We wanted to explain the rationale behind this part of the email “Next Stake Off Course: The Master Validator Challenge” sent (February 9 2020):
To clarify how the BTU boost applies in more complex setups: if you control one or more validator groups, the boost applied will be taken from the minimum of the audit scores awarded to you and every validator affiliated with any of your groups at any point during Phase 3. Therefore, it is in your interest to ensure that other validators you affiliate are as secure as you are!
First, the security audit will only cover one validator (of your choice), along with its proxy and attestation service. That “best” validator (whichever group it is in) will determine your personal audit score. If only one of your validators is deployed in a colo with an IDS and hardware wallets, etc, the audit scores you as though all of your validators are (so from this point of view, you can earn a greater boost than you otherwise would if every validator was audited).
This means that the specific third-party validator in your group doesn’t matter – just the owning entity’s audit score, determined by their “best” validator.
We discussed this rule at length, and will retain it as is for the scoring. The reasoning is as follows: In the Celo protocol, validator groups share the rewards, and the risks, of the validators that they affiliate. When a validator gets slashed, its group is also slashed. Also, voters’ rewards depend on these factors too, so they have an incentive to move votes to higher performing groups. However, so far, without slashing in the Stake Off and with a somewhat artificial voting setup, there has not been as much incentive for groups to perform diligence on validators. This change attempts to correct that.
I strongly suggest if you have signed up for the audit and run third party validators in your own group, that by Monday you talk to those groups, gain confidence that they signed up for the audit themselves (every audit participant received an email), and that their “best” validator’s setup meets the standards you would apply for yourself. The checklist, script and scoring are available for everyone.