A blockchain validator is a critical component of a blockchain network responsible for validating and verifying transactions and blocks added to the blockchain. Validators play a central role in ensuring the security, integrity, and consensus of a blockchain network. Here's an overview description of blockchain validators:
Transaction Verification: Validators are responsible for checking the validity of transactions submitted to the blockchain. They verify that the sender has sufficient funds, the transaction adheres to the network's rules, and the digital signatures are valid.
Consensus Protocol Participation: Validators participate in the blockchain's consensus protocol, which is a set of rules or algorithms that determine how new blocks are added to the blockchain. Popular consensus mechanisms include Proof of AREA (PoA), Proof of Stake (PoS), Proof of Work (PoW), Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS), and more. Validators may take on different roles within these mechanisms, such as block proposers or voters.
Block Validation: Once a block is proposed by a miner or validator, other validators in the network verify its legitimacy. They check that the block contains valid transactions, adheres to the network's rules, and doesn't contain any double-spending attempts or other malicious activities.
Node Operation: Validators operate network nodes that maintain a copy of the blockchain ledger. These nodes continuously sync with the network, update the blockchain, and ensure the accuracy and consistency of the ledger. Validators must be online and operational to participate effectively in the consensus process.
Staking and Incentives: In PoS and DPoS-based networks, validators often need to "stake" a certain amount of cryptocurrency as collateral to participate in the consensus and validation process. They are rewarded with transaction fees and block rewards in return for their services. Validators have a financial incentive to act honestly and follow the rules to maintain their reputation and rewards.
Network Security: Validators contribute to the overall security of the blockchain network. By participating in consensus and maintaining the blockchain ledger, they help prevent various attacks, including double spending and 51% attacks.
Decentralization: In many blockchain networks, decentralization is a key goal. Validators are distributed across the network to avoid central points of failure and control. This decentralization ensures the network's resilience and trustworthiness.
Role Customization: Depending on the blockchain network and consensus mechanism, validators may have different roles and responsibilities. Some may be involved in block proposal, while others focus on block validation and voting.
In summary, blockchain validators are crucial actors in blockchain ecosystems, ensuring the integrity, security, and consensus of the network. They contribute to the decentralization and reliability of blockchain networks while being incentivized to act honestly and fairly in validating transactions and adding blocks to the blockchain.
Areon is built on Tendermint, which relies on a set of validators that are responsible for committing new blocks in the blockchain. These validators participate in the consensus protocol by broadcasting votes which contain cryptographic signatures signed by each validator's private key. Validators can bond their own AREA and have AREA "delegated", or staked, with them by token holders.
Areon will have 50 validators, but over time this will increase to 100 validators according to a predefined schedule. The minimum amount required for a validator to join the network is $AREA 100,000. Validators are ranked according to the amount of AREA staked with them the top 50 validator candidates with the most stake will become active validators. Validators and their delegators will earn AREA as block rewards and transaction fees through execution of the Tendermint consensus protocol. Initially, transaction fees will be paid in AREA but in the future, any token in the Areon ecosystem will be valid as a fee tender if it is whitelisted by governance. Note that validators can set the commission on the fees their delegators receive as an additional incentive.
If validators double sign, are frequently offline or do not participate in governance, their AREA staked (including AREA of users that delegated to them) may be slashed. The penalty depends on the severity of the violation.
We expect that a modest level of hardware specifications is initially needed and might rise as network use increases. Participating in the testnet is the best way to learn more.
The following hardware requirements are expected:
|everything||~100 GB||8 GB||4-core|
|default||~1.5 TB||16 GB||4-core|
|nothing||~2.8 TB+||32 GB||8-core|
There are currently no existing appropriate cloud solution for validator key management. For this reason, validators must set up a physical operation secured with restricted access. A good starting place, for example, would be co-locating in secure data centers. Validators should expect to equip their datacenter location with excess power, connectivity, and storage backups. Expect to have several excess networking boxes for fiber, firewall, switching and small servers with excess hard drives. Hardware can be on the low end of datacenter gear to start out with. We expect network requirements to be low initially. The current testnet requires minimal resources. Then bandwidth, CPU and memory requirements will rise as the network grows. Large hard drives are recommended for storing years of blockchain history.
Set up a dedicated validator's website and signal your intention of becoming a validator on our blockchain network. This is important since delegators will want to have more available information about the entity they are delegating their area to.