A validator is a participant in the network who locks up tokens in the network and runs validator nodes in order to help run the network.
A validator has the following responsibilities:
- Stake network tokens and run validator nodes to join the system as a Validator
- Earn staking rewards for validating state transitions on the blockchain
- Subject to penalties/slashing for activities such as double signing, validator downtime, etc.
A Blockchain Validator is someone who is responsible for verifying transactions within a blockchain. For Polygon Network, any participant can be qualified to became a Polygon's validator by running a full-node to earn Rewards and Transaction fee. To ensure Good Participation by Validators, they lock up some of their Matic Tokens as a stake in the ecosystem.
Validators in Polygon Network are selected via an on-chain auction process which happens at regular intervals. These selected validators, participates as block producers and verifiers. Once a Checkpoint(set of blocks) is validated by the participants, then updates are made on Parent Chain(Ethereum Main Chain) which releases rewards for validators depending on their stake in network.
Those who are interested but can't run a full node all the time, don't worry you can always participate as a delegator. As a delegator participate in staking and gain rewards, increase network security.