As a joint initiative between Blocks United and Secure Secrets, we propose that Cosmos increase the number of active validator nodes from 150 to 175.
Smaller validators are being pushed out by large investors coming into the validator space and we believe that diversity of validator ownership is essential to decentralization.
When we (Blocks United) spun up our ATOM validator node in October 2021, the minimum number of tokens staked on the node to make it into the active set was only 45, or the equivalent of $1300. As of March 24, 2022 the minimum number of tokens staked on the node to make it into the active set is over 65,000 or around $1,885,000.
There are currently over 300 Cosmos nodes and only the top 150 earn block rewards. That 150 is the active set.
The largest validators are bringing in institutional money from places like JP Morgan and pushing the small validators out, and that is NOT good for decentralization. You notice the same large validators on so many chains.
Diversity in node ownership is healthy and necessary. Allowing more validators into the active set allows the “mom and pop shops” to participate. This will give delegators more choice.
Originally, the validator set size in the Cosmos Hub was capped at 100, ordered by total delegated ATOM. The Cosmos whitepaper stated that the validator set size should increase 13% per year until it hits 300 validators as a cap.
Past proposal 10 raised the number of active validators from 100 to 125 nodes. View that here: [Proposal Draft] Increase Max Validators to 125
Past proposal 54 raised the number of active validators from 125 to 150 nodes. View that here: [Proposal] Increase Max Validator Set Size to 150
Remember, only ACTIVE validators earn block rewards.
The OG validators gathered on March 30, 2022 to discuss this proposal 66
-Brian from Tendermint Inc, who’s also on the board of the Interchain Foundation
-YouTuber Cryptocito (currently runs a Cosmos node)
-Mircea from Cephalapod (currently running relayers and validator nodes on 9 different networks)
-Dimi from StakeFish (currently running validator nodes on 25 different networks)
-Gavin from Figment (currently running validator nodes on 40 different networks)
-Naman from AssetMantle contributed toward the end of the call
-Listen to the call here: https://twitter.com/cosmoshub/status/1508837597237452807
-may slow block times, which is unlikely
-fundamental change to consensus could have unintended consequences
-inexperienced validators may lack the technical skills required
-large validators don’t want to share block rewards
-this proposal draws attention to the ecosystem’s core values
-will increase decentralization
-would drastically lower the barrier to entry
-will give lesser experienced validators the chance to learn technical skills
-if inexperienced validators lack the skills, more experienced validators will join and fill the spot and that evolution is healthy
-it will attract new stakeholders and more contributors are healthy for the ecosystem as a whole
-will increase the diversity of stakeholders
-more people earning equals more votes on how the network evolves
-more people involved and figuring stuff out is good for the ecosystem
-Dimi from StakeFish believes the network should open up more validator spots when the entry point is too high, $50,000 or more is required to be in the active set
-Stakefish knows potential validators who want to join
A “YES” vote will raise the current number of active validators from 150 to 175.
A “NO” vote will keep the current list of active validators at 150.
An “ABSTAIN” vote counts toward meeting quorum, but has no affect on adding validators.
A “NO WITH VETO” vote is for those who think this proposal was submitted with malicious intent.
Blocks United, Secure Secrets, Atlas Staking and many other small validators ask that you vote YES. This proposal is just one step closer to the eventual goal of 300 active validators earning block rewards.