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Overview of Validator Deployment

Overview of validator deployment

In this testnet, Babylon's Bitcoin staking protocol secures the Babylon blockchain via an extra round of voting on top of the CometBFT consensus, called the finality round. This round is conducted by finality providers, which are the "validators" that accept Bitcoin as stake delegations. Finality providers use their EOTS keys to cast finality votes on Babylon blocks generated by CometBFT. A Babylon block that has received more than 2/3 finality votes from the active finality provider set is BTC-finalized.

Therefore, one can join BTC staking testnet via one (or more) of the three sets of actions:

  1. Become a Babylon CometBFT validator and accept Babylon test token delegations. For this, you need to deploy and maintain a Babylon node and register a CometBFT validator.
  2. Become a finality provider and accept signet BTC delegations. For this, you need to use the finality provider program. This serves as the control plane for finality providers. It allows creating, managing, and operating finality providers on the Babylon ledger. Its functionality is split into two daemons:
    • the EOTS manager daemon, which serves as a server for securely managing the EOTS keys of the finality provider and generating signatures using them; and
    • the finality provider daemon, which is responsible for maintaining a connection with a Babylon node and submitting finality votes for new blocks after they are generated by CometBFT.
  3. Self-Delegate BTC to your finality provider in a trustless way to gain voting power. You can accomplish this by operating the BTC Staker program. The most secure setup involves a connection to a self-hosted Bitcoin node to submit and monitor the confirmation state of staking transactions and a connection to a Babylon node to submit staking requests. For this testnet, we are utilising the BTC signet network to enable for harmless experimentation. Syncing a node to the BTC signet is super fast and should not take more than 60 minutes. After performing a self-delegation to your finality provider you can shut down the Bitcoin node and the btc-staker if you do not intend to make any further delegations. Alternatively, you could self-delegate BTC Signet tokens via the staking web application when it becomes available.

CometBFT validators and Finality providers are independent entities - you can be any of the 2. To fully participate in the testnet, we strongly encourage experimenting with both and executing self-delegations.