What is decentralization?

How do you define and measure decentralization?

What is ‘decentralization’ on Tezos? What should it be?

I’ll bite on this - I think decentralization has two aspects, people/process centralization and technical centralization. Here are my comments on, and example of, each. I would be interested to hear the communities thoughts and any additional forms of centralization beyond these two.

Technical centralization
Technical Centralization can occur in many ways, but my favorite example is the 51% attack. A 51% attack is much more feasible when there are a low number of nodes in a network, as all transactions must funnel through those few nodes. There are many more examples of technical centralization that are very well documented across the Internet.

People and Process Centralization
People and Process Centralization, in my opinion, occurs when decision making power is concentrated in a small group of blockchain protocol users. This is a much mote nuanced area and much more debated. For example, Algorand, from a technical standpoint, appears to widely be considered decentralized. However, what would happen to Algorand if it’s creator publicly abandoned the project? The same question can be asked for many other projects with very vocal and public creators.

Another form of People and Process centralization can occur in the development process. Hedera Hashgraph is closed source, meaning that if the developer ceases development the protocol essentially fails.

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