melea crypto
Nov 12 · 15 min read

How to choose a validator and nominate |Substrate | Polkadot | Kusama|[easy guide]

Polkadot Wiki Nominator

Hola, Libertarians

Today we are going to explain in a serious way and with pics, how you can start doing Compounding by the method of nominating or staking in the Substrate software that covers Polkadot and Kusama and comes from the hand of Parity

The first thing you should know is that you do not need to install any software if it is something that worries you.

https://polkadot.js.org/

Yep, in this life, sometimes, certain individuals help to have a less complicated life.

We will also teach you how to use the tools you have at your fingertips to analyze which is the best validator for your tastes.

This is the UIhttps://polkadot.js.org/apps/#/explorer

The first thing you should do is open it in settings

https://polkadot.js.org/apps/#/settings

Here you must select which network you want to connect to, you can go back here and change the network as many times as you want, but you should know that each account must correspond to the selected network, for example, if I have an account for Polkadot; I must use the Polkadot network and that account, but if I want to drive with the Kusama network I must create an account for Kusama or use a Kusama account while UI is connected to the Kusama network.

This is because Polkadot / Kusama / Substrate Chains, are totally independent networks from each other but that you can manage via this wonderful application via a web browser.

Close this banner and go, later can open the account.

Select your network

Note: Local node and how can use this feature to your own network or the commons networks but connected to your own node.

Kusama / Polkadot / Substrate connect UI with our node

For this example, we are going to select the Kusama network and explain why nominate validators from melea team are probably your best call.

Pick up one.
Save & Reload

TIP click in the logo

1 time = menu

2 Times = Select network

Ok, now that you are well connected, go to Accounts

https://polkadot.js.org/apps/#/accounts

Keep these words in a safe place, anyone with these words can recreate your account, it is the only way to regain access to your account if you lose it.

if you want to create the account more securely you can use Subkey or polkadot{.js} extension

polkadot{.js} extension
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8JLfFKBaaM&feature=emb_logo

Open 2 accounts one called Stash other called Controller

For explain in a fast way, Stash account is your Safe-Box and the Controller account is like your hot-wallet, the two accounts need Tokens for operating, save your funds in the stash account and operate the delegation and the validation with the controller account.

Remember: Safe the backup and copy the seed to recover the account when is needed

Repeat the same for the controller account

From here needs Tokens for play Governance or Nominate

(Today because transfers are disabled, you can use only one account, the same account for controller and stash)

In the stash account, we will store most of the funds and in the controller account only a few to pay the fees and perform the actions that the stash account wants to perform on the network like nominate for example.

If you are looking for claim Kusama here the Guide


After get tokens, go to Staking

Validators 100/100

It means that there are 100 validators available validating and you can choose up MAX to 16 Validators to nominate for each stash account.

You can choose several validators but not the amount allocated to each one.

https://wiki.polkadot.network/docs/en/learn-staking#validators-and-nominators

What do the UI numbers mean?

Waiting 39: Number of validators queued

Last block: it is the last block in the UI node

Epoch: It consists of 2400 blocks, approx 4 Hours.

Era: It consists of 14400 blocks, approx 24 hours.

One Era = 6 Epoch

How works the Epoch for nominating?

Example:

Epoch 1: Nominate Validator A

Epoch 2: Validator A received the nominations from the Epoch: 1 but is not active for validating in this era.

Epoch 3: Validator A starts to validate with the total nomination from epoch 2.

Epoch 4: Bond more stake, nominate more.

Epoch 5: Validator note received new delegations in this Epoch.

Epoch 6: Validator gets new nominations from the Epoch: 4.

So, If start nominate here

when this epoch finishes this actual 2400/2400, and finish the next epoch again 2400/2400, and just when start the next epoch 1/2400 is when your nomination starts working.

How can I select a nominator if I have no idea?

In this NPOS blockchain if your validator is slashed meanwhile you are nominating his node, instead, win tokens, your tokens are going to experiment one cut in your part, for nominating this validator when was slashed.

A validator can be slashed by losing blocks, by reporting offline, or for irresponsible behavior such as not performing a software security update, and more.

Slashed events looks like

Having clear the part that you can lose part of your stake if you do not choose your validator well or simply by bad luck, we will give you some tips and explain the tools at your disposal so you know how to use them.

Once you have decided to choose a validator, let’s see what he has to offer us to convince us that he is a good validator.

Probably a good validator looks like.

Ok, you know I’m a good validator because you hear things, I write manuals, but the truth is, how is this reflected in the tools at your fingertips?

