How do you handle periodic maintenance of the validator software?

Attestant runs a redundant architecture, which allows for maintenance of servers, such as hardware upgrades and server reboots, without any validator downtime.

Software upgrades are generally carried out on a rolling basis, with an initial application on a single server. That server is monitored for significant changes in stability or performance, and when operations staff consider the upgrade stable it will be released to additional servers.

The exception to the above is for a critical upgrade, for example when a bug in beacon node software results in the Ethereum blockchain stalling and requiring a global software patch.

All upgrades are considered in terms of safety and slashing risk: if there is any risk of a slashing event occurring during the upgrade the validator clients will be quiesced during the time the risk exists.

I have a lot of funds to stake. How can I "bulk load" validators?

Attestant provides tools and procedures to facilitate the creation of large numbers of stakes. You will be able to generate multiple deposits from the Attestant client portal, via our API, or offline by working directly with your Attestant customer representative. The only information needed by Attestant is the withdrawal public key, or keys (you are in control of your withdrawal private key at all times; Attestant never has access to your funds).

Many customers will have their own offline vaulting solutions to ensure that private keys are kept safe and secure. Consequently, we will send you a batch of deposit transactions that match your withdrawal address and validators. Your vaulting solution will be able to independently verify that the deposit transactions match your withdrawal address and validators.

Once verification has been completed, you will need to sign the deposit transactions - again your vaulting solution will manage this - and submit them to the Ethereum network. After confirmation by the Ethereum network the status of your validators will appear on the Attestant control panel, allowing you to track progress towards inclusion in the validator pool.

How can I keep track of my own validators independently?

Attestant provides a client portal, which you can use to keep track of the performance of your validators. However, we recognize that some customers will want to ensure independent verification of the metrics being presented. Given that all data regarding validator operations and performance is part of the public Ethereum chain it is possible for a customer to obtain independent verification of this information.

There are a range of open source Ethereum information sources, such as Blockscan and Beaconcha.in from where independent information can be obtained.

How can I withdraw funds safely?

For each validator that contains your funds you will have a withdrawal key generated by you on your own equipment. This key ensures that the funds cannot be transferred to any other address. Without this key funds cannot be withdrawn so it is very important that it is kept safe.

Under normal circumstances we will work with you to cleanly shut down your validators and withdraw your funds. In addition, for the situation where you may not want to involve Attestant in the shutdown of your validators you will be provided with a "shutdown" operation, pre-signed by Attestant, which you can send to the Ethereum network independently of us at any time. These signed transactions will cause their target validator to gracefully exit the validator pool so that withdrawal of funds can be made.

Are you using any community tools or open source projects?

Attestant is an active member of the Ethereum community, providing a number of their own open source tools as well as working with existing tools. Attestant uses a number of tools on a daily basis to help manage and monitor their hardware, software and processes.

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