Gitcoin donations will be distributed among participating stakers every three weeks
Smoothly Protocol, an MEV protocol, has launched a Gitcoin campaign soliciting donations to bolster the performance of solo stakers.
Announced on Nov. 16, the Social Layer Incentives for DEcentralization (SLIDE) campaign will accumulate rewards to distribute to solo stakers. Kodys.eth, the founder of Smoothly, revealed the news on Twitter, tipping that solo staking could offer greater rewards than other validation methods should the campaign garner enough significant support.
“Using Smoothly as the conduit, donations will accumulate alongside rewards from block proposals,” said Kodys.eth. “Smoothly is active in Gitcoin Grants Round 19, and all the funds contributed during this round will be sent to the smoothing pool upon mainnet launch.”
A blog post from Smoothly laments that independent stakers often encounter outsized challenges compared to wholesale or liquid stakers, and do not receive economic incentives despite bolstering the decentralization of Ethereum. The protocol estimates that only 2.5% of Ethereum validators are solo stakers.
Smoothly said it is reaching out to various projects within the Ethereum ecosystem to request donations, in addition to seeking to engage “public goods maxis” through its Gitcoin Grants campaign.
Donated funds will be accumulated alongside validator rewards in the Smoothly Pool contract and distributed among staking participants every 21 days.
“The long tail of independent stakers are indispensable in safeguarding the network’s decentralized, credibly neutral, and censorship-resistant qualities,” Smoothly said. “Despite their value, they often find the road challenging and unrewarding. Recent efforts advocating for staking diversity are commendable, but the absence of financial incentives has stunted their impact and reach.
“SLIDE is designed to incentivize individuals to solo stake by harnessing donations from organizations in the Ethereum ecosystem.”
Stakers can permissionlessly onboard to Smoothly, with the protocol noting that “small staking entities and independent operators” are eligible for rewards as well.
However, Smoothly said large entities must downgrade their staking infrastructure to join, adding that the incentives on offer through its pools are unlikely to outweigh the costs associated with modifying their setup.