, testing on local machines, and that they are on the path to reaching the testnet phase:

Boba - “Right now we're in DevNet. So we're essentially like running the Drosera operators locally on our machines. And then spinning up a local blockchain with our contracts deployed and then testing different traps.”

  • No significant development issues are seen; the focus is on benchmarking the system to get ready for the testnet and achieving an MVP for mainnet to actively provide risk management:

Boba - “I don't really foresee that we have any very major obstacles from an ecosystem perspective at this point. It just really comes down to making sure that we get this MVP out so that people can start playing with it at testnet phase and getting it to mainnet phase”

7. Developer Experience and Integration

  • Boba stressed Drosera’s strong focus on developer experience with smart contract code and CLI tools making integration smooth:

Boba - “Like a really big focus is actually the developer experience and even just the experience of people deploying protocols in general or even playing with the technology. It's just smart contract code. It's essentially just smart contract code and a CLI that we have”

  • Highlighted that Drosera aligns with the DeFi and Ethereum community ethos, using common tools (Foundry, Forge, Hardhat) for testing. Developers can integrate Drosera using their existing workflow:

Boba - “So in terms of like how easy is it to play with the trap, to test with a trap, it's as simple as using existing Solidity testing infrastructure that... Like 99% of Solidity devs, protocol devs are already using, which is like Foundry, Forge, Hardhat.”

8. Go-to-Market Strategy and Partnerships

  • FDR hinted at upcoming partnership announcements related to events like Dubai and Token 2049:

FDR - “So we have a lot of announcements that we're going to be working on over the next probably few days to few weeks leading up to Dubai and Token 2049”

  • The reception in the operator space for Drosera has been ranked high by FDR, due to manageable risks for operators and the chances of better rewards for service:

FDR - “They're providing that service is like, what's the risk to me from a slashing perspective? And then what is the reward potential for me? Right when these traps are getting deployed and on the reward side, it's like. You effectively can take and participate in as many traps a you would like”

9. EigenLayer Collaboration and Stability

  • Boba talked about the restaking mechanism on EigenLayer, saying that stakers delegate to operators, which helps Drosera’s security. This crypto-economic security supports Drosera's growth:

Boba - “For the restaking side, I think it's as easy as like, you would have, you'd essentially have like stakers delegating stake to the operators. And then those operators collectively would have a certain amount of shared security that they're providing for running a particular trap.”

  • A thriving risk-taking ecosystem, as Boba described, would give Drosera growth chances by forming partnerships and creating a self-supporting loop of growth and value accrual:

Boba - “And obviously, the more that Eigen layer in the restaking ecosystem grows, it becomes more opportunities for Drosera to grow. So it's, I think, a very meaningful, you know, it's a very meaningful loop, where we can all kind of accrue value“

10. Risks and Alternative Mechanisms

  • Boba acknowledged the inherent risks in all systems and stressed using a variety of security methods to avoid centralizing risk, including working with multiple LSTs, LRTs, oracles, and bridges:

Boba - “So I think as far as that goes for like the crypto economic security side, that means like leveraging multiple. Different LSTs, leveraging multiple different LRTs, working with multiple oracles, working with multiple bridges”

  • Boba mentioned that alternatives to EigenLayer such as bonding and reputation systems have been thought of but not followed up on:

Boba - “We have thought about other ways to do bonding mechanisms. And there are other types of mechanisms that we can build into the system, like reputation systems”

11. Final Remarks and Community Engagement

  • FDR encouraged community sign-ups for the soon-to-start early supporters' reward program and invited security fans interested in becoming "trappers" to DM them directly for a new specialization in DeFi security:

FDR - “We are going to be putting out our early supporters reward program sign up here pretty soon on the website. So stay tuned for that (...) We're really keen to start having folks who are interested in being what we're calling trappers, right? This new classification and specialization in DeFi security”

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