Staking and Node Operation: the path forward

Sep 24, 2020

From October 2020, Fetch.ai will be changing its staking mechanism to prepare it for the future.

Fetch.ai staking is currently paused for a month to allow for the Mettalex staking and token drop to take place. It will then resume in a new format more suitable for the long term, and structured around the model that will incentivise node operation on main-net.

Roadmap overview

Over the coming months we will be migrating our test-net to become Main-net v2.0, integrating the Agent Framework (Agentland), as well as new services for Oracles, a Decentralized Random Beacon (DRB) for strong pseudorandom numbers, our new CosmWasm based virtual machine, and other improvements.

As part of this update, staking on the main-net will move towards Node Operation model, which over time will enable delegated staking to a network of staking providers, or directly with Fetch.ai via a smart contract interface.

To that end there will be up-coming incentivised test-nets program. If you are interested in participating in this program, please join our Developer Slack, and access the #staking channel to talk with the team.

As part of this journey to our new main-net, we will be shortly launching an updated method of staking that ensures we are ready for partners, network operators and more. We’ve worked hard to ensure that this new staking is flexible, easy to use and works now and into the future.

How staking will work in Staking 2.0

It is easier to use than ever before and considerably more flexible.

In particular:

  • You can stake your FET at any time you choose. You can stake any amount of FET you wish;
  • Once staked, the contract will deliver a reward continuously for as long as tokens remain staked as you are contributing to network security and providing network utility;
  • You can withdraw any amount of staked FET tokens after a three-week lock-up period.
  • You are free to stake additional amounts at any time;
  • Staked FET entitles you to rewards from participating in incentivised test-nets;
  • You can run validators to receive further rewards

FET holders will be able to participate in rewards in the short term in two ways.

  1. FET holders will receive a fixed reward for staking FET in the staking smart contracts and supporting Fetch.ai network development and consensus
  2. FET holders will also be able to participate in the planned future MTLX, ATMX and other FET network tokens if/ when they become available

FET network rewards

The new staking will come with a complete web front-end and Fetch.ai and will also support hardware wallets. In order to stake directly, you will need your FET tokens to be in a non-exchange wallet that is able to interact with smart contracts directly.

We are in discussions with exchanges who wish to participate in ‘soft staking’ programs with FET token holders, and these may become possible, but as before, the most efficient solution will be likely to come from staking directly with FET via the interface at staking.fetch.ai

MTLX, and future token releases

During the initial MTLX distribution of 1million MTLX, these were distributed via a dedicated ‘stake-drop’ interface at Mettalex.com. Tokens are now being traded at Balancer, Uniswap and other decentralized exchanges.

Mettalex has also committed to three more MTLX distributions, of 500k, 350k and 150k MTLX, and we plan to make at least some of these via the main Fetch.ai staking contract. So FET token holders will receive FET rewards, as well as progressive MTLX distributions when they take place.

The current plan is that Atomix initial distribution of ATMX will take place at the Atomix.ai site, and a number of future distributions will take place via the main Fetch.ai staking contract in a similar manner, as well as via staking and exchange partners.

Next steps

We will be launching a preview of the new staking interface in the coming days, and we expect Staking 2.0 to launch promptly when the MTLX distribution lockup ends after October 1st.

We will be working with staking partners and exchanges to prepare them for this change from October 2020 and to work with them with their participation, particularly when it comes to running validators to secure the Fetch.ai network in the future.

Interested parties who wish to take part in the Incentivised Test-net to prepare for staking to launch on the main network should contact [email protected], to be invited to the private planning group.