according to the Tezos ICO paper (it has no name), “holders of Tezzies are free to be their own delegate if they so desire”. In addition, the paper clearly states that “the computing requirements to become a validator are relatively lightweight but a robust, high-speed internet connection is required, plus running a proof-of-stake node also requires more operational security than mining”. It seems to me as more and more “professional” delegates are popping up, offering their services as validator for a certain fee. I am wondering why and if this is a good development for the Tezos ecosystem. Assuming that delegation of validation probably also means delegation of voting rights, those rights would eventually end up in the hands of a few, highly-competitive validators who then control the Tezos network. This is the Bitcoin scenario we are facing today and this is exactly what Tezos wanted to prevent from the very beginning. To be stable, shouldn’t a network be as diversified as possible, meaning there should be many nodes/participants with diverse interests and views. This makes a healthy ecosystem. I’d like to run my own node, but feel like this won’t be possible as I need my own IT department to do so or at least considerable techie skills. I am willing to spend money to get some decent hardware and also a faster internet connection, but I need a non-techie manual in order to set up the system and I really hope that there will be such a manual.
I work with chainomatic and we offer exactly this. I was the one who ran the first Tezos baker in Singapore, baking was on a Raspberry Pi (not recommended in production). You view the web page about it here, pi.chainomatic.com
We will be opening up our site this month for much excitement with all of us.
I hope we can help you @Pyromania_blue