Introducing the Lodestar User Incentive Program

Introducing the Lodestar User Incentive Program

Authored by Phil Ngo

If you're a current solo staker or want to be a staker on the Ethereum network, this incentive program is for you!

UPDATE: The EthStaker community has contributed an additional $5k to the prize pool, bringing a total of prizes for the Lodestar Incentive Program from the original USD 20,000 to USD 25,000! Thank you for the contribution!💜

As the newest client on the block, it's important for us to encourage current and future stakers to consider Lodestar as part of their node operations setup to gradually increase client diversity on the network.

Client stickiness has been an issue that prevents node operators from moving away from clients with the majority network share. This program aims to incentivize stakers to try Lodestar. Further, it allows us to strengthen our client by ensuring we meet user needs, improve UX, and develop a community of TypeScript users around Lodestar.

Offer: Try out Lodestar, the newest consensus client written in TypeScript, in your staking setup for a chance at a prize pool of USD 25,000. Rewards will be given to stakers who provably propose a block on the network using Lodestar - full details and eligibility requirements below.

Incentive prizes💰

A total of USD 25,000 in prizes will be distributed during the course of this program. This incentive will sweeten the pot for any stakers who may be tempted to try Lodestar.

We also encourage as many solo stakers to participate as possible, but understandably, there is a limited prize pool for distributions. There is no maximum eligible validator size. The more eligible, unique validators which participate, the smaller the payout for each eligible validator.

An example of the distributions:

Example of prize sizes by the end of the eligibility period.

Eligibility period🗓

The eligibility period begins after the EthStaker Community Call announcement with Lodestar on March 23, 2023. No blocks proposed before the start of this eligibility period will be considered for this program.

The eligible period will run for five months, ending August 23, 2023, at 18:00:00 UTC.

The eligibility period was calculated by figuring out the average time in months it would take for one validator to propose a block (number of validators/block proposals per month), then multiplying it by two. At 550,000 validators on mainnet, the approximate eligibility period is five months.

We understand there is an element of chance when your validator is assigned a block proposal duty, which is unfortunately out of our control. We suggest setting up Lodestar as early as possible to maximize your chance of having your block included within the five-month eligibility period.

**All distributed prizes will be of an equal amount per eligible validator. This now brings us to who is actually eligible.

Eligibility and due diligence

The goal of due diligence for prizes is to ensure with the greatest amount of certainty that the Lodestar validator, which proposed a block, is actually running the Lodestar client and not part of a large node operator or staking enterprise.

Therefore, we've set some eligibility rules to minimize the likelihood of a prize going to unintended candidates and reduce Sybil attacks on this program.

  • Graffiti must include Lodestar in the proposed block:
    If you are using the default graffiti (by not setting a --graffiti flag on your validator), it will automatically propose with a "Lodestar-{version}/{commit}."

UPDATED NOTE: For Rocketpool node operators, this incentive program will also accept the default Rocketpool Smartnode graffiti which identifies Lodestar as their consensus client. Lodestar blocks proposed with any of the following will meet graffiti requirements: RP-GS,RP-NS,RP-BS, RP-XS

  • We will use the Blockprint crawler to further scrutinize the block proposal for those who game the graffiti print. If Blockprint detects it's unlikely a Lodestar proposed block, it will be ineligible.

  • **Unique deposit address:**The deposit for the validator must come from a unique deposit address and is only eligible for a maximum of one prize. Deposit addresses which have m_ore than ten (10) deposits_ on the eth2 deposit contract are ineligible. If two (2) of your validators from the same deposit address propose eligible blocks, you're eligible for one (1) prize. For Rocketpool node operators, your personal 16 ETH deposited from your address into your minipool contract is your deposit address for this rule. If your address deposited into more than twenty (20) 16 ETH minipool contracts, you are ineligible.

UPDATED NOTE: With the launch of 8 ETH minipools shortly, the idea here is to limit any single deposit address which exceeds 320 ETH (what we consider a "whale") to be ineligible for this program. Therefore, if your deposit address has deposited to fourty (40) 8 ETH minipools, or any combination of solo deposits and minipools which exceed 320 ETH, you are ineligible.

  • **Unique feeRecipient:**The feeRecipient address will receive the prize if it is eligible for one of the prizes. If a feeRecipient address has already received a prize, it is ineligible for another. For Rocketpool node operators, your feeRecipient is directed towards a fee distributor contract or the smoothing pool. In order to reward the node operator directly, eligible Rocketpool validators will have their pubkey mapped to their Rocketpool withdrawal address to receive the prize. This withdrawal address must be unique and is eligible for only one prize.

  • **Unique validator index:**No single validator will be eligible for more than one prize, even if a single validator proposed two Lodestar blocks during the eligibility period.

  • Winners have no personal affiliation with ChainSafe or Lodestar

  • **Large staking operators/entities/groups are not eligible:**Block proposals will undergo further screening via community data sources (e.g.,, which ensure it is not part of a known large node operator setup (e.g., Lido node operators, centralized exchanges, staking service entities, whales with more than ten (10) validators associated with them).

Prize distribution

We will not be actively screening for eligible block proposals during the eligibility period to determine the current size of winning validators. Once the eligibility period is over, ChainSafe will collect block proposal data for the duration.

We will then undergo the following process:

  1. Gather a list of Lodestar block proposals by validators

  2. Run block proposals through Blockprint and discard ineligible block proposals

  3. Check deposit address, feeRecipient, and validator index eligibility rules and correlate with community data sources for ineligibility

  4. Ensure remaining eligible validators are not associated with the ChainSafe organization or Lodestar

  5. Publish a follow-up post of the winning validator indexes which meet the criteria

  6. Distribute the prize to the feeRecipient address (withdrawal address for Rocketpool operators) of the eligible proposed block

If you have any questions about the program or Lodestar, feel free to drop by the ChainSafe Discord ➡️ #lodestar-general.

May the odds be ever in your favor✨

Resources for running Lodestar

Here are a few guides and resources for getting started with Lodestar: