Decentralizing Node Deployment Through Crowdfunding

Decentralizing Node Deployment Through Crowdfunding

I humbly submit this idea to open discussion on how we may lower barriers for more community members to participate in node deployment.

The idea is to create small DAOs behind each new node:

For example, let’s say buying a node requires 100 ICP. We could have one whale contribute 30 ICP, with many others contributing 0.5-2 ICP each until we reach 100 ICP.

The whale would fund the server in USD and submit the proposal to the NNS. Upon approval and once the node is running, the whale would receive the 100 staked ICP.

Node rewards are distributed to participants proportional to their staked ICP. Payouts could go automatically to NNS accounts. For any issue, votes can be voted by initially funded ICP weight.

I recognize this would require adjusting NNS functionality.

To prevent NNS from refusing to add nodes after whales purchase them, we could first stake ICP and vote on a proposal, then have the whale buy the nodes if the proposal passes.

Of course, to discourage junk proposals, a small portion of the staked ICP would be slashed if the NNS rejects the proposal.

I kindly submit this idea in its early stages for constructive discussion. Enabling broader participation in a decentralized manner could strengthen the Internet Computer community. I welcome any thoughts or critiques. Please advise if I have overlooked any technical considerations. I appreciate you taking the time to read and consider this proposal.


Now that there is no stable currency on the IC, it will be better when there is a stable currency in the future. There is no need to worry about losses caused by the short-term decline of ICP.

Some initial thoughts:

  1. Why would any whale go through all the hassle of setting up a node just to share rewards with anons? The whale is better to keep it for themselves.

  2. A whale can have a 30% stake officially, but use sockpuppets to gain 51%+ control and vote everyone else out - thus usurping control of the node.

  3. Even if the whale is removed from the equation and the node is bought by contributors with equal stakes, there’s no guarantee a party doesn’t make multiple contributions in order to gain majority control of the node.

IMO, anyone that wants stable income and doesn’t have the necesarry funds to run their own node, can take out a loan, set up a legal entity, get their own hardware wallet, order their own hardware for the node and peacefully stack the juicy XDR.


Sorry, my wording was problematic. By “whale” I didn’t mean a crypto millionaire, but rather the biggest contributor in the DAO. This person isn’t necessarily wealthy, just the one who funded the most.

For example, if they covered 30% of the normal cost to deploy a node, the whale should rightly get a bigger share of the rewards, since they established the node. So the whale could get 35% of the profits, while the remaining 65% is divided proportionally among other contributors.

The whale is just a normal person who contributed the most to the DAO, so they have more influence. We need to balance their interests with decentralization. Maybe requiring longer lock-up periods before they can take nodes offline or sell them.

You’re right, this is a big issue. But having decentralized nodes benefits everyone.

If a whale tries to control nodes, force them offline, then resell the nodes or switch to running Ethereum nodes instead, we need other measures to prevent that. For example, requiring whales to stake extra ICP.

Also, I vaguely recall that nodes purchased in data centers usually require 1-2 year contracts.

This is just my initial idea, there are still many details that need to be improved.

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Hey @NeutronStarPRO
I like where your head is at with this
I’m this scenario, where are they buying a node from and who is physically maintaining the node?

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I’ve stated this several times over the past few years that I would participate in a crowdfund on to be an ICP node operator. I’m still waiting… it literally blows my mind that you can’t even purchase an RWA-NFT (real world asset) representing shared interest in a node. I prefer the dao route versus the later anyway, but…

My suggestion for Node decentralization is for the SNS-Dao’s like OpenChat, Dragginz, Hot or Not, Ghost or Kinic that already have a treasury to all run their own Nodes that are funded by there Dao’s treasuries or foundations.

Anyway… I’m-in for participating in a ICP crowdfund - how do we get started? We could also not just limit it to ICP, we could be multi-chain and run nodes or staking on several chains even running an @EMCprotocol Layer-2 AI nodes possibly as well. We need two leadership teams 1) technical and 2) finance… both teams should have our “future dao’s” leadership on board as well as an advisor in each field.

