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What is a Blockchain Validator?

What is a Blockchain Validator?

A blockchain validator is a node on a blockchain network that is in charge of ordering and verifying transactions. Learn about different types and their impact on...

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The validators are at the heart of a blockchain network. By actively participating in transaction validation and consensus mechanisms, validators make the blockchain more trustworthy, improve network security, and ensure that recorded transactions are accurate. What is equally crucial to understand is the validation and processing of transactions in a blockchain are done in a peer-to-peer (trustless) manner without reliance on or interference from centralized entities or intermediaries. In this post, we discuss who these blockchain validators are, the various crypto validator types, and their importance in a crypto network!

What is a Blockchain Validator?

Individuals responsible for ordering, validating and confirming transactional data are known as ‘blockchain validators’. They are essential to keeping the blockchain safe and secure, ensuring only valid transactions are added to the digital ledger called blockchain. Note, in public and permissionless blockchains, the verification of end-user commercial transactions is a global endeavor, conducted by a network of independent validators. These validators, a distinct type of node, are geographically dispersed and adhere strictly to established network protocols.

Their collaborative effort is crucial in achieving consensus on the validity of transactions, a trustless process that not only fortifies the network against double-spending attacks but also underpins its security and functionality. This decentralized verification mechanism ensures both the integrity and the operational robustness of the blockchain system.

Permissionless blockchains typically employ a randomized selection process for validators, ensuring equitable opportunities for participants to verify transactions and receive rewards. Initially, blockchain networks like Bitcoin relied on Proof-of-Work (PoW), an energy-intensive yet secure consensus mechanism that involves generating specific hashes using powerful computers or GPUs. However, concerns over environmental impact and scalability have prompted a shift towards Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and its derivatives. In Proof-of-Stake or PoS, validators are chosen based on their stake in the network’s currency. Regardless of the mechanism, the aim is consistent: to enable peer-verified, secure transactions, safeguarding the network against malicious activities in the absence of trusted central validators.

How to Become a Blockchain Validator?

Follow these basic steps to become a crypto validator:

1. Choose a blockchain network: Choose a blockchain platform that uses a consensus method like Proof of Stake (PoS) that requires validators to operate and maintain the system.

2. Acquire the native cryptocurrency: Get enough of the network’s original cryptocurrency, often needed as a stake to become a validator.

3. Set up a validator node: Follow the steps unique to each blockchain network to install the right (client) software and set up a validator node on your computer or server.

4. Stake your cryptocurrency: Lock the native crypto you own as a stake, making it a part of the network. The process of staking will be different for each blockchain network.

5. Participate in the network: Once your validator node is up and running, you can actively participate in the validation process by checking transactions, proposing blocks, and coming to a consensus with other validators.

6. Keep up your good behavior: Follow the network’s rules and standards, be honest, and don’t take any steps that could lead to penalties or the loss of the cryptocurrency you’ve staked.

Remember that the exact process to become a blockchain validator can vary based on a specific blockchain platform and its needs, so it’s essential to look at the official documentation provided by the blockchain network of your choice.

What are the Types of Crypto Validators?

Crypto validators types
Source | What is a blockchain validator: Crypto validators types

1. Proof of Work Miners

Participants in a Proof-of-Work (PoW) network, commonly referred to as miners, engage in a competitive process to validate transactions and propose new blocks by solving cryptographic challenges. Utilizing substantial computational power, these miners strive to generate a hash value that is lower than the current network threshold. The first miner to achieve this is granted the right to validate and compile transactions into a new block. Successful validation and addition of these transactions to the blockchain, in accordance with network protocols, rewards miners with network-specific cryptocurrency, like BTC, as a form of compensation for their computational efforts.

Proof-of-Work blockchain networks include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash among others.

2. Proof of Stake Validators

In a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) system, participants known as validators play a crucial role in maintaining the network’s integrity. Unlike the competitive, computation-intensive process of Proof-of-Work, PoS validators are selected based on the amount of the network’s cryptocurrency they hold and are willing to ‘stake’ as collateral. This stake acts as a form of security, ensuring validators act in the network’s best interest. Once chosen, these validators are responsible for verifying transactions and creating new blocks. Successful block creation and transaction verification are rewarded with transaction fees and/or new coins, aligning the validators’ incentives with the network’s smooth and secure operation. This mechanism not only reduces the environmental impact due to lower computational requirements but also aims to democratize the validation process by potentially allowing more participants to become validators.

Examples of PoS networks include Ethereum, Shardeum, Avalanche among others.

Want to know more about proof of stake & proof of work? Here is the Difference between Proof of Work & Proof of Stake article! Check out this article and get all the information you need.

3. Delegated Proof of Stake Validators

In Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS), network consensus is overseen by a select group of validators, known as delegates, elected by the token holders. This system concentrates the validation responsibility among these elected individuals, unlike traditional Proof of Stake where any token holder can be a validator. Delegates are responsible for transaction verification and blockchain maintenance, incentivized through transaction fees or new tokens. DPoS enhances efficiency and scalability, while incorporating a democratic element by allowing token holders to influence who maintains the network.

