SKALE is a modular, Ethereum Native network of high-throughput, low-latency blockchains. SKALE chains are EVM compatible and offer configurable settings and advanced features such as on-chain file storage, ML/AI smart contracts, and enhanced security features.
SKALE is value accretive to the Ethereum Network as it is built with Ethereum. Not only is it interoperable and inherits security value from Ethereum, but it drives fees and value capture jointly to Ethereum and SKALE.
Inflated gas fees hinder widespread adoption and inhibit the development of profitable decentralized applications. SKALE’s network of blockchains maintains zero gas fees as long as the chain remains below a specific resource threshold.
SKALE Network is an open-source Web3 platform intended to bring speed and configurability to blockchain developers in an eco-friendly manner.
Low costs are achieved through innovative architecture and demand economics. Transaction fees are subsidized in advance by chain renters in the form of SKL tokens enabling growth without sacrificing decentralization, security, or user experience.
Explore documentation about the SKALE Network, developing on SKALE, validating and delegating, and about SKALE’s technologies.
IMA-SDK is a tool for dApp developers that emulates SKALE Node + IMA env on a single machine for development purposes.Explore
Use several connection abstraction libraries to connect to SKALE Chains and Ethereum and interface with your endpoints, including Web3.js, Ethers.js, and more.Explore
This Truffle SKALE Network box provides you with all the basics necessary to kick-start scaling your application with the SKALE Network.Explore
Developers can also use the Remix IDE as a developer environment for SKALE Chains.Explore
You can subscribe to the events logs from contracts deployed on your SKALE Chain.Explore
The SKALE execution model is fully compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), making it so that smart contracts that run on the Ethereum mainnet can also run on the SKALE Network. There is no need to rewrite or port smart contracts. Anything written for the EVM will execute on the SKALE Network. As such, developers can migrate to SKALE Chains in a phased manner – moving smart contracts to SKALE on an individual basis as the needs and benefits dictate.
Because the SKALE Network uses the Ethereum EVM, it also has full Solidity support and works with most of the Ethereum developer toolset. These include connecting to the Network via web3.js and web3.py and supporting tools such as Truffle, Hardhat, and Remix. The SKALE Network supports all major Ethereum token standards, including ETH, ERC20, ERC721, ERC1155, USDC, Dai, USDT.
In addition, the SKALE Network supports many popular crypto wallets and browser plugins, and bridges. These include Bitski, Fortmatic, Metamask, Portis, Torus. These interface components are well-regarded in the community and used by thousands of developers. Lastly, the SKALE Network is easy to use. The steps to provision one or more SKALE chains are simple, with options to select chain duration, storage options, and more.
The SKALE Innovator Program is for projects which plan to use SKALE chains. The incentives we offer projects (access to engineering resources, introductions to SKALE investors, co-marketing, and a grant for using SKALE) are provided in exchange for feedback on the platform. We want to ensure that the SKALE team is building the right tools and systems for developers and partners through the SKALE Innovator Program.
Faster commit times, greater throughput, and lower transaction costs are the primary benefits of using a SKALE Chain. The advantages of using the SKALE Network, in particular, include a robust security model (based on random selection and frequent rotation of validator nodes), virtualized and containerized validator nodes, variable chain sizes, expandable on-chain storage options, full EVM, and Web3 compatibility, and more.
You can visit the SKALE Technical Highlights paper for a deeper dive into the benefits of the network, including:
For restricted tokens like ERC1404, you will still use the Interchain Messaging Agent (IMA) since the contracts are mirrored between Ethereum and the SKALE Network. You will have complete control over when those tokens can be transferred. This is made possible because, at the core, SKALE allows you to deploy any smart contract written in solidity. In this use case, you will be able to deploy your ERC1404 (or similar) token smart contract for managing your restricted tokens, and through Interchain Messaging Agent, have it linked to your ERC1404 smart contract that lives on Ethereum. On the SKALE side, you will see the token as a clone of what exists on Ethereum via the Interchain Messaging Feature.
