This week’s AMA episode discusses validator monetization of the network by getting paid in revenue. The host, Taariq Lewis @Lewis Taariq, CEO of VolumeFi (volume.finance), joined by Tyler Ruppert @ruppDog, Senior Backend Engineer at VolumeFi, talks about creating more value from the Paloma network to keep validators incentivized, Pigeon feed and its new features, and the potential for uncapped revenue from relaying messages.
AMA – Ask Me Anything
Private key - a cryptographic key used with an asymmetric (public key) cryptographic algorithm. Used to compute a digital signature verifiable by the corresponding public key, the private key is uniquely associated with the owner and is not made public.
Validator – or Pigeon in Paloma, a participant on the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain whose job is to validate transactions on the network for rewards. They are responsible for network security, transaction validation, and consensus building.
Gas fee - a commonly used term for the cost that certain blockchain protocol users pay to network validators each time they wish to perform a function on the blockchain. Gas incentivizes network validators to record transactions accurately in the upkeep of the protocol.
Gas management – referred to as Pigeon feed in this episode
State change - any instance when the state is modified as part of a blockchain transaction.
Testnet - is the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of a blockchain project. It allows developers to experiment with new ideas without disturbing or breaking the product's core features. It primarily gathers feedback from developers and community members to get the community's pulse on what the mainnet should look like.
Mainnet - a fully developed and deployed blockchain protocol where transactions are broadcasted, verified, and recorded. Launching on the mainnet signifies that the project is ready for public use and real-world transactions.
MEV (Maximal Extractable Value) - the maximum value a blockchain miner or validator can make by including, excluding, or changing the order of transactions during the block production process.
Taariq extends a warm welcome to all listeners and the Volume and Paloma communities. He begins the conversation by giving an overview of Volume.
“Volume is working on private key security and private key management. We are passionate about using your private keys to get value from multiple chains. We want you to get control and use more features of your private keys across these chains.”
The host adds that Paloma is currently working on securing custody of tokens via the validator set that controls the movement of tokens. He emphasizes the importance of the work of validators and the rewards awaiting them for relaying messages.
How Validators Monetize Paloma to Get Paid
Paloma aims to bring multichain, gas-optimized, and scheduled messages by a permissionless validator set that manages chain and message security. In the Paloma protocol, validators fulfill two crucial roles by securing the network through the Proof of Stake mechanism and acting as message relayers between Paloma and any other supported blockchains.
Taariq explains how validators monetize Paloma to get paid:
“Validators get paid for sending messages. The more messages validators send, and the faster they send them, the more they get paid. Because validators are also relayers, that means validators get paid, and they get a stake. What matters is whether or not people are sending more volume of messages through the network.”
Taariq touches on global inflation and slowing economic growth and how it can adversely affect validator activity in the blockchain. With liquidity drying up everywhere, finding other ways to make money to keep Pigeons in the network is crucial. Paloma wants to focus on validator monetization of the network by getting paid in revenue. How do we reward validators when token prices are declining? The host shares his thoughts:
“We create more value from the network. So convert your node, which you're running in a data center somewhere that computes storage and communications. Convert that into a money machine. And, of course, if you're on the Paloma network, Paloma and Pigeon work together to allow us to monitor activities happening on Ethereum, BNB, and Polygon and then execute messages to update the state on those networks. We think validators need to charge for this service to make state changes on those networks. Validators need to be shown that Paloma is going to be the fastest, most performant network in this service. We want Paloma to be the undisputed leader in the space.”
Pigeon feed is Paloma’s term for gas management. Pigeons charge service fees for sending messages to different chains and monitoring other chains' activities. The protocol is designed to pay validators for security and performance. Taariq elaborates:
“If you're a validator on the Paloma network, you can monetize the security you deliver and your performance as a Pigeon. The pigeons that are early and get a stake and can figure out how to improve their network infrastructure while at the same time keeping costs low, those pigeons will actually make money.”
Validators can decide how much they want to invest in Paloma, making sure their investments move in step with the rewards they get from Paloma.
The high performance of validators may increase the number of messages converting to an increase in revenue. Consequently, the demand for grains and the price of the target token will also increase. More exchanges will mean more liquidity and resources to create more value.
Tyler expounds on the Pigeon feed and its features:
“We want to assign those messages by introducing a new algorithm for deciding which pigeon is worthy and should be relaying the message. We will allow pigeons to specify a fee they want to collect for relaying their messages.”
