It’s been a year since NEAR’s official mainnet launch and, with it, the proliferation of the NEAR Validator Community. The NEAR Network is now secured by 100 validators. However, the roadmap sets out more ambitious goals to decentralize NEAR and keep the network secure. That’s why we’re excited to announce Chunk-Only Producers: a new way for our community to take part in securing and further decentralizing the NEAR network.
Chunk-Only Producers is a more accessible role for those who may not have the NEAR required to run a validator node. This new role will allow the validator number to grow, creating more opportunities to earn rewards and secure the NEAR Ecosystem.
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.
Rewards for Chunk-only Producers
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. Below are the various ways you can run your own Chunk-Only Producer 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. Please join the Open Shards Alliance discord for more information.
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