Polygon — Becoming a Validator

Gentlemen Capital
6 min readAug 17, 2022
  • To become a validator on Polygon, you need to run both a sentry and a validator node, to ensure that your validator node is not exposed to the public and only the sentry node is. Your sentry node collect information / blocks from the network and then relays them to the validator for validation.

    We have 2 system requirements(for sentry and validator node):
    Minimum requirements:
    RAM : 32 GB
    CPU: 8-core
    Storage: 2TB SSD
    For AWS — the minimum requirements are md.2xlarge or t3.2xlarge, and to be sure that the 2TB SSD storage is extandable.

    2) Recommended requirements:
    RAM: 64GB
    CPU: 16-core
    Storage: 3–4 TB SSD
    Bandwith: 1Gbit/s
    For AWS — the recommended requirements is m5d.4xlarge.
    Expected data transferred per month: 3–5 TB
  • The minimum storage requirements grows as the network grows.
  • Costs to become a Polygon Validator — 1 MATIC
    but, the numbers of validators are limited to 100 validators.
  • You can not reserve a spot to be a validator only if there is a vacant validator slot, anyone with any amount of stake can become a validator in the system. There will be validator auctions periodically (days mostly), wherein anyone can replace any current validator by proposing higher stake. Basically, it is a open system and they can not reserve the spot to anyone.
    Logical, over the time(with this auction system) the average stake by a validator will tend upwards.
    UPDATE: New Validators can only join the active set when a currently active validator unbonds. A new auction process for validator replacement will be rolled out.
  • To be mentioned that the sentry and validator nodes should run on different machines and is highly recommended to use Linux.
  • All transactions will happen on ETH Mainnet, meaning you need to have MATIC on ETH network, either you want to stake as a validator or as a delegator.
  • Transaction fees are done as well in ETH.

How to Stake
1. Access the Validator Dashboard
2. Log in with your Metamask(recommended wallet)
You have to make sure that you login using the same address where your MATIC tokens are present
3. Click become a validator
You will be asked to set up your node. If you haven`t already set up by now, you will need to do so, else if you proceed ahead, you will encounter an error while attempting to stake.
4. on the next screen, add your validator details, the commision rate and the staking amount
5. Stake now
Once the transaction is completed, you will have staked succesfully to become a validator. 3 transactions to be signed
Approve Transaction
For the changes to take effect on the staking dashboard, It requires a minimum of 12 block confirmations.


A validator is entitled to charge any commission rate, minimum being 0 and max being 100%.
You are allowed to change the commission as many time you like and whenever you like, but it is your responsibility to inform community on this changes.

Validator Responsabilities

Technical node operations done by the node.
Maintain high uptime(signing all the checkpoints which are happening every aprox 34 min).
Check node-related services and processes daily.
Run node monitoring.
Keep ETH balance on the signer address.
Be open to delegation(if not, place a 100% commission and nobody would delegate their tokens to your validator).
Communicate commission rates.
Provide feedback and suggestions.

  • Validator Rewards = Staking Rewards + Transaction Fees
  • Ex: If you run a validator and you have a commision of 5%, you will get 5% of your delegator`s rewards and they would keep 95%.
    I had a conversation with one of the bigger stakers on Polygon: Vault Staking and he told me that with his amount of stake(self stake and delegators) he is paying 4 times per day to Ethereum Mainnet based on their stake around 0.03 ETH, around 70$, meaning a cost of 280–300$ daily on fees.

    On the other side, he has 70.000 self stake MATIC and 176 mil Matic from delegators which is leading to a big amount of rewards.
    Polygon encourage the delegators to stake their MATIC to small validators and basically not to give the power to the big fishes.
    To be mentioned that if the validator has a bad day and he can not sign 1 checkpoint, his performance is going down 0.5% for every checkpoint he missed.

There are Validators which are paying 200–300$ in gas fee every checkpoint (having a large amount of delegators and MATIC staked via their validators), therefore it is important to have some ETH balance on the wallet.
From what I see in their Discord, some people are not happy at all with the Validator rewards, being down to barely 5%.
Currently they are on the third year and the rewards should be around 9% for 30% of the total circulating supply staked. But, now, the total supply staked is 42% of the total circulating supply, which makes the rewards smaller. The projection is for 5 years and is going down to 3% rewards for 40% staked, but if this percentage is going a bit higher, which is the case right now, the rewards will be even smaller.
They are planning to release a Medium statement in few days with new mechanism, so waiting to see how the story will end up.

1 machine for a sentry node — aprox 3000 euros
1 machine for a validator node — aprox 3000 euros

  • Checkpoint Signed: This is the validator’s uptime based on roughly the past week (200 checkpoints). Even if a validator has a short outage, they will quickly drop to high- and mid-90%. If they have an extend outage or a server issue, they can quickly be in the 80–90% range. Just recently, some of the bigger validators with actual support teams dropped as low as 75% because of issues with the network and their validator. So don’t just pick a validator based on name, anyone can have a bad day.
  • Commission: Everyone wants to delegate to a 100% uptime and 0% commission validator, but neither of these will last forever. In terms of commission, 0% isn’t sustainable, especially for larger validators that sign checkpoints often (having to spend ~$300–400 for gas each time). You can pick a 0% commission to start with, and not know if, when, and to what percentage they will hike up their commission, or you can delegate to an already low-percentage validator since there is a very good chance they will keep that commission for a longer time, anything 5% or under should be acceptable assuming they have good uptime.
  • Total Stake/Number of Delegators: This is good to see how many other people trust the validator with their delegation. You need to look for a trustworthy validator (comparing checkpoints signed and commission)with less total stake as this is what’s best for the network. If everyone delegates to, say, the top 3 validators, they will have more power and can lead to an insecure network.
  • Self Stake: I gave some of the reasons above why a higher self stake is preferable. Probably the biggest is, they will have a harder time being removed from the active validators. When a validator is remove to make way for a new validator that bid higher, all delegates to the old validator would have to unbond and find a new validator to stake with. On the last update, there is no auction available for the moment, one of the current validators needs to unbond in order to make space for a new one.
  • Total Withdrawn Rewards/Total Rewards Earned: This is how much the validator has earned since they first started their validator, so the time frame varies for each validator.

More about Gentlemen Capital:

Website| Twitter| Instagram| Discord| Linkedin| Telegram



Gentlemen Capital

The world’s first community-driven blockchain launchpad with no staking, leading the way with the best opportunities in the crypto space.