Increases the constant
MAX_EFFECTIVE_BALANCE, while keeping the minimum staking balance
32 ETH. This permits large node operators to consolidate into fewer validators while also allowing solo-stakers to earn compounding rewards and stake in more flexible increments.
As of October 3, 2023, there are currently over 830,000 validators participating in the consensus layer. The size of this set continues to grow due, in part, to the
MAX_EFFECTIVE_BALANCE, which limits the stake of a single validator to
32 ETH. This leads to large amounts of “redundant validators”, which are controlled by a single entity, possibly running on the same beacon node, but with distinct BLS signing keys. The limit on the
MAX_EFFECTIVE_BALANCE is technical debt from the original sharding design, in which subcommittees (not the attesting committee but the committee calculated in
is_aggregator) needed to be majority honest. As a result, keeping the weights of subcommittee members approximately equal reduced the risk of a single large validator containing too much influence. Under the current design, these subcommittees are only used for attestation aggregation, and thus only have a
1/N honesty assumption.
With the security model of the protocol no longer dependent on a low value for
MAX_EFFECTIVE_BALANCE, we propose raising this value while keeping the minimum validator threshold of
32 ETH. This increase aims to reduce the validator set size, thereby reducing the number of P2P messages over the network, the number of BLS signatures that need to be aggregated each epoch, and the
BeaconState memory footprint. This change adds value for both small and large validators. Large validators can consolidate to run fewer validators and thus fewer beacon nodes. Small validators now benefit from compounding rewards and the ability to stake in more flexible increments (e.g., the ability to stake
40 ETH instead of needing to accumulate
64 ETH to run two validators today).
Related work – eip7251 related work · GitHub