Tools to chose one Validator Service:

UI and Telemetry = real and truthful information about Validators

It is very important that your first rule about choosing a validator is for his current good records on the chain.

This information is available in two main sources, the UI (user interface) or Telemetry the blockchain browser

The UI

https://polkadot.js.org/apps/#/staking = your best friend when you want plays with Substrate blockchains.

Here Validators is the list of the 100 Validators nodes and how they are working currently each one.

This explained

MELEA-VALIDATOR: Is the Account name

bonded: 1.114 KSM (+11,318,000 KSM → From nominators) Is total KSM Kusama tokens nominates to this Validator → eleven thousand three hundred eighteen

commission 0: Validator rewards, It can be changed by the validator at his convenience.

era points 640: This should interest for you, the more [era points] your validator has, the more you earn.

Each epoch contains 2400 blocks between 100 validators = 24 Blocks each validator for every epoch.

1 Block is 20 Era Points.

24 Block for one Validator is the normal number of blocks per epoch.

Here in this pic era points is 640, which means this validator made 32 Blocks this represents 8 Blocks more than a normal Validator need to do.

Why this validator gets more era points that other Validators when the epoch finished at block 2400?

This is where the availability of the validator and its speed of response play a very important role=

Latency matters and Telemetry know it

This is the latency from the nodes of melea here you can check the better latency = more Blocks and more blocks = more era points.

The data on telemetry shows time passed from when creating the Block #616,461 is 0ms to the last of our nodes 827ms, all the propagation was in less 1 second, and the time form the nodes in the last blocks it is within the good average below 6 seconds, maintaining good connection with other nodes, but you should know that this time is variable and depends on the other nodes of the network at the same time. But a good server configuration, geographical location, and more details are what will help the validators to present better times.

If one validator is offline or can get the block on time, this block and his 20 era point are for another validator that is online and available for doing the job, for that reason, some Validators get more or fewer era points that others.

Keep in mind that each epoch, the era points can vary from having some more or some less, the important thing is that you know that now there are 2400 blocks an epoch, between 100 validators results in 24 blocks for each Validator totaling a total of 480 era points at the end of each epoch, if your validator is between this average all the time, he is doing a very good job, because he loses almost no blocks or does not lose at all, while if he receives more, he does so well that he can take care to catch the blocks that others lose or fail to do.


You want to learn more about the blocks and time of the validators?

Telemetry= the all-seeing eye

https://telemetry.polkadot.io/

Can navigate the networks you want to see in each moment on the tabs.

Best Block and Finalized blocks are part same blockchain, the Average Time and Last block are part of the latency of the network producing and propagating the blocks among all validators.

https://telemetry.polkadot.io

Telemetry is the explorer for the Substrate based chains,

A starting point is to watch telemetry, you can open it and write directly the name of a validator after it has caught your attention or has already spoken to you about it, or you are simply looking for it

melea nodes

What do all these moving numbers mean?

Nodes Names and publics servers

Here you can see that melea are running more than 8 nodes in the network because 8 are visible and some of them have hidden telemetry such as our validators, the validators can not see them in Telemetry because they are hidden from the network for greater security. Telemetry is one option that can be deactivated.

Software Version

Here can see what version for the software is running each node for this team. The software has to be the same and the last software recommended for the dev team. You can see the different versions on telemetry and is a very good point of start if one Validator service is running different versions or old versions, it is not looking good.

If not have nodes on telemetry or only one node, make your own conclusions about. In the end are your coins.

Next

Nodes Connected | Task | CPU | Memory | Last Block

Nodes Connected: the nodes connected to this node.

Task: If you have a work queue or are getting the job done well. the best is zero or a decreasing number, but a high or frozen number is never good

CPU & Memory: are the resources, they should not be at full.

Last Block: the last block in each node and the last block At the top of Telemetry has to be the same. Also, all the nodes have to be sync the last block fine. This is a good signal.

Finalized Block | Bloc average time | Block propagation

Finalized Block: the last block in each node and the last block finalized at the top of Telemetry has to be the same. Also, all the nodes have to be sync the last finalized block fine. This is another good signal.

Bloc average time: It is an average working time of the node handling the blocks, it must be between 6 seconds and down

Block propagation: The time it takes for the node to parallel the block to another node. A time between 0ms and 999ms means that the node receives and passes the block in less than a second, and it is a very good mark.

Ok, until now you know how to create an account in the UI and how to interpret telemetry to know which validator can be a good option.

