What Is A Cosmos Ecosystem Validator?

2 mo
LeoFinance
5 Min Read
962 words

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The Cosmos Hub ecosystem has been exploding in popularity in the last year, spawning many different interconnected blockchains that all have the ability to communicate and work with each other. All of the blockchains in the ecosystem run on a Proof of Stake system or POS.

Each blockchain relies on a set of active validators to run and support the network, much like a proof of work miner. But in the Cosmos ecosystem, a validator is so much more. Let's get more into it shall we?

What Is A Validator?

Validators run full nodes that provide consensus by verifying transactions, as well as are active participants in on-chain governance. Validators commit new blocks in the blockchain and receive revenue in exchange for their work. They must also participate in governance by voting on proposals. Validators are weighted according to their total stake. The more stake a validator has, the more voting power they bring to votes.

Think of a validator like a congressman or state representative. A citizen votes on their representative and trust that they are going to do their job and properly represent their people. Same with a validator, they are the representatives of the delegators, and need to act as responsible representatives of the blockchain.

What Is A Full Node?

A full-node is a program that fully validates transactions and blocks of a blockchain. It is distinct from a light-node that only processes block headers and a small subset of transactions. Running a full-node requires more resources than a light-node but is necessary in order to be a validator.

In practice, running a full-node only implies running a non-compromised and up-to-date version of the software with low network latency and without downtime.

What Is A Delegator?

In a POS system, for people to earn staking yield on their tokens, they have to delegate their stake to a particular validator. We call these people delegators. So when a delegator stakes their tokens with a validator, that validator then is acting as a representative for their token delegators.

A delegator is just someone who cannot or just does not want to run their own node system, but wants to earn from staking their tokens. Delegators do not give up their tokens, or their votes, they are basically just pooling them with a team that is running the full software. Similar to a Bitcoin mining pool. They can un-delegate or move their delegation to another validator anytime they see fit. Delegators can choose which validator team they stake with by active rank, and commission level.

Validator Accountability

Being that a validator is a representative of the people for the blockchain, they need to properly act as such. If they are not voting on governance proposals or actively trying to engage with the community, either buy helping to create new tools, or educate the masses about our wonderful ecosystem, then they need to be voted out of their active spot and replaced with someone who is actively participating.

One great thing about this form of governance is that if a delegator does not agree with a voting decision by a validator, then they have the right to vote on the proposal themselves, which can over ride their staked vote with that validator. This means that if a delegator votes on a proposal opposite from the validator, then the weight of that vote goes with the delegator.

Another great thing about this method of blockchain governance is that validators can be easily removed from their position if the delegators decide to simply move their stake to another validator. Unlike a politician that is serving a term, and is extremely difficult to remove until their term is up, validators can lose their delegations and become inactive if the community does not think they are doing a good job.

This is encouraged if you are staking with a validator team that is not active in the ecosystem, you don't agree with their voting stances, or they do something malicious that can harm the integrity of the blockchain. This keeps the validators accountable for their actions. Also unlike politicians, everything they do is recorded on the blockchain for everyone to see. Complete accountability.

It's Not Just A Job, It's An Adventure

To be a successful validator, you cannot simply just run a node. You have to provide value in other ways to the ecosystem. If you do not provide value, you will not make it as an active validator. You have to be a politician, ambassador, and an educator in the space.

This means getting out in the communities on social media engaging, answering questions, educating others on how the ecosystem works, keeping up with updates from the chains they validate for, and of course responsible governance.

So when you are looking into investing into projects in the Cosmos Hub ecosystem, just remember that your stake matters and make sure you are delegating to a validator that shares your values in the space and are working hard to make it a better place for everyone.

We Are carbonZERO

carbonZERO is a full service, eco-conscious validator node operator for the Cosmos ecosystem, providing infrastructure for several blockchain in the Cosmos ecosystem. We donate 10% of our commissions to eco-friendly causes like Ecologi that help go to restore and protect our planet.

We run top of the line bare metal servers, utilizing 64GB RAM, 1TB NVMe SSDs, and 8-core / 16-thread CPUs. Our node architecture consists of frontline sentry nodes for ultimate security. Future plans for additional security & performance include implementing threshold signer nodes, as well as additional sentry and RPC nodes.

Stake your $CMDX, $ROWAN, $HUAHUA, $CRBRUS, and $NOM with carbonZERO using our Restake app!

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This is a good rundown of how the system works on COSMOS. Much appreciated.

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No problem, thanks for the inspiration.

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Excellent writeup. There's so much more to validating than meets the eye, and community education is currently a hot topic within the ecosystem.

At the end of the day, each new person that we help educate & show the possibilities that the Cosmos holds, helps the entire ecosystem become stronger & (hopefully) more decentralized.

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I feel like that is where we can help out allot in this space. There is WAY more to it than we initially thought going in, lol.

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100%! Really excited to see how things pan out moving forward :)

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