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Validators and Voting Power

The Helium Foundation is progressing in implementing HIP-70 and migrating our L1 to Solana.

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Check out the Solana Transition AMAs hosted on Twitter Spaces for the most up-to-date progress on the L1 transition.

Validators remain critical for the ongoing operation of the Helium Network and continue to earn HNT rewards for their role in supporting the Helium ecosystem until the L1 transition is complete.

Validators currently maintain the Network and provide vital operations, including issuing challenges, validating transactions, and producing blocks from which all Network participants benefit. One of the impacts of the passing of HIP-70 and transitioning L1 is that the role Validators play as we know it today will no longer be required, and Validators will be sunset by the end of Q1 2023 after the transition is complete.

Validators who remain staked receive new vote escrowed tokens (veHNT) based on their staked HNT amount and lock-up period. Post-migration, veHNT will be the only way to vote in the Helium Network. Vote escrowed tokens will be used to vote in DAO and subDAO governance and open a world of opportunities for on-chain voting and voting power delegation.

Holding veHNT means you, the wallet holder, have the opportunity to influence the future of the Helium Network, and the more voting weight you have, the more influence you can use.

Key Take Aways

  • Until the L1 transition is complete, staked Validators will continue to earn HNT rewards for block production.
  • veHNT gives holders voting rights to determine the future of the Helium Network.
  • After the migration, anyone can stake HNT to veHNT, and there will no longer be a 10,000 HNT minimum.
  • Validator operators can decide to remain staked and receive veHNT or unstake and remain in cooldown until the completion of the L1 migration.
  • Validators who remain staked receive a 3x veHNT bonus for staked HNT, and their HNT remains locked up for the minimum six-month period.
  • veHNT holders will earn MOBILE or IOT tokens depending on which Helium subDAO they delegate their veHNT.
  • After the minimum lock-up period, HNT releases to the owner's wallet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is veHNT?

veHNT represents the voting power of the Helium Network.

In the Helium ecosystem, HNT holders can receive veHNT by locking their HNT on-chain for a specified period in exchange for voting rights and voting power in the HeliumDAO as defined in HIP-51.

Additionally, this provides other benefits, such as earning MOBILE or IOT tokens, if the holder stakes to those subDAOs, respectively. After the lock-up period ends, the same amount of HNT releases in the owner's wallet and is now transferable, if needed.

What Was Staked HNT?

Following HIP-25, Validator operators staked 10,000 HNT into a Validator Node. HNT holders could stake multiple Validators if they chose to do so. The work of block production moved to Validator nodes, and those elected periodically into the Consensus Group receive 6% of HNT emissions as a reward for block production.

All HNT holders, including Validator stakers, could vote on Helium HIPs as staked and unstaked HNT are equally weighted in voting the same. However, HNT holders who elected to join a Validator pool could not decide personally on voting as the pool operator controlled their voting power. In all known cases, pool operators did not participate in governance.

What Are the Staking Rewards?

Currently, Validators serve two roles in the Network, block production and creating Proof-of-Coverage challenges. Validators earn 6% of emissions for block production when elected to the Consensus Group.

In addition, Validators are continuously generating PoC challenges and earn 0.85% of emissions for this role. Thus, staking and operating a Validator earns roughly 6.85% of total HNT emissions today.

How Will Staking Rewards Change?

In the near term, the Challenger role will be removed from Validators as Hotspots begin to beacon independently of challenges. The PoC Challenger rewards pool will be returned to Hotspots.

After HIP-70's L1 migration is implemented, the existing Validators will no longer be producing blocks for the Helium Network and will no longer receive HNT rewards. As their staked HNT will be converted to veHNT, these holders can optionally delegate to specific subDAOs.

Currently, the IOT and MOBILE subDAO have a 6% token emission pool for veHNT stakers.

After HIP-51, HIP-52 and HIP-53 are implemented, all the subDAOs combined will receive the non-HST emissions of HNT. At this time, this is 68% of emitted HNT and will increase to 69% at the next yearly emissions change in August. This emissions curve changes annually such that the subDAOs eventually receive 85% of emissions.

