Expand the active validator set from 125 to 150

As Cosmos ecosystem is growing, more ecosystem projects will be interested to become a validator on Cosmos Hub. I think now is the right time to increase the number of slots from 125 to 150.

What do you think?


We all want to see a more decentralized network. There are more validators involved.

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The downsides to additional validators are small.

It does increase the size of block headers for IBC a bit.

I think some kind of program run by governance to help smaller validators bootstrap operationally would be wise.


Currently only few validators with a full setup can run cost covering without stakes from the foundations. I believe there are already too many small validators, and increasing the number of slots only causes more problems in this category. Measures should be taken to flatten out the stake distribution. For instance, an equal flat amount of rewards can be paid to each node in the set, so that nodes with small stakes can pay out more and thereby compete with bigger ones. Polkadot works like that, and the stake distribution is much more even. A small flat reward per node could make a big difference for Cosmos with a view to get stakes on the lower end of the spectrum.

Concerning self-stake, there is a kind of nothing-or-not-much-at-stake problem, and a flat reward could improve on this deficiency as well. Getting liquidity on Binance sets off any incentive for running a self-staked node.

Also, the scheme by that the foundations stake should be more transparent with more frequent updates. There are many nodes that get a decent amount, while others with the same or more trajectory on testnet, GoS etc. get/got nothing.


So this is like a minimum wage? This is a good topic.

As a small validator rep, I agree with the fact that something would be good to see better distribution amongst nodes, however, I think that something like a flat reward might lead to the “nothing at stake” issue with certain groups of individuals. Just my 2 uatoms. I do believe that incentive might help, as in incentive to reach a certain goal alongside some kind of a reward / redistribution. Not sure, just thinking out loud

Polkadot and many if not most others have equal reward distribution on nodes. This ensures that there are market forces that equalize delegations, and expanding the validator set actually increases decentralization. Paying a flat fee on Cosmos that would be a certain percentage of the overall inflation is only a variation of this scheme. Though it brings more artificial parameters, I believe it will have an overall good effect and makes smaller nodes more attractive, while also eliminating those sizes that are only profitable on cheap infrastructure.

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I believe a flat fee percentage option would be a good feature for any project that builds on Cosmos. Each project has other demands, some want a kind of consortium that reflects validator nodes and others more pure decentralization.

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I would most likely not support this initiative if proposed in Q1 2020. We have recently expanded the validator pool from 100-125. I would argue that a sufficient minimal-viable decentralization is achieved at this time and the barrier to enter into an active validator set is lowered to ~$6k.
We should solve the issue of business sustainability of the smaller validator first and also solve the issue of SELF-sustainability while maintaining high security standards.


Hi @terence I’d rather see more focus on building an ecosystem of real world use cases on Cosmos rather than adding more validators at this time.

Besides the downsides of increased IBC block header size and the need to strengthen the smaller validator sets operationally (for example, there’s one ranked > 120 that’s down for a while now), the barrier of entry into the active validator set is rather low but still high enough for people to be serious about being a validator to care about running a good enough validator ($5K to $10K USD at the time of writing)