When choosing a validator, you need to do your own research in specific fields, which we will try to describe here.
- The first thing you should be looking at is the team: who’s behind the validator, their experience, if they are popular within the network or if it’s just some nobody.
- Check if the team has an info channel where they share all their plans, ideas, goals, and general activity; a group or chat where the community can ask questions and get answers.
- Their communication. Who answers the questions: users or professional representatives? It’s best to get an answer from a rep., as soon and detailed as possible. Having people on the team who accept direct messages for all sorts of discussion without waiting months for an answer would be a plus.
- Another important factor is the legal residence of the company behind the validator, which allows it to rightfully make profits, pay taxes, and stay secure. This assures not only the validator to be safe, but also your coins.
- Okay, everything seems all right with the team, now it’s time to check out their goals and plans, what the team has already done and what they’re planning on doing in the future. Where they’re headed, whether it’s more for personal gain or for the convenience and safety of the customers & evolution of the Minter blockchain and mass adoption. If the team has no goals or plans, they’re likely to get stomped by the competition.
- Now, a very important criteria — the infrastructure. What kind of servers are at work, their number, where they are located, how productive they are, how reliable and secure they are, the presence of backup servers for unfortunate situations. How often the OS is updated, what kind of security solution is in place: their own or someone else’s. Having it all described in detail in the information channel to remove potential questions and worries from clients would be an advantage.
- If the validator is up and running, you need to pay attention not to what they’re saying, but rather to the statistics: uptime, penalties (burned coins or jailed downtime), reactions to them, and of course, the volume of the requested fee. Some validator stats can be viewed at Chainik. If penalties did happen, then read the reports as to why, who’s at fault? If the mistake wasn’t critical and was on the validator, did they compensate their clients? Fully-, under-, or over-compensated? The fee shouldn’t be low, because for a quality infrastructure and project improvement, the team needs a lot of resources. At a low fee, it’s incredibly difficult to deal with these tasks. Validation is a business after all, it should make a profit without sacrificing quality. Validators with a low fee may stay afloat until the supply hits the cap and block generation stops being rewarding (which will happen in about 5 years), and what next? They need to think this through in advance. The optimal fee is 10–20 per cent.
- These next points are not as important, but are still a good sign if you see them. The first is presence of documentation, guides, instructions describing concepts related to validation, delegation, and other important matters. All these repetitive questions can be asked and answered many times in groups or DMs. But if a database like that is present, you can consider that an additional care for clients.
- A loyalty program. This doesn’t mean much for the overall quality of the services, but it does showcase the ability and desire to be competitive. Competition forces progress.
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