Komodo: The Fourth Annual Notary Node Election Postponed, Blockchain Fundamentals Series, Antara…

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The Fourth Annual Notary Node Election will begin on April 13, 2020. Everyone who wants to run in the election must submit a proposal to announce their candidacy by 12:00 UTC on April 12.

The Notary Nodes who will be automatically re-elected for outstanding performance will be announced on April 12. Then, on April 13, the Komodo team will airdrop VOTE tokens to all KMD holders at a 1:1 ratio to the KMD coins they hold in a private wallet. The Komodo community will cast their ballots by sending the VOTE tokens to the address(es) of their preferred candidate(s). The voting period will last until May 4, 2020. The newly-elected Notary Node Operators will be announced on May 11.

There are a total of 64 nodes in Komodo’s Notary Node network. There are four Notary Node regions: Europe (EU), Asia-Russia (AR), North America (NA), and the Southern Hemisphere (SH). Each region contains at least 13 notary nodes, boosting the physical distribution and security of Komodo’s Notary Node network. In 2020, each region will have an even 15 Notary Nodes.

Important dates for Season 4:

KMD snapshot: April 12th, 2020

Autoelection announcement: April 12th — cutoff time: April 12th 2020, 12pm UTC

Proposal deadline: April 13th 2020, 12pm UTC

Vote2020 airdrop: April 13th 2020, 12pm UTC

Season 4 Election start: April 13th 2020, 12pm UTC

Season 4 Election end: May 4th 2020, 12pm UTC

Public Komodo update announcement: May 11th, 2020

dPoW season 4 start: June 14th, 2020

Komodo Core and AC hardfork activation:

Komodo core hardfork activation: KMD block 1.903.000 (Sunday, May 31st, 2020)

SmartChain hardfork activation: Timestamp 1590926400 (Sunday, May 31st, 2020 12:00:00 PM UTC)

Those running for election must declare in which region they intend to operate their Notary Node. If anyone is discovered to be running a node in a region other than the one for which they were elected, this operator will be immediately disqualified and the NN spot gets assigned to the next candidate in the election result list. This keeps things fair, as different geographic locations offer Internet connections at varying costs and speeds.

Candidates may choose to run for one seat in one of the four regions. That means that, at the most, any individual candidate can seek 1 Notary Node position in their first election participation.

If that candidate proves his reliability and ability to operate a NN by making it to the top 3 rankings for his region at the end of the season, he is able to apply for up to two additional NN spots in different regions for the next elections. Three is the maximum number of spots that any one candidate is permitted to seek.

Every year, the Komodo community elects a new cohort of Notary Node operators. The first Notary Node Election was in January 2017 and the previous annual Notary Node Election took place in April 2019.

Notary Nodes perform cross-chain notarizations to provide security, scaling, and interoperability features. Cross-chain notarizations are transactions that store a small piece of crucial blockchain data from one blockchain on the ledger of different blockchain.

Notarizations are required for Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) security, which recycles the hash rate of the Bitcoin network to secure third-party blockchains, as well as Platform Synchronizations, a technology that makes scaling and interoperability features available to all Smart Chain projects.

The Voting Process

The Komodo Notary Node Elections are stake weighted, meaning that those who hold more KMD have more voting power in the election. The process works as follows.

A special voting token will be airdropped to KMD holders at a 1:1 ratio. If you have 1000 KMD, you will receive 1000 voting tokens. The current supply of KMD is around 120 Million, so roughly 120 Million voting tokens will be airdropped to the Komodo community.

It’s important to note that you must hold your private keys in order to receive these tokens. If you hold your KMD on a centralized exchange, then you do not hold your private keys and you will not receive any tokens. If you’re a KMD holder and you wish to participate in the election, now is time to withdraw your coins into a private wallet.

All candidates will publicly post an address in which they can receive voting tokens. Once you’ve received them, you may cast your ballot by sending them to the candidate(s) of your choice. The only rule for voting is that the sale of voting tokens is strictly prohibited. Anyone caught buying or selling them will be disqualified from participating in the election. Apart from that, community members may vote for any candidates in any region.

How To Run For A Notary Node Operator Position

Anyone with the required hardware and knowledge can run in the Notary Node Election. Candidates don’t need to own a single KMD coin to become a Notary Node Operator. In fact, candidates don’t need to be a current member of the Komodo community or know anything at all about the inner workings of Komodo’s technology.

The technical requirements:

  • OS: Linux is mandatory. Ubuntu 18.x or Debian 10.x recommended.

