Insightful post. Nice to see new people pop in and immediately get with the game.
I do not think it would be onerous to have an approved hardware list if its focused on specs and brands. Going by model would be impossible, the processor list would be hundreds, maybe thousands. It would be a good opportunity to implement some of the hardware requirements that have been discussed but not implemented in the code. Especially considering the number of servers that could sell.
I realize this is straying from the intent of the thread and should be discussed elsewhere, but there are some simple requirements that come to mind. Set a limit of TBW, 600 TBW per tb of SSD seems to be the line between low and high grade SSDs. Implement the 1000 passmark per core. Also limit everything to trusted brands. There are not a lot, even for SSD’s, less than 10. RAM is only made by three companies (everything else is rebranded). Only 2 companies make CPU’s that are not garbage. Requirements should be laxed for certain areas of course (hence the geo-restrict I proposed earlier).
As far as pricing goes there a two points. Having more sellers than Helium (there was only 3 or 4 for over a year) will reduce that risk to some degree as there will be more competition. Unlike Helium, the DIY option remains, Helium miners literally had no choice. If prices for “plug and earn” are too high for someone they can always DIY. There is a surprising amount of hidden cost in manufacturing and selling, plus the costs of support and warranty, as ThreeFold has clearly found out! So while TFT per $ will improve compared to the current Titan, there will remain a strong incentive to DIY to those inclined to do so. Even though no one has shown more people how to DIY than me, I’m sure someone will accuse me of being a capitalist pig in the future.
Sorry Chris for completely derailing your thread.