An Ethereum developer has sent a proposal for the blockchain to have a new maximum balance for validators. According to Michael Neuder, the front line proponent of the proposal, the maximum balance for validators should be increased from the current state of 32 ETH to 2048 ETH.
Ethereum is a blockchain that was launched as a Proof of Work protocol but migrated to a Proof of Stake chain in September 2022. This migration meant that instead of validators relying on the power of their computing systems to confirm transactions, they are now required to stake an amount of ETH.
As of June 18, 2023, the minimum and maximum amount of ETH that each validator is required to have before they can be considered for the position of a validator is 32 ETH. However, Michael wants the maximum number to be increased to 2048 while the minimum remains at 32.
One reason for the proposal is to enable more ETH to be staked by increasing the maximum balance, thus enabling ‘large-scale staking operations’. The 32 ETH mark has attracted up to 600,000 validators, with 90,000 waiting for approval.
Michael said that while the current plan has promoted decentralization of the Ethereum blockchain, it has resulted in “inflation of the validator set size.” Because of the low figure, firms like Coinbase have set up several validator nodes on the Ethereum blockchain.
He noted in the proposal that the increase will “unblock future consensus layer upgrades on the roadmap 4, improve the performance of the current consensus mechanism and p2p layer, and enhance operational efficiency for both small and large-scale validators.”
While the proposal has not been accepted by the entire community, Michael warned that one of the risks associated with the increase is the possibility of ‘higher penalties for accidental double attestations,’ also known as slashing.