About the Validator Profiles category

What are validators?

Validators run the blockchain’s software (for Cosmos Hub this is in the Gaia repository) to produce and verify new blocks. You can find a list of all of the current Cosmos Hub validators using a block explorer like Mintscan. Validators guarantee security to the blockchain network by “staking”, i.e., putting up their own ATOM or ATOM that has been delegated to them, to produce or verify blocks. If they incorrectly verify a block (by signing the same block twice) or fail to produce blocks (by going offline), they are “slashed” for their misbehavior. In return for correctly verifying and producing blocks, they receive block rewards.

When you stake ATOM by ‘delegating’ to a validator (or validators), your ATOM is also put up alongside the validator’s own ATOM (if they are self-delegating). You also receive rewards for the ATOM you have staked. In this way a delegator is sharing in both the risks and rewards of staking and securing the network.

For more information on the relationship between delegators and validators take a look at the Delegator FAQ on the Cosmos Hub site.

What is their role in governance?

Although some other blockchains set direction informally or off-chain, Cosmos Hub has an on-chain governance process. Cosmos Hub validators are key participants in this governance process - they vote in on-chain proposals where their voting power is determined by the ATOM delegated to them. While delegators can overrule their validators’ votes by voting as individuals, a delegator who doesn’t vote will simply inherit their validators’ votes.

As a delegator it is important to vote and express your own opinions on Hub governance but in cases where you don’t vote, your validator votes for you.

Why is it important to know your validators?

When you delegate to a particular validator you are sharing in the risks they are taking and thus trusting them to behave appropriately so you don’t both get penalized. Doing due diligence on a validator might include knowing their general thoughts around governance, community engagement, and other projects they are involved in.

Looking to write a profile?

If you represent a validator and want to add your validator’s profile to the forum we’d love to have you! Some example questions that you might like to answer are given below but we welcome anything that is important to you and that you want to share with the community.

Feel free to edit your post if there are new and exciting things happening in your business and take the opportunity to show off your own style in your post :sparkles:

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about your validator – who are you and what makes you stand out from the others?
  2. How do you make governance decisions? What is your process for deciding how to vote on proposals, and how do you ensure that you keep delegators’ best interests in mind?
  3. What are your hopes and goals for the Cosmos Hub?