Yes. There are several game developers building on the SKALE Network.
One is a strategy game where players can build empires and battle with other players. The other is an Ethereum-based battle game that features collectible cards. The benefits they see are higher transaction throughput, zero to near-zero gas fees, and faster commit times. They’re also able to deploy over to SKALE, either by migrating a single, smart contract at a time in a phased approach or making use of multiple chains, each tailored to a specific feature set.
No. Validators run and maintain SKALE Nodes, providing distributed computing power to the Network. The Network enables dApp developers to access validator-operated nodes' compute power to run SKALE Chains.
The SKALE Network is suitable for enterprise apps, where data privacy is a concern due to the Network’s security. Some reads, The Best Approach to Securing Decentralized Networks and a deep dive on SKALE Consensus.
The SKALE Network is permissionless, and blockchain data is publicly accessible. However, using this type of environment in enterprise applications means that the enterprise apps put a stronger focus on security and privacy within their entire app and not just the blockchain parts. An excellent example of an enterprise app that requires both privacy and security is a health care app that’s improving the way health care data is shared between systems, all while integrating with scaling solutions like SKALE.
You bet! Storing files on the blockchain is possible within the SKALE Network. You can use SKALE to host your text, image, HTML, and other file formats through the filestorage.js npm package.
Transactions on SKALE Chains are free to end users. This means there is gas on SKALE Chains just like on Ethereum, but it’s powered by sFUEL (SKALE FUEL), a gas token which has no monetary value. In this way, executing transactions and state changes don’t incur costs but require consuming gas in sFUEL, which is zero-cost. SKALE Chain gas provides a way to meter or limit transactions on the SKALE Chain to prevent malicious execution.
SKALE has $100M SKL allocated for founders and developers looking to run fast & secure EVM smart contracts on the world's fastest blockchain with zero gas fees for end users. The first grant phases have launched including Gaming, DeFi, and NFTs with more to be announced soon.
SKALE awards grants to builders and Web3 projects who contribute to the development and growth of the SKALE ecosystem. The innovator program is for projects looking to build on SKALE AppChains or Community Chains. Access to engineering resources, introductions to SKALE investors, and co-marketing are all included with the grant.
SKALE’s modular architecture makes it well suited for hosting blockchain games. Zero gas fees, free minting, easy user onboarding, instant finality, and on-chain file storage are essential for responsive and seamless gameplay. Submit your application for a chance to participate in a $5 million grant program for game developers and projects building blockchain games.
The SKALE DeFi Grants Program gives developers funding and support for their DeFi projects. SKALE's focus on scalability, security, and interoperability make it an ideal platform for DeFi Dapps, especially the ones tackling new use-cases, such as High Frequency Trading, Central Limit Order Books or Game-Fi enablement. Selected projects will receive funding, technical support, marketing support, and access to the 50k+ monthly active SKALE users.
SKALE's architecture is purpose-built to bring functional NFTs to the masses with zero gas fees, free NFT minting, and on-chain file storage. SKALE is committing 10M SKL tokens to help NFT artists, creators and devs bring their work to life in the SKALEverse.
SKALE Network is an Ethereum-native decentralized blockchain network that supports thousands of independent blockchains, multichains, and storage chains with near-zero gas costs, faster commit times, and increased transaction throughput.
Blockchains in the SKALE Network are operated by a group of virtualized subnodes selected from the network's more extensive set of nodes.
The SKALE Protocol optimizes the allocation of resources of each node across the entire network of SKALE chains, enhancing performance and security in parallel.
Validator nodes are assigned and randomly rotated to SKALE chains by a mainnet contract. Nodes will be removed from and added to one or more chains on a non-deterministic schedule. This revolving process of random node rotation enables every configurable blockchain to leverage the security pool of the entire network on behalf of each chain.
SKALE is a PoS network that utilizes a work token. Node setup and staking are simple and take only a few steps.
