Helium Improvement Proposal (HIP) 25 — Validators is a recently approved HIP and the implementation will be one of the biggest improvements to the Helium Blockchain since its inception.
The rapid growth of The People’s Network combined with computational and networking constraints of Hotspots has resulted in significant ongoing engineering effort to ensure blockchain reliability.
The approved proposal: add a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism that enables users to host software (validator nodes) and stake HNT (10,000 for a minimum of 5 months) to take over the work of validating transactions, and adding new blocks to the blockchain.
By moving this work to validator nodes (which have more compute power, and stable network connectivity) and away from Hotspots (with limited computer power, and home internet connections), the network benefits from increased reliability and security.
Users who host validator nodes will earn the 6% rewards previously allocated to the Hotspots that were elected to the consensus group.
Hotspots will continue to use Proof-of-Coverage (PoC) to verify wireless coverage from peers and will still earn the majority of rewards for providing coverage and transferring device data.
Full HIP-25 here (recommended reading).
Show your interest by signing up here and help us test the testnet.
To prepare for testing, check out the miner software and run it on the server you plan to use. Note: you’ll also need a recent Rust and a C/C++ tool chain.
To host a validator node requires the $HNT staking amount and technical skills.
We will learn more after running the testnet, but based on early tests, validator node requirements include:
- an AWS EC2 instance T2 large, xlarge or equivalent
- Stable IP and few ports (currently 2154 and eventually port 443) open to internet
- DNS resolvable URL strongly recommended
- Running on stable network connections (without things like proxies, NAT, etc.), load is largely symmetrical when producing blocks, so good upstream recommended.
It’s not recommended to run a validator node from a home internet connection.
Continue the conversation here at #validator-dev on our discord server.