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Theta Validator Node stake requirement lowered to 200k THETA in upcoming Theta version 3.3 — FAQs and setup instruction

Theta blockchain v3.3 will go into effect with a hard fork set for block height 14526120, ~12pm PT on Monday March 14. This upgrade lowers the Validator Node staking threshold from 2m to 200k THETA, allowing more users to run VNs and further decentralizing the Theta protocol. You can find the source code for Theta v3.3 below, as well as answers to FAQs about this update and instructions to set up a VN.

https://github.com/thetatoken/theta-protocol-ledger/releases/tag/v3.3.0

How many validator nodes can run on Theta blockchain?

Currently, there is a maximum of 31 validators that can run at one time. This limit can in theory be increased to ~100 before communications latency becomes a barrier. After further testing and observation, the 31 node limit may be increased.

What is the difference between a validator node and a guardian node?

In the Theta blockchain, Validator Nodes propose and produce new blocks in the chain, while Guardian Nodes seal blocks and act as a check on malicious or otherwise non-functional Validator Nodes. Guardian nodes play important roles to protect the security of the Theta blockchain as they form a second layer defense against potential malicious attackers.

Is there are difference in TFUEL earnings between a VN and GN?

There is no difference between the two node types in the rate of TFUEL earned for a given amount of THETA staked.

Why should I run a VN instead of a GN?

The partners currently running Validator Nodes like Sony, Google, Sony, and CAA have a strategic interest in the security and success of Theta blockchain, and run nodes to help further decentralization of Theta blockchain. Similarly, we see many in Theta community that have the same interest and have expressed an interest in participating as a validator. There is no direct extra incentive to run a validator node vs. a guardian node.

How can I run a VN?

Theta is a permissionless blockchain, which means anyone can run a Validator node without approval from the Theta Labs. Running a VN must be done from the command line and will not have an app/GUI version, as it’s expected that users running a VN have a greater degree of experience in operating blockchain nodes. You can find instructions in the Theta Docs site.

Recommended minimum Validator Node hardware specs:

Memory: 32GB RAM
CPU: 8 cores
Disk: 2TB SSD
Network: 200Mbps symmetric commercial network

Important Note: Please do NOT replicate/mirror the same validator (i.e. use the same private key for multiple nodes) on multiple machines. This is because multiple VN instances with the same private key may propose conflicting blocks for the same height, which is considered as a malicious behavior and may lead to penalty in the future when stake slashing is implemented.

What happens if more than 31 VNs are running?

When there are more than 31 nodes staked as validators, only the 31 nodes with the highest number of THETA staked are eligible for proposing and voting for new blocks. The remaining nodes are considered candidate which neither propose nor vote for new blocks, and do not receive staking rewards.

Why lower the minimum stake from 2m to 200k?

The original 2m limit was set when the THETA token price was approximately 95% less than the current price. At the current THETA price is has become much more costly for new validators to come online, so in the interest of continuing to add validators and move to a more decentralized model of blockchain governance, the limit has been lowered.

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Creators of the Theta Network and THETA.tv — see www.ThetaLabs.org for more info!

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