Hi team and community!
I would like to throw up a few balls regarding recent frustrations I have had with NKN which I would hope could lead to constructive debate. Sadly I do not have any cookie cutter solutions but I think these things need to be discussed and I can make some suggestions of my own.
I’m all for directing ALL economic incentives towards mining especially due to the nature of NKN and its benefits with decentralisation and scaling the network. This also means making the barrier to participation as low or non-existent as possible to include and onboard as many nodes as possible.
However it has become abundantly clear that there are actors at play who have an unfair advantage be it through cloud provider gift cards or access to a large amount of computer resources for low or no cost at all.
This has lead to an dangerously centralised network where a few key players own the network one of which owns practically 50% of the entire network at time of writing.
This would in itself not be an issue If a 51% attack can be prevented by ramping up nodes in time to prevent a 51% majority however the secondary economics effects, are in my opinion extremely detrimental (1.42$ usd per month per node at time of writing).
Primarily if someone can run nodes for free it essentially means that this will lead to exactly zero revenue (not even profit, zero revenue) for players for which this network was intended to incentivize. A single entity who runs a node at home (raspberry pi / router for instance).
Now this is an extremely difficult problem to solve and I have no clear solution in mind if there even is one but maybe a compromise has to be struck somewhere, also the argument that more adoption will lead to more profitable home miners can be disregarded for it would be equally if not more likely that the advantageous actors will spin up more nodes proportional to any speculative token value gained.
Some suggested solutions to debate / think about (not in order of preference or feasibility just to get a discussion going):
- Minimum NKN requirement to run a node
- KYC / ZK-Identity to limit nodes/user
- Increasing resource requirement to push out cloud nodes, suggestion would be to choose the most expensive resource on cloud; for example more / faster storage requirements. This would be a one time purchase or perhaps home clients already have access to storage whereas for every cloud node this would be an additional cost.
Commercial nodes have been rolled out however this has been a rather big disappointment for the community. I understand that this is not the focus right now and that internally for the NKN company this is likely to be a huge success and is already netting signed contracts and revenue.
However I am speaking strictly from a coin holders perspective. The issues that I have are as followed:
- We can’t easily know if our node is running commercial, there is no RPC endpoint info made available.
- There is zero insight in any off-chain traffic it is hard to get excited about all the partners that are being signed if what we can see from that is exactly nothing; granted this is likely under NDA but estimated metrics or anonymized metrics would be godsent.
- I’m supposed to be running nCDN now, how much of my disk is being utilized right now, how much bandwith am I providing over nCDN, again no insight.
- TUNA same story, im running TUNA now supposedly on NKN2.0, am I really though? How do I see if I have any open channels.
- When will I receive commercial rewards, will this be in form of nano-payments? Also I’m confident pretty much no one in the community even heard about or knows what nano-payments are and how they work.
I can concede that offchain communications on network scale are possibly impossible to measure and report on however surely there are reasonable estimations to be made using metrics such as subscriptions, nkn payments through nanopayment channels and extrapolating from owned nodes.
The current ecosystem is entirely opaque and there is almost no insight into anything. The only thing that I can currently have insights into are onchain metrics and my own node relay performance. I think that is inadequate as with NKN2.0 those are pretty much the least interesting metrics those won’t get anyone excited.
Some additional random ideas regarding making nkn more ‘fun’ to hold and network participate.
- Mining pools to make payout more consistent, no one likes waiting 2 weeks to earn their first 25 cents due to being unlucky.
- Nano-payments per relay, every single relay nets you a tiny amount on your nanopayment channel.
- If minimum NKN on a node to participate is not feasible decentralised perhaps this can be facilitated through a centralised solution, all mining nodes for instance should have a minimum amount of NKN on their mining node wallet (1000 NKN for instance) every time a mining node wins a block it can have a potential payout from a NKN mining lottery, this would incentive running more nodes and also lock up NKN and it would draw attention/fun to the mining ecosphere.