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⚠️ Review Standards Track: Core

EIP-7044: Perpetually Valid Signed Voluntary Exits

Lock voluntary exit signature domain on capella for perpetual validity

Authors Lion (@dapplion)
Created 2023-05-18


Lock validator voluntary exit signature domain on Capella for perpetual validity. Currently, signed voluntary exits are only valid for two upgrades.


Currently, signed voluntary exits are valid up-to only two upgrades for block inclusion due to the Beacon Chain state considering only the current and previous fork version. This limitation increases the complexity of some staking operations, specifically those in which the staking operator (holder of active key) is distinct from the owner of the funds (holder of the withdrawal credential). Because voluntary exits can only be signed by the active key, such a relationship requires the exchange of signed exits ahead of time for an unbounded number of forks.

The limited validity of voluntary exits was originally motivated to isolate them in the event of a hard fork that results in two maintained chains. If fork A and B exist and a validator operates on both, if they send an exit, it will be replayable on both. However, this possibility is not sufficient to justify the UX degradation exposed above, as no funds are at risk and the staker can re-stake on one or both of the chains.


Consensus Layer

Specification changes are built into the Consensus Specs Deneb upgrade.

The specific makes one change to the state transition function:

Additionally, the voluntary_exit gossip conditions are implicitly modified to support this change.

To make the change backwards compatible the signature domain is locked on the Capella fork

Execution Layer

This specification does not require any changes to the Execution Layer.


Perpetually valid signed voluntary exits allow simpler staking operation designs. It also aligns the UX of such objects to BLSToExecutionChanges and deposits, such that downstream tooling does not need to be updated with fork version information.

Backwards Compatibility

This change is backwards compatible to the Consensus Layer of Ethereum block processing logic.

The expectation of future validity of exits is not forward compatible. Specifically, users who have already pre-signed exits utilizing the Deneb fork domain with an expectation of their validity should be aware that these pre-signed exits will no longer be recognized as valid. Consequently, users should adjust their approach moving forward. For continued validity across forks, including Deneb and subsequent forks, users should ensure that their exits are signed using the Capella fork domain.

There are no forwards/backwards compatibility issues with the Execution Layer.

Test Cases

Test cases are work-in-progress within the standard Consensus Layer tests.

Security Considerations

The divergent signature domains across forked networks would previously have prevented the replay of VoluntaryExits after two hard forks. This specification change causes the replay protection to no longer exist. These potential replays could impact individual stakers on both sides of a fork, but does not put funds at risk and does not impact the security of the chain.

Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.


Please cite this document as:

Lion (@dapplion), "EIP-7044: Perpetually Valid Signed Voluntary Exits [DRAFT]," Ethereum Improvement Proposals, no. 7044, May 2023. [Online serial]. Available: