Frequently Asked Questions
- How are validators ranked?
- How is the stake concentration score calculated?
- What does the yellow border and triangle mean?
- What is delinquency?
- Why should I care about delinquency and commission changes?
- Are there other ways to receive alerts?
- How often do I get an alert when a validator is delinquent?
- How can I submit feedback or get in touch?
- How is the Wiz Score calculated?
How are validators ranked?
Validators are ranked according to their Wiz Score, which is our internal ranking system where we factor in over a dozen metrics to compute a score that aims to reward good behaviour and decentralisation.
How is the stake concentration score calculated?
We wanted to develop a way to visually represent stake in a helpful manner. We thought a good way to do this would be by measuring every validator's stake as a percentage of the largest validator.
The issue with this is that the vast majority of validators have such a small percentage of stake that the "loading bar" appears basically empty. At the same time it doesn't provide a helpful way to discern what levels are "good". The thinking being that about halfway full should be "medium" etc.
The best outcome for the network is an increase in Nakamoto Coefficient (min number of nodes that can halt the network), which requires spreading stake to smaller staked validators. This is what we aim to encourage as well.
To calculate the "loading bar" graphic thus we took the percentage of stake relative to the largest validator multiplied by 10. Anything over 100 is classified as "high stake", empirically this is about ◎ 1,500,000. Any validator with this much or more stake is considered "high stake"
Medium stake is classified as a score above 25, which works out to about ◎ 375,000. Validators in this category have a medium amount of stake. Staking with them still aids decentralisation, but they're already in a category above the "low stake" validators.
Low stake is every other validators, which still includes validators that are "above-average", since the average stake on Solana is approximately ◎ 200,000.
Over time we might adjust this display algorithm (and that's all it is, a way to try and visualise stake weight), in which case we'll update this FAQ entry.
What does the yellow border and triangle mean?
We display a yellow warning triangle next to the validator name (or where the name would be if they don't have one) and a yellow border when they are currently delinquent. This means right now as of our systems' last observation they are delinquent as reported by the RPC Node our systems queried.
What is delinquency?
Delinquency essentially means the validator isn't contributing to consensus, isn't voting or is offline. Generally this happens because a validator has crashed, is offline for maintenance/upgrades or their hardware or network are too slow to keep up with the speed at which Solana's blockchain progresses.
On a more technical level delinquency is defined as being 128 or more slots behind the tip of the blockchain.
Why should I care about delinquency and commission changes?
If you're staking with a validator and they become delinquenty this means they are no longer voting and participating in the chain's consensus. Your staking rewards are a direct result of the validator's voting record, since every vote earns them "credits". At the end of the epoch the blockchain awards staking rewards to stake accounts based on their validator's total credits.
With regards to commission, this of course means a change to how much you're receiving and how much the validator is charging you. It's as if Netflix started charging your credit card a different amount this month. Validators should (and many do) communicate changes in commission ahead of time. And of course a change can be down, not just up. However in case a validator doesn't announce this change, or tries to boundary-skim, you should know about this.
What is boundary-skimming? This is when a validator changes their commission right before the epoch ends (at the epoch boundary). When the epoch ends the commission at that point is applied to the entire epoch's rewards, so they'll earn commission for the entire epoch on the rate they just set. Then right after the boundary they could revert the commission and if you were to look at their details on an explorer you'd have no idea what just happened. This is a very deceptive tactic that unfortunately has been observed on occasion.
With our alerts you'll get a single email per alertable event (delinquency or commission) to let you know about it, then you have the power to decide what you'd like to do.
(We're considering adding a second email for delinquencies, letting you know once the delinquency is resolved).
Are there other ways to receive alerts?
Not yet, but we're planning to introduce some, including the ability to configure webhooks to popular messaging services so you can get them where it's most convenient to you.
We'd love to offer SMS alerts but right now this would be cost prohibitive, we're thinking of ways to make this happen. A Twilio integration may be an interim solution though. We're also planning to provide a generic API or webhook format in the future.
How often do I get an alert when a validator is delinquent?
Right now just once, when the delinquency first exceeds your chosen threshold. We might add a second email to let you know when they're no longer delinquenty, but we haven't implemented this yet.
How can I submit feedback or get in touch?
How is the Wiz Score calculated?