Validators secure the Hyperlane protocol
Validators are responsible for observing the Outbox contract and signing its merkle root, facilitating message transmission to remote chains.
The global validator set is determined by a proof-of-stake protocol implemented as a set of smart contracts on each Hyperlane-supported chain. Applications may specify additional sovereign validator sets, which provide application-specific security on top of proof-of-stake's economic security.
Validators read the current merkle root by calling Outbox.latestCheckpoint(). Once a root has achieved sufficient finality, validators are expected to sign it and post their signature to highly available storage so that it can be aggregated by relayers.
* @notice Returns the latest checkpoint for validators to sign.
* @return root Latest checkpointed root
* @return index Latest checkpointed index
function latestCheckpoint()
returns (bytes32 root, uint256 index);
Validators that sign anything other than a finalized merkle root risk compromising the safety of the protocol, and may be slashed.
Abacus Works is developing the validator as a Rust binary that can be easily run by anyone. Operationally, validators need to run this binary and a node for the chain that they are validating for. We hope that the majority of Hyperlane validators will come from each chain's existing node operator community.
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