The hardware requirements for the 3P NN server are as follows:

  • OS: Ubuntu 18.x or Debian 10.x is recommended.

In order to run in the Notary Node Election, candidates must submit a written proposal to the Notary Node repository on Github. Proposals can contain, among other things, a brief bio, motivations for running in the election, and planned contributions to the Komodo ecosystem.

At a minimum, a candidate’s proposal must state which region they are running in and post an address to which KMD community members can send voting tokens. Candidates may choose to run for one seat in one of the four regions. That means that, at most, an individual candidate can seek 1 Notary Node position in their first election participation.

For more information about running in the election, please see this guide to setting up a Notary Node. This guide will explain how to setup your Main Server, then go through the process of setting up the 3rd Party Server separately. After that there are instructions on how to create your Notary Node pubkeys, import them to your servers and then, create a basic start script for each server. Having a second server (or VM) is now a requirement for Komodo Notary Nodes. There are ways to have a single server and then creating separate virtual machines on it, instead of having two separate servers. This guide won’t touch on how to do that. Join the #notarynode channel on the Komodo Discord Server if you face any problems.

You’re also encouraged to read the Notary Node Bible, which contains more information about the duties and responsibilities of a Notary Node Operator.

If you’re interested in becoming a candidate in the Notary Node Election, please join Komodo’s Community Portal to connect with the team and other community members.

To find out more information about Cross-Chain Notarizations, the Limitations Of Notary Node Capabilities, please, read the article on Komodo website and go to Komodo Github.

Delayed Proof of Work

Komodo’s delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) security is a secondary consensus mechanism that recycles the giant hash rate of the Bitcoin network through a series of cross-chain notarizations.

A Second-Layer Consensus Mechanism

Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) does not act as a blockchain’s primary consensus mechanism. Every dPoW-protected blockchain’s decentralized network still validates each transaction.

Cross-Chain Notarizations

dPoW security protects every integrated blockchain with the power of the Bitcoin network. A series of cross-chain notarizations make leveraging Bitcoin’s hash rate possible.

These cross-chain notarizations are carried out by Komodo’s Notary Node network. Notary Nodes are dedicated servers that perform notarization transactions for the Komodo ecosystem.

dPoW is a second-layer mechanism that provides an extremely high level of security in addition to a blockchain’s normal consensus rules. It is available to both PoW and PoS blockchains.

dPoW Security in 7 Steps

The dPoW process is rather straightforward. While it provides an incredibly high level of security, dPoW is an elegant and simple security solution that can be explained in 7 steps.

  1. Choosing a block to notarize

The Notary Node propose a particular block to notarize from a dPoW-protected blockchain onto the KMD chain.

That dPoW-protected chain’s network then comes to consensus on the fact that the block is valid and ready for notarization.

2) Choosing which Notary Nodes will notarize

Next, the Notary Nodes must come to consensus on which nodes will participate in the notarization.

Each notarization transaction is 13-of-64 multi-signature transaction, with the 13 signature- transaction, with the 13 signature-providing nodes chosen randomly before each notarization transaction.

3) Notarizing to the KMD Blockchain

Once the notary Node network has reached consensus on which 13 nodes will participate in the notarization, they make a transaction on the KMD blockchain.

Using the OP_RETURN command, this notarization transaction saves the block hash of the block choses in Step 1 onto the KMD ledger.

4) Notarizing to the BTC Blockchain

Now, the Komodo network comes to consensus on which block will be notarized to the Bitcoin blockchain.

Using the same procedure as Step 3, the Notary Nodes execute a transaction on the Bitcoin chain, thus saving a KMD block hash onto the BTC ledger.

5) Back Notarization to KMD Network

After the Bitcoin network has confirmed the notarization transaction in step 4, the Notary Nodes broadcast the info to the KMD network.

This provides complete immutability to the notarized block and all blocks that preceded it. The network will not accept a re-org that moves or alters a notarized block.

6) Back notarization to each dPoW protected chain

The Notary Nodes also announce to the networks of each dPoW-protected chain that a notarization has been completed.

Just as in Step5, once a dPoW-protected chain’s network learns that the block has been notarized, that block and all blocks that came before it become immutable.

7) Repeat the entire dPoW process

Komodo’s Notary Node network repeats the entire dPoW roughly every ten minutes. This provides BTC-level security around the clock to all dPoW-protected blockchains.

Even if an attacker gains control of a network, they cannot re-organize any blocks that have been notarized. Since notarizations occur every 10 minutes, 51% attacks are both infeasible and unprofitable.

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