We would very much like to continue the discussion of a Tezos Foundation Delegation Strategy on Tezos Agora. As already mentioned in our medium article, the Solana Foundation has published its foundation delegation strategy last week.
The following goals are to be achieved through this strategy:
- Improve the network’s censorship resistance and security by incentivizing an even stake distribution to avoid a small number of nodes accumulating a large majority of delegations
- Encourage growth in the number of validators by providing a baseline delegation, the size of which is inversely related to the size of the number of nodes on the network, to lower-staked nodes to help make running a well-performing validator a financially feasible operation for new entrants to the network.
That these goals should be consistent with those of the TF probably needs no mention. Unfortunately, there is no foundation charter published on the website of TF.
At the latest with the potential upgrade to Edo, the TF’s view must be fundamentally reconsidered from our perspective.
Consideration 1: Lower Return for TF
When the Foundation first started baking, it was an important factor to ensure the stability of the chain. We believe that this goal has now been achieved. According to the biannual report, TF owned approximately 92 Mio. XTZ as of 31 July 2020 (VWAP $2.85 per XTZ). A total of 8 Foundation Baker are operated on AWS. Deducting inflation, these bakers generate approximately 1.07 % (6.03 %-4.96 %) return p.a. This corresponds to a return of 82,000 XTZ per month, of which 5,000 XTZ are currently distributed as Community Reward Program. With an average baker fee of 10%, the return would still be remarkably high and would not endanger such programs by far.
Consideration 2: Loss of control of the votes
The Tezos Foundation abstains from voting on any proposed protocol upgrades. It was discussed that with Delphi (now probably Edo), votes can be overridden by the delegators as long as they have at least one roll. In our opinion, there is no loss of control here either.
Consideration 3: Increased effort on the side of TF
We believe that one full-time position should be enough to track the rewards and votes. However, the monthly AWS costs for eight bakers and the costs for Blockscale should allow a salary for this person, even in Switzerland.
From a rational point of view, there is no counter-argument for us and the potential benefit is much higher.
More Bakers -> Better Tooling -> More Testing -> Bigger Community -> Efficient Software to lower hardware requirements -> Bakers advertising is basically Tezos advertising, etc.*
Without wanting to criticize the strategy of professionalizing the validator set (i.e. corporate bakers like Sword Group, Sygnum, or EDF), we must not forget who develops and maintains the current tooling (Giganode, TRD, BCD/BB, Beacon, and so forth) - it is the community and nobody else!
Furthermore, we think that if you can integrate technology from others, then you can do that with strategies as well. Other foundations show us that it is possible and we could easily copy&paste the delegation strategy from Solana. What was frightening (in a positive sense) for us was how much this fits right away.
We would like to invite everyone to participate in this discussion and to hear the opinion of the community and the Tezos Foundation!
*We have copied this causal chain from Johann Tanzer