Stake Wars Registration is Now Open

October 15, 2019

Stake, you must!

Please share this with your fellow validators:

We invite you to participate in Stake Wars, NEAR Protocol’s incentivized testnet program. Practice your powers and compete with other validators on the NEAR testnet for rewards.

If you are considering becoming a mainnet validator, participating in validation on the testnet will provide you with familiarity with the Near Protocol. This experience will prove valuable once mainnet launches.

The benefits:

  • Test your hardware
  • Earn mainnet tokens
  • Prove Reliability
  • Find Bugs
  • Have fun breaking stuff
  • Build new ecosystem components

This document is for validators to give feedback on the rules of the Stake Wars and how best to run it.



The goal for this testnet is to place the system under stress.

Every Stake Wars participant has to be a validator and run a node. All validators can participate in Stake Wars, in the validator bug bounty program and build validator related tools and smart contracts.

Validators will be evaluated on a weekly basis in accordance with how many blocks they produced as a percentage of the requirement (e.g. % online). If the network stalls / has issues the requirements will be adjusted accordingly.

Bug Bounty

It’s encouraged to find bugs, issues and attacks. More specifically, you are encouraged to attack the network on the protocol / network / communication layer.

You are allowed:

  • Customize code, network, hardware, etc.
  • Run node(s) and become validator, fake relay node etc.
  • Ask other validators to collude with you with up to 33% of total stake.

You are not allowed:

  • Don’t use social engineering nor physical attacks (definitely not);
  • Hack into machines of other participants or other related services. Instead, if you come across machine- or user-related vulnerabilities, report those directly to the affected entity or the Near team. 


Node requirements are low:

  • At least 2 CPUs
  • At least 4GB RAM
  • At least 50 GB free disk

As part of the Stake Wars we will be doing performance tuning and evaluating hardware so the requirements may change.

Note that we have not been testing on Windows yet, we recommend Mac OS or Linux. However, you can find the guide for setting up a node on Windows here.


The other side of testing/bending/breaking is building. We have a few ideas about what can be built and experimented with, but we encourage you to be creative:

  • Staking / delegation smart contract (see ideas here)
    • This is specifically interesting, because as a validator you can define how delegation can be done for your customers.
  • Alternative block explorer
  • SDK for language that doesn’t exist (currently JS, Python, Rust)
  • Better tooling for running node / staking



(Approximate dates)

  • October 15, Registration opens
  • October 28, First week of Stake Wars
  • (Estimated) December 20, Last week of Stake Wars


We are accepting applications from now on. To start your quest follow this link.


Participants will receive mainnet tokens in accordance with their contribution during Stake Wars. 

NEAR team will judge bug reports into one of the three levels:

TestJedi Youngling: Run a node and specify all your system details. Once up, run valuable benchmarks on the network and spam the RPC with bad, and I mean, really bad bytes. Report any bugs that you might experience.

BendPadawan: Dig through the code when running a node and try to find bugs that affect performance or functionality. If you feel adventurous, set-up several nodes and perform a high number of transactions to stress-test the network. You can also create a cartel and in an attempt to take over the network. Customize code to create invalid blocks, double signs or invalid state transitions. Find those small pesky bugs that usually crawl through the code.

BreakJedi Master: The force is with you! Bring the network to a stall, enforce invalid state transition and mint as many unaccounted tokens as your strength allows. Lastly, when you transfer tokens between shards, lose all receipts.



Every week we are going to start a new testnet.

Join a call on Wed 6pm PST every week where we will together put a new genesis block and start the quest. If you have missed the call, you can join later by following the staking procedure.

Issue Tracking

All of the issues should be posted on GitHub –

This repo also will have the leaderboard to track the progress of the different validators in points.

Select an issue template relevant to the problem you found, describe exactly reproduction and attach code if you had some. You can also submit PR to the Stake Wars repo with code if this is something that can be used for testing going forward or by others to break the system.

If you have built something cool – file an issue as well, this would be the best way to keep track of progress and get feedback from others.

Related reading


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