Explore documentation about validators, which provide computation power to the SKALE Network via deploying nodes. The collection of validators and the node(s) they generate represent the entire validator network that performs work for SKALE Chains.Read Documentation
The SKALE Network is a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) network secured by independent global validators. SKALE validators operate and secure the network by proposing blocks, establishing consensus on a finalized block, and committing it to a chain. SKALE validators earn SKL rewards every epoch (calendar month) in two ways:
Developers rent chains for their dApps by depositing SKL tokens into a smart contract, offering end-users gasless transactions. At the end of each epoch period, a portion of these SKL tokens that the dApp developers deposited gets allocated to a bounty pool which is then distributed to the validators as rewards.
The SKALE Network will issue new tokens (inflation) to support validators. These rewards are designed to be disproportionately weighted in the early years to support validators early on as the network matures and stabilizes.
The program is currently closed, but if you're interested in becoming a validator, please sign up and join the SKALE Discord channel. You will receive the latest updates around products, testnets, and mainnet. The SKALE Solutions Engineering team will be there to support you throughout the process.
The network is designed to be permissionless. In the future, signup and registration will be self-serve, and registering as a validator will be ungated.
The governing body for the network is the N.O.D.E. Foundation. This foundation maintains the procedures for how the review process works and controls its operation. The initial panel will be comprised of approximately 10 validators, if and until such time as the process becomes automated in part or in whole. During a review, each member of the panel will get an opportunity to look at code, log files, transaction flows, and other data to determine if any improper action has occurred. The foundation believes that it is important that validators play a primary role in policing. Given their bondedness into the network, validators are highly incentivized to act in their best interest in guarding and preserving the integrity of the network.
Anybody can generate and submit improvement proposals. There is a Committee of Network Representatives that collects the proposals and decides which ones will be voted on and when. It has no voting power and consists of two core SKALE team members, one validator representative, one delegator representative, and one member from the dApp community.
Yes. Every node in the SKALE Network has the same profit potential and is rewarded based upon its performance metrics which include uptime, latency, and serving as a good actor.
The SKALE team stays abreast of any and all security issues related to Intel SGX and takes all measures necessary to counteract them. Intel is very good at providing BIOS updates to address any security holes and prevent these types of attacks. The validator also shares responsibility in that they must continually check that their service providers are using the latest version of the BIOS. The SKALE team will keep validators abreast of security issues, recommend best practices, and work closely with validators to address these issues and more.
Why the specific requirements for the disk storage and memory?
The SKALE Network is designed to be highly performant with high throughput and low latency. On-chain storage is also an important offering of the network and so disk storage needs to be above a certain amount in order to support this capability. Nodes operate as virtualized nodes, meaning that one node can service many chains. Chains sizes can be small, medium, or large with a small chain using 1/128 of a node’s resources, a medium using 1/8 of the resources, and a large using the full amount.
We should also mention the future that the SKALE Network is building towards is one where decentralized solutions will make use of a number of chains – not unlike the way cloud applications today make use of multiple microservice meshes and/or database clusters, each one optimized for the app features or capabilities it is supporting. This concept is explored further in an article on monolithic architectures vs multiple side chains here.
Call you tell us any clouds or co-location site where nodes might currently be operating?
The network team and early validators have set up nodes on Digital Ocean and Vultr but nodes can also run on bare metal provided they meet the requirements specified above. The choice is largely up to the validator although the network team can suggest and assist with provisioning options. The SKALE network team maintains a list of Intel SGX-compatible servers. Additional inquiries can be addressed in the SKALE validator Discord.
Yes, the SKALE technology team has analyzed the benefits and operation of the Intel SGX chipset in depth, is aware of any perceived vulnerabilities, and is satisfied the technology meets the security and data protection requirements of the network. Tests run on the SKALE Testnet will serve to validate this analysis and ensure that the chipset meets these intended security and data protection requirements.
