[Proposal] stkATOM on Persistence - Validator Set Selection

As part of the upcoming launch and homecoming of pSTAKE’s liquid staking solution for ATOM (stkATOM) on the Persistence Core-1 chain, we propose using the following criteria to determine the initial validator set that would be receiving ATOM delegations on behalf of pSTAKE users. For v1 of the product launch, we believe it would be ideal to keep the set as large as possible with a strong focus on validators that are active participants in the governance of the Cosmos Hub and can safely be a part of the active validator set of the Cosmos Hub.

Validator Selection Criteria

We propose that validators be selected on the following criteria:

  1. Commission should be no less than 1% & no more than 10% :
    pSTAKE should delegate to validators that intend to support the Cosmos Hub through a sustainable business model (not 0% fees) and also ensure stkATOM holders do not pay excessive commission to validators thus keeping the average commission across the validator set as low as possible. Validators that change their commission rates to less than 1% or more than 10% will be kicked out of the set at the next set revision (and immediately or on an epoch basis post the implementation of validator scorings)
  2. Must have participated in 15 or more governance proposals out of the last 35:
    pSTAKE for ATOM will initially launch without the ability for stkATOM holders to participate in the governance of the Cosmos Hub (this is part of the roadmap and will be prioritized in subsequent post-launch upgrades). pSTAKE should run a strategy that delegates users’ assets to validators that actively participate in governance.
  3. Must be a part of the active validator set on the Cosmos Hub with more than 100,000 ATOM staked:
    pSTAKE aims to help the Cosmos Hub become more robust and decentralized by diversifying users’ delegations equally ( pSTAKE will follow an equal delegation proportion model for launch with the aim to evolve into an inequitable delegation model based on governance) across multiple validators in the most secure manner to mitigate risks of users missing out on staking rewards due to reasons beyond their control such as validator not have enough stake to be in the active set, downtime, or slashing. Looking at the current state of validator delegations, 100,000 ATOM staked with a validator being the minimum requirement to be a part of the pSTAKE delegation set would reduce the risk of a validator falling out of the active set of the Cosmos Hub.
  4. Must not be an exchange validator:
    Although the above parameters when used cumulatively kicks out exchange validators without having to explicitly define this parameter. However, it is important to highlight this as a parameter.
  5. Must have an uptime of more than 95%

Validator Set

There are 62 validators that will initially be in the set for stkATOM. Delegations that happen through pSTAKE will be distributed equally to these validators. This set is subject to change in the future through pSTAKE governance. The final list of validators can be found here.

We would appreciate feedback from the community on the above-mentioned criteria and the validator set. Please note that this model is designed keeping time to market and ease of implementation in mind and futuristic versions may be a lot more complicated.



The proposal seems good, just a minor thing on the point 2: there is few new validators that are not here since very long and by this couldn’t vote on this amount of proposals because they join the set since few weeks/months (not that much proposal on the Hub).
A more accurate point would be to check the creation date of the validator and the amount of proposal he did participate since.

Other points are good.

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Hey @Zdeadex
Thanks for this feedback. That’s actually a great point, however, if you ignore proposals #79 and #80 on the Cosmos Hub, there have been at least 17-18 proposals on the Cosmos Hub over the last 6 months. Most of these proposals were completely legit and would warrant a vote by any Hub validator regardless of their stance on the proposal.

The goal is to build the initial validator set keeping the security of delegated assets in mind. Any validator that hasn’t been validating on the hub for at least the last 6 months would not provide us with sufficient data points on whether or not it would be a good idea to delegate users’ assets to them. Keeping this in view, we chose the parameter of requiring validators to have voted on at least 15 proposals out of the last 35.

The set will keep evolving every 4 weeks based on the latest and continued performances of all the validators until a new mechanism for validator delegations is proposed.

This is a good idea and great to consider!

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Great proposal, Stakin supports

Criteria is on point, good that you decided to exclude exchanges

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These are good criteria that cover all important aspects.
However, it would be clearer with an included explanation of what is exchange validator. It should not be as strict as a scientific term, but any explanation will make the criteria more understandable.
For now, I understand it as validator connected to cryptocurrency exchanges.

POSTHUMAN validator is here, and we really glad to participate in this conversation!

  1. This is very reasonable!

  2. Regarding participation in governance, it is difficult to say, since not all Cosmos validators take part in the validation of Cosmos from the beginning, which means that someone simply could not take part in the required number of votes. We need to compare the “validation time” with the “possible amount of participation in the votes”.
    Based on this, we can see, who is active validator, and who is not really active.

  3. We need to have some kind of accident insurance, since technically almost all validators are the same. But even the Binance validator went into jail, despite the fact that they are the largest centralized exchange. We must be ready for anything. There are known cases of fires in data centers, and in such situations, the validator is obliged to raise the infrastructure on other servers as soon as possible. Also, good to have a discussion about decentralized servers, and maybe we can collaborate with Akash inn this question?

  4. We think that CEXes Validators - most harmful validators for any network. They never contribute, and they always sell their rewards. We need to inform people, that they stop to delegate to CEXes Validators, because it harmful for the Web3 in general!

  5. Totally agree! Uptime is the best tech marker of good validator, but we need to remember, that validation is much more than support infrastructure - it’s also contributions!

Also, friends, let’s make a video call, and speak about it, because it’s much more faster with voice, than with text, and we will be really glad to see all of you, if not in material reality, but in Digital! Digital is the same real!)

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Thanks for bringing this up, I am sure there are others who would need more clarity on this as well.

For now, we can say that any validator that is associated directly with an exchange i.e a validator run by an exchange to stake users’ funds custodied by the exchange, will be considered an exchange validator. Examples of this would be Binance, Staking, Kraken, and Coinbase Validators who are all a part of the top 10 validators on the Hub based on voting power.
We can definitely revisit this if there are any conflicts and can also resolve conflicts through governance

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Hey POSTHUMAN, Glad to see you here!

All super helpful points. I will try to go through them one by one.

  1. This is very solid feedback. I do believe that the approach to governance participation should take into account a validator’s participation in governance from the time they got into the active set of the Cosmos Hub. A simple percentage calculation should be a great data point. However, given the complexity of calculating this, I would probably push this for v2 of the product or have this as a part of our post-launch upgrade. This would allow the team to prepare for the launch with security and UX as the two core areas of focus.

  2. Insurance is an interesting topic, however, this needs to be a discussion on its own. How does pSTAKE get insurance for stakers? Should pSTAKE even do that? How much will it cost, etc? Feel free to start a discussion around this if you have any thoughts here. Happy to chat more about it as well.

  3. We intend to figure out a way to quantify validator contributions (whether through code contributions or educational and content creation). This would add a lot more complexity and would require a shift in the focus of the team. So I would again defer it for a post-launch upgrade

Thanks again for all the points - and we will take this into consideration for future versions.

Great Proposal, we will support this!

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Hi guys!

This is a great start.

In order to make this proposal even more stronger, maybe you can add another parameter about slashing. For example taking into account only validators that have not been jailed for a certain period of time. Overall, the proposal is great and we will support it!

Hey All, Damien from Simply Staking here!

Just wanted to chime in and say that we are in full support of this proposal!

Hi, Iryna from Everstake here!
This is a reasonable choice of criteria to establish a reliable validator set and thus lay the ground for the smooth and secure stkATOM homecoming to the Persistence Core-1 chain. Glad to be a part of it!