Refunds of commission via an airdrop

While listening to the “Updates from the Lab” from 2 days ago (10-04-2024) I noticed something which I deem interesting to address and to have an exchange of thoughts.

Amongst news about the project from Mad Scientists itself it was mentioned it was also in the plans to start a validator. That is a good thing imo, since it shows the commitment of the project to be an active part of Osmosis and contribute in whatever way possible. The message that triggered me though was the idea to make it a 0% commission validator, bypassing the 5% baseline set via the Osmosis chain via buybacks and airdrops.

On that field I start this thread to have a conversation together with input from the Mad Scientists team. We have had a period in the early days of Osmosis where we had an abundance of validators who bypassed the 5% baseline, scooping up massive amounts of delegations.

Those days are over (luckily), where (as far as I am aware) all validators adhere to the 5% commission minimum for staking.

Especially in combination with the drive for shorter blocktimes it is important for validators to have an income to be able to pay for proper servers as well as the necessary monitoring. And not to forget the continuous learning to improve the validator business. I am aware that a decent part of the active set is able to do so, but not the tail of the set. I rather avoid a race to the bottom with a few large low commission validators and a long tail of validators who either run at a loss or choose to run on inferior infrastructure. For that reason I am perfectly fine with how the chain looks like atm (although the idea of rewarding the tail of the set a bit more than the upper part still looms in my mind. Read more here and here).

With all that in mind I would like to find out more about the plans of Mad Scientists before forming a judgement whether it is unwanted for Osmosis as a project (yes, personal opinion ^^) OR that it is just a fun experiment which won’t do any harm.

*Disclaimer 1: I am a LAB holder as well, so also interested in the future of the project :slight_smile: *
Disclaimer 2: this does not need to be handled via an on-chain proposal, just a fruitful conversation to exchange thoughts should already do the trick.


For reference: @aaronxkong already shared another angle potentially for the commission on Twitter:

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Mad Morning :test_tube:

Thanks for the post and opening up this discussion. We’ve definitely received lots of comments around this validator experiment.

Our goal at Mad Scientists is to give back to the Osmosis community whether it’s onchain infrastructure, hackathons, or just plain fun scientist JPEGs.

We understand that validators need to earn money to provide a quality service, but in our case we were funded through LAB. Hence, we can provide a quality service, without asking anything from stakers. That being said, we feel it’s pretty unfair to the Osmosis validator set and is circumventing the ethos of the 5% baseline.

Hence, after discussion, we would like to use the 5% commission to buy $LAB, and then airdrop it to the Osmosis community pool. This way, no singular entity is actually benefitting from the refund, but the Osmosis community as a whole is accumulating $LAB.

Let me know what you think of this plan. Everything is an Experiment.


Love it. Full support Zerk :test_tube:


Based and science pilled


Thanks for the response!
And thanks for the change of heart :slight_smile:

I like the idea of buybacks on $LAB, it will make it even a more scarce asset than it already is.

Whether the CP is the best place to leave the $LAB I am not sure, it is a nice place to diversify, but on the other hand the pool is also already quite well filled.

Maybe it can be used as some fun incentive to develop utility for the Mad Scientists, which might make them even more wanted?

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Everstake also seems to be doing this now:

The first mention I can find on Twitter coincides with the spike in stake amount:

There is also Prysm which is now the number 5 validator and has been promising a Stakedrop for nearly a year now.


We can’t go to social slashing sadly, although I would like to see it done on a factual basis for bypassing the rules in any way.