I was reading a bit through the docs, and came across the section about preventing farming centralization. Apparently the farming reward does not scale linearly with the resources a farmer provides to the network. Instead it uses a sigmoid curve which penalizes bigger and smaller nodes This is supposed to prevent centralization in farming nodes.
I want to argue that this actually will not reduce centralization, rather it will promote duplicate accounts/nodes and if it has any effect on centralization it will more likely increase centralization rather than decrease it, depending on the measures taken to restrict account creation.
Lets say my hardware provides 10x the network average of resources, but only gives me 3x the reward, whats my incentive to not run 10 nodes, each providing the network average of resources, giving me 10x the average reward?
First there is a fee on account creation, this will have little effect as it merely adds a one time investment which will be paid back by the increased farming yield over time.
Then there can be technical restrictions at the protocol level: one node pr ip, some kind of hardware signature. I have even seen discussion on proof of uniqueness at the protocol level.
So lets say we put in some mechanism that makes it more difficult to run several nodes on one computer, or on one ip address. The what and how is not so relevant here, my assumption is that there will always be a way to get around any such mechanism, and at the same time they will put restrictions on legitimate uses of new accounts.
So what will happen here from an economic perspective: Lets say i have the means (time & money) to research an efficient way to spoof the mechanism and invest time in setting up my network/computers that allows me run the optimal amount of nodes to give me the highest possible farming reward.
I have basically made a one time investment which allows me to get a higher yield on the resources i provide compared to a regular users with above average amount of farming capacity. And the higher the difficulty of spoofing will only cause a smaller group to get a better advantage, basically promoting economies of scale.
So to sum it up, the sigmoid function by itself will only promote “duplicate” accounts which gives us a false view of the actual network topology (100 nodes on one computer).
Adding restrictions to account creation will merely benefit those with the means to get around these restrictions, while imposing restriction on possible unforeseen legitimate uses of multiple accounts.
would like to hear your thoughts. and to clarify, im not so worried about this as an attack vector, only how it skews the economy and adds unnecessary complexity with no real gain.