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Create a Core Validator

Creating a Core Validator

This guide assumes your have already created and synced up your node using the Node Setup Guide.

This guide is design for simplicity and does not cover the intricacies of secure key management. We recommend you follow best practices when it comes to secure key generation and key management. We are unable to offer support outside of the basic setup of a ZetaChain validator.

Create a Validator Account

Create the account operator.

Make sure to store the mnemonic from the output in a safe place. You will need this information to later access your account.

zetacored keys add operator --algo secp256k1

Add Funds to the Validator Account

Check your validator account balance. It’s newly created so balances should be empty.

zetacored query bank balances $(zetacored keys show operator -a)

Add funds to your validator account.

Send tokens from your own wallet or from an exchange to your validators address. Make sure you are sending them using the zetachain cosmos based network, not the zEVM network.

Check your validator account funds balances.

zetacored query bank balances $(zetacored keys show operator -a)

Create Your Validator

Create a new validator by staking azeta tokens. Here is an example of creating a validator on Zetachain Testnet. Save the transaction hash from the output.

zetacored tx staking create-validator \
--amount=1000000000000000000azeta \
--pubkey=$(zetacored tendermint show-validator) \
--moniker="MY_NODE_NAME" \
--chain-id=athens_7001-1 \
--commission-rate="0.10" \
--commission-max-rate="0.20" \
--commission-max-change-rate="0.01" \
--min-self-delegation="1000000" \
--gas="auto" \
--gas-adjustment=1.15 \
--gas-prices="0.1azeta" \

  • amount is the amount of tokens to be bonded
  • moniker is the validator's name
  • commission-rate is the commission rate on block rewards and fees charged to delegators
  • commission-max-rate is the maximum commission rate that this validator can charge. This parameter is fixed and cannot be changed after the validator is created
  • commission-max-change-rate is the maximum daily increase of the validator commission. This parameter is fixed cannot be changed after the validator is created
  • min-self-delegation is the minimum amount of azeta the validator requires to have bonded at all time. If the validator's self-delegated stake falls below this limit, the validator gets jailed and kicked out of the active validator set
  • gas-prices is gas prices in decimal format to determine the transaction fee
  • When specifying commission parameters, the commission-max-change-rate is used to measure % point change over the commission-rate. E.g. 1% to 2% is a 100% rate increase, but only 1 percentage point
  • min-self-delegation is a strictly positive integer that represents the minimum amount of self-delegated voting power your validator must always have

Check Transaction Status

Check the log of the transaction hash that created your validator and make sure there are no errors. If there are errors, your validator creation failed and you will need to troubleshoot it.

zetacored query tx <your transaction hash>

Check Validator Status

To confirm your validator is created, run this command which shows the current status of your validator.

zetacored query staking validator $(zetacored keys show operator --bech operator -a)

It's possible that you don’t have enough azeta tokens to be part of the active set of validators in the beginning. If the status is unbonded status: BOND_STATUS_UNBONDED, you didn’t stake enough tokens amount when you created your validator.

In this case, your validator is not in the active set. It cannot sign blocks and it does not earn rewards. It can however, receive delegations.

To delegate additional tokens to your validator use the following command. Adjust the amount of tokens accordingly to reach the minimum required bonded tokens.

zetacored tx staking delegate $(zetacored keys show operator --bech operator -a) 1000000azeta --from operator

Once your validator receives sufficient bonded tokens it automatically join the active set and its status is updated to status: BOND_STATUS_BONDED.

Confirm Your Validator is Running

Once your validator is bonded, you can check if it is in the validator set by executing the following command and it should return your validator address.

zetacored query tendermint-validator-set | grep $(zetacored tendermint show-address)

You can also check the validator signing information using the following command and verify that missed_blocks_counter: "0” and index_offset: is increasing.

zetacored query slashing signing-info $(zetacored tendermint show-validator)

Unjail Your Validator

If your validator falls out-of-sync with the chain (downtime), it can be “jailed”. Check your validator status for jailed: true. Once your validator is back in sync with the chain (it is at same block height as the validators in the active set), it can be “unjailed” jailed: false with the following command.

zetacored tx slashing unjail --from=operator

Check the transaction status for any error and confirm that your validator is part of the active set again with the command in the previous section.