A bond is an amount of cryptocurrency that an operator locks to their own validator.
Bonding, or self‐bonding, is the process of locking one’s digital assets to one’s own validator node in order to make it operational. In most proof of stake networks, a set amount of value must be locked, or "staked," to the node in order for it to become active as a validator on the network, participating and earning rewards for doing so. Bonding is the process of staking to one’s own node for a set amount of time, often the entire time that the node is actively participating; the node operator’s bond is generally eligible to earn rewards at the same rate as any other stake on the validator and counts towards the validator’s inclusion in the active set.
Bonding helps to secure a network by providing a financial incentive that reduces the likelihood of Sybil Attacks, and ensuring that the entity operating the validator has 'skin in the game' to help prevent poor behavior. Some protocols require bonding while others do not. The amount of time, and value, that a node operator must bond, if any, is defined by each protocol.
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