Staked.us, Ethereum 2.0 (ETH) Staking Service Provider, paid $30,000 fine for double online voting.
In the Ethereum network, the nodes that committed violations are punished with the ruble (or ether). This process is called slashing. In this case, the validators ran the staking software on two computers at the same time, resulting in double voting on the network. For this, they were punished.
Presumably, these nodes belonged to the staked.us provider. The head of the company Tim Ogilvy admitted that he overlooked the additional risks in the pursuit of performance. staked.us has disabled some precautions to improve hardware performance. Thus, he aggravated the problem.
The misconduct cost the company 18 ETH or $30,000 at the current exchange rate. However, staked.us said it would cover the costs of the incident. In other words, the company's clients will not have to pay a fine out of pocket or sacrifice future benefits.
How Ethereum 2.0 fines validators for cheating
By participating in staking, Ethereum 2.0 validators promise to abide by the rules of the network. The system fines (financially punishes) nodes whose owners have violated the rules or committed fraud.
To become a validator and participate in transaction confirmations, you need to deposit at least 32 ETH. The fine for violation can be up to half of this amount. Punished nodes can continue working if their balance is above 16 ETH. If the collateral falls below this threshold, the validator is automatically thrown out of the network.
These rules guarantee a fair and honest transaction confirmation process. For a successful attack on the network, the collusion of the majority of validators is required.
Some people think it is more difficult to do this than launching a 51% attack on networks that use the Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm. Now it is used by the bitcoin network, as well as the first version of Ethereum. In Ethereum 2.0, a hacker does not need to control the hash rate, but more than half of all staked coins.
While an attacker can lease computing power from services such as Nicehash for a 51% attack, it is almost impossible to get hold of half of all staked coins. With the development of the network, this task becomes even more complicated.
All of these factors make an attack on the Ethereum 2.0 network extremely difficult. Each of the 75 violating nodes were fined 0.2–0.3 ETH. On a broader scale, these penalties would cost the attacker millions of dollars.
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