SKALE Network offers a sophisticated and highly effective approach to Proof of Stake – it uses a large pooled security model (pooled validation model) in conjunction with random node selection and frequent node rotation to enhance network security. Validators and delegators play a critical role in this approach, ensuring the SKALE Network is scalable, secure, and economically efficient. The SKALE Network also uses containerization and virtualization to turn a single server node into up to 128 virtualized subnodes. This unique network design increases the potential size of the node pool and opens opportunities for network delegators to participate in this growth.

The information in this hub is intended for new token holders who participated in the SKL token launch on ConsenSys Codefi Activate. It's intended to make it easier to understand and meet the Proof of Use requirements that are a fundamental part of the token unlock process.

In this hub you will find:

  1. Important dates & deadlines - including Proof of Use deadlines.
  2. Delegator resources - rewards calculator, staking guide from ConsenSys Codefi Activate, validator economics, etc.
  3. List of confirmed validators - also available via the Activate platform.
  4. Delegator FAQ - this is comprehensive, so if you have a question, it's likely covered.
  5. Brief overview of SKALE's technology - intended specifically for network delegators.
Proof of Use Brief Overview:  Proof of Use is a condition of the SKL token sale on the ConsenSys Codefi Activate platform and requires each participant of the sale to delegate at least 50% of their tokens for a minimum period of  60 days, to one or more approved validators before any tokens can be transferable. During this delegation period, all delegators will be receiving staking rewards for the tokens that have been delegated (a rewards calculator can be found here). Delegation to approved SKALE Network validators can be easily performed using the Activate platform integration.

1. Delegation/Staking - Important Deadlines


September 24, 2020 (9 PM UTC) - Token distribution to public sale participants.

September 28, 2020 - Recommended staking/delegation deadline for public token sale participants.

October 1, 2020 - Phase 2 SKALE Mainnet live, staking live, Proof of Use period begins for tokens that were delegated and confirmed by validators prior to the end of September.

November 30, 2020 - Optional - Undelegate your tokens.

December 1, 2020 - Tokens that have satisfied Proof of Use requirements (at least 50% were staked for minimum 60 days) and which were subsequently undelegated before November 30 become transferable.

Important Note: All times are end of day UTC. All relevant transactions must be processed on the Ethereum Mainnet before the cutoff times.  Please send transactions early and do not wait until the last minute or you risk not getting it mined and recorded to a block in time to meet the deadline.

Full delegation & proof of use timeline (pdf here):

2. Delegator resources


How to delegate:

You can delegate and undelegate your tokens via your account on the Activate platform.

https://activate.codefi.network/skale-network-launch-partner

Rewards calculator:

https://activate.codefi.network/skale-network-launch-partner

Delegation/staking guide:

https://codefi.consensys.net/blog/activate-claiming-and-staking-guide

ConsenSys Activate Staking FAQ:

https://activateteam.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/sections/360007508452-FAQ-SKALE-Staking

SKALE Validator introductions:

https://skale.network/blog/validator-list-for-skale/

Validator economics of the SKALE Network:

https://skale.network/blog/validator-economics/

Activate's Telegram Channel

https://t.me/StakeSKLonActivate

SKALE Token Address

https://etherscan.io/token/0x00c83aecc790e8a4453e5dd3b0b4b3680501a7a7

SKALE technology:

3. Validators available on the Activate platform (& later on Hubble & Anthem)


Available on Activate beginning September 24, 2020:

Will be available on Hubble, Anthem and other platforms later this year (not available on Activate for the Mainnet Phase 2 launch):

NOTE: When considering a validator, please do your own research and diligence. Validators operate their own businesses and are directly responsible to delegators for performance of obligations and duties.

4. Delegation FAQ
 

  • What is the "Proof of Use" requirement on the Activate platform?

Proof of Use is a requirement for ConsenSys Codefi Activate launch participants that necessitates that a certain percentage of SKL tokens purchased during the public launch be actively delegated/staked on the SKALE Network through the Activate platform before a set of tokens can be unlocked. In order to satisfy the Proof of Use requirement and be able to transfer tokens, participants of the public launch must delegate/stake at least 50% of their tokens for a minimum of 60 days. Please note that regardless of the amount of tokens staked, 100% of a user’s tokens are locked until the Proof of Use requirement is met.

  • Will I be earning delegator/staking rewards during the staking period? What are the rewards for staking?

