15 concepts in the post-merger era of Ethereum to take you in-depth understanding of Ethereum 2.0

At around 14:42 on September 15th, Beijing time, Ethereum officially completed the merger. Ethereum triggered the merge mechanism at block height 15537393, and produced the first PoS block with a height of 15537394. The Ethereum consensus officially changed from PoW to PoS mechanism.

Ethereum enters the post-merger era, how much do you know about Ethereum 2.0? This article takes you deeper into it with 15 concepts.

1. Beacon chain

Beacon Chain introduced Proof of Stake to Ethereum 1.0, running in parallel with Ethereum 1.0. The beacon chain is also known as the coordination layer.

The beacon chain has the following functions:

  • Assign validator responsibilities
  • Confirm Checkpoint
  • Implement a protocol-level random number generator (RNG)
  • Facilitate the operation of the beacon chain
  • Vote to fork the chain head


32 Slot = 1 Epoch

The time for 1 slot is 12 seconds, within which time a randomly selected validator proposes a block. There may or may not be blocks in each slot. All validators are divided into multiple committees, and one or more separate committees are responsible for validating each slot. One validator in the committee will be elected as an aggregator, while the other 127 validators will be validating. After each Epoch, validators from various committees are mixed and merged into the new committee. Each committee has at least 128 validators.



1 Epoch = 32 Slot

1 Epoch represents the number of 32 slots, which takes about 6.4 minutes.

Epochs play an important role when it comes to validator queues and finality.

4. Deposit contract

The deposit contract is the gateway to Ethereum 2.0 via smart contracts on Ethereum 1.0.

The smart contract accepts any transaction with a minimum of 1 ETH and valid input data.

Ethereum 2.0 beacon nodes listen to deposit contracts and use input data to trust each validator node.

5. Enter data

Input data, also known as deposit data, is a user-generated sequence of 842 characters in length.

It represents the validator public key and withdrawal public key, signed by the validator private key. Input data needs to be added to the transaction and deposit contracts in order to be recognized by the beacon chain.

6. Validator

Validators need to deposit 32 ETH in the validator deposit contract on the Ethereum 1.0 chain. A validator operator must run a validator node. The role of the validator is to propose blocks and sign proofs. Validators must guarantee at least half of their online time to receive positive rewards.

Activation Eligible & Estimated Activation 

For details, please refer to the related terminology explanation about waiting to activate the validator below. Margin deposits have been identified by the ETH2 chain “eligible for activation” timestamp. If there is a queue of validators waiting to be activated, the estimated activation timestamp needs to be calculated.

7. Unique Index

Each validator receives its own unique index.


8. Current Balance & Effective Balance (Current Balance and Effective Balance)

The current balance represents the amount of ETH currently held by the validator. The effective balance represents a value calculated from the current balance and is used to determine the size of the reward or penalty a validator receives. A valid balance can never exceed 32 ETH.

In order to increase the valid balance, the validator requires “valid balance + 1.25 ETH”. In other words, if the effective balance is 20 ETH, you need a current balance of 21.25 ETH to get an effective balance of 21 ETH. As in the example above, the effective balance will be adjusted when it falls below the threshold of 0.25.

The following is an example of how the effective balance changes:

  • If the current balance is 32.00 ETH – the effective balance is 32.00 ETH.
  • If the current balance drops from 22.00 ETH to 21.76 ETH – the effective balance will be 22.00 ETH.
  • If the current balance increases to 22.25 ETH and the valid balance is 21 ETH, the valid balance increases to 22 ETH.

9. Slasher

Slasher is a self-contained entity, but requires a beacon node to receive proofs.

In order to discover malicious behavior by validators, the slasher iterates over all received proofs until a slashing attack is found.

The discovered slash is broadcast to the network, and the next block proposer adds the proof to the block. Block proposers are rewarded for slashing malicious validators.

However, whistleblowers (Slashers) will not be rewarded.

forfeitable offence

Attestation Violation

  • Double voting: Validators sign two conflicting proofs in the same epoch.
  • Wrap-around voting: A validator signs a proof wrapping around another proof.

