Secure the
Network Through

Validators are key to Sui’s operations and performance

Independent validators are the backbone of the Sui network. Validators run unique instances of the Sui software on independent machines and are collectively responsible for securing the network. They process transactions and participate in consensus to ensure Sui is the safest network possible.

As a permissionless network, anyone with the appropriate setup and sufficient stake can become a validator. Sui uses Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) to determine which validators operate the network and their voting power.

How Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) Works

Operations are processed by a set of validators, each with a specific amount of stake from SUI token holders. A validator's share of the total stake on the network determines each validator’s voting power for processing transactions. Staking SUI implies that the SUI tokens are locked for a fixed duration, called an epoch. SUI token holders are free to withdraw their SUI or to move their stake to a new validator when an epoch changes.

Staking Rewards for Good Behavior

Validators provide a service to Sui by operating and securing the network. In exchange, they are compensated with commissions from staking rewards. In the early phases of the network, staking rewards are made up of stake subsidies plus gas fees. The subsidies are necessary as gas fees will likely be relatively low. In the long run, the entirety of rewards will be gas fees.

How Rewards are Distributed
Validators receive a share of stake rewards based mostly on their share of total stake on the network. The size of the Storage Fund and the validator’s Tallying Rule score also play a part.
The Storage Fund redistributes storage fees from past transactions to validators based on current network storage requirements. When storage requirements are high, rewards are boosted to compensate for increased costs and vice versa when requirements are low.
The Tallying Rule is a way for validators to monitor one another to ensure efficient operations that serve the best interest of the network. Validators score every other validator on their behavior and low scoring validators can be penalized with reduced stake rewards.
Sui Foundation Stake Support and Terms
Decentralization is at the core of the Sui Foundation’s mission. In order to deliver a fully open, permissionless, and performant network, voting power must be in the hands of many. To that end, the Sui Foundation intends to deploy its SUI treasury to support fair, distributed, and decentralized stake distribution for validators operating the network.

Sui Foundation Staking Principles

In the spirit of openness and equity, the Sui Foundation will initially stake SUI tokens across the entire validator set. Over time, the Sui Foundation will begin routine re-evaluations of its staking decisions and rebalance the distribution, based largely on a validator’s adherence to Sui’s staking best practices. These best practices are drawn from the experience and input of current validators and other community members. New operators interested in becoming a validator will be able to apply for stake from the Sui Foundation through the Foundation's SUI Delegation Program.

The Sui Foundation’s staking decisions aim to assist the community with simultaneously solving global (network) and local (individual) optimization problems. The Sui Foundation will work together with Sui’s validators and is committed to transparency in its decision making.

The Sui Foundation will review the entirety of its stake decisions on a monthly cadence. These decisions will be informed by the data collected on validator performance throughout the previous epochs.

The Sui Foundation aims to launch the SUI Delegation Program in the near future, providing new validators the opportunity to apply for Foundation stake and onboard into Sui operations.
Sui Staking Best Practices
The Sui Foundation believes that these best practices, derived from validator and community member input, are conducive to performant network operations and community success, whether or not a validator receives stake from the Sui Foundation. The Sui Foundation may base its own staking and unstaking decisions on this information in order to help the community ensure that the network performs its best.
Maximum Commission
Validators with more SUI from Sui Foundation staked to it should offer lower commissions.
Gas Price Survey
Validators should participate in the Gas Price Survey regularly.
Tallying Rule Score
Validators should not receive Tallying Rule Scores of zero.
Minimum Specs
Validators should be running on the recommended specification or better.
Validators should run a node on Sui testnet in addition to their Mainnet node.
Monitoring Metrics
Validators should regularly push prometheus metrics to the Sui Foundation.
Communications SLA
Validators should respond to communications within a timely fashion.
Upgrade SLA
Validators should upgrade their node software in a timely fashion.
Consensus Reliability
Validators should consistently participate in generating certified Narwhal proposals.
Consensus Latency
Validators should perform the sequencing of transactions that are proposed to consensus with low latency.
Execution Latency
Validators should execute owned object certificates with low latency.
RPC Error Rate
Validators should be able to process transactions submitted from full nodes with minimal errors.
Tokenomics Best Practices

Follow maximum commission mandate:

Stake rewards should increase proportionally with a validator’s share of staked SUI meaning validators, with more stake receive relatively more commissions than validators with lower stake. Therefore, receiving a larger amount of Sui Foundation stake should result in a lower validator commission.

