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What is a blockchain validator?

A blockchain validator is a network node that assists in the processing and validation of transaction blocks on the network, so that they can be added to the blockchain’s permanent ledger. 

Some people assume the nodes validate transactions on PoS (Proof-of-Stake) blockchains when they use the term “validator.” On the other hand, the term “miner” is contrasted with the node on PoW (Proof-of-Work) blockchain.

However, block validation is a procedure that PoS and PoW blockchain version can use. Staking, the method of block validation applied on PoS blockchains, would be a more appropriate alternative to mining.

Blockchain validator

Users initiate transactions on the blockchain, which are then queued on the network for further validation. The block is then verified by validator nodes by batching individual transactions. 

The number of transactions that can be included in a block is governed differently by each blockchain. The block is processed by validators after it has been finished to make it a permanent record that is added to the blockchain.

Validators might select which transactions to batch into a block on some blockchains. This choice is made depending on the validator’s preferences, usually based on the transaction fees involved and is not necessarily in chronological sequence.

The sender of cryptocurrency assets includes the fees as a reward for validators in every blockchain transaction. Senders have the option to choose their own fee amount and even send transactions completely free of charge.

However, transactions with extremely little or no fees are more likely to be disregarded by validators and, as a result, can hang around in the unconfirmed state for a very long time. 

The transaction is often removed from the network if, after a while, it is not added to a block for validation.

Blockchains based on PoW, like Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) and blockchains based on PoS, like Solana (SOL) or Ethereum 2.0, have different processes for verifying blocks.

Basically, there are three types of validators on the blockchain viz., Validators on a Proof-of-Work Blockchain (Bitcoin), Validators on a Proof-of-Stake Blockchain (Etherem, Solana) and Validators on Byzantine Fault Tolerant Blockchains (Stellar).

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