A Day in the Life of an Ethereum 2.0 Validator

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With Ethereum 2.0’s much-anticipated move to Proof-of-Stake getting closer, CoinDesk Research Analyst Christine Kim spoke with Ben Edgington and Vijay Michalik on what would-be validators need to know.

“There are indeed responsibilities that come with [Ethereum 2.0 staking]. You can’t just stake and leave it. You need to run what we call a client or a validator software.”

That’s Ben Edgington, the product owner of Teku at ethereum venture capital studio Consensys. Teku is one of five software clients currently being battle-tested on the official Ethereum 2.0 test network, Medalla. 

These clients will connect users to the highly anticipated proof-of-stake blockchain aimed at significantly boosting Ethereum transaction speeds and throughput. Ethereum 2.0 clients like Teku will also enable users to earn rewards as validators on the new network.  

Similar to the role of miners on the current Ethereum blockchain, validators on Ethereum 2.0 will be responsible for processing transactions and creating new blocks. What that looks like in practice, according to Edgington, is keeping client software up and running 24/7 on a dedicated computer device. 

As for which of the five clients to run, Vijay Michalik, a strategist for the engineering team behind Teku, explained the technical differences between them all were minor. However, their main distinction between clients in the eyes of Michalik comes down to long-term development vision. 

“For Status [the Ethereum messaging company], the Nimbus client is focused on trying to build a client for a low-footprint system. So they’re building for embedded systems such as mobile devices and potential IoT [Internet of Things] in the future,” said Michalik. “At the ConsenSys protocol engineering, we’re trying to lean into our specialization which is building the enterprise grade [Ethereum 2.0 client].”

For more information about Ethereum 2.0, you can download the free research report featuring additional developer commentary about the upgrade on the CoinDesk Research Hub.

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