The majority of 4,653 active Ethereum nodes are in the hands of centralized web providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), which could “expose Ethereum to central points of failure,” according to crypto analytics platform Messari.
A Monday post shows that three major cloud providers account for 69% of hosted nodes on the Ethereum Mainnet, with over 50% of that coming from Amazon Web Services (AWS), over 15% from Hetzner and 4.1% from OVH.
Figures from Ethernodes additionally show that Oracle (4.1%), Alibaba (3.9%) and Google (3.5%) also provide web hosting services on Ethereum.
While the distribution of cloud service providers becomes more decentralized among the bottom third of providers, Messari pressed the concern in a December 2020 report that the high-cost nature of node infrastructure may leave Ethereum vulnerable:
“High costs to run infrastructure make it more likely that nodes would run infrastructure with cloud computing providers (i.e AWS) - making Ethereum more exposed to central points of failure.”
Node distribution issues experienced by Solana are much the same, with Hetzner taking up 42% of hosted nodes on the Solana network, followed by OVH (26%) and AWS (3%).
Furthermore, Ethernode data also shows that nodes are most geographically concentrated in the United States (46.4%) and Germany (13.4%), accounting for nearly 60% of distributed Ethereum nodes worldwide. As such, government intervention from one of these two countries could severely impact Ethereum’s decentralization at the node level.