Polkadot

Published on 06 NOV 2020

[Seemingly obligatory but obvious “my own personal views” paragraph]: As my day job, I work on the Polkadot network. In that, I’ve written a bit about consensus, how validators make parachains work, and how Polkadot’s governance works. I work on Polkadot (and Web3 in general) because I’m passionate about the cause and enjoy the creativity and satisfaction in creating something new. So it naturally follows that I don’t just want to work on it or write about it; I want to use it and participate in it as much as possible. With that in mind, I run validators and participate in governance as a user and Polkadot Council member.

Validators

Polkadot’s reward and slashing system was designed to protect against groups taking over large portions of the network control. Nonetheless, a few groups run a large percentage of the network’s validators. A few slashes on Polkadot and Kusama have shown the risk inherent in this, where multiple nodes committed concurrent offenses due to errors in deployment/management scripts.

My goals in running validators are to participate actively in the network that I work on, provide options for users to follow my own advice of nominating independent validators, and earn some DOT to keep the operation sustainable. These are the core principles I follow in my operation:

  • Always run a small enough number of validators that I can attend to each one independently. Automation is nice, but it can amplify errors.
  • All nodes that I run are in different regions, so one they will never go offline at the same time.
  • Always keep up to date with the latest releases and use Kusama to keep up with the bleeding edge.
  • Run my validators on publicly identified and verified accounts.

To execute on this, I work with my friend Zeke because, well for one we like working together and two, a second person really helps with the workload. We run and monitor everything ourselves rather than using Staking-as-a-Service providers.

My Polkadot validators:

  • Validator 1: 126RwaHn4MDekLWfUYfiqcVbiQHapwDSAT9vZZS15HLqfDJh
  • Validator 2: 1NDRMvN7FH9YtJLVPf9doF5zbuUwn6hdH1b4WmVyZDr5joM

My Kusama validators:

  • Validator 1: FP6NJ41XMsHb2t7ijRhrtNW9mmNkRp9jMfw5Nwakvz9xNXE
  • Validator 2: DB1LqEtpsbhqUK3mfFkqziYk3qhKgrwcJyZ6ruhqjMAeVRg
  • Validator 3: HngUT2inDFPBwiey6ZdqhhnmPKHkXayRpWw9rFj55reAqvi

To nominate, you can follow the Wiki instructions and search by address or the name “JOE”.

Update Log

  • 21 Nov: Changed commission from 5% to 7% on Kusama. The increase in number of validators overall reduces the rewards of each one. This change is to account for operating costs.
  • 19 Nov: Added 3rd Kusama validator

Council

I have been a member of Polkadot’s on-chain Council since the first round of voting in June 2020. Since starting in my role at Parity in 2018, I’ve become more interested in the issue of governance as it relates to sustainability.

Technology, like language, is a tool we use to express ideas and information. Over time, people want to express new ideas, feelings, concepts, information, etc. and, just like languages evolve with generations, technology must evolve too. Polkadot provides the most cutting edge method of evolving technology and resolving disputes about what and how things are expressed.

The governance technology of Polkadot turns the network from a “dumb” record keeping system to a living, evolving society with clear definitions of membership and the ability to express agency as an entire system. I wanted to be on the Council from its beginning to be a part of this experiment and use my knowledge of the network to represent more passive stakeholders.

My council address is 12NLgzqfhuJkc9mZ5XUTTG85N8yhhzfptwqF1xVhtK3ZX7f6, although most of the activity is handled via my proxy 14rEVPh5hz4D6y783QCH9xgySNJVxMLaHhQKm69KChphYoEw.