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What is a Node Operator within EigenLayer?

Operators, who can be either individuals or organizations, play an active role in the EigenLayer protocol. By registering within EigenLayer, they enable ETH stakers to delegate their staked assets, whether in the form of native ETH or LSTs. The Node Operators then opt-in to provide a range of services to AVSs, enhancing the overall security and functionality of their networks.

Operator Eligibility and Restaking Criteria

Becoming an Operator in the EigenLayer ecosystem does not necessitate a specific amount of restaked tokens. Essentially, any Ethereum address can serve as an Operator. Additionally, it's possible for an address to function both as a Restaker, engaging in either liquid or native restaking, and as an Operator simultaneously. However, it is important to note that this dual role is not mandatory. An Operator can participate in the EigenLayer network without having any restaked tokens.

Most Operators will opt-in to receive token delegations sourced from other Restakers within the network, or Operators can choose to self-delegate by allocating their own restaked token balance.