Decentralization on the IC moving forward

Hello Zane,

thank you, and thank you for your explanation.

But why do you have to own the requested hardware and not rent it dedicated servers from a data center?

Thats actually a good question, I’m not sure how Dfinity verifies whether the HW is owned or rented, as far as I know the old setup procedure required the provider to manually do stuff in the data center, I guess you wouldn’t be allowed to do that if you didn’t own the rack, also the hw required is very specific I doubt most data centers have racks with those specs.

Hm … that sounds like there is more required than just the node servers. I understand that the servers had to be performant, and that makes complete sense. But I don’t understand why they could not be rented. Even in a datacenter (with camera) there is a risk that the servers got compromised. (As long as you don’t get a single room for your machines only)
As far as I understand I think this could slow down the decentralization.

This sounds like it is used as a software protection dongle. But that could be also bypassed. I don’t really understand this strict restrictions.

I think this is a well-reasoned and intellectually honest post @Zane .

I will post some thoughts and clarifying questions once I get some time, but I wanted to say that while there are some things I agree with and some I do not quite agree with (I am not sure you and I have the same understanding about the boundary nodes… but this just may be reading too much into certain words you used, so i will ask clarifying questions), I want to encourage reasoned active thoughts like this.

To be fair I’m not completely sure, I’m not a node provider so i could be wrong, I assume the HW must be owned by the provider, having to pay a high entry price means they are less likely to act in bad faith cause they’d end up losing the initial investment.

Even in a datacenter (with camera) there is a risk that the servers got compromised.

Indeed, I suggest you to read this post: Long term R&D: TEE enhanced IC (proposal) - #14 by lastmjs

As far as I understand I think this could slow down the decentralization.

Depends on how you define decentralization, currently there is a big backlog of providers waiting to be approved, that is cause providers are paid a flat monthly fee, regardless of node usage, so if Dfinity were to add too many nodes at once and they end up sitting there doing nothing, we would have higher token inflation without any benefit.

Raspberry Pi configuration

What do you mean?

Thanks for the kind words, I’m looking forward to read your feedback.

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Love the badlands concept seriously hope this is something Dfinity dedicates some time towards

I think those who have more stake should have more voting power with their Neuron(s). Why should someone who hasn’t locked up some of their own ICP be rewarded the same as someone who has? Why should we punish those who started this thing by removing their voting power? As those who were in for the investment early on exit, those of us who are in for the long haul will take ownership of and responsibility for the network. Disputing this process is not something I support.


I don’t think I ever said that, quite the opposite infact.

As those who were in for the investment early on exit, those of us who are in for the long haul will take ownership of and responsibility for the network.

I doubt that’s gonna happen, as you can see VCs are in the for long term too: Dec 31: An Analysis - by Kyle Langham - ICP Analysis
They already own a considerable amount of voting power now, imagine in 10 years. PoS chains tend to reward whales who got in first, the problem with ICP is even more evident cause not only those whales are VCs with absurd amount of money at their disposal, but they had the opportunity to buy at prices retail has never seen, thats a bit too much of an advantage.

To give you an idea 25% of ICP supply was sold for ~4 million Swiss Franks, at ATL that sum would get you ~300k ICP, not even 0.1% of the supply and that is after a substantial price drop and crazy amount of FUD.

Besides quadratic funding isn’t an arbitrary system I came up with, the ETH community has been talking about it and experimenting with it for years:

If both the ETH community and Vitalik have so much interest in it, then we might also take some time and investigate the potential benefits it might bring to our ecosystem, especially when you consider ETH token distribution is in much better place than ICP’s thanks to years of permissionless mining and and ATL price that was quite close to the ICO’s.

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Whatever mathematical strategy is used to reduce the voting power of whales will be overcome by them optimizing their neurons. The same is true for amplifying the rest of our neurons, optimizing will occur and the field will be reset to what we have now.

Those who got in early are reaping the rewards, certainly. And they earned it. They could have lost their entire investment before we even became aware of the project. If they are in it for the long haul, I am happy they stick around.

The current system is fair. Those who risked more are rewarded more.

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I disagree, you should read up more on quadratic voting and people parties cause I have the feeling you are missing some details, again this isn’t something I came up with, otherwise I wouldn’t have put so much faith in it, people much smarter than me and with much more experience have been researching it, so I think its a bit naive to immediatly write it off.

The current system is fair. Those who risked more are rewarded more.

Is it fair? Perhaps. Is it the kind of system the future of Web 3.0 should be based on? I doubt. VCs already got rewarded with amazing gains (almost 1000x despite price drop), maturity and voting power, does that mean they should be the one in charge of the decentralized internet only cause they were lucky enough to have millions of dollars to invest in Web 3.0 projects? I don’t think so, Web 3.0 should be run by the people not by a couple of VCs who lucked out, that would be a complete waste of Dfinity’s tech.

