Hi there, I’ve invested small amounts and mined ethereum for a while now. I really like the coin, and, I’m excited for some of the changes coming with the upcoming PoS changes. Keyword: some.
First, I had always thought ethereum was “for the common man” and held onto gpu (as opposed to asic or w/ever bitcoin is doing now) mining so normal people could do it. I thought the whole point of decentralized finance was it kinda gives the power back to the people instead of banks or corporations. But the 32 ETH currently necessary to become a solo validator is currently valued at approximately 81,600 canadian dollars (and keep in mind eth is actually down nearly 5% atm). I don’t understand how or even if this is more decentralized/for the people than GPU mining; my 1660s rig which I already had for gaming cost far, far less than that (not apples to apples I know but I want to make a point here). And of course, then there’s slashing. As I understand in order to facilitate the change to PoS and reduce energy and computational use, validating has mathematically become a lot simpler, requiring the stake as collateral to provide security thay way instead, being deducted or “slashed” when a mistake or malicious action occurs. I don’t know a single person (although I could name many banks and corporations!) That can afford an $80,000 investment with any sort of risk to lose it like that.
Of course, there are also staking pools, but do they not provide a unique/vulnerable target for people with malicious intent? Simply join a pool, stake their much smaller share, do whatever you were gonna do, and most of the losses you would experience are pawned off to the pool and others in your staking pool instead. It also allows for wayyy more scam potential in pools, doesn’t it? The biggest risk with mining is pretty much that they just don’t pay out your share; with staking you have to give them money before you can even validate, what’s to stop them from just walking away with it?
How is all of this being combatted? Is it? Do these negatives not outweigh the positive of the energy reduction and increase in validation speed? Knowing all of this, how is staking/validating safe? How is it worth it? Can you even make enough to recoup the $80,000 (and I cannot stress that amount enough) investment for solo validation? If you stake in a pool have they done anything about this? Have you prepared for any of this? Has anything bad happened so far?
Thanks for any help/answers, I’d really like to get into staking once the blockchains are merged but I think these are serious issues and I haven’t found a satisfactory explanation/countermeasure for them yet.