What do Cosmos Atom holders care about when choosing validators? What do they value?

Aurel from Dokia Capital started this important conversion on Twitter recently.

I developed a short survey in response. It's attracted 27 responses so far. Here are the initial results.

The survey's unscientific and rough. Yet it helps validators like me start understanding what's important to Atom holders.

Initial Observations

Reputation's the most important selection criteria. It will be helpful to understand how Atom holders define reputation.

Many of the other criteria could be considered components of a validator's reputation. I plan to continue exploring this topic.

Game of Stakes ranking surprised me at #2. The ranking feels deceptive to me, as scoring has been unclear throughout most of the game.

Scoring guidance was finally posted here, with only two weeks remaining. The guidance continues to feel uncertain. It's also a mix of subjective and objective criteria.

The game itself is also inconsistent. As of now, we're waiting for Game of Stakes #6 to start.

Seeing that community contributions, security audit results, longevity and transparency matter feels hopeful to me. As a smaller validator, these are all factors I feel are within my control.

Investing time and attention can address most of these. The cost of a security audit does scare me a bit though, if I have to pay out-of-pocket. I do understand the importance of doing one though.

Seeing that consistent communication didn't seem to matter so much surprised me. My sense is this will change over time, depending on how responsive an Atom holder's selected validators are.

Other answers included reward %, expertise, Atoms at stake and what the validator is doing to increase the Atom price.

It also feels hopeful for me to see reward % and Atoms at stake score low. This feels refreshing. I interpret this as Atom holders recognizing that cheaper and/or bigger doesn't translate into better. This also holds promise for a smaller validator like me.

Stay Tuned

This survey's not definitive by any means. It does provide a starting point for further explanation. I plan to continue exploring this topic leading up to the Cosmos Mainnet launch ๐Ÿš€

P.S. - I've been operating Cosmos Validators since Day 1 of the Validator Working Group. I've operated on every testnet since then.

I'll be operating a Validator from the Mainnet Genesis block. My intention is to operate inclusive validators.

You can learn more about what that means and contact me about staking here. I hope to hear from you ๐Ÿ™