Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder, has put forward a series of solutions to bolster the decentralization of staking pools and protocols. He also proposed solutions to reinforce these protocols’ security against potential attacks.
These suggestions follow a previous proposal shared by Buterin on possible changes that can be made to the Ethereum network.
Addressing Decentralization Concerns
Buterin’s recommendations directly address the existing challenges within the staking process. He addresses the concerns of centralization risk among node operators and the burden on the consensus layer.
The selection process for node operators across various staking pools, according to Buterin, suffers from decentralization issues. The current Layer 1 (L1) consensus mechanism also faces an overhead in authorizing transactions.
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To mitigate these challenges, Buterin advocates adopting a two-tier staking system akin to models used by projects such as Rocketpool and Lido. This system introduces Node Operators and Delegators as key participants.
Node operators would function as validators, running nodes to create new blocks and committing a specific amount of ETH to the staking pool.
Delegators, conversely, would become pool members, staking their assets with their chosen node operators. In this setup, Delegators gain the autonomy to select their preferred node operators.
Enhancing Staking Pool Security
Beyond addressing centralization concerns, the proposed two-tier system promises to bolster security within staking pools. The system erects a formidable barrier against potential attackers by enabling Delegators to determine node operators.
Those seeking to become node operators without Delegator support would need to commit a significant portion of their ETH, possibly up to 1/3 of the total staking, which could amount to more than 2.08 million ETH. Consequently, any hacking attempt would be a huge cost for the attacker.
Buterin underlines that implementing these recommendations could alleviate the issues impacting the Ethereum Layer 1 staking protocol. It empowers stakers to select their preferred nodes, contributing to a more decentralized and consensus-driven system.
Moreover, the proposed model significantly reduces the number of required signatures from 800,000 to 10,000, encouraging a surge in node validators.
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