Yes, you will be earning rewards for the tokens that have been delegated/staked. A rewards calculator can be found on https://activate.codefi.network/skale.

  • How do I delegate SKL tokens on the Activate platform?

Token holders can delegate their tokens to approved validators using the interface on the Activate platform. The list of validators will be available on Activate no later than the token distribution, which is planned for the week of September 21, 2020.

  • What is an epoch?

One epoch on SKALE equals a one-month calendar period of network activity. Validator and delegator rewards are calculated and distributed at the end of each epoch. Epochs start on the 1st day of each month and end on the last day of each month. Please note that delegation period can be longer than an epoch.

  • Can I delegate directly from my wallet ?

The SKL token is built on the ERC-777 standard. It is fully backwards compatible with the ERC-20 standard and supports delegation on the token level. This compatibility means you will be able to delegate directly from your wallet (i.e. Metamask) and do not need to send your tokens to a smart contract as might be the case in other Proof of Stake networks.

  • When should I delegate in order to have my tokens become transferable on December 1?

You need to submit your delegation for 50% or more of your SKL tokens by September 28, 2020 (recommended date) in order to be approved by a validator and be included in the staking epoch that will begin on October 1, 2020. Proof of Use requirement is satisfied after 60 days of delegated staking of 50% or more of your tokens.

  • What happens if I start delegating *after* October 1, 2020?

If you miss the delegation deadline for the epoch that starts on October 1, the next epoch begins on November 1. You will be able to submit delegation at any point in the month of October and validators will be able to accept it for the next epoch (again, it is recommended you submit no later than October 28, 2020). Please note that while you may be accepted prior to the start of a month, active staking will not take place until the beginning of the next epoch (November 1, 2020). The Proof of Use period in this instance will end 60 days after the start of staking which will be on January 1, 2021 at 12:00 AM UTC.

Similarly, If you miss the delegation deadline for the epoch that starts on November 1, the next epoch begins on December 1. You will be able to submit delegation at any point in the month of November in which case the same 60-day Proof of Use period will apply although in this case beginning December 1, 2020.

  • Can I undelegate in the middle of the delegation period?

You can elect to undelegate your SKL tokens at any time but the undelegation will not take effect until after the initial 60-day Proof of Use delegation period is over and the tokens are unlocked. Once undelegated, the current epoch must be completed before the delegation lock ends and tokens become transferable. By way of example, if tokens are delegated in time for the Oct 1 epoch (or the first day of any delegation period), the token holder can send an undelegation request at any time prior to the end of the delegation period. Upon completion of the Proof of Use period (or any delegation period), the tokens will be unlocked and undelegated.

  • Will tokens be re-delegated automatically for the next period?

Yes, unless the token holder submits an undelegation request. By default, delegated tokens are re-delegated at the end of the delegation period, unless an undelegation request is received prior to the end of the delegation period. Token holders will receive delegation rewards up to the time tokens are no longer delegated.

  • How long is the delegation period?

For the Proof of Use delegation requirement, the delegation period is 2 months. Once tokens are unlocked, the delegation period can be as short at one epoch (i.e. calendar month).

  • What is the gas cost of the delegation/undelegation request?

The gas cost of delegation request is ~500K Gwei (about $35 as of September 14). Undelegation costs ~280K Gwei  The cost will depend on the ETH price and the ETH network load as it fluctuates throughout the day. SKALE has made a great effort to optimize the delegation price while enabling secure delegation directly from the wallet. The level of complexity in the smart contract is relatively high and the cost could have been in thousands of Gwei. For that reason care was taken to reduce processing costs, while still providing for a secure transaction flow.

  • When can I select a validator on the Activate platform and delegate my tokens?

The validator list will become available on the Activate platform at the time of SKL token distribution.

  • Can validators change their fees after the request was submitted or after the staking started?

No they can't. There is no commission fee change possible during the Proof of Use period.

  • Can we swap validators if others have lower fees?

Yes, if the delegation has not been accepted. If that is the case, the token holder can cancel and request a new validator.

However, if the delegation has been accepted and/or started, the delegator has to first do an undelegation request and when the next epoch starts, make a delegation request for a different validator for the next epoch (all previous deadlines are best to be observed). Unfortunately on month one the token holder won’t be able to stake if they want to change a validator. This will be changed in the future, but we are launching with this process.

  • What is the "unbonding" period?

There is no unbonding period. There is only delegation period and whenever you request undelegation you need to wait until your delegation period ends.

  • Is there a minimum delegation amount?

