Aurora validator v 2.0 setup

Also, for the convenience, pasting the calculation of the APY for the current prices of NEAR and AURORA tokens (thick border). As said above, the APY depends on the total amount of delegated NEAR.

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Will the old one be deleted? Should we have an option to just auto-migrate to new one?
Will there be an extra reward for early V1 stakers?

HI Alex,

Thanks for the incredible work that you and your team are doing!

I’d like you to address the issue of decentralisation:

  1. I am concerned that having one validator which offers much higher rewards than the rest will create some pretty basic incentives for a large amount of funds to move in that direction, threatening the decentralisation of the Network (one node having disproportionate amount of funds).
  2. Unprecedented Distortion. In the past, the maximum spread between all validators was minimal. Everyone receives approx. ~10% in NEAR staking rewards and the variance between validator fees was 10% max. Now we are introducing many multiples Staking Rewards differential to be paid out in a different token. This creates a bunch of variables which are currently unaccounted.
  3. Liquid Staking. I’d also like to know what consideration if any has been given to the current Liquid Staking through Metapool. Seems to me that this arrangement would mean that Aurora validator would be so large that it would not be eligible for delegation from Metapool (as Metapool aims to do the exact opposite, spread NEAR across validators to ensure decentralisation. Liquid Staking is a core part of Defi and growth of ecosystem through leveraging; I’m wondering what the opportunity cost is of subsidising free transactions on Aurora while wasting hundreds of millions of liquid capital locked in the node.
  4. Alternative costs. Can we also get an analysis of what the true cost of using Aurora without any incentives would be? I understand that free is better than cheap, but seems to me like we are bending backwards to make something free when it should already be: a) very cheap in the first place b) cheaper than competition c) something users are willing to pay for

Thanks for all your hard work, AVB

hey guys, I’ve been trying to stake to the aurora.pools.near validator all morning, but it says it’s “inactive”. any idea why? I haven’t actually tried to delegate, but wondering if I can go ahead and do it, on the assumption this will get fixed soon?

Also, will my near wallet still accrue AURORA rewards if I take my stNEAR and farm it on ref.fi in the stNEAR-AURORA pool/farm?

  1. The old pool will be shut down in several weeks from now.
  2. There’s no option to auto-migrate, since pools are not capable of operating with delegators’ tokens. Delegators should unstake and stake with the new pool.
  3. The reward for early v1 stakers was not discussed previously.

Thanks for these questions, @AVB !

Indeed the decentralisation / distortion is a concern. However, Aurora not launching such a validator is not a solution to it. Rename Aurora validator to a noname validator and the same would hold true. These new types of the validators are opening the new markets and since the tech is open source, the ecosystem needs to understand how to work with it.

IMO, it’s NF task to ensure that decentralisation is there, under such conditions.

Liquid staking would work absolutely the same way as with conventional NEAR staking. The only difference is that once stNEAR is exchanged back, the staker would get NEAR and AURORA in this case (and some other tokens once other v2 pools will be launched). Obviously it’s up to Metapool to ensure that the pools that they delegate too are trustworthy and the higher upside in the project tokens worth it.

On the last point, free vs per-transaction is a very big difference. It’s the difference that limits the spectrum of the business models for the RPC to a single one: users are paying per transaction and they need to think about the complexity of the gas UX (nonces, speeding up transactions, etc.). Gas UX complexity is limiting adoption and is exactly the thing that restricts blockchain to millions of users and not billions. With free transactions, gas UX complexity might be removed. Monitor the upcoming Aurora releases :slight_smile:

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Thanks for addressing these issues.

I understand that the ability for validators to offer additional rewards is now a standard feature, that any validator can choose to offer additional rewards, and that naturally a range of different offerings from validators will create varying APYs. My key concern is whether these rewards are meaningful enough to cause a disruption to the network.

There are very few projects that could have a significant enough effect on the network to pose a risk - I can only think of Aurora and Octopus. The moment we talk about BILLLIONS of dollars worth of incentives, and taking into account that Aurora and Octopus are built on top of NEAR, means that there is a shared responsibility in ensuring decentralisation. We should be striving for mutually beneficial relationships, not cannibalising the blockchain that provides the underlying security.

NF has already committed 1.5m NEAR to Metapool, and I would strongly support a proposal to increase the NF allocation to Metapool, as that would serve as a strong guarantee of decentralisation.

Additionally, I would like to propose to the Aurora Community that, as part of the commitment to distribute $AURORA to the NEAR Ecosystem, we allocate some Aurora tokens to regular validators. The split is to be decided, perhaps a 80/20 principle would be appropriate. Allocation of Aurora tokens could even be done directly to Metapool (to reduce complexity of spreading across many validators).

Overall, I am thrilled by the technical innovation enabling validator farming, but unsatisfied and concerned by the current attitude of deflecting a real risk that you are creating to the NEAR Foundation. As we acknowledge the risk and challenge, we must tackle it together.

When will the rewards turn on?

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@Jommi @Hyperfall

Please refer to that tweet from Alex regarding the AURORA tokens reward.

Near Wallet will soon address this issue.

So the rewards are on already bbut not in GUI?

Are rewards accrued daily? Is there a period of lock rewards or will it be possible to withdraw daily?

Yes, exactly. It is so

It works as any other validator node on Near Protocol: rewards are accrued at the end of every epoch and you will need 4 epochs to unstake your tokens

Thanks for caring of the decentralization, but I really think we are talking about different things. Let me give you a quick example:

Imagine there’s an incentivised wNEAR <> FLX pool on Ref (and it is there: Ref Finance). Imagine now, that this pool has high APY (and it actually has an APY of 400%). Would this pool attract NEAR? I believe you would obviously agree that it will.