I agree, @wscoble I think your analysis is a bit too simple and missing some important points of understanding. Quadratic voting is quite interesting and possibly beneficial, I’ve proposed in multiple places a similar idea I’m calling logarithmic voting, you can read a bit about it here: Proposal to include cycle_dao & ICDevs as default follow-target neurons to the NNS - #132 by lastmjs

And here’s a podcast episode about it: ‎Demergence on Apple Podcasts

Simple coin voting is not the optimal governance system.


@Zane what is your complaint, really? Is it that VCs got a 1000x return on their investment? Or is it that they are still leveraging that return for a stake in how IC is governed?

@lastmjs analysis does not need to be complex to be accurate. Perhaps simple coin voting is not optimal, but it is a direct risk to reward paradigm.

Should quadratic voting be used with IC? Maybe. Those with less risk end up with more voting power, comparatively. However, a system like that could easily be gamed without exceptional oversight/governance. And once that formula can be adjusted through voting, it becomes easier to strip the reward/power from those early investors. Sounds kind of unfair to me.

We are all equal in terms of the coin; one vote per coin staked. I like this kind of equality.

Is it that VCs got a 1000x return on their investment?

Not at all, I don’t understand how you came to that conclusion, I just said early investors already have been rewarded plenty and I don’t think we should be fine with the fact the NNS will be run by an oligarchy.

Those with less risk end up with more voting power, comparatively.

Again I don’t think you understand how quadratic voting works, nor the fact there are many variants to it.

We are all equal in terms of the coin; one vote per coin staked. I like this kind of equality.

How are we equal when a minority had access to prices 500x cheaper (in the ATL scenario) than retail investors? And even if that weren’t the case the concept of a liquid democracy itself is the opposite of equal in my book.

Finally I want to point out the reason I proposed to take in consideration quadratic voting or quadratic funding is that Dom wrote in his blog about a similar, but in my opinion inferior, solution which would effectively make the voting power gained by staking useless, that I don’t think it’s fair, voters should have skin in the game and should be rewarded for commiting long term, but that doesn’t mean a small minority should have complete control.

I was listening to the podcast on log voting, good stuff, but may I suggest you to upload future episodes on YT, the apple website is quite tedious to use.


It’s a podcast available on many podcasting apps too, just search for Demergence (if the app uses the Apple Podcasts directory it should show up).

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Forgive me if I spoke too rashly, I just mean to say that if you study (I assume you haven’t, I could be wrong) quadratic/logarithmic voting it would open up the design characteristics of these voting systems to you more. I have found quadratic voting to be a huge eye-opener.

Of course simplicity should be sought as a design best-practice, but sometimes a system’s simplicity limits its power to perform certain functions.

This is not a fact, it is an opinion.

We all play by the same rules, one coin staked, one vote.

Now, if there are choices other than Yes/No for voting, I believe quadratic voting allows more competition of ideas. However, for Yes/No choices, I don’t see the benefit.

I agree completely.

If you had millions of euros, or any other currency, staked in IC, what would you expect? Eventually these whales will exit their positions and involve themselves in other projects. Just having some control over IC can’t be worth it for them as a permanent investment.

@lastmjs :

I did not take offense, but you are forgiven. I know it as logarithmic voting and have seen it provide more voice to the minority when choosing from many options. It can also reduce the effect of the popularity of a voter, which can provide more diverse decisions.

How many more votes should someone with 100ICP staked have versus someone with 10ICP staked? 2? 10? 90? What about Sybil attacks? How much ICP would it cost to mitigate those attacks? Would it be worth it? Who would be in charge of identity management? How much data would be collected? Who would have access to that data? What would happen if that data was leveraged to blackmail people into voting a certain way?

In my opinion, the only fair way to conduct voting is through one coin = one vote.

Now, should we have a different governance token or staking mechanism that implements some kind of logarithmic voting strategy where each vote for one option or the other gets progressively more expensive? I could get behind this if it was something new and not a modification on NNS, specifically because those who staked coins long term expect to vote based on how much they’ve staked.

I would like to add a layman’s idea here. You are talking about whales [stakes] and voting.

Whales in my view are rewarded for early investment and that return is much greater than those with only a little or later invested. So the ratio is as it should be as per risk and timing.

Voting should be democratic, it should not matter who you are, you only get 1 vote, therefore the matters being voted on are then earned by convincing the majority and in this case there is less likelihood of fraud or persuasion as we are a worldwide community.

I would assume the early investors understood ICP principles and purpose of the IC protocol and therefore invested for these reasons and should not be unsettled by a democratic voting system. They have larger investments and therefore would have more to say but we all would have an equal vote.

As for the server issue as I understand it and why I invested and believe in ICP, is how it works and takes away the power of the big 5. As I understand it if any server owners don’t play by the rules they are rerouted so I feel that creates a willingness to play by the rules or lose your power or business.

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