Delegators are token holders who cannot, or do not want to run a validator node themselves. Instead, they secure the network by delegating their stake to validator nodes and play a critical role in the system, as they are responsible for choosing validators. They run their delegation transaction on the staking contract on the Ethereum mainnet.
The MATIC tokens are bonded with the next checkpoint committed on the Ethereum mainnet. Delegators also have an option to opt out of the system whenever they want. Similar to validators, delegators have to wait for the unbonding period, which consists of approximately 9 days, to end before withdrawing their stake.
Fees and Rewards
Delegators stake their tokens by delegating them to validator, obtaining a percentage of their rewards in exchange. Because delegators share rewards with their validators, delegators also share risks. Should a validator misbehave, each of their delegators are at risk of being partially slashed in proportion to their delegated stake.
Validators set a commission percentage to determine the percentage of rewards that will go to them. Delegators are able to view the commission rate of each validator to understand each validator's reward distribution and a relative rate of return on their stake.
These are validators who take all of the rewards and are not looking for delegation, as they have enough to self-stake to stake on their own.
Delegators have the option to re-delegate their tokens with other validators. Rewards are accumulated at every checkpoint.
Delegation should not be seen as a passive activity, as delegators are an integral part of maintaining the Polygon network. Each delegator is responsible for managing their own risk, but in doing so, delegators should aim to elect validators that are behaving well.