Discussion to Increase the active collator set of Moonbeam by <x> nodes

This is a discussion for a possible proposal to increase the active collator set on either / both Moonriver and Moonbeam (the original post was a proposal in governance, but moved to General to determine if the community supports the idea, before posting a proposal).

Abstract - The current active collator set on Moonbeam has seen five new entrants (as of this posting), which due to the fixed limit of 72 collator slots has led to 5 collators going out of the active set. This proposal seeks to relieve the current pressure on the active set by increasing the on-chain limit by a community agreed amount (TBD).

Details - The active collator set currently allows for 72 reward generating collators (with rewards being generated for both the collator and the delegators that have staked to a collator that is in the top 72 based on total delegations).

Collators are stack ranked based on total delegations, and only the top 72 collators by total delegations are permitted by the chain to collate transactions and earn rewards. This top 72 calculation is made at the blockchain round change, which is around every two hours on Moonriver and around every six hours on Moonbeam.

Because significant collator rewards can be generated in the form of tokens by an active collator, obtaining and maintaining a spot in the top 72 collators in the active set can become very competitive.

Most of the currently active collators rely on delegations (stake) from the community to stay active, but anyone can also simply buy enough tokens to self-delegate and push their way into the active set without community delegations. This is one characteristic of a permissionless, open blockchain network. In fact, when this happens, it could be an indication of the interest in the network, and possibly a positive indicator of the health of the network.

However, because there is are only currently 72 active collators permitted, when there are new entrants into the collator set such as the five in the past three weeks, there is an impact to community delegators.

The most immediate impact is that delegators to the collators that fall out of the active set do not receive rewards while the collator is inactive. Only until the delegators realize that their collator has left the active set, and issue a revoke, will they start the process of moving their delegation to a new active collator (and once again start to receive rewards.

Specifically, when a delegator issues a revoke, there is a waiting period where the delegator does not earn rewards (approx. 2 days on Moonriver, and approx. 7 days on Moonbeam - which might be meaningless if the collator is out of the set, anyway). After the waiting period the delegator can then free their stake and delegate to a new collator. Frequently, we see a collator fall out of the active set during times of contention, stopping rewards for delegators, only to return a day or two later, only adding more confusion as to whether the delegator should revoke or not.

Most will agree that this is not a good experience for the delegator (caveat emptor be damned). Additionally, the aggregate of all rewards lost are not insignificant and are likely lost from those that rely on them the most (this point can be expanded on more, but typically a node that goes out has many lower GLMR delegations from smaller community members that can’t make the minimum bond of a more stable or well known collator to Moonbeam, such as a community collator).

While the problem identified is not a systemic risk to the network, due to the recent pressure on the active set of Moonebeam due to new entrants, a release valve exists in the form of increasing the total allowable collators in the active set. By increasing the total number of collators in the active set, it will prevent the current situation where delegator must remain uncertain and unconvinced that their collator will remain reward generating. It will just make room for the new entrants.

However, it will also decrease the overall collator rewards which should be a consideration not only to collators, but to delegators that value the importance of responsible, professional collating that is provided by current active set members, and the need for profit that is gained from this effort.

Although the current contention is in Moonbeam, it is proposed that an increase be enacted in Moonriver, following on to Moonbeam once the network can effectively enable and support an increase through governance.

A value of increase is purposefully not suggested so that the community can consider and decide a number, if it is deemed as the best course of action. In addition, it should be considered that Orbiter nodes are a way for smaller infrastructure providers to engage with the network, and any increase in the active set should consider if more Orbiter nodes should be included. It’s also suggested that with an increase in Orbiter nodes (if deemed appropriate), community participation requirements should be considered in discussion around an Orbiter increase.

No links are provided at this time.


I would vote aye on this matter. It would be a good idea to increase the number of collator. Community collators and delegators will have more ease of mind and in the end I think it’s better for decentralization.

What number would you propose for the active set?


Hi there Jim,

thanks for having added up what many of us think.

We are seeing lately some instability in the active set and, just thinking about the delegators, having to move around from one collator to another is something that, maybe, with a small expansion could be resolved at this point.

Dotdatamaxi asks about a number. I think that 4 additional slots could be a good start.



thanks Jim for getting the discussion started. I. think due to the recent events which were all very well explained it could be the right time to increase the collator set.

