The second validator period will kick off on block 3328800. That should be happening around the 8th of July, 2020.
The auction was a success, and we now have a new validator set that consists of 26 slots. This new set will replace the old set at the block height mentioned above. All the new validators should have their nodes up and running before the fork block is reached.
There’s a quickstart script for new validators to get started with their node. Those already running a node as a part of the current validator set will only need to update their nodes. The watchtower component allows auto-updates for those that have them enabled; others will need to do a manual update. Again, all the new validators should be ready to start sealing blocks as soon as the fork takes place. If you're not set up in time, you might lose out on block rewards, and the block times on TLBC can increase.
Getting started as a validator is easy
We want to urge everyone to get ready; it's really easy. There is a quickstart script that will install and start all the necessary components for you. The script guides you along the way during the setup, and you'll be ready to go.
You can also check out our “How to Install a Trustlines Node for Laika Testnet” video to get a general idea of what the set up requires.
The validator components also include some optional ones. Still, we suggest you also run them for the benefit of the ecosystem.
The individual components included in the setup are
- A node for the Trustlines Blockchain itself
- The netstats client to report the node state to https://netstats.tlbc.trustlines.foundation (optional)
- A monitor that checks if the validators act honestly (optional)
- The bridge between Ethereum and the Trustlines Blockchain (only ran by validators)
- Also possible to set up a node for Ethereum (required for bridge to function)
The quickstart script
You will need to be running an Ubuntu-based distro on your machine for the quickstart script to work correctly. The quickstart script will set up the TLBC node and the monitor service as well as the optional bridge and netstats clients. It allows importing a private key to act as a validator. It will also start a watchtower to update the Docker containers when newer versions become available automatically (e.g., for bug fixes or network forks). If the optional bridge is chosen to be installed, it will allow you to set up an Ethereum node as well to operate the bridge.
The quickstart script can be found at quickstart.tlbc.trustlines.foundation. You can download it or execute as a one-line command with
bash <(curl -L quickstart.tlbc.trustlines.foundation)
The script is interactive and will ask you which components you wish to set up. Once complete, the various parts will run in the background in the form of Docker containers. Configuration and chain data can be found in the tlbc directory placed in the current working directory. It is possible to customize the setup by editing the configuration files. This goes for the configuration of the different components and the composition of the Docker containers. If an optional component has not been set up on an earlier run, it can be added later by executing the quickstart script again.
Executing the script again is safe. No configuration will be overridden without asking, in case the user made changes to them themselves. If conflicting configuration updates occur, they are shown to the user who can see a diff of the changes.
Manual installation is also possible and is available in GitHub. The chain spec file will include the validator set as well as the fork block.
Based on the experiences we've had, we recommend at least 4GB of memory and 20GB of SSD storage.
Validators should make sure their node has a high uptime. Otherwise, they miss out on potential block rewards and harm the network by increasing the average block intervals and time to finality.
For block validation and creation, it is essential to make sure your host system has the correct time configuration. On most systems, this should be the case by default. You can check the settings with timedatectl (look for "System clock synchronized: yes").
For validators, it is crucial to back up their private key safely. If you lose your key, you won't be able to produce any blocks, earn block rewards, or withdraw your stake once it is unlocked.
Furthermore, it is advisable to keep the number of funds stored in the validator account small by regularly sending the newly earned rewards to a different account (e.g., a cold wallet stored on a different machine).
Earning block rewards
The validators will be sealing and producing blocks in a round-robin fashion. Each one gets its turn sequentially. If a validator node is offline and inactive, it will take some time for the sequence to move onto the next validator. This can cause some delays in producing blocks.
A validator currently gets 3 TLC per block produced as a block reward. The blocks can also include additional rewards paid in the form of transaction fees.
Since the beginning of the Trustlines Blockchain, the validators will have gained about 9,986,400 TLC from the block rewards. A similar number is expected to be done in the second validator period.
So get set up and start your nodes!
We look forward to seeing validators coming online and wish everyone all the best with the second validator period.
Trustlines ecosystem is growing
For technical discussions and questions, join the Trustlines Community Gitter.