The Solana main-net beta has recently reached a new milestone, crossing over 1000 active validators for the first time, according to an announcement from the Solana Foundation.
Validators are network participants responsible for verifying and processing transactions on proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchain. Like Bitcoin miners, they are rewarded with new tokens as well as transaction fees paid by network users. However, instead of their rewards and participation being determined by computing power, these are dependent on the amount of tokens staked to support the growth of the network.
At the time of writing, data from the aggregator site SolanaBeach shows there are some 1081 validators across the Solana network. The new number of validators on the Solana main-net beta represents a 40% increase in the past four months.
(Source: Solana Foundation on Twitter)
The validator’s location, an important factor that determines decentralization, has also improved as per the announcement. The network currently boasts validators from 111 cities in 28 different countries. These operations are spread across 164 different data centers and 99 different Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs).
Worth noting is that Solana’s consensus mechanism means that slightly higher hardware is required to run a node or become a validator compared to other networks. Hence, Solana’s 1000 validator milestone is highly dwarfed when compared to the 240,000+ validators on Ethereum 2.0.
At the same time, Solana’s lower validator count (especially at this early-stage) has proven helpful, as evidenced in the recent 17-hour downtime suffered by the network. A Discord meeting involving active validators was all that was required to engineer a network restart, a situation that suggests the project is far from being fully decentralized.
Meanwhile, Solana’s native token, SOL, is currently the eighth largest crypto asset by market cap, enjoying a meteoric rise to prominence since the turn of the year.
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