If I remember correctly, in the past when there was an increase - 4 new slots were added


An increase in Moonriver would result in a much larger decrease in profit margins for collators than an increase in Moonbeam. I am in favor of an increase in Moonbeam, but I am skeptical about Moonriver.


I agree with your opinion, there is no competition in moonriver to justify an increase. An alternative could be an increase in moonriver only for orbiter seats and on moonbeam an increase of 5 + 1 orbiters

I prefer to stay with number 72
All collator out of activeset should be out of activeset otherwise they should fighting for that, that simple strategy will help secure this network and also make the collator community have enough benefit from running collator to support back to the project

I would like to express my support for this proposal on Moonbeam. my reasoning is straightforward, with the recent addition of five new collators to the active set, several delegators have reached out to me expressing concerns about what steps they should take next and how to proceed in the best possible way. many of them are genuinely worried. It’s always frustrating to experience a loss in rewards for almost 8 days, and that’s why I believe an expansion of the set could potentially improve the situation. however, it’s important for us to acknowledge that there are drawbacks as well. when the active set expands, the rewards for both delegators and collators will naturally decrease


The last increase was a while ago, given the situation we agree with this proposal with 3 things in kind

1 though the collator reward will decrease its an agreeable trade off when compared with the constant discomfort for delegators and collators

2 increase in the count is good for decentralisation

3 We need the community collators with the experience of being there when needed.

So increasing by 4 seems like the logical next step to do.


Thanks Jim for bringing this topic.

As it mentioned above with the majority - I also agree with the set expansion on Moonbeam. The current situation is already unstable, and is expected to be even more fluctuating since there are many potential collators on the waiting list who can try to become active as well. Hence, adding few more slots should reduce this pressure.

I also support a set expansion in moonbeam. I feel we should prioritize the delegator experience when we can do so without negatively impacting performance or participation. Adding 4 more slots plus 1 orbiter slot seems appropriate to me.

Same with me. 4 extra slots + 1 orbiter looks good.

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Seems very positive feedback thus far – when can this happen?

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hey @Jim_CertHum, are you planning to initiate an on-chain proposal, or could you provide an update on the current status of this proposal

@turrizt I’m just soliciting some additional technical feedback on the discussion. Previously, @artkaseman mentioned a technical soft limit around increasing the set in this post. It’s not clear if this limit still exists.

In addition, any increase in active set size required an equal increase on Moonriver, and so if this requirement exists it may influence the discussion on a proposed size of increase to Moonbeam.

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Technically, there is room to increase, but there is an upper limit. We can upgrade by about 8 until we need to start discussing lowering the delegations per collator. We need to keep the total delegations = (number of collators) * (delegations per collator) from getting too high, but the absolute limit is not yet known.


Thanks, @artkaseman . Do you know if we can increase Moonbeam independently of Moonriver (e.g., Moonriver stays at 72, Moonbeam goes up to 76 total collators), or should a Moonbeam increase to the number of collators only follow an equivalent increase to Moonriver?

Thank @Jim_CertHum Jim, for this discussion. I am also in favor of increasing the set from 72 to 76. Expanding by 4 slots +1 orbiter will relieve the pressure on the collators, and at the same time, we will attract more delegations, as we will have 4 slots +1 orbiter more collators where new delegates with smaller delegations can participate.


They can be independent, but we don’t want Moonbeam to get too far ahead, as we would much rather find any problems in Moonbase-Alpha or Moonriver before they get to Moonbeam. Up to a +8 difference between Moonbeam and Moonriver is OK however.


The next step would be to create a new proposal in Governance at the Idea stage, which would stay in Idea stage for at least 7 days.

However, we’ve had a few different options expressed in this discussion, and for the proposal it will be helpful if there was one choice, and so I will use the option with the most votes in this poll (based on the different suggests above), to select what to include in the Proposal.

Should the Moonbeam network active set be increased from 72 collators, and if so, how should be increase be configured?
  • 4 Additional slots, no Oribtors
  • 4 Additional slots, of which 1 will be an Orbitor
  • 5 Additional slots, of which 1 will be an Orbitor
  • The active set on Moonbeam network should remain at 72
  • Some other option (and I’ll comment below)
0 voters