Announcing the Fetch.ai Know-Your-Validator Program

Apr 16, 2021

A key part of delegated proof-of-stake chains is that users should know and have confidence in the validators that they entrust with both their tokens and the maintenance of the network. Unfortunately, the information that could help users make this decision is often not available, which is something that we at Fetch.ai hope to change with our Know-Your-Validator program. This provides an opportunity for validators to talk directly with our community.

This is part of our plan to bring more people to our chain by improving the core technologies and adding new features such as DeFi agents and collective learning applications. The chain’s validators are custodians of the protocol and will play a key role in achieving these goals. In this article, we discuss how we selected our launch validators, the role of the foundation in the mainnet and how we plan to expand our validator pool in the future.

When we were planning the network launch, we realized that the large number of tokens held by Binance and the existing Ethereum staking contract meant that a relatively small amount of the circulating supply would be available for transfer to mainnet. Since the bridge was opened only a short time before mainnet launch, this meant that, for the network to be secure, the majority of the tokens would need to come from the foundation.

This also provided us with an opportunity to delegate stake to provide an incentive to established validators to join the Fetch network. These validators include our partners at Datarella, Node A-team, InfStones, Forbole, Validation Capital and Outlier Ventures who bring a range of different benefits to the Fetch network from investments to software to infrastructure. Since, interoperability and specifically Cosmos’ IBC protocol is key to the Fetch vision we also prioritized validators with prior experience of that ecosystem.

In the next phase of the validator program, we will look to delegate tokens to a more diverse group. To this end, we will look to ask questions of our prospective validators that will also help the Fetch foundation decide on which companies and individuals to support by delegating stake. With the agreement of these validators, we also plan to publish a regular Medium post promoting these “featured validators” that allows them to share this information with the Fetch community. We are also planning on running a test-net in May, 2021 that puts the network (and the validators that are operating it) under extreme conditions, and will allow validators with less of a track-record in the space to demonstrate the performance and security of their deployments.

Validators who are interested in receiving foundation should fill in the following form that can be found here. Initial delegations of an additional 5 million FET tokens will be made at the end of April, 2021 and will take the answers to these questions into consideration. Other factors that will be taken into account include investments (or self-delegations) in the FET token and the size of token delegations from the wider community. A further 5 million FET tokens will be delegated after completion of the test-net at the start of June.

Information on how to migrate FET ERC-20 tokens across the bridge to main-net can be found in this post while our developer docs provide instructions on how to install and build the Fetch validator software.