Incentivized decentralization - Idea - seeking discussion

I’m thinking that we may be able to leverage the DAO and the anti-syble aspects of the Arcade and Bright ID to help single node operators a bit in the fight against (people like me) large farm operators who have significant economies of scale.

Probably the biggest advantage of large over small is the operating costs of an ETH server. so…

What if we set one up (somewhere other than D.O. NY) and gave single node operators who reached an Arcade game level a username and password to use? We pay one of our “partners”… let’s say… no let’s not say … to run it at true cost in exchange for lots of social love.

This way, new players are motivated to set-up in the same data center because of free, low latency ETH access. We help out the little guy and we pull some of the network away from the center. If we pick a good location for it, this new “strange attractor” may become the most logical place to put up a second gateway.

Just a rough idea… all input is welcome.

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I dont think that’s a good idea for two reasons

  • The goal of pocket is decentralization. Decentralizing pocket nodes means nothing if they all point to the same relay endpoint. Might as well point them to infura at that point. Gravitating people to this pocket “nexus” would lead to centralization on or around that data center which lowers network resiliency.
  • Someone, say PNI, would have to guarantee ETH node uptime to all the small stakers, which is financial risk i’m not sure I’d want to take in PNI’s role

I’d say let the free market decide where nodes get created - if POKT puts the incentives in a way that incentivizes smaller stakers ( which the 1% block proposer reward does ), this will make small operations competitive enough to decentralize the network.
It’s the old debate of more hashpower through ASICs or more decentralization through ASIC resistance.
Since POKTs unique selling proposition IS decentralization, compromising it in any way will reduce its appeal

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I think what would be an ever better incentive and a net promoter of decentralization would be to (1) hire an equivalent of a developer relations lead specifically for node runners and (2) take time to publish a detailed best practices guide specifically for node runners looking to scale from 1 or 2 nodes up to 50 or 100+. While office hours, youtube and discord are undeniably helpful, a LOT of time and energy would we be saved if a detailed knowledge base (e.g. https://kb.certus.one) for us could be crafted. Pocket also has an incentive to make sure that smaller/medium noderunners implement the same best practices the large noderunners have implemented. If the idea is to run highly available, mission critical infrastructure (1 node or many), waiting on the good graces of someone more experienced to reply on discord may not be the most effective way to ensure nodes are setup and running optimally. I think most smaller node runners are willing to invest the time, energy and money to setup up their systems properly. Helping us scale helps the network scale.

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I think that nexus thing is already happening by having a few big noderunner comanies providing the bulk of servicing relays. No one can control how decentralised they setup their infra. Especially since they get discounts, hosting with the same datacenter providers.

Thats what already happening for the most part too, no? People stake with big noderunner companies relying on them maintaining the rpc-nodes and on top maintaining the POKT-Nodes.

I think the “free market”, would lead to people migrating from “bad” rpc-nodes to better ones. Incentivising good service. You could put a guaranteed uptime in your contracs but you could also say that this isnt something you guarantee as part of your service.

Running a few nodes with some big loadbalanced rpc-nodes we can tell that at the moment it is really hard to break even on infrastructure cost alone right now for smaller noderunners.

Our rpc-nodes could handle a lot more requests but we dont have the pokt to setup more nodes. And are not willing to setup custodial or non custodial nodes because of laws that prevent handling other peoples money in that way “without a big amount of organisational overhead”

I think that is already happening too, looking at how many nodes are running with ~10 noderunner companies.

I hope some more people revisit this idea especially smaller noderunners like me, the environment changed alot since this idea was brought up.
I dont have a concrete plan on the execution right now but i would be happy to provide rpc access.

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I currently have 3 nodes but looking to get to 100-200 over the next few years. I am interested in following this as I would love to drop relying on a service provider