What Are The Benefits of Staking HNT after the subDAOs Are Launched?

After the Solana migration, stakers can use their staked veHNT to vote on proposals in the HeliumDAO and help the DAO make collective decisions, influencing the future of the Network.

Stakers will additionally be able to delegate veHNT to a subDAO for token rewards. Delegating veHNT to a subDAO will count towards the DAO Utility Score, the V value referenced in HIP-51.

Utitily Score impacts HNT Proportion for a subDAO

The higher the DAO Utility Score, the higher the proportion of HNT earned by the individual subDAO treasury each epoch.

What Happens to HNT Previously Staked in a Pool?

Check with the vendor managing your staking pool for more detailed information about your staking pool's decision.

As a Reminder

The Helium Foundation is neither responsible for nor manages the status of Validator staking pools.

What Happens if I Unstake Today?

If a Validator unstakes on October 15, 2022, the expected release date is around January 9, 2023.

This date assumes a cooldown period of 125,000 blocks with an average block time of 60 seconds, and the L1 chain is still running on that date. Based on the information provided since September 2022, around the time of the vote, and updates since then, the core developers expect that block production on the Helium L1 will discontinue sometime in early Q1 2023 when the implementation of HIP-70 is complete.

Any HNT in cooldown at the time the snapshot is taken before the data migration to the new L1 will be converted to veHNT with a staking release date of six months, as described in HIP-70. Any HNT still staked will automatically convert to veHNT with a six-month staking release date.

All veHNT still staked at the time of the snapshot will receive a 3x Voting Weight multiplier during the 6-month lock-up as a reward for ongoing staking in the Network.

Where Does My HNT Go if I Stake veHNT?

If you lock-up your HNT for veHNT, your HNT will become veHNT and remain entirely in your wallet's custody. At the end of the lock-up period, you will receive HNT back to your wallet 1:1 for the HNT you staked.

What Is a "Lock-Up" Period?

A lock-up period is a window of time when users are not allowed to transfer their HNT.

You will incur a lock-up period when you stake your HNT for veHNT. The lock-up period is between 6 and 48 months selectable in days but with block granularity.

Lock-up periods help incentivize long-term holders of HNT and deter short-term speculators and those with shorter-term interests in the governance of the Network.

What is Voting Power?

Voting power is the weight of your vote towards decisions made by the DAO or subDAO. The more veHNT you have, the more weight your vote has.

You can only increase your voting power by staking more HNT or extending an existing veHNT lock-up period for longer.

How to Choose a subDAO to Stake?

HIP-51 defines that all subDAOs return a maximum of 6% of their earnings to their veHNT delegators and is designed to be an equal maximum reward level across all subDAOs so that no subDAO can buy their way to a higher DAO Utility score.

Returns can be lower than 6% in subDAO tokens if the subDAO votes to provide a lower token return in return for other benefits or similar.

As more veHNT is delegated to a subDAO, the DAO Utility Score improves, among other factors defined in HIP-51, which drives greater earnings of HNT for the subDAO.

As more veHNT holders delegate to a particular subDAO, individual holder earnings will reduce the amount of net subDAO token earnings as delegators share the 6% subDAO token emissions.

How Will Staking Work By Using veHNT?

Anyone can stake any amount of HNT and lock it up for six months to four years. You choose your unstaking date at the time of lock-up or deciding to keep it on a rolling lock-up period before initiating the start or the veHNT decay process . The HNT staked is exchanged for veHNT, which provides two benefits:

  • Voting in the Helium DAO on new subDAO proposals.
  • Participating in the Governance of the Helium DAO.

Anyone can delegate veHNT to a subDAO, one component of a subDAO's Utility Score. Delegating veHNT to a subDAO allows the holder to earn subDAO token rewards proportionally based on the subDAOs rules.

For example: If I delegate some veHNT to MOBILE subDAO, I proportionally earn MOBILE rewards allocated to veHNT stakers.

