Hello dYdX community.
This is Ian. The founder of the Panamanian Flower Company (PFC for short).
We come from a development background, having worked (and written) L1 blockchains and infrastructure for 5+ years, and before that having worked for large web sites who were in the top-10 in their day, having started as an engineer, and progressed into senior leadership roles within them.
We bring strong operational knowledge, with a focus on decentralization and resiliency, and operate machines in 5+ data-centers using 3 different hosting providers in 4 different countries.
We are strong believers in giving back to the chain, running relayers, providing tooling, and have even open sourced our infrastructure to help other validators succeed. We are also part of backbone labs, having written their liquid staking smart contracts. (which are present on 5+ chains today)
Entity name and location:
Our company, AAA Flowers, is registered in Panama. We provide non-custodial validator services for others, as well as run our own nodes on Cosmos networks.
Currently, we have machines running in Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Singapore (RPC entry points).
dYdX machines will rotate between these places based on demand. We try to maintain a low-latency between the locations to ensure low latency, and host RPC services close to where end users are.
Years of Experience
Our founder started writing L1 Blockchain software in 2019. He discovered Cosmos in late 21, and started running the PFC validator on the LUNA chain then. PFC was part of the lido validator set in Luna.
He has been involved in decentralized and low-latency systems since the late 90s.
What other chains do you run validators on?
We operate around 15 chains under the PFC moniker, and are present via partnerships and providing services in a few others. We focus on DeFi based chains, as that is our interest.
Based on your participation in any previous testnets, mainnets, are there any best practices to be aware of? What are some things that made previous testnets, mainnet launches successful and/or things to avoid that have gone poorly?
We run most our of networks (including test-nets) using 3 sentries and MPC signing on kubernetes, and use testnets to roll out new configurations, and upgrade procedures.
our ‘best practices’ are published on our github repo (see above).
common mistakes we have seen is lack of experience, poor operational processes, and lack of planning & testing chain upgrades.
People believe that because they know how to use linux, they can run a highly available production grade system. While it isn’t rocket science, experience matters.
We can see this when people double-sign or lose their keys, putting their customers funds at risk. It doesn’t happen often, (once or twice a year), but it saddens us when people put their trust in people they shouldn’t.
At the chain level, proper testing of new releases is critical. chain halts and multi hour downtime should not be present on a mainnet.
Do you have a validator voting framework and process?
We look to see what is best for the chain we are on, and secondly what is good for the cosmos network itself. If we have a conflict of interest we will abstain.
Our founder has been on executive teams for large tech/internet companies in the past, and tries to bring some of that experience to bear when deciding how to vote. We were also part of the governing senate on the Kuji blockchain, helping with grant proposals
Saying that, community opinions matter. We take the communities opinions into account when we vote, but we do encourage everyone to participate.
Are you planning to play any additional roles in the dYdX ecosystem (e.g. market maker, trader, indexer, front-end, other)?
potentially. We are already running IBC relaying services, provide common tools, and infrastructure for others…