When studying Bitcoin and altcoins, I predict node count charts will become more important than price charts. If you start counting nodes, some cryptos look weak. The strength of these networks ultimately depends on the node counts and geographic distribution. So I think crypto developers and chart data portals should look at node count growth. Node count charts are necessary to see what’s growing in strength and what’s losing traction. Then, incentive to strengthen these networks becomes a higher priority.
How could a cryptocoin gain 1000s of nodes quickly? I would like to see an easy-to-install background process, that’s easy to configue for CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu, to cover the majority of web servers already out there. Make it easier to set up nodes to collect transaction fees and preserve the blockchains. Translate and simplify the documentation. Background daemons could scale up connections at night when web traffic is lower. With a small footprint, nearly every web host with a VPS would want to install it.
The problem now as I see it, daemons like ppcoind and litecoind have no simple installation/configuration instructions and the financial incentive is nonexistent or not really explained or emphasized. Dash does reward nodes with transaction fees, and they likewise have a relatively strong network of nodes, but now the barrier to entry is too high since Dash coins have increased in value, raising the cost to host a node. If Dash is successful, nodes become prohibitively expensive and the network can’t grow, exactly when it needs to grow. But if nodes are too affordable, there’s something called a Sybil attack aka the “nodes vs. noses” problem. In any case, I believe node count will be the highest priority going forward. Geographic distribution is important too, to serve remote areas where this technology is needed most.
People talk about crypto prices going “too the moon,” but let’s say a cryptocoin is suddenly worth $10k and there’s a mad rush in. That’s when crypto networks could experience real stress. There’s no doubt, crypto will go mainstream worldwide with the rise of mobile phones, where everyone has a QR code reader in their pocket, not to mention negative interest rates, inflation, and the inherent benefits of the technology besides ease of use. Sooner or later you’ll want more nodes distributed geographically. Not so much for performance, but for resilience.