This section introduces you to the validation process and some additional resources.
NEAR Protocol is a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain, and validators are nodes that manage any new transactions, adding them to new blocks. Every new block provides revenues for the validator in the form of NEAR tokens, which are sourced from transaction fees and protocol rewards. In order to become a validator, a node must stake a certain amount of NEAR tokens, which are used as collateral against damaging behaviors, like 'equivocation' (which means the malicious creation of multiple rival blocks at the same time) and, generally, committing an invalid state transition. The tokens at stake cannot be unlocked until a certain number of validation cycles, called epochs, are over.
The protocol automatically elects validators by issuing an auction for each epoch: new nodes can join by bidding a higher stake than existing ones, while any insufficient stake will be returned at the end of the next epoch.
Important to note: As a validator you do not have to know about the underlying blockchain infrastructure. Once you have set-up a validator node, it runs all processes automatically. Meaning, that you do not have to interfere with the node and you are only required to set up one node to start validating.
To get started validating please go to the next section on Staking and becoming a Validator.
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If anything is unclear, you get stuck, or you just want to chat with fellow validators, please head over to our Telegram group. There we have a dedicated validator channel to answer all of your questions.