What is the difference between node provider and operator?


Hi @tingfei.

A node providers (NP) is a non-canister principal that corresponds to the LP who receives the rewards stemming from node participation to the IC (aka “payout principal”). This is the owner of the node, and may also operate the node or do any other related tasks. An NP may receive rewards from multiple nodes in multiple DCs, belonging to multiple DCs.

A node operator (NO) can be assimilated, for all intents and purposes, to a Hardware Security Module (HSM): Node providers come in possession of HSMs and “register” them (the HSMs) with the NNS, whereby the HSMs become NOs: technically speaking, NOs are precisely HSMs that have undergone the process of registration with the NNS. The NO registration process consists essentially in deriving an IC Principal from the key stored on the HSM, and persisting that principal with the NNS. NPs hand NOs (i.e. registered HSMs) over to LPs, who now gain the authority to “operate nodes,” aka install replicas, aka “add nodes”. As such, NOs can be thought of as autonomous agents, hence NO identifiers can be treated on a par with non-canister (“user”) Principal IDs. By virtue of the registration process, each NO gets associated in a unique manner with the NP that registered it. NOs represent the combination of NP, a data center and number of nodes that a node provider is allowed to run (node allowance).


thanks @Luis !

I am not really sure what is the LP.

Sorry. Legal person.

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