Now the important question: is this pool a threat to the decentralization and security of NEAR protocol?

And the correct answer, IMO, is yes. Why? because it reduces the amount of staked NEAR, which reduces the cost of attack and makes it easier to make centralized protocol decisions.

Please think about this example. Anything that removes NEAR from staking and puts it in the other use, including (and this one might blow your mind!) holding NEAR for paying for the transactions is a threat to the security and decentralization.

Now, what should we do about it? My point of view is that this is a perpendicular problem. And it’s in the domain of responsibility of NF. Does NF do anything about Ref pools? No. And I think there is a valid answer why: the market will decide. And NF has a major lever to the market; much bigger than Aurora as a whole or Aurora Labs in particular.

Personally, I can say that Aurora Labs would always vote on any Aurora DAO decisions concerning the validator voting, protocol upgrades, etc. the way that embraces decentralization.

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Alex, your hypotheticals and both unhelpful and ridiculous.

It is well accepted that technically anything that withdraws NEAR from staking represents a threat to the network. The obvious issue is about the scale and proportion of the threat.

As I’ve mentioned repeatedly and I continue to get ignored, we are talking about BILLIONS of dollars worth of incentives - nothing else comes even close to that magnitude. This is a seismic shift in the composition of the network.

Furthermore, you are also ignoring a key aspect: this isn’t a random challenge of decentralisation, this is a deliberate threat you and your team are choosing to engage in while deflecting total responsibility to the NF? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

I would expect that any responsible conversations going forward acknowledge the specific issue at hand, your role and responsibility in creating this threat, and contemplate alternative courses of actions to mitigate the major risks.

I think something to think about here is the bigger picture.

This is defi/web3. We are at the will of the markets/humans. We cannot bully people into doing / not doing things. We can only incentivize.

If this truly is a problem for decentralization AND users of NEAR and AURORA care about decentralization in a high amount - then of course users would move away from supporting this move.

Also, its not like this is some unstoppable gigantic decision that once done cant be reverted. We should always be open to trying new things instead of erring on the side of caution. How else can we further these technologies?

Finally, my more radical belief - Even if this is a threat to NEAR’s decentralization, I believe that maximal decentralization of NEAR is pretty much a useless goal. We can look at decentralization later, but now we need to act fast and make sure we don’t have the same fate as countless EVM competitors in the past. Look at the 2017 ICO boom and what is left.

The fact is AURORA is the sole reason NEAR is even being talked about now. Its the sole reason the TVL on NEAR is increasing. We should be commending the team’s efforts. They probably have onboarded more NEAR users than any other NEAR foundation supported project ever.

: )

Thanks for your inputs friend,

I agree. We must think of the big picture. A core component of it which perhaps hasn’t been mentioned as much is the perceived decentralisation and security of the network. I do recall all the projects from the early days that failed, most of them got smeared for not being decentralised. So this is and should always be a box we have to tick in order to continue to grow.

In regards to incentives and human behaviour, two things: First, we all know that it is possible to be blinded by incentives that steer us in the wrong path even if we have the best of intentions. This is why we have open, adult conversations such as this one to gain some perspective before we act. Having said that, this conversation is more nuanced as we are the creators of the incentives. As anyone who has ever sat down to assess the tokenomics of a project would know, the market will respond to your incentives regardless of whether they are good or bad for you. If we can foresee the current set of incentives we are introducing could actually be detrimental, we have the ability and I would argue the responsibility to tweak them.

Just to be clear, I am in no way proposing that we stop the Aurora Validator. I am simply raising some potential issues that should be addressed. I do believe some minor but carefully thought out changes could address some of these concerns and enable to validators to launch and achieve its desired goals.

I’ll take the the radical belief statements lightly, but just acknowledging that there are many who think like you is a strong reason for ensuring that the network is resilient to any one individual or project’s beliefs and actions.

I love Aurora, have been working relentlessly to promote and grow both NEAR and Aurora ecosystems and would not be raising this issue if I wasn’t legitimate concerned and wanted to ensure we can minimise any unnecessary risks to ensure success long term.

You’re making something out of nothing, truly.
I saw your NEAR forum post too. Jesus christ dude.

This is a STATIC reward pool.

Do you realize what that means? Did you even play around with the excel provided?
I told you all this is variable. Im starting to think you just read the tweet about 400% APY and stopped there.

Let me spell it out for you.
The more people staking for AURORA validator - The less APY they get.
The more people staking for AURORA validator - The more sell pressure on AURORA - The less APY they get.

Let’s assume AURORA goes back to its support price of around 10 USD. Remember, there is ZERO use for AURORA rn AND this is new AURRAO that is being emitted.
Looking at the excel sheet, that would put the equilibrium total staked around 20M (based on 11% APY on NEAR staking).

What if it went to 2 USD? Now the optimum is around 5-6M. See how that works?

Currently the staked.poolv1.near has 42M delegated. Why are you not shouting and calling the hounds on them?

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At present, there is only aurora distribution plan, when will AURORA tokens actually be used? This seems unfair to AURORA holders.
I only see that staking NEAR can get AURORA, which is a disservice to AURORA holders.

Here is the discussion about staking

https://forum.aurora.dev/t/aurora-staking-and-the-community-treasury/75/14

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