Nala DAO Profile

Hello!

Christina and Zach here from Nala DAO. We would LOVE the opportunity to run a Vega validator.

Nala Team / Company / DAO

Nala DAO was born out of the Vega community to support the growth of decentralised derivatives markets. We touch all aspects of the derivatives DEX ecosystem, with specialised teams contributing to:

  • Governance: Participating in laser sharp governance for dex derivatives protocols
  • Infrastructure: Developing and operating decentralised infrastructure, such as validators and oracles.
  • Liquidity: Sourcing and/or directly providing liquidity to early markets, through to supporting high volume mature markets.
  • Bridging TradFi to DeFi: Educating and piloting real world uses of permissionless dex derivative markets
  • Tooling and UX: Crafting tooling to power the creation, use, monitoring and governance of markets

We will be building pods to lead each vertical from the crypto, tradfi and academia communities.

Our infrastructure vertical is currently the most developed, with distributed systems engineers from crypto and wider industry designing and implementing according to best practices.

We are fully committed to decentralisation of control and ownership. We have built this into our approach by architecting as much of our technology stack to be as open-sourceable as possible without compromising security. We believe this is the best way to create and preserve value for ourselves and for the community.

Liquid Staking [stVEGA]

Nala is designing and will soon launch permissionless “liquid staking”, specifically for derivative DEX projects. For example, Vega token holders may opt to lock their tokens in an Ethereum Nala<3Vega smart contract that will issue stVEGA tokens in return. These stVEGA can then be deployed to earn returns in other DeFi protocols.

We see this as extremely positive for the Vega community and investors, as it should raise awareness and engagement with the project and increase returns on holding $VEGA.

Nala Experience

Nala is currently a collective of people with experience in crypto going back to 2012.

  • Smart contract development for enterprises since 2015, running development testnets and managing keys along the way.
  • Protocol and application design experience on a tendermint-based chain.
  • Experience in designing and operating large scale operational compute and data platforms in blockchain and traditional corporate sectors such as banking, insurance, mining, government and more.
  • Combined 45 years of distributed systems software development.
  • Currently running PoS validators across several networks.
  • Relationships with the major DeFi protocols.
  • Built and managed custodied funds for investors for digital asset funds.
  • Deep understanding of the Vega protocol, pioneers of the Vega community.

Design principles:

The community is at the heart of the Nala validator. We are fiercely committed to open sourcing code, architecture and processes as much as possible, as soon as possible, to grow out the validator ecosystem through the community. For us success is the rapid decentralisation of validators.

  • Infrastructure and validator config code open sourced
    • Guides, tips and videos
  • Metrics dashboard on validator health and performance
  • Communication channels for feedback and discussion

Security

Key management is of utmost importance.

  • We use Ledger hardware for custodial keys and HashiCorp’s Vault for validator worker keys.
  • We have hardware security module (HSM) expertise if preferred by the community and protocol, but we find they often are detrimental to high-availability setups.

Infrastructure security

  • Security is applied at all layers, from the edges of the network through to the application and code.
    • Isolated network environment for vega validator service
    • Isolated subnets with further security groups applied to each node
  • A least privilege approach is applied to services and user access control
    • Developers and engineers have restricted access to production environment which is managed via automation
  • Automated security is applied to allow the service to scale while keeping consistent security configurations in place without human interaction.
  • All data is protected in transit and at rest using encryption and tokenization where appropriate.

Reliability and operational excellence

Highly available vender agnostic kubernetes cluster spanned across multiple regions (depending on Vega HA details and decentralisation preference).

Team in Australia, Europe and US with 24/7 rostering and event alerting

Automatic recovery from failure by monitoring (Prometheus) key metrics from the infrastructure through to the blockchain. Recover procedures are tested.

Monitoring of all layers such as networking, infrastructure, security and validator specific operations. This allows our engineers to preempt issues and plan accordingly for changes and learn from operational failures. Monitoring through dashboards will provide the community with metrics on validator health and performance.

Infrastructure and changes are deployed as code (IaC) allowing automation, repeatability and testability of changes through multiple non-production environments.

Performance

Nala is committed to supporting a Vega Validator for 5 years at a $2-3k per month burn rate, bear market or not.

Kubernetes is used for scalability both horizontally and vertically to cater extra load through semi-automated scripted processes with all operational excellence and security measures applied.

Regional deployments for lower latency. We have advisors from the high frequency firms in New York to advise how validator performance and positioning might affect their preference to participate in Vega markets.

Communication

Regular, open communication with the community is of paramount importance to us.

We are active on the Vega forum and Discord personally, we will be blogging regularly on our experience setting up and running validators and open sourcing our processes through walkthroughs, github and docs. Delegators will be able to contact us in our newly formed Discord and at meow@naladao.com. We are excited to run in person events :slight_smile:

We have special experience in community engagement. Christina was Vega’s community lead for 3 years and, through Nala, will continue to contribute to the ecosystem.

Governance

Our current members are active in the governance of various DeFi protocols and DAOs, but we will be building out a governance team with specific expertise in derivatives markets and blockchain protocols. Their job will be to collect information from all parts of the DAO and wider community and propose and vote on protocol changes.

Critically, our team has a special commitment and personal stake in the Vega Protocol, so we can guarantee continual bandwidth towards Vega’s governance and growth.

Through collaboration of our liquidity, market creation, governance and validator teams, we hope to regularly open source research relating to fragilities, inefficiencies and possible improvements in underlying protocols.

Nala’s own governance will leverage a combination of traditional business best practices and DAO-enabled decision making. We will be building an executive team and wider network of contributors to surgically consider proposals on Vega and on other derivatives DEX networks.

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