Run a Validator

Validators

Every user of the Network is allowed to become a Validator of the Network, participating in maintaining consensus (producing and validating blocks) and network governance. The users who don’t run validators are incentivised to delegating their tokens (voting power) to reputable network validators. Thus users of the network ultimately determine the set of validators who will ensure the security of the network.

Delegation effectively freezes tokens on the users’ accounts – the value of these tokens will be added to the validator’s voting power, will entitle to the share of network rewards and will be accordingly put at risk, but validator will not be able to transact with these tokens.

The main incentive for running validators and delegating tokens is a block reward paid in the SLT token. Block reward includes fees collected from the transactions, as well as the SLT inflation – according to a schedule. Inflation is intended to incentivise the participation of users in the network governance, namely delegation of their tokens to validators.

In contrast with the blockchains with legacy protocols where the block reward is granted to the validator who first prepared the block, in Smartlands Network the block rewards will be accumulated in a special pool and then will be evenly distributed to validators according to their voting power.

Users who don’t delegate their tokens will suffer from SLT inflation. Validators are required to distribute the received rewards to their delegators, however, every validator will charge a fee from the delegators’ rewards. There are strict rules regulating how the validators determine and update their fee policy.

Operating the Validator requires resources to maintain the full-node: computing power and high-bandwidth internet connection. And network only requires a relatively small set of highly-connected and efficient validators – as otherwise the process of achieving the consensus will be not reliable and the performance of the blockchain will be affected.

We invite everyone willing to become a validator to get familiar with the requirements. If you have any questions, please contact us at team@smartlands.network, and we will be happy to help you.

The Computing Power

The answer to the questions about the computing power of servers required to run a node is not that simple. Running a node in DPoS consensus blockchain network is a responsible role and in case of a failure, you may be fined and additionally penalized based on the decision of other validators. Therefore insufficient computing power may result in losses, but excess computing power will also result in additional costs. The decision about computing power depends on the amount of staked SLT, risk preferences, current ledger history and network activity, updates that may increase the complexity of transactions. Given that some of the factors are constantly changing the decision must be revisited regularly to stay efficient. And don’t forget about safety considerations. If your validator is hacked, it may be used to attack the network. As a result, you will lose your staked tokens as a penalty for attack on the network or if the attack is successful, the value of your tokens is likely to go down to almost zero.

Once the production network will go live, Smartlands will update the community with recommendations on computing power for validators and timely inform about changes in the network that may cause any changes in requirements for the nodes.

If it is all too complicated for you, staking your tokens with another validator may be a good idea. Nevertheless, you should be extremely careful with choosing a validator, as mistake or willful wrongdoing of such validator will affect your SLT as well.

On the testnet, that will be launched soon, enthusiasts may start with minimal or recommended requirements for a validator of a network based on Cosmos SDK, that are as follows.

Minimal

  • 1GB RAM
  • 25GB of disk space
  • 1.4 GHz CPU

AWS t3.micro, GCP f1-micro

~20USD/month

 

Recommended:

  • 2GB RAM
  • 100GB SSD
  • x64 2.0 GHz 2v CPU

AWS t3.small, GCP g1-small

~30USD/month

How to launch a validator on Smartlands Network (preliminary)

The purpose of this preliminary instruction is to give the community an understanding of the process of launching your own validator in the Smartlands Network, the complexity of the task and tech skills required. Basically not much, and a tech enthusiast should be capable to manage it.

1. Get your virtual server in the cloud.

We consider DigitalOcean to be one of the most user-friendly cloud server services, therefore it is used as an example in this instruction. 

In Digital Ocean the virtual servers are called “Droplets”, and here is the instruction to launch your very own one:

 

How to create Droplet (by DigitalOcean)

Please follow THIS link.

*If you’re not familiar with using SSH keys to connect to a cloud server, you can create a root password for the Droplet (step 9 in the instruction)

To join Smartlands Testnet, the very basic Droplet (as shown in the example, 2GB memory, 50GB storage – all for 10$ / month) will be sufficient.

2. Access the Droplet console

Once the Droplet is launched, you will need to access the console. Tech-savvy community members will prefer to connect to Droplet via SSH (HERE is the instruction for them).

But for the rest of the community there is the simpler way – to access the console via the web interface.

3. Install Docker

Once you have accessed your console, you should install Docker.
Docker is a very popular tool allowing you to launch preconfigured server-side applications (images) such as Smartlands Network validator.

HERE is the convenient instruction prepared by Digital Ocean – how to install Docker on  the  Droplet

4. Install Smartlands Network Validator  image

Smartlands will publish a docker image with prepared validator and all necessary tools available on the Docker Hub, so it will be as easy as running a  single command in the console.

5. Generate a master keypair of validator owner.

To generate your validator owner keypair (don’t forget to store your seed phrase safely and securely!) you will only have to run a single command in the console.

Transfer you SLT (not less than 1000 testnet SLT) to the public key of the validator (keypair generated in the cloud).

6. Create a validator and delegate tokens.

Creation of a validator again is a single console command to create validator and delegate initial stake.

7. Launch validator

Launching your validator would be as simple as running “docker run smartlands-network” command in the console.

Hooray!

Your validator is up and running in the cloud and participating in the proof-of-stake consensus securing the Smartlands Network Chain.

Support

We invite everyone willing to become a validator to get familiar with the requirements. If you have any questions, please contact us at team@smartlands.network, and we will be happy to help you.

 

NB! This material is provided to familiarize yourself with the basic requirements for running your own validator on the Smartlands Network testnet. Launching the node and running the validator will only be possible after the official launch of the Smartlands Network testnet. Please follow the announcements in the official Smartlands Network channels.