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Solana Foundation Delegation Criteria

How to get stake from the foundation

Validators who are approved to participate in the Solana Foundation Delegation Program are eligible to receive a delegation from a pool of tokens held by the Solana Foundation. In order to receive this delegation, each eligible validator must meet certain criteria, which are polled regularly.

A validator must meet the Testnet Participation Criteria and all of the Baseline Criteria to receive a “baseline” delegation from the Solana Foundation of 25,000 SOL. If any of the criteria are no longer met, the delegation will be removed until the validator meets all the criteria, at which point the delegation will be re-applied.

If a validator meets all criteria to receive the baseline delegation and also meets all of the Bonus Criteria, the validator will receive a “bonus” delegation. The size of the bonus delegation is dynamic, as the Foundation’s Delegation Program attempts to continually rebalance and distribute all tokens within the program to those validators who have earned a delegation. As more validators join the program and earn delegations, the size of the bonus per validator will decrease. If a number of validators leave the program or fail to earn a delegation from the Foundation, any tokens previously delegated to them will be redistributed among existing validators who continue to qualify for bonus delegations.

As changes to stake delegations require a transition period on Solana, there is often a delay between a validator becoming eligible for a certain level of delegation from the Foundation and those stake tokens becoming active. This delay is often 1-2 epochs, or up to 6 days.

Baseline criteria for last epoch

Vote Credits
135,000 or more
Maximum Commission
10% or under
Solana Release
at least 1.5.19
Self Stake
100 or more
Total Stake
3,000,000 or less
Concentration
20% or less
Testnet Criteria
Baseline in 5 of last 10 testnet epochs

Bonus criteria for last epoch

Skip Rate
62% or less

Testnet participation#

What is this?

In order to receive a delegation from the Foundation on a validator’s Mainnet Beta node, the validator must also operate a node on Testnet which is subject to similar performance requirements. Any differences between the Mainnet Beta and Testnet delegation criteria are noted accordingly.

Solana Foundation Delegation Criteria

A validator’s Testnet node must meet all of the Baseline criteria for at least 5 of the latest 10 Testnet epochs in order for the validator’s Mainnet Beta node to receive a delegation.

Vote Credits#

What is this?

Vote credits are earned when a validator submits a consensus vote on a block that becomes finalized by the network. Each vote on a finalized block earns 1 vote credit. Voting more frequently and on the correct fork, a validator earns more credits. Voting on an incorrect fork or failure to submit votes on time or at all results in fewer vote credits. The SOL reward issued to a validator and their stakers is proportional to the number of credits earned over an epoch.

Solana Foundation Delegation Criteria

In order to receive or maintain a stake delegation from the Solana Foundation, a validator must earn no less than 35% fewer vote credits than the cluster average for a given epoch. For example, if the cluster average for the last epoch was 100,000 vote credits, a validator must have earned at least 65,000 credits to meet this criteria. This criteria is the same for nodes on Mainnet Beta and Testnet.

Max Commission#

What is this?

A validator’s commission, or fee, is the percentage of total rewards earned by an individual validator in an epoch that are deposited into the validator’s vote account. The remainder of the reward is distributed to the stake accounts that have delegated to that validator’s vote account.

Solana Foundation Delegation Criteria

A validator must maintain a commission of 10% or less to meet this criteria. This criteria applies to Mainnet Beta nodes only. There is no maximum commission enforced on Testnet.

Data Center Concentration#

What is this?

Multiple validators may run their node in the same physical facility. As more validators which are housed in the same location attract stake delegations, this can cause a centralization of stake and a possible point of failure for the network if the concentration grows too large. Data Center Concentration is the ratio of stake which is delegated to validators in a single data center to the amount of stake delegated to all validators on the network. Data center is determined by using this API

Solana Foundation Delegation Criteria

The Data Center Concentration must not exceed 10% for new validators at a data center to pass this criteria. Validators receiving a delegation from the Foundation before the maximum concentration is reached are assigned a seniority score, based on the number of epochs that validator has been receiving a Foundation delegation while located in a given data center. In the event the data center concentration threshold is exceeded due to new validators coming online in the same data center, the Foundation will remove its delegation from validators based on seniority score, from lowest to highest. This means that nodes that are the first Solana validators in a given data center have the highest seniority, and should not be destaked, and new validators are discouraged from locating their server in data centers which already have a high concentration of staked validators. On Mainnet Beta, the concentration limit is 10%, on Testnet the limit is 35%.

Self Stake#

What is this?

Self Stake are tokens that are owned by the operator of a validator node which are then delegated to their node. A stake account is considered self-stake if the Withdraw authority of a stake account is the same as the Withdraw authority of the vote account which the stake account is delegated to. As the Withdraw authority key denotes ownership over a stake or vote account, if these are set to the same value, it proves that the staker and the validator are the same entity.

Solana Foundation Delegation Criteria

A validator must have at least 100 SOL of self stake in order to meet this criteria. Tokens in time-locked stake accounts can also count as self-stake, as long as the Withdraw authority matches between the stake account and vote account. Self-stake can be distributed across multiple stake accounts (Two accounts of 50 SOL each, for example), as long as the total is at least 100 SOL. This only applies to Mainnet Beta, there is no self stake requirement on Testnet.

Total Stake#

What is this?

This refers to the total amount of stake from all sources (self stake or otherwise) that have been delegated to a validator.

Solana Foundation Delegation Criteria

A validator must have less than 3,000,000 SOL in total stake to be eligible for a delegation from the Foundation. This only applies to Mainnet Beta, there is no maximum stake on Testnet.

Software Version#

What is this?

The release version of the solana-validator code that an individual node is running.

Solana Foundation Delegation Criteria

Validators are expected to consistently update their nodes to the latest stable software release in a timely manner. The minimum software version is updated 48 hours after the supermajority of the network has adopted that same version. Testnet often runs on a newer software version than Mainnet Beta. A minimum version is enforced on both networks, though the values are often different.

Skip Rate#

What is this?

Skip rate is the percent of leader slots in which a validator fails to produce a block which is eventually confirmed by the network. Skip rate and block production are two numbers often used to refer to the same metric. Block production is the percent of scheduled slots in which the validator produces a confirmed block, whereas skip rate is 1 - block production.

Solana Foundation Delegation Criteria

A validator must have a skip rate that does not exceed 30 percentage points plus the network average skip rate. For example, if the network average skip rate was 20%, a validator must have a skip rate of 50% or less to meet this criteria. This criteria is the same on Mainnet Beta and Testnet.