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About the SKALE Network
The SKALE Network is an open-source elastic blockchain network protocol. The mission is to make it quick and easy to set up cost-effective, high-performance sidechains that run full-state smart contracts. The SKALE Network aims to deliver a performant experience to developers that offers speed and functionality without giving up security or decentralization.
- How to delegate: You can delegate and undelegate your tokens via your account on the Activate platform
- Rewards calculator
- Delegation/staking guide
- ConsenSys Activate Staking FAQ
- SKALE Validator introductions
- Validator economics of the SKALE Network
- SKALE Token Address
What is the "Proof of Use" requirement on the Activate platform?
Proof of Use is a requirement for ConsenSys Codefi Activate launch participants that necessitates that a certain percentage of SKL tokens purchased during the public launch be actively delegated/staked on the SKALE Network through the Activate platform before a set of tokens can be unlocked. In order to satisfy the Proof of Use requirement and be able to transfer tokens, participants of the public launch must delegate/stake at least 50% of their tokens for a minimum of 60 days. Please note that regardless of the amount of tokens staked, 100% of a user’s tokens are locked until the Proof of Use requirement is met.
Will I be earning delegator/staking rewards during the staking period? What are the rewards for staking?
Yes, you will be earning rewards for the tokens that have been delegated/staked. A rewards calculator can be found on https://activate.codefi.network/skale.
How do I delegate SKL tokens on the Activate platform?
Token holders can delegate their tokens to approved validators using the interface on the Activate platform.
What is an epoch?
One epoch on SKALE equals a one-month calendar period of network activity. Validator and delegator rewards are calculated and distributed at the end of each epoch. Epochs start on the 1st day of each month and end on the last day of each month. Please note that delegation period can be longer than an epoch.
Can I delegate directly from my wallet?
The SKL token is built on the ERC-777 standard. It is fully backwards compatible with the ERC-20 standard and supports delegation on the token level. This compatibility means you will be able to delegate directly from your wallet (i.e. Metamask) and do not need to send your tokens to a smart contract as might be the case in other Proof of Stake networks.
Can I undelegate in the middle of the delegation period?
You can elect to undelegate your SKL tokens at any time but the undelegation will not take effect until after the initial 60-day Proof of Use delegation period is over and the tokens are unlocked. Once undelegated, the current epoch must be completed before the delegation lock ends and tokens become transferable. Upon completion of the Proof of Use period (or any delegation period), the tokens will be unlocked and undelegated.
Will tokens be re-delegated automatically for the next period?
Yes, unless the token holder submits an undelegation request. By default, delegated tokens are re-delegated at the end of the delegation period, unless an undelegation request is received prior to the end of the delegation period. Token holders will receive delegation rewards up to the time tokens are no longer delegated.
How long is the delegation period?
For the Proof of Use delegation requirement, the delegation period is 2 months. Once tokens are unlocked, the delegation period can be as short at one epoch (i.e. calendar month).
What is the gas cost of the delegation/undelegation request?
The gas cost of delegation request is ~500K Gwei (about $35 as of September 14). Undelegation costs ~280K Gwei The cost will depend on the ETH price and the ETH network load as it fluctuates throughout the day. SKALE has made a great effort to optimize the delegation price while enabling secure delegation directly from the wallet. The level of complexity in the smart contract is relatively high and the cost could have been in thousands of Gwei. For that reason care was taken to reduce processing costs, while still providing for a secure transaction flow.
Can validators change their fees after the request was submitted or after the staking started?
No they can't. There is no commission fee change possible during the Proof of Use period.
Can we swap validators if others have lower fees?
Yes, if the delegation has not been accepted. If that is the case, the token holder can cancel and request a new validator.
What is the "unbonding" period?
There is no unbonding period. There is only delegation period and whenever you request undelegation you need to wait until your delegation period ends.
Are delegators free to choose which validator to delegate their tokens to?
