The initial selection of Orange Group BetaNet node operators can be found here.
Binning and this selection process
It is clear from the applications we have received and the nodes who have joined the network, that some bins are not faring as well as others and there is a large disparity in the number of nodes per bin.
One solution could have been to only select nodes from bins that need more nodes, under the goal of not exacerbating the issue. This would have led to the selection of very few nodes, and ultimately we concluded that shunning those communities that do support us in the name of pure decentralization was more harmful to the network than helpful.
This was especially the case after we spent some time talking to members of the regions with fewer nodes. Either due to bandwidth constraints, hardware accessibility, or simply language barriers, it became clear that there are real challenges in these regions that must be addressed in order for the network to establish itself.
So we took a partial solution, which was to encourage participation in those regions within the process that exists. In regions with lower participation, we have been less selective in choosing nodes relative to regions with greater participation. Ultimately, this proves to be a fairly minor effect on the network as a whole and most nodes in the orange group faced the same level of scrutiny relative to the previous applications.
We will continue to explore ways to increase participation in various bins and are committed to making the xx network a truly worldwide network.
Cross jurisdictional nodes
A new phenomenon we saw in this set of applications was a significant contingent of applicants planning to run nodes in different regions from where they reside. This existed in previous tranches but was far more pronounced in this cohort. It made up more than ⅓ of applications that passed our first round of internal sorting. Nodes run in a jurisdiction separate from where the operator resides can be a risk to the network because it can allow multiple governments to extern control over the node, so it isn’t the most preferred arrangement. But it is necessary for operators and a common part of blockchain networks. So while we do not disallow it, and many of the selected nodes in the orange team were cross-jurisdictional, when selecting we have preferred nodes run in the same jurisdiction as the operator.
Groups of nodes
In this selection process, it was clear that there were groups of nodes who applied together and supported each other. After looking at the comments, our conclusion was that none of these groups were overly large, generally being 4~6 nodes, so we decided to not count it against them. There are risks of nodes becoming blocks and operating as a unit, but we do not believe the size or scale of these groups poses any harm or that in reality, we believe these are real supporters who know each other and participate in the blockchain space together.
Not selected nodes
If you were not selected in the initial selection, please remember it is initial and subject to change. Participation in the community is one of our strongest criteria for selection, so please speak out.
As is expected with a growing network, this selection process has been more difficult than the previous ones, and we had to make some difficult decisions. The point of an initial selection and a final selection is to give the community a chance to comment on our selection approach and criteria. We have strived to be honest in this description of our decision-making process and will work to engage with the community if you see problems in this process. Please review the selection and give us your feedback.