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Validator Feature Series

This week we’d love to highlight one of the validator teams who have been critical to our success — Stake Capital.

Founded by Julien Bouteloup, Stake Capital is actively advancing the DeFi movement alongside validating. At Solana, one of the big questions we have to ask ourselves was what do we do with our high-performance chain, how do we add value to the overall ecosystem, and where do we see our protocol continuing to do so in 5 years time. The answer amongst other things was becoming the ultimate protocol for price discovery of digital assets. Therefore we see our partnership with Stake Capital as a critical first step in a bigger vision. In the long term, we believe the work they’re doing within DeFi, such as the exploration of staking derivatives, will be invaluable in unlocking immense value for Solana’s validator ecosystem and will undoubtedly lead to broader net-positive effects to the general community as well.

About Stake Capital

Stake Capital is one of the leading service providers of the emerging digital economy. Stake Capital services include a variety of financial instruments and services from the liquidity providers, market maker to advanced and complex arbitrages built on top of the leading DeFi and proof-of-stake networks. Stake Capital also launched Stake DAO, a revenue-sharing DAO that tokenizes DeFi services. Stake DAO distributes value generated by a basket of DeFi services to stakeholders (e.g. delegators). The DAO functions as a cooperative, whereby stakeholders earn Stake DAO tokens for providing collateral and, via a staking mechanism, receive a share of the fee revenues generated by supported DeFi services. The Stake DAO token effectively encapsulates the intrinsic value of the DeFi services basket. The Stake DAO token also grants pro-rata governance rights over all operation concerns of the DeFi services’ provision. Staking derivatives are also enabled via locked pools on top of the supported DeFi protocols.


Two years ago Solana didn’t exist, we simply had an idea for a trustless clock. Our founders had a desire to build something in Rust, and so Proof of History was born. We assembled, and day after day, week after week, month after month, rebuilt blockchain from the ground up for scale. Now, we’re at a point where we’ve been able to prove the performance of the network in real-world conditions and are imminently ready to launch. However, the credit for being able to get to where we are sits not only with our engineering team, but also our growing validator community. Those who have spent their resources, time, and effort working with us tirelessly to help us identify issues and stress-test our network. This week we’d love to highlight one of the teams who have been critical to our success — Chainflow.

To date, we have highlighted some of the larger projects and teams who are the torchbearers advancing the Proof-of-Stake ecosystem. However, it’s important for us to retain perspective, and appreciate that blockchain is a tool for us to realize digital equality and decentralization. Therefore we need to recognize that mid-to-small size validators play an equally important role within the ecosystem. Chainflow is one of the great examples of an individually-operated validator that falls within this category.

Chainflow, founded by Chris Remus, recognized early on the challenges and importance of developing a sustainable ecosystem for validators of various backgrounds and resources. This understanding drove Chris to start the Staking Defenders initiative with the goal of bringing together the community to be more open about the issues smaller validators were facing and to encourage discussion on ways in which they could be addressed. Sitting at the protocol level it can sometimes be easy for us to become detached from the day-to-day problems that validators are facing. Without Chainflow, and other similar validators we believe that we would not have been able to iterate as quickly as we have to create the inclusive and active incentivized testnet we have today.

Especially now, with demand for validator attention at an all-time high, these conversations are an important reminder for us all that every validator is a critical stakeholder in the ecosystem and critical for us to realize a permissionless, decentralized, and censorship-resistant network.

About Chainflow

I’m Chris. I caught the blockchain brain virus in early 2016. I’ve become deeply involved in the crypto and blockchain community since then. I’ve been operating validators since joining as one of the first members of the Cosmos Validator Working Group in October 2017. My background is heavy on telecom and IT infrastructure. My first job was as a self-taught UNIX system administrator. Those systems ran Sprint’s first IP-based Cisco Router network.

