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I came across this fantastic real-time data-visualization site for Cardano: Cardano Blockchain Insights.

My question is: why have the missing blocks increased by so much? Epoch 347 is due to some known pools, but why is there a general trend since circa Epoch 270? Some hypotheses:

  1. Is it because there are simply more pools, so it's harder to broadcast blocks before the next block comes up?
  2. Is it because more people are using barebones metal servers, so connections are less reliable than cloud services?
  3. Is it because more people are using cloud services, so there's more congestion in the cloud? (Sounds unlikely to me but just want to get some ideas)
  4. Maybe the trend is due to some pool operators? (Don't want to lay the blame on anyone but it's one possibility)
  5. Should we worry about it? Will the decline affect the long-term prosepct of Cardano?

Thanks!

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I can give you my opinion on the argument, but please note that I'm not assuming to have enough data to give you 100% guarantee mine are the reasons this is appening.

I will focus more on your first option and I'll give you some counter arguments for the other 3 (and then your final question).

option 2 and option 3 should not be relevant in terms of missed blocks, afterall some people succeeded running a cardano-node on mobile (this happened also more recently, I just couldn't find the more recent source)

I'd exclude option 4 since some operators not acting correctly wouldn't be enough for an upper trend, on top of being more damaging for the operator itself

option 1

Is it because there are simply more pools, so it's harder to broadcast blocks before the next block comes up

I think it is because there are more pools but not for the reason you gave, I say so because Ouroboros is designed to broadcast a block so that at least half the network knows about it in 1~2 second from the creation and the majority of the active chain in 5 seconds at worse.

I think it is because there are more pools because in this scenario height battles are more probable to happen, those are not rare events as you could see by spending 5 minutes on https://pooltool.io/realtime

If my idea is correct this should not worry you as ouroboros is designed to handle "small forks" quickly

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  • Well it should not worry us in regards to network stability, but what about "the higher the amount of missed blocks by SPOs the lower rewards for stakers"?
    – eddex
    Jul 5 at 6:34
  • Thank you. I'll leave the question open to discussions.
    – Jiageng
    Jul 23 at 20:13

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