Core Ethereum Developers Mull Extending Validator Balance To Over 2000 ETH


  • Ethereum Foundation researcher Michael Neuder proposed increasing the validator balance cap from 32 ETH to 2,048 ETH.
  • The idea being considered within the developer community would stem the growing active validator set size and optimize network efficiency.
  • Increasing the limits of validator balances would also make room for auto-compounding of rewards, allowing validators to earn maximum yield for their staked coins.

Following a proposal from Ethereum Foundation researcher Michael Neuder, core developers of crypto’s largest altcoin network could increase the validator balance cap from the 32 ETH limit to a staggering 2,048 ETH if the idea garners support.

Neuder shared the proposal during the developer’s bi-weekly call where client teams meet to discuss and coordinate the most important updates to the network. The increase in validator balance seems to address a major concern – the growing number of validators on Ethereum’s PoS network.

Indeed, the current 32 ETH limit means that entities must run multiple validators if they wish to stake past the limit and access more staking rewards. The balance limit has so far spurred an increase in validators which currently exceeds half a million, a rapid increase since The Merge.

According to Neuder’s proposal, increasing the balance limit will push Ethereum toward greater efficiency by optimizing finality in a single block.

While the current balance cap buoys decentralization, it also causes entities to operate a concerning number of validators which could adversely impact network efficiency, Neuder argued during Friday’s developer’s call.

More Ethereum Rewards For Validators

Furthermore, Neuder’s proposal could unlock greater rewards for Ethereum validators since they would be able to stake more and therefore, earn more yield on their staked tokens.

Currently, the 32 ETH limit does not allow validators to earn rewards beyond their capped balances. This limit propels operational costs for larger node operators who end up managing hundreds or thousands of validators in a bid to maximize their yield generation.

If the cap is increased, Neuder argued that an auto-compounding feature could allow for fewer Ethereum validators to exist while accessing greater rewards through auto-compounding of their staked yield.

The researcher warned that the idea is not without risk and developers will continue to weigh the merits alongside other hot-button upgrades mulled in the upcoming Deneb and Cancun.

Deneb which focuses on changes to the consensus layer should roll out based on three EIPs. EIP 7044 introduces a code change that accepts signed validator exits in perpetuity, thus bettering the shaking experience.

Another staking experience upgrade, EIP 4788, aims to improve access to Beacon chain blocks with information on the chain state inside EVMs. EIP 7045 focuses on improved security by expanding the attestation slot from a rolling window of one epoch to two epochs.