The following commission caps represent best practice recommendations and are recommended to apply to the initial amount of SF delegated stake. For example, if the Sui Foundation stakes 10M SUI tokens with a given validator, the best practice maximum commission applies at the 10M SUI token level regardless of whether the original amount compounds into a larger stake as it accrues stake rewards over time.
SUI Amount Staked by SUI Foundation
Max Commission
< 15M
>= 15M
>= 20M
>= 28M
>= 36M
>= 42M
>= 50M
>= 75M
>= 100M
>= 150M
>= 250M

Participate in Gas Price Survey:

A validator with staked SUI from the Sui Foundation should participate in the gas price survey at least once a week. The validator should send a transaction to update its gas price object at least once every 7 epochs.

No rewards slashing from Tallying Rule:

A validator who gets a 0 score from two-thirds of its peers will have its rewards slashed. Causes for slashing include low operational performance, malicious behavior, and poor community membership.

Hardware Best Practices

Validators should run with the recommended hardware specification or better. Validators with SUI staked by the Sui Foundation will be asked to run the “Suidoctor” software at least once a month in order to confirm that the hardware specifications are being met.

Participation Best Practices

Validators should run a validator node on Sui Testnet as well as Mainnet. Testnet is the only network that closely resembles Mainnet, and it is important to keep the validator set as close to identical as possible to de-risk releases to Mainnet. Critically, by replicating the validator set in Testnet, contributors to the Sui protocol can test protocol upgrades and changes in order to ensure these will run smoothly when implemented in Mainnet.

Metrics Best Practices

Validators should push metrics to the Sui Foundation on both Testnet and Mainnet in at least 8 out of the last 10 epochs. Metrics are pushed from sui-node automatically, assuming there isn’t a technical issue causing an operator to intentionally close the port or modify their node to stop pushing metrics.

Responsiveness Best Practices

Validators should be responsive to Sui Foundation communications in order to ensure the proper channels are being used to convey relevant ecosystem information to all validators.

Performance Best Practices
Validators should monitor the following metrics as they are important for network health and operational performance. The following dashboard is currently shared between Sui Foundation and the validators.

This list doesn’t include all performance metrics that will be tracked and used to make staking decisions:

Upgrade Service Level Agreement


Validators should upgrade to the latest protocol version within 24 hours of the announcement to upgrade. This ensures that the entire network upgrades smoothly and swiftly when needed.

Consensus Reliability

  • Certificates_created counter increments every time a validator certifies a Narwhal proposal. The steady rate of certified Narwhal proposals is crucial for the reliable system operation. In a healthy system the validators generate at least one certified Narwhal proposal a second.
  • An example Prometheus query for measuring the amount of time the validator has been meeting the consensus reliability criterion in the past 7 days:

sum by(host) (rate(proposer_batch_latency_sum{network="mainnet"}[5m]))
sum by(host) (rate(proposer_batch_latency_count{network="mainnet"}[5m]))
< 1.0)[7d:5m]) / (12*24*7)

Execution Latency

  • validator_service_handle_certificate_consensus_latency histogram measures the execution latency of the shared object certificates (in ms). The p95 latency should stay below 5 sec.
  • An example Prometheus query for measuring the amount of time the validator has been meeting the execution latency criterion in the past 7 days:

ency{network="mainnet", pct="95"} < 5000)[3d:5m]) / (12*24*3)

RPC Errors

  • The RPC errors are measured by the clients (typically Full Nodes).
  • total_rpc_err is going to be measured by the Sui foundation Full Nodes
  • The expected rpc error rate is below 1 error per sec.

All information contained on this website is subject to change without notice and is not and should not be construed as a promise or guarantee of any validator commission rate or any stake delegation decision by the Sui Foundation. Upon a change in such information, the Sui Foundation will endeavor to update the content set forth herein as soon as reasonably practicable.