What is an Ethereum beacon node?
Beacon nodes, as the name suggests, are part of the Beacon Chain, which in turn introduces the proof-of-stake mechanism to the Ethereum blockchain and acts as the core of Ethereum. In layman’s terms, a beacon node and its peers form the backbone of the POS based Ethereum blockchain, becoming the main communicators of data on the network.
Beacon node responsibilities include:
— Run the Beacon Chain
— Sync Beacon Chain with peer nodes
— Keep track of the Ethereum chain state
— Assign tasks to validator nodes and process block attestations
— Improve transaction speed
What is an Ethereum validator node?
A validator node is an integral part of Ethereum staking. Its job is to create new blocks and process / validate transactions on the chain. Validator nodes are designed to execute the same row of tasks as miners do on Eth1, although this time, and in the case of Launchnodes, it is all cloud-based.
Becoming a validator with Launchnodes means that you get 100% of Ethereum staking rewards and don’t have to worry about mining equipment or connection uptime in case of running a node on a stand-alone PC. Our integration with AWS ensures that all Ethereum validator nodes maintain 100% uptime and are always ready to resolve blocks appointed by Launchnodes’ own Beacon Node or blocks appointed by your own Beacon Node if you are running your own.
What is a Prysmatic Client?
Prysmatic Client or Prysm is a node client written in Go language, responsible for beacon and validator node implementation on Ethereum
Setting up your Ethereum Beacon node
Launchnodes provides an always on and updated Prysmatic labs client to run Beacon nodes that can connect to validator nodes to start earning staking rewards. For advanced users and for engineering teams staking at scale, Launchnodes Beacon nodes allow fully isolated solutions that allow for different architectural choices. Beacon nodes from Launchnodes can also be used as a quick and effective backup and DR solution. Please refer to our beacon node setup guide for usage instructions.
Setting up your Ethereum Validator node
The setup process of your own Ethereum staking node can be executed by following one of the following scenarios:
This is where Launchnodes’ concierge service does all the hard work. It is a non-custodial service that supports non-technical individuals or engineering teams seeking to run validator nodes in their own AWS account. Maximise returns, minimise risk and scale large numbers of cloud-based validator nodes.
1. Create an AWS account
2. Select our turnkey Ethereum validator node setup to get started
3. You will then receive an offer or a contract from us depending on how many nodes you intend to run.
4. Accept the AWS contract and our engineering team will get in touch with you to complete the setup.
Note: Watch our end-to-end ETH staking on AWS guide for more details!
The Launchnodes validator node you set up with your AWS account is connected to our Beacon nodes by default and can be linked to your own Beacon node. In any case, you get 100% of ETH staking rewards. Watch our step by step guide, and a series of 7 short videos.
Note: Launchnodes also offers technical assessment of the independently set up validator nodes, which is helpful if you want to be sure that your node implementation is 100% right!
How much does AWS charge for Ethereum staking nodes?
How to start Ethereum staking?
There are two ways of how you can start Ethereum staking with Launchnodes and regardless of the option you choose, you will always get 100% of ETH staking rewards…
First path is the Launchnodes concierge service, where we set up your personal Ethereum validator node for you. This way, Launchnodes takes care of Ethereum validator node implementation, to have it running for you according to the best practices of connecting a new staking node to the Ethereum network. All that you have to do is transfer the required 32ETH to your validator node through a metamask wallet in order to start the Ethereum staking process.
How long will my ETH assets be locked for?
All ETH that you stake with your individual validator nodes must be locked for 1 year period (estimated) or until Ethereum 2.0 reaches its phase 2.0 development milestone. This evolution of the Ethereum network is otherwise known as ‘the merge’ and implies integration of ETH2 upgrades with the original ETH1 network. Therefore, you will be able to withdraw staking returns and the 32ETH that you have staked as soon as the upgrades integration takes place.
Why stake with Launchnodes?
Launchnodes lets you run, own and govern a personal Ethereum validator node on the AWS cloud platform. So your Ethereum staking is not reliant on any third-party service providers, which in turn eliminates the need to trust a third party, share passwords, seed phrases or public or private keys. The low fixed annual costs means you keep all the staking returns.
100% of staking rewards, 100% of the time
For staking a single node or staking at scale you do not depend on third parties that become responsible for your node and centralise the management of your node and other nodes. Reducing the rationale or ability for a centralised attack on Launchnodes or its customers. As opposed to centralised staking operations that pose a much harder challenge to secure and represent a much bigger more profitable target.
Another critical benefit to launching an independent Ethereum staking node with Launchnodes, is that it runs on AWS. This provides high availability infrastructure and Ethereum staking nodes that never miss an attestation. Using AWS also rules out the risk of being fined for an unresponsive node, which can lead to being slashed.
Can I stake less than 32ETH?
Every Ethereum 2.0 validator node requires 32ETH to run. However, the recent price increase of ETH means that the exercise of Ethereum staking is becoming quite a pricey affair. This is why Launchnodes created Staking Club. Staking club allows people with less than 32 ETH to pool their Ethereum together and run a node. Following our ideology, this model for Ethereum staking is fully decentralized. Launchnodes never takes custody of your Ethereum, keys or passwords whilst still delivering maximum returns to staking club participants.
Is Ethereum staking safe?
Ethereum staking safely is a broad subject and we have to set out few variables to comment further:
How you stake ETH. Ethereum staking can be done either by setting up a personal validator node or by outsourcing the service from a third party. In the case of the former, you can either run a validator node on a cloud platform (like Launchnodes on AWS), or set it up on your personal PC.
If you opt for running an Ethereum validator node on your PC, you have to make sure that the computer you use is fast and remains online 100% of the time. Otherwise, there is a risk of missing the opportunity to attest or worse being penalised for not validating a block at the required time, which in turn may lead to losing some of the staked deposit. Therefore, running a staking node on a home PC has risks.
Opposingly, setting up an Ethereum validator node on AWS reduces that risk and the low costs tied to cloud storage suddenly start to make a lot of sense. Securely staking Ethereum is a core functionality of Launchnodes and the underlying reason why we offer validator nodes on AWS as a cloud-based solution.
Price. Cryptocurrency market is known for its volatility and despite ETH have the second largest market capitalisation in crypto, it also experiences significant volatility. This means that the value of your staked amount and staking return depends primarily on the price of ETH. This is a risk you should understand fully before you consider staking ETH.
How do I move my validator node to Launchnodes if I stake Ethereum with another service provider?
You need to make sure that your existing validator node is switched off before you move to Launchnodes’ provided nodes. Otherwise, you end up running two nodes all at the same time, and this will result in penalties. Having turned off your nodes and confirmed they are turned off with your other provider, follow the Launchnodes node set-up instructions, but go directly to “Deposit 32ETH to Launchpad”.
What are the different options and requirements to stake?
With Launchnodes, you can start staking Ethereum by selecting one of the products on our homepage. All products and services can be purchased directly via AWS Marketplace and they are mainly split into assisted setup or self service rollouts. If you are looking to start staking, you’ll first need to purchase a validator node, which we can help you set up with our Concierge service. Once that is done, your validator node will be automatically connected to one of Launchnodes’ always-on beacon nodes.
If you plan to run more than 20 validator nodes, you can purchase dedicated beacon nodes that also run in your own account providing you complete isolation for your staking infrastructure. This can be done by our engineering and support team to ensure optimum configuration.
Launchnodes helps clients who already run Ethereum validator nodes using their own hardware, by providing always-on shared beacon nodes that you can connect your existing validators to in a geography close to your validator nodes, to ensure low latency
When can I unstake and withdraw my ETH2 funds?
Ethereum estimates this to be at the end of 2022. However, it will not be possible to withdraw funds immediately after the merge.
What is slashing and why does it happen.
Slashing involves a significant part of the validator’s stake being removed automatically by the network: this could be the whole 32 ETH in a worst case scenario. Slashing will happen if a validator misbehaves. Misbehaviour is defined as
- Going offline
- Attacking the network
- Running modified software