Frequently Asked Questions
What is proof-of-stake (POS)?
Proof-of-stake is a type of consensus mechanism that is used by blockchain networks where validator nodes are responsible for checking and confirming blocks of cryptocurrency transactions.
What is a validator?
Validators are responsible for keeping track of all network transactions, ongoing checks for valid and honest cryptocurrency transactions to be committed as blocks in the blockchain, thus participating in the creation and maintenance of a reliable and secure distributed ledger of transactions.
In POS consensus networks, validators are required to delegate tokens they own (self-bonded delegation) to act as “stake” and run specialized servers and hardware.
Validators receive rewards with newly “minted” tokens for dedicating their network bandwidth and computing power to verify and validate honest transactions in the blockchain.
Validators may also be punished for failure of their duties - a portion of their self-bonded delegation gets “slashed” if they allow false or incorrect transactions to go through, or if they fail to validate blocks within a specified amount of time (e.g. hardware failure, network downtime)
Validators are therefore incentivized to be good actors in securing the blockchain.
What is ‘staking’?
The weight of validators is determined by the amount of staking tokens (NOMs) that are bonded as collateral. These tokens can be self-delegated by the validator or delegated to the validator by other NOM holders.
What is a ‘delegator’?
Delegators are holders of NOM who would like to participate in securing the blockchain network by delegating their NOM to a validator for bonding, without needing to run a validator themselves.
The delegated (“staked”) NOM is locked for a 21 day cool-down period.
Delegators receive NOM rewards that are part of the validator’s revenue in exchange. The validator takes a pre-set commission for their services that helps to pay for the costs of running specialized hardware and network bandwidth costs.
Is there a cooldown period when I undelegate my NOM?
You can undelegate whenever you want but there is a cool-down period of 21 days before your delegated NOM becomes unbonded. After that you can withdraw your NOMs back to your wallet.
How safe are my tokens?
Your wallet belongs to you is secured by a private key that you access with the mnemonic secret words. You must ensure that you keep them safe and never disclose them to anyone.
Your delegated NOM are owned by you, and you can always undelegate your staked NOM even when any validator stops working or becomes ‘jailed’ for some reason.