Validators have two crucial roles in maintaining the Polkadot network. First, they verify and validate the information contained in the parachain blocks they are assigned. Second, they participate in consensus with other validators to produce new blocks on the Relay Chain.

In return for their work and performance, they receive block rewards (and transaction fees) in the form of DOTs. 

 

Should they not comply with the consensus algorithm (e.g., go offline, attack the network, or run modified software) they and their nominators will be punished by losing some or all of their staked DOTs. This is called "slashing" and is a way of discouraging bad actors in the network.

 

Becoming a validator requires some technical skills, a stake of DOTs, as well as trust and support from the community (=nominators). 

 

If you are interested in becoming a validator, you will find lots of tech resources in our Wiki and you can also join other validators in the Validators Lounge on Riot




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