Clear and timely information, real decentralization, and responsible communication — validators believe that Free TON has a lot to learn from other projects. But there is also something to teach others.
Validators in the blockchain industry are one of the key professions when it comes to Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithms and its variants. Free TON has attracted about 430 validators to secure the network, and that’s a high number. With that many, the multi-threaded architecture allows achieving record speeds.
In Free TON, validators appeared mostly during the first and massive contests — Magister Ludi, Depool Game. Where do they come from, what is the difference in the work of the validator in different blockchains — we have collected information about this and much more.
How Do Validators Join
The lux8.net project unites a team that has experience with dozens of different blockchains.
In fifteen of them, including Free TON, they validate on the mainnet. In most projects, they usually joined and are still joining via a testnet or contests (in the case of Free TON). Most projects are interested in testing their network before launching it and invite the relevant professionals to do so — this is the way validators often go.
This partly limits most existing projects — since validators mostly join blockchains at the beginning, later on, it is difficult for new potential participants to find entry points to the project. While as the industry grows, new blood would be useful.
Therefore, one of the wishes for Free TON from our interlocutors is to continue attracting validators to the project via contests. Which is happening, as you can see in the example of the Rust Cup.
Cooperation with Polkadot is organized on a different principle. Initially, the lux8.net team joined Kusama directly, the canary network of this blockchain, which acts as a kind of testing ground for newly arrived validators. After a certain period of work, Kusama provides the opportunity to validate the mainnet.
Another way is to become an investor in a new project, become part of it, and, as an equal participant, begin validation. It is clear that it is not available to everyone, so in need of specialists, very often the project teams provide them with resources from the relevant funds to attract validators to the project.
The working conditions, equipment requirements, and organization of cooperation in all networks are different — representatives of the lux8.net project shared with us. Some blockchains, for example, have quite low hardware requirements. But not Solana.
Today, Solana is the most demanding project in terms of servers and computers. This is a consequence of the features of this blockchain network: the claim of high speed and lack of sharding. They also load the work of validators, who must both process transactions and maintain the entire network directly. The demanding nature of Free TON is also high, but due to the multithreading of the blockchain, it is much lower, because the load can be distributed between validators.
Organizationally, the work of various blockchains with validators is mostly the same. That is communication using the chat of validators, where the development team informs about the main changes and updates in the network as early as possible. The chat, in the case of Free TON, could be more private — our interlocutors complained.
To improve the information of validators is perhaps the main advice to the Free TON project, which the lux8.net members shared.
Project Near, one of the best in terms of working with validators, is an example in this regard. Timely and preliminary information via well-organized channels helps them prepare their infrastructure for updates, which impacts the successful update of the mainnet as well.
Free TON Advantages — Voting and a Contest System
Everstake project, which also shared its experience with us, is an active participant in more than 40 networks — both in testnet and in mainnet. Its representatives note that validator requirements vary from network to network, but the recommended minimum (+4 CPU, +8GB RAM, +200GB SSD) is often met.
In this regard, Free TON in comparison with other networks (besides Solana) stands out by its high requirements to the hardware specifications, as it directly depends on the required number of transactions per second in the network.
Communication and organizational issues in almost all projects where Everstake is involved are implemented using Telegram and Discord. The team has a good example for borrowing — Elrond Network. They implemented a different way to notify validators — there is a separate chat for validators with announcements of updates, where there is no general news, announcements or comments from regular users, just information relevant to validators. This chat makes it easier to find the information you want and increases the speed of response to urgent updates. It makes you always feel confident that you’re not missing out on important information.
Our respondents also noted those things that favorably distinguish Free TON. For example, the voting and contest system here is excellent, they said. There is a great chat for discussing Governance, which is a very good organizational solution. There you can easily discuss things that are important for the FreeTON ecosystem with no community flood.
Borrowing Best Practices
What else could Free TON borrow from the best practice of other projects? — The participants of the main validator chat are also thinking about this. One of them, who also works with Solana, gave specific examples.
A validator chat participant with the nickname Vono mis made this comparison between Solana and Free TON. The centralization and technical problems of the first blockchain were evident when that network crashed. Along with the existence of a large stake of commercial pools, it caused problems during the restart. It took a long time for the network to launch, despite the desire of ordinary participants and validators.
We have more of a decentralization and fault tolerance thing going on here, but we certainly need new validators in a multiple amount — Vono mis wrote in the validator chat.
But also Free TON, according to the discussion participants, has a lot to learn.
And the most important thing that Vono mis pointed out is the difference in mentality. While Solana shows a more direct corporate «transparent» approach, the Free TON development team confuses validators by closed communication, ignoring errors, and leaving many questions unanswered.
As a Conclusion
A comparative study of experiences in different blockchains will certainly be useful to develop the right implementation mechanisms of the Free TON platform. Things that may seem insignificant at a great distance often turn out to be important in the field, ensuring the success of many projects. Reliable, fast blockchains that implement industry best practices and, preferably, get a little ahead are probably what all users need.