protocols

eth2 update 010


A look at the three slashing incidents accounting for 81% of all slashing on eth2, along with updates on the network’s traction and more.

eth2 update 010

By Viktor Bunin · Feb 11 2021

Today we’re covering eth2’s traction and the recent spate of slashings.


eth2’s Traction

Eth2 is continuing to grow! There is now:

  • 3m ETH deposited, equivalent to $5.4bn USD—roughly 2.6% of all ETH
  • 93k validators, of which 84k are active and 9k are pending
  • A10 day wait time in the activation queue

The activation queue has continued to shrink from its peak of about a peak of three weeks to just over one week now. The beacon chain adds 900 validators to the active set per day, requiring deposits of 28,800 ETH to maintain the queue. As the chart below shows, the deposit contract has not met this threshold in weeks, leading to a shortening queue.


Source: Scout.cool


With ETH’s recent meteoric rise, token holders seem to prefer to keep their ETH liquid or find higher yield opportunities in DeFi. This balance between ETH staked in eth2 vs ETH locked in DeFi will be important for chain security once eth1 and eth2 merge.


eth2 Slashings Continue

Slashings are continuing to occur on eth2. In our last update we covered the largest slashing to date (of 16 validators), which Ben Edgington highlighted in his excellent What’s New in Eth2, excerpted below. Today we will examine two even larger slashing events, the largest of which comprised more than half of total slashings on eth2! Here’s a look at these three slashing incidents.


Incident 1 on December 20th: 16 validators

The most severe event was the slashing of 16 validators, accounting for fully half of the validators slashed so far, apparently belonging to the same owner. They are all in the range 38058 to 38148, and were created in a single batch of 100 stakes by a 3200 ETH deposit to this bulk-deposit contract. Etherscan tags the contract as “Staked.‍us: Eth2 Depositor” with a link out to the staked.‍us website, and comments in the contract code confirm that it was authored by staked.‍us. But the contract is open and anyone can use it. No one has come forward publicly to claim responsibility for these slashed validators. The website of staked.us says that they “have never been slashed.”

—Ben Edgington


Incident 2 on February 2nd: 75 validators

The second mass-slashing incident took place between epochs [14277, 14299]. During the incident, 75 validators were slashed over roughly 1.5 hours, suggesting it was a broader issue with the operator’s infrastructure rather than an isolated incident.

All the violations recorded were attester violations of the double vote type, where most followed the s1>s2>t2=t1 pattern–meaning that the misbehaving validators attested to two conflicting source epoch boundaries while agreeing on the target epoch boundary.

18 epochs after slashing (~2 hours), we saw the participation temporarily drop from 96% to 88%, a decrease of 8%; this is a little bit less than our estimate for the total share of the network run by Staked.us, who have claimed responsibility for this event and published a post-mortem.


Incident 3 on February 4th: 17 validators

The most recent mass-slashing incident shares characteristics with the first two.

  • All 17 validators were funded from 7 unique eth1 accounts, all of which are linked to Staked.us on Nansen
  • All 17 validators were slashed for attestation violations in the same s1>s2>t2=t1 pattern as the 2nd incident

No one has come forward publicly to claim responsibility for these slashed validators.


Conclusion

The three largest incidents now account for 81% of all slashings on eth2 and roughly estimated total losses of $600k between slashing penalties and missed rewards. The network is currently operating with reduced slashing and penalty parameters. If full slashing penalties were enabled, estimated losses would have totaled roughly $750k.

Eth2 is designed with the decentralized retail staker in mind—it is forgiving of downtime, but harshly penalizes more elaborate setups and large operations. Issues at the infrastructure level exponentially increase losses and must be carefully managed.


Secret Shared Validators

Lastly, I’m proud to share that Mara Schmiedt, business development manager at Bison Trails, along with a team from across the ecosystem, received a grant from the Ethereum Foundation for an audited implementation of a secret-shared validator configuration. This tooling will be a critical piece of eth2 for improved validator resilience and diversification on the network.


eth2 Pioneer Program

Enterprise participants in the Bison Trails eth2 Pioneer Program have early access to Bison Trails’ suite of eth2 products, including:

  • API Management Dashboard - a dashboard that allows you create and revoke API token access to the eth2 Validator Management API.
  • eth2 Validator Management API - a simple and comprehensive API that allows for secure and programmatic creation, management, and monitoring the status of eth2 validators and their underlying infrastructure. From easily generating Ethereum deposit contract transactions to scaling validators, Bison Trails provides a robust API that also scales with your eth2 staking needs.
  • eth2 Validator Monitoring Dashboard - a complement to the Validator Management API, Bison Trails provides a dashboard to view all the activity of your eth2 beacon and validator client nodes. Each cluster rolls up metrics like rewards and eth2 activity (proposals, attestations, etc.) as well as information about the current state of the network. A granular look at each of your validator clients, and the validators scheduled to them, is also available through this dashboard.


Leading exchanges, banks, and enterprises have already joined our eth2 Pioneer Program and are beginning to integrate with our Validator Management API. In December, our first Pioneers entered the active set, and our team took extra care watching the validators come online by doing spot checks to make sure our monitoring and alerting worked as expected. To close out the year, our teams refined the Validator Management API to ensure validators transition to the active set seamlessly as more Pioneers go live.

We’re working a mix of feature enhancements and new product development based on our learnings and our customers' needs. We're excited to share the outputs with you all when the roadmap is ready!

It’s not too late to be an eth2 Pioneer! Contact us to learn more about the eth2 Pioneer Program. We want you to have access to build on the Beacon Chain!

Contact Us


For individuals

Are you an individual with a large amount of ETH? Please contact us to learn how to participate in eth2.

Contact us


—Viktor Bunin, Protocol Specialist



About Bison Trails


Pioneering Blockchain Infrastructure®

Bison Trails is a blockchain infrastructure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) company based in New York City. We built a platform for anyone who wants to participate in 22 new chains effortlessly.

We also make it easy for anyone building Web 3.0 applications to connect to blockchain data from 30 protocols with Query & Transact (QT). Our goal is for the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish by providing robust infrastructure for the pioneers of tomorrow.

In January, 2021, we announced Bison Trails joined Coinbase to accelerate our mission to provide easy-to-use blockchain infrastructure, now as a standalone product line. The Bison Trails platform will continue to support our customers. With Coinbase’s backing, we will enhance our infrastructure platform and make it even easier to participate in decentralized networks and build applications that connect to blockchain data.


bison cool

THIS DOCUMENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. PLEASE DO NOT CONSTRUE ANY SUCH INFORMATION OR OTHER MATERIAL CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT AS LEGAL, TAX, INVESTMENT, FINANCIAL, OR OTHER ADVICE. THIS DOCUMENT AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS NOT A RECOMMENDATION OR ENDORSEMENT OF ANY DIGITAL ASSET, PROTOCOL, NETWORK OR PROJECT. HOWEVER, BISON TRAILS (INCLUDING ITS AFFILIATES AND/OR EMPLOYEES) MAY HAVE, OR MAY IN THE FUTURE HAVE, A SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL INTEREST IN, AND MAY RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES RELATED TO, ONE OR MORE OF THE DIGITAL ASSETS, PROTOCOLS, NETWORKS, ENTITIES, PROJECTS AND/OR VENTURES DISCUSSED HEREIN.

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