Delegate Proposal - Ben Hawkins | Solana Foundation (prev Cogent Crypto)

Identity and background

What is the delegate’s identity and background?

My name is Ben Hawkins, I’m a seasoned machine learning engineer (10+ years) turned crypto enthusiast.

Before joining the foundation, I ran my own validator, Cogent Crypto, where I was an extremely active member of the Solana Ecosystem writing guides on medium around staking and running a validator as well as building tools on the cogent crypto website complimenting said articles. I ran Cogent Crypto from Dec 21 to May 2023

Now I work at the Solana Foundation as the Head of Staking Ecosystem where I have been focused on revamping the Solana Foundation’s delegation program.

Has the delegate historically contributed to the Jito Network?

Cogent Crypto was one of the first validators testing and running the Jito Client. I was extremely active in the jito discord in the early days earning my self the discord Jedi role.

Has the delegate historically been involved in protocol governance?

I was active in protocol governance as a validator and now actively participate in the validator governance chats as a member of the foundation.

Yes, I have been deeply committed to the success of both the Jito Network and Solana. My work with Cogent Crypto and the Solana Foundation reflects this commitment. At Cogent Crypto, I was at the forefront of adopting and promoting the Jito Client, contributing to its testing and implementation. In my current role at the Solana Foundation, I am dedicated to enhancing the staking ecosystem, which directly supports the network’s stability and growth. My actions and contributions are driven by a strong belief in the potential of Solana and the Jito Network to revolutionize the crypto space.

Candidate views

How should JitoSOL validator delegation balance performance (yield) versus decentralization goals?

The balance between performance and decentralization is crucial. High performance (yield) attracts and retains stakeholders, ensuring the network’s competitive edge. However, decentralization is fundamental for the network’s security and resilience. As a delegate, I advocate for a balanced approach where performance is optimized without compromising the decentralization ethos of the network.

What should be the priorities for JTO liquidity mining and DAO token grants?

The priorities for JTO liquidity mining and DAO token grants should be aligned with long-term network health and growth. This includes supporting initiatives that enhance network performance, security, and scalability. Liquidity mining should incentivize behaviors that contribute to these goals. DAO token grants should be strategically awarded to projects and individuals that drive innovation, community engagement, and ecosystem development

What are your goals for the DAO as a delegate?

As a delegate, my goals for the DAO are to ensure transparent and efficient, governance that reflects the community’s needs and aspirations. I aim to foster an environment where diverse voices are heard and considered in decision-making processes. I will prioritize initiatives that enhance network performance, security, and scalability, as well as those that promote user education and community engagement. By leveraging my experience and insights, I intend to contribute to the development of a robust, innovative, and user-centric ecosystem that upholds the principles of decentralization and excellence.