- Vitalik Buterin proposes reducing the number of validator signatures to lighten the load on the Ethereum network’s proof-of-stake consensus.
- The current high number of validators, around 895,000, poses technical challenges as it requires processing a significant number of signatures, hindering efficiency.
- By streamlining the PoS mechanism with approximately 8,192 signatures per slot, Buterin aims to achieve greater technical simplicity.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has put forward a proposal to alleviate the load on the Ethereum blockchain and simplify its proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.
On December 28, Buterin suggested a method to decrease the number of signatures required from validators to maintain the network, ultimately reducing the overall load.
Ethereum supports a large number of validators, approximately 895,000, to achieve decentralisation and encourage broader participation in staking. However, this approach presents significant technical challenges due to the need to process a high volume of signatures, approximately 28,000 per slot, which poses a substantial load on the network.
Buterin proposed a more moderate solution with approximately 8,192 signatures per slot, down from the current 28,000. This adjustment would lead to significant technical simplification, enhance quantum resistance, and maintain a substantial total of slashable ETH, around 1-2 million ETH.
Three Potential Approaches
Buterin outlined three potential approaches to implement this change:
- Relying on decentralised staking pools
- Introducing a two-tiered system with “heavy” and “light” staking
- Implementing rotating participation with accountable committees
These solutions aim to reduce the digital signature load to a manageable level.
By reducing the signature load, Ethereum can achieve more predictable protocol and infrastructure development. The proposed change ensures that the network’s future load remains manageable, with the possibility of increasing it through hard forks when technology advances sufficiently to handle a larger number of signatures-per-slot with ease.