Public Node – Nodes funded by community.
Public Node is a community initiative that provides individuals and small businesses a low-cost way to support the health and resilience of the Stellar network. We accomplish this through memberships that pool our resources to pay for the cost of running full validator nodes.
Our mission is to provide for Stellar what public broadcasting provides to radio, television, and people – a trusted and meaningful public voice within the Stellar network.
Benefits of membership:
- Further Decentralization. Feel good knowing you are helping strengthen and decentralize the Stellar network.
- Protocol Participation. Members help Public Node decide how its nodes will vote on proposed protocol changes.
- Sense of Community. Feel the reward of binding together with other people to support a common cause.
All work we do and money spend will be in support of our mission.
Short-term goals (now to 6 months):
- Reaching a sustainable level of membership. We need to ensure our membership grows to a point where monthly revenue is equal to or greater than the cost of running our full validator nodes.
- Streamlining membership voting until it becomes routine. An important part of Public Node is the opportunity for members to vote on proposed Stellar protocol changes. At the time this blog was written, we had not yet run a vote and our initial plan for casting and tallying votes is rather manual. As we gain more experience, we plan to refine our approach until it becomes an easy and predictable process.
Middle-term goals (6 months to a year):
- Become a Tier 1 node provider. Funding a node is just the start of strengthening the Stellar network. In order to make the biggest impact we need to earn the trust of other node providers. This means we need to establish a pristine validator performance and fund at least 3 validators to show redundancy, resiliency and reliability measured at the highest standards.
- Start pursuing official nonprofit status. Our long-term vision is to become an industry-leading nonprofit organization providing for the Stellar network what Public Broadcasting Service provides for radio, television, and people. We know that’s a herculean vision, so we best start taking steps now in that direction. This means establishing a board of directors, finding an accountant, and getting some legal advice.
Our mission is clear, we want individuals and small business to have a voice within the Stellar network and a cost-effective way to contribute to the network’s strength. The cost of running a full validator node is too much to ask a single person, yet the Stellar network is open, inclusive, and made to benefit all people. Pooling resources to fund validator nodes is not a new concept as the community has been talking about it for quite some time. Meridian turned out to be the catalyst that got enough of us together to figure out a way to do it.
If we win a portion of the Stellar Community Fund, we will use the funding to support our mission. Some of our most immediate challenges that additional funding would help are:
- Bills to pay and not enough memberships. We are currently running a full validator node, but do not currently have the membership base to pay for it. Thus, the funds would be used to help pay for invoices as we wait for our membership to grow.
- Manage lumen value volatility. Unlike server providers that only accept fiat payments, we accept lumens as a method of paying for membership. But, as we all know, lumens are volatile and validator node costs are not. This means we are taking on the currency exchange risk. A reserve of lumens would help provide a buffer so that we can better manage this risk.
- Professional services. To do this right, we need to properly manage our financial books – particularly if we want to transition this from a community-pooling initiative to an official nonprofit organization. Starting an official nonprofit will require we pay for professional services, particularly in the areas of accounting and taxes. Finding a good accountant willing to wade through the murky waters of cryptocurrency regulations will be a challenge in itself, thus we want to make sure we have funding to pay for these scarce and valuable services.
Long story short, we could use the support because we have already started incurring costs, are taking on market risk, need to hire some professional services, and do not yet have a stable inflow of revenue to pay for it all.
Please visit our website as we have put a lot of work into it and we believe it does the best job of explaining what we are trying to achieve and how we plan to do it.