It is important that you know how to interpret these numbers because you can trust but always verifying on Telemetry that the information is truthful, is better than just believing in a website or that someone tells you something about how great it is his validator service.

Expectations vs Reality

So far you have your two accounts created a stash, another controller the two accounts have tokens and you have investigated well which are the best validators to do staking via Nominating. (Today because transfers are disabled, you can use only one account, the same account for controller and stash, then when transfers open, can set up 2 different accounts)

Now you can proceed to the next step of becoming a nominator.

Back to the UI where the magic can be executed
https://polkadot.js.org/apps/#/staking

Account actions

New Stake

The value bonded

Represent how much tokens from the Stash account want to play for a stake → Nominate action in the Controller account

When stake or nominate get rewards, this rewards and where go and what to do is selected here

When (Increase the amount at stake) = Compound interest

BOND

Now is like this

Arrived here you can Validate or Nominate a Validator

Here the 6 tokens Bonded from the Stash account to your Controller account is the amount for play, can bound more when you like in the bottom

https://polkadot.js.org/apps/#/staking/actions

Nominating

Copy the STASH address of the validator, but NEVER the “Controller” account, you can copy and paste it or select from the list

Here the melea Validators that you can nominate right now on the Kusama Network and get rewards.

1.-MELEA
CdEm1ErGKML3waXabLvn3NyqdAGXBQJVngLaM86YM5Yb9dr
2.-MELEA-VALIDATOR
E3YV13RQNELEH1Tbqp2SPkFzirJ8u6rzraTuetDgUDLT4Xd
3.-MELEA-SOON4.-MELEA-SOON

The invalid account does not appear in the drop-down.

If after copying and pasting it does not appear to select the account from the drop-down, it is because it is not correct. It should appear next to identicono as well.

A valid account appears to select it.

Once the first validator is selected, you can add more in the same way, up to a maximum of 16 Validators.

You can choose several validators but not the amount allocated to each one.

Once selected → press Nominate

Once reviewed it is correct → Sing and Submit

Welcome to the nominator side

Now can see your account and your 4 lucky validators

https://polkadot.js.org/apps/#/staking/actions

Here you can handle your nominations

Attentive here.

If want to add more validators must re-select the old (if you like do that) and the new ones and send the new transaction, that is, if I am nominating 4 and I want to add 2 new ones, I must select 6 and send the TX, so

6 validators instead of 4 now
Now I can see that you are only the 6 I have confirmed in the last TX.

NOTE: If only want to change validators and not add the old ones, just have to send the TX with those want and only these will be your new validators.

How works the nomination process

  • Can nominate from 1 to 16 Validators
  • Stash account only can or nominate or validate, only one action for a stash account.
  • The nominator can change nominations to other validators, add more or cut some from your validators list.
  • The nominator can change from nominating to validate with the same stash account.
  • After unbound AkA stop nominate the tokens or bounds founds are available to transfers or nominate again after 7 days. These seven days no rewards for this unbound unlocked period penalty.
  • If you nominate Alice in this actual epoch lets call epoch-1, then Alice is going to enjoy your nominations in the next epoch, epoch-2, then if you bound more tokens for nominate in epoch-3, this new nomination is going to start in the next epoch-4.
  • If change for validator A to Validator B then when you are with validator B you can be slashed in this first epoch with Validator B for what your validator A did in the last epoch meanwhile was on your validator list.

AKA Nominating

I repeat to nominate, you need the STASH account of the validator or validators that you want to support, if you selected 1 or 16 validators, the amount linked for each Stake will not be in equal parts, there is an algorithm that is responsible for distributing the stake in order that the poorest validator on the list will get more stake than the richest validator, in this way he distributes the nominations for you efficiently and helps the decentralization of the network and avoid disproportionate and alien validators, so you cannot select the amount of stake for each one, this is automated and you can see it after nominating, not before.

Yes, it sounds incredible and it is. Want more?

One more thing to keep in mind in the blockchains based on Substrate, they do not reward a validator for having more nominations than others, there is no figure of more voting power or more nominations for being the KING on the validator set, this does not apply here.

AkA it is encouraged that the validators run more than one validator node and distribute their stake nominations through more decentralized nodes in the network, than ALL on only one. That is why it is normal for you to see that a validation service instead of operating a single node, is operating several under its same brand or name of the validator. It is the job of the validator to get nominations for these different validators can enter the validation set, they are fair rules and leave everything equally decentralized from only one validating node. The TODO KING does not exist here.

There is no king Validator on Substrate based chains

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade