The Decentralization Matrix

By Scott Cunningham | Crypto & Things | 22 Apr 2022

It’s become more apparent to me that there is no clear definition of decentralization and there are so many factors that there is no way to easily classify something as decentralized.!/v/scottcbusiness/QmSsf5AUDy7GBzP53VR4QGee1DHWU9V1FicL4MMBbyJqom

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I’ve decided to create a matrix that will serve as a reference to accurately determine if something is decentralized and to what degree on a spectrum. This is particularly being made with blockchain social platforms in mind, but I’m sure most elements could be applied to other projects.


  • Can anyone monetize?
  • Is there a KYC process?
  • Are the tokenomics of the system sustainable?
  • Do they have a terms and conditions?
    • Do they have something like a “we always still retain the right to ban you” clause?
  • Do they sell premium features
    • Are they payable without KYC?
  • Are there “back-doors” or super administrative users that could log into or manipulate a user’s account in some way?
  • What is the initial token distribution/was there a pre-mine or ninja-mine?
  • What is the ratio of tokens staked vs liquid tokens? How many people are staking?
  • Number of core developers?
  • Can you self-host content and or utilize peer to peer technology?
  • Number of decentralized application (dapp) developers?
  • Can anyone post content and participate? (Is it invite-only)
  • Can anyone develop third party applications/tools/services for the platform?
  • How challenging/easy is it to fork or clone?
  • How is privacy handled?
  • Is it open source?
  • How concentrated is the wealth of the ecosystem?
  • Is their cryptocurrency an actual cryptocurrency?
  • Does it support and uphold free speech?
  • How are moderation and censorship cases handled?
    • Do they go after copyrighted material?
  • Is the governance decentralized?
    • Is it a DAO?
    • Is there a company and or CEO behind the project?
    • Is voting transparent while also protecting privacy?
    • Is there anything protecting the governance model from an attack?
  • Does the project actually use and integrate with a blockchain?
    • How many nodes are there?
    • How distributed are the nodes?
    • What’s the barrier of entry to start a node?
    • Are they incentivized fairly without over concentrating wealth to the top nodes?
  • Does it use Amazon Web Services, Google, Cloudflare, or another service that could create a single point of failure?
  • How many of these factors are trustless versus policies/promises?


Some further questions can be considered to further determine if that platform is also a decent one.

  • Is it free to use?
  • Does it have working media functionality?
  • Are the load times reasonable?
  • Is it easy to sign up?
  • Is there a decent sized community?
  • Are there language filters?
  • Do you have to download something to use it?
  • Does it have a mobile application?


Did I get anything way wrong? Am I missing anything? What is the best way to measure if something is decentralized? Should decentralization even be the goal? Let me know what you think about this in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe!


*Disclaimer: This is not financial advice and is purely for entertainment purