Fixed node dominance reduction & decentralization

Hello Incognito community,

Decentralization is one of the most crucial goals that every blockchain network intends to achieve. Needless to say, the more decentralized a blockchain is, the more secure and confident for its users when participating in the network.

[Shipped] Fixed node dominance reduction to 46%

The team understands that and step by step slowly but surely works toward the goal. There were many discussions around that in the forum and with the latest protocol release, we moved a step closer to the goal.

Shortly speaking, by reducing the fixed node dominance to 46% (a.k.a max committee size is 48), the fixed shard nodes operated by the core team wouldn’t be able to control everything (including a malicious transaction into a block for example) in the Incognito blockchain as the community nodes could verify the correctness of proposing transactions and reject if they detect any inappropriate ones.

Also, having more slots for community nodes means that the single point of failure in terms of the infrastructure operated by the core team would be mitigated, and the network would ultimately be more stable.

Lastly, the eventual incentive for community nodes would be larger than before as the nodes would stay in a shard committee longer (4-5 epochs instead of 2-3 epochs as before) and earn ~7.2 PRV as block rewards (instead of ~9 PRV as before).

For a longer version of the benefits of that, please check out the topic.

Next steps of decentralization

As stated in the 2022 tech roadmap, we will keep reducing the fixed node dominance to 34% by increasing the shard committee size to 64. At that point, the role of the fixed nodes is only to protect the network from including malicious transactions if any (if you don’t know yet, Incognito consensus requires ⅔ + 1 validators agreeing on a block). This is necessary in the early stage of the network, especially, as the staking value is still far smaller than the total value locked.

After that, a similar approach will be applied for the decentralization of the beacon committee as well. Obviously, to achieve this, some different considerations will need to be taken into account since there are a few special processes on beacon chain such as data synchronization between shards, bridge interaction, … but again, this is a must, we will publish another topic to explain the strategy for decentralizing beacon committee and how it will affect to the whole network in detail later.

Thank you!

9 Likes

I am assuming that in addition to fixed node dominance reduction, another related aspect to decentralization is increasing the number of non-core team validators. Number of active validators according to the explorer has been holding steady around 2,200 (give or take 30 or so nodes). Are there plans (i.e. incentives, marketing, anything else???) to help encourage an increase in the number of community validators as best we can? Or is growth of validators a kind of organic evolving process that cannot by pushed or helped along?

How much more for an incentive does anyone need when current yields are insane. Advertise that enough and it’ll handle itself.

3 Likes

I keep my own record of node growth and have seen an increase since January 2022:

2245 - Apr 19, 2022
2141 - Apr 2, 2022
2144 - Mar 2, 2022
2119 - Feb 19, 2022
2103 - Jan 15, 2022

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It has been a pretty slow. We had 2119 nodes back in December, so that’s practically “zero growth” (12 new nodes per month) up until last week. But I’m pretty sure that will change now with the new committee size. Despite having some technical problems and almost 50% (!!!) of my nodes being slashed this past week (I restaked them right away). I’ve still earned 60% more than I did pre-update.

At this point, either way is a win for me, low/slow node growth, and my nodes will rake in a lot of PRV, high/fast node growth and the $/PRV will go up. :v:

6 Likes