The launch of the Minter main network is not far off, which means it is time for all BIP holders to think about whose node to delegate their coins to. Askhat Beltsev, a representative of the Validator.Center pool and the future masternode under the same name, prepared a guest post to explain why one should be attentive to statistics and other indicators of the validator in the testnet.
Do You Know What a Testnet Is?
This is an important event, the task of which lies in verifying the performance of the technology, the code that will later become the foundation of the mainnet.
Briefly About Mainnet
If the testnet is a kind of draft, a prototype of the working version, then the mainnet is just a clean copy, a fully working version. This is the main network, in which all processes already occur with real money; respectively, there is another level of responsibility of the parties.
For testing purposes, coins are created in the testnet that do not impact the total supply and have no value, but in terms of functionality, they are no different from coins that will be released into the mainnet.
The testnet usually helps both parties, the developers and the users. The developers test their product and its functionality on users in situations and conditions that are close to the actual use of the product. And users (including third-party developers) can test the product, examine it from all sides, find errors, and, if necessary, offer additional functionality that the developers might have missed. And that’s great.
In the Minter project, the scheme becomes a bit more complicated, as an additional participant is a validator. This is both a user and a third-party developer. From the product developer perspective, validators differ from other users in the “weight of the proposal,” because the validator is interested in the development of the network no less than the blockchain developers. And in the eyes of ordinary users, the validator acts as a byproduct developer that offers their blockchain and non-blockchain services, additional features, and other products based on an already existing platform.
The validators select the best configuration options for the equipment and strive to achieve a balance between price and quality. They test equipment, infrastructure, and programs (both their own and the platform’s itself) for various errors and conduct crash tests. Thus, they get the most valuable thing during the testnet period—experience.
Having looked at the list of validators, many delegators incorrectly evaluate what they see. And to realize all the numbers (both positive and negative), you need to look at the roots (that is, all network transactions) and conduct a serious investigation, like a detective. In case of poor performance of the validator, it is necessary to determine at what period it happened and what the team did at the time (most likely, they discussed this on their channel or chat). Perhaps, they tested the load on the equipment, selected the necessary configuration, checked the safety of their servers so as not to lose data, or maybe they were testing a fault-tolerance system and the auto-restore feature by switching to a backup server/channel. Yes, there can be a lot of reasons, so you need to carry out “digital excavations” to get to the bottom of the truth and find out why a validator has such unsatisfactory characteristics.
And now we can observe the following picture. Many delegators conduct superficial analysis based on indicators that do not guarantee the success of the validator and certainly do not ensure the peace of mind of the delegator. We do not recommend drawing conclusions based on the number of BIPs in the pool, and the number of MNTs delegated to the validator.
First, we do not know the number of people in a particular pool. This can be either a couple of people or a single person who bought a large amount of internal currency, which allowed the pool to top the ranking.
Secondly, some validators sin by manipulating the wallet API, thereby making it difficult for other users to receive test coins. They do this to get as many MNTs delegated to their masternode as possible, and thus take a leading position after the restarting of the testnet. When this becomes too noticeable, they start creating additional Telegram accounts and send 100 MNT generated once per hour.
Third, when looking at the list of pools and seeing a large number of BIPs in one of them, remember who the project founder Evgeny Gordeev delegated his BTC to (there were six recipients of six BTC each), so you can understand how much each pool really got.
Therefore, we want to tell you how we would choose a validator:
We would analyze the activity in the general chat of the Minter community;
We would look at the activity on the personal Telegram channel or chat (Telegram has become the default communication system for Minter);
We would study the contribution to the development of the network (the higher the input, the less likely the validator is to leave the system);
We would find out what bonuses the team offers and what its commission is;
We would track a timely response to changes in the network, that is, how the masternode keeps abreast. It is important.
Note: the profitability depends not on the validator’s stake but on the number of BIPs the delegator has, because rewards are distributed proportionally.
Based on the above, we advise you to choose a validator carefully and not to follow the crowd. Analyze, watch, make an informed decision, and do not forget about diversification.
We do not claim that everything we say is an indisputable truth.
We do not teach how to choose a validator correctly.
We are merely telling how we ourselves would choose one.