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My question is possibly naive but since I am facing a similar problem, I would like to know how does ethereum really know which addresses are validator addresses without storing a 300k long array?

If it's done with some mapping I would also be curious to hear the details.

3 Answers 3

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If you want to use a block explorer, you can see validators as those with valid deposits to the deposit contract.

There's over a billion transactions on the chain so the number of validators is tiny in comparison. Each client will have their own format for storing these on your hard drive.

At the client specification level, it is simply a list:

validators: List[Validator, VALIDATOR_REGISTRY_LIMIT]

Validators are appended as their deposit is processed:

state.validators.append(get_validator_from_deposit(deposit))

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possibly they use merkle trees to store the details as storing tremendous amounts of data is very costly in blockchain

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The Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract uses merkle tree.

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