Validators staking ether on Mainnet after The Merge, accrue two forms of rewards:
- Execution layer rewards paid directly to a withdrawal address (Ethereum address).
- Consensus layer rewards for performing actions each epoch.
The Capella network upgrade implements an automated process that allows a validator's rewards to be transferred from the consensus layer to an Ethereum address on the execution layer. Before the Capella upgrade, consensus layer rewards were locked, and couldn't be transferred to an Ethereum address.
When you create a validator, you can set its withdrawal address to a BLS address, or an Ethereum address. Withdrawal keys configured as BLS keys can't have automated withdrawals executed for them.
You can update your BLS withdrawal address to an Ethereum address after the Capella upgrade.
You don't pay gas fees for receiving reward payments.
Types of withdrawals
Two types of automated withdrawals occur once the withdrawal key is set up as an Ethereum address: partial withdrawals and full withdrawals.
Partial withdrawals are for active validators that have a balance exceeding 32 ETH. The network periodically makes transfers to the associated Ethereum address for validators with a balance exceeding 32 ETH. This means that a validator's balance periodically reduces to 32 ETH once Capella becomes the active fork on the network.
Full withdrawals are for validators that have exited the network, and have waited the necessary time to withdraw their funds. For these validators, their entire balance is returned to the Ethereum address associated with the validator key. The balance can't be transferred until the validator key is associated with an Ethereum address.
An exited validator can't become active on the network again, and currently (as of Capella), there's no mechanism for recycling the validator ID that has been exited.
How it works
From the first Capella slot, block proposers provide up to 16 withdrawals per proposed block.
Proposers start from validator 1, and find validators that qualify: must have an Ethereum address as a withdrawal address, must have an excess balance, or have exited.
Block proposers select the withdrawals that go into the block. In each block, up to 16 changes to withdrawal credentials are also allowed, where an owner of a validator key can update their withdrawal key's Ethereum address. This update is retrieved from a pool, and the order isn't guaranteed.
Withdrawal keys configured as BLS keys can't have automated withdrawals executed for them. Users must alter their credentials to specify an Ethereum address for their withdrawal key.
BLS withdrawal keys are prefixed with
0x00, whereas Ethereum withdrawal keys
are prefixed with
To determine the type of withdrawal key your validator uses, you can query your validator configuration onchain.
Don't store your validator keys and withdrawal keys in the same location.