Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has introduced a groundbreaking proposal to elevate the security, efficiency and scalability of the network.
One significant challenge Ethereum faces is the substantial entry barrier for solo staking, requiring users to lock in a hefty 32 ETH. Additionally, there have been concerns about centralization within staking pools and the excessive number of signatures required for each block, which can impact the network’s overall performance.
On Saturday, Buterin unveiled a proposal in light of these challenges to address these issues and enhance the network’s overall functionality. Notably, the proposal introduced a novel concept: a two-tiered staking system comprising two distinct participant categories, namely node operators and delegators.
Node operators, the first category, will assume the crucial role of running node. They will act as validators, staking a significant 32 ETH while simultaneously managing various tasks, such as transaction processing and block generation.
On the other hand, the second category, delegators, shall hold stakes below the 32 ETH threshold. These participants enjoy the freedom to choose and endorse specific node operators. Their involvement in the network’s consensus process will be more lightweight, imposing no minimum commitments or strict obligations beyond providing collateral.
Importantly, Buterin underscored that the proposal harbours significant potential advantages for Ethereum and its vibrant user community. From the network’s perspective, he emphasized that its implementation would result in a noteworthy reduction in the number of signatures needed per block, lowering it to around 10,000. According to him, this optimization would attract more delegators and enhance scalability while simultaneously reducing computational overhead.
“This would also aid decentralization by making it much easier for everyone to run a validating node,” he added.
Moreover, Buterin’s proposal addressed the potential to fortify network security. It introduced hurdles that would make it increasingly challenging for potential attackers to acquire a controlling stake within the network. Furthermore, it unlocked avenues for innovative and flexible staking solutions by leveraging smart contracts, adopting liquidity tokens, and exploring various other mechanisms.
That said, Buterin clarified that the proposed changes can be implemented at multiple levels of abstraction. These adjustments could find their place within staking pools, in interactions between these pools, and even within the Ethereum protocol itself.