The 28th of February was a special day. After nearly 3 months of running our validators for the Celo Stake Off, the winners were announced and we won with overwhelming numbers.
Congratulations to everyone! In particular a shout out to our first place winner, ChainLayer. Not only did they achieve the highest number of raw BTUs of any participant, but they passed the Attestations Challenge and received full points on the Master Validator Challenge.
Some key numbers:
- We ran a total of 8 validators (out of 120 total), more than any other participant
- We had a 100% score on our audit, including an average 99.67% Lynis score
- We were the only validator to use the Celo contract kit to slash multiple validators for downtime
The Stake Off was extremely intense but a lot of fun! To keep your validators elected you needed to pay attention to the number of votes your group(s) had. Some validators even went so far to build scripts to automate the voting!
Because we already had experience with Alfajores and we spend enough time on Baklava before the Leaderboard started we were able to perfect and automate our setup before the race really began. That made us start our first validator only an hour in the game.
As it was on testnet, it wasn’t completely bug-free. The Celo team worked hard to help out there. One such bug was the famous preprepare bug that hit a lot of validators. It basically killed your validator until you restarted it. Unfortunately, the cause of it is still undetermined but when we were hit by it we found out that running the validator on bare metal instead of a VM solved the issue completely for us.
When we were hit by the bug, the rewards were shut down for a few days with elections getting stuck. In that time we migrated our setup to bare metal and from the moment the rewards continued we didn’t experience any issues luckily. We’re looking forward to help solve that bug on the next Baklava testnet.
The audit was organized by Celo and Multisig, a blockchain security consulting company.
We audited a total of 56 validators. 36 validators received an audit score of 80 or more and received the “Master Validator” badge. The highest score any team received was 130 and the lowest was 20.
The audit team did an excellent job performing so many audits in only 9 days! Since we run all our validators and testnet by our internal high standards we were able to score a maximum of 130 points. We had to solve a few Lynis points that posed risks we normally mitigate in different ways, but we also encountered a few points we will integrate into our other setups as well to further our security.
What is Lynis? Lynis is an extensively tested security tool for systems running Linux, macOS, or Unix-based operating systems.
It was an exciting race where we had to:
- Spin up new validators (total of 8)
- Stress-test our security architecture
- Collaborate with other validators to get the necessary votes
- Eventually, winning the Stake Off!
The Celo validator community is great and we are looking forward to seeing them again on mainnet!
ChainLayer is a Blockchain Infrastructure and Staking provider based in The Netherlands. We offer staking services and Chainlink Nodes to our customers.