FAQ

To become an Ethereum staker, you need to:

  1. Acquire the minimum required amount of Ether (32 ETH or multiples of 32).
  2. Set up a validator node with Launchnodes on AWS, GCP or bare metal of your choice. 
  3. Deposit your ETH into a staking contract.
  4. Start validating transactions and earn rewards.

A validator node is a participant in the Ethereum network responsible for validating transactions and creating new blocks. Validators lock up their ETH as collateral and are rewarded for their work with execution and consensus layer rewards.

Becoming a Solo Staker with Launchnodes means that you get 100% of your consensus and execution layer rewards (link to a diagram) and you get a OFAC compliant connection to a Flashbots MEV boost relay by default, or you can connect to your own.

It also means nobody has access to your validator node except you and that it runs on infrastructure you own, either on public cloud or bare metal of your choice. This is different from using a staking as a service platform where your node is on infrastructure they own.

Launchnodes makes solo staking cost effective by giving your validator node a connection to a beacon node and an execution layer node. These components are expensive and difficult to maintain. 

Customers running over 100 nodes often want a fully isolated infrastructure so Launchnodes provides Execution layer nodes and Beacon nodes that again run on infrastructure you own not Launchnodes platform. We do this as a fully managed service or you can self-serve and we provide adhoc technical support to your team as they need it, once you subscribe for these nodes.

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
Other

Ethereum clients are software implementations of the Ethereum blockchain protocol. They are crucial components of the Ethereum network, playing a central role in its operation and security. Here’s why Ethereum clients are important:

Protocol Implementation: Ethereum clients are responsible for implementing the Ethereum protocol, which defines how the Ethereum network operates. This includes the rules for creating and validating transactions, maintaining the blockchain, reaching consensus among nodes, and executing smart contracts.

Decentralisation: Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain network, and it relies on multiple independent clients. These clients run on various nodes across the network, ensuring that no single entity or group has control over the network. The diversity of clients adds to the network’s robustness and resilience.

Network Consensus: Ethereum Consensus clients participate in the network’s consensus mechanism. They communicate with other nodes to validate transactions, agree on the state of the blockchain, and secure the network against various attacks.

Compatibility: Ethereum clients ensure compatibility with each other. They follow the same set of rules and protocols to ensure that all nodes on the network can communicate and agree on the blockchain’s state. This interoperability is crucial for the network’s stability and reliability.

Software Updates and Upgrades: Ethereum clients need to stay up to date with the latest protocol upgrades and improvements. When the Ethereum network undergoes upgrades (e.g., hard forks or network transitions like Ethereum 2.0), clients must implement these changes to remain in sync with the network.

Security and Attack Resistance: Ethereum clients play a vital role in network security. They must be designed to resist various attacks, such as denial-of-service attacks, malicious transactions, and network partitioning attacks. Client diversity also helps in mitigating vulnerabilities that might be specific to a single implementation.

User Interfaces: Many Ethereum clients provide user interfaces (UIs) or developer tools to interact with the blockchain. These UIs make it easier for users and developers to create, manage, and monitor transactions, smart contracts, and accounts on the Ethereum network.

Developer Ecosystem: Ethereum clients provide APIs and libraries that developers can use to build decentralized applications (DApps) and services on top of the Ethereum blockchain. They offer tools and resources to simplify the development process.

Some popular Ethereum clients include Geth (Go-Ethereum), Parity, Nethermind, Besu, and Teku, among others. Each client may have unique features, performance characteristics, and developer communities. The existence of multiple clients is essential for maintaining a decentralized and secure Ethereum network, as it reduces the risk of a single point of failure and ensures that the network remains resilient and adaptable to changes and improvements in the blockchain space.

Launchnodes has experience working with all Ethereum clients and supports client diversity. We also enable self-serve solo staking with the Prysmatic and Teku consensus layer client software.

An Ethereum beacon node is a critical component in the Ethereum network, Its primary purpose is to support the Ethereum consensus mechanism by participating in the Beacon Chain, a PoS chain that coordinates validator nodes and manages the overall network consensus. 

Launchnodes provides pre-synced beacon nodes on AWS, GCP and bare metal for clients, allowing them to stake on infrastructure they own and to run RPC nodes to remove dependencies on 3rd party APIs and end points.

Beacon nodes can take days to sync. Using Launchnodes pre-synced nodes this is reduced to a few hours.

The setup process of your own Ethereum staking node can be executed by following one of the following scenarios:

  1. If you want to run beacon nodes on bare metal or your own infrastructure contact us.

  2. If you want to run pre-synced beacon nodes on public cloud (AWS or GCP), click on these links to self-serve and follow our instructions or contact us to learn more and get technical support. 

The AWS hosting infrastructure costs for a Launchnodes Ethereum validator node with t2.micro instance is here.

Annual AWS infrastructure cost for a Launchnodes Ethereum beacon node with t2.xlarge instance is here.

To start solo staking you need 32 or multiples of 32 ETH and you need to understand how you have custody of important bits of information that relate to your Ethereum nodes and wallet addresses associated with staking. Take a look at our custody patterns to decide how to do this.

If you want to run validators on bare metal or public cloud please contact us and book time with our team.

If you want to self-serve and build your solo staking infrastructure or just solo stake by running validator nodes then click here to get started.

Just like any software, Ethereum validator node clients often get updates from the development teams. These updates act as an improvement to the performance of your nodes, ensuring that they work on an expanding and changing Ethereum network. 

Solo staking is the way to stake Ethereum and earn the maximum returns, keeping all your execution and consensus layer returns. Running nodes on infrastructure you own and only you have access to decentralises Ethereum and increasingly opens up addtional earning opportunities through protocols like EigenLayer.

Read about Launchnodes on Ethereum.org and learn more about how solo staking is the gold standard for Ethereum staking.

You can’t solo stake with Launchnodes with less than 32 ETH

However, liquid staking providers like Lido allow you to stake with however much ETH you have. Launchnodes is a Verified Node Operator on Lido.

You need to make sure that your existing validator node is switched off before you start using Launchnodes’ nodes. Otherwise, you end up running two nodes at the same time, and this will result in slashing. Having turned off your nodes and confirmed they are turned off with your previous provider, follow the Launchnodes’ node set-up instructions. In the instructions set start at the section “Go to Ethereum launchpad”.

As a solo staker you can unstake your funds or withdraw staking returns any time you want. You can use our Withdrawals Guide or Validator Node Exit Guide to do so, and you can always get in touch with us if you need our help.

Slashing occurs when validators behave in a malicious or negligent manner. Validators can be penalised by having a portion of their staked assets (ETH) “slashed” or forfeited as a penalty. 

The severity of the slashing penalty can vary depending on the specific violation and the amount of ETH staked by the validator. In some cases, slashing can result in a partial or full loss of the validator’s staked ETH.

Validators on Ethereum need to be diligent in their actions, maintain good uptime, and follow the network’s rules to avoid slashing and maximize their staking rewards. Slashing plays a crucial role in ensuring the security, fairness, and integrity of PoS blockchains like Ethereum.

Still, have questions? Get in touch with us by booking a Calendly meeting with our support team.

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