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 about four million nodes.
For the developer, this figure could be detrimental for several reasons, among which he highlighted: greater work for the creators of clients since they would have to ensure that the programs are able to handle that amount and for the operators because they would have to ensure that make sure your computers are able to process the calculations.
Buterin’s suggestion is to set atope of active nodes that allow to take advantage of their capacities efficiently. That limit could be about 524,000 nodes, or a similar number, the developer recently shared.
“If there are more active validators than the cap, some will randomly and probabilistically ‘sleep’ for a short period of time (for example, from a few hours to a few days). Sleeping validators don’t get rewarded, but they also don’t have responsibilities and can even log out during that time, ”explained the programmer.
Buterin considered it a nuisance that in the Beacon Chain the difficulty of verifying the blocks, and maintaining the rhythm of the chain, potentially varies. The developer believes 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 know what level of hardware will be sufficient to validate the Beacon Chain. In other words, 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 since it could be reduced. Nowadays 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 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.
Currently more than 3.7 million ETH is already committed in the Beacon Chain. Source: Ethereum.org.
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 available funds at the beginning of the call obtain an equivalent annual rate of 21.6%. The number has decreased as more validators have entered and the annual return is currently 8%.
CriptoNoticias reported on December 1, 2020, the activation of the Beacon Chain, a validator registration network that temporarily operates in parallel with the Ethereum network. It was the first step in what will be a long road to migrating 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.