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On CENNZnet we have two roles within staking: Validators and Nominators. Validators are node operators who each store a copy of the blockchain and must perform certain functions to keep the system secure. On CENNZnet validator nodes are responsible for authoring new blocks and voting in the finalization protocol.
A limited number of Validator nodes are elected each staking era by an election algorithm. This algorithm will automatically select the Validators with the highest total stake to fill the available slots.
CENNZnet will have 12 validator slots at launch — but this number will increase as the network matures and governance decisions are made.
To learn more check out our detailed guide to staking on CENNZnet here.
Validators are an essential part of the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. They are essentially the moderators of the staking system and have the extremely important job of authoring new blocks on the chain.
To have the most decentralised system possible, CENNZnet needs a good number of different Validator nodes that can be elected. This makes for the greatest variety of staking options for the community and also protects the system by preventing the chain from being controlled by one very wealthy individual. For example, if there are few Validators, one person with a reasonable amount of CENNZ could take all the Validator nodes, therefore taking complete control of the chain. When there are more people Validating it significantly increases the barrier to being elected.
Validator nodes can be run by anyone with hardware that meets the minimum requirements ( 250G storage 8G RAM).
However, it is important to remember that if a Validator fails to uphold their responsibilities a portion of their stake will be slashed (fined). If you are unsure about taking on the technical responsibility of Validating just yet, you can get to grips with the staking process as a Nominator first.
The responsibilities of a Validator are:
Run a node.
Stake a minimum 10,000 CENNZ.
Produce blocks. This requires your node to be online before the elected era to sync to the latest blocks, and be online 24/7 for the elected eras.
You can learn more about how to set up a Validator node on our Github page here.
To justify upkeep costs and also to gather a suitable income from supporting the chain, Validator nodes can charge a commission. This gives them a default percentage of the pooled stake reward. It is up to the individual Validator how much of a percentage they wish to take. Nominators can check commission rates before they choose a Validator.
The commission rates that the validators charge are available in the list of validators in the New Stake tag of the Staking page on CENNZnet.io.
Validators can only pay out CPAY rewards to a certain number of nominators per era. The limit is currently 128 nominators but can be modified later via governance. If more than 128 nominators nominate the same validator, it is “oversubscribed”. When this happens only the top 128 staked nominators (ranked by amount staked by each nominator) are paid rewards. Other nominators will receive no rewards for that era, although their stake will still be used to calculate entry into the active validator set.
To get the staking process started we needed 12 robust Validator nodes fully set up and ready to go. To bootstrap staking, Centrality has taken 9 Validator nodes. This is just a temporary situation while more people start joining as Validator nodes. In the long term, we aim to make the network as decentralised as possible, which means more independent Validators joining the network to provide a variety staking options for our Nominator community and security.
As mentioned above, Centrality’s aim is to encourage other Validators to join the network and be elected. We do not want to be the default staking Validator node as this is not good for the decentralisation of the network.
Having a very high commission on our Validator nodes provides an incentive for the community to become Validators and also makes us less competitive to Nominators.
This is only the initial number of Validators required for a staking era. As CENNZnet grows, we will have more validators in the network. It will be up to governance to decide how many validators we want to list.
You can run as many Validator nodes as you have the capacity to. You can set up validator nodes to run on the cloud so that you don’t need to maintain the physical hardware. The CENNZnet team plans to provide scripts to automate this in the future.
Support for Validators can be found on our Discord channel here.
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