Validator Introduction - Cosmic Validator

Entity name and location
Cosmic Validator, Switzerland.

Infrastructure location
Mostly in Europe.

What kind of hardware do you run? Baremetal, cloud-based…? In what geographic regions?
Latest generation dedicated baremetal servers. As evidence of the performance of our baremetal servers at the time of writing we have the 2nd best uptime in the Cosmos Hub amongst 180 validators, with only 4 missed blocks in the last 30 days.

Technical make-up of team (elaborate on no. of dev ops engineers, experience, etc.)
Our engineers are some of the most experienced in the Cosmos ecosystem. Our engineers participated in the Game of Stakes, Game of Zones and Game of Chains competing with engineers from all other Cosmos validators and they had great performance and even won some awards in these incentivized Cosmos Hub testnets.

Years of experience
Our engineers have experience in the Cosmos ecosystem and the Cosmos Hub even before the launch of the Cosmos Hub in 2019, since they helped with the Game of Stakes incentivized testnet in 2018. In addition to this, our engineers have many more years of experience in blockchain and traditional software development and devops.

What other networks are you running validators for?
Cosmos Hub, where we have been selected by both the Interchain Foundation (ICF) and Stride as a top performing and contributing validator, Persistence, Akash, Sentinel, AssetMantle, Ki, Tgrade, Juno, OmniFlix.

Based on your participation in any previous testnets, mainnets, are there any best practices to be aware of? What are some things that made previous testnets, mainnet launches successful and/or things to avoid that have gone poorly?
The most important is that if not enough validators are ready there will be a long delay and potential issues, including also for upgrades. Early communication and sharing the correct information with as many validators as possible is key, especially because while some validators are very involved daily others are more passive and it is important that they are also aware when important upgrades are happening. For example, when Neutron launched there was an unexpected long delay due to issues around the communication before the launch and how well prepared validators were. In a recent Cosmos Hub upgrade, there were some issues with cosmovisor and many validators relaying on this and not following updates in real time had a long delay and this caused as well an unexpected delay for this upgrade.

Do you have a validator voting framework and process?
We have one of the highest governance participation in the Cosmos Hub and we are also one of the most active participants in the Cosmos Hub forum discussing proposals before they go on-chain. We also have a high voting rate in all the chains that we validate and we contribute as well to discussions in their respective forums before proposals go on-chain. We are also usually one of the first validators to vote on new proposals. We discuss proposals in detail internally and we also take into account the community discussions on the forums, twitter or telegram before we reach our final decision.

Are you planning to play any additional roles in the dYdX ecosystem (e.g. market maker, trader, indexer, front-end, other)?
Yes, we are planning to increase the focus in our educational content (youtube, twitter, blogposts, zealy quizzes, etc.) about the dYdX ecosystem, similarly as we are doing for over a year regarding the Cosmos Hub and the Cosmos ecosystem.

Are there other products or services you want to highlight that could be relevant for dYdX?
We could support dYdX with relevant research since some members of our team have education in Finance from some of the leading global business schools. Additionally, our engineers could support with relevant technical priorities as required.

Any notable contributions in other ecosystems that you would like to highlight for the community?
-Supporting the launch of the Cosmos Hub by participating in the Game of Stakes, the launch of IBC by participating in the Game of Zones and the launch of replicated security by participating in the Game of Chains.

-Being in the top 10 best uptime in the Cosmos Hub consistently for several months and being selected by both the ICF and Stride as a top performing validator with valuable community and engineering contributions.

-Being one of the most active validator in governance participation in the Cosmos Hub and the Cosmos ecosystem for several years.

-Producing for over a year educational videos, blogposts, twitter threads and zealy quests and quizzes about the Cosmos ecosystem, contributing to onboarding and education in the Cosmos ecosystem, with dYdX v4 also frequently covered in our content.