In my pre-crypto life, I worked on large, mission-critical data center and networking projects. My clients were some of the largest financial, government and telecom institutions in the world. I worked on data center projects for banks, credit card processors, defense and homeland security agencies as well as global telecom providers. As you can imagine, they all operated under strict and unforgiving up-time and security metrics.

I feel hopeful and optimistic about a decentralized future. I’m optimistic that decentralization will decentralize power. It’s my belief that the centralization of power causes many of the world’s biggest problems.

My intention is for the Chainflow Staking Systems to be inclusive, not exclusive. This means any stake amount is welcome, no matter how big or small. There’s no minimum staking requirement. There are also no preferential terms or treatment for one delegate over another. Big stakes and small stakes get the same attention. The smallest stakeholder is as important as the largest.

My hope is that decentralization results in a fairer distribution of power, wealth, and opportunity.

The Chainflow Staking Systems are one of my contributions toward manifesting a decentralized future.


Two years ago Solana didn’t exist. We simply had an idea for a trustless clock and our founders had a desire to build something big in rust, and so Proof of History was born. We assembled, and day after day, week after week, month after month, rebuilt blockchain from the ground up for scale. Now, we’re at a point where we’ve been able to prove the performance of the network in real-world conditions and are imminently ready to launch. However, the credit for being able to get to where we are sits not only with our engineering team, but also our validator community. Those who have spent their resources, time and effort working with us tirelessly to help us identify issues and stress-test our network. This week we’d love to highlight one of the teams who have been critical to our success — stakefish.

stakefish have been an instrumental driving force of the Proof of Stake ecosystem with a storied history. With a notorious rise to fame after successfully executing a large-scale sybil attack on the first-ever incentivized testnet — Game of Stakes — hosted by the team at Cosmos. More recently launching grant.fish, an innovative way to sustainably fund new project teams to contribute to the blockchain ecosystem.

They were one of the earlier participants that supported our goal of delivering a novel scalability solution and helped us get off the ground once our incentivized testnet first launched in 2019, and plan to continue that effort well into the future. Aside from having an extremely talented team delivering enterprise-grade security who are passionate about the future of decentralized networks, they also have deep knowledge of the commercials of staking. Knowledge which has been cemented through experience, that we’ve drawn on time and time again when designing our incentivized testnet, when we’re looking to identify what we can be doing better to have a healthy and sustainable validator ecosystem.

About stakefish

stakefish is the leading staking service provider for blockchain projects. stakefish’s founder Wang Chun has previously co-founded F2Pool, the biggest Bitcoin and Ethereum mining pool. He recognized the importance of strong infrastructure for blockchains and wanted to support all networks leveraging his expertise in the field. He has gathered team members from different industries with deep expertise in their respective fields. They practice decentralization by being a globally distributed team from day one.

stakefish’s journey started with winning the Game of Stakes (the first major incentivized testnet conducted for Cosmos). Since then, they have expanded to support Tezos, Cosmos, Chainlink, Algorand, Kusama, Loom Network, The OAN, Kava, IRIS Network, Edgeware, Storj and Band Protocol. Their primary focus is to provide fair opportunities for everyone who wants to participate in the staking economy. Additionally, they are actively creating tools, building up the community and providing educational content for stakers.

The stakefish team was excited with Solana’s novel approach to creating a high-performance blockchain. They have introduced multiple innovations, with Proof of History being the most notable, which speaks to the team’s technical prowess. They are also kind-hearted and mindful of community members, taking the extra step to make sure to respect and reward all contributors to Solana.

If you are a validator looking to be featured in our weekly series, please contact austin@solana.com

Links

Two years ago Solana didn’t exist. We simply had an idea for a trustless clock and our founders had a desire to build something big in rust, and so Proof of History was born. We assembled, and day after day, week after week, month after month, rebuilt blockchain from the ground up for scale. Now, we’re at a point where we’ve been able to prove out the performance of the network in real-world conditions and are imminently ready to launch. However, the credit for being able to get to where we are sits not only with our engineering team, but also our validator community. Those who have spent their resources, time and effort working with us tirelessly to help us identify issues and stress-test our network. This week we’d love to highlight one of the teams who have been critical to our success — Node-A-Team.

