Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, Strives to optimize the Ethereum blockchain proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism for improved efficiency and security. The initiative aims to address the complication within the Ethereum consensus system by reducing the number of required signatures per slot in the blockchain. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin suggests reducing participant signatures to simplify the PoS system, enhancing security and decentralization.
Ethereum’s Complex Validator System
Ethereum supports a staggering 895,000 validators, promoting decentralization and public engagement in staking. However, this abundance of validators results in the processing of approximately 28,000 signatures per slot, leading to technical challenges.
These challenges include limited quantum resistance and intricate scaling solutions using zero-knowledge proofs (SNARKs). Additionally, the high minimum requirement of 32 ETH for validator participation poses a barrier to entry for many users.
Buterin’s Proposals for Simplification
Vitalik Buterin’s proposal aims to simplify Ethereum PoS design through three innovative approaches. Firstly, introducing decentralized staking pools involves raising the minimum staking requirement to 4,096 ETH, encouraging smaller validators to join these pools, and streamlining the validation process.
Secondly, a two-tiered staking system is proposed, where a “heavy” layer requires a 4,096 ETH deposit for finalization participation, while a “light” layer has no minimum requirement, ensuring network security and efficiency. Lastly, to distribute the validation process evenly, Buterin suggests selecting 4,096 active validators for each slot, with careful adjustments to maintain safety. These proposals aim to enhance Ethereum’s PoS mechanism for a more secure and efficient blockchain ecosystem.
Challenges and Considerations
Buterin acknowledges the limitations of committee-based security models used by other blockchains. These models lack accountability in case of a 51% attack. Ethereum’s current system imposes substantial penalties for such attacks, but they may be excessively punishable. A balanced solution that maintains a high amount of slashable Ethereum while improving validator accountability is being explored.
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