Being a delegator makes you a participant of the Sifchain validator subsystem. The validator subsystem is comprised of validators which independently run infrastructure to support and ensure the security of the Sifchain network. Being a participant of the validator subsystem allows you to earn a return on your staked ROWAN through network fees and inflation block rewards (coming soon). By delegating, you lock your ROWAN with your chosen validator(s), without the need to run your own infrastructure in exchange for a commission on the rewards you earn.
Validators are differentiated by a few key aspects: their commission
rate, the quality of their infrastructure, and their online
You can benefit greatly by paying close attention to the
current commission rate charged by validators. As
well, validators can change their commission rate once per day without
notice, so make sure you choose one that has set a reasonable
maximum commission rate so you don't get a nasty
Choosing a professional validator with high-quality infrastructure is
essential to avoid your stake getting slashed. A
resilient architecture should include
load-balancing, auto-scaling and self-healing nodes to avoid any
potential chance of slashing.
You should also judge validators by whether they have a website and have published contact details. One of the largest validators doesn't even have either of those! If something goes wrong with their infrastructure, or you need support, who will you contact?
As it currently stands, if a given validator misses more than 250 blocks in a 5000 block window (e.g. because their infrastructure has failed or gone offline) they get slashed and jailed. Getting slashed means that the 0.01% of that validator's total stake is burned. Be mindful that this also affects the stake of any delegators too! Jailed simply means that the validator no longer participates in validating the network (and stops earning rewards) until they request to be unjailed.
You can very easily change your validator by redelegating in the staking interface. Be careful not to confuse this with undelegate otherwise your staked tokens will enter a 21-day unbonding period.
You can withdraw your staking rewards directly from the staking interface without needing to involve your chosen validator(s).
In our opinion the optimal strategy would be to spread your delegation across multiple validators. This will minimize your chance of getting slashed while also contributing to the decentralization of the network. Always be mindful of the validator's commission rate - there is no point paying 10% when there are numerous validators charging anywhere between 1-5%.