You may have seen proposals coming out for node operators for StakeWise and find yourself asking why are these proposals coming out and what does it mean?
First, let’s define what a node operator is.
We know that Ethereum nodes are needed in order for the Ethereum blockchain to work. [Nodes and clients | ethereum.org]
In the simplest sense, a node operator runs software that keeps a copy of the blockchain and broadcasts transactions across the network.
An operator ensures that nodes run with enough resources to keep nodes stable and performing well. Nodes need to have enough RAM, disk space, bandwidth, and so on. to stay operational and serve the Ethereum network.
Since new software versions are often released (with new features, bug fixes, and security enhancements), node operators must maintain current versions of software. Additionally, if a node should fall out of sync with the network (through an inadvertent fork of the blockchain, for example), a node operator might have to resync the node and get it back on the proper chain at the correct block height. A node operator needs to stay up to date with developments (usually through social media channels) to understand the latest status and requirements of the blockchains they support.
Additionally, a node operator might run nodes on behalf of clients, so contract terms/commission rates must be negotiated and implemented.
StakeWise Node Operator
StakeWise is a decentralized protocol where anyone can apply for becoming a node operator. (My own words here - It was never the intent for the StakeWise protocol to have the nodes be run only by the StakeWise core team.) The node operator is an entity that runs ETH2 staking infrastructure on behalf of StakeWise and receives a share of the protocol fee in return. All the node operators must be approved by the DAO before their validators will get registered. [Onboarding Process - StakeWise] The StakeWise core team has outlined how people interested in being a node operator can apply to be a node operator within the StakeWise eco-system.
What is the core responsibility of a StakeWise Node Operator?
Simply put, run ETH validators for PoS (Proof of Stake) with the highest quality possible and maximize staking rewards for the StakeWise pool.
StakeWise node operators, in the simplest sense, are responsible for:
- Setting up a computer (either physical or virtual)
- Configuring it correctly within a network
- Installing StakeWise helm charts (think StakeWise software) on it and prepare the servers to perform as an ETH validatior.
- Securing it, both from outside and inside threats
- Maintaining it for the life of their validators
So generally speaking, in addition to following the Onboarding Process [Onboarding Process - StakeWise], node operator applicants are then following the DAO Proposal process [StakeWise DAO Governance Process] (having been previously vetted by the StakeWise core team) for acceptance / approval into the StakeWise ecosystem.
Hopefully this short KB article explains what exactly is going on when the StakeWise DAO is all of a sudden starting to see node operator proposals start to hit the StakeWise DAO Forum and then eventually Snapshot. If you have any other questions, please reach out to me or the StakeWise core team and would love to explain/clarify further.
P.S. Hey @Zedster - no more 3rd person references!