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Staking as a service

  • Third-party node operators handle the operation of your validator client
  • Great option for anyone with 32 ETH who doesn't feel comfortable dealing with the technical complexity of running a node
  • Reduce trust, and maintain custody of your withdrawal keys
Leslie the rhino floating in the clouds.

What is staking as a service?

Staking as a service (“SaaS") represents a category of staking services where you deposit your own 32 ETH for a validator, but delegate node operations to a third-party operator. This process usually involves being guided through the initial setup, including key generation and deposit, then uploading your signing keys to the operator. This allows the service to operate your validator on your behalf, usually for a monthly fee.

Why stake with a service?

The Ethereum protocol does not natively support delegation of stake, so these services have been built out to fill this demand. If you have 32 ETH to stake, but don't feel comfortable dealing with hardware, SaaS services allow you to delegate the hard part while you earn native block rewards.

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Your own validator

Deposit your own 32 ETH to activate your own set of signing keys that will participate in Ethereum consensus. Monitor your progress with dashboards to watch those ETH rewards accumulate.
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Easy to start

Forget about hardware specs, setup, node maintenance and upgrades. SaaS providers let you to outsource the hard part by uploading your own signing credentials, allowing them to run a validator on your behalf, for a small cost.
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Limit your risk

In many cases users do not have to give up access to the keys that enable withdrawing or transferring staked funds. These are different than the signing keys, and can be stored separately to limit (but not eliminate) your risk as a staker.

Comparison with other options

Solo staking

Similarities include having your own validator keys without having to pool funds, but with SaaS you must trust a third-party, who may potentially act maliciously or become a target of attack or regulation themselves. If these trust assumptions or centralization risks concern you, the gold standard of self-sovereign staking is solo staking.

Learn more about solo staking

Pooled staking

These are similar in that you're generally relying on someone else to run the validator client, but unlike SaaS, pooled staking allows you to participate with smaller amounts of ETH. If you're looking to stake with less than 32 ETH, consider checking these out.

Learn more about pooled staking

What to consider

There are a growing number of staking-as-a-service providers to help you stake your ETH, but each come with different risks and benefits.

Attribute indicators are used below to signal notable strengths or weaknesses a listed SaaS provider may have. Use this section as a reference for how we define these attributes while you're choosing a service to help with your staking journey.

  • Open source
  • Audited
  • Bug bounty
  • Battle tested
  • Permissionless
  • Diverse clients
  • Self custody

Open source

Essential code is 100% open source and available to the public to fork and use

Open source

Closed source

Explore staking service providers

Below are some available SaaS provider. Use the above indicators to help guide you through these services

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Please note the importance of supporting client diversity as it improves the security of the network, and limits your risk. Services that have evidence of limiting majority client use are marked as "diverse clients."

SaaS providers

Key Generators

Have a suggestion for a staking-as-a-service provider we missed? Check out our product listing policy to see if it would be a good fit, and to submit it for review.

FAQ

Who holds my keys?

Arrangements will differ from provider-to-provider, but commonly you will be guided through setting up any signing keys you need (one per 32 ETH), and uploading these to your provider to allow them to validate on your behalf. The signing keys alone do not give any ability to withdraw, transfer or spend your funds. However, they do provide the ability to cast votes towards consensus, which if not done properly can result in offline penalties or slashing.

So there are two sets of keys?

Yes. Each account is comprised of both signing keys, and withdrawal keys. In order for a validator to attest to the state of the chain, participate in sync committees and propose blocks, the signing keys must be readily accessible by a validator client. These must be connected to the internet in some form, and are thus inherently considered to be "hot" keys. This is a requirement for your validator to be able to attest, and thus the keys used to transfer or withdraw funds are separated for security reasons.

All of these keys can always be regenerated in a reproducible manner using your 24-word mnemonic seed phrase. Make certain you back this seed phrase up safely or you will be unable to generate your withdraw keys when the time comes.

When can I withdraw?

When you stake 32 ETH with a SaaS provider, that ETH is still deposited to the official staking deposit contract. As such, SaaS stakers are currently limited by the same withdrawal restrictions as solo stakers. This means that staking your ETH is currently a one-way deposit. This will be the case until the Shanghai upgrade.

What happens if I get slashed?

By using an SaaS provider, you are entrusting the operation of your node to someone else. This comes with the risk of poor node performance, which is not in your control. In the event your validator is slashed, your validator balance will be penalized and forcibly removed from the validator pool. These funds will be locked until withdrawals are enabled at the protocol level.

Contact individual SaaS provider for more details on any guarantees or insurance options. If you'd prefer to be in full control of your validator setup, learn more about how to solo stake your ETH.

Further reading

  • Evaluating Staking Services - Jim McDonald 2020
Изображение талисмана-носорога для панели запуска стейкинга.

Вступайте в сообщество стейкеров

EthStaker — это сообщество, где каждый может узнавать о ставках на Ethereum и принимать участие в обсуждении. Присоединяйтесь к десяткам тысяч участников со всего мира, чтобы получать советы, поддержку и обсуждать все, что касается ставок.

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