Staking is Coming to the Helium Blockchain
The approval of HIP 25 introduces Validators to Help Strengthen Network Security and Performance.
Since the Helium Blockchain launched in July 2019, The People’s Network has grown at an impressive rate across the globe, despite the fact that it is primarily powered by consumer-grade hardware with basic internet connections. As the network continues to grow and support new applications, the network must become more robust, more secure, and more performant. Today, we’re excited to announce that HIP 25 was officially approved by the Helium community, and it was designed to do just that.
HIP 25 paves the way for commercial-grade validators to strengthen the network. Validators will operate on stronger hardware with faster network connections, which help smooth performance lag and create a more reliable network for all. In the future they may also be able to serve as proxies for lightweight (non-chain-following) gateways. As the changes from HIP 25 roll out, consensus will eventually migrate from the hotspot population to the validator group, resulting in more consistent block production, similar to other Proof-of-Stake networks.
If you’re interested in running a validator node, visit Helium’s Staking page to get started.
The introduction of validators also introduces staking to the network. Staking benefits all members of the ecosystem — investors, hosts, and users. First and foremost, the act of staking bolsters security of the network. This is incredibly important. It also creates the opportunity for hotspot hosts and HNT holders to earn additional rewards by staking their tokens with validators.
Running a validating node on the Helium Blockchain is open to all and the first step is the launch of the Helium Testnet in the coming weeks. Initial validator guidelines are as follows:
- AWS EC2 instance T2 large or xlarge
- Stable IP and few ports (currently 2154 and eventually port 443) open to internet
- DNS resolvable URL strongly recommend
- Running on stable network connections (without things like proxies, NAT, firewalls, etc.), load is largely symmetrical when producing blocks, so good upstream recommended.
- It is not suitable or recommended to attempt to run from a home internet connection.
The staking threshold to run a validator node is 10,000 HNT as noted within HIP 25 and the community is targeting 1,000,000 staked HNT to launch validators on the Helium Blockchain.
Overall, we’re very excited about what this means for the Helium ecosystem, token holders, and all users of The People’s Network. Adding validators, and their corresponding technical capabilities, will bring a greater level of stability and scalability to the Helium network.
Since its inception, the Helium Blockchain has had to navigate network firewalls, consumer ISP controls, and a general reliance on individual hosts to maintain consistent hotspot uptime. Validators help to address these limitations and support a larger and more robust network. This is the next big step for the Helium network as it grows to support more institutional and enterprise applications.