I investigated the current statistics for a number of blockchains to ascertain their level of decentralisation

Are your crypto investments as centralised or decentralised as you think?

Are your crypto investments as centralised or decentralised as you think? Here are some current statistics to consider to help you decide on your answer to this question.

First, some quick definitions…

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**Centralisation**

Centralisation implies that the power to manage, control, and oversee a certain entity, like a state or a currency, is concentrated around a single or limited numbers of authority. Only a few people are needed to impact massive change to a centralised product.

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**Decentralisation**

Decentralisation is the opposite of centralisation, where the powers that organize a certain structure are distributed so that no one position controls the entire structure. Many, many people are needed to impact any change in a decentralised setup.

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**Validators**

A crypto validator is a participant in a blockchain responsible for verifying transactions. When it determines the accuracy of a transaction, the validator adds it to the distributed ledger. This way, the legitimacy of the blockchain and, subsequently, its transparent functioning remain intact. The more validators a blockchain has, the more decentralised it is.

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**Nakamoto Coefficient**

The “Nakamoto coefficient” is a metric coined by Balaji Srinivasan and named after Bitcoin’s creator, and is defined as the smallest number of validators who cumulatively stake 33% of the network’s staked tokens. In theory, depending on the network’s consensus mechanism, a collusion of these validators would be able to censor the network’s transactions or halt it altogether.

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I looked through a number of statistics, reports and research papers. The current values for various blockchains are difficult to determine as the numbers are always changing, but I’ve tried to include the accurate numbers as best I can. Sources below.

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|Blockchain|Validators/Nodes|Nakamoto Coefficient|
|:-|:-|:-|
|Bitcoin|14,400|\~8000|
|Ethereum|410,499|\*Unable to be determined|
|Cardano|3500|22|
|Solana|1865|27|
|Avalanche|1297|27|
|Polkadot|297|82|
|Binance|21|7|
|Cosmos|175|7|
|Polygon|98|3|
|Near|71|7|

The Nakamoto Coefficient for Ethereum is technically ‘3’ based on the calculation, but as the setup for how validators is so different for Ethereum, it is much more complicated to determine. Estimates for the NC seem to range from 1000 to 3000.

Sources: [Crypto Validators]( [Nakamoto Coefficient]( [Crosstower]( [Ultimate validators]( [Bitcoin]( [Beaconchain]( [Nodewatch]( [Rated]( [Cardano]( [Solana]( [Avalanche]( [Binance](

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So what values stand out as the most surprising or concerning for you? Does your own research marry up to these values? Has there been some significant changes since you last looked?

And most importantly, are the above projects as centralised/decentralised as you thought?

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EDIT: Wow, judging by the downvotes, Cardano fans are not very happy.

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14 thoughts on “I investigated the current statistics for a number of blockchains to ascertain their level of decentralisation”

  1. Nakamoto coefficient is less important for POS.

    If 2-3 attackers were censoring transactions, it would be fairly straightforward to use community consensus to fork away their stake via a hardfork.

    Reply
  2. Ethereum does not look good when it finally merges over to a proof of stake network.

    Nakamoto Coefficient will be about 3 to 4.

    Reply
  3. Fair call.

    But the thing is PoS is based on stake.

    Validators for big value crypto in most circumstances arent gona be Bob in his garage. Theyre gona be major data centres, corporations, server farms that run multi million dollar hardware.

    They still dont usually hold the larger staked amount. They have staking pools. If people dont like the consensus they stake with a dif pool.

    If Bob was running it from his garage, his mum catching him watchin porn might impact the network.

    Reply
  4. Just learning about this, but aren’t there a ton of other factor? Like the lightning network for btc, doesn’t it theoretically add another layer of control with its own coefficient?

    Reply
  5. Bitcoin 8000, ha ha ha.

    Sure those 3 Mining pools with >51% of hash power don’t matter.

    Nor the fact that hash power is relevant. not number of nodes.

    Reply
  6. Cardano fans are only happy if you’re talking about the wild benefits of UTXO in a very hopeful manner, while not actually being hopeful. It’s also best if you don’t mention, and probably don’t even realize, BTC is UTXO.

    (tips for your next post)

    Reply

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