Announcement: Onboarding for (Terra Wave 3)

As a part of our continued efforts to decentralize our protocol, we would like to announce that we are opening a new Node Operator onboarding round for Terra. Prospective node operators should also read and familiarize themselves with the following two proposals:

  • Baseline for Lido validators on Terra
    This proposal details performance and governance expectations and requirements to be in good standing within the Lido Terra Node Operator set.

  • Stake flattening on Terra
    This proposal details steps that will be taken to better distribute staked Luna across the Lido Terra Node Operator set.

You can find the Lido Node Operator landing page here. The purpose of the landing page is to gather all relevant documentation relating to previous and current onboardings in one place, as well as provide a general summary of the application process.

Applying

If you are a Node Operator interested in joining Lido’s Terra Node Operator set, you may submit an application by following the link on the landing page or directly here.

If you’ve applied in a previous round but weren’t selected for the short-list, you may indicate that you have already applied and you will not need to fill out the entire form. Alternatively, you may choose to re-fill out the form in case you wish to add additional details to your application.

Deadline

The application form will be open from Feb 10 - Feb 28 23:59 UTC. In order to be eligible for onboarding, you must submit your application within this timeframe.

Evaluation and Onboarding

Applications will be evaluated by the Lido Node Operator Sub-governance Group (LNOSG) the following week and a proposed shortlist will be sent to the DAO for approval. Once approved, onboarding new operators usually takes 1-2 weeks, so we aim for the new set of operators to be live on mainnet around late March.


EDIT Apr 12, 2022:

Snapshot Vote

Following the publication of Shortlist B, a discussion period, we have launched a snapshot proposal for the DAO’s consideration: Snapshot

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Thanks to all who applied for our Terra onboarding! As of last night, applications have closed.

Due to the very high number of applications (over 65), evaluation will probably take a bit longer than usual. Please stay tuned for updated timelines to be communicated here and via email to applicants.

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I just wanted to inform all interested parties that due to the large amount of applicants (65) and some internal delays, we plan to have evaluations and a shortlist proposal for the DAO completed by the week of March 28th.

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I’d like to update you with the results of the onboarding application evaluations that took place on Monday March 28, 2022.

Evaluation Results

We had an astounding turnout this round, with 65 applicants, and in general a very strong applicant pool. Given the strength of the applicants, the The Lido Node Operator Subgovernance Group (LNOSG) decided to nominate 21 applicants for the proposed shortlist and 2 applicants for a waitlist.

Three shortlisted applicants (those marked with an *) have been asked to provide some additional information before the full DAO proposal will be made. In case the LNOSG finds the provided information to be insufficient for its purposes, it may decide to replace the shortlisted applicant(s) with those from the waitlist.

Shortlisted applicants have been asked to confirm their desire to join the Lido Terra operator set. In case they do not reply affirmatively, or for some other reason cannot join this round, the waitlisted applicants (in the order depicted) will be offered the chance to join the slot.

During the meeting on Mar 28 2022, the LNOSG has unanimously decided to propose the following applicants for inclusion into our node operator set for the Terra protocol (in no particular order):

Shortlist
Chainlayer
Stakely
RockX
BridgeTower Capital
Allnodes Inc
EASY 2 STAKE
Blockdaemon
RBF Staking
Terran one
InfStones
BTC.Secure
SkillZ
Coinhall
AUDIT.one (Persistence Staking Pte. Ltd)
Cosmic Validator
Solva Blockchain Solutions (CryptoCrew Validators)*
MissionControl*
moonshot*
Delight Labs
PFC
BlockNgine
Waitlist
Orbital Command
0Base

You can find the full PDF with summary statistics and the recordings of the introduction and conclusion to the LNOSG evaluation meeting on our NOM public drive. Due to the privileged/confidential nature of some of the information provided in some of the applications, the portion of the call where applications were discussed in detail was not recorded.

Both shortlisted and non-shortlisted applicants have been emailed notifying them of the results. Where relevant, applicants who were not shortlisted also received comments regarding potential ways to improve their application in future rounds should they wish to reapply. If for some reason you applied but did not receive an email, please reach out to [email protected].

Governance voting

A snapshot will be proposed in the coming days and the link will be added here: PENDING. The snapshot will be for the inclusion of the 21 (or fewer, in case applicants cannot continue and the waitlist has been exhausted) Terra Operators. Should the DAO disagree with any of the proposed applicants, the LNOSG will reconvene to propose edits to the list.

Next Steps

I will be coordinating with the Terra team to align on timelines for onboarding the new node operators onto Lido’s Terra mainnet operator set. The estimated timeline for the new node operators to be fully on mainnet is sometime in April.

Hi,

Shortlist has validators who joined the network just a few months ago and validators who are not even in the active set.

How can we enquire about the selection criteria, and what exactly was stronger about the application of other validators?

