The community-driven liquid staking protocol Diva just closed a 3.5 million seed round led by A&T Capital and will soon launch on the Ethereum mainnet.
Diva aims to break the dominance of some validators in the Ethereum ecosystem by introducing a protocol where anyone can become a validator with as little as 1 ETH to set up a node and earn the rewards. Diva is the answer to the main problem encountered in the Ethereum Merge: to become a validator, a participant needs 32 ETH, which is quite a lot and leads to centralization.
Diva stands for “Distributed Validation.” We believe that the most viable alternative to Ethereum’s 32 ETH requirement is to create a distributed peer-to-peer network of nodes that run validators collaboratively.
For staking on Diva, the participants receive freely tradable DivETH, which is equivalent to ETH at a one-to-one ratio. Stakers receive daily DivETH rewards added to their wallet. These DivETH can be exchanged back to ETH at any time after the Capella update in March 2023.
CEO of Diva, Pablo Villalba, said:
Diva is an ultra-light client connecting to existing Ethereum execution and consensus clients via standard APIs. Stakers can stake any amount of ETH with no minimum, and don’t need to run any nodes. A standard web3 wallet is enough.
According to Villalba, the Diva protocol is designed to reward both passive stakers and node operators who run the network full-time. The network distributes rewards evenly to ensure stable and consistent reward rates. To collaborate, nodes join groups in Diva by depositing 1 ETH as collateral. Each group of 16 nodes is paired with 16 ETH from different network stems to form a complete validation node.
As The Block reports, Diva initially proposed the technology to major provider Lido, but the Lido team remained skeptical, stressing that professional operators should manage the staking:
We offered Lido a deep partnership, offering our tech to power the heart of a Lido v2 built purely on DVT. Lido has billions in TVL managed by only 30 trusted parties who could easily collude. The collaboration might have had a significant impact on the ecosystem by dissolving Lido’s permissioned islands.
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