Delegators can choose to delegate their tokens to any registered SKALE validator. Key factors for delegators to look at when choosing a validator include: the node performance (SLA), the commission rate set by the validator, and the reputation of the validator. After researching validators and understanding the risks involved (slashing), delegators can decide the number of tokens they want to delegate and which validator they will partner with. Note that validators can choose to decline individual delegation or not accept any at all, so please check on whether your delegation was accepted once you've submitted it (and submit by the recommended date of September 28).
Can I delegate to more than one validator?
Yes, you can delegate to more than one validator, but there is a Gas cost on the Ethereum Mainnet that will need to be paid for each delegation. For more on Gas costs please see the answer above.
How do delegator rewards work?
If a SKL token holder decides to delegate SKL tokens to a validator, the delegator will earn token rewards based on the number of tokens they delegated, the commission percentage set by the validator, and the amount of time they stake for.
Initially, only a 2-month epoch with associated rewards is available. In the future delegators will receive a bonus dependent on the length of time they choose to stake their tokens. These tokens are locked for the duration of the selected staking period. Longer staking lockups generally earn higher rewards. These rewards are paid out and liquid at the end of every epoch. Once chosen, staked tokens are locked until the end of the time period they were committed to.
SKALE Validator FAQ
The SKALE Network is a configurable network of elastic sidechains that supports high-throughput and low-latency transactions without the high transaction costs found in public mainnets. The network offers expanded storage capabilities along with embedded connectivity and interchain messaging with the Ethereum mainnet and other sidechains and subchains. All of this is performed using a pooled transaction validation and security model that is efficient, scalable, and collusion-resistant.
SKALE Network Validator Nodes
Blockchain mining and chain validation are not without risk so miners and validators need to pick the right networks to join. SKALE is a Proof of Stake (POS) network that utilizes a work token. The advanced containerization and virtualization of nodes make operation seamless and the SKALE Protocol optimizes the allocation of resources of each node across the entire network of elastic blockchains. This protocol is also mining pool resistant – meaning that there is no advantage to be gained by pooling resources at the mining level.
Node setup and staking is simple and takes only a few steps. Validator rewards are distributed on a near-even basis across the network of nodes – with validator rewards based on meeting performance targets, not by optimizing rigs to improve cryptographic performance. Each node is rated based on its SLA behavior for the chains the node is validating with node performance being assessed by the other nodes in the network.
Validator payouts are made on a monthly basis to validators that meet the performance and uptime criteria. Payouts include tokens paid in the form of sidechain subscription fees and token inflation as specified via a smart contract running on the Ethereum mainnet.
Are there staking requirements to become a validator in the SKALE Network?
A key requirement for an effective security and execution layer is a proper incentive structure that addresses both penalties and rewards. With respect to the former, every validator node should have significant value staked into a network. Staking is an enforcer of good behavior in that if a validator decides to collude or go byzantine and gets caught, it will lose its stake and be removed from the network.
In the SKALE Network, there is no minimum bonding requirement for a validator. Validators have an option to self delegate or accept delegation from other token holders.
To coerce or bribe the validators of a sidechain with this type of a pooled validation model – one that employs random selection and frequent node rotation – a bad actor would have to effectively bribe two thirds of the larger network. To do this with a large number of nodes in the overall network would be exceedingly difficult. SKALE’s network design is based on these core principles and is directly aligned with stopping – if not eliminating – attacks and preserving the integrity of transactions within each chain in the network.
What are the duration options for operating as a validator?
Validators can choose to validate for 3 month, 6 month, or 12 months. (The minimum lock-up period is 3mo.) Validators can choose to self-delegate (i.e. put up the entire staking amount themselves) or elect to accept any delegation and have the option to provide a commission rate to the delegators. Staking for the longer durations will have a slight multiplier applied to the monthly payouts from the bounty pool.
How are validators measured and rewarded?
