Agoric's Phase 2 Incentivized Testnet and Downtime Slashing

The second phase of Agoric's incentivized testnet focused on infrastructure. Phase 2 started 24 hours after the core team posted final instructions. The instructions asked validators come online within 24 hours after that.

This 24 hour window felt short. I'd suggest a period of 48-72 hours between publishing phase instructions and the phase's start. This would give enough time to ask and answer questions about the instructions, before the phase starts.

24 hours felt like just enough time to get our validator configured to try and meet the deadline. We were left with some unanswered questions. The 24 hour window didn't leave enough time to both come online and get questions answered.

It took a few attempts to launch the network. Part of me believes this might have been at least partially caused by the rushed nature of the start. That said, the validator set's response was exciting and encouraging to see.

Many believe that slashing for downtime is necessary to ensure an operational staking network. My experience over the past three years tells me this isn't necessarily true.

Validators, at least to-date, are generally a very dedicated group. We place great value on protecting our reputation. Limiting downtime is critical to protecting our reputation.

In addition to this, watching the validator group's determination to bring the network online further emphasizes this point to me. Next time you think slashing for downtime is required, drop into a validator channel during a launch. What you observe has a good chance of changing your mind.

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