EigenLayer is a protocol built on Ethereum that introduces the concept of restaking, a new cryptoeconomic primitive. This allows users who stake ETH or a liquid staking token (LST) to opt-in to EigenLayer smart contracts. By doing so, they can restake their ETH or LST, extending cryptoeconomic security to additional applications on the network and earning extra rewards.
The primary motivation behind EigenLayer is to enable Ethereum stakers to secure multiple services simultaneously by reusing their staked ETH. This pooling of security reduces capital costs for stakers and enhances trust guarantees for individual services. EigenLayer addresses the challenge of decentralized services needing to establish their own trust networks by allowing any service, regardless of its composition, to tap into the pooled security provided by Ethereum's stakers. This promotes permissionless innovation and free-market governance in the Ethereum ecosystem.
EigenLayer introduces several key features in the context of Ethereum staking and cryptoeconomic security: