What is SSV Network?
SSV.network is a fully decentralized, open-source ETH staking network, based on Secret Shared Validator (SSV) technology.
SSV is also known as DVT, or Distributed Validator Technology, as it provides an open and simple infrastructure for splitting and distributing a validator key into multiple KeyShares, for the purpose of running an Ethereum validator across multiple non-trusting nodes.
Running an Ethereum validator on ssv.network achieves active-active redundancy, introduces new levels of validator key security, and benefits the Ethereum network, staking pools, staking services and solo stakers.
Technology overview of the SSV Network project
SSV is a sophisticated multi-signature wallet with a consensus layer. It is a middle layer that comes between a beacon node and a validator client. From a user's perspective, it is just a component to plug in and take care of everything on their behalf. The main components of an SSV configuration are as follows:
Distributed Key Generation
This process generates a shared public and private key set calculated by the operators running an SSV instance. Each operator owns a single portion of the private key, offering that no single operator can affect or have control over the entire private key and make unilateral decisions.
Shamir Secret Sharing
This mechanism used to reconstruct a validator key using a pre-defined threshold of KeyShares. Individual KeyShares cannot be used to sign a duty, yet not all are needed if some are faulty as described by n≥3f+1.
SSV.network is able to leverage the BLS signatures - allows for multiple signatures to be combined to recreate a validator key signature. By combining Shamir and BLS - the keys are 'broken down' to share and regrouped whenever a duty is assigned.
Applying secure Multi-Party Computation (MPC) to secret sharing allows the KeyShares of an SSV to be distributed among operators securely as well as performing decentralized computation of validator duties without reconstructing the validator key on a single device.
Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance Consensus
Tying it all together, the consensus layer of SSV, based on the Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance (IBFT) algorithm. The algorithm randomly selects a validator node (KeyShare) responsible for block proposal and sharing the information with the other participants. Once the predefined threshold of KeyShares deems the block to be valid, it is added to the chain. As such, consensus can be reached even if some operators (up to the threshold) are faulty or not currently online.
The ssv.network ecosystem is composed of 3 types of actors: stakers, operators and DAO members.
Services or individual ETH holders that leverage SSV/DVT technology for optimal liveness, security, and decentralization of their validator(s). Stakers pay a fee in SSV tokens to operators for managing their validator(s).
Operators provide the hardware infrastructure, run the SSV protocol, and are responsible for maintaining validators and the overall health of ssv.network. Operators determine their fees for services in SSV tokens and charge stakers for operating and maintaining their validator(s).
DAO (SSV token holders)
The ssv.network DAO decentralizes ownership and governance of the ssv.network protocol and treasury, with SSV being the native token of the network. Anyone owning SSV tokens can participate in the DAO and vote on proposals and other items requiring a vote.
The voting amount of SSV tokens owned determines power on decisions that affect the network.
The ssv.network DAO is responsible for the following:
- Operator scoring - ssv.network relies on operators and a decentralized and transparent score of their quality, experience, and service provided on a 0-100% scale. The DAO is also responsible for vetting "Verified Operators" (VOs) and maintaining a list of VOs. Stakers can view and use these rankings to choose the operators that will manage their validator(s).
- Network fees - To use ssv.network, stakers are required to pay a network fee. The network fee is a fixed cost charged per validator, added to the operator fees. The network fees flow directly into the DAO treasury and can be used to fund further development of the SSV ecosystem and activities that have passed the DAO voting process.
- Treasury - Network fees, paid by stakers, fund the DAO treasury. It is used for projects that will grow the SSV protocol and ecosystem. These may include grants for protocol development and network growth, revenue shared directly with SSV token holders, marketing and community incentivization, token swaps for treasury diversification, and investments by strategic partners in exchange for SSV tokens.
- Voting - Requests for grants and other proposals submitted to the DAO require a vote to pass. Anyone holding SSV tokens can vote on decisions that affect the DAO, such as grant requests, requests to become a verified operator, and other ideas or requests submitted to the DAO for consideration.
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