The Loom Network team has been delivering at a tenacious pace in our quest to build out the tools that will help Ethereum scale and developers create DApps for the masses.
We recently announced our vision for a network of interconnected, high-throughput, shared sidechains. At the core is PlasmaChain, a Layer 2 hub that bridges multiple sidechains to Ethereum, allowing for faster and cheaper token transactions and a more performant chain for developers to deploy their Solidity DApps to.
By using Plasma Cash-based relays to transfer assets across chains, we can maintain the security of Ethereum mainnet, while the DPoS consensus of our sidechains enables increased speed and scalability on Layer 2.
Users can now get the best of both worlds — gas-less transactions and sub-second confirmation times on Loom’s sidechains, and the assurance of having their tokens fully backed by the security of Ethereum mainnet.
Where Are We At?
PlasmaChain officially launched in production this past August, and is currently live with the Loom Marketplace. In no small feat, the Loom engineering and community teams worked their magic once again, delivering nearly 2 million cards to over 1,800 early backers of the game (and releasing the new ERC721x token standard in order to make that happen).
Over the coming months, we will be releasing multiple external testnets to support staking for external validators and begin onboarding third-party developers to deploy their DApps on PlasmaChain.
How Do You Become a Validator?
One of the most important parts of running a DPoS chain is having a diverse set of validators that are held accountable and voted on by the users of the chain.
Many curious minds have already reached out to inquire about the possibility of participating — and we’re flattered. For the rest of you, here’s how the process will work for early testnet validators:
- Let us know you’re interested by filling out this form.
- Complete Loom’s KYC/AML procedures.
- Agree to the terms of the validator node agreement.
- Have the minimum amount of LOOM tokens required to stake (1,250,000 LOOM).
- Get a sign off from Loom Network on hardware specs and configuration.
- Participate in an individual training session with Loom Network on how to set up a production node and connect to the network.
Note: this is only for the initial testnet phase. After the mainnet launches, these initial validators will bootstrap the network into stability, and afterwards token holders will be able to vote for new validators in elections.
It’s not possible to overstate the critical function that validators play in keeping the network honest. To ensure this, your responsibilities as a validator node will include:
- Continuously running the latest and greatest version of the Loom SDK
- Staking LOOM tokens for a period of time
- Complying with Loom validation requirements and specs
- Maintaining properly functioning hardware
- Actively participating in network governance (voting on software upgrades, changes to the fee structure, etc.)
While validation activity during an initial testnet phase typically requires minimal resources, we expect an accelerated bootstrapping of the network given recent milestones and momentum.
As such, we’ll be continuously iterating on precise specs and requirements to find the optimal setup for mainnet and anticipated growth in transaction volumes. At this point, approximate guidelines for testnet validators are outlined below:
- Server and backup server running Loom software (both with firewall)
- Memory: 16GB of RAM, preferably 32GB
- Disk space: 2TB of SSD storage
- CPU: 64-bit
- Processor: 2 cores, 3GHz each
- Network: 1GB fiber
- Hardware security module (HSM) and backup
- Co-location at a top-tier data center; security and 100% uptime are paramount, so redundancy is a must
- An additional backup location operation
- Loom will provide examples and documentation on monitoring and alerting tools, but each validator is responsible for their own instance
- Initially, more frequent upgrades during the testnet phase as the wrinkles are ironed out
- Must stake 1,250,000 LOOM tokens
- Requires a 6-month lock-up period on the staked tokens
- The larger the stake, the larger the validator will be rewarded
Why Run a Node?
Validators don’t propose blocks and verify transactions just for the thrill of it — they get rewarded for their efforts in securing the network. Those that stake tokens and participate will earn dividends from two primary sources:
- LOOM fees that are paid by third-party developers for hosting and running their DApps on PlasmaChain
- Commission fees paid by users on Marketplace transactions, with up to 50% of those fees being paid out to the validator nodes
As our roadmap is very sharply focused on driving usage, trading, and bringing third-party DApps onto the network, we see massive growth potential in those hosting and commission fees. Consider the impact within the context of some specific near-term priorities:
- Zombie Battleground and the Marketplace are already live, with over 1,800 users and nearly 2 million tokens (i.e. cards) purchased and delivered!
- Both the fully-functional game and Marketplace will be released to the public by December — a major influx of new users.
- A bevy of third-party developers are already building on the Loom SDK and waiting to deploy to PlasmaChain (which will also contribute underlying assets to the Marketplace).
- We will soon begin helping our extraordinary community of 285,000+ CryptoZombies users to deploy directly to PlasmaChain.
Early participation is also an opportunity for validators to build their reputation before elections are opened completely to the community, as well as position themselves for early access to GameChain and SocialChain once those support staking.
If you have the deep technical expertise, experience running validator nodes for large-scale networks, and are interested — then fill out this form.
Keep your eyes peeled for more announcements. We will be releasing additional information on the validator process, PlasmaChain, and all the other cool things we have in motion here at Loom Network (GameChain, SocialChain, Zombie Battleground, the Marketplace, Plasma Cash, DelegateCall, and CryptoZombies!)
…speaking of big news, we’re thrilled that a few team members (Matt and Georgios) will be presenting at DevCon next month. They’ll be sharing some undoubtedly awesome PlasmaChain-related updates. So stay tuned!
Loom Network is a platform for building highly scalable DPoS sidechains to Ethereum, with a focus on large-scale games and social apps.
Want more info? Start here.
Want to stake your LOOM tokens and help secure PlasmaChain? Find out how.
Fan of blockchain gaming? Check out Zombie Battleground, the world’s first desktop and mobile card game that runs fully on its own blockchain.
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