Most often the case is that these other networks are applying BLS multisignature aggregation. Simply put, every validator generates a BLS signature and then performs operations with this signature. The network protocol aggregates all signature operations into one. What you gain from this process is compressed data, since instead of multiple ECDSA keys, you have a single aggregated signature, and nothing more. This use is suitable for Ledger hardware.
SKALE's process is drastically different. SKALE uses BLS threshold signatures – a different and much more complicated process than BLS signature aggregation. To make a threshold signature work – such that only t of n operators are needed to perform an operation – one needs a trusted process to construct a BLS public key based on secret shares from each of the operators. This is called DKG or distributed key generation and requires much more complicated processing than what Ledger-based solutions can provide. Whereas Ledger-based networks are simply storing a BLS signature for the purposes of multi-signature aggregation, Intel SGX is being used for DKG and related threshold operations.
Another critical distinction is that BLS signature aggregation is performed per validator, whereas BLS threshold signature operations are done per skale chain and on a frequent basis. If a validator node is supporting 128 SKALE chains, then the node core has to generate 128 BLS threshold public keys and 128 BLS threshold private keys via distributed key generation.
If a validator is using a single Intel SGX server to support 16 nodes and each node is running 128 chains, then it needs to generate and maintain 2048 public and private BLS threshold keys. When a node is swapped into a new SKALE chain, the DKG process is re-initiated with all nodes within the chain group, resulting in new public and private key generation for that specific SKALE chain. Given this increased frequency of digital key generation and complexity of BLS threshold cryptography, the use of Intel SGX is an optimal solution for addressing the performance and data security requirements of the network. (Note that the SKALE team is a fan of Ledger-based currency and token storage solutions, notwithstanding lack of BLS threshold signature support.)
The SKALE Network makes use of certain features in the Intel SGX chipset in order to offer enhanced security and added data protections. (The virtualized nature of nodes is also able to leverage the multiple independent Intel SGX-enabled CPUs that the chipsets offer.)
A further reason for the Intel SGX requirement is the heavy use of the BLS (Boneh–Lynn–Shacham) cryptography as part of its technical offerings. For example, interchain messaging is powered by BLS threshold signatures. Each chain also supports BLS Rollups which provides an efficient and secure way to use the SKALE Network to improve throughput and lower gas costs on the Ethereum mainnet. (A rollup can generally be defined as a solution where transactions are published on chain, but computation and storage of transaction results is done differently to save gas.)
Validators need to provision and operate their own server or servers with sufficient network capacity and data center operational integrity. Servers can operate in a public or private cloud setting or on locally provisioned hardware, provided they meet SLA requirements. A particular requirement for servers is that they operate Intel SGX.
Intel SGX (Software Guard Extensions) is a set of instructions that increases the security of application code and data, providing added protection from disclosure or modification. Developers can partition sensitive information into enclaves, which are areas of execution in memory with more security protection. It is recommended that all nodes in a validator set be Intel SGX servers although it’s also possible to set up a network nodes with a certain ratio of Intel SGX servers to non-SGX servers.
Other node requirements include Ubuntu 18.04 or above, 200GB of attached storage, and 32GB RAM.
Validators go to the SKALE website (www.skale.network) and sign up. The SKALE network team will review the application and then schedule review times with potential validators. The process is a mutual evaluation process until such time as there is self-serve signup and on-boarding. Candidates that go forward in the process are asked to sign a non-binding intent letter and then go through a certification process. Once they pass, they will be included in the Alpine cohort (this is the name given to the initial set of network validators).
There is a Discord channel that validators are invited to join. The SKALE team will also work closely with validators to help them set up the node and register it into the network. The containerized nature of the architecture makes it easy to stand up and operate a node. The CLI process to do this is straight-forward for almost any engineering or devop team. The goal at this point is to work with a solid set number of experienced validators to ensure a smooth launch of the mainnet.
The network is designed to be permissionless. In the future, signup and registration will be self-serve and registering and white-listing as a validator will be ungated.
