Off-boarding Offline Validator

Dear Validators,

For the the past 2-3 months, we’ve been observing a delicate situation that is affecting both the network and the Validator ecosystem. The reason for bringing it up publicly is twofold: firstly, we acknowledge the need for transparency, and secondly, we value the opinion of ecosystem participants highly and are committed to taking it into account.

The above-mentioned situation refers to one validator running their nodes inefficiently. Namely, their nodes have been offline for the past 3 months as we speak. They have been non-responsive to all our callouts on Discord whenever the Validator Engagement Team announces their status checks. Furthermore, they have also not responded to direct messages, nor have they provided us with an email address or any other alternative way of contact.

As a result, we are currently unable to communicate with them on any front. The unresponsiveness has become so clear that we have now paused our alerts to them that we do on a daily basis.

Below you can see the validator in question:

As part of Polygon’s responsibility towards the network and its users, it’s our goal to ensure that all validators run highly-efficient nodes to facilitate the sheer volume of transactions. Regardless of the size of their stake, each validator is crucial to ensuring the network runs smoothly.

The two inactive and highly-inefficient validators currently occupying their slots give us reason to take action. An internal discussion took place and two solutions were identified that we now present to you.

Solution 1: Auction Mechanism

The first solution would mean replacing inactive validators through the Auction Mechanism where potential validators can replace underperforming ones by staking a higher amount of MATIC tokens. As this solution is permissionless in nature and works without intervention from Polygon, it can be considered the most desirable one.

However, following our initial proposal, a lot of external and internal discussion took place on how the described mechanism can cause cartelization. The network could become centralized as Validators with (nearly-) unlimited resources can easily replace several lower-staked Validators, potentially operating 2/3 of the nodes eventually. This kind of concern shouldn’t be taken lightly and for this reason, a hasty implementation of the Auction Mechanism isn’t an ideal solution to this problem.

At the same time, we’ve been delegating resources to research on multiple fronts, which can be expected to lead to the enabling of an Auction Mechanism through a more sophisticated manner, eliminating or highly limiting the risk of cartelization as a result. This requires time and can’t be rushed as the lasting security of the network is our utmost priority.

Solution 2: Eviction by multi-sig

Polygon’s stakeManager contracts that have been deployed on Ethereum have a function called forceUnstake where if initiated, it will kick a validator off the network with their stake unbonded and their slot made empty.

For reference, here the is the contract:

Please note that any action taken on the stakeManager contract is a multi-sig event. There is a minimum of 8 signatures collected to ensure the transaction is successfully processed. The signatories are Polygon, Quickswap, Curve, Horizon Games, and Cometh. More information on the multi-sig can be found here:

At this point, this solution seems to us like the best one. That being said, we understand that ‘kicking’ someone out of the network shouldn’t happen unilaterally. We don’t want to create any misunderstandings and, more importantly, we want to be as transparent as we can to our validators, delegators, the ecosystem, and the community as a whole.

A Delicate Balance

An important note on the wider context of governance within Polygon is warranted here. In the Web3 world, a lifecycle of a product is determined heavily by its readiness to serve its presupposed purpose and the impact of external factors, such as development of competing solutions. In this lifecycle, we believe that a moment eventually comes for gradual decentralization and the empowerment of a Governance Community. We are committed to both making the product as efficient and as use-case-ready as possible, while at the same time ensuring we don’t miss the call for the passing of decision-making capabilities.

We understand the limitations of coming to a decision on a matter like this in an almost “improvised” fashion. Currently, a governance-focused team is slowly being shaped at Polygon, responsible for researching and steadily pushing us towards unified off-chain and on-chain governance that will greatly improve dealing with issues such as this.

Concurrently, we believe that transparency is a crucial tool in establishing and fostering trust with the participants of the network, and are set to provide visibility wherever possible. At the same time, we also understand the potential roadblocks that may lie ahead that could potentially lead to a significant loss in efficiency if we put too great of an emphasis on a decentralized decision-making process. A delicate balance needs to be found at every step of the road.

Next Steps

As all proposals go, this too was initially discussed with the Polygon Advisory Board which came to a unanimous recommendation to evict the 2 Validators off the network. Resultingly, we are now taking these consultations to the Validator community, according to which a decision will be made on how to proceed.

Validators, please have your say in this post and the resulting Discord vote, which will be used to take action accordingly.


Polygon Team


The solution 2 is the best for now :+1:

Is it possible to vote with our nodes, instead of discord? (1 vote / validator)

For the solution 1, auction mechanism, the replace low-stakes mechanism can’t work like you said (it will centralize validation very fast). Slots should be dropped on unresponsiveness & validator history (an unresponsive node that started 2 months ago isn’t the same as an unresponsive one that validate since a year+), and taken by nodes already online since some time (some are waiting with a good uptime).

It would be interesting to see if the community has other ideas.


Hey @ffmad, Mateusz Rzeszowski, Governance Facilitator here. To answer your question, we’re currently working on a better way to conduct Validator voting. Since it’s essentially an off-chain signalling that’s required, our current focus is making Snapshot work for this purpose.


perfect, you answer the question I had hidden behind my question :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Hi Delroy,

We think, at least for the short term, that solution 2 is best - there’s no reason for validators to be inactive for this long and not communicate about it with anyone.

Solution 1 could potentially lead to a cartel situation where large stake holders (specifically exchanges) could take over and lead to centralization as we have seen on other blockchains.



I believe solution 2 is best. There are several people who run full nodes, but who are not validators who would likely jump at the opportunity to fill the spots. I’m referring to thogard#3282 and joaorcsilva#2787.

1 Like

For the future of Polygon and decentralization

As a delegator interested in becoming a validator, and considering decentralization is core, I suggest that the review of the auction mechanism should consider delegator and time delegating as of a qualifying graduation to participate in the auction.
Delegating amount x time =commitment to the network.
And for technical qualifications , maybe
validating on test Mumbai x time = technical

For this issue, option 2 is ok for now.

1 Like

Solution 2.

When validators are removed who decides whom will get the seat ? Or first come first served after the forced kick?
(It would not be fair if this ‘inside information’ is known in advanced to grap a free spot.)

About the expectation of running highly efficient nodes and overall healthy and strong decentralized network
I also think that the foundation should consider leveling the playing field a bit more by dividing their stake from ‘bigger’ to ‘smaller’ validators.
This will also encourage the smaller validators to to be more actively engaged to keep their nodes in good condition and cover some expenses for better hardware to facilitate the sheer volume of transactions. (Foundation could look at the forever locked selfstake of a validator that shows skin in the game to divide more stake and support decentralisation.)

1 Like

My vote goes for the solution 2. I agree that the first one will lead to a centralized network.

1 Like

There are a 100 validators. Voting should be done based off 100 votes. Whether you have 100 MATIC or 3 million MATIC is irrelevant. Honestly, any validator not responding to the Polygon team in 5 working days (maybe even too long, TBH) should be booted and someone more capable put in their place. I can’t even imagine taking more than a couple of hours to update our node’s status. This is a team…anyone not responding is not part of the team. Looking past the dex/cex…this is just common sense and courtesy.

1 Like

The second option is a great way to start replacing inactive validators.
Will there be other criteria where the validator can be banned?

1 Like

I believe solution #2 is the better solution in this case.

1 Like

We agree that solution 2 is the better option for now, as long as any eviction is the result of a transparent discussion between the various ecosystem participants.

In the long run we can further explore how to bring this process of off-boarding non-active validators on-chain.

Jeroen -

1 Like