Thank you

A brief overview of the evaluation criteria is given during the recording, which is linked to in the above post, but I’m also happy to have a chat to explain in more detail and go over your specific application. Feel free to DM me (or respond to the email with the results that you received).

I’m pretty sure many people would be happy to learn more about it. Is it possible to answer that in a public place like here instead of DMs?

Really curious to know more about what qualified validators with no track record, that doesn’t vote/participate in governance or aren’t even in the active set.

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Update on Terra Wave 3 shortlist proposal

We’ve heard feedback from both the Terra community and Lido DAO about the proposed Terra Wave 3 shortlist. Based on this feedback I’d like to offer an update. As always, we gather and listen to feedback from across the ecosystem, but the key place for updates and in-depth discussion will be here on the forum.

As explained in previous onboarding announcements, the Wave 3 shortlist is not a definitive “you’re in”. Rather, the purpose of the Lido Node Operator Subgovernance Group (LNOSG) is to do a lot of the ground work to help the DAO execute, while the ultimate decision of changes to the operator set rests with the DAO. This is arguably the first time that the LNOSG has proposed something contentious, so we would like to ensure that (a) community concerns are not falling on deaf ears, and (b) we are providing the DAO with as many options as possible to act appropriately.

To that end, we are proposing and working towards the following plan:

  • A recap of “what we got right / what we could have improved” for the evaluation of the Wave 3 applicants that concluded on March 28th and resulted in Shortlist A (found below, in this post).
  • The formation of a second proposal (i.e. Shortlist B) where certain evaluation criteria receive a heavier weighting than they did in the original assessment (this will be led by Kai, our Terra team lead, and we hope to have it ready by Monday, the 4th of April.)
  • Provide a longer than usual time to allow for the options to be discussed.
  • Proceed with a snapshot vote to the DAO with three options: Shortlist A, Shortlist B, None of the above.

A general word on evaluation criteria

Ratings are ultimately subjective as we do not currently use an algorithm to rate applications (arguably doing so would lead to other kinds of problems or lengthy discussions about what the right parameters are, but that’s a topic for another day), and they are submitted by LNOSG evaluators, averaged per applicant, and large variances or outliers are specifically discussed during the evaluation call.

The criteria that we examine include:

  • General validating experience both cross-chain and on the specific chain in question.
  • Overall historic performance and recent performance on the specific chain.
  • Level of detail and effort put into application so that the LNOSG may be able to assess various questions/factors around infra setup, security, reliability, overall anti-fragility of the validator, decentralization, and geographic distribution.
  • Ecosystem participation & alignment.

Additionally, for each onboarding round we attempt to assemble a cohort of operators that comprises both large cross-chain operators and specific-chain operators. We examine how we can make each cohort as distributed and decentralized as possible and consider a number of other weighted factors which we explain below.

Shortlist A: What we got right and could have improved

  • From an overall perspective, especially given the large number of applications received and also the large number of operators which we are looking to onboard given Lido’s rapid growth on Terra, we believe we succeeded in correctly weighing:
    • Cross-chain reputation and track record.
    • Importance of having decently sized teams to mitigate “bus factor” risk.
    • Identifying operators who are running their own infrastructure and not using white-label services.
    • Stake concentration in specifical data center providers and cloud providers.
  • We believe that we could have weighed these criteria more heavily:
    • Better performance assessment (including one slashing, which we missed).
    • Historic governance participation.
    • Ecosystem alignment (length of time an operator has been validating for Terra, overall contributions to the ecosystem in the forms of code, tools, educational efforts, etc.).
    • Maintaining IBC relayers.

Next steps

As we work on Shortlist B which will more heavily weigh the criteria indicated above, we welcome your continued feedback especially in light of the additional information provided. We will not be running a Snapshot vote for increasing the set until Shortlist B has been proposed and enough time has been allotted for discussion.

Lido has been committed to Terra since its inception, and has made marked efforts to further the quality and the diversity of its validator set. We recently formalized a baseline for validator performance, which helped us increase uptime and governance participation across the board. Validating is a complex task and the vast majority of our applicants have been doing tremendous work for the ecosystem. Arbitraging between numerous good candidates is difficult, which is why we’re working on improving our evaluating and onboarding process. We invite everyone to join the conversation around Shortlist A and B to inform and guide the DAO’s vote

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Finding out the said information is simple, it shows there was bugger all research in my opinion… whos running this? If your short listing non-active set validators, and validators missing Oracle votes, which make up the majority of the rewards, makes me think there has been other factors… picking good Validators isnt hard, this isnt rocket science, so unless the team deciding really has no idea… or… you have other motives.

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As @Shaun said. Picking a validator isn’t hard. Which mainly include items you said it was missed from the “research” itself.

Picking a “good validator” without consider governance voting (some shortlisted validators don’t even vote) or even past oracle/slashing performance is something I can’t wrap my head around!
It’s hard to believe no one looked into any of these things, which are the most important for Terra and Anchor and not to mention, entire idea of this “research”. All the rest just become irrelevant if the Terra core (governance/oracle/slashing/community) isn’t functional.

