Validators are responsible for securing the xDai stable chain. Validator responsibilities include maintaining a functional node with constant uptime, providing STAKE as collateral, and providing decentralization to the protocol. In exchange for this service, validators receive block rewards and transaction fees.
Once phase 2 begins, additional validators and delegators will have the ability to onboard. To become a validator on the xDai stable chain, you must first become a candidate. Each staking epoch, 19 candidate pools are chosen to act as validators for that epoch. If there are 19 or fewer active candidates, then all active pools are selected. If there are more than 19, selection is based on total stake in the pool + a random number. See this article for more info on weighting and randomness.
1) You will need the minimum candidate stake amount of STAKE and a small amount of xDAI deposited to your address on the xDai chain. Deposit these to your staking address - this is the address you will use to access the protocol.
2) In addition to your regular staking address, you will need a separate mining address which will be configured to an OpenEthereum node. Generate and save the json keystore file (and be sure to save the password in a safe place!)
To generate a key, use the following OpenEthereum's CLI command:
openethereum account new --keys-path <path_to_save_json_keystore>
3) Setup your node:
Confirm current instructions are correct for new stake-based validators
4) Once your node is setup and ready, go to blockscout.com and change the Network to the xDai network.
5) After you have switched to xDai, select an item from the Stakes dropdown.
6) Set your web3wallet (Metamask/Nifty) account to your Staking address and network to xDai. Once connected, you should see your address and STAKE balance in the site banner.
7) Click the Become a Candidate button in the header. You will see this modal.
8) Select the amount of STAKE you would like to place as your initial stake (you can always add additional stake later) and enter your mining address from step 2.
9) Click Become a Candidate. Submit and complete the transaction through the web3 wallet interface.
10) If successful, your pool will appear in the Active Pools tab. You will be eligible to join the next staking epoch as a Validator! If there are more than 19 candidates, you will be chosen based on the total stake amount in your pool (your stake + any delegators stake) plus a random number.