High-performant Pigeons with lower fees are more likely to be chosen to relay the message than a Pigeon with a higher fee. They need good uptime and a high success rate in sending messages. Paloma will be using performance metrics to track performance and Pigeon fees. Tyler explains further:
“The more performant Pigeons with better uptime can require a higher fee to run their messages because it's not just about fees. It's also about the performance. So pigeons with the best services and infrastructure can command the highest fees and get more messages.”
Pigeons decide when they want to compete for more fees. Tyler describes more features of the Pigeon feed to incentivize validators:
“We have two fees built in along with the relayer fee. We have a security fee tracked by governance, as is the other one. And it's basically to refund validators that do valset updates for us. So when valset updates happen by the network, that's not users requesting anybody to run a message; we still pay for those. So, that's one fee that we have, and the other is the community fund fee, which is collected on each message run and distributed to all stakeholders in the network. You're still incentivized to be a relayer or to be a validator to secure the network. We have that built into the model.”
The different weights in the new algorithm for picking the Pigeons who will run messages are tracked and decided by governance. Pigeons get to vote on what these weights should be. These weights can be changed by a vote within the community.
Uncapped Relay Revenue
Pigeons can compete regardless of the size of their stake. Validators who want to invest their time in relaying messages are rewarded for that activity. Pigeons who do not have a lot of stakes and want to gain more must be able to run messages quickly, so they get picked more often.
Taariq discusses how sending messages can be infinitely scalable.
“I want people to think about revenue being uncapped. I like to let people know that, in our view, that activity is uncapped revenue. It’s only limited by the marketing awareness ability for people to see how they can use Paloma. Relay revenue is uncapped and does not require you to beg for stake or try to convince people to give you stake. It only requires you to be able to be performant and deliver messages faster than the competition.”
The Security Model
Currently, Pigeons attest to the successful delivery of messages. Paloma will add more slashing conditions if attestation fails to ensure that Pigeons do not cheat. Taariq weighs in:
“Where there's an opportunity to compete for money, there's an opportunity to cheat on uptime and delivery. Pigeons will be looking at each other to determine who is cheating. And because, again, stake does not have to be the highest stake. It means even the lowest staked pigeons can watch other pigeons and ensure they're not cheating.”
Tyler announces that users who want to submit a message can specify a fee they are willing to pay. If the fee meets the minimum, the message will go through. If the fee barely meets the minimum, there might be a delay because it may go to a less performant fit pigeon, or messages with a higher fee are going in front of them. If the fee is higher, then the message will go to the top of the queue. Fees that do not meet the minimum will get an error. Users will need to file a new request to run the message.
Taariq adds his thoughts:
“Allowing users to schedule fees, but also making sure that pigeons know they can set their fees, allows us to create and foster our marketplace. Fees are payable in green or native tokens.”
Paloma wants to make it easy for people to pay any fee they want. Validators can claim those fees, either in green or native tokens, on their target chains.
The New Algorithm in Testnet
The team is currently working on improving the new algorithm in testnet. Taariq invites validators who are active on mainnet to get on testnet. He will again ask the foundation to reward testnet validators to allow Paloma to test the new features. He encourages validators to share their thoughts if they are on a chain with a similar model or have experience in other models.
If all goes well in Phase 2 of testing, Paloma will be ready to launch to mainnet.
Taariq wraps up the episode by reiterating Paloma’s focus on rewarding and incentivizing validators for their essential work.
“We want you to get paid because we know it costs you to maintain these servers and networks. So we have to act as if the price of grains will take care of itself, but there will always be a need. There will always be a need for message relaying and message delivery.”
He likens Paloma to the FedEx chain, where every validator is a FedEx driver.
“The Paloma chain is your FedEx truck, and you're going to be sending messages that need to get to places really fast, and they need to get there safely, and even they need to get there with MEV protection. So the validators essentially can help us deliver it because they're running the Paloma FedEx truck. Our view is that people will pay a higher price for that urgency. They'll bring more of their urgent transactions and messages to the flock. We are fully focused on that economic model as a priority.”
He thanks Tyler for the awesome protocol work and invites all listeners to stay tuned for the next AMA.
To find out more about Volume, check out Volume Finance (https://volume.finance/), join the Discord (https://discord.com/invite/Ebh6YjMShu), and follow us on Twitter (@Volumefi). Check out Paloma Chain on palomachain.com (https://www.palomachain.com/), follow them on Twitter (@palomachain), and join the flock on Discord (https://discord.com/invite/tNqkNHvVNc). Coo!