Delegate to elsehow
Delegate me to support this blog.
I run a validator on Juno, a worker-owned alternatives to tech platforms you may be familiar with. This blog is supported by the part-owners in these networks who delegate their ownership share to me. Delegate to elsehow on Juno to support this blog.
What is Juno?
Juno is a permissionless smart contracting platform that supports Rust.
And here’s a jargon-free explanation. Juno is a worker-owned cooperative (specifically, a DAO) that provides compute resources for developers who want to build applications. You can think of Juno as a worker-owned alternative to Amazon’s AWS. Where AWS charges you for their server time (think: running a website or a database), Juno provides analogous services. Using Juno as the backend for your application can be considerably cheaper than hosting an application with equivalent functionality on AWS. Our insistence on Rust as a programming language tends to produce safer and more reliable code.
As a bonus, because we run a chain, developers can provide assurances to users about the code they run. Consider: What code runs on Uber’s backend when you call a car? Does it discriminate based on pick-up location or destination? They can’t prove to you that it doesn’t. With Juno, users and developers can see and verify the code they are interacting with. I'm not saying everyone can do that, it means some expert could, and tell the rest of us what they find.
This is not to say that Juno is strictly better than AWS. AWS and Juno have different technological affordances and are well-suited to different kinds of applications. Juno is, I would argue, the best way to develop web3 applications today. It’s also worker-owned; it has received no venture capital backing whatsoever.
Staking Juno makes you a part-owner of the Juno network and gives you a binding vote in how Juno operates and develops. It will also earn you staking rewards (see the current APR here). Delegating to me gives me the authority to vote on your behalf when you choose not to.
Not satisfied yet? Nor was I. I went kicking and screaming into the world of web3. It was participating in these two networks that made me see the joy, fun, and sense in worker-owned technology platforms, and helped me understand web3 as a means of achieving those worker-owned ends.
What is a validator?
The core technology of web3 Chains are public databases that make the most adversarial possible assumptions about the parties that provision them. Specifically, chains provide the capacity to run multiple versions of a shared ledger across multiple parties, even when some parties have an incentive to manipulate the ledger or the rules by which the ledger is updated.
Where proof-of-work mechanisms have historically protected chains, such schemes are notoriously consumptive of energy. An energy-efficient alternative is proof-of-stake, in which network members (like you) “stake” some number of tokens on the honesty of a particular validator.
Validators come to a consensus among themselves about the current state of the chain. Validators are rewarded with network fees, inflation, or both. Those rewards flow to the delegators (you), while the validator (me) takes a small commission.
What does it mean to delegate?
Proof-of-stake networks are cooperatively owned by the people who stake their share. As an owner of a network, have a say in how that network operates.
In a proof-of-stake network, delegating to a validator gives that validator the authority to vote on your behalf when you choose not to. It signals that you trust the validator to behave responsibly.
What does it mean for a validator to “behave responsibly?” Responsible behavior in a proof-of-stake network means that validators honestly report all blocks they detect, and sign each block only once.
What does it mean to give a validator authority to vote on your behalf? In a proof-of-stake network, you have a vote in the network’s governance. Your vote is proportional to your stake—that is, the number of tokens you hold. When you delegate those tokens to a validator, the validator can vote for you. Not only do you earn staking rewards from this delegation, you also allow the delegator to make network governance decisions on your behalf.
Note: if you ever disagree with your validator, you can still vote for yourself. Your vote will override mine (specifically, your share of mine). Delegating does not remove your ability to vote; it frees you to vote on an issue-by-issue basis, delegating to me when you are unsure or do not have the time to research a governance proposal.