LONG TERM LOGISTICS of Hive – “Infrastructure – RPC Nodes”.

in Hive Improvement2 years ago (edited)

So as to ensure that everyone gets the relevant info for this topic, here is a very basic run down of the economics of Hive printing/inflation, distribution and rough values which will help anyone not familiar with them.

Block Production and HIVE (currency) Production/printing.

A Hive block production cycle occurs every 63 seconds.

During one cycle the top 20 witnesses all sign blocks.
& 1 backup witness (non top20) takes a turn to sign one block.
A top 20 Witness gets to sign one block every 63 seconds.
A top 20 Witness signs 3600 * 24 / 63 = 1371 blocks per day.

A top 20 Witness receives only 0.228 HIVE per signed block.
While a backup Witness receives 1.142 HIVE per signed block.

So a top20 witness on Hive roughly earns 9,300 HIVE per month.
or somewhere in the figure of under 114,000 HIVE annually.

Note: ALL of the fore-mentioned HIVE is automatically staked, aka "HIVE POWER (HP)",
so it must be powered down for it to be liquid "spendable".
The powering down process takes 13 weeks for a full 100% completion.

Staked funds earn “interest” while liquid funds don’t.

i.e. locked up funds in a fixed term “high yield/interest rate” savings account (Staked) vs a regular spend when needed type of bank account with a debit card (Liquid).

How are the new HIVE coins distributed?
65% goes to the reward pool, which is shared between content creators & curators.
15% of the new coins are awarded to holders of Hive Power-HP (Stake).
10% of the new coins are deposited to the Decentralized Hive Proposal account.
10% goes to our witnesses.

There is approximately 26 HIVE printed/produced every 3 seconds (per block).
Note: the printing rates aka "inflation" decreases by 0.5% annually, so the numbers here are rough figures, not down to the cent/penny!
All in all, many millions of HIVE printed annually.

Once printed, these coins are all there, they are all in existence.

None of them are magically "not accounted for" in the economics of currency inflation.

Why I say that is because some people seem to have an illusion that if those funds are not being utilized that this may in some way change the laws of inflation.
Then again, not all of us have had to deal with these types of topics, nor should we expect everyone in this world to read up on it. No matter how important it may be.
We have seen many discussions in the past, but none of them change the laws of inflation.
HIVE IS A CURRENCY. It is not an "apple or a mobile phone".

For those who see the terms/names “Hive” and “HIVE”, but are not sure why one is in all caps & the other isn’t:

Hive = the blockchain

HIVE = one of our two native currencies. (The other currency being HBD)

Some rough figures:
The total number of HIVE vs the current figure of almost 5 BILLION people on the internet.
There is currently about 400 MILLION HIVE printed to date.
= 0.08 HIVE per person.
In twenty years that total could be a little closer to the real needs of people and practical figures for usage = spending. So that people are not calculating in decimals, but round figures. HIVE is a currency that brings crypto to the world, not only to “traders”.
Likewise, the printed HIVE, as is clearly shown above, is also intended to serve for the long term needs of our chain.

Note: The relevant basics/points on the above topics, for this post have been stated.

The above facts had to be stated so as to make sure everyone can now get into the reality of the long term NEEDS of Hive.


Long Term Requirements of Hive – RPC Nodes.

RPCs are the communication centres of Hive.
Everything anyone sends to the chain, goes through a RPC node.
Without this node, nothing anyone types out there on any front end would be on the chain.


& the only thing that is relevant on the role of an RPC node for the following suggestion.

Justification in accordance with the above facts:

Owning, renting and running a RPC node is no “cheap” thing.
& a fair amount of time.
Add to that, the fact that the vast majority of people who do run a RPC node are in fact coders, who in that field earn anything from $50 to over $200 per hour. So each hour invested into maintaining a RPC node does have a comparable value to it.
Until we see a reliable foolproof “RPC in a box” as what we have “Hive in a box” (Witness node setup package, by @someguy123) RPC nodes will be solely dependent on people with a firm and sound foundation in the relevant technical fields.

Which brings me to the reality of things, for the long term logistics of Hive:

Those that run and maintain RPC nodes are not getting anything for it.

