An Ethereum core developer claims that just 226 out of the 524,060 validators in the Ethereum ecosystem have been reduced since the Beacon Chain’s introduction on December 1, 2020.
When a validator violates the proof-of-stake consensus rules, this is known as “slashing,” and it frequently leads to both the expulsion of that validator from the network and the slashing of some of the staked Ether that the validator had pledged as collateral.Ethereum core engineer “Superphiz” noted the low likelihood of getting sliced in a tweet on Twitter on February 23. This means that users shouldn’t be concerned about staking ETH for that specific reason.
Additionally, the developer described “four developing best practices” to further lower those chances.According to Superphiz, who noted that many slashings happen as a result of “failed systems migrations,” one of these procedures was to erase any existing chain data on old staking computers and to reinstall and reformat the validator if appropriate.
The use of “doppelganger detection,” which verifies if the validator’s keys are active before beginning the validation process, was later recommended by Superphiz.Although this may affect validator uptime, he claimed that, in the big picture, “perfect uptime” isn’t worth losing: “It’s wise to throw away $0.06 to save $1700. (A cutting costs roughly 1 Ether.)”
The developer advised keeping an eye on the Beacon Chain’s buffers and logs in order to see any potential issues before they happen. Superphiz advised “unplugging everything” and to “come back” once the issue has been located and a potential fix put in place if something feels off.
Additionally, the developer mentioned that services, rather than “home stakers,” were responsible for almost 150 of the 226 slashings.According to the Ethereum Foundation, slashing can happen as a result of a “proposal” or “attestation” breach.
A malicious validator who tries to “double vote” or alter the history of a block by attesting two candidates for the same block commits an attestation violation.
When a validator proposes and signs two different blocks for the same slot, it constitutes a proposal violation.
According to data from beaconcha.in, attestation violations have caused the majority of cutting occurrences. One of the worst slicing incidents happened on February 4, 2021, when “Staked,” a provider of staking infrastructure, had 75 of their validators fired for generating rival blocks. Staked claimed that a “technical issue” was the cause of the attestation violation.
Beaconcha.in reports that just 35 of the total 226 slashings have occurred since the Beacon Chain and Ethereum proof-of-work chain combined on September 15. This shows that the Merge did not significantly affect the slashing rates.
Beaconcha.in estimates that 16.7 million ETH are currently staked, which is 13.9% of the 120.4 million ETH that are currently in circulation. Staking ETH needs 32 ETH and can be done on an independent node, by delegation to a third-party validator network, or through a centralized exchange.