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Vitalik Buterin pitches 3 pathways to simplify Ethereum’s PoS model

vitalik-buterin-pitches-3-pathways-to-simplify-ethereums-pos-model
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Vitalik Buterin pitches 3 pathways to simplify Ethereum’s PoS model

Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin proposed three methods to address a possible “systemic complexity” stemming from the network’s proof-of-stake consensus design. 

In a Dec. 27 post on Ethereum’s research forum, Buterin outlined his ideas for solving a budding pain point caused by increasing network validators and cryptographic signatures required for each blockchain slot. 

The first way works through incentivizing mergers between validators teams by raising the minimum Ether (ETH) needed to run an Ethereum validator. This method revolves around the network’s decentralized staking pools. 

Secondly, Buterin suggested dividing staking layers into two. One layer would feature stricter parameters, while the other would offer more flexible conditions. Both layers would be independent and operate under slightly separate blockchain rules aligned with Ethereum’s ethos. 

Buterin’s third way proposed a mechanism to randomize a set of validators from a pool of network participants. A different basket of these teams would sign each slot, thus maintaining the 8192 signatures currently needed. This is the most complex alternative, according to Ethereum’s co-founder.

Ethereum validators have more than doubled since The Merge in September 2022, going from around 430,000 to over 895,000. This increase also means an uptick in signatures needed to perform network operations and maintain Ethereum. 

Upcoming upgrades like Dencun may also elevate the required signatures, adding extra load, which Buterin hopes to avoid. Buterin previously shared his thoughts on improving decentralization by revamping staking on Ethereum and raised concerns about restaking services. The developer additionally warned against DAOs operating staking pool nodes.

Vitalik Buterin
Ethereum validator count | Source: beaconcha.in