Per a report from the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF), fossil fuels have been the primary energy source for BTC mining since the start of the year. The CCAF recently updated its Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI). Its study claims that 62% of all the energy the leading token has consumed so far consists of coal-based energy. BTC’s Energy-Intensive Mining Bitcoin employs the proof-of-work consensus mechanism to create new tokens and validate transactions on the blockchain. The PoW…
Ethereum 2.0 launched on December 1, 2020, the start of Ethereum‘s upgrade away from its current, limiting mining consensus method. Ethereum chose to move towards Proof of Stake consensus to remove the challenges surrounding the mining of crypto assets, including scalability, huge costs, and network centralization.
The new network is in its infancy, and as such, staking is present quite a technical task. To broaden participation to all those who wish to help secure the network, non-custodial platforms must help users stake on Ethereum 2.0. It’s at this point that we would like to introduce Blox Staking.
Blox Staking is a transparent and entirely non-custodial staking platform designed solely for Ethereum 2.0 (Eth2) staking. It ensures that users maximize their staking rewards and minimize security risks while keeping complete control over private keys. Using the platform costs $180/validator/year (charged in ETH), and validators save 100% of their network rewards.
Current Staking Platforms
Staking and, more specifically, Eth 2.0 staking is a big business in the crypto world today. There are two types of Eth 2.0 staking service providers: custodial and non-custodial.
Custodial platforms are the most common, and their main selling point is the promise of user-friendly, secure, and reliable service. However, this is not always the case. These platforms have control over their users’ private keys and come with inherent risks;
- Hacking – Keys stored in one centralized place = hacker goldmine.
- Slashing – If a hacker gains control over a service’s user’s private keys, they can cause slashable events. Or, if the service makes a mistake, they can inadvertently cause them (as was the case last week when 65 validators were slashed as a group due to a centralized service’s error). Slashable events are punished more severely the more validators participate. The more keys a centralized service has → , the greater the slashing risks.
Blox Staking, Non-Custodial Eth 2.0 Staking
Blox Staking is providing an authentic non-custodial Ethereum 2.0 (Eth2) staking experience. Many services claim to be non-custodial when they are custodial or semi-custodial and keep control of one or both of their users’ private keys. On the other hand, Blox Staking is entirely non-custodial – its users keep control of both their withdrawal keys and their validator keys. Blox has been designed with the utmost security and decentralization in mind and allows crypto investors to install, run, and manage one or many validators without compromising their private keys’ safety. As such, each user is in full control of their staked ETH and Beacon Chain rewards.
Blox Staking is an open-source project and is audited by the business’s best to maintain maximum transparency. It was created for security-conscious crypto enthusiasts, providing a gateway to Eth2 staking through a local Desktop App and dashboard that allows the staker to manage and track their validator without heavy, technical lifting. Validator keys are segregated and securely stored in KeyVault, a personalized remote signer with constant connectivity to the Beacon Chain, ensuring maximum rewards.
Blox Staking Platform Features
Blox Live Desktop App
The Blox Live Desktop App is the gateway to convenient non-custodial staking on Ethereum 2.0 (Eth2). Admin actions are performed in Blox Live for validator set up and management. Blox Live is run locally, offering the highest security level and bundling together all functionality for securely managing backups, essential imports, creating and managing validators, and more. Live maintains direct connectivity with Blox Infra and the user’s cloud service, on which KeyVault remote signer is installed.
KeyVault Remote Signer
Blox KeyVault is a remote signer powered by Hashicorp Vault, a leader in secrets and sensitive data management, employing an always on-disk encryption policy. Blox developed a dedicated Vault plugin that supports BLS12-381 Eth2 signing keys, and to ensure that the platform is fully non-custodial, KeyVault is not held on Blox servers. It is kept completely segregated and installed on a user’s personal cloud account. During the installation process, restricted permissions are created for Blox Infra to transmit validator signing duties to KeyVault. KeyVault is assigned duties directly from Blox Infra, but the ultimate decision to sign is decided upon by each user’s personal instance of KeyVault backed by built-in slashing protection.
Validators on the Beacon Chain must be constantly connected to their nodes to perform assigned duties. Connection downtime, therefore, has the potential to impact staking rewards negatively. The validators that are capable of earning the most rewards are those that remain online 24/7. Backed by 3 years of experience running nodes for 15 different blockchains, Blox nodes are actively maintained for relentless reliability. Blox Infra is a cluster of validators, Eth2 and Eth1 nodes that are constantly connected to Ethereum and ensure sustained communication to the KeyVault remote signers.
The Future of Decentralized Staking Pools
Looking forward, Blox is developing Decentralized Staking Pools based on Secret Shared Validator (SSV) technology through a grant provided by the Ethereum Foundation. The Pools Blockchain will manage a vast network of staking pools – maintain their security, liveliness, and robustness, all without a centralized authority or single point of failure. The Pools-Chain design is still very much under development, and progress will be added to Blox’s Docs page as the project unfolds. Once complete, stakers with as little as 0.1 ETH will finally be able to participate in securing Eth2 without the need of trusting a centralized platform or exchange with their ETH stake.
Blox Staking – ETH 2.0 Non-Custodial Staking
Non-custodial systems help investors protect their keys, funds, and interests in the crypto world, and Blox is enabling these considerations for Eth2. The imminent launch of the Decentralized Staking Pools will be one of the most significant advancements in crypto in 2021 – Blox is one of the only organizations focused on decentralized Eth2 staking pools, and the promise of staking smaller denominations of ETH without having to trust centralized parties is certainly appealing for those looking to contribute to Ethereum and earn rewards along the way.
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