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Second Ethereum Foundation Researcher Acknowledges Advisory Deal Paid in EIGEN


The news set off a debate on the social-media platform X about whether advising the EigenFoundation might constitute a conflict of interest – given the flagged risks to Ethereum from restaking protocol EigenLayer.

-Dankrad Feist, namesake of the Ethereum data-storage method of "danksharding," disclosed in a post on X that he has taken on an advisory role at EigenFoundation, which supports the pioneering restaking protocol EigenLayer.
-Feist promised that the allocation of EIGEN token he has received will not influence his positions on how EigenLayer should be developed.
-Disclosure follows a similar posting earlier in the week by another prominent Ethereum Foundation researcher, Justin Drake.
-The advisory arrangements have raised questions about possible conflicts of interest, especially with many blockchain experts flagging potential systemic threats to Ethereum posed by the emergence of EigenLayer.

A top Ethereum Foundation (EF) developer, Dankrad Feist, disclosed Tuesday that he has accepted a paid role at EigenFoundation, a newly created non-profit meant to guide EigenLayer, the pioneering "restaking" protocol that many skeptics have flagged as potentially posing systemic risks to the world's largest smart-contracts blockchain.

Feist disclosed in a post on X that the position comes with a significant allocation of EigenLayer’s new EIGEN token, though did not specify how many tokens he would be receiving.

The announcement comes a few days after another top EF developer, Justin Drake, also disclosed that he would be advising the EigenFoundation, with "a significant token incentive which could easily be worth more than the combined value of all my other assets (mostly ETH)," with a value of "millions of dollars of tokens vesting over 3 years."

The news set off a debate on crypto twitter about whether advising the EigenFoundation would constitute a conflict of interest, especially given how prominent Drake and Feist are at the Ethereum Foundation – and how serious many blockchain experts are taking the potential systemic threats posed by the emergence of EigenLayer.

The disclosures came after the crypto influencer Cobie used the social-media platform X, where he has 724,000 followers, to publicly ask Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin how he felt about "core developers or researchers taking life–changing $ packages from projects built on Ethereum to become 'advisors,' when those projects may have conflicted incentives with Ethereum, either now or in the future?"

That post came in response to a post by Buterin in which he wrote that he was "really proud that Ethereum does not have any culture of trying to prevent people from speaking their minds."