As you may know, Phore is busy building a new architecture, code named “Synapse”. Synapse supports a proof of stake (PoS) network, sharding, will serve as the foundation for Smart Contracts, Token Generation, and allow for potentially unprecedented Transaction Speeds.
Some of you have been asking how this will compare to the current network and how it will change the function of Masternodes and staking. The answer is pretty dramatic.
Phore Synapse validator nodes will be very different from current Phore Masternodes. Current Phore Masternodes require 10,000 PHR to be locked as collateral and do not validate transactions. Transactions are validated through staking. Rewards are distributed to both Masternode owners, who also have voting rights, and stakers. Both Masternodes and staking require the entire blockchain to be synced.
Synapse validator nodes will have the ability to perform staking (transaction validation) functions, but not required to sync the entire blockchain. A node on a PC would sync the main (beacon) chain only once, no matter how many validators are running. This is because all validator nodes share the same peer-to-peer networking when they are running on the same node/Phore client. They are not separately connecting to peers like current Phore Masternodes. Without having to sync the entire blockchain, resources can be focused on validating transactions, or other network tasks, adding to more efficiency and greatly increasing transaction times.
Each Synapse validator node gets assigned specific tasks to do, one of the most common is proposing and validating blocks for a specific shard. Each shard has a committee of a large number of validators, so for security purposes we need a much larger number of validators than the current number of Phore Masternodes.
A validator will sync the shard they are working on very quickly (within seconds), and only keeps the state of that shard for the duration of time they are working on it. Once they are reassigned to another shard, they no longer keep the state of the previous shard — the shard state is essentially “handed off” to the new committee of validators taking over that shard. In addition to proposing beacon chain blocks, validators are also responsible for proposing shard chain blocks.
The resource consumption of the Synapse validator nodes is still being confirmed through testing, however it is our expectation that a minimum of 100 validator nodes can be run on a single server. This number may actually end up being many more than 100. There is more to come on this in future development updates.
Phore Blockchain will provide simple validator node set up options. This will not require additional setup like Phore’s current Masternodes do. In fact, running more validators should be as simple as changing a configuration option.
The Synapse sharding architecture will require a deposit of PHR for each validator node (like a current Phore Masternodes), however this will be significantly scaled down from the current amount of 10,000 PHR, to accommodate the requirement of having more overall nodes on the network. The actual number of PHR required to run a validator node has not yet been determined, but we will keep you informed as development advances.
How do these differ from traditional Masternodes?
Traditional masternodes today provide hosts with rewards for the services they provide to the network. In today’s masternode systems, this is limited to locking coins and running a peer, however in the Phore Synapse sharding architecture, validator nodes will have a huge range of functionality, and will be rewarded for all of the tasks they perform. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Staking. (This will no longer be a separate function in the Synapse Sharding architecture. Validator nodes will perform this duty and will be rewarded for doing so).
- Proposing blocks.
- Voting to validate blocks.
- Giving attestation Signatures back to the Main (Beacon) Chain.
The services provided by Phore Synapse validator nodes are enforced through the core blockchain protocols. This means not only are rewards given for performing services to the network, penalties are charged if the services are not provided. This helps to ensure greater availability of staking and validation services, and strengthens the entire network. The penalties grow slowly over time to allow for a buffer in case of an accidental validator crash or network connectivity issue.
Benefits to users
Not only do Phore Synapse Validator Nodes have additional functionality compared to traditional masternodes, it will also be possible to store your Phore coins offline, such as in cold storage, while still having the staking functionality proceed. This is a huge improvement over current staking architectures, which require wallets with coins to be online 24/7 in order to successfully stake blocks. With the new architecture, we will be able to support keeping Phore on hardware wallets (e.g. Ledger / Trezor) and still run the validators on a VPS or with a Masternode hosting provider, similar to how most Masternodes are operated today.
Since the majority of transactions happen on shards, the main (beacon) chain really only contain summarizations of what happened on the shards every epoch (an epoch is a group of blocks, potentially between 60–100 blocks) and certain main (beacon chain specific transactions (e.g., validator deposits, attestations, slashings). So even the main (beacon) chain (that every full node syncs once) is much smaller than the individual transactions and signatures that are submitted to shard blocks. The signatures and overall change in the blockchain state is aggregated and summarized to the beacon chain for the previous epoch in a single beacon chain transaction. This is much, much more efficient from a data storage standpoint versus the current architecture, and will not require nearly as many resources for a node. Also, due to BLS signature aggregation, syncing the main (beacon) chain will only require one signature validation. Eventually, we expect syncing to only be limited by network bandwidth.
Phore Synapse validator nodes having a lower collateral requirement will lead to a much more broad and decentralized network supporting the full range of staking and masternode activities. It will also lead to an even more decentralized governance model, allowing for a greater number of participants to have voting rights, thus giving users additional control over the platform.
We are very excited about the future potential of the new Phore Synapse Architecture and what this will bring to our platform, the community and the flexibility and functionality of the Phore cryptocurrency overall. Look for further updates as we progress with development coming soon.