A validator is a node on a blockchain network that participates in the process of validating transactions and blocks to maintain the integrity and security of the network.
Validators play a crucial role in ensuring that Shibarium is decentralized and trustless, meaning that no single entity has control over the network and all transactions are verified by multiple independent parties.
Proof-of-stake (PoS) systems use validators to stake their own cryptocurrency (BONE in Shibarium's case) as collateral to verify transactions and create new blocks.
Validators are responsible for ensuring that transactions are valid, that double-spending is prevented, and that blocks are added to the blockchain in a secure and efficient manner. They do this by running a full node on the network, which involves storing a complete copy of the blockchain and actively participating in the consensus mechanism to validate transactions and create new blocks. They are also responsible for maintaining the security and integrity of the network by monitoring and reporting any suspicious activity, and work together to prevent attacks and maintain the decentralized nature of the blockchain. In PoS systems, validators are chosen based on the amount of cryptocurrency they have staked as collateral. The more cryptocurrency a validator stakes, the more likely they are to be chosen to validate transactions and create new blocks. Validators are incentivized to act honestly and accurately because they risk losing their staked cryptocurrency if they behave maliciously.
On Shibarium's case, during the Testnet anyone can become a validator by applying through the intake form on the website. Once mainnet is running, and during first phases, validators will be selected manually by a trusted team to ensure the security of the network. The onboarding of these Validators will be done taking into account the experience, trust, knowledge and ensuring that these validators are committed to the health and integrity of Shibarium.
There's a total of 100 slots for validators. This means that new validators can only access when an active Validator leaves or loses his slot in the network.