The Helium Network encourages your long-term participation in voting and governance. Those who stake HNT for six months will exchange 1:1 HNT to veHNT. Those that stake veHNT for 48 months will receive an exchange of 1:100 HNT to veHNT. Any period in between will be treated on a linear scale from 1 to 100.

For example, I choose to lock-up 10 HNT for six months. I receive 10 veHNT. If I decide to unstake immediately, after six months, my veHNT decays to 0 until my 10 HNT unlocks and is available to me for use in my wallet.

How Can I Obtain veHNT?

Staking HNT for veHNT will be done on Realms.

This is not available today.

Check out a DAO beta view on Realms today.

Is There a Staking "Genesis" Period?

For the first seven days after Helium's migration onto Solana, there will be a 3x bonus for new veHNT stakers.

New stakers are only eligible to receive this a veHNT bonus during the initial seven-day "Genesis" period. HNT staked after this period will receive veHNT at the normal rate.

For example:

Staking 10 HNT during this "Genesis" period with a lock duration of six months gets 30 veHNT (10x1x3) that decays from 30 to 0 veHNT at the end of the staking period, and 10 HNT is returned to the wallet.

Staking 20 HNT during this "Genesis" period with a lock duration of 24 months returns 2598 veHNT (20x43.3x3), and these decay to 0 veHNT at the end of the staking period, and 20 HNT is returned to the wallet.

Validator owners can also take advantage of the 7 day bonus period and get the 3x bonus applied if they extend their default 6 month lock-up period. This 3x bonus will be removed if they extend the lock-up further after the initial seven days.

Will I Earn HNT by Staking For veHNT?

No. HNT staked to veHNT will not earn more HNT, only what they stake will be unlocked at the end of their selected lock-up period.

However, when you stake HNT into veHNT, you can delegate your veHNT into one or more subDAOs (such as IOT or MOBILE), and the subDAOs allocate up to 6% of their token emissions to the veHNT owners delegating to that subDAO.

For example: When you delegate your veHNT to the IOT subDAO, you receive IOT every epoch that is claimable in your Helium Wallet. If you choose, this IOT can then be burned at the IOT subDAO treasury for HNT, or you may hold your IOT tokens.

How Do I Stake for veHNT After HIP-51 and HIP-70 Are Implemented?

  1. If you do not already have HNT in your Helium Wallet, transfer HNT into your Helium Wallet to stake.
  2. Using the Helium Wallet App/Realms, stake HNT into veHNT and define the lock-up period and if the decay countdown period starts immediately or lock-up period is rolling with a decay countdown starting at a future date to be decided (default) The granularity of selection of lock-up period is initially in days.
  3. Using the Helium Wallet App/Realms, delegate that veHNT into one or more existing subDAOs. You may have to complete several transactions depending on how many subDAOs you delegate to, or if you want different amounts delegated for different lock-up periods.
  4. Your delegated HNT will count towards the subDAOs Utility Score and provide increased HNT earnings in the subDAO's treasury per epoch.
  5. There is a week long cooling off period before removal or changes to delegations can be made.

This process should be simple in the Helium Wallet App. More instructions will be provided on Realms usage as we get closer to the Solana migration.

The Helium Wallet App will be Solana compatible. All staking and vote escrow delegation operations will be performed within a Solana-compatible Wallet App/Realms or the Helium CLI Wallet.

  • Staking HNT to veHNT
  • Increasing the veHNT staking period for existing veHNT
  • Delegating veHNT to a subDAO
  • Voting for HNT governance
  • Voting for subDAO governance
  • Receiving the subDAO token that your veHNT is delegated into

How much veHNT will I get for each lock-up period?

The table below shows the approximate HNT to veHNT multiplier for each month of starting a stake.

This value is multiplied by 3x during the first 7 days after the Solana transition.

N/A = Not applicable. There is a minium period of 6 months lock-up.

