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What is a Network Validator?

Network validators, (sometimes referred to as "relayers" or "miners"), play a crucial role in cross-chain infrastructures. As the blockchain ecosystem has grown and diversified, so too has the need for effective communication between blockchain networks. This is where network validators come into play.
In the context of blockchain bridges, network validators essentially serve as intermediaries or "interpreters" that facilitate communication between different blockchains. They operate by listening to events or transactions on one blockchain and then submitting proof of that event or transaction to another blockchain.
Below are some key aspects of network validators:
  1. 1.
    Relaying Transactions: The primary role of a validator is to relay transactions from one blockchain to another. This involves verifying the validity of the transactions on the source chain and then communicating this information to the destination chain.
  2. 2.
    Security: Validators play a crucial role in maintaining the security of the cross-chain bridge. They are tasked with ensuring the accuracy and authenticity of the transactions they relay, thereby preventing fraudulent activity and maintaining the integrity of the bridge.
  3. 3.
    Consensus Mechanism: The operation of validators is often governed by a specific consensus mechanism. This determines how validators agree on the transactions to be relayed and how disputes are resolved. Common consensus mechanisms include Proof of Stake (PoS), where validators are required to stake a certain amount of tokens as collateral, and Proof of Authority (PoA), where validators are chosen based on their reputation and trustworthiness. CryptoLink utilizes both PoS and PoA consensus methods.
  4. 4.
    Incentivization: Validators are typically incentivized to perform their roles honestly and efficiently. This is usually done through transaction fees or rewards in the form of the given project's own tokens. The prospect of earning these rewards encourages validators to maintain the proper operation of the bridge. CryptoLink takes this a step further by rewarding in the blockchain native gas coins, NOT project tokens.
  5. 5.
    Decentralization: By involving multiple validators in the operation of the cross-chain network, the system becomes more decentralized, enhancing its security and resilience. This also prevents any single party from gaining control over the bridge.