Compensating Validators Running on Testnets?

Intro -

People running validators donate time and fund the costs required to support the validator program. The validator program provides valuable input to the Cosmos team and community.

The validator program’s been running since last October. Hardware requirements have increased during that time. So has the time it takes to keep a validator running.

Questions -

Should validators receive compensation for continuing to run on testnets?

Is the Tendermint/Cosmos project willing/able to fund validators to continue running on testnets?

Proposal -

Validators receive rewards for running testnet validators that meet specific criteria.

Rewards could be in Atoms. This could particularly help smaller validators who don’t have atoms. It would also supplement holdings of those who do. Rewards could also be scaled according to costs incurred by validators.

Criteria could be a combination of historical performance and current metrics.


I think this is a question that all people here are concerned.

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+1 for rewarding long-time testnet validators with atoms

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While I wouldn’t say no to some extra Atoms, I don’t think this is the right approach.

First, participating in the testnets is an investment. You’ll see the ROI once the Mainnet is live. By participating in the testnets, you will be able to run a stable and secure validator and have built up enough reputation to receive more delegations than you would without.

Second, validators who can prove themselves will earn Atoms in the Game of Steaks. This basically rewards those who are seriously participating in the testnet.

Third, no one is forcing you to participate in the public testnets. You could also just deploy a private one and save the time. The public testnets in my eyes are a service to the community to get them ready for mainnet launch (and catch some bugs in the process :wink: )


I hear where you’re coming from on this. At the same time, some of us have been running these for about a year :wink:

It’s difficult to determine how/when/if our investment will begin to be repaid. Those of us running validators do have a choice to do it or not. The fact we’re running them demonstrates we’re optimistic for the project’s future.

We hope the investment will be repaid in some way/shape/form at some time in the indeterminate future. That future’s very unclear right now.

For example, I’m running my validators solo. I’m covering expenses out-of-pocket. There are other production staking systems that are providing their validators with rewards. Each day I choose to invest limited attention in making Cosmos successful.

At the same time, these efforts contribute value back to the community. Because of this, receiving a small grant, even to cover out-of-pocket expenses, feels reasonable. This would also incentive others to do continue doing so and new people to join.

Otherwise, my sense is the validator community will skew toward the wealthy and/or well-funded. This doesn’t seem consistent with the promise of a decentralized future.

Hi all,

Incentives for testnet validators is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. @aurel saw some of my early proposals.

Ultimately, the proposal that made it through was Game of Steaks. The way Game of Steaks is setup is that even if you don’t “win” the Game, all the testnet validators should be getting some atoms to thank them for their efforts.

The other thing to be clear is that the ICF is not running it’s own validator and will be delegating aggressively and participation in the testnets will be a major factor in who the ICF delegates to.

On the Tendermint side, we’ve been working hard on spinning up additional zones with partners which will provide additional validating opportunities for the network.

With feature freeze and Game of Steaks imminent, I don’t see time being available to invent a new reward scheme.


I can confirm that there were some efforts in this direction before gaia-4000. GoS feels pretty fair because everyone is getting something. The best reward participants can get is Reputation, that will pay off in terms of delegation :slight_smile:
Cheers !