Nodes – required to verify blocks and store transactions on the blockchain – are often hosted by cloud service providers. Any participant can set up a node over a cloud host to keep the network running.
According to Ethernodes.org data, around 60% of all the nodes on the network are hosted by a cloud service provider, followed by residential services at approx 35%.
Yesterday, W3bCloud co-founder Maggie Love posted a tweet questioning the notion of decentralization on Ethereum when cloud services contribute to such a major portion of all hosted nodes, with the single largest provider AWS (Amazon Web Services) accounting for over 50% of nodes.
Germany-based Hetzner, second in the list with almost 17% share, responded to the tweet by posting a link to a Reddit thread that outlines the company’s policies around Ethereum nodes.
In the thread, Hetzner said that its services are not meant for hosting anything related to crypto. “Using our products for any application related to mining, even remotely related, is not permitted. This includes Ethereum. It includes proof of stake and proof of work and related applications. It includes trading,” posted the company.
It’s still not clear how long the policy has been in place or how strictly it was being enforced since Hetzner has a large share in hosting Ethereum nodes.
To this, the company said, “we are aware that there are many Ethereum users currently at Hetzner, and we have been internally discussing how we can best address this issue.”
The development comes on the heels of the recent ban on crypto mixer Tornado Cash by the U.S. Department of Treasury that sparked a debate over the utility of nodes powering the network.
If anything, the debate is expected to amplify post the Merge.