*Note: This review and score is purely based on the information disclosed by the validator service and the scoring rubric.
Last Updated: Oct 10, 2019
Bitfish’s validator service operates across the Cosmos, EOS, Loom, Tezos, and Algorand blockchains. Founded in 2013, Bitfish differentiates itself with deep relationships with old bitcoin mining pools, a breadth of blockchains available to stake upon, and a chain-agnostic governance approach. Bitfish presently offers commissions ranging from 4-15%, and is based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Team Background (62.5/100)
- Full-Time/Part-Time (10/10)
- Prior Blockchain Dev/Impact (0/10)
- Systems Experience (5/10)
- Recognizability (10/10)
Current Voting Power (100/100)
- Total Staked: (10/10)
- Unique Self-Bonders: (10/10)
- Commissions: (10/10)
Historical Metrics (75/100)
- Uptime (10/10)
- Proposals (6/10)
- Legal Compliance/Insurance (0)
- Innovations (0)
Bitfish was founded in 2013, by Chun Wang. Bitfish’s was founded as a staking pool for PoS blockchains, but has since expanded to create infrastructure across a number of blockchain consensus protocols. The company now has ~18 people (source: Linkedin) working across PoW related projects as well as PoS.
Prior to Bitfish, Chun was the founder of f2pool, one of the largest mining pools in China and the United States. It was at f2pool that Chun forged many of his closest “delegator” relationships; relationships that Bitfish maintains (and uses as a competitive advantage) to date.
Outside of Chun, the rest of the Bitfish team possesses backgrounds in software development, infrastructure security, management support, IT, UI/UX, and more. What is interesting to note is that Bitfish possesses a comparably large marketing, business, and operations staff compared to other validators. The team is based in Bangkok, but has team members distributed across Europe and other Asian locations.
Bitfish is presently the #1 validator on the Cosmos Hub by delegation with ~11.257M atoms delegated. At time of writing, this translates to approximately $74M USD. ~60% (6.784M) of these atoms originate from a single address, which is hypothesized to be owned by a major bitfish investor. Outside of this whale, bitfish possesses 46 unique addresses with over 19,000 atoms, or $100K USD.
On EOS, Bitfish possesses ~109M Votes (~$7M USD), or approximately 1.48% of the voting power on the network under the name eos.fish. Much of this capital is self-delegated. The block producer is supported by 6,580 voters, and is located in the Republic of Korea.
Bitfish possesses around 3.9M LOOM ($312,000 USD) on the Loom Network (under the alias stake.fish). Of this 3.9M, approximately 1.3M LOOM is self-delegated (33% of total supply). stake.fish was selected by Loom Network as one of the first external validators for its network
Bitfish has maintained 100% uptime on Cosmos, and is listed as currently active on Loom and EOS. Of the five major proposals on the Cosmos Hub thus far, Bitfish has voted on three. All votes have been alongside popular opinion.
Bitfish describes itself as “chain-agnostic”. This is attributed to the breadth of blockchains that they provide services on. This approach allows them to gather data points on the pros and cons of staking mechanisms, upgrades, and governance proposals in real time – data points which can then be shared with other validators who solely provide services on individual networks. This helps the community to avoid making the same mistake twice.
Bitfish also markets themselves to the community as a provider of “fairer fees” – sitting between 4-15% (depending on the network). The company believes that fee discounts should not just be available to whales, and provides low fees to all delegators accordingly.
Bitfish lastly was one of the top two winners of the Cosmos’ Game of Stakes competition.
Bitfish expects delegators to understand the risks of staking atoms. The service does not provide an insurance policy to cover losses due to slashing or service downtime. No legal documents are required to be signed in advance of delegation, and no plans have been announced to compensate delegates at this moment.
- Failover (8/30)
- Private Peering (10/10)
- Agreements with other Validators (10/10)
- Sentry Scaling (10/10)
- Backup Strategy
Bitfish largely operates single validator nodes on each network. In the future, the number of validator nodes that Bitfish operates will depend on the slashing policy of the underlying blockchain. For example, Bitfish presently believes that running more than one validator on Cosmos is unwise, as they see the penalty for double sign events as overly burdensome vs the penalty of downtime. Accordingly, if a validator node’s status is undetermined, they will not bring up another validator. Unless a validator has been provebly taken offline, the company will allow downtime to be experienced.
Sentry architecture is adhered to on a case-by-case basis. The company broadly operates a shared fundamental layer of nodes on each blockchain they operate on, which is customly modified depending on a chain’s best practices.
For example, on Cosmos, Bitfish operates multiple layers of sentry nodes, some openly accessible to the public, and some configured with private connections to other validator services. Bitfish utilizes standard private peering with its own validator nodes.
The company did not share its scaling setup upon request. Scores will be updated once this information becomes available.
Bitfish’s custom code contributions span both their monitoring setup as well as their validator tooling. Most tooling is closed-source currently, however the team has open-sourced a number of 3-D renderings for network architectures that could be used by anyone.
Monitoring Tools (100 /100)
- Network Level (10/10)
- Hardware Level (10/10)
- Paging (10/10)
Single Point of Failure (100/100)
- Multi-Cloud (10/10)
- Multi-Region (10/10)
Key Management (0/100) – unknown
- HSM Selections (0/10)
- Smart Key Management (0/10)
Validator Access (0/100) – unknown
- Physical/Remote (0/10)
Bitfish leverages various stacks for monitoring tools, each with redundant routes. This is done to avoid single points of failure. The company additionally monitors both their hardware and network layers, and has an on-call rotation setup for employees to tend to validator issues. This on-call system results in 24/7 monitoring, across 11 time zones.
Single Points of Failure
Bitfish operates sentries across multiple cloud providers and multiple locations within each provider. The specifics of which providers are being used have not been disclosed.
Bitfish did not share its key management information upon request. Scores will be updated once this information becomes available.
Bitfish did not share its validator access upon request. Scores will be updated once this information becomes available.