Examples of DPoS-utilizing networks include EOS, Tron, and BitShares.

4. Byzantine Fault Tolerant Validators

Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) validators are crucial in networks where participants might be unreliable or malicious. They collaborate to authenticate transactions and create new blocks, ensuring consensus even with some nodes acting dishonestly. BFT systems are designed for rapid agreement and high transaction throughput, ideal for consortium or private blockchains like Hyperledger Fabric and Ripple. These validators provide a secure, efficient process, guaranteeing transaction finality and network integrity despite potential internal threats. These networks are known to be more centralized compared to its decentralized peers.

Blog Highlights

1. Blockchain validators play a crucial role in maintaining the and integrity of blockchain networks by verifying transactions and ensuring consensus.

2. There are different types of validators, including Proof of Work Miners, Proof of Stake Validators, Delegated Proof of Stake Validators, and Byzantine Fault Tolerant Validators.

3. Crypto validators are responsible for transaction ordering, validation, consensus building, and keeping the network secure.

4. Becoming a blockchain validator involves choosing a network, acquiring the native cryptocurrency, setting up a validator node, staking the cryptocurrency, participating in the network, and following network rules

What is the Usage of Crypto Validators?

Usage of Crypto Validators
Source | Usage of Crypto Validators

1. Transaction Ordering

Transaction ordering by validators is a critical but often understated function in blockchain networks. Validators not only verify the legitimacy of transactions but also determine their sequence within a block. This ordering is vital because it dictates the chronological framework of the blockchain, ensuring consistency and preventing issues like double spending and MEV. By meticulously organizing transactions, validators uphold the integrity and historical accuracy of the blockchain ledger, a key component in maintaining the network’s overall reliability and trustworthiness.

2. Transaction Validation

In a blockchain network, the job of the crypto validators is to verify transactions honestly by following the rules and protocols of the network. Validators make sure that transactions are real, that the person has enough money, and that people don’t spend the same money twice. By looking at the details of transactions and doing validation checks, they help keep the blockchain record honest and accurate. Transaction validation by validators builds trust among network members, ensures that recorded transactions are valid, and helps keep the blockchain system open and reliable.

3. Consensus Building

Crypto validators are a vital part of how a blockchain network comes to an agreement. They participate in the consensus process, which is how they agree on the correctness and order of transactions or blocks as a group. Validators use their computing power, stakes, or voting power to help reach a consensus mechanism. This ensures the network has a shared and unchangeable history of transactions. By building consensus, validators create a network where no one has to believe anyone else, and everyone agrees on the state of the blockchain. This consensus method allows the network to withstand attacks from bad actors, keep data consistent, and provide a trustworthy and tamper-resistant ledger.

4. Keeping Network Secure

Crypto validators are a vital part of ensuring a blockchain network is safe. By verifying transactions and helping to reach a consensus, they add to the security and integrity of the network as a whole. Further, the validators themselves are punished if their conduct is found to be less than ideal, which elevates the security factor of blockchain technology. By protecting the network from possible attacks and maintaining a strong consensus process, validators help keep the blockchain safe from malicious actors and maintain its integrity.


In conclusion, crypto validators are essential to how blockchain networks function and keep their security and integrity. They are responsible for verifying transactions, coming to a consensus, and keeping the network safe. Validators check that transactions are real and follow the rules, ensuring that only real transactions are added to the blockchain. An immutable yet trustless ledger is created by validator consensus building, where participants agree on the order and validity of transactions. 

Further, validators help keep networks safe by stopping fraud, following network rules, and guarding against threats from bad actors. Their involvement and approval efforts ensure that blockchain systems are reliable, transparent, and decentralized.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What does a Validator do?

In a blockchain network, a validator is the one who checks and approves transactions or blocks. They make sure that transfers are real and correct and follow the rules and protocols of the network. Validators are a key part of keeping the security and stability of the blockchain by stopping double spending and ensuring there are enough funds. By taking part in consensus processes, validators agree on the validity and order of transactions, ensuring that the blockchain ledger is consistent and clear. Their work is vital for building trust among network users and ensuring the blockchain system is reliable.

2. What does a Shardeum Validator do?

In Shardeum, validator nodes have the advantage of only keeping state data of the shards they are in, which means it is easier for average users, especially, non-tech users to become validators and run their nodes on the blockchain network with low hardware configuration while maximizing its scalability, decentralization and security.

3. How many Validators are there in the Blockchain?

The number of validators in a blockchain network depends on the network and how it is designed from an architectural standpoint. Different blockchain systems have different ways of choosing validators. Some networks have a limited number of validators, while others have a number that changes based on the network load. Over time, as new validators join the network and old ones leave, the exact number of validators in a blockchain are also designed to change. To find out how many validators are in a given blockchain network, it’s best to look at the documentation for that network which can point you to its network monitor or dashboard.

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