SSV Network frequently asked questions


Have a question about Secret Shared Validators? Find the answers to Frequently Asked Questions about SSV here.

What is SSV?

Secret Shared Validators (SSV) is the first secure and robust way to split an Ethereum validator key between non-trusting nodes run by operators. The nodes do not need to trust each other to carry out their validator duties, and a certain number can be offline without affecting validator performance. No single node can sign data on behalf of a validator, yet not all are needed to create a valid signature, adding fault tolerance to the staking ecosystem. The result is a reliable, decentralized, secure staking solution for Ethereum. Learn more about how SSV works under the hood in the SSV Tech Deep Dive.

What is is the decentralized staking infrastructure running the SSV protocol that enables the distributed operation of an Ethereum validator. The SSV protocol splits a validator key into multiple KeyShares and distributes them to non-trusting nodes run by operators. The nodes execute the validator's duties under a consensus mechanism providing fault tolerance, increased security, and decentralized risk for stakers.

In addition, is a reusable and scalable ETH staking infrastructure developers can use to build new staking apps and deploy them quickly and easily.

Why was created?

The existing Ethereum staking construct relies on validators running on single nodes to perform duties for the Beacon Chain. Running validators on single nodes introduces a single point of failure, security risks, and results in a highly centralized network.

SSV allows a validator to be distributed across multiple nodes by splitting its key into KeyShares. Now, the validator key can be stored securely offline while the shares that represent it run the validator. This provides improved validator performance and key security, and introduces fault tolerance to the network. The distributed validator construct also decentralizes the network and staking risks. A staker can choose multiple operators running different configurations in different geolocations to maximize their validator rewards.

Who benefits from SSV?

Stakers, operators, and the Ethereum network as a whole. SSV promotes validator uptime, security, and decentralization. Stakers receive optimal validator performance and security. Staking-as-a-Service companies can offer staking services with infrastructure resilience and mitigated slashing risk, while DIY stakers can significantly improve redundancy while operating highly customized configurations.

Who can use

Anyone can use or develop on top of it. The network is open-source and community-driven. SSV is a DAO-governed protocol with access and usage unrestricted at every level.

SSV use cases:

  • Staking-as-a-Service companies and Staking Pools can use the network to decentralize their infrastructure and provide increased security and fault tolerance to stakers, maximizing their validator uptime and rewards.
  • DIY stakers can enjoy worry-free staking by distributing their validators to multiple nodes quickly and easily.
  • DeFi apps (dapps) can be built on top of the SSV protocol and allow users to access staking rewards-based products in a secure, decentralized way.

Who’s in charge of

The SSV community is DAO-governed. Community members can use SSV tokens to propose new ideas and vote on them, steering the network’s direction in the process.

Who's building is built and maintained by the SSV community made up of Ethereum researchers, developers, stakers, and staking services. Check out the Ecosystem page to see everyone involved.

Does the DAO offer grants to build on the SSV protocol?

Yes! The DAO makes funds available in the form of grants for developers and staking companies to build stalking and other apps on top of the SSV protocol and infrastructure. You can find more information about how grants work and how to apply here.

Why should I choose more than one operator to manage my validator?

Strict Ethereum protocol rules prohibit running a single validator client on multiple nodes, making it difficult to get active-active redundancy for your validator. In a single-node instance, if the operator goes offline for routine maintenance or because of an issue, the validator will also go offline, resulting in small penalties and loss of benefits. However, if you run your validator client on multiple nodes and they become active at the same time when a call from the Beacon Chain goes out, slashing will result.

SSV mitigates these issues by splitting a validator key into KeyShares and distributing them to multiple nodes. The protocol uses the shares to run the validator instead of the validator key itself. Not all of the KeyShares are needed to sign data, but no single KeyShare can create a signature on its own, creating a redundant, fault-tolerant, secure ETH staking solution.

Choose multiple operators to maximize your validator uptime, rewards, and security.

How can I keep track of how the operators I selected to manage my validator are performing?

Once you have selected your operators, checking their performance is easy. You can do it one of two ways:

  • Use the network explorer.
  • Connect your wallet to Metamask and use the My Account page. Here you can select the validator you want to manage and see operator performance ratings and fees.

You can change operators anytime you like based on your needs and budget.

What should I do if one or more of my operators are offline?

In the event any of your operators are offline and your validator is missing attestations, you should alert the operator and the community immediately. The best place to connect with operators and community for issues relating to your validator is our Discord server.

How do I run an operator node?

Network operators are the backbone of the decentralized ETH staking infrastructure. You can learn more about what it takes to run an operator node here.

How do I become part of the SSV community?

We’re glad you asked! There are a number of ways you can join the fun and excitement happening at

  • A great place to start is by connecting with us and other community members on Discord.
  • Check out the Ambassador program, where you can help others understand and use SSV tech. 
  • Meet and mingle with community members at online and offline events.
  • Get involved in the forum, where discussions about new ideas and proposals happen.
  • You can use SSV tokens to vote on proposals, and put your own ideas on the table for discussion.
  • Run a validator or operator node on the incentivized testnet.

What is the SSV Token ($SSV)?

The SSV token is an ERC-20 token, and is the native token for and the SSV protocol. The token’s utility is two-fold:

  1. Governance - is DAO-governed and voting on network decisions is reserved for network participants with SSV token only.

  2. Fees - Operators charge stakers a fee to manage their validators. In addition, stakers pay a network fee to the DAO to use the SSV protocol and infrastructure. Both of these fees are paid in SSV tokens.

The network maintains a symbiotic relationship between stakers and operators by aligning interests between the two parties. Operators receive $SSV for running validators that generate ETH rewards for stakers.

What is the relationship between CDT and the SSV token ($SSV)?

CDT is the original BloxStaking token. The initial distribution of SSV was made to BloxStaking users with CDT token, using a one-way token swap. The swap rate is 100 CDT = 1 $SSV

What can I currently do with an SSV token?

At the moment, SSV tokens are only used for participation in DAO voting on Snapshot. When SSV goes live on mainnet, stakers will use SSV tokens to pay operator and network fees.

How can I verify the official SSV token contract address?

Visit the SSV token upgrade page and scroll down until you see How do I see my new SSV tokens on my Metamask extension? Expand this and you will be able to see the SSV token contract address. You can use this address to verify the contract address on exchanges, Uniswap, Metamask, and other places where SSV token is available.

What are the tokenomics of running an operator node on mainnet in the future? I want to do some reward calculations in relation to hardware, hosting costs, etc.

A good place to start is on our Notion page dedicated to the SSV token. Here, you’ll find links to helpful articles and other resources that will explain the tokenomics and help you determine your estimated benefits from running an operator node.

How do I get GoEth?

We have established a dedicated Discord bot that handles all requests for and distribution of GoEth.

When will SSV be live on mainnet?

The mainnet is on the horizon! We have officially implemented our mainnet candidate, Jato. From here we will audit our scmart contracts, implment feedback, and then our release candidate will be ready to go live toward the the end of 2023.