Paper 2023/1585

How to Rationally Select Your Delegatee in PoS

Yuzhe Zhang, CSIRO Data61
Qin Wang, CSIRO Data61
Shiping Chen, CSIRO Data61
Chen Wang, CSIRO Data61

This paper centers around a simple yet crucial question for everyday users: How should one choose their delegated validators within proof-of-stake (PoS) protocols, particularly in the context of Ethereum 2.0? This has been a long-overlooked gap, as existing studies have primarily focused on inter-committee (validator set) behaviors and activities, while neglecting the dynamic formation of committees, especially for individual stakeholders seeking reliable validators. Our study bridges this gap by diving into the delegation process (normal users delegate their small-value tokens to delegatees who later act as validators) before entering an actual consensus phase. We propose a Bayesian model to quantify normal users' trust in delegatees, which we further incorporate into a game-theoretical model to simulate users' reactions against a set of critical factors identified through extensive research (including 10+ staking service providers as well as 30+ PoS blockchains). Our results reveal that users tend to choose their delegatees and utilize their tokens by carefully weighing the delegation cost, the behaviors of other users, and the reputation of delegatees, ultimately reaching a Nash equilibrium. Unfortunately, the collective trend significantly increases the likelihood of token concentration on a small number of delegatees.

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Publication info
Proof of SakeDelegationGame TheoryEthereum 2.0
Contact author(s)
Yuzhe Zhang @ data61 csiro au
qinwangtech @ gmail com
shiping chen @ data61 csiro au
chen wang @ data61 csiro au
2023-10-13: approved
2023-10-13: received
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      author = {Yuzhe Zhang and Qin Wang and Shiping Chen and Chen Wang},
      title = {How to Rationally Select Your Delegatee in {PoS}},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2023/1585},
      year = {2023},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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