The SKALE Network is open to any validator as long as they meet the technical requirements and staking commitment. For the launch of the SKALE Testnet and the leadup to launch of the SKALE Mainnet, the network is particularly interested in knowledgeable validators who have experience validating for other Layer 1 and Layer 2 networks. Validators should have the desire and resources to run nodes, test the network, find bugs, and participate in detailed feedback discussions with the SKALE team and broader validator community.
The incentives for early validators are to get to know the operation of the network as well as participate in the incentivized Testnet. Some of the incentives include bounties for finding bugs, providing community tools, suggesting documentation improvements, running specific tests, connecting to specific Testnet contracts, and other tasks.
The SLA threshold is a high percentage uptime and low latency response time. If a validator cannot meet the SLA requirements for a particular epoch (as determined by the network monitoring procedures), they will not be eligible to participate in the awards from the bounty pool.
The node core in a validator within the SKALE Network has a primary role in moderating the network – a role that is in addition to self-organizing around the validation and operation of chains and subchains. Each node gathers and uploads data in service of keeping the network honest and operational. Each node in the network is continuously monitoring a random set of 24 nodes, gathering data and pulling log files from these nodes. The node core will score each of the nodes, looking at uptime, latency, performance and other metrics and then basing the score on whether certain thresholds are met or not. This mechanism is a part of the SKALE Node Monitoring Service and is called the SKALE SLA function.
Nodes submit their metrics to a contract on the mainnet which blends, processes, and aggregates them to get a clear picture of network and node health. If a node is deemed to have performed well during an epoch, it gets to participate in the award from the bounty pool. If a node performs poorly, it will not receive an award for that period. If it acts maliciously, it may get flagged and pulled from the network. In the case of the latter event i.e. suspicions of cheating, indications of having been hacked, or engagement in other malicious acts, a review process will be initiated which could end up with node stake getting slashed.
No. There is no minimum delegation requirement for a validator. Validators can chose to self-delegate or choose to bring on delegators, in which case, validators can set minimum delegation amount for accepting delegations.
Yes. Validators can raise stakes from delegators and have this reflected via contracts running on the network. Commissions can be set for the monthly bounties such that payouts can be split into both commissions (to the validator) and delegator awards (to investors). The commission rate that is set is solely at the discretion of validators and on what the market will bear.
No, there is not. Validators may withdraw their stakes (self-delegated or delegated) at any time after their stake is unlocked.
Performance metrics for each subnode are collected by a subset of the other subnodes in the network. Metrics for the overall behavior of the node itself are collected by 24 independent peer nodes. Combining these metrics yields an overall score which will determine whether or not a node is able to participate in a monthly bounty award. This bounty award also includes token inflation as set forth in a mainnet contract that handles node payouts. (Payouts are evenly distributed across the validating pool except for a slight weighting in favor of nodes that are staked for a longer duration.)
Validators can choose to validate for 3 month, 6 month, or 12 months. (The minimum lock-up period is 3mo.) Validators can choose to self-delegate (i.e. put up the entire staking amount themselves) or elect to accept any delegation and have the option to provide a commission rate to the delegators. Staking for the longer durations will have a slight multiplier applied to the monthly payouts from the bounty pool.
Yes, there is a Minimum Staking Requirement to register a node in the network. The amount will be publicly announced leading up to the MainNet Launch.
A key requirement for an effective security and execution layer is a proper incentive structure that addresses both penalties and rewards. With respect to the former, every validator node should have significant value staked into a network. Staking is an enforcer of good behavior in that if a validator decides to collude or go byzantine and gets caught, it will lose its stake and be removed from the network.
In the SKALE Network, there is no minimum bonding requirement for a validator. Validators have an option to self delegate or accept delegation from other token holders.
To coerce or bribe the validators of a chain with this type of a pooled validation model – one that employs random selection and frequent node rotation – a bad actor would have to effectively bribe two thirds of the larger network. To do this with a large number of nodes in the overall network would be exceedingly difficult. SKALE’s network design is based on these core principles and is directly aligned with stopping – if not eliminating – attacks and preserving the integrity of transactions within each chain in the network.