Based out of Korea, the Node-A-Team had been interested in getting involved in Solana for quite some time, and finally managed to get a hold of us when we were in Korea in late 2019. Since then they’ve been proactively contributing not only to the Solana ecosystem across our various testnets, but by also building some amazing tooling. One of the key challenges in gearing up for mainnet was ensuring that validators understood the responsibilities of validating on a network, and being responsive against any issues that arise. So they developed a telegram bot that actively tracked the status of every validator on the network, monitoring critical details, and even open-sourced it to our entire community.

For some, it may not be that surprising that they managed to bring this together that quickly. Why? Well that’s because Node-A-Team are also the ones that won the Cosmos Seoul #HackATOM back in 2019. They’ve also been securely running a validator with not just Cosmos but also for Irisnet and Terra for quite some time now. As a result we’re extremely excited to have them so deeply involved with Solana as well, and that they’ll be part of the validator set supporting Solana’s recent Mainnet Beta launch.

About Node-A Team

Node A-Team is a Proof of Stake validator service based in South Korea. They have been a participant as a POS validator since 2018, during Cosmos testnet days. Ever since those days, the team has been focused on creating the most efficient and secure infrastructure, where anyone could safely delegate their crypto assets without the risk of downtime or slashing.

For Node A-Team, choosing a blockchain to participate as a validator is a meticulous task. From technical aspects to token economy, the team studies all possible aspects of each blockchain before deciding to join as a validator. As a result, Node A-Team chooses only about 1 out of 10 blockchain that they research.

Encountering Solana was an extraordinary event for the team, as Solana seemed like a more than just qualified blockchain. CEO of Node A-Team, Michael Kim thinks of Solana as below:

“Many projects that we have experienced as a validator are in progress of a greater achievement. But, it is difficult to numerically measure these progress and achievements. Solana team has been one of the best teams in making this extremely transparent by actively communicating with the network participants to tackle problems and enhance features more quickly to deliver the most performant blockchain. “
– Michael Kim, CEO of Node A-Team

Currently, Node A-Team is a validator for 8 live networks, including Solana, Cosmos Hub, IRISnet, Terra, Kava, IOV, E-Money and Orbit Chain. For these networks, the team has delivered tools to enable secure monitoring and validator node operations, such as Telegram Alarm for Solana.

The journey of Node A-Team is still on-going to explore the unexplored areas of Proof of Stake blockchains. They plan to participate in more networks as a validator to help them build a secure network, where anyone can safely delegate their crypto assets without any concerns.

Links


Bison Trails

Two years ago Solana didn’t exist. We simply had an idea for a trustless clock and a desire to build something big in rust; from that, Proof of History was born. We worked — day after day, week after week, month after month — and rebuilt blockchain from the ground up for scale. We’ve been able to prove the performance of the network in real-world conditions and our launch is imminent.

Getting to this point was not only due to our tremendous engineering team but also to our validator community. Those teams who have spent their resources, time, and effort working with us to identify issues and stress-test our network. This week we’re highlighting one team who has been critical to our success: Bison Trails.

Solana’s scaling solution for blockchain capitalizes on improvements in hardware and bandwidth. Because of our unique approach, the upfront and on-going resources required to participate as a validator in the Solana network can be more demanding than other protocols. Bison Trails’ enterprise-grade infrastructure is up to the task. And while the infrastructure is complex, the process is not. Bison Trails has built a platform focused on allowing anyone to easily spin up a secure, enterprise-grade validator. Our teams’ connection, however, goes beyond infrastructure. We are both determined to do everything we can to expand the blockchain ecosystem as a whole. We’re engaged in opportunities such as the Libra Association, where Bison Trails is one of the founding members, and Solana is one of the first teams to integrate Libra’s Move VM.

