1. What is a delegate?
A delegate is nothing more than a special type of Shift account. Any Shift account can become a delegate, by simply registering a delegate username within the client. After the registration your account ID appears in the list of all delegates. The registration fee is 60 SHIFT, however this may be subject to change in the future.
Every delegate is placed at a specific position on the delegate ranking list. The number of votes determines that position. All delegates with a rank between 1 and 101 are active delegates. All other delegates with a rank over 101 (102-∞) are classified as standby delegates.
In order to determine the delegate rank position, Shift has a decentralized voting mechanism built directly into the client. Users can vote for any delegates registered on the network. One vote equals 0.00000001 SHIFT, and a user always uses his entire SHIFT balance for every vote. To vote the user has to pay 1 SHIFT as a network fee and he can vote for 33 delegates in one go. He can vote for 101 delegates in total, for this he needs to initiate 4 votings (33+33+33+2 = 101). It is not possible to vote for the same delegate twice.
The number of votes are represented as an “Approval” within the client, and is shown as a percentage. An approval of 1% equals 1% of all SHIFT in the network. At launch this would be 1,000,000 SHIFT (later more, due to inflation) or 100,000,000,000,000 votes.
In order to become an active delegate, you must attain a higher approval percentage than the delegate on rank 101. This means you will overtake them in the ranking list and become the 101st delegate, and therefore, become one of the 101 active delegates.
Yes. However, this is not recommended and if it’s public knowledge, it should ideally be frowned upon by the community by removing the votes from both delegates.
The other way around, maintaining multiple servers for the same active delegate is not recommended! Your servers will get on a fork.
Very important. The productivity is also visible as a percentage and doesn’t represent the productivity of the node, but rather the number of generated blocks by one delegate in relation to the number of blocks, which were possible to generate for the delegate.
That means if you became an active delegate 606 blocks ago, you had the chance to forge 6 blocks. If you only forged 5 blocks, because your node was unable to sign a given block, maybe because it was offline or not responding efficiently enough, you will have an productivity of 83.3%.
A delegate round is exactly 101 blocks in length. If a delegate A can’t generate a block (e.g. their node is offline) they won’t be classed as a participant of that round, therefore another delegate B out of the active delegates takes his place (only for that round). Delegate B will then generate a total of 2 blocks in that round. Therefore, he will also receive twice the block reward amount, and a higher proportion of fees will be distributed to all other active delegates participating in the round.
In the case where a delegate is unable to generate the next block, the block time will lengthen to 20 seconds. If two delegates in a row are unable to generate the next block, the block time will then lengthen to 30 seconds.
In an ideal round where 101 delegates are online, one delegate round takes 101*10 sec = 1010 sec = 16.83 min.
In the worst case scenario, where only 1 delegate is online, one new block takes on average 5010 sec = 500 sec = 8.3 min. That will mean one delegate round takes 1018.3min = 11.97 hours.
It takes until the beginning of the next delegate round for your votes to appear on the network. If your vote is placed at the 100th block, then you will only need to wait until one new block is generated. Conversely, if your vote is placed at the 10th block, you will have to wait for 91 further blocks to be generated.
In every new delegate round the order of delegates is random. With 101 delegates this results in a huge number of possible orders.
2 delegates: 2! or: 2 orders (12, 21) 3 delegates: 3! or: 6 orders (123,132,213,231,312,321) 4 delegates: 4! or: 24 orders ... 101 delegates: 101! or: 9425947759838359420851623124482936749562312794702543768327889353416977599
This article uses the Lisk Wiki on GitHub as basis.