Security and validity of transactions in a chain or subchain in a second layer primarily rests with the performance and behavior of the validator nodes. To make sure the validation layer is operating properly, a network first has to have a large number of validator nodes. A small number of nodes in a network is inherently risky and fragile.
In addition and as a requirement for a secure and robust network, it ideally needs to provide for a) the random selection of chain validator sets and b) the rotation of nodes in and out of chains on a frequent basis. Without randomness and rotation, there is a far greater risk of bribery of and/or collusion between validators, vastly reducing the security and integrity of the chains within a network.
The SKALE Network is a custodial execution layer (Layer 2). Whereas non-custodial approaches use a system of fraud proofs to allow funds to move between chains, SKALE makes use of BLS signatures, deposit boxes within the Ethereum mainnet, and other mechanisms to allow for custodial ownership and use within the network (which allows it to leverage the security guarantees of the mainnet but gain the performance inherent in Layer 2).
The stake from the validators, the payments from developers, and the token inflation – all of it lives in the Ethereum mainnet and all of it is controlled by the smart contracts that run there that work in unison with each SKALE Node.
This approach is different from other Layer 2 models that attempt to use mainnet interactions to run verification and/or fraud proofs. SKALE uses the Ethereum mainnet for staking and for other mechanistic operations in a way that is better attuned for the creation of a robust and trustworthy Layer 2 network. SKALE will also support BLS Rollups for use cases that require full reliance on MainNet custody.
Each chain is comprised of a collective of randomly appointed virtualized subnodes which run the SKALE daemon and the SKALE consensus. Nodes in the SKALE Network are not restricted to a single chain but rather can work across multiple chains via the use of virtualized subnodes. This multiplex capability is made possible via a containerized subnode architecture deployed on each node in the Network. Each node is virtualized and is able to participate as a validator via this subnode architecture for an independent number of chains. Chain sizes can be small, medium, or large with a small chain using 1/128 of a node’s resources, a medium using 1/8 of the resources, and a large using the full amount.
The subnode virtualization is enabled via an innovative containerized architecture that provides industrial-grade performance and optionality for decentralized application developers – performance and flexibility that is similar to traditional centralized cloud and microservice systems. Containers are divided into several main components encapsulated via a dockerized Linux OS – allowing for each node to be hosted in an OS-agnostic manner.
The SKALE Network consists of a large set of nodes, all running concurrently and independently, validating transactions within the chains they are overseeing. These nodes all make use of a unique set of SKALE contracts that run on the Ethereum mainnet. These smart contracts are where the SKALE token lives, where issuance occurs, and where rewards get disbursed to the node validators. These smart contracts are also where the analysis of the network takes place and where corrective actions are taken if there is bad behavior by one or more nodes.
Developers create chains by first selecting the size of the chain (small, medium, and large), duration of the chain (6mo, 12mo, 24mo), and then staking SKALE tokens in order to provision the network resources. These tokens get staked into the Ethereum mainnet via one of the SKALE contracts that reside there. Each month, a certain number of tokens from this developer stake gets moved into a bounty pool which is then used to pay the validators within the network. An inflation (issuance) event also takes place each month whereby new SKALE tokens are created via a contract on the mainnet, the result of which gets pushed into the bounty pool for payout to validators.
For example, if there are a thousand validator nodes in the network and they all perform well, they will each participate in the monthly proceeds from the bounty pool which includes a portion of the chain token stakes plus an inflation amount. The distribution to the validators is not necessarily shared equally as there is a modifier component that slightly adjusts the payout based on the duration of time tokens are staked into the network. Nodes with tokens that are locked up for twelve months, for example, will get a greater percentage than those locked-up for three or six months.
The SKALE Network bug bounty program identifies and solves potential technical vulnerabilities in the SKALE Network with the help of SKALE Network community members, especially those who specialize in global network security and Solidity smart contract security.