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Validators

Validators are responsible for running the nodes that secure the Aleph Zero blockchain. To become a validator, one must own at least 25,000 AZERO.
In order to become a candidate for a validator on the Aleph Zero network, one has to bond a minimal stake of 25’000 AZERO and align with the hardware requirements, see also our extensive docs on validating. Validators are responsible for running nodes that verify the truthfulness of transactions conducted on the Aleph Zero network. Validators are a crucial element of the decentralized governance of the chain and will be vouched for by the nominators who can delegate their stake to validators they deem trustworthy. Rewards assigned to a particular validator, are split among the validator itself and its nominators proportionally to their stake. In the event of dishonest behavior, the validator's and it’s nominators stake are slashed.

Switching from nomination to validation

If you are starting as a validator and would like to include in your bond some AZERO that is currently being nominated to another validator you will most likely not need to unbond and wait for the unbonding period to end. Below we cover some possible cases that you might find yourself in, and explain the steps that you can take to minimize the amount of coins that need to be unbonded. (We use the standard interface https://test.azero.dev/#/staking/actions -- testnet or https://azero.dev/#/staking/actions -- mainnet.)
  1. 1.
    Case: You nominate X>=25k AZERO from a single account acc_1 and would like to use the whole X as your validator stake. Solution: this is the simplest case. Choose your account and click Stop. Then follow the standard steps to generate and set your session keys. Afterwards click Validate. Once a new era starts, the changes will take effect. No unbonding happens.
  2. 2.
    Case: You nominate X>=25k AZERO from a single account acc_1 and would like to use some smaller amount Y<X as your validator stake. Solution: Choose your account and click Stop. Then click Unbond funds in order to reduce your total bond to Y. Then follow the standard steps to generate and set your session keys. Afterwards click Validate. Once a new era starts, the changes will take effect. You will unbond X-Y AZERO, and they will be available to you after the unbonding period.
  3. 3.
    Case: You nominate X<25k AZERO from a single account acc_1 and would like to add some stake to reach Y>=25k and become a validator. Solution: Choose your account and click Stop. Then click Bond more funds in order to increase your total bond to Y. Then follow the standard steps to generate and set your session keys. Afterwards click Validate. Once a new era starts, the changes will take effect.
  4. 4.
    Case: You nominate a total of Y>=25k AZERO but from multiple accounts, say acc_1, acc_2, acc_3 and would like to become a validator. Solution: Unfortunately you will need to unbond all but one account, and wait for the unbonding period to pass. In this case it is optimal to keep one bonded account (the one with most funds) and after the unbonding period move funds from the other accounts to this one, and follow Case 3.