ICF Delegations Program: Meet the Validators (Cycle 1)

The Interchain Foundation
4 min readFeb 23


ICF ATOM Delegations Program: Selected Validators for Cycle 1

Validators play a critical role in the growth and security of the network. Beyond technical aspects, validators help define the ethos and culture, as well as the future of the Cosmos Hub.

Cosmos Hub validators have a rich history of active participation and strong engagement — both in governance and community — a passion that provides great value to the Cosmos Hub and the broader interchain ecosystem.

Recognising the tireless dedication and commitment of the Cosmos Hub validators, the ICF’s ATOM Delegations Program is designed to empower and reward the numerous and valuable contributions of Cosmos Hub validators.

After 4 months of detailed assessments, of over 400 contributions submitted by over 127 validator teams, the Interchain Foundation is pleased to announce the 93 validators who will be receiving a delegation from us this cycle.

Path to the Delegation Program

During the initial launch of the Cosmos Hub mainnet in 2019, the Interchain Foundation put together a delegation program for its ATOMs, with a view to improve the decentralization and strength of the network.

During that time, the Cosmos Hub had just 100 validators, and the interchain was yet to be born.

By 2022, through the Interchain Stack, the Cosmos Hub had helped bootstrap the interchain — a network of over 50 chains, each with its own vibrant community and ecosystem. The Hub’s validators, now standing at 175, were not only critical to the Cosmos Hub but were actively contributing to the infrastructure and culture of the entire interchain.

By this point, our previous delegations had become ineffective — some of our validators were no longer actively contributing to the network or community, and most importantly, we needed to recognise the valuable cross-chain contributions validators were making on an ongoing basis.

In Q3 2022, following extensive consultations with the Cosmos Hub community, the new ICF Atom Delegations Policy was formulated.

In the true spirit of the Hub, showing its care and leadership of the entire interchain, three of the five evaluation categories consider validator contributions beyond the Cosmos Hub — rewarding contributions that benefit the entire interchain.

For our Delegations team, although this meant a greater burden in assessing contributions across many more chains, we could not be prouder of this demonstration of leadership by the Cosmos Hub community — embodying the soul of the interchain.

Validator Applications for this first cycle of our new Delegations Program ended at the start of November 2022, with over 419 contributions submitted to be evaluated, from over 127 teams.

Between Nov’22 and mid-Feb’23, we evaluated each of these contributions, enlisting the help of experts across the Interchain Stack to assess the quality and impact of engineering and public good contributions in detail. Members of our Community team were enlisted to assess the current and potential future value of community contributions.

Being the first cycle of this new program, we significantly underestimated the complexities of this evaluation process. Compounding these complexities, there were a variety of internal and ecosystem-wide changes.

But at long last, we are excited and proud to announce our chosen validators for this cycle!

Delegations for Cycle 1

First of all, we want to thank every single validator who participated in this process — both for the contributions they made to the Hub and the ecosystem, but also for taking the time to submit our delegations application form.

We particularly want to thank the teams who did not garner enough points in this cycle — please continue contributing to our community. We hope to see a renewed application from you for the next cycle!

We selected 93 validators to receive our delegations for this cycle.

Delegating a total of 10 million ATOMS this cycle, the number of ATOMs allocated to each validator is based on the scores they received against their contributions, as defined in the Delegations Policy. Since this is the first cycle of the new Delegations Program, we considered contributions from both the current and the past few years.

View the list of validators who will receive our delegations this cycle

* Please note that the Delegations Policy states that inactive validators can only receive a delegation if our delegation will push them into the Active Set. The list of validators above and the delegation amounts are based on a snapshot we took on 16 Feb 2023. Given the continuous changes to the amount of bonded tokens and the threshold to enter the Active Set of the Cosmos Hub, we may need to amend the list slightly at the time of deployment.

Deploying the Delegations

Over the next few weeks, we will be performing a series of on-chain transactions and wallet restructuring. This restructuring will allow us to update our multisigs with recent staff changes and line up our ATOMs for the Delegations Program.

Since each of these steps require coordination with different members of our multisig wallets, we estimate that we will complete our wallet restructuring and will have deployed all delegations by the 6th of April 2023.

Once delegations are deployed, Cycle 1 validators will keep these delegations for a period of 6 months, provided they continue to meet the “Criteria to Maintain Delegations”.

Looking to the Future

Congratulations to the 93 validators selected for this cycle of delegations! While the value of your numerous contributions is immeasurable, we hope our delegations to you demonstrate our appreciation and confidence in you.

We are committed to leveraging our ATOM holding to nurture and grow a sustainable Interchain. But we are only a small piece of the puzzle.

Cosmos Hub validators — we look to your continued contributions — to the tech stack and the community — and help guide the future of the interchain.



The Interchain Foundation

As stewards of the interchain, we advance the development of an interoperable, sustainable, and community-owned decentralized ecosystem. https://interchain.io/