June 20, 2023

Ethereum's Big Plan: Raising Validator Limit to 2048 ETH

Ethereum, a big and popular digital money network, is thinking about making a big change. In a recent meeting of the people who help build and update Ethereum, they talked about allowing each person (or group) that helps keep the network running to handle more money.

Right now, each of these helpers (called "validators") can only handle 32 units of Ethereum's money (known as "ETH"). They want to change this so a validator can handle up to 2,048 ETH.

If you're a big operation that wants to handle more than 32 ETH, you currently must set up lots of these validators. This has led to lots of validators being created, with 600,000 active ones and another 90,000 ready to go. So, this change could mean fewer, but richer, validators.

Making Things Better

Michael Neuder, who works for the group that oversees Ethereum and is a big supporter of this change, says that letting validators handle more money would solve some problems caused by having too many validators.

Neuder says that while having a limit on how much each validator can handle does help to spread power and control around, it also means there are a lot of validators. Having more validators can make Ethereum work better and faster, as decisions can be made quicker.

He also said that this change could help validators make more money from their Ethereum. Right now, if a validator makes more than 32 ETH, they must put the extra somewhere else to earn more Ethereum. But if the limit is raised, they could immediately put their earnings back in and make more money, which would be a big benefit for validators.

How This Affects Big Players and Potential Problems

This proposed change is also trying to make things easier for the big companies that run lots of validators, like the digital money exchange Coinbase. Right now, because of the 32 ETH limit, these companies must run lots of validators.

If the limit is increased, these companies could run fewer validators, but each one would handle more money. This could make things simpler for them. However, Neuder warns that there could be risks with this change.

For example, if a validator makes a mistake and does something it's not supposed to (this is called "slashing"), the penalties could be much higher. This is why it's important to think about all the possible effects this change could have as Ethereum works to become more efficient and reward validators more.

As Ethereum continues to grow and change, this possible change to the validator limit is an important part of the conversation about where Ethereum is going in the future.

In other news, the price of Ethereum has dropped a bit recently. It's down 1% in the last week and 1.1% in the last 24 hours. Right now, 1 ETH is worth more than $1,700, after it fell below that last week. The amount of Ethereum being bought and sold has also gone down, from over $7 billion last week to less than $4 billion in the last 24 hours. This shows that people are trading Ethereum less.

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