Performance metrics for each subnode are collected by a subset of the other subnodes in the network. Metrics for the overall behavior of the node itself are collected by 24 independent peer nodes. Combining these metrics yields an overall score which will determine whether or not a node is able to participate in a monthly bounty award. This bounty award also includes token inflation as set forth in a mainnet contract that handles node payouts. (Payouts are evenly distributed across the validating pool except for a slight weighting in favor of nodes that are staked for a longer duration.)
Is there any unbonding or undelegation period?
No, there is not. Validators may withdraw their stakes (self-delegated or delegated) at any time after their stake is unlocked.
Does the network have support for validator commissions and delegation of investor stakes?
Yes. Validators can raise stakes from delegators and have this reflected via contracts running on the network. Commissions can be set for the monthly bounties such that payouts can be split into both commissions (to the validator) and delegator awards (to investors). The commission rate that is set is solely at the discretion of validators and on what the market will bear.
Is there a minimum delegation requirement?
No. There is no minimum delegation requirement for a validator. Validators can chose to self-delegate or choose to bring on delegators, in which case, validators can set minimum delegation amount for accepting delegations
What type of validators is the network looking for?
The SKALE Network is open to any validator as long as they meet the technical requirements and staking commitment. For the launch of the SKALE Testnet and the leadup to launch of the SKALE Mainnet, the network is particularly interested in knowledgeable validators who have experience validating for other Layer 1 and Layer 2 networks. Validators should have the desire and resources to run nodes, test the network, find bugs, and participate in detailed feedback discussions with the SKALE team and broader validator community.
The incentives for early validators are to get to know the operation of the network as well as participate in the incentivized Testnet. Some of the incentives include bounties for finding bugs, providing community tools, suggesting documentation improvements, running specific tests, connecting to specific Testnet contracts, and other tasks.
What is the process to become a validator in the SKALE Network?
Validators go to the SKALE website (www.skale.network) and sign up. The SKALE network team will review the application and then schedule review times with potential validators. The process is a mutual evaluation process until such time as there is self-serve signup and on-boarding. Candidates that go forward in the process are asked to sign a non-binding intent letter and then go through a certification process. Once they pass, they will be included in the Alpine cohort (this is the name given to the initial set of network validators).
The network is designed to be permissionless. In the future, signup and registration will be self-serve and registering and white-listing as a validator will be ungated.
What are the hardware requirements for being a validator node?
Validators need to provision and operate their own server or servers with sufficient network capacity and data center operational integrity. Servers can operate in a public or private cloud setting or on locally provisioned hardware, provided they meet SLA requirements. A particular requirement for servers is that they operate Intel SGX.
Intel SGX (Software Guard Extensions) is a set of instructions that increases the security of application code and data, providing added protection from disclosure or modification. Developers can partition sensitive information into enclaves, which are areas of execution in memory with more security protection. It is recommended that all nodes in a validator set be Intel SGX servers although it’s also possible to set up a network nodes with a certain ratio of Intel SGX servers to non-SGX servers.
Other node requirements include Ubuntu 18.04 or above, 200GB of attached storage, and 32GB RAM.
Why the specific requirements for the disk storage and memory?
The SKALE Network is designed to be highly performant with high throughput and low latency. On-chain storage is also an important offering of the network and so disk storage needs to be above a certain amount in order to support this capability. Nodes operate as virtualized nodes, meaning that one node can service many elastic sidechains. Sidechains sizes can be small, medium, or large with a small chain using 1/128 of a node’s resources, a medium using 1/8 of the resources, and a large using the full amount.
For more details on how node validation works and the economics involved, please see the Whitepaper and the Eliminating Mining Pools article.
The SKALE Network token (SKL), is a hybrid use token which represents the right to work in the network as a validator, stake as a delegator, or access a share of its resources by deploying and renting an Elastic Sidechain or Elastic Blockchain for a period of time as a developer. SKALE Network is an open source Web3 platform intended to bring speed and configurability to blockchain.