[Last Call] - Cosmos Hub <--> Neutron Validator alignment plan

Dear community and validators,

This forum post is a request for feedback and Proposal draft seeking to spend NTRN from the Cosmos Hub community pool to incentivize validators of the Cosmos Hub and Neutron chain.

**This proposal draft was read by Spaydh from Neutron prior to his post and it seems he based some of the choices in that proposal on this one (namely the amount of NTRN instead of USD denominated and the vesting, so as to focus on alignment). However as we disagree with the Neutron Dao holding any rights over the Cosmos Hub community pool and had a slightly different Idea and origin we want to post this anyway. I admire Neutron getting ahead of the situation and being honest about validator incentivisation but I encourage the community of the Cosmos Hub to form their own proposal, this draft can be one of many.


This proposal seeks to spend a potential total of 2.25 million NTRN from the Cosmos Hub community pool to foster stronger ICS validator alignment. The NTRN gets distributed to non-CEX validators that signed any block in the 100 blocks around blockheight 4900000 (December 1, 2023) of the Neutron chain. A bonus applies for any validator that participated in the official replicated security testnet done by Hypha and Neutron. The goal of this community spend is to better align the Cosmos Hub validators with the long term success of Neutron and thereby ICS.


Neutron is a consumer chain secured by the Cosmos Hub via Replicated Security. In exchange for providing economic security to Neutron, the Neutron team provided a claimable airdrop to $ATOM stakers and committed to split a percentage of the MEV and TX revenue generated on its chain to the Cosmos Hub. At the conclusion of the airdrop claim period, Neutron agreed to distribute the remaining unclaimed airdrop balance to the Cosmos Hub community pool in Proposal 835.

Neutron was provided an initial grant from the Cosmos Hub community pool via Proposal 72. Throughout the testing and onboarding phase of Neutron to Cosmos Hub’s Replicated Security model, validators spent time and resources to ensure the successful launch of Neutron’s consumer chain (which it seems it is). Despite the successful launch of Neutron however, validators are experiencing higher operation costs without enjoying an increase in rewards for securing the chain, leaving many of them without incentives to prioritize the consumer chain.

Validator misalignment:

Based on candid conversations with many operators, they view their own incentives to be mis-aligned with the Neutron network. It would be impossible for Neutron to properly incentivize validators by merely adding revenue or inflation to the Cosmos Hub distribution model since the majority of any NTRN token distribution would go to stakers. Simply put, a $400m network cannot meaningfully incentivize $2b of staked assets.

In the same vein distributing a stipend to pay for validator costs ultimately leads to some operators being happy with the amount provided while for others it would not be cost covering. Specifically, operators with more voting-power wont see a ~$500 dollar incentive as a big impact on the stress that comes from additional slashing risk on their potential ~$100m in ATOM delegated. An infinite battle will arise by attempting to assign value to the resources operators have incurred to secure the Cosmos Hub and Neutron. We won’t ever agree on what is “fair” or “enough.”

The purpose of this proposal is to move beyond this way of thinking and attempts to align the interests of the service provider (Cosmos Hub), the service user (Neutron), the community and its operators.


This proposal asks the community pool to distribute a flat fee of NTRN to every active validator that has signed 1 or more blocks in a 1000 block window around blockheight 4900000 (December 1, 2023) for the Neutron consumer chain. A bonus distribution applies for any validator that has participated in the Neutron Replicated Security onboarding rehearsal performed by Hypha and Neutron. The tokens will be linearly vested for 1 year following execution of the proposal.

This distribution should help with aligning the Cosmos Hub validators, one of the most vocal and active stakeholders for any network, with Neutron. We also believe this proposal avoids creating unsustainable tokenomics for Neutron or requiring massive software changes to Gaia.

Our proposal does not seek to compensate operators for their hardware costs, person hours, infrastructure services, or other validator associated costs. Instead, the goal of this proposal is to improve economic alignment between Cosmos Hub validators and Neutron for the foreseeable future.