We could get started on a trial-basis and work-out our processes and procedures before doing a crowdfund or a small crowd funding now to get one node up (whatever the minimum # is) and running and eventually an SNS launch to ramp-up our operation.

It’s not a question of, “Will this happen?” it’s a question of, “When will this happen?”.


Anybody remember DfinityNodes?

This was a group that had a similar idea within the first year of mainnet launch. I believe this response from @Luis holds true today and could present similar issues for this initiative. Something to keep in mind.


Thanks @LightningLad91 for tagging me.

Before diving into the intricacies of node deployment and its potential decentralization through crowdfunding, it’s imperative that we first establish a clear definition of what platform decentralization truly means. This will ensure that we’re all on the same page and can have a constructive discussion on the topic.

Current Node Provider Cohort:

  • Node Provider: This refers to a legal entity or individual that enters into a contract with a data center provider. They are responsible for purchasing and setting up the hardware and have unrestricted access to the node. Given their pivotal role and access, this entity is undeniably relevant when discussing decentralization.
  • Node Technician: Sometimes, there’s another entity involved, which can be termed as the ‘node technician’. This can be a legal entity or individual who is granted access to a node, either physically or remotely. Their primary role is to work on the node on behalf of the node provider. Their relevance to decentralization is contingent upon the access granted to them by the node provider.

Possible Node Provider Cohort for Enhanced Community Participation:

  • Node Sponsors: These are entities or individuals who financially back the node but don’t have any direct access or control over it. Their involvement positively impacts decentralization due to the distributed nature of ownership.
  • Node Provider as a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization): In this model, the node provider is essentially a canister or a DAO. Its actions are dictated by what a majority or threshold of node sponsors agree upon. This DAO is responsible for registering the NP record. Furthermore, it handles the distribution of rewards among node sponsors and compensates the Node Hoster for their services.
  • Node Hoster: This refers to a legal entity or individual that liaises with a data center provider. They handle the procurement and setup of the hardware on behalf of the DAO. While they might have physical access to the node, any form of access must be sanctioned by a majority of node sponsors. Unauthorized access can lead to the termination of their contract with the DAO.

This alternative cohort model not only offers a nuanced approach to decentralization but also fosters greater community involvement. It paves the way for funding high CapEx nodes, such as AI nodes, without concentrating a significant amount of investment in a few major players or “node whales”.

Furthermore, in certain jurisdictions, the DAO could potentially establish a legal entity to directly contract with data centers, node vendors, and service providers. This wouldn’t jeopardize the decentralization as long as we can guarantee that node sponsors cannot retract their investment. Implementing such a safeguard within the DAO framework is relatively straightforward.

In conclusion, as we explore the future of node deployment and decentralization, it’s crucial to consider models that not only uphold the principles of decentralization but also encourage community participation and ownership.


Hey @Luis this is exactly what I’m trying to figure out.

It seems that this could already work in Switzerland. Even though DAOs are not (yet) legal entities according to Swiss law, it seems that a Swiss association can act as a legal wrapper to a DAO. The association would directly represent the DAO as any token holder (Node Sponsor), after KYC, would be part of the association.

In such a scenario, the DAO legal entity (acting as a Node Provider) would be able to interact directly with the data center and other providers. There would still be the need for a Node Hoster but this could be delegated by the DAO to only perform a specific task under certain conditions.

The challenge is to legally bind the association to the DAO decisions but from what I learnt so far it seems possible. This would ensure that the association or any of its members are legally liable in case they operate without the DAO’s consent. I’m currently exploring this topic so if anybody is also interested or knows already something about it please reach out to me :slight_smile:

I think a DAO legal entity like this might be useful for many other use cases as it could act as a “bridge” between the crypto and the traditional world, without relying on a centrally controlled entity.