SSV DAO Starts $50M Fund to Push Ethereum's Decentralization Plan

SSV DAO, the decentralized autonomous organization behind the decentralized staking protocol, is starting a $50 million ecosystem fund to help mature Distributed Validator Technology (DVT) infrastructure.

DVT refers to a technology development that would allow an Ethereum proof-of-stake validator to be run on more than one node simultaneously. The technology is a key component in Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum roadmap for decentralization.

Because of the high cost of entry to run a validator node, critics say that the Ethereum protocol is uncomfortably centralized across only a handful of major actors. While there are just over 500,000 validators, the majority are concentrated in a handful of pools: Lido has just over 25% of the validators in its pool, Coinbase (COIN) has 11.7%, Kraken has 7%, and Binance has 5.4%.

The fund is being led by SSV and Digital Currency Group (DCG). DCG is also the parent company of CoinDesk.

In July, SSV launched a $10 million pool to distribute grants to build DVT projects using the SSV protocol. So far, it has granted $2 million, and high-performing grant recipients will be shortlisted for this new ecosystem fund. Grantees included Blockscape, ANKR, Stader, and Moonshake.

"It’s important because DVT is becoming a major focus for Ethereum,” Alon Muroch, Technical Lead, SSV Network, said to CoinDesk in a note. “More funds, companies, DAOs are getting involved. It’s going to be as widespread as Layer-2s, and Maximal Extractable Value after the tech hits the Ethereum mainnet in 2023. The funds involved are at the ground level supporting this change"

Earlier this month blockchain startup Obol Labs raised $12.5 million in a round co-led by Pantera and Archetype to build out a DVT platform for Ethereum.