EigenLayer Protocol Governance (Part I)


Why EigenLayer Governance Matters?

EigenLayer’s vision is ambitious. If this vision is executed correctly, it can lead to a whole lot of staked ETH being repurposed and put at risk and can lead to a whole lot of middleware services relying upon it. If properly executed, EigenLayer has the potential to further unlock the true power of decentralized trust and enable a free market for viable upgrades to Ethereum itself. As such, one key goal of the EigenLayer team should be to govern the EigenLayer protocol in a way that upholds the governance values of Ethereum at its core.

How is Ethereum Itself Governed?

This begs the question: what are the governance values of Ethereum? When it comes to governance, I’d summarize Ethereum’s core values as follows:

  • Decentralization: Ethereum’s governance values decentralization, where decision-making power is distributed among the community of developers, users, and stakeholders, rather than being concentrated in the hands of a few.
  • Transparency: Ethereum’s governance is transparent, with open discussions and debates on important issues related to the platform’s development and governance, and decisions made in a clear and transparent manner.
  • Inclusivity: Ethereum’s governance values inclusivity and seeks to encourage participation from a diverse community of developers, users, and stakeholders.
  • Credible Neutrality: Ethereum’s governance is credibly neutral and impartial, not favoring any particular individuals or groups over others. Everyone has an equal opportunity to use and benefit from it.
  • Security: Ethereum’s governance prioritizes the security of the platform and its users, with a focus on identifying and mitigating potential vulnerabilities and risks.
  • Flexibility: Ethereum’s governance values flexibility, with a willingness to adapt and evolve in response to changing circumstances, new technologies, and emerging challenges.
  • Community-Driven: Ethereum’s governance is community-driven, with decisions made based on the collective input and consensus of the community, rather than being driven by any single individual or group.

Community consensus is a crucial aspect of Ethereum governance, as decisions are made through discussions and debates among a diverse community of developers, users, and stakeholders – a process known as rough consensus. To facilitate community consensus, Ethereum has various governance processes and mechanisms in place, such as the Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) process, which allows anyone to propose changes or improvements to the platform, and the Ethereum Cat Herders, a group that helps facilitate communication and coordination among Ethereum stakeholders.

Ultimately, community consensus is critical to Ethereum’s success, as it helps ensure that decisions are made in the best interests of the community and that the platform continues to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of its users.

What Inspiration Can Be Derived from Ethereum Governance?

EigenLayer can and should employ these same values in governing its own protocol in order to maintain long-term value alignment with the Ethereum community. EigenLayer can do this by:

  • Implementing a decentralized governance structure: EigenLayer can create a governance structure that distributes decision-making power among its users, developers, and stakeholders (ETH restakers), rather than being controlled by the EigenLayer core team or solely by ETH restakers.
  • Encouraging community participation and input: EigenLayer can create mechanisms to encourage community participation and input, such as forums (like this one!), reasonable voting mechanisms that don’t rely solely on token-weighting, and community-driven development processes.
  • Ensuring transparency and openness: EigenLayer can maintain transparency and openness in its decision-making processes, by having important discussions in public (see: Ethereum’s All Core Dev Calls) and publishing meeting minutes and other relevant information to the community.
  • Prioritizing security and stability: EigenLayer can prioritize security and stability by conducting regular security audits and bug bounties on the core EigenLayer protocol, and by leveraging agent-based simulation tools.
  • Fostering innovation and growth: EigenLayer can create an environment that supports experimentation and the development of new middleware services and features, by providing resources, funding, and technical support to developers (similar to the role played by the Ethereum Foundation’s Ecosystem Support Program)

By employing these values in its own governance, EigenLayer can create a robust and resilient system that is aligned with the values of the broader Ethereum community—something that is critical to the longevity of the EigenLayer protocol.

Please share your thoughts on what EigenLayer should value when it comes to its governance. If there’s anything I missed, or if you disagree with any of the above, share below!

I’ll continue in a separate post, Part II: EigenLayer Governance Structure.


Hi there @mdesim01! I just wanted to start by expressing my appreciation for sharing this post with us. I truly believe that having a solid governance structure is crucial for the long-term success of EigenLayer. However, in order to establish an effective structure, it’s important to gain social consensus on the initial framework and its value. In the early stages, the social legitimacy of the structure can heavily influence its success. I hope you don’t take this personally, but since most of us here may not be familiar with you, it would be really helpful if you could share some information about your background. That way, we can better understand your perspective and insights. Thank you!


Thanks to @mdesim01 for putting this thoughtful first proposal up on EigenLayer Protocol governance! There are several excellent inputs in this proposal that we will take in. Looking forward to working together with the community on creating a lasting platform for open innovation!


I think we should look at a middleground between ETH and Cosmos gouvernance. Cosmos got a really decentralized gov but it is at the price of very slow evolution.
The target should be to spot core and ethical builders of the Eigenlayer stack and give them more liberty/power to make the product evolve, as immobility is death especially in crypto.

Hi @kydo , thanks for taking the time to read my post and for your thoughtful response! I completely agree that social consensus and social legitimacy are vital to the success EigenLayer’s governance structure.

Let me start by saying that I am, by no means, a thought leader on the topic of decentralized governance. I’m a structural engineer by profession. The thoughts from my post above are solely based on a feeling that, if EigenLayer is to truly align with the Ethereum ecosystem, then Ethereum’s values should be strongly considered. The core values described in my post resonate with me on a personal level because I believe they were and continue to be crucial to Ethereum’s ability to foster a healthy, inclusive, and sustainable ecosystem. I find the idea of empowering individuals to collectively shape the future of a technology vital for ensuring that the technology serves the needs of a diverse group of users.

As for a bit more personal background, as I said above, I’m a structural engineer. I no formal education in distributed systems, game theory, economics, social sciences, political science, or any other field that you might consider relevant to the topic at hand; I have a bit of practical experience in contributing to and researching decentralized governance systems and contributor engagement/compensation for a few crypto projects, including Yearn from 2020 through 2021 and Colony from 2021 through to present. But beyond that, I guess you could just say that I’m just a random guy with an intense interest in EigenLayer and would love to see it flourish.

I have been following the development of EigenLayer closely and am genuinely excited about its potential to contribute to the broader Ethereum ecosystem. The suggestions for EigenLayer’s governance that I’ve made thus far on this forum (both in the above post and in my Part II post re: Governance Structure) are inspired by my observations of successful governance practices in the Ethereum community, as well as a bit of my own experiences with the projects mentioned above.

I look forward to further discussing and refining the ideas around what EigenLayer’s governance should value and how it may best be structured to fulfill its values!

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