Create a validator

Validators are fundamentally represented by a BLS keypair. In Lighthouse, we use a wallet to generate these keypairs. Once a wallet exists, the lighthouse account validator create command is used to generate the BLS keypair and all necessary information to submit a validator deposit and have that validator operate in the lighthouse validator_client.


To create a validator from a wallet, use the lighthouse account validator create command:

lighthouse account validator create --help

Creates new validators from an existing EIP-2386 wallet using the EIP-2333 HD key derivation scheme.

    lighthouse account_manager validator create [FLAGS] [OPTIONS] --wallet-name <WALLET_NAME> --wallet-password <WALLET_PASSWORD_PATH>

    -h, --help                         Prints help information
        --store-withdrawal-keystore    If present, the withdrawal keystore will be stored alongside the voting keypair.
                                       It is generally recommended to *not* store the withdrawal key and instead
                                       generate them from the wallet seed when required.
    -V, --version                      Prints version information

        --at-most <AT_MOST_VALIDATORS>
            Observe the number of validators in --validator-dir, only creating enough to reach the given count. Never
            deletes an existing validator.
        --count <VALIDATOR_COUNT>
            The number of validators to create, regardless of how many already exist

    -d, --datadir <DIR>                               Data directory for lighthouse keys and databases.
        --debug-level <LEVEL>
            The verbosity level for emitting logs. [default: info]  [possible values: info, debug, trace, warn, error,
        --deposit-gwei <DEPOSIT_GWEI>
            The GWEI value of the deposit amount. Defaults to the minimum amount required for an active validator
        --secrets-dir <SECRETS_DIR>
            The path where the validator keystore passwords will be stored. Defaults to ~/.lighthouse/secrets

    -s, --spec <TITLE>
            Specifies the default eth2 spec type. [default: mainnet]  [possible values: mainnet, minimal, interop]

        --testnet <testnet>
            Name of network lighthouse will connect to [possible values: medalla, altona]

    -t, --testnet-dir <DIR>
            Path to directory containing eth2_testnet specs. Defaults to a hard-coded Lighthouse testnet. Only effective
            if there is no existing database.
        --validator-dir <VALIDATOR_DIRECTORY>
            The path where the validator directories will be created. Defaults to ~/.lighthouse/validators

        --wallet-name <WALLET_NAME>                   Use the wallet identified by this name
        --wallet-password <WALLET_PASSWORD_PATH>
            A path to a file containing the password which will unlock the wallet.


The example assumes that the wally wallet was generated from the wallet example.

lighthouse --testnet medalla account validator create --name wally --wallet-password wally.pass --count 1

This command will:

  • Derive a single new BLS keypair from wally, updating it so that it generates a new key next time.
  • Create a new directory in ~/.lighthouse/validators containing:
    • An encrypted keystore containing the validators voting keypair.
    • An eth1_deposit_data.rlp assuming the default deposit amount (32 ETH for most testnets and mainnet) which can be submitted to the deposit contract for the medalla testnet. Other testnets can be set via the --testnet CLI param.
  • Store a password to the validators voting keypair in ~/.lighthouse/secrets.