It IS NOT the role nor duty of a Witness to run and maintain a RPC node.
Many of us (including myself) in the past when our native currency was at $1 to $5, seem(ed) to justify the notion that Witnesses should/must run RPC nodes because of the huge earnings.
Well, that was back in the day, mea culpa.

RPC nodes have absolutely NOTHING to do with running a Witness node.
“Apples and oranges” as often said.

Yet, the costs to run a RPC node (aka “Full Node”) far exceed that of running a Witness Node.

However, there is no set budget in the economics of Hive (the distribution of printed HIVE) to stimulate or incentivize anyone to run a RPC node.

I will go so far as to say that this is yet another “gap” in the system, left over from the old way of doing things in which a long term vision was restricted and haltered by a centralized body and those who did not understand the concept of “abundance”, let alone the idea of “sharing the wealth”.

We (imo) have only one logical long term option to fix this:

Reconsider the distribution figures in a way that takes into consideration the long term infrastructure needs of Hive. Particularly the need for RPC nodes.
The amounts of Hive printed are “plentiful”, so there should be no reason to think about this in any way that is only about “here and now” or the “me, myself and I” thought pattern.

FACT: Not enough RPC nodes to handle the future apps and second layer options on Hive = FAIL.
A crystal clear potential BREAKDOWN of everything.

No, I am not dramatizing.
It is inevitable if we do not cover all the technical/infrastructure logistics of Hive.
We must not leave this to “chance”.

Every time anyone says “we need more investors” or “we need more apps” etc.
It seems to always come back to “Who” and not “How”.
The answer to “Why” is clear to everyone, yet somehow, we seem to forget that we have an inevitable potential for a breakdown in the infrastructure needed to accommodate for/to the needs of millions of people utilizing Hive.

I will leave it there, for now.
All I humbly ask is that you “Think about it”.

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While we don't have a pre-ready "RPC node in a box" like our Hive node-in-a-box packages, we do have a dedicated server with 4x 1TB NVMe's that's aimed at the high storage requiements of an account history RPC node + Hivemind:


Currently costs $130/mo

There is approximately 1,600 to 1,700 HIVE printed/produced every 3 seconds (per block).

Are you sure thats correct? That would mean that we are making nearly 50 million Hive a day and the supply of Hive is just about 420M.

My math: 1700 Hive per block * (86400 seconds in a day /3 seconds per block) = 48,960,000 Hive per day.

My bad, 26 HIVE every 3 seconds.
Had too many numbers in front of me on way too many docs open all at once.


Thanks for the catch.

Maybe it is time to "take a day off and relax by a BBQ and lake" as some would say "recharge the batteries" and get the mind/thoughts back on track/in order.

Maybe it is time to "take a day off and relax by a BBQ and lake" as some would say "recharge the batteries" and get the mind/thoughts back on track/in order.

I need a month of that :)
26 Hive every 3 seconds is a lot more resonable.

Thanks for insights. I am not a tech guy but i agree completely that in order to handle masses and apps coming along we need nodes. It is a good suggestion to reserv a part of inflation for node runners to incentivise them. I would also like to know opinion or top witnesses, and what they think about problem and a proposed solution.


Nice article and I 100% agree on the importance of RPC (API) nodes but I must take issue with a number of facts and conclusions.

The cost or running a full API node (or RPC node) has dropped by orders of magnitude as the Hive code efficiency has increased, RAM requirements have been reduced dramatically and fast NVME storage has become dirt cheap.

I have posted here about how an API node can be built for around $750.

The issue is not cost but technical complexity and lack of idiot proof documentation.

It IS NOT the role nor duty of a Witness to run and maintain a RPC node.

While technically correct - it is not a mandatory requirement - it is something that is increasingly factoring in who people vote for witness and this is a good thing.

Changing the reward balance to have the blockchain pay people for running API nodes is fraught with complexity and controversy.
In my view it is just better to create a voter expectation that high ranking witnesses (or anyone hoping to become one) will run an API node.

As a backup witness I am receiving a producer reward or either around 1.3 HP every time I witness a block (it varies slightly above or below for reasons I don't understand). A top 20 witness receives 0.258 HP.

The fact is that running a RPC is still much higher a cost than running a Witness node.

When we look at the distribution of printed HIVE it is clear that part of it is dedicated to the needs of the chains infrastructure.

So the precedent to the fundamental roles of the distribution of printed HIVE is there.

There is absolutely nothing preventing a Witness from running a RPC node. That option is open to anyone.

Why anyone would run one, is up to the individuals own reasoning. As you stated, it could be a part of their witness campaign, in the hope of getting "more witness votes".

We have seen in the past 3+ years that RPC nodes are constantly up and down and their up time could be a "measuring stick" for any such distribution of HIVE (as suggested above). Will not go further into the metrics of something that is not yet on the drawing board.

As for the figures, I pulled them up from old files I had. If they are not spot on to the cent, my bad, they are there to give a rough figure so that anyone who is not familiar with the generalities of how printed HIVE is distributed and for what.

Once again, the starting point for the above topic is "not leaving things to chance" and "covering all bases".

Once upon a time, in a distant centralized poophole that got pimped and sold out, there was a very shallow and extremely selfish mentality among so many people.

We now see that mentality being cut off slowly and the vision is not all about the "here and now" but rather the long term of things and it should include (but not be limited to) the long term requirements of our infrastructure requirements. Ensuring what is/shall be required for the days when there are millions of transactions per second.

& thanks for putting in the current figures, guess the inflation has somewhat affected some of the figures I listed. I must be getting "old" :)

It would be possible for witnesses to produce a feed of which API nodes are up (like the price-feed) based on automated API calls like @fullnodeupdate.

This could then be used to create a 22nd position in the witness rotation that went to witnesses running API nodes that were up according to consensus of these feeds.

Many things are possible, but I will emphasize again that there is no reason to restrict this to witnesses only.

Decentralization is also a key factor.

One example, simply for arguments sake:

A person may decide to run an app and have a node up and running with their app being primarily hooked up to their node (with an option to utilize a different node if theirs is down temporarily).
Yet that same person may not want to be a witness.

Decentralization calls for options to be available which are not restrictive. "Options are good" and diversification is a must for decentralization to be nurtured.

Seems to me that some DAO funds should go to this...really can’t understate the importance of full nodes, would be money spent on making sure the chain is stable (and exists at all).

Maybe someone (a neutral party) could do a general RPC proposal and the funds distributed through an escrow or a smart contract (trustless)? Seems like this would have a better chance than each RPC trying to get funding (I think most just take the brunt of the cost themselves anyway because they love this chain and wouldn’t even ask).


Comment 24/500

This has been done (somewhat) to date. However, it is not a long term solution to the reality of the needs when we get to the stage that millions of transactions are being done every second (even well before that stage).

There is plenty of HIVE being printed daily for it to be utilized for many things.

Unfortunately, we all tend to be somewhat affected by the fiat world we live in and as such seem to apply that approach or thought pattern when considering the future of crypto.

Hey, I am being very self critical when I say that.

However, lets start thinking more "long term". The DHF is not there for "infrastructure", nor was it ever intended for that. It is an answer to a decentralized means of stimulating the overall growth and diversification along with out right international utilization of Hive, HIVE and HBD.

One way that helps me get out of the totalitarian fiat frame of mind and get into the heart and soul of the crypto frame of mind is to look at the figures being printed and to simply ignore any fiat values.

When I do that, I see that millions of HIVE are being printed monthly, it is more than plenty HIVE to be utilized in a defined, hard coded manner which ensures our chain can accommodate to ALL the financial needs of all 5 BILLION people on the internet (and maybe even those who do not hang out much on the internet).

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Learn how to earn FREE BEER each day by staking your BEER.

Excelent logist Hive

Are you saying we should set one up 😁

Well, you know that we have been discussing that exact topic in the @fullalt team and that it is on the (meeting) agenda for review.

Now, after the last HF was approved and implemented, we can finally see where and how to fit that into our plans and road map for 2021/2022.

Running and maintaining a full node is a huge responsibility.
Which is exactly the point that needs to be emphasized to everyone in our Hive community.