POA Network validators are a diverse and self-governed group of individuals. They have each been entrusted in a decentralized manner to promote network health, performance and security. Validators must monitor their own nodes and the ecosystem at large to maintain optimal performance.
The POA DAO began with a trusted ceremony. The Master of Ceremonies distributed 12 keys to the initial 12 validators. These initial validators were all licensed US Public Notaries (this is a requirement for all POA Network validators). All validator information is public and available for cross-reference through the Validators DApp.
Since that initial ceremony, the validators have become a self-regulated decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) consisting of a variable number of participants. The POA network is wholly managed by these individuals without any company, corporate or government influence.
Validators participate in on-chain governance, where they propose ballots to add or remove members, update network parameters, or distribute emission funds. All proposals are brought to a vote, and a minimum required number of approval votes must be collected before any measure is passed.
Due to their public status, validators are incentivized to act in the best interests of the network. This is called proof of identity. See this article for more on proof of identity.
The following quote comes from an article released when the network was initially launched.
In PoA, a validator is not required to hold a stake in the network. He or she is required, however, to have a known and verified identity. By staking this identity to secure the network in exchange for the block rewards, a validator is dis-incentivised to act maliciously or to collude with other validators. With on-chain governance in place, malicious actors can be removed and replaced. Existing legal anti-fraud guarantees are used to protect participants of the open network from malicious actions of validators.
A Validator has both technical and social responsibilities both of which are important for the health, performance and security of the network.
Ensure node is secure by practicing safe key management
Maintain node requisite software version
Monitor node to ensure its availability and participation in consensus
Monitor network in general and communicate with other validators and network entities if problems arise.
Participate in on-chain Governance of the network. Governance is a collection of DApps where ballots are proposed and voted on by existing Validators to manage the network.
The Ballot types include:
Adding new Validators
Removing Validators, i.e. for compromising security of network, malicious behavior, non-participation in Governance
Updating/swapping of one of more Validator keys
Changing the Approve Ballot Threshold
Changing Consensus Proxy Contract
Participate in POA Network Community Forum
United States notary with a valid license
Actively participated in on-chain Governance on testnet
US notary with a valid license (preferred but not hard requirement )
New Validator applicants eligible - see the forum for more information.