Service Node Autostaking Announcement

We are very quickly approaching the date where the first Service Node will be deregistered because of a natural expiry. On October the 20th, 30 days since the first Service Node being registered, the first group of Service Nodes will undergo deregistration.

There is a couple of things we wanted to go through for Service Node operators so they understand what the process is of re-registering, and issue a few warnings about Autostaking. If you are presently intending on using autostaking, you should read this announcement very carefully.

Updating software

The downtime between two registration periods is one of the best times to update your Service Node to the latest version of the Service Node software, as it can be done without the risk of accidentally deregistering your node.
The latest version of the Service Node software can be found here https://github.com/loki-project/loki/releases/latest and we have also complied a written guide and a video guide on how to update your Service Node software.

Solo Operators

If you are a solo operator and used autostake, then you must ensure that whatever computer you issued the stake command from is online during your re-registration period. You must also ensure that there is still a process running called loki-wallet-cli as this wallet will scan the blockchain and recognise when your node has been de-registered, and as soon as your funds become unlocked it will restake your Loki.
If Autostaking fails for any reason then solo operators can run the prepare_registration command on their Service Node again and run the outputted command in their wallet. This will stake your Loki again.

Closed Pools

A closed pool is a pool in which each contributor is specified by their staking address and the amount they are contributing. If you are staking Loki without running a node, ask your operator whether you are in an closed or open pool, they should be able to give appropriate guidance.
If you are Autostaking in a closed pool as a participant we highly recommend that you contact your pool operator and switch away from autostaking back to manual staking. Disabling autostake is as simple as ending the wallet process (called loki-wallet-cli) on your machine, this can be done by using:

On Linux: pkill loki-wallet-cli or
ps aux | grep loki-wallet-cli and using the process id quoted and running kill <process ID>

On Windows: you can use task manager to find the loki-wallet-cli process and terminate it

On Mac: you can use the activity monitor to find and terminate loki-wallet-cli

The main reason we recommend disabling autostake is because in a closed pool if any participant decides they will not stake during the next registration period, you may lock up your Loki without being able to fill the vacancy left by the deserting party.

If you are staking without using autostake, contact your pool operator and ask them whether there has been any changes to their node, they will give you their Service Node pubkey and they can also tell you how much Loki is required during the next registration period (Remember the amount of Loki required to stake is decreasing overtime).

You can use this information and re-run the stake command, as stated above we recommend you do not use autostake unless you have high confidence that all your collaborators will also restake their contributions.

stake <Service Node Pubkey> <address> <contribution amount>

For operators of closed pools we recommend that you contact all participants in your pool and recommend they disable autostake before re-registration begins, unless you can ensure a scenario where you have high confidence in all staking participants. Operators who are also using autostake to re-register their Service Node should consider their pool participants and whether they will be staking in the next period, if not they may need to adjust their pool using the prepare_registration command.

Open Pools

Open pools are pools for which there is no specified contribution addresses. Anyone can contribute to an open pool without notifying the pool operator.
For open pools in version 1.0.4 we have disabled the autostake feature. This is due to the high risk for operators or contributors to inadvertently lock funds due to a lack of communication. Additionally using autostake in open pools in the current implementation fails to reduce the amount of the stake as per the decreasing staking requirement.

Therefore we recommend that anyone who operates or is a participant in an an open pool terminate any wallet which is autostaking. Open pools are still available in version 1.0.4, however they only allow the client to use the stake command without the auto flag.  

As with all other Loki, Loki that was staked in open pools will be unlocked and the user is free to use this Loki in the same open pool (if it exists) by using the stake command as shown below:

stake <Service Node Pubkey> <address> <contribution amount>

Operators of open pools can also continue running open pools without autostake by running the prepare_registration command and submitting output through their wallet, users can be notified of the specifics of the new open pool when it is available.

User experience
We are looking at making changes to the user experience of staking in the future which will make the process less clunky and also reduce the risk of the user locking their funds without acting intentionally dishonestly.