On September 15, 2022, Ethereum officially merged (block height of 15537394 at the execution layer and 4700013 slot at the consensus layer). Now, 6 weeks after the merger, we have also gathered relevant data from 2 directions (PoS validator rewards and merger related scams) and come to some interesting conclusions.
The actual rewards that PoS validators receive
Let’s first look at the distribution of rewards that PoS validators actually receive. The following 5 conclusions are drawn:
- The rewards for the executive tier are lower than those for the year before the merger. This is most likely due to the market (quotes), and not the result of the merger itself;
- At the current stage, the rate of return per validator is highly uncertain. This is because rewards are “block-like” and this is exacerbated with the addition of execution-layer rewards for validators. About 50% of validators have not packed any blocks yet, resulting in an annual growth rate of less than 4% for these validators during this period;
- We don’t see a clear advantage for large validator pools at the moment, but there isn’t enough data to confirm that this is true (e.g. validator pools are not engaged in malicious behavior to maximize their returns);
- Validators are increasingly outsourcing packed blocks to third parties, with the proportion of validators packing blocks themselves dropping by more than half over 6 weeks of data analysis;
- Third-party block packers consistently outperform validators who package their own blocks. The initial data also shows performance differences between different builders.
Merger scams spiked in September
During the merger, merger-related scams defrauded $1.2 million worth of ETH and at one point became the main scam category in the Ethereum ecosystem scam.
Most merger scams are classic – scammers (often disguised as celebrities) trick victims into sending a certain amount of cryptocurrency in order to “upgrade” to the new Ethereum blockchain and receive more in return (usually double the victim’s initial payment).
The scam invites users to send 1 ETH to an address and receive 2 ETH in return.
This strategy has been successful many times, as shown in the figure below.
On the day of the Ethereum merger, the scam’s revenue spiked, defrauding more than $905,000 worth of ETH, while all other Ethereum scams only swindled less than $74,000. However, the fraud spike quickly fell back to normal levels within a few days, and merger-related scams almost disappeared by the end of September.
Of the top ten Ethereum scams on September 15, merger scams accounted for eight.
Surprisingly, merger-related scams had an 83% success rate on the day of the merger on September 15 and 100% in the days before and after the merger. Such a success rate also suggests that the crooks are targeting users who lack knowledge about the merge.
Scammers tend to scam users in their own country of residence (possibly due to the language barrier). In the chart below, we can see some of the countries that were most affected by merger scams in September, and the second axis shows the connection with other Ethereum scams.
In the figure, the United States and India have the most “recruits” due to merger scams.
The merger scam also appears to be specifically targeting some developed countries. Finland, for example, is “deceived” to a surprisingly high level, with three scams specifically targeting Finland.
With DeFi hacks dominating the headlines lately, fraud using traditional methods remains the largest form of crime in cryptocurrencies. Fraud in a way that users trust will severely impact cryptocurrency adoption. Transformative times in the crypto industry like mergers are a window of opportunity for scammers who can be exploited by bad actors once they lack relevant knowledge.
The surge in “merger” related scams clearly shows that the blockchain industry needs to work hard to educate users about what terms like “merger” mean and what common scams should be avoided.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/seven-weeks-after-the-merger-how-much-do-ethereum-validators-actually-get/
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