When choosing a validator you need to do research in some 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 representative, in the shortest amount of time and as descriptively as possible. Bonus points if there are people in the team who accept direct messages for all sorts of discussion without waiting months for an answer.
- Another important factor is the judicial registration of the company behind the validator, which allows them 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 alright 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, if it’s more for personal gain or for the convenience and safety of the customers, for 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 for a very important criteria — the infrastructure. What kind of servers are at work, the amount of them, 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. Bonus points if this is all described in detail in the information channel to remove potential questions and worries from clients.
- If the validator is up and running, you need to pay attention not to what they’re saying, but rather at the statistics: uptime, penalties (burnt coins or jailed downtime), reactions to them, and of course, the volume of the requested fee. Some validator statistics can be viewed over at Chainik If penalties did happen, then read the reports, why did the penalty happen, who’s at fault? If the mistake wasn’t critical and was on the validator, did they compensate their clients? Fully, under, or overcompensated? The fee shouldn’t be low, because for a quality infrastructure and project improvement the team needs a lot of resources. With 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 emission hits the cap and block generation stops being as rewarding (will happen after about 5 years), and what next? They need to think this through prior. The optimal fee is 10-20 percent.
- 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. Not very important because all these repetitive questions can be asked and answered many times in groups or DMs. If a database like that is present, you can consider that additional care for their clients.
- A loyalty program. This doesn’t mean much overall for the quality of the services, but it does showcase the ability and desire to be competitive. Competition forces progress.
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