Exit from a Solo Validator

Exiting from a solo validator means removing your validator from active duties and unstaking the 32 ETH from the beacon chain. You will stop earning any consensus or execution rewards. Your 32 ETH stake will be returned to your Withdrawal Address.

Before you Begin

  1. Ensure that your node is fully synced before initiating the exit process.

  2. Set a Withdrawal Address. If you have been regularly receiving rewards above 32 ETH from the validator, your Withdrawal Address is already set. If not, follow this guide to set your Withdrawal Address. Complete this step before proceeding.

Step 1: Initiate the Validator Exit

Regardless of the Consensus Client you use (Teku, Prysm, or Nimbus), the process remains the same. In the Consensus Client DApp, locate the "exit" icon on the far right of the line.

Click this button to initiate the exit and confirm the action as follows.

Once initiated, you don't need to do anything further. Sit back and wait for the following steps to happen automatically.

Step 2: Wait for the Validator to Exit

After initiating the validator exit, the following events will occur:

  • The Consensus Client will broadcast a message to the beacon chain to signal your intention to exit.

  • A few minutes later, beaconcha.in will display a flashing green "exited" state. The display message will indicate the expected exit and withdrawal epochs. The "exit epoch" is when your validator can stop performing duties, and the "withdrawal epoch" is when the balance becomes "withdrawable".

  • The exit epoch is at least 4 epochs later, plus the period you need to wait in the exit queue. The length of the exit queue can be checked at https://www.validatorqueue.com/.

  • On the validator dashboard, the status will change from active_ongoing to active_exiting.

Once your validator reaches the "exit epoch":

  • beaconcha.in shows a solid green "exited" state.

  • On the validator dashboard, the status becomes: exited_unslashed.

Step 3: Wait for the Withdrawal

After reaching the "exit epoch," it will take another 27 hours approximately for the validator to become "withdrawable". Ethereum has these built-in delays in place to prevent malicious actors from exploiting the system.

When your validator reaches the "withdrawal epoch":

  • beaconcha.in will display the expected time of withdrawal and the actual withdrawal amount under the Withdrawals tab. This should include your 32 ETH stake and any accrued consensus rewards.

  • On the Consensus Client dashboard, the validator status becomes: withdrawal_possible.

Now, you need to wait for the validator sweep, which refers to the time interval between your successive consensus rewards. You can check the Sweep Delay on https://www.validatorqueue.com/.

To determine the exact time your stake and rewards are going to be swept to your Withdrawal Address, look up your Validator Page on beaconcha.in, and check under the Withdrawals tab.

Step 4: Receive Your 32 ETH Stake

Finally, you will see your 32 ETH stake, along with any accrued consensus rewards, at your Withdrawal Address. On the Consensus Client dashboard, the validator status becomes: withdrawal_done.

You can check the address with etherscan to make sure all is well.

Further Reading

For a deeper understanding of how exiting and withdrawals work on Ethereum, you can refer to the article Mechanics of Withdrawals: How They Work on the Ethereum Staking Launchpad website.

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