Polkadot Staking Update: July 2022

Polkadot Decoded keynotes, nomination pool updates, validator entities, and more

See the full list of monthly staking updates here. These updates have been written by Kian Paimani and Ross Bulat from Parity Technologies. Reach out to us for any comment or feedback!

Staking Presentations at Polkadot Decoded

The biggest Polkadot event of the year happened in multiple locations worldwide in late June, and there were 3 main talks discussing the cutting edge initiatives of Polkadot staking.

The recordings of these talks are now publicly available on Youtube:

Nomination Pools and The Story of The Polkadot’s NPoS , by Kian Paimani

Polkadot Staking Dashboard Demo, by Ross Bulat

Recommending Validators Using an Active Learning Algorithm, by Jonas Gehrlein

Nomination Pools Bug Fixes Update

A number of bugs were found in nomination pools during their test-run on Kusama — all of which have now been fixed in Substrate master and are awaiting to be deployed on Kusama again, proposed for the next release.

The most notable of these bugs are:

Once a release, including these two, is merged and working well on Kusama for some period of time, we can propose that governance merge the pending pull request to add nomination pools to Polkadot.

To facilitate those who are interested in building on top of nomination pools:

  1. There’s a dedicated Github project for nomination pools now.
  2. There’s a dedicated element room for support and discussion.

Notable Contributors

Thinking about contributing? Look for issues in the Substrate repo with the mentor tag, or the NPoS and Elections project, or the new Nomination Pools project. All successful contributions will get an on-chain tip initiated by the Parity staking team.

Also, if you are interested in contributing long-term, there’s a “Staking / PoS Engineer” position available at Parity Technologies, targeting exactly those who will contribute to the staking system.

Staking Dashboard Updates

Validator Community Page Now Live: Add Yours Now!

The Polkadot staking dashboard (beta) recently launched on Polkadot.network and is already generating thousands of visits each week. With this in mind, we would like validators to benefit from this new app and the potentials it is unlocking as early as possible.

We are taking our first steps towards doing so today.

We are excited to announce that validators can now utilize the dashboard and add themselves to the new community page.

The community page is a new initiative to promote the visibility of not only validator nodes, but the entities and individuals behind the nodes that ensure their uptime and maintenance.

We are referring to these crucially important validator operators as “validator entities”.

If you run validators on Polkadot, you are eligible to add your entity. Let’s explore entities in more detail.

About Validator Entities

As a validator entity, you can host:

  • A custom avatar to reflect your identity and brand
  • Contact details: currently supports an email address, twitter handle and website URL
  • A short bio of who you are, limited to 300 characters or less.
  • And, crucially, a list of validator nodes that you are managing.

The entity details will appear on the community page. The entity’s bio can be opened in an overlay, and the list of validators are displayed by clicking the entity’s Validators button.

Clicking the Validators button will open a subsection of the page that only displays details for that particular entity:

This list of an entity’s validators uses the same components used in the main validator list, with pagination, filters, identity syncing, favorite toggling, and metrics all supported; there are no compromises with validator entity lists.

Ensuring Fairness

Validator entities are shuffled every time someone visits the dashboard, so there is no preference or bias towards a particular entity.

In addition, the validator nodes themselves are shuffled every time they are visited, for the same reasons.

Validator Entity Setup Instructions

To add your entity, just submit a PR on the staking dashboard’s Github repo. Within your PR, simply provide an avatar SVG and add your details to a JSON file.

Detailed instructions on how to add a validator entity are documented in the dashboard’s Readme document on Github, found here.

Next Steps

With this month’s update the aim is to spread the word of this new feature, hoping that a vibrant list of validator entities will be added in the near future.

We are keen to expand the community page itself with ordering and filtering functionality as adoption increases.

As always, feedback and suggestions are always welcome. You can easily post feedback on the Feedback section of the dashboard.

Lastly, reach out to Ross for additional assistance at ross@parity.io

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Ross Bulat

Ross Bulat

Programmer and Author. @ Parity Technologies, JKRB Investments