Is Solana really decentralized?  A validation health report

Is Solana really decentralized? A validation health report

The Solana Foundation recently released its first report evaluating the health of the Solana network.

The first report digs into key metrics that assess the health of the validator network. These include the total number of validators, Nakamoto consensus and distribution.

Break down the nodes

Per the foundation’s report on Wednesday Solana currently consists of more than 3,400 validators spread across six continents. Validators are responsible for independently verifying new transactions, and saving their status to Solana’s ledger.

“A large, diverse set of validator operators is critical to maintaining a robust, distributed, and trusted neutral network for the world to use,” the foundation explained.

Validators are divided into two camps: consensus nodes and RPC nodes.

Consensus nodes create and propose new blocks for the network while verifying blocks proposed by other network nodes. In general, the more consensus nodes there are, the less likely it is that a user’s transaction will be tampered with.

Meanwhile, Remote Procedure Call (RPC) nodes perform the same tasks as consensus nodes, but also provide an “application gateway” to the Solana infrastructure. They often provide a convenient way for users to communicate with the core Solana network in a way that is specialized for a particular application.

Over 1,900 of Solana’s validators are consensus nodes. Furthermore, an average of 95 consensus nodes and 99 RPC nodes have joined the network every month since June 2021.

Nakamoto coefficient and distribution

Meanwhile, Solana’s “Nakamoto coefficient” is 31. This metric represents the minimum number of validators required to compromise a network’s consensus, usually defined as 33.4% of the vote.

The relatively low Nakamoto coefficient compared to the validator count is due to Solana’s proof of stake mechanism. Proof of Stake gives greater leverage over the network’s consensus state in the hands of those who hold and stake more SOL.

In accordance CoincarpDespite there being 9 million holders, the top 100 SOL holders alone control 30.81% of the total supply. However, the report noted that none of the major data centers running Solana nodes come close to surpassing 33% of active ownership.

On a geographical basis, about 50% of Solana’s ownership is concentrated in just 3 countries – Germany, the USA and Ireland.

The foundation points out that this is still healthier than Ethereum’s 45% miner concentration in the US. However, Ethereum is set to transition to a proof of stake consensus model in September, which will make this statistic irrelevant.

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