I am here to write up a small forum post about a issue we are more and more facing.
First things first, I think we all seen how the leasing UI improved, it became more clean and easier to use, however it also exposes the issues. And it’s a very one sided system, doesn’t show token payments, doesn’t allow for showing what nodes do for the network etc. So let’s start with the problem.
100% nodes will grow, even without contributing, without marketing, without being active, just by paying 100%
The current client shows the payout percentage from the nodes, however this also enforces lazy people to not do research to nodes and just lease them, for the money. Greed has been in humans since we existed and the new client bolsters this. If you look at the current node overview, you will see that new nodes popped up, however the ones that pay 100% are growing heavy, while the other older nodes lose heavy or new nodes don’t grow so fast.
What are the consequences and risks
We will lose node owners in the long run
We will get less new nodes, and if they start they aren’t even motivated to become listed in the wallet since they would only get more work with 0 personal profit from it, so they prefer to lease to a 100%. I know from 4 people who just don’t see a reason to be listed with this one sided UI.
We lose decentralization, since the new node UI, tradisys his leasers grew from 5.1 to 5.4m. Which is worrying. While nodes like cryptin, who is active and creates content went from 670 to 550k leased. Another very active/long term node, wavesnode.net went from 2.3m to 1.88m. On the opposite an overpaying node, caveman lab went from nothing to 3.2m within a matter of days rather then weeks.
I let my own node out the equation to give neutral examples.
We won’t attract new pools, since there is nothing to gain from it, so when old ones stop, or lose share, the network becomes more and more controlled by a few.
We won’t attract professional nodes like on other networks, neither outsiders.
There is no real initiative to run test/stagenet nodes or be active as a node owner, since it doesn’t matter anyway. The only thing what matter is %.
What can be done
There are a few possibility’s that could make impacts short term. One could say it’s a protocol issue to be solved, however not a single protocol prevents node owners to overpay. (Which currently already does exists)
Remove payout percentage from within the wallet UI and randomize the list, leasers then can still lease to each node. But the ones who are lazy will just select the top one, since the list is randomized it’s more fair, and you would expect the smaller nodes also to gain a bigger share again. And then nodes would need to really put effort in to convince leasers, since the chance they lease otherwise to a random node increases.
Remove 100% paying nodes from the wallet. Since the wallet is already a whitelist from node’s we could easy enforce as an additional rule to have a maximum payout percentage. It’s a requirement which each node can full-fill for itself, so it’s quiet fair. And if they do think they deserve the leasers, because they are better or have great marketing, the leasers will come to there node anyway.
Make a list based on other vectors then %, for example, how long does the node exist, has the node been hacked, has the node a good up time, does the node run test/stagenet nodes, is the node active within waves community like the WA or other things.
Nodes and leasers could also team up as a last resort to go in some kind of strike. We could deny to run test/stagenet nodes. We could deny to help grow the system they lock the non 100% paying nodes out from indirectly. We could even raise a front with multiple nodes to prevent new feature activation. This is ugly and it will hurt waves, but a centralized blockchain will hurt even more in the long run. Actors within waves ecosystem who don’t come or leave hurt even more.
We could gather 51% from the network and blacklist the nodes who pay-out 100%, this will cause some chaos and indeed hurt the network. But like one from the nodes said: “I am not going to change anything unless I am forced to.” Or another quote: “I don’t care about the nodes and who leases or who not, since I don’t earn from it.” But he does forget that some active nodes do care, and do work very hard. This is hinted as a solution by one from the biggest node who also pays out 100%.
What can leasers do
Stop supporting 100% nodes (partly), It sounds like it goes against human nature to give away some profit, but what is this few percentage if we bring in: more nodes, more outsiders since there is profit to gain, and therefor make waves-protocol stronger as a whole?
If you lease to a node, review the leases, look what else does a node contribute and lease according to this. Like I gave the example, cryptin, very active, translator, blog post writer, active in the WA and he is punished by the gross from the leasers.
Help us educate your friends, family and get a movement away from 100% nodes. Again it might feel like going against human nature, but think long term about things.
As last I would like to add a poll as to how the community thinks this can or should be resolved. And I would like to invite each and everyone off you to talk discuss and join the solution instead be part from the problem.
- Remove 100% paying nodes from the wallet, and only show 95% or below
- Remove payment percentage from the wallet
- Hide top 3 biggest nodes from the wallet UI
- Create another score index/ requirements to be listed in the wallet, which endorse skill, knowledge and activity
- Make the node list in the wallet votable by the Waves Association, and therefore let them be guards about payment percentage and other rules.
- Everything from the above
- Do nothing
- I will clarify my solution in the comments