The Orbs network was launched and opened to public participation at the end of March 2019 alongside the distribution of the ORBS token to private sale purchasers. The following report highlights the main developments in the Orbs Proof-of-Stake (PoS) ecosystem based on accumulated data for the first six weeks.
The Orbs core team is excited that so many participants have already joined the Orbs community and begun making crucial contributions to the security, operation, and development of the Orbs network.
Disclaimer - the data that serves as the basis for the findings of this report was gathered from various sources, as noted throughout the document. Naturally, due to the pseudonymous nature of the Ethereum blockchain, there is definitely some potential margin of error in conducting such analysis.
In the Orbs Universe, the Delegators assign their voting power to the Guardians, who, in turn, participate in Validator election on their behalf (DPoS). Growing delegated stake shows increasing interest in participating in the Orbs ecosystem:
Acquired stake (from Exchanges) and delegation over time
We are witnessing a growing interest in acquiring ORBS tokens on exchanges for the purpose of delegating them to participate in the Orbs Universe.
This analysis is based on collecting known addresses of cryptocurrency exchanges from various online sources (Etherscan, Bloxy) and employing basic heuristics on address activities. The tokens retrieved from exchanges that changed their delegation status were identified.
The following graph shows the percentage of the delegated stake of tokens acquired on exchanges:
Based on our findings we can see that significant amounts of ORBS tokens acquired and retrieved from exchanges are delegated and participate in the Orbs PoS ecosystem. We believe this shows growing community education and interest, with a focus on long-term participation in the network (as opposed to speculation).
Decentralization of token holdings in public blockchain is critical to the health and sustainability of the network. Decentralization increases network security by reducing the risk of collusion between participating parties. For example, a more even distribution of stake between a growing number of token holders reduces the risk of a small number of token holders having too much of an influence over the network and creating a cartel. Similarly, a growing number of Guardians, with an evener voting weight distribution between them, increases the confidence of ecosystem participants that a small group of Guardians won’t be able to collude and take over the network governance.
In the current PoS model, Guardians vote frequently to exclude misbehaving Validators from the network. A Validator that was voted out by 70% of the participating vote over a course of 3 elections cycles will be removed from the Validators list.
The diagram below indicates how many different addresses hold the top 70% of delegated ORBS tokens, which means the minimal number of Delegators needed to reach the threshold of 70% of delegated stake in order to vote out a Validator:
We see a growing distribution of the delegated stake, thus increasing the decentralization.
In addition to the delegated stake, we also analyzed the distribution of ORBS token holdings. A significant portion of ORBS tokens is being held at exchanges (see above), which obscure the number of holders and their stakes. Thus, for this analysis, we focused on ORBS holdings out of exchanges.
The metric we chose is how many different addresses hold 80% of ORBS tokens in circulation, which we measured over time:
We see that over time the holdings are distributed between more and more parties - currently, over 600 addresses hold 80% of ORBS float.
The initial number of community organizers indicates the commitment of large private sale holders to the network long-term. The later growths show an increased organic interest for creating new communities around the Orbs PoS Universe.
Guardian weight change over time
Guardians are soliciting appointments from Delegators to vote on their behalf in Validators elections. An interesting metric of decentralization is the Guardian voting weight over time relative to the overall voting weight.
The following chart shows that the voting power of Guardians becomes more evenly distributed over time:
The Guardians have a central role in the Orbs Universe. They monitor the performance of the Validators to vote out misbehaving ones, and they also organize the Delegator communities and represent their interest.
Since the Orbs network launch, Guardians have developed tools to educate the Delegators and further ease the delegation process, translated Orbs material to various languages, created new communication channels and, perhaps most important, diligently participated in the voting process.
Some examples of Guardians activities:
Paradigm Fund is a Moscow-based technology fund, engaging in deep research of blockchain technology projects and participating accordingly. They researched the Orbs project, (team, technology etc.) and chose the Orbs project over alternatives. They are among Orbs Universe Guardians and have created tools to grow the ecosystem, such as website templates for new Guardians, Guardians communication channel and delegation scheduler.
A Korean crypto group engaged in multiple activities in the blockchain space. They are among the Orbs Universe Guardians and have developed a Telegram-based delegation bot, which makes it very easy for Delegators to delegate and get information and updates about Orbs.
Orbs is an open source project with over 70 repositories publicly available on GitHub under the MIT license. An important indication of a project’s success is the level of technological engagement by the community in the development of various modules, components, and tools to enable a more versatile, robust and easier operation of the entire ecosystem.
We already see technical interest both from Validators, who aim to make Orbs node operation smoother and cheaper and from Guardians, who develop tools for the community.
The reference implementation provided by Orbs includes tools to deploy the Orbs Validator node on AWS. Several Validators expressed interest in further developing the tools to support node operation on their own infrastructure.
One Validator operates several data-centers around the world and has developed and implemented a toolchain to deploy the Orbs node on a bare-metal server.
Another Validator developed an alternative deployment procedure to deploy the Orbs node on any server and is planning on sharing the solution with the other Validators to provide an alternative deployment option reducing operational costs.
Both intend to share their developed tools and procedures with the community.
Orbs is a growing project that has already garnered significant interest and participation in its ecosystem in the first six-weeks since launch. We find growing participation both from Delegators, who hold and acquire ORBS to participate in the PoS model and from Guardians and Validators, who join the ecosystem and create tools to improve it.
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