EigenLayer’s ‘Intersubjective Forking’ Is Objectively Not Done

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INTERSUBJECTIFYING THE FORKIFICATION: The Ethereum restaking project EigenLayer, whose plan to repurpose the Ethereum blockchain’s security to hordes of additional protocols has prompted systemic risk warnings from Vitalik Buterin himself, released a 43-page whitepaper on its forthcoming EIGEN token – more than twice as long as the original 19-page whitepaper on EigenLayer. To address the concerns, the project, led by the sesquipedalian computer engineer Sreeram Kannan, came up with a new plan for something called “intersubjective forking.” The purpose of this mechanism would be to take care of “instances of misbehavior that cannot be objectively identified on-chain, yet any two reasonable observers would agree that a penalty is deserved.” If such an “intersubjective fault” were to occur, the EIGEN token could be forked without having to fork the main Ethereum blockchain. Are you with me so far? Well, there’s a catch, according to a blog post: Very little of this will be functional when the EIGEN token launches: “With its design being completely novel, the concept needs to be absorbed and discussed widely by the ecosystem participants. The initial implementation of intersubjective staking at this launch mirrors the full protocol to only a limited extent. However, there are still several parameters that need to be determined for full actuation.” Such a not-really-fully-functional system would echo EigenLayer’s mainnet launch a few weeks ago, where, as detailed by Coindesk, crucial promised features, including the paramount “slashing” and “attributable security” mechanisms, were held back from the launch, because they weren’t ready. It goes without saying that a lot of these details were lost on crypto traders who had poured some $15 billion of deposits into the project, many of them merely hoping to qualify for the EIGEN token airdrop that roughly zero people in crypto doubted would eventually come. The parsimoniousness of the terms, however, apparently left many of these so-called airdrop farmers wanting. “Not all feedback was glowing,” as the Bankless newsletter put it, and complaints centered partly on the token’s initial period of “non-transferability.” Only 15% of the tokens will go to the “stakedrop” – the Eigen Foundation’s term – and more than half of the tokens will be allocated to investors and early contributors, with unlocks starting after just one year.



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