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What is a Solana Validator?

July 8, 2022

Understanding Solana Validators

What is a blockchain node?

To understand what nodes are you can start by thinking of a simple box. This box is our node. Right now, you don’t need to worry about what’s inside of it, but you know that it is connected with the other two boxes, which feed the node with information. The job of the node is to communicate the information it is receiving from one box to the other, in a way they can trust and understand. The other two boxes are representing a blockchain and a web3 application. Of course, a node functionality is much more complex than that but for the purposes of this blog just keep in mind that a node is a connector between different branches of a system.

Types Solana nodes

On the Solana blockchain, we’re usually working with two types of nodes that complement each other. We have the RPC nodes which the job is to take all the transactions happening inside a web3 application to the blockchain or vice versa. On the other hand we have the Validator nodes which the function consists of verifying the authenticity of each one of these transactions and reaching agreements on their sequence with other validators of the chain. 

To illustrate this, picture a restaurant and inside it there’s a customer making an order to the waiter. That is the analogy for the moment a transaction is generated inside a particular application. After that, the waiter takes the order to the kitchen. There the Chef is taking care of the sequence of the orders and making sure they're aligned with what each customer asked for. The chef here is doing the job of the validator. And finally, the waiter takes back the order to the client, who is now happy with the successful request. The waiter here is doing the job of the RPC node.

Deeper into Solana Validators

Although that’s a simple way to understand the overall job of a validator, it actually goes much deeper than that. Validators play a huge part on the Solana blockchain. Considered to be one of the fastest and cheapest chains we have right now, being able to handle 65.000 transactions per second, that comes with demanding hardware recommendations for the Solana Validators, which means you probably won’t be able to run one on your regular laptop. 

To run Validators it’s required a minimum of 128GB of RAM, CPUs with at least 2.8GHz and 12 cores / 24 threads, or more and many more specifications that you can find at the Solana Docs. After knowing this, you might realize that running these Validators is not very cheap, that’s why to encourage users to setup Validators, they’re rewarded with perks inside the Solana blockchain. 

To start understanding these benefits, you need to know more about Solana’s Proof of Stake protocol (PoS). It basically means that, to run a Validator, you have to stake some SOL in a contract and it won’t be accessible for a minimum duration of time. The reward system works around the idea that the more SOL you deposit inside your Validator node, the more perks you have inside the chain.

One of these perks is that, by running a Validator, you’re allowed to participate in the decisions made inside the Solana blockchain. For example, a specific community, the members of this community can stake their SOL into their Validator and, by doing so, increase the power of their voice inside the chain. That’s why the more Validators the Solana blockchain has, the more decentralized it becomes, because the decision making will be distributed across many different people or communities and no longer be concentrated in the hands of a few individuals.

Another perk you get by running a Validator is that it gives you money. More specifically, it gives you interest over the amount of SOL you have staked inside it. Meaning that, the more SOL you stake on it, the more SOL earn just by having the Validator active on the chain, which is one of the easiest ways to make passive income from the Solana blockchain.

Shakudo’s Validators

Today, you can have your own Solana Validator setup by Shakudo and start helping decentralize the SOL chain while also earning passive income over it in about 20 minutes. We’re proud to already be running Validators for remarkable Solana communities like MonkeDAO, DeGods and Degenerate Apes Academy and helping the growth of what we consider to be one of the most promising and scalable chains out there. 

And don’t worry, if you choose to run a Validator with Shakudo, you’ll be provided with a team of specialists 24/7 taking care of the setup and maintenance required, making sure everything is running at the optimal conditions. We do that so you don’t have to worry about infrastructure management, reliability, updates or any stones you might find on the way. You can also go to our website and read more about how you can start helping decentralize Solana, earn passive income and grow your community.

Sabrina Aquino

Sabrina is a creative Software Developer who has managed to create a huge community by sharing her personal experiences with technologies and products. A great problem solver, an above average Age of Empires II player and a mediocre Linux user. Sabrina is currently an undergraduate in Computer Engineering at UFRN (Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte).

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