Decentralization is the key to the Elastic PoS network. Stephanie Dunbar, a researcher at Messari, analyzed the decentralization levels of 5 PoS networks, including Avalanche, based on factors such as PoS network clients, hosted distribution, and geographic location. It was found that Solana scored 1.9 points, surpassing other PoS networks.
Client diversity is crucial for network stability, as different validator client implementations can provide different performances and reduce the risk of code errors. Networks like Avalanche, Cardano, and NEAR that have a single client implementation lead to centralization issues. While Ethereum has multiple clients, Go Ethereum and Prysm Ethereum Client dominate the scene. Solana is developing new clients such as Jito and Firedancer.
Hosting distribution also affects decentralization of operations. Due to convenience and cost-effectiveness, most networks rely on hosted servers. Cardano has a considerable number of self-hosted validators, while Solana relies less on providers. Additionally, geographical distribution plays a critical role in network resilience. Networks should be distributed across different regions to avoid censorship risks, but currently, Europe and North America dominate the scene.
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To evaluate the importance of these factors for decentralized PoS network operations, we calculated the Satoshi operation coefficient for Avalanche, Cardano, NEAR, Solana, and Aptos. We found that Avalanche and NEAR scored 1.3, Cardano and Aptos scored 1.6, while Solana scored 1.9, surpassing the other chains. As the network evolves, decentralization of operations must be a priority. Validator operators should diversify their hosting solutions and leverage technologies such as DVT to enhance security.