This post is a call for feedback from the community on a proposal to increase the # of active transcoders in the Livepeer protocol from 10 to 15 on
Friday, July 27th during round 1048, taking effect in round 1049 on Monday, July 30th during round 1051, taking effect in round 1052.
During Livepeer’s alpha release (Snowmelt phase), the number of nodes who could be active on the network in a given round was intentionally kept at 10, a small number, so that the network could be tested. This small number also allowed the early network to achieve a full set of transcoders who were actively paying attention and participating in the protocol, as well as responding to frequent upgrade requests and network issues.
The goal is of course to decentralize far beyond just 10 nodes doing encoding work in the network. And although there are some Ethereum scalability limits at the moment to increasing this number dramatically, we’d like to take the first step of increasing it by 50% to 15 active transcoders.
Check out the existing transcoder dashboard
Check out the existing transcoder social campaign threads here in the forum
Reasons for the proposed change
- Increase the decentralization of the network
- Provide opportunity for more participants to learn the role of transcoder and compete to use inflation funding to help develop Livepeer initiatives.
- There are many newly active users and groups in the community who have prepared to run transcoder nodes effectively who just haven’t had an active slot available yet.
- The upcoming Merkle Mine claim period will unlock a bunch of LPT to new users, who will now have more diverse options to stake.
Potential drawbacks of the change
It will be 50% more expensive in terms of Ethereum gas to initialize each round.
The transcoder dashboard doesn’t yet have a great sense of identity, linking transcoders to their campaigns or identities. This makes it difficult for users to decide whom to delegate their LPT towards. Choosing between 15 requires more research than choosing between 10. We’d hope to address this via product work on the dashboard and welcome contributions.
Moving beyond 15
While we can push slightly beyond 15 in future updates after the next stability milestone release for Livepeer, there are two additional limiting factors:
Transcoder identies to help users delegate (as referenced above). We have started an ENS integration so transcoders can actually have display names, but need more product work.
Ethereum scalability concerns - the protocol needs an architecture update, otherwise doing all the accounting around who’s active and who’s not becomes too expensive in terms of Ethereum gas. We’re working on these updates for future versions of the protocol.
Have any concerns of questions about this parameter upgrade? Share them here. As part of a shift from core team parameter setting to decentralized governance we welcome all input and discussion before making any updates to the protocol.