The Fantom Foundation anticipates that the adjustments will strengthen Fantom’s security while without slowing down the network.More than six months after passing a governance vote, the Fantom Foundation has revealed that it has reduced the validator self-staking requirement on its layer-1 blockchain Fantom by 90%.
Fantom Foundation stated in a Jan. 15 post on X that the adjustments were made “recently,” following the vote, which completed in June 2023. The staking level for Fantom (FTM) has been reduced from 500,000 FTM to 50,000 FTM, which is now worth $19,500. According to the foundation, the move will increase Fantom’s security while making it “more accessible than ever” to run a validator “By increasing the number of validators, a network makes it increasingly difficult for malicious actors to launch an attack,” the foundation stated on January 15. Fantom validators work by grouping transactions together and sharing them with other validators. When at least two-thirds of network validators reach an agreement, the process is said to be complete.
The foundation stated that increasing the number of validators will result in submitted transactions reaching validators faster because there would be more to pick from. However, the foundation addressed a potential concern by stating that the increase in validator count will not slow down the Fantom network: “As long as new validators are running on quality hardware, the network will be more secure and won’t see any downgrade in performance as it maintains the 1-2 second time to finality.” Fantom further emphasised that lower staking requirements would not constitute a security issue because the power of a validator to confirm transactions is proportionate to its staking amount, not the number of validators it runs. “A validator with 1 million FTM staked would have the same power as twenty smaller validators, each with 50k FTM staked,” Fantom went on to say.
Since at least February 2022, Fantom has proposed lowering the minimum quantity of FTM required to run a node. According to Fantom’s block explorer, there are presently 58 validators safeguarding its network. In comparison, Ethereum, the largest layer 1 smart contract platform, has over 1.1 million validators, whereas Cardano, Solana, and Avalanche had 2,589, 1,876 and 1,119 validators, respectively, according to a Messari report from June 2023.
Fantom Foundation’s hot wallet was hacked three months ago for $550,000, which represents less than 1% of the foundation’s assets. A security researcher identified an additional potential risk associated with the hack and promptly alerted Fantom Foundation. According to the blockchain firm, they prevented damage estimated at $170 million.