Open Call for Feedback on NEAR Protocol Validator Delegation Proposals

September 14, 2023

Validators are the backbone of the NEAR Protocol, playing an integral role in upholding the network’s core values now and into the future. Validators ensure that NEAR Protocol remains scalable, user-friendly, secure, trustworthy, and most importantly, decentralized. 

NEAR validators provided community feedback on how to improve the validator experience, and we collectively listened. Responses suggested that routes to secure funding were unclear, and that existing delegations from the NEAR Foundation lacked transparency.
The result of the community feedback process is a new NEAR Protocol Validator Delegation Proposal and an open call RFP to coordinate the NEAR Protocol Institutional Validator Programme. The RFP will be open until Monday September 24th, 2023.

Drafted in collaboration with a number of ecosystem participants — Meta Pool, Banyan Collective, DevHub, Pagoda, Proximity, Validator Community, and NEAR Foundation — this proposal creates a framework for a refreshed validator delegation structure. It clearly defines a number of expectations for validators, aims to align incentives, assigns ownership, and enhances transparency around securing funding support.

The proposal’s framework addresses three delegation trackscommunity validators, institutional validators, and 100% fee project validators — with the goals of improving transparency, strengthening the Nakamoto coefficient of the NEAR Protocol, and increasing validator selection at custody providers: 

  • Community Validators — Individual participants or smaller entities within the NEAR Protocol ecosystem who choose to operate validator nodes. They are strong advocates of NEAR Protocol’s principles and values, and actively contribute to the decentralization and security of the blockchain. The proposal addresses issues that Community Validators face, including resource constraints, rewards, vulnerability to attacks, and limited influence, building on new proposals for Community validators put forward in June.
  • Institutional Validators — Typically large entities, such as companies, financial institutions, or well-established organizations. They often have significant resources and stake in the NEAR Protocol, which allows them to operate powerful and reliable infrastructure to maintain the blockchain. This proposal addresses concerns around institutional validators such as network centralization, lack of community inclusivity, and inequality in influence.
  • 100% Fee Project Validators  — A track to support growth activities resulting in onboarding of users to the NEAR Protocol, and continued engagement through retention programmes. 

Firstly, check out the full NEAR Protocol Validator Delegation Proposal and provide any feedback publicly here. Your feedback is greatly appreciated to improve the proposal.

Secondly, since this is an open call RFP to run the NEAR Protocol Institutional Validator programme, please return any applications to [email protected].

Additionally, Restaking is coming to NEAR courtesy of Octopus Network. Under Octopus 2.0, $NEAR stakers will have the ability to secure appchains with their staked $NEAR. Find out more here

Many thanks for your continued support to improve the validator experience and help secure the NEAR Protocol.  

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