This is the biggest change to the network since the introduction of Validators. Even though Helium have tested the chain variable activation sequence a few times on Testnet, the scale is much larger on mainnet. To ensure the network is able to endure this change, Helium will be slowly ramping up Challenges on the network over several days.
During this ramp up, you will see your Hotspot rewards fluctuate and slow down for the first few days - not to worry though; this is expected and affects all Hotspots equally.
To start, Helium will slow down the challenge rate to 100 challenges per block. Since there are over 3000 Validators, it’s expected that not every Validator will challenge at the same time. The core team will then monitor Network, Validator, and PoC performance for a few hours.
Once Helium are satisfied with Network performance, they will slowly ramp it up as outlined below. The goal is for the network to achieve Challenge rate parity before Light Hotspots, which in this case equates to 800 challenges per block.
Those with a keen eye will notice that there is a new chain variable controlling the number of challenges on the network. The old chain variable (poc_challenge_interval) which dictated how often a Hotspot challenges (denoted in blocks) will no longer be used. By issuing a new chain variable (poc_challenge_rate) that dictates how many challenges can occur in a block, it will allow the network to scale challenges alongside network growth.
Activation Chain Variable Schedule
poc_challenge_rate: 100 poc_timeout = 20 (will not change)
poc_validator_ephemeral_key_timeout = 200 (will not change)
We will be making announcements as we advance through the Chain Variable Schedule once we start rolling. No action is required for Hotspot Owners, Validators, and Makers
Source: Official Helium Community Discord