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Frequently Asked Questions
Validation is a critical activity in the blockchain ecosystem. Validators have a key influence over the decentralization of the network.
We believe decentralization among validators is important to ensure the integrity and availability of the blockchain network and to deter initiatives to adversely affect the network. We identify concentrations of stake across key dimensions and show where they are. Finally, we summarize the decentralization state as a score at the blockchain level and at validator level.
For delegators who want to know how their validator contributes to the decentralization of their preferred blockchain.
For validators that are interested in viewing themselves from the “network side” and learning about what other validators are doing.
For blockchain foundations that want to understand the state of their validator network.
The Observatory focuses on monitoring data related to validator activity in three main areas:
We compute individual scores for each area before weighing them to determine the validator index.
Note: the governance component is still under development.
The stake-weighted scores of all validators in the active set serve as the score for the entire zone.
That's a trick question - the answer is we don't. In order to understand stake concentration for each country, we are identifying nodes that correspond to validators. For each country where we find significant stake concentration, the scores are reduced for all affected validators.
Country weight is 3.
That's a trick question - the answer is we don't. We are identifying nodes that match the validators to understand stake concentration for each Internet service provider (ISP). For any ISP where we identify high stake concentration, the corresponding scores are reduced for all affected validators.
ISP weight is 3.
That's a trick question - the answer is we don't. We are identifying nodes that match the validators to understand stake concentration for each Autonomous system (AS). For any AS where we identify high stake concentration, the corresponding scores are reduced for all affected validators.
ASN weight is 2.
We report the commission but we do not score the commission in the Observatory anymore.
The commission is better taken into account for specific objectives, for example staking or foundation delegations. We see that 5%–10% is considered a reasonable commission by blockchain foundations across delegation programs.
The highest score is achieved when fewer than 1% of blocks are missing, while more than 10% gives a zero score with linear interpolation.
Block signing weight is 4.
We do not score the software version anymore. On the p2p layer, our service is only able to determine the version of the Tendermint library which is not a sufficiently good indicator of overall appchain stack version.
We take no stance on the specific votes that a validator performs. We only aim to include governance activity in the Validator index. We aim to compute the total number of votes the validator was eligible for (being in the active set) vs. the number of times the validator actually voted.
We aim to collect and display specific voting decisions but this is simply an informative display.
When included, the weight of governance is expected to be 2.
The Observatory takes no stance on which jurisdictions, internet/cloud service providers are beneficial or detrimental to validating networks. Validators are the ones who are taking the risk of running blockchain software with a particular provider in a given jurisdiction and should be experts in picking the best combination.
Indirect architectures such as sentry node architecture or Horcrux may hide the location of some nodes and are generally considered beneficial - protecting signing nodes from direct exposure to the internet.
On the other hand, this construction allows validators to potentially obscure risky constructions (sentry nodes distributed across providers but validators running in a crowded data center with many other validators - thus concentrating stake).
The Observatory attempts to identify all nodes that are visible on the tendermint network and include them in the computation of network statistics.
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