After completion of the proof of use requirement, there is no minimum delegation/staking amount for delegators in the SKALE protocol.

  • Is there a minimum delegation/staking period?

Yes, there is a minimum delegation/staking period of 2 epochs (2 months). SKALE will enable 6 and 12 month periods at a later date.

  • What are the risks of staking?

During SKALE's Mainnet Phase 2 (starting October 1) there is minimal risk to the stake, as the main penalty for validators at this phase is bounty reduction if a validator doesn’t perform well. This includes a SKALE requirement of at least 96% uptime. Validators that are selected to participate in the SKALE Network have uptimes of 99 or 100%, so the risk of bounty reduction is very low.

In SKALE Mainnet Phase 3 and beyond, a stake will be slashed if a validator exhibits malicious behavior. That said, during the permissioned node phases, SKALE is working with exceptionally high-quality validators, which makes slashing very unlikely to happen. In SKALE Mainnet Phase 4, when the network is fully open and permissionless, slashing will be fully enforced. The presence of slashing should motivate validators to avoid malicious behavior and incentivize delegators to perform proper due diligence and work with high-quality nodes.

  • What can validators be penalized for?

There are two types of penalties. One is malicious behavior, which results in 100% slashing.

The second is bounty reduction for poor performance. If a validator is offline more than 24 hours or has high latency, there will be a bounty reduction penalty. Important note - the most severe penalties (slashing) does not come in effect during SKALE Mainnet Phase 2 (on October 1, 2020).

  • What happens if a validator is penalized? What is slashing? Is slashing reversible?

SKALE works with a highly respected community of validators - all of whom are experienced and have excellent reputations across multiple networks. Of course there is a slashing condition that we will be enabling once SKALE onboards Dapps. When slashing is enabled, if a validator double signs or exhibits malicious behavior, their tokens as well as the tokens delegated to them will be slashed. As a matter of process, before slashing occurs, tokens will be placed in an escrow contract and an analysis will be done on whether the validator indeed attempted to act maliciously or if it’s a code issue. If there is no malicious behavior found by the community representatives, delegated tokens will be refunded. But if the validator is malicious, both validator and delegators will be penalized.

  • Are delegators free to choose which validator to delegate their tokens to?

Delegators can choose to delegate their tokens to any registered SKALE validator. Key factors for delegators to look at when choosing a validator include: the node performance (SLA), the commission rate set by the validator, and the reputation of the validator. After researching validators and understanding the risks involved (slashing), delegators can decide the number of tokens they want to delegate and which validator they will partner with. Note that validators can choose to decline individual delegation or not accept any at all, so please check on whether your delegation was accepted once you've submitted it (and submit by the recommended date of September 28).

  • Can I delegate to more than one validator?

Yes, you can delegate to more than one validator, but there is a Gas cost on the Ethereum Mainnet that will need to be paid for each delegation. For more on Gas costs please see the answer above.

  • How do I find out what SKALE validators I can delegate to?

The list of SKALE validators can be found above. All of these validators will be available via the Activate platform at the time of token distribution.

SKALE takes great pride in the quality of validators that are on the network, and many of the initial validators for SKALE will also be validators for Eth 2.0. That said, the SKALE team does not recommend specific validators, instead recommending that you perform your own validator due diligence in order to make your own informed decision.

  • How do delegator rewards work?

If a SKL token holder decides to delegate SKL tokens to a validator, the delegator will earn token rewards based on the number of tokens they delegated, the commission percentage set by the validator, and the amount of time they stake for.

Initially, only a 2-month epoch with associated rewards is available. In the future delegators will receive a bonus dependent on the length of time they choose to stake their tokens. These tokens are locked for the duration of the selected staking period. Longer staking lockups generally earn higher rewards. These rewards are paid out and liquid at the end of every epoch. Once chosen, staked tokens are locked until the end of the time period they were committed to.

5. A brief overview of SKALE technology intended specifically for network delegators


SKALE is rooted in the Ethereum Mainnet and operated from it: stake from validators and delegators,  payments from developers, and SKALE's token inflation all live on the Ethereum MainNet. They are all controlled by smart contracts that run on the MainNet and work in unison with each SKALE Node.

This approach is different from other Layer 2 models that attempt to use mainnet interactions to run verification and/or fraud proofs. SKALE uses the Ethereum Mainnet for staking and for other mechanistic operations in a way that is better attuned for the creation of a robust and reliable Layer 2 network.