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Commission and Foundation Nodes

At this stage of the Aleph Zero chain's evolution, the Aleph Zero Foundation runs 10 validator nodes that help to preserve the chain stability on the road towards full decentralization. See below the full list on the Mainnet (similarly, for the Testnet, there are 10 nodes).
Right after the introduction of staking on Aleph Zero, all the Foundation Nodes charged 0% commission from nominators. This changed in early December 2022 when the Aleph Zero Mainnet welcomed community validators. At that time, to avoid the so-called "commission wars" among validators, a minimum commission of 2% was set on-chain. Thus the Foundation Validators began to charge a minimum 2% commission.
To improve the decentralization of Aleph Zero and incentivize nominators to nominate community validators (see https://alephzero.org/blog/mainnet-validator-commission-schedule/ for details), the following schedule of increasing the commission was released in mid-December 2022:
  • Dec 16th, 2022: Foundation nodes — 3.5%,
  • Dec 30th, 2022: Foundation nodes — 5%,
  • Jan 13th, 2023: Foundation nodes — 6.5% (minimum community commission — 3%),
  • Jan 27th, 2023: Foundation nodes — 8% (minimum community commission — 4%),
  • Feb 10th, 2023: Foundation nodes — 9.5% (minimum community commission — 5%),
  • Feb 24th, 2023: Foundation nodes — 11%,
  • Mar 10th, 2023: Foundation nodes — 12.5%,
  • Mar 24th, 2023: Foundation nodes — 14%.
The goal of the above is to reach the state when at least 50% of all staked AZERO are with community validators -- if this goal is reached at any point, the increase of the commission of Foundation nodes will stop.