If you’re a Solana token holder, you can run your own validators or delegate to the Bison Trails validator at mainnet launch. As additional features like archiver clients and storage rent come online, Bison Trails customers will be able to run additional infrastructure to secure the network and earn participatory rewards.

Bison Trails has worked with Solana for over a year, from running one of the first nodes in all testnets and incentivized testnets to deploying infrastructure on both physical hardware and in the cloud. Bison Trails is thrilled to provide a platform that runs enterprise-grade infrastructure and is uniquely positioned to support Solana’s token holders and network participants in running nodes.

“The Solana team has been ruthlessly executing against their roadmap over the past few months and it’s truly impressive! We’re looking forward to the high transaction chain and new products and services it will unlock for the future of blockchain technology” — JoeLallouz, CEO of Bison Trails

Bison Trails: Pioneering Blockchain Infrastructure™

Bison Trails is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service company, based in New York City, specifically focused on blockchain participation. They built a platform for anyone who wants to participate in new chains effortlessly without having to invest time and resources into developing any of the engineering, protocol, dev ops, or security competencies in-house. Bison Trails’ goal is for the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish by providing robust infrastructure for the pioneers of tomorrow.

Contact Bison Trails to learn more about their enterprise-grade blockchain infrastructure or running Solana Nodes on the Bison Trails platform.


Figment Networks

Two years ago Solana didn’t exist. We simply had an idea for a trust-less clock and our founders had a desire to build something big in rust, and so Proof of History was born. We assembled, and day after day, week after week, month after month, rebuilt blockchain from the ground up for scale. Now, we’re at a point where we’ve been able to prove the performance of the network in real-world conditions and are imminently ready to launch. However, the credit for being able to get to where we are sits not only with our engineering team, but also our validator community. They have spent their resources, time and effort working with us tirelessly to help us identify issues and stress-test our network. This week we’d love to highlight one of the teams who have been critical to our success — Figment Networks.

Figment Networks is now a household name in the validator ecosystem, having been actively involved within the Cosmos ecosystem, rapidly expanding to support a large swath of other protocols, and most recently being the recipient of a grant from the Web3 Foundation. We’re humbled to have had them actively participate in the Solana network over the past several months. Their involvement has enabled us to quickly iterate on the protocol and simulate real-world conditions post-launch. They also bring to the table:

  • Their experience in governance in various other protocols and passion for decentralization which we believe will help steer the Solana community during its critical phases post-launch
  • Their expertise and knowledge in developing tooling and infrastructure for validators, token holders and developers alike, exemplified through the success of the Hubble.

If you’d like to learn more, we were recently hosted by their team to conduct an AMA together with our CEO Anatoly Yakovenko here.

About Figment Networks

Figment Networks provides infrastructure, software, and governance solutions for Proof of Stake Networks. Co-founders Matt Harrop, Lorien Gabel, and Andrew Cronk have 25+ years of experience building and scaling internet infrastructure. Figment Networks currently provides enterprise-grade delegation services on 12 live networks and is actively participating in a variety of testnets, including Solana.

“We’ve been impressed with Solana’s ability to tackle hard problems and bounce back when facing previously unforeseen challenges. The design and results of Solana’s adversarial testnet has enabled the Solana team to methodically ramp up the quality and security of their upcoming mainnet.”

Yannick Folla, Business Development Manager at Figment Networks

Figment Networks is also a leader in software development for Proof of Stake protocols. Their staking platform, Hubble, is utilized by a multitude of networks, including Tezos, Cosmos, and Kava.

Figment Networks also understands the importance of governance within these networks. They launched the Cosmos Governance Working Group in December and will be leading a governance community education campaign with Livepeer.

Figment Networks exists within the entire lifecycle of Proof of Stake networks. They help in the testing process, they secure networks via their infrastructure, they build software tools to increase adoption and usability of networks, and they are active participants in network governance.

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