The proposal will use vesting and Dao deployments active on Neutron and a native 4/7 Cosmos multisig. For this operation we will be seeking 7 signers in total wor which we would recommend 3 signers to be Cosmos hub validators, 2 signers to be Hypha, Binary or Informal contributors and 2 to be Neutron core contributors or App developers.

Execution details

Payment (Estimates):

  • Base: 10.000 NTRN (175 vals max)
  • Bonus: 5000 NTRN (< 100 vals)

Total = 1.75 +0.5 = 2.25million NTRN/$2.025m USD ($0.90 per NTRN)


  • Sign > 1 block for Neutron-1 in a 1000 block-window around blockheight 4900000 (December 1, 2023)
  • Bonus: Have participated in the Neutron ICS rehearsal - Official data from Hypha and respective testnet snapshots
  • All CEX validators will be excluded


  • Community/Neutron 4/7 multisig to receive the NTRN on Cosmos
  • Paid as a vesting Contract via Neutron tooling to Validators Neutron address
  • Vests for 1 year linearly
  • Any leftover NTRN will be send back to the Cosmos Hub community pool after creation of the vesting contracts. (A more accurate estimate will follow however if this proposal goes to chain)

Under above conditions a validator would receive, at most, 15,000 tokens valued (currently - $0.90 ) at $13500 that vest over 1 year so they gain a governance and monetary stake in the Neutron network unrelated to their original ATOM selfstake at the moment of the airdrop. The proposal does not incentivize validators that have decided to opt-out of signing blocks for Neutron and diminishes rewards for validators that have not helped Neutron and Replicated security in the development/testing phase.

**This proposal is in a draft stage and we welcome any and all feedback so as to improve alignment between Cosmos Hub validators and the Neutron Chain. Please be aware this draft was created weeks ago and not all information available in the most recent 2 forum posts by Noam and Spaydh have been incorporated.

Best regards,
Ertemann - Lavender.Five Nodes

Contributors (not official endorsement):
Robo McGobo - Osmosis Grants and Cosmos community contributor
Jim Parillo - Figment Capital


This proposal was shared earlier by @Spaydh here: [DRAFT PROPOSAL] Cosmos Hub & Neutron: Validator alignment why not add your comments/feedback under that proposal rather than duplicating it?

Because it is not the same proposal, did you read the **note at the start of the proposal?

For anyone who didnt read that note:

  • This is an original draft made by some contributors and me
  • It was read by Spaydh after we had a short back and forth on twitter and he agreed with some of our points thereby basing some elements of his proposal he posted yesterday on this one - Which is 100% fine to do!
  • I didn’t share this proposal before the NTRN hit the community pool as to follow good cooperation
  • I think this proposal is still a valid draft to share alongside the Neutron originated Draft even if they are similar in some sense as there are also clear differences.

so if NTRN does x10 during 2024, should we call this supra alignment and then aligned validators bring coffee to Neutron’s OGs for 30 years every morning?

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NTRN is owned by HUB and vals extract value from HUB continously. How is that not aligned? Vals will get it either way over time. Better increase the pie and later share it.

We support this proposal as a smaller validator. A lot of time is spent upgrading/maintaining ICS nodes with zero economic compensation at this time. During the bear market especially this has made running a sustainable operation more difficult. There’s an upgrade every week just about, and ICS has nuances unlike standalone chains.


As another small validator, we support this proposal and have spun up a Neutron machine in anticipation.

Just peg the validator monthly payments to a USD amount and pay it quarterly. My general mental model is to identify problems but look for solutions.

and this is a good one imo :saluting_face:

(sorry i thought this “solution” was quite obvious, enough to be proposed from scratch. maybe my sarcasm was there to question “why not then?”)

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Dude. Honestly, IMO - we should spend all of it on the community pool. Its a good time on the market to do it. Acquire some valuable projects that will grow the comm pool x10 in the next year (diversity from ATOM)

Seeing as the Neutron proposal has not yet reached the chain i am looking to push this proposal forward.

I am looking for 4 additional multisig members, please reach out if you are interested!

