Foundation Delegation Program Community FAQ

In the last three weeks since the Solana Foundation re-opened the Delegation Program, we’ve gotten a lot of great questions and feedback from the community. The FAQ below seeks to answer the most common questions. If you have additional questions please feel free to ask them in the #solana-foundation-delegation-program Discord channel. The FAQ below are split into two sections, one for existing Tour de SOL validators, and one for non-Tour de SOL validators.

For existing Tour de SOL validators

Q: I have an onboarding group number. When will I be onboarded?
A: See onboarding schedule here to see on which approximate date your group # will be called. If your onboarding group # has already been called and you have not been emailed, notify us in the #solana-foundation-delegation-program. If changes are made to the onboarding schedule, they will be communicated in our regular channels (Discord/forums), and will be reflected in the sheet. Please periodically check both the communication channels and the sheet for any updates.

Q: What does getting on boarded to the Delegation Program mean?
A: You will receive an email notifying you that you are eligible to receive a delegation of stake from the Solana Foundation if your validator node on Mainnet Beta meets the performance criteria.

Q: How long will it take for me to get staked by the Foundation once I’m onboarded onto Mainnet Beta through the Foundation Delegation Program?
A: Once your node on Mainnet Beta meets the staking criteria, it may take up to 4 epochs for the stake delegation from the Foundation to become active.

Q: When will compensation for Tour de SOL end?
A: Anyone who has been accepted into any stage of Tour de SOL up through the final stage (Stage 14) will remain eligible for compensation of $500 worth of locked SOL per month through the end of July 2021. Starting August 1, 2021, no direct SOL compensation will be awarded to any validators.

Q: If my onboarding group is called after compensation ends, do I need to keep running my node on testnet in order to remain eligible to be onboarded to the Delegation Program?
A: Yes.

Q: After I get my onboarding number, what if I lose my bonus stake? Will I lose my onboarding group number?
A: After a validator receives an onboarding number, in most instances where a validator maintains normal performance, they will not lose their onboarding number. To monitor this, on the first of each month we will reorder validators in the onboarding list according to their vote credits. If a validator continues voting as usual, they should not see their onboarding group number change. If a validator has stopped voting for more than 5 epochs, they will lose their onboarding group number.

Q: Do I need to keep running a node on testnet after I’ve been onboarded to the Delegation Program?
A: Yes. Starting August 1, 2021 in order to remain eligible to receive stake delegation from the Foundation, all validators in the Delegation Program must also maintain a well-performing testnet node.

For validators not in Tour de SOL, or future/potential new validators

Q: Is Tour de SOL Open?
A: No, Tour de SOL is closed. The last registrants to be accepted into Tour de SOL joined the program in Stage 14 in May 2021. After July 31, 2021, Tour de SOL will cease to be an independent program. For new validators who wish to earn a delegation from the Solana Foundation, registration for the Foundation’s Delegation Program will reopen on August 1, 2021.

Q: After August 1, 2021, how can I sign up for the Solana Foundation Delegation Program?
A: After all interested and eligible Tour de SOL validators are onboarded onto the Mainnet Beta Foundation Delegation Program, new validators who meet certain performance criteria and are interested in the program, will be onboarded. Before reopening registration, the Solana Foundation will be releasing a new web portal where potential validators can register for the program and find the latest information about onboarding timing and requirements.

The following criteria apply to all validators, whether or not they have participated in Tour de SOL, or join the program later

Q: What is the criteria for receiving stake from the Foundation on Testnet and Mainnet Beta?

A: Detailed here and here:

The criteria to earn stake on a validator node is detailed per epoch in the wiki for Mainnet Beta and Testnet. The following are requirements for receiving stake on Testnet and Mainnet:

To receive baseline stake, a validator must:

  • Have good uptime as determined by the node’s vote credits earned per epoch relative to the number of blocks produced
  • Commission 10% or lower (enforced on Mainnet Beta only)
  • Stake concentration in a single data center must not exceed a certain threshold. Currently, 11% for Mainnet Beta and 27% on Testnet. (Data for this is drawn from this API and grouped by data_center_key field)
  • Be running recent Solana validator software version
  • The following criteria applies to validators on Mainnet Beta only: starting August 1, 2021 validators on Mainnet Beta must maintain a minimum of 100 SOL of active self-stake. "Self-stake" is defined as a stake account which has a withdraw authority which matches the withdraw authority of the vote account it is delegated to. This ensures that the owner of the validator's vote account and the owner of the stake account are the same.
  • The following criteria applies to validators on Mainnet Beta only: starting August 1, 2021 validators receiving Foundation stake on Mainnet Beta will also be required to maintain an associated validator on testnet

To receive bonus stake, a validator must:

  • Meet all the baseline stake criteria
  • Must have a block production skip rate not exceeding 35 percentage points (subject to change) above the cluster mean skip rate. For epoch 194 on Mainnet Beta, this skip rate limit was 57%, which is 35 percentage points greater than the cluster average of 22%.


Does this stake need to have my identity key as stake authority? or self stake means non Foundation stake?

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I have prepared a translation of Dan’s article for the Russian-speaking audience to make it easier to read this large publication in their native language

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The stake authority of the stake account (or accounts) delegated to your validator’s vote address must not be the same as the stake authority of the accounts controlled by the Foundation.

So you can set the authority of your own stake account to whatever key you want.

Sorry, I gave incorrect information above. The self-stake needs to have the withdraw authority match the withdraw authority of the vote account.

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It seems you forgot about the “allowed maximum active stake” in the criteria. The bot writes about it in Discord.

I see already on the Stake-O-Matic Github a line:

  • Insufficient self stake: ◎0.000000000

Is this already active, and with this I mean does it already look at the self stake (different stake authority from the one controlled by Foundation)?

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The delegation bot looks for a stake account which has a withdraw authority which is the same as the withdraw authority of the vote account it is delegated to.

The bot is actively checking for this, but not removing any stake for anyone who does not meet the criteria. This will be come enforced on August 1.

Hello, dear @danpaul000, can I ask you…
How can I know my “onboarding group number” ?
How I understand you, I will receive an invitation message to my e-mail?

Onboarding group numbers are shown in the Public Registry doc here: Solana - Public Registry (12.May.2021) - Google Sheets If you have a question about your number/ordering, please ask in #solana-foundation-delegation-program on our discord, thanks!