Florian from Staking Facilities here - we would like to introduce ourselves as a potential candidate for the initial Vega validator set. It’s awesome to see such a vivid forum with so many high-quality applicants. We would be humbled to join the initial set and are highly motivated to contribute to the Vega ecosystem as best as we can.
Company - Staking Facilities
Our company was founded in 2017 by Wolfgang Albrecht, Julius Schmidt, and myself, Florian Liss. In recent years, we grew quite significantly to a team of nine with four more people joining us in the course of the next few months. You can learn more about each of our team members in this blog post. We are based in Munich, Germany, but our team spreads across the globe.
We are a Web 3.0 infrastructure and service provider. Besides running industry-grade, highly secure physical infrastructure and providing PoS token holders with personal customer support, we contribute to the overall ecosystems of the networks we work with through tooling (e.g. Solana Beach) as well as educational work (e.g. Staking Academy).
Currently, we operate nodes for ten different Proof-of-Stake networks, namely:
Cosmos, Thorchain, Ethereum 2.0 (via Lido), Solana, The Graph, Skale, Polkadot, Kusama, Edgeware, and HydraDX.
We have been actively involved in the Cosmos ecosystem ever since Genesis and before that, successfully participated in multiple testnets, including Game-of-Stakes. The experience of our team is demonstrated by the fact that our CEO Wolfgang Albrecht is a Solana Foundation board member, our CTO Florian Liss is a Lido Multi-Sig key holder, our CFO Julius Schmidt is chairman of the PoS Working group within the European Blockchain Association and our Infrastructure Lead, Gary Morris is part of The Graph council.
Following best practices in key management is paramount to us. Part of our key management strategy is to use HSMs for consensus keys wherever possible and ledger hardware for all our account keys. For Tendermint chains, we prefer to use TMKMS in combination with YubiHSMs. There are strict processes in place to ensure who has access to each individual key.
Staking Facilities practices state-of-the-art monitoring with an open-source stack using Prometheus & Grafana. We create proprietary monitoring software ourselves wherever needed. This enables us to quickly get alerted and react to any issue. Our hardware is co-located in certified data centers in Munich within close reach of our company headquarter. We can physically access our servers whenever needed.
We deploy our bare-metal hardware specially tailored to the respective network to best cater to the needs and specs of the different networks. To guarantee outstanding performance, we personally assemble and stress-test each validator before putting it to action.
Guaranteed uptime, biometric security, and redundant power supply reinforce a continuous and secure operation of our validators.
Our delegators are provided with personal customer support via our Telegram group, which is open and accessible to everyone. Whenever needed, we also give one-on-one support via direct messages or video calls.
Through our written and video guides as well as our website and the Staking Academy, a content aggregation platform, we want to enable anyone to ramp up their learning experience and empower them to participate in the staking economy.
We communicate news and developments about Staking Facilities, the projects we work with, and the overall blockchain industry via our monthly newsletter as well as our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Our developers are also quite active in the discord channels of the networks that we work with.
We take active participation in the governance of the networks that we work with. We are always open to discuss any proposal with our delegators as well as the overall ecosystem. Through our work in the European Blockchain Association, we proactively work on establishing a solid regulatory environment within the European jurisdiction.