This section explains everything about how to manage validator accounts using Prysm's built-in wallet, as well as setup instructions for different types of wallets including HD (hierarchical deterministic), non-HD, and remote signing wallets. If you created a wallet using the official Medalla testnet launchpad and want to run Prysm using it, see our dedicated instructions here.
Prysm's validator accounts are extensible enough to allow for the most basic setup all the way to advanced production setups where security is paramount.
Out of the box, Prysm supports 3 basic kinds of wallets that encompass many different use-cases. In order of highest to lowest security:
- Remote signing wallet: (most secure) An advanced kind of wallet in which validator keys and signing requests are processed by a remote server via gRPC (view our remote server reference implementation)
- non-HD wallet: (good security) A simple wallet in which accounts are password protected and validator keys are generated non-deterministically. This is the recommended approach if you want to import an account from the Medalla testnet launchpad and you read dedicated instructions here.
- HD wallet: (least security) A common type of blockchain wallet which is generated from a english mnemonic, able to create new accounts deterministically. The encrypted seed is stored on day encrypted by a strong password. Given you are tying your HD wallet to the validator client, it is less secure than simply importing validating keys you need from an external source or running a remote signer.
At the core of Prysm's validator accounts lies the notion of a validator private key, which is stored in a password-protected, keystore.json file. Prysm supports the ability to manage many validator accounts, making it easy to import and export them as well as easily list all the account info in your wallet. Prysm is compliant with the EIP-2335 standards for storing eth2 validator private keys, making it possible to move keys between different eth2 client implementations.
Non-HD wallets (Importing Keystores)
Prysm supports a non-deterministic wallet, which is a very simple kind of wallet storing validating keystores on disk, which can be imported from an external source such as the eth2.0-deposit-cli. This type of wallet makes it very easy to import and export accounts, useful for certain cloud deployments in which you don't want to store your eth2 withdrawal keys on-disk. This wallet is also the recommended approach if you generated a validator deposit using the Medalla testnet launchpad.
By default, a Prysm validator client uses its own HD wallet, which you can recover from a 24-word, simple english sentence should you lose access to it, such as:
HD wallets are password protected via a high-entropy, strong password, and allow for easy creation of as many validator account as you wish.
Remote signing wallet
This is the most secure type of wallet. Some advanced users may wish to run a remote-signer server, which handles the retrieval of keys and signing of eth2 requests. A Prysm validator client can then connect securely via gRPC to the remote server and perform its validating duties by relying on the server for the information it needs. Most advanced cloud deployments should likely use this approach, as it is the most customizable.
To be compliant with a Prysm remote signing wallet, your remote signing server needs to implement the gRPC API specified in Prysm here.
We have also a created a reference remote signer implementation, maintained as an open source, Apache 2 project on Github here as a starting point.