Validators are the cornerstone of the whole BSC network and its ecosystem. They power the network with their hardware and staked BNB, support its growth, and increase decentralization. In this series, we want to focus on different types of validators operating on BSC. We interviewed both active validators and validator candidates to get more insights into what’s happening behind the curtains.
What does it take to become a validator candidate? What was their motivation to become a validator? And what’s their prediction of the BSC future? Keep reading to get unique insights from Ankr, our first interviewed validator candidate.
Are you new to Binance Smart Chain or want to learn more about the role of validators and delegators on BSC? Read our article, A Journey to Decentralization: Validators & Delegators, for more on how to become a validator or delegator.
BSC Validator Spotlight: Ankr
What is Ankr?
Ankr provides Web3 infrastructure for an easy, accessible, and affordable deployment of blockchain nodes and decentralized staking infrastructure, designed to lower the entry barrier for everyday people, enterprises, and developers to contribute to blockchain ecosystems.
Ankr’s product line includes:
- One-click solutions for staking nodes
- API access to major blockchain and DeFi protocols.
- Turnkey infrastructure solutions for blockchain native enterprises such as cryptocurrency exchanges, staking platforms, data analytics providers and more.
- Decentralized Ethereum 2.0 staking with instant liquidity at https://eth2.ankr.com/
What is your business strategy connected to being a validator?
A: Ankr supports 50+ blockchains for staking nodes and developer nodes for popular blockchains, including Binance Chain/Binance Smart Chain. We also run our own validators, where token holders can earn staking rewards by delegating for Binance and others. The BSC validator is part of our validators offering, which is usually part of a bigger scope of collaboration with the project we run the validators for, such as infrastructure deals or providing node services.
How do you engage with your community and attract more delegations?
A: We have a great community and have received lots of support from major KOL’s who recognize the potential of our company. This definitely is a factor in the success. But most importantly, we are the only validator charging 0% commission on delegators’ staking rewards! So this represents a unique opportunity for BNB owners to receive increased APY on their stake. Right after being active, the Ankr validator reached the number one position in voting power, and we are taking more delegations from BNB hodlers who want to earn passive income and help secure the BSC network.
How did you discover Binance Smart Chain?
A：Ankr has been involved with the first version of Binance Chain (BEP20) since the very beginning. The Binance Chain node was one of the very first nodes we offered on app.ankr.com back in 2019. Since then, we have been in close contact with the Binance Chain team, working on providing and optimizing infrastructure services for retail and enterprise clients. From this collaboration, we learned about BSC firsthand from the team.
What’s your motivation for becoming a Binance Smart Chain Validator?
A：As we immediately recognized the potential of an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)compatible smart contract platform built by the Binance team, we decided to support the BSC node directly after its inception and migrated a portion of ANKR tokens to the BEP20 format. This made them available to trade and use in DeFi products on the BSC network. We have also built the first Infura-like API endpoint service, making it easier for developers to build on BSC. As we have already deployed numerous BSC nodes and have our infrastructure ready to support a BSC validator, a logical next step was to apply to be one of the 21 official BSC validators.
What benefits do you see in being a validator?
A: We have been in outstanding and close collaboration with the BSC community since 2019 and as an infrastructure provider, we aim to be an essential piece of the BSC ecosystem. There are no direct financial gains from this, but this would certainly increase our BSC infrastructure services perception and visibility. We also believe that Binance Smart Chain will benefit from Ankr being a validator in terms of stability and decentralization.
How did you set up your validator infrastructure?
A: For our setup, we created a private network between our validator and multiple sentry nodes hosted on different machines. To be exact, we have 3 sentry nodes. As the validator only accepts connections from our sentry nodes, it is protected against internet-based attacks. With this setup, we make sure that votes and block proposals always make it to the network.
What did you learn from your experience with BSC? What recommendations would you give new validators?
A: We have been spinning up an automated solution for BSC testnet validators on Ankr, as it was quite popular. We have received a lot of feedback and were able to see the problems that we might experience. Like instability of the network, how the slashing works, and more. Our main suggestion would be to make the setup secure and stable.
What do you envision for the BSC Validator community in the future?
A: We would love to collaborate with other BSC validators to optimize the nodes and infrastructure’s stability and performance jointly.
Did you learn something new from the interview? Stay tuned and don’t forget to come back next week. We will interview more validators soon.