Staking is already as centralised as mining. The Lido staking pool plus the Coinbase exchange plus the Kraken exchange add up to over 54% of total stake. Thems what has, gets.
Lido and Kraken (and most of the "staking pools" FUDmeisters like David Gerard lean into) are contracts that allow you to lend your ether for staking and receive a token in exchange. As there is literally no method at this time to withdraw staked ether, Lido, Kraken and others provide financial services that allow one type of token to be traded for another.
Lido and Kraken could eat total shit tomorrow and everyone with their tokens can withdraw when withdrawals are coded. That's the nature of smart contracts.
The real central control point in Ethereum is Infura — an interface to the Ethereum blockchain owned by ConsenSys. Almost 100% of useful Ethereum transactions go through Infura, because coding to Infura is vastly easier than coding directly to the blockchain. Infura has been Ethereum’s central point of control for many years. [CoinDesk, 2018] Ethereum’s decentralisation is fake.
There's nothing requiring anyone from using Infura. There is nothing guaranteeing Infura's future dominance. Lido is something like 90% of staking right now, too - that's people betting on Lido, not Ethereum.
The winner for the title of official Ethereum will be the one the money backs. So far, the money is backing the Beacon Chain merge.
LOL there's 416,000 nodes right now. Thirteen million ETH. At a thousand dollars per ETH - a 60% discount right now, but the day is young - that's thirteen billion dollars worth of capital that goes from "eventually withdrawable" to "questionably withdrawable" in the event of a proof-of-work fork. Best guess there's 120,000 miners out there, each with 4-10 video cards whose value has already plummeted 50%. Going rate on mining rigs is about $500 per card, each running video cards that retailed at $2500-$3k just six months ago - I know, I scalped them. Assume $5k per GPU rig - that's $600m in liquid capital that you can get rid of on OfferUp (if you break it up into video cards and sell into the hole of everyone else breaking up their rigs and selling into the same hole). The capitalization behind staking is already 20x the capitalization behind mining.
Ethereum staking involves:
“an investment of money” — your 32 ETH stake
“in a common enterprise” — Ethereum
“with a reasonable expectation of profits” — the validator specification document literally says “verify and attest to the validity of blocks to seek financial returns” [GitHub]
“derived from the efforts of others” — promotion by the Ethereum Foundation, and money from the retail suckers.
The SEC and the CFTC started looking into this question in 2019. [CoinDesk, 2019, archive]
The CFTC has argued that Bitcoin and Ether are commodities for almost two years. All of the crypto bills before the house and senate make Ether a commodity. The CFTC, for its part, has argued that any open blockchain capable of supporting a stablecoin is as good as SWIFT for purposes of settlement, and a stablecoin is, by definition, a token tied to a commodity.
This shit's settled except for the signing. The USA, through Bretton Woods, the World Bank, the WTO and existing treaty, has vastly stronger tax enforcement legislation than any other country in the world, as well as the leverage to use it. The USA doesn't care what you do so long as you pay your taxes, and it's in the IRS and Treasury's best interests for cryptocurrencies to be commodities or securities.
That said, I think it’s unlikely that OFAC will take action against validators — unless there’s North Korea levels of sanctions-breaking going on, and OFAC can’t find any other way to block it.
LOL 30% of staking is on AWS. David Gerrard has a "what air defense doing" understanding of crypto legislation.
Transactions will still be irreversible — all errors, fat-finger fumbles and hacks are final.
There are like nine service out there that offer fat-finger insurance as a service. That's the point. Every bank is going to do exactly that, and charge for the privilege.
assorted baseless cranking