Proposer Violation

  • Double block proposal: A block proposer signs two conflicting blocks for the same slot.

10. Attestation

A vote by the Attester who verifies the validity of the block.

11. Block Proposer

The validator selected by the beacon chain proposes the next block. There can only be one valid block per slot.

12. Block Status

  • Proposed block (Proposed): The block is proposed by the validator through verification.
  • Blocks under proposal (Scheduled): Validators are submitting data.
  • Missed/Skipped: The proposer did not successfully propose the block within the given time, so the block was skipped.
  • Orphaned: To understand the term, let’s look at the diagram below, where the numbers 1-9 represent slots.

1. The validator of slot1 proposes block “a”.

2. The validator of slot2 proposes block “b”.

3. Slot 4 is missed because the validator did not propose any blocks (eg offline).

4. A fork occurs at slot 5/6: Validator (5) proposes a block, but Validator (6) does not receive the relevant information (eg, the block did not reach the validator fast enough). So validator (6) proposes a block based on the latest information seen from validator (3).

5. The fork choice rule plays a key role here – it determines which of the available chains is the canonical chain.


13. Validator life cycle

(1) Deposited margin

32 ETH has been deposited into the ETH1 deposit contract, and this state will be maintained for about 7 hours. This provides security in the event of an attack on the ETH1 chain.

(2) Wait for activation

Waiting for activation on ETH2.

Before validators can enter the validator queue, they need to be voted on by other active validators. Voting takes place every 4 hours.

  • 4 validators can be activated per epoch until there are 327,680 active validators in the network. For every additional 65536 (=4 * 16384) active validators, the validator activation rate will increase by 1 point accordingly.
  • After that, 5 validators can be activated per epoch, which requires 327,680 active validators, or 1,125 validators per day.
  • Activating 6 validators per epoch requires 393,216 active validators, or 1,350 validators per day.
  • Activating 7 validators per epoch requires 458,752 active validators, or 1,575 validators per day.
  • Activating 8 validators per epoch requires 524,288 active validators, or 1,800 validators per day.
  • Activating 9 validators per epoch requires 589,824 active validators, or 2,025 validators per day.
  • Activating 10 validators per epoch requires 655,360 active validators, or 2,200 validators per day.
  • The number of activations increases with the number of activated validators, which is limited to the set of activated validators divided by 64.000.

(3) Active Validator

The block currently being confirmed and proposed (=block proposer)

Validators will remain active until:

  • Its balance is below 16 ETH (kicked off the network)
  • voluntary withdrawal
  • confiscated

(4) Slashing Validator

Validators are malicious validators and will be slashed and kicked out of the system.

Penalty is a negative reward (eg offline).

Slashing is a significant penalty (≥1/32 of the pledge balance) and forced withdrawal…. – Justin Drake

(5) Exiting Validator

  • Kicked from the network: Validators whose balance falls below the threshold are kicked out of the network.
  • Withdrawal from the network: Withdrawal voluntarily, the withdrawal key holder can withdraw the current balance of the corresponding validator balance.

14. Finalization

In Ethereum 2.0, at least two-thirds of validators must be honest, so if there are two competing epochs and one-third of validators decide to commit malicious behavior, they will be penalized. Honest people will be rewarded.

In order to determine whether an Epoch has been finalized, validators must agree to the last two Epochs (= “proven”) in a row, and then all previous Epochs can be considered finalized.


xXDvoGgQAmGeNdsP7OphqIzWblPgHEzKEaRbbeKh.pngThe final confirmed Epoch and the Epoch of the block being processed at 19:26 on September 5th, Beijing time

15. Finality issues

If the voting rate of an epoch is lower than 66.6% (= participation rate), the epoch cannot be established. As mentioned in the “finality” concept, three consecutive proven epochs are required to reach finality. As long as the chain cannot reach this state, there is a finality problem. 

While there is a finality issue, the validator queue will be suspended and new validators cannot join the network, however, inactive validators with balances less than 16 ETH will be kicked out of the network. This makes the network more stable and participation rates higher.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/15-concepts-in-the-post-merger-era-of-ethereum-to-take-you-in-depth-understanding-of-ethereum-2-0/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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