Back in June of 2023, the Fantom Foundation held a vote to determine whether the network should maintain its minimum staked token requirement at 500k FTM tokens or slash it by 90% in a bid to increase the spread of the ecosystem.
The change had first been proposed in February 2022 but wasn’t voted on until much later and only implemented recently.
Increase in Security, Possible Drop in Performance
Now that the necessary legwork and preparations have been carried out, the changes have gone live.
1/ Based on a governance vote, we recently reduced the validator self-stake requirement from 500k to 50k FTM, making it more accessible than ever to run a #Fantom validator.
But we’ve been asked:“How does an increase in validators impact Fantom?”
Well, let’s find out 🧵 pic.twitter.com/H8AfnT5Itv
— Fantom Foundation (@FantomFDN) January 15, 2024
In order to run a validation node on the Fantom network, you would currently need about $19,650 worth of FTM, according to CoinGecko.
The developers stressed that the increase in validators would strengthen the system rather than weaken it.
Although the barrier to entry that kept malicious actors from gaining a foothold in the network has decreased, the developers state that a validator’s power on the network is directly proportional to the total amount of FTM staked, not the number of validators run.
“Finally, we want to clarify that lower staking requirements won’t pose a security risk. A validator’s power to confirm TXs is proportional to their stake amount and not the number of validators a given person runs. For example, a validator with 1 million FTM staked would have the same power as twenty smaller validators, each with 50k FTM staked.”
The developers added that the vast majority of validators will continue to be those with a large number of tokens staked, at least for the time being.
Due to Fantoms’ direct acyclical graph and asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance mechanisms, the devs note that an increased number of nodes could slow down the system to a certain degree. However, with proper hardware – which anyone with enough funds to reach the validator requirement should have – the current validation time of 2 to 3 seconds should be maintained.
Security as a Priority
Even if the network’s speed may take a small hit, the developers stressed that the increase in validators would make the network more resilient to Sybil attacks. Currently, the networks’ infrastructure rests on the shoulders of only 58 nodes.
The Fantom Foundation dealt with cyberattacks last year, although they only affected the developers, not the network itself. It started via phishing and did not compromise the security of the blockchain in any way.
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