Decentralize NEAR: Introducing the ‘Chunk-only Producer’ Validator
It’s been one year since NEAR’s official mainnet launch and, with it, the proliferation of the NEAR Validator Community. The NEAR Network is now secured by 59 validators. However, the roadmap sets out more ambitious goals to decentralize NEAR and keep the network secure. On this anniversary, we’re excited to announce a new opportunity to participate in securing and further decentralizing the NEAR network––while earning rewards.
As the NEAR network matures, a new role is emerging: Chunk-Only Producers. This is a more accessible role for those who may not have a lot of NEAR to run a validator node. This new role will allow the validator number to grow and to create more opportunities to earn rewards in the NEAR Ecosystem.
What are Chunk-Only Producers?
Chunk-Only Producers are solely responsible for producing chunks (parts of the block from a shard, see Nightshade for more detail) in one shard (a partition on the network). Because Chunk-Only Producers only need to validate one shard, they can run the validator node on a 4-Core CPU, with 8GB of RAM, and 200 GB SSD of storage.
The current plan is to onboard 200-400 Chunk-Only Producers. With a low barrier to entry, we can have a large set of Chunk-Only Producers and increase the total number of validators on the NEAR network, thereby increasing the decentralization of the network and improving its security.
How much NEAR reward does a Chunk-Only Producer receive?
Chunk-Only Producers will receive, at minimum, 4.5% annual rewards. If less than 100% of the tokens on the network is staked, Chunk-Only Producers stand to earn even more annual rewards. For more details about the Validator’s economics, please check out NEAR’s Economics Explained.
Who can join as a Chunk-Only Producer?
Anyone who holds a sufficient number of NEAR tokens can become a Chunk-Only Producer. Here are few options to get run your own Chunk-Only Producer node:
- Hardware Node – A prospective Chunk-Only Producer could purchase a plug-and-play blockchain computer to be shipped to you, to stake your NEAR, and to join the network as a Chunk-Only Producer and start earning rewards. Network upgrades will be done automatically.
- Software as a Service Node – With a few clicks, a prospective Chunk-Only Producer could set up a node on a cloud provider, stake your NEAR, and join the network as a Chunk-Only Producer and start earning rewards. Network upgrades will be done automatically.
- Join the Validator Bootcamp – In collaboration with Open Shards Alliance, we will be launching a month-long program to train anyone to set up and to run their own Chunk-Only Producer node with command line. The bootcamp is free to attend and is a training ground for those who have a penchant for the technical aspects of running a validator node and wish to learn to operate a node through network upgrades. Additionally, the Open Shards Alliance community includes many experienced node operators who can offer community support and answer questions. Please join the Open Shards Alliance discord for more information.
If you are interested in becoming a Chunk-Only Producer on NEAR, please sign up for news and updates here. We look forward to the next chapter of network decentralization at NEAR.