Zaki Manian: Key Recommendations to Becoming a Cosmos Validator

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The Cosmos Network Hub is launching shortly. One of the most important milestones for success of the Cosmos Network is the emergence of a diverse group of validators to maintain and secure the network. The early days of the Cosmos Network will test the ability of the fundraiser participants to discover these operators. If you think of yourself as qualified and interested in running a Cosmos validator, now is a critical time.

In the genesis block, operators who intend to run validators will declare candidacy with genesis transactions. Some of those operators are also fundraiser participants who will stake their initial Atom allocations. Others will be new members of the community who have been participating in testnets, development, code review, and so on. The main requirement to participate in the genesis candidate set is that your setup should be understood by the Cosmos community, in order so that potential delegators can properly assess which validators to stake their atoms at risk with. There is still some time to get involved.

At the time of this writing, there are 22 full nodes running on the latest testnet. There will be a total of 100 slots in the first year (year 0) of being in production. Those validator candidates that consistently demonstrate high uptime will remain in the genesis set with each testnet upgrade, and by the time mainnet launches, only this set of candidates will be rolled over, becoming genesis validators.

After the network begins to operate, anyone may declare additional validator candidates. Atom holders will delegate their Atoms to candidates and thus allocate (non-custodial) consensus voting power. Inflation and slashing will subsequently reward validators and delegators who perform well and punish those who perform poorly. One challenge for the early days of the system is allowing non-fundraiser participants to establish validators before governance decides to enable Atom transfers. If you don’t have Atoms at this stage, you can’t pay fees so we would need to permit fee-less candidate declarations. This opens up the network to spam and vandalism but this is a manageable risk. We will track ideas on how to manage this risk in this issue.

Here are some key recommendations to potential validators:

  • Get a validator on the testnet ASAP. This will increase the likelihood that your validator will be included in the genesis candidate set.
  • Show off your skills and setup. Delegators will be determining which validator(s) to stake to by evaluating each validators’ setups and security practices.
  • Build and deploy network monitoring tools. The next testnet will have better faucet facilities. Right now you have to ask a genesis validator to send you coins on Gaia-5001.
  • Get your validator moved, set up, and secured ASAP.
  • Get a web/social media/other presence to make yourself known to the Atom holder community.
  • Participate in our Riot and Telegram discussion channels.

I am highly confident that if you are long on the technology that the Cosmos Network is building, there will be innumerable opportunities for skillfully operated validators to pioneer the next wave of industry-standard businesses around cryptocurrency validation. Over the next 10 years, the number of Hub validators will grow to 300. So whether or not you are part of the initial 100 Hub validators or were a fundraiser participant, your validator will stand a good chance of securing the Cosmos Hub, along with many other hubs and zones to come, and become an integral actor in the Internet of Blockchains.

Gaia-6001 (the latest testnet) is live, along with greater speed and performance improvements. Try it out!Get started as a validator candidate: Run a fullnode in testnet.Read about the recommended technical requirements for running a Cosmos Validator: here.

Key Recommendations to Becoming a Cosmos Validator was originally published in Cosmos Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original article was created by: Zaki Manian at blog.cosmos.network

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency or ICO.

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