Feb 23, 2023
0.04% of Validators Slashed on Ethereum’s Beacon Chain
Since the launch of the Ethereum Beacon Chain on December 1, 2022, only 0.04% of the 524,060 validators have been slashed. This process, known as slashing, occurs when a validator breaches the proof-of-stake consensus rules and is removed from the network, with a portion of the staked Ether (ETH) being taken as collateral.
Ethereum core developer “Superphiz” has highlighted these slim odds of being slashed in a Feb. 23 Twitter post, and provided “four emerging best practices” to reduce the risk of slashing even further. These include wiping any existing chain data on old staking machines, using “doppelganger detection”, monitoring buffers and logs on the Beacon Chain, and unplugging everything if something seems wrong.
Interestingly, Superphiz noted that over 150 of the 226 slashings have been caused by services rather than “home stakers”. Slashing can be caused by an “attestation” or a “proposal” violation, according to the Ethereum Foundation. An attestation violation is one where a malicious validator attempts to change the history of a block or “double votes” by attesting two candidates for the same block. A proposal violation occurs when a validator proposes and signs two different blocks for the same slot.
The majority of slashing events have come from attestation violations, according to data from beaconcha.in. One of the largest slashing events occurred on Feb. 4, 2021, when staking infrastructure provider “Staked” had 75 of its validators slashed for producing competing blocks. Staked said the attestation violation came about due to a “technical issue.”
Since the Ethereum Beacon Chain merged with the Ethereum proof-of-work chain on Sept. 15, only 35 of the total 226 slashings have taken place. This suggests that the Merge has not had a profound impact on slashing rates.
Currently, 16.7 million ETH is staked out of 120.4 million ETH in circulation, which is about 13.9%. ETH can be staked on a centralized exchange, be delegated to an third-party validator network or be run on an independent node, which requires 32 ETH.
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