Months stakedveHNT receivedMonths stakedveHNT receivedMonths stakedveHNT receivedMonths stakedveHNT received
1N/A1317.52545.83774.1
2N/A1419.92648.13876.4
3N/A1522.22750.53978.8
4N/A1624.62852.94081.1
5N/A1726.92955.24183.5
61.01829.33057.64285.9
73.41931.63159.94388.2
85.72034.03262.34490.6
98.12136.43364.64592.9
1010.42238.73467.04695.3
1112.82341.13569.44797.6
1215.12443.43671.748100.0

Do I Have to Delegate My veHNT to a subDAO?

No. You can hold your veHNT as is or delegate to a subDAO at any time.

note

Once you delegate veHNT, you cannot immediately un-delegate. Instead, you must wait for the week long cooldown period to end.

How Granular Is The veHNT Linear Decrease?

The veHNT decay countdown starts when initiated from the Wallet app/Realms, until then the veHNT in the wallet remains a constant.

veHNT quantity decay is granulated per epoch, and the veHNT delegated to a subDAO decays at the same rate. The decay rate for each lock-up period is a constant and is even for every epoch.

A 48-month lock-in period has approximately 70,176 linear steps between 100 veHNT and 0 veHNT.

4 years x 365.25 days x 48 epochs per day = 70,176 steps

After one epoch has passed after staking a single 1 HNT for 48 months, the quantity of veHNT in the wallet will decay from 100 veHNT to 99.998575 veHNT. This decrease will recur every 30 minutes over all the remaining 48 months until it hits zero.

Can I Increase My Staking Lock-up Period At Any Time?

Yes. You can increase your lock-up period to the maximum of 48 months at any time, and each increase activates at the next epoch.

Can I Decrease My Staking Period For Fast Access to My HNT and Take a Penalty?

No. You define your lock-up period at the time of staking and cannot unstake or decrease the lock-up period for any reason.

Can I Automate Re-Staking?

Yes a constant rolling lock-up period will be the default option. The decay countdown start point will be a click to activate option.

Staking 100 HNT for 1 year will get approx 1510 veHNT and this will be a rolling 1 year period and will remain at 1510 veHNT until the decay countdown is activated and this will then decrease linearly over one year to 0 veHNT and the HNT is returned.

Can I Transfer my veHNT or any of the veDNTs to Someone Else?

No. veHNT and the like are fully non-transferable and represent your voting power in the Network. It is not a token.

How Do I Buy veHNT or Any of the veDNTs?

You cannot buy veHNT or any of the other veDNTs. It is not a tradable token. veHNT can only be obtained by staking HNT with a lock-up period. Likewise, you cannot buy veIOT or veMOBILE.

veHNT and veDNTs have no price in the larger crypto markets.

What Is the DAO Utility Score?

The DAO Utility score is described in HIP-51

Each new subDAO of HNT has a Utility Score that mathematically represents the proportion shared of HNT tokens distributed to them every epoch from the fixed amount allocated to all subDAOs. The higher the Utility Score, the more significant the ratio of HNT emitted to that subDAO's treasury per epoch.

Delegating veHNT to IOT or MOBILE increases the V value in the HIP-51 DAO Utility Score calculation.

The two other ways the DAO Utility score can be increased are:

  1. The amount of data usage on the subDAO, i.e., the Data Credits burned. This increases the D value in the Utility Score.
  2. The Data Credits used to onboard the number of Hotspots for that subDAO. This increases the A value in the Utility Score.

Will My subDAO Earnings Remain The Same Over The Time Period Lock-Up?

No, they are calculated and paid per epoch. They may increase when:

  • More veHNT is delegated to your subDAO (your treasury gets more HNT)
  • More Hotspot onboarding fees are burned in your subDAO
  • More data is transferred and burned in your subDAO

They may decrease when:

  • More veHNT is delegated in your subDAO - your share is reduced
  • More veHNT is delegated to other subDAOs - other treasuries get more HNT
  • Your delegated veHNT decays over time
  • More Hotspot onboarding fees are burned in other subDAOs
  • More data is transferred and burned in other subDAOs