We thought it would be helpful to try shed some light on a few questions we often get asked.
WHERE ARE OUR SERVERS LOCATED?
Our primary node sits in London (UK) with a backup in Germany.
WHAT HARDWARE DO WE RUN?
We use the latest generation AMD EPYC CPU Servers with 512GB of RAM and 10Gbs Network connections.
WHAT IS STAKING?
The idea is similar to where you move money from your current account to a savings account.
A validator acts like a bank where they define how much interest you receive. The interest they can give you is determined by 3 factors:
The current Solana inflation rate - this is an external factor.
The fees the validator charges - higher fees mean you get less.
How well the validator performs - better validators get you more interest on your stake.
The other important thing to note here is that staking is non-custodial. This means that you do not lose control of your Solana unlike with a bank where you hand over your money and hope the bank does not go bust. All you are doing with your Solana is earmarking the notes in your wallet to be staked with a certain validator. The notes are still in your wallet.
When you stake your Solana, it gets transferred to a stake account (savings account) and you then need to wait till the next epoch for your stake to become active and so start earning.
An epoch’s current length is roughly 2 days and 16 hours.
When destaking, it will take the rest of the current epoch to become deactivated however you will keep earning for the duration of the epoch you choose to destake on. Once deactivated, the Solana is released and can then be transferred back into your main wallet (i.e. your current account).
WHO BENEFITS FROM STAKING?
Stakers receive a return (interest) on their Solana. These rewards are then added to the existing stake in their stake account (savings account grows).
The Network - utilising validators across the cluster helps strengthen the Solana network by making it more resilient and decentralised. If the stake gets too concentrated on just a few validators - this reduces it's resilience.
Validators can earn commission (i.e. taking a percentage of the rewards due to their stakers. They can also earn from adding new blocks to the block-chain and receive a part of the trx fees for every block added. However, they require a fairly large amount of third party stake (> 500K) to break even if they are not charging any commission.
WHEN DO I RECEIVE REWARDS FROM STAKING?
You only receive rewards at the end of an Epoch where your stake was ACTIVE. The stake will only become active on the following epoch to the one you initialised your stake on.