I'm worried about downtime 😔
You shouldn't worry about downtime, but understanding what happens when your validator is offline can help you to gain confidence as a solo home staker.
The Ethereum network is designed with solo home stakers in mind. This means that the protocol is very forgiving if a validator has downtime or is offline.
If a validator is offline and not executing its duties, it will be penalized at a rate slightly lower than the rewards for the same period of time.
- You start your solo staking home validator with 32 ETH.
- Everything is going well and after a few months, your validator balance is 32.5 ETH.
- Then... your validator goes offline! 🚨
- As soon as your validator is no longer participating in the network it will start leaking ETH.
- When you are offline, for each missed attestation the inactivity leak might be around -0.000011 ETH (the inactivity leak is slightly less than a successful attestation).
- For a normal successful attestation, you might be rewarded with 0.000014 ETH.
- If you have a catastrophic failure and you are not able to get your validator back online for 5 days, then it will take about 5 days of being back online to get back to the same balance as when the failure occurred.
If you are offline, you will not be able to produce a block. But how often do block proposals occur for a single validator? Currently, on average, a validator will propose a block every 2-3 months.
So, in this example scenario, even if you are offline for 5 days, there's only a small chance you would miss a block proposal. But what happens if you miss a block proposal?
No. Realistically, the only condition that can cause a slashing event is if you run your validator's keys on two nodes at the same time (such as a failover / redundancy setup, where your backup node accidentally turns on while your main node is still running). Don't let this happen, and you won't get slashed. Slashing cannot occur from being offline for maintenance.
If you can't recover your validator or decide you want to stop staking, you have the option to exit your validator from the network. This means that, while you won't be able to get your validator balance back right away, you won't receive any penalties for being offline once the validator exits the withdrawal queue. Exiting a validator is currently a one-way process. For details on how to exit your validator, check out our guide.
Being a solo validator is an important responsibility to ensure the long-term health of the Ethereum network. At EthStaker our goal is to help as many people as possible #stakefromhome ↗ and this information is provided to show that downtime and being offline is not something to be overly worried about.