Ethereum (ETH) co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, proposed limiting the number of active validator nodes in version 2.0 of the smart contract network. The programmer indicated that currently more than 100,000 validators have been registered in the Beacon Chain, the first step for Ethereum 2.0, but that the figure could theoretically reach around four million nodes.
For the developer that figure could be detrimental for several reasons, among which he highlighted: greater work for the creators of clients since they would have to make sure that the programs are able to handle that amount and for the operators because they would have to make sure your teams are able to process the calculations.
Buterin’s suggestion is to establish a t ope of active nodes that allow to take advantage of their capabilities efficiently. That limit could be around 524 thousand nodes, or a similar figure, according to the developer recently shared.
«If there are more active validators than the limit, some of them ‘fall asleep’. random and probabilistic over a short period of time (for example, from a few hours to a few days). Sleeping validators do not get rewards, but they also have no responsibilities and can even disconnect during that time “, explained the programmer.
Buterin considered as a nuisance that in the Beacon Chain the difficulty to verify the blocks , and keep up with the chain, potentially vary. The developer considers that such an implementation would reduce the verification burden, making it easier to handle nodes for validators and non-validators.
Another point highlighted by Buterin was that, if there is a limit of active validator nodes, then it will increase the certainty in knowing what level of hardware will be sufficient to validate the Beacon Chain. That is, operators could save funds when configuring their equipment since it would not be necessary to invest more.
Staking in Ethereum and incentives
If this proposal is applied, then the staking or the amount of funds blocked to participate in the network as a validator would be more accessible as it could be reduced. Currently those operators who wish to participate must have 32 ethers, although other services such as exchanges or pools offer alternatives to form collaborative groups.
According to the Ethereum Launchpad records, there are currently 3.7 million ethers committed to the project, which is equivalent to about $ 7.7 billion, according to the CryptoNews cryptocurrency price index.
Participating nodes receive incentives for proposing and validating blocks. Rewards are tied to the total amount of ETH ‘staked’ on the network. Those who made funds available at the beginning of the call obtain an equivalent annual rate of 21.6%. The figure has decreased as more validators have entered and currently the annual return is 8%.
CriptoNoticias reported on December 1, 2020 the activation of the Beacon Chain, a registry network of validators that temporarily operates in parallel with the Ethereum network. It was the first step in what will be a long way to migrate its Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism, based on computing power and electrical energy, to a Proof of Stake (PoS) based on capital and software.