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Oh it has actually, voting ends in 5 days:

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Rebuttal Against the Validator Incentive Proposal: A Closer Look for a More Sustainable Cosmos

Dear Cosmos Community,

I am strongly urging the community to reject this proposal. If you have voted Yes, then I would ask you to reconsider your vote and change it to “No”, based on the following rebuttal arguments against this proposal since it contains many flaws.

I’ve been reflecting deeply on this proposal to use NTRN tokens from the Cosmos Hub community pool for validator incentivization and wanted to open a dialogue about its long-term implications. While the intention behind the proposal is commendable, aiming to align validators with the Neutron network, there are several economic and governance aspects that we might need to consider and evaluate more closely.

I urge those who have already voted, regardless of their stance, to consider this as an ongoing journey of exploration and understanding. The true strength of our community lies in our ability to reassess our choices in light of new insights and perspectives. It’s not merely about changing a vote; it’s about evolving our collective understanding.

In light of these concerns, I advocate for a more inclusive and transparent approach to decision-making within our community. We should explore alternatives that align with our core principles of decentralization, transparency, and equitable distribution.

This includes considering the distribution of Neutron assets to all ATOM holders, which not only aligns with these principles but also enhances the overall economic strength and sustainability of our ecosystem.

I encourage a robust and open discussion on this matter, inviting all members of the Cosmos community to voice their opinions and concerns. Together, we can ensure that our decisions reflect our collective values and contribute to the long-term success and integrity of the Cosmos network.

The Case for Neutron as a Community Asset and why it should be Distributed to ALL Atom Holders

  1. Collective Contribution and Ownership: Neutron, as a consumer chain secured by the Cosmos Hub, is not just a standalone entity but a part of the larger Cosmos ecosystem. Its development and success have been underpinned by the collective efforts of the entire Cosmos community, including ATOM holders. This shared effort logically entitles all stakeholders, especially ATOM holders, to a share in the benefits derived from Neutron.

  2. Enhancing the Economic Value of ATOM: Distributing Neutron assets to ATOM holders can significantly enhance the economic value of ATOM. It creates a direct financial incentive for holding ATOM, as holders would gain tangible benefits from the growth and success of consumer chains like Neutron. This approach aligns the interests of ATOM holders with the success of the entire Cosmos ecosystem, fostering a stronger, more invested community.

  3. Setting a Precedent for Future Consumer Chains: By distributing Neutron assets to ATOM holders, Cosmos can establish a precedent for how consumer chains can reciprocate the support received from the Cosmos Hub. This model promotes a symbiotic relationship where new chains contribute back to the ecosystem that nurtures them, creating a cycle of mutual growth and support.

  4. Promoting Long-term Sustainability: Allocating assets to ATOM holders is not just about immediate economic gains. It’s about investing in the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem. By receiving a stake in consumer chains, ATOM holders are incentivized to participate actively in governance, contribute to the network’s security, and support the growth of new projects within the Cosmos ecosystem.

  5. Decentralization and Fair Distribution: Distributing Neutron assets to ATOM holders supports the core ethos of decentralization in blockchain ecosystems. It prevents the concentration of assets in the hands of a few and ensures a fairer distribution of wealth generated within the Cosmos network.

  6. Creating a Stronger Economic Model: This approach can transform the economic model of the Cosmos network. It adds a new layer of economic incentives for participating in the ecosystem, potentially attracting more developers, investors, and users. This, in turn, can lead to greater innovation, network growth, and enhanced network security.

  7. Reinforcing Community Trust and Commitment: By rewarding the entire community, Cosmos can reinforce trust and commitment among its members. This gesture acknowledges the role of every stakeholder in the network’s success, fostering a sense of belonging and shared purpose.

Recognizing Neutron as a community asset and distributing its benefits to all ATOM holders is not only a fair and equitable approach but also a strategic move to enhance the economic value of ATOM and set a sustainable, mutually beneficial precedent for all consumer chains within the Cosmos ecosystem.

