HIP-25 - Validator DAO Bootstrap Initiative

Summary

Harmony Protocol has mandated that the Validator DAO bootstrap and expand the Validator Corp in order to achieve 1000 diverse validator profiles.

Background

The Validator DAO consists of nine governors servicing in limited terms to facilitate Harmony’s mandates. One of Harmony’s goals is 200 elected validators by the end of the year 2021. This proposal would help reach that goal.

Objectives

  1. Identify and bootstrap active and capable community Validators.
  2. Monitor the thresholds by which funding will be delegated and undelegated.
  3. Track and report on the status of bootstrapped Validators and provide transparent reporting to the Harmony Foundation.

Rules

A validator must have a minimum delegation of 10K ONE tokens (self-stake) in order to be eligible for bootstrapping funds and have no more than 0.7 x the current EMS (~3.5 million ONE tokens). The maximum delegation condition is put in place in order to optimize how the bootstrap fund is appropriated across unelected validators.

The validator will be expected to have equipment that meets or exceeds the node recommendations as specified in the Harmony documents. Advice will be given upon application to assist the validator with ensuring that these standards are met. It is the validators responsibility to ensure this. If the advice is not adhered to, the validator could lose election status and potentially have their funding status up for review.

Weekly, the Validator DAO will provide the Harmony Foundation with a list of validators that meet the threshold for bootstrapping as well as a report on the status of currently elected bootstrapped validators.

The bootstrapped Validators would be delegated a dynamic amount of ONE tokens. It will be a dynamic amount in reference to their current total stake at the time of their application.

The amount of ONE tokens they receive would have them reach 0.85 x EMS (4.44M) up to the EMS (5.23M at the time of this post). This will effectively push them into stable election and allow them to accumulate delegators for a period that is not to exceed 100 epochs.
If a bootstrapped validator reaches 1.2 x EMS (6.27M) before the end of the 100 epochs, then the Validator DAO will inform the Harmony Foundation that the bootstrapped validator has reached the threshold for un-delegation in which case bootstrapping funds will dynamically be undelegated to bring them back down to 1 x EMS within 1-3 epochs. The freed funds will be used to bootstrap a new unelected validator.

rules are subject to change as the protocol changes

End of the 100 epochs

At the end of the 100 epochs of sponsorship, the bootstrap funds will be undelegated from the validator.
In the event a validator hasn’t reached a stake high enough to remain safely elected, if there are no other validators requesting the funds or extra funds are available, then the maximum possible funds will be undelegated from the validator whilst keeping them elected for the next epoch.

IF the above situation is not given and a validator’s 100 Epoch’s term ends and they are still not safely elected then they are able to rejoin the program again.

Term of Sponsorship is subject to change if Epochs are shortened or extended due to shard changes

Condition for Revocation of Support

The Validator DAO will provide all sponsored validators with a list of action items we will monitor during their sponsorship. All bootstrapped validators are required to act in good faith during their time in the sponsorship program. Any council member can initiate a review of a bootstrapped validator at an upcoming meeting if they feel a bootstrapped validator has failed to meet the expectations and action items from the Validator DAO. If review is initiated, the council may hold a vote requiring 6 of 9 support to remove the given validator from the program.

Reasons for review may include:

  • Not reaching minimum consensus (66.66%) 2+ times during the term
  • Validator gets elected with more than one BLS key when they are not in a situation of overbidding (over the 1.35x EMS high bound)
  • Bootstrapped validators cannot have fees above 10% and setting fees above 10% for any amount of time will mean an automatic forfeiture of Harmony delegations.
  • Stay not-eligible for more than 3 Epochs

Harmony Funds

Harmony Foundation will provide 50 million ONE tokens across the validators that are approved by the application system.

Examples of how the 50 million ONE tokens may be distributed:

  • To safely elect a new validator with only a 10K self stake, the bootstrap fund could elect 11 validators. 50M/11 validators = 4.54 million staked. Which will currently see all validators safely elected.
  • To safely elect validators with 0.45 x EMS, the bootstrap fund could elect 20 validators.
    50M/20 validators = 2.5 million staked. Which would see all validators elected.

If no other validators are enrolled or qualify for the program, then the Harmony Foundation will spread the remainder of the fund to the applicants that were approved in order to optimize rewards from funding. The “spread” is subject to removal pending new applicants.

Until the Validator DAO is in control of the bootstrapping funds, the Harmony Foundation will be in control of the timeline in which an approved applicant will receive funding. The Validator DAO would suggest completion of funding within 2-3 epochs. We also suggest that Harmony Foundation send staking rewards generated from the Bootstrap Initiative to the Validator DAO multi-sig wallet in order to begin our road to self-sustainability. And once multi-sig wallet staking capabilities are tested and ready, and if Harmony Foundation approves, then bootstrapping funds should be controlled by the Validator DAO.

Potential Multi-Sig Wallet: Aegis Multi-sig Vault

How to Apply

A validator will be required to fill out an application which will be subject to review by the Validator DAO.

Initial sign-ups for the Bootstrap Initiative will be for a period of five days with heavy marketing during and days prior. After the last day of sign-ups, all enrolled and approved validators will be randomized in order to determine funding allocation. Once the 50 million ONE fund has been exhausted, funding allocation will be on a “first come, first serve” basis.

The sponsored Validators will have access to help and information on best practices for marketing and managing their Validator. The bootstrapped validators will be included in the Validator Initiative - Help & Learn Telegram group where they’ll be able to join the weekly spotlight.

Telegram Link: Validators Inc.

20 Likes

@Jacksteroo let us know if you have some inputs in here :call_me_hand:t3: or just approve it :sweat_smile:

8 Likes

@sophoah We welcome any feed back. Also we thank you for your time.

7 Likes

Hey @giv! Awesome stuff about chainlink deploying! Today is full of great news

9 Likes

Wow this is so great, good job guys, where do i approve?

9 Likes

Thank you very much for this initiative. This will greatly help us new validators.

8 Likes

This is exciting stuff! Thank you for this initiative!

8 Likes

OMG Vdao is gonna be the new wallet 19…jk :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
This is good news! A solid initiative to help new validators like us!

8 Likes

Absolutely love this plan. We are all looking forward to seeing the application link!

8 Likes

Awesome news ! Will greatly help new validators !

8 Likes

we are working on the application. it will be ready soon. now we hope that Harmony Foundation will approve :slight_smile:

6 Likes

:smirk:

between us and wallet 19 I can’t help but think WAGMI :wink:

5 Likes

I’m so excited to get this program running! LFG

8 Likes

the backup calvary is being sent in! This is good :slight_smile:

7 Likes

Nice work VDAO, love it! :clap::partying_face::v::love_you_gesture:

9 Likes

Happy for all small validators - this is something that is translated as ONE for ALL and ALL for ONE :+1: :blue_heart:

5 Likes

Great idea!!! :clap::clap::clap:

7 Likes

I love this idea. Bravo to the VDao.

Quick thought on the following though…

How do make sure people don’t apply multiple times (or even many times) as “different people”? Not to be negative, but I think there needs to be really careful checks in place if we want to make sure the funds go to the desired validators.

6 Likes

There are limits to how clever we can be to detect these sorts of shenanigans, but we’re gonna add a bit about having a “no confidence” vote between the VDAO council members to remove someone. This will give us the ability to get rid of someone who isn’t responsive or active at all in the community so we can make room for someone more deserving.

5 Likes

That sounds like a plan. I think if enough interpersonal interaction is expected, that would be difficult to fake. Also - if you’re truly a new validator trying to learn, I would think you’d absolutely want the guidance, help, and to be active.

7 Likes