I’m pretty disappointed, the entire thing feels somehow wrong to me. Even shortlisted a validator that wasn’t in the active set.

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I think it is the right decision to reevaluate the short list. In my opinion, I think there are three primary factors that determine a validator’s value in a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) system:

1. Governance Participation - One of the main responsibilities for validators in a DPoS system is to vote on behalf of their delegators for the betterment of the protocol. They have outsized voting power in comparison to individual voters, so it is up to them to research governance posts and actively vote on proposals. Validators who don’t vote on most proposals are doing a disservice to their delegators and to the network as a whole.

2. Community Contribution - To contribute towards the sustainability and long-term growth potential for a crypto community and ecosystem, stewardship of community educational efforts, tool creation, information dissemination, and value additive projects is important. All of which are necessary for an ecosystem to survive, thrive, and expand.

3. Historical Performance - Validators in a DPoS system also have the integral function of ensuring the validity of transactions, submitting accurate pricing data, and maintaining the security of the network. Validators with poor performance can be detrimental to the Terra network.

As long as the LNOSG evaluators take these factors into consideration and assemble a list of validators who are exemplary in all three categories, I think the LUNAtic community will stand with their decision.

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I personally don’t have something against allowing new validators joining the active set, considering the high barrier that exists to join the Terra active set.
However these validators should have extensive track-record on other chains from multiple perspectives: performance, uptime, responsiveness, governance involvement as well as being in contact with their delegators community over diverse social media channels.
The same criteria should also apply for existing validators in the active set. Even more, if validators in the active set don’t raise up to the responsabilities they have, then is better to let new validators in that, as said above, have a proven record in both technical skills and governance, community engagement and responsiveness. I’m sure there would be interested and motivated validators that could peform better than some in the active validator set.

Great to see that you are re-evaluating the criteria. Long term validator performance, governance participation, contribution are definitely more relevant than presence on other chains or decently sized teams kind of factors.

Hey @Zion_Schum, thanks for your well constructed feedback.

You’ve highlighted the core aspects of a validator well: Governance Participation, Validator Performance and Community Contributions are indeed some of the things we looked at during our evaluation.

That being said, these three prerogatives are not always sufficient. Other considerations such as the type of infrastructure, voting power, third-party dependencies, geographic situation have to be considered, or we could end up inadvertently sponsoring a non-decentralized, non-distributed network.

For example, there are a number of very performant validators that are relying on AWS or other 3rd-party service-providers. Whitelisting multiple such validators exposes our set and holders to a single point of failure, so we look for cohorts with varied setups.

There are also quite a few exceptional one-man-shop-validators on Terra. We have the highest regard for their work, but what would happen if an important upgrade had to be rolled out and they were unable to respond? Who would pick the validator if something unfortunate happened to them?

Defining the weight for each of these considerations is difficult. That’s why we’re working on releasing an alternative shortlist where Governance Participation, Validator Performance and Community Contributions will be weighted more heavily.

TL;DR Voting, Uptime and Community are important indicators that have been taken into account in our evaluation process, along with other factors that are crucial to distributed systems. As per community feedback, we will be releasing another shortlist where these three aspects are more heavily weighted.

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Great news!
Ultimately, would you consider making your evaluation tables for each validators public?
This is the level of transparency you get when receiving a mark at school, surely a multi-billion $ decentralised protocol can reach a similar level.

That will absolutely wreck the amount of info we get and its trustworthiness. Lido is fine being fully transparent but most operators are not.

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That makes sense! Thanks for the prompt response :slight_smile:

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Not sure to get what you mean. What should come out of this data is how you attributed points to each validator and therefor the logic behind your shortlisting.
Example:
“Infrastructure: X points out of Y”
Not
“Validator X run Y servers on Z cloud, ssh key for bastion is -----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----…”

Even that would make folks cagey, but it’s a moot point bc it’s not how it works currently;

The rating is done by individual node operators on a 1 to 5 scale for everything and then aggregated (so it’s essentially aggregated peer review process; that’s why it’s pretty funny to read that selecting a big validator set is easy; anything but, actual professional peers can’t make the result perfect).

Even that would make folks cagey

Validators are applying to potentially get tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars of value delegated to them.
If they don’t want to be publicly rated, maybe they should not be applying? It comes with responsibilities. Responsibilities toward the community.
I have the opinion that if some validators don’t want to be held accountable, it’s on them and is a big red flag.

that’s why it’s pretty funny to read that selecting a big validator set is easy; anything but, actual professional peers can’t make the result perfect).

Given the first shortlist, it doesn’t seem like an easy task indeed.

Two questions:

  1. where can I find a current list of “Lido Node Operator Sub-governance Group (LNOSG)” members?
  2. is the 1 to 5 rating from each of those members to each candidate public somewhere?
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