Given the analysis of the proposal and considering the broader implications for the Cosmos ecosystem, I strongly urge the community to reject this proposal. There are many reasons for this recommendation:

Lack of Transparency: The proposal, as it stands, lacks sufficient transparency, especially in the criteria for the distribution of funds and the management of the 4/7 multisig arrangement. This opacity could lead to governance issues and potential conflicts of interest.

The concerns raised about transparency and governance are indeed significant. However, let’s approach this not just as a critique but as an opportunity to enhance our governance model. Could we, for instance, establish more robust mechanisms for community oversight and decision-making audit trails? This might be our chance to set new standards in decentralized governance.

Insufficient Governance Checks and Balances: The proposal does not adequately address the need for robust governance checks and balances. This is critical to ensure that the distribution of funds is fair, equitable, and aligns with the long-term objectives of the Cosmos ecosystem.

Potential for Centralization: The proposal, by its very nature, risks creating a more centralized system of power and influence within the Cosmos network. This goes against the core principles of decentralization that the Cosmos community stands for.

Economic Imbalance: The economic model proposed seems to disproportionately benefit a select group of validators without a clear rationale for the long-term economic health of the entire network. Such an approach could lead to economic imbalances within the community.

While the economic implications of the proposal are a crucial factor, let’s also consider the unseen potentials. How might this proposal, with modifications, spur innovation or drive network growth? Economic decisions are often a balancing act between immediate outcomes and long-term possibilities.

Undermining Community Trust: Implementing a proposal with these flaws could undermine the trust and cohesion within the Cosmos community. It is crucial to maintain a transparent and equitable process in decision-making to foster a strong and united community.

Precedent for Future Decisions: Accepting this proposal could set a concerning precedent for future governance decisions within the Cosmos ecosystem. We must establish and uphold high standards of governance to guide future proposals.

Economic Analysis - Highlighting Key Weaknesses:

Sustainability Concern: The proposal allocates 2.25 million NTRN to validators based on past actions. However, this might set a precedent where future contributions are overlooked, potentially disincentivizing ongoing participation and innovation.

Disproportionate Impact: Given the vast size difference between the Cosmos Hub and Neutron in terms of staked assets, there’s a risk that such a sizable allocation to a small group could create economic imbalances, inadvertently leading to centralization.

Long-term Economic Viability: While immediate incentives might seem appealing, we should question if this is the most economically prudent use of community funds. Are we sacrificing long-term economic health for short-term gains?

Alternative Proposal and Community Engagement:

Inclusive Economic Strategy: What if we considered other alternatives like equal distribution of NTRN tokens to all Atom holders? This approach would democratize the benefits, reinforcing the core ethos of decentralization in the Cosmos ecosystem.

Targeted Support for Validators in Economic Hardship: Another approach could be a system where validators who can demonstrably prove economic hardship due to their support for the Neutron Chain receive assistance. This could take the form of ATOM subsidies, subject to approval through our robust governance process. Such a method ensures that aid is directed where it’s most needed, reinforcing our commitment to a healthy and sustainable network. This proposal not only offers a more equitable solution but also strengthens the governance process by embedding necessary checks and balances, fostering a culture of transparency and accountability within our community.

Community Empowerment: By engaging in this manner, we’re not just redistributing tokens; we’re investing in the collective strength and diversity of our community. Each member becomes a stakeholder in the network’s future, fostering a more inclusive and participatory ecosystem.

Open Dialogue for Broader Perspectives: I encourage all community members to voice their thoughts on this. Are there other innovative ways we could utilize the NTRN tokens that align with our long-term vision for Cosmos?

Weaknesses in Execution Details:

Inequitable Distribution Model: The division of payments into a base and bonus structure seems arbitrary and potentially unfair. It rewards a select few based on past actions, neglecting the ongoing efforts and contributions of others in the network.

Flawed Requirement Criteria: The requirement to have signed just one block within a specific window is a low threshold for such a significant reward. Furthermore, it contradicts the base assumption of economic hardship. How does processing 1 block cause economic hardship?

The bonus for participating in the Neutron ICS rehearsal seems to favor those who had the opportunity and resources to participate, creating an uneven playing field.

Questionable Use of Multisig for Distribution: The use of a 4/7 multisig arrangement, while intended to provide security and transparency, raises questions about the concentration of power and decision-making authority in the hands of a few.

Vesting Contract Complexity and Administration: The administration of vesting contracts introduces unnecessary complexity and the potential for errors. This could lead to disputes and trust issues within the community.

Undervaluing the Contribution of Non-Participating Validators: By not incentivizing validators who opted out of signing blocks for Neutron, the proposal fails to recognize the diverse roles and contributions within the Cosmos ecosystem. This lack of recognition could lead to a sense of disenfranchisement and reduce overall network cohesion.

Ambiguity in Redistribution of Leftover NTRN: The lack of clarity on the redistribution process for any leftover NTRN tokens creates uncertainty. This ambiguity might lead to future governance challenges and questions about the transparency of the process.

Governance and Monetary Stake Concerns: The proposal allows validators to gain a significant governance and monetary stake in the Neutron network, which could lead to conflicts of interest, especially if their stake is unrelated to their original ATOM sell stake.

While the proposal to incentivize validators is an important conversation, let’s ensure our decisions are grounded in sustainable economic practices and inclusive governance principles. Let’s use this opportunity to reinforce the values that make Cosmos unique and explore options that benefit our community as a whole.

Validators play a pivotal role in our ecosystem, but they are part of a larger community. Any decision we make should reinforce this synergy. Are there ways to align validator incentives with broader community benefits, perhaps through collaborative projects or initiatives that serve the entire ecosystem?

Although the proposal aims to address validator alignment, it falls short because it presents several economic and governance challenges that need careful reconsideration. There has been no financial data presented that supports the claims that validators are experiencing economic hardship. Validators should publish the financial on chain for verifications and audits.

The proposal risks creating inequities, neglecting ongoing contributions, and potentially compromising the long-term health and stability of the Cosmos ecosystem. An alternative approach that is more inclusive, transparent, and sustainable is essential for the continued success and integrity of the network.

The idea of distributing Neutron assets to all ATOM holders is intriguing and worth exploring. It represents a democratic approach to asset distribution. How might we implement this in a way that is both equitable and operationally feasible? This conversation could pave the way for innovative economic models within our network.

Finally, let’s acknowledge and embrace the complexity of these issues. Our discussions shouldn’t aim for quick resolutions but rather for a deeper understanding and more resilient strategies. Each voice in this dialogue contributes to the rich tapestry of our community’s collective wisdom.

I look forward to others providing input on this topic.

Thank you for your consideration.

  1. Ok. But honestly, this point isn’t really saying anything else that the other points are already saying
  2. The point i disagree with the most. Alas, (yes alas, that’s important) validators currently are the number 1 entities that do this. Im not talking about the larger validators (here its on their own conscience). But I can assure you that as a validator operator, the last 4 years, almost (yes, i took profits at one point over 4 years - shoot me) every cent we got, was actually put back into the economics of Cosmos and blockchain by hiring people, doing public goods, etc. Most or some of the other validators do the same.
    Yes, every party plays a huge role in the boost of the economy, yet at this early stage of development, validators play the biggest part. And thats regardless of whether we like it or not. It is just the way the economics are shaped atm
  3. I think its a good precedent
  4. Again. Would love to see a comparison of total token holders dumping VS validator dumping. Probably impossible to calculate, taking into account all the possible accounts, yet, im unsure this is a valid argument without any numbers
  5. I totally agree with this. Yet… playing devil’s advocate, but wouldn’t the redistribution (according to your argument) actually create a higher decentralization coefficient?
  6. Same argument. Already pointed it out in point 2 and 4
  7. Seems like this has been touched upon above already

Not trying to play negative here, yet, i fully disagree with what you are saying. There is a logical medicinal quote: “A cure should not be more expensive than the illness” (pardon my lack of English for the quote, but im sure you follow the logic). In this case, the entities that play the major part in the economics, have taken the largest suffering. Seems nothing but logical to award them, knowing that (at least according to what’s happening already) some of them will put that money back into economics by building, creating work places, etc, etc, etc

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