Hey, just want to add a couple of points to this conversation and expand a little on the design decisions for early 2022.
As @Mike_Wagner pointed out, increasing committee size or releasing slots produces the same effect percentage-wise; the core team no longer has majority say and consensus is shared with the community. So to start, I thought it might be helpful to discuss why we decided to increase committee size instead of release fixed slots (for this initial stage).
Rewards for community nodes : It’s fairly evident that either way, since block rewards do not change, fixed nodes will earn less and community nodes will earn more. However, how community nodes earn in practice would be different.
If, let’s say, we wanted to reduce fixed node dominance from 66% to 45%, there are 2 ways we could achieve that:
- Reduce fixed slots from 22 to 15, so there will be 7 more slots for community validators.
- Increase committee size to 48, so there will be 16 more slots for community validators.
We felt the second was a better option at this time, in terms of decentralization as well as validator incentives, and lays important groundwork.
Decentralization Q1 & 2 : As explained in the original topic, the core team will no longer hold 2/3 slots of a committee, and created blocks will be the result of agreement between fixed nodes and community nodes. Here’s more design context:
When the 22 fixed nodes don’t hold 2/3 slots in a committee, they play a role as block proposers. They propose blocks and community nodes validate. This reduces the need for a large number of fixed nodes to guarantee fault tolerance for the block proposing process, and block validation duties can be released to the community.
This allows us to continually reduce the fixed slots to smaller and smaller numbers.
Decentralization medium term : As explained above, I’d like to confirm that the plan, as @jared mentioned, is to continue whittling down the number of fixed nodes, while continuing – with the rest of the industry – to develop and research how best to set the network up for long term success.
Re our design choices, there are a number of similar proposals going around at the moment – see https://vitalik.ca/general/2021/12/06/endgame.html for a particularly detailed analysis of this approach. In the interests of full transparency - assuming the current design does not change, fixed nodes are likely to continue to exist, albeit in very small numbers.
Decentralization longer-term: I want to stress here that we (and everyone else) are continually trying to find better solutions that we may not previously have thought of, so things will continually evolve – we hope, always for the better. If the community at any point has any concerns about how things are going (or interesting ideas and solutions), please open a dialogue like this one. It’s a difficult problem to solve, so the more minds and viewpoints the better.