Slashing is one of the most desired features of Incognito’s core protocol where it comes to help increase reliability and validity for the network.
How does slashing help the network?
The network will be able to detect inoperative and misbehaving validators and replace them with better validators. A node is called inoperative and gets slashed when it doesn’t contribute 50% of required votes in an epoch where “required votes” is defined as the average number of blocks produced in a particular shard. If a node is slashed, the 1750 staked PRV would be returned back to the node operator and they may re-stake at a later time. After slashing has been active for some time, this will increase the stability of the network as the network will utilize “healthy” validators.
A different thing from Slashing V1 is that rewards from slashed nodes will be distributed evenly to remaining validators in a committee. This will help increase fairness among validators and motivate node owners to maintain their nodes’ operation.
When will slashing be effective?
Currently, there are about 2,500 nodes operating the network, according to the latest statistics at the time of writing, about 40% of total nodes are inoperative, they may be offline, stalled, or just not contributed during committee duty for some reason. So if we trigger slashing immediately in Sept’s 1st week as planned, the network will lose many pending slots, and a number of validators assigned to each shard will become unbalanced that will cause insufficient syncing time for even “healthy” nodes so these nodes will get unexpectedly slashed.
|Fixed nodes||vNodes||pNodes||All nodes|
|Number of nodes staked to the network||183||1444||879||2506|
|Number of nodes is offline||0||272||455||727|
|Number of nodes is stalled||0||87||36||123|
|Number of nodes is syncing||0||132||99||231|
|Number of nodes is running old code version||0||4||108||112|
|Number of nodes may be slashed when entering a committee||0||450||557||1007|
To be able to get rid of the problem, we’re aggressively pushing Staking Flow V3 to get it released sooner than the end of Oct as planned. For more information, in Staking Flow V3, we’re introducing a new phase in the staking cycle called Sync phase and once a node is assigned to a shard committee, it has to sync sufficiently required data of that shard in the Sync phase prior to entering the waiting list so a node will always be ready to contribute to the network when being in a committee.
For that reason, we would change the plan a bit, the Slashing will still be released and run on mainnet since Sept’s 1st week but only actually slash inoperative nodes from 4th week because Staking Flow V3 will also be ready for release a week after. This is a strict deadline and we will try our best to meet it after several delays.
What should community validators do to avoid getting slashed?
In order for nodes to avoid getting slashed, a node owner needs to keep an eye on nodes’ status and contact the Support team for assistance right away if they are not working well. Please don’t ignore it since your nodes won’t be rewarded anymore if they don’t contribute to the network.
For pNode, we’re going to send an email to all pNode owners to inform you about the Slashing so that you can be aware of the change and take necessary actions in time. We’ve also implemented a way to distinguish between a node unstaked proactively by a node owner and a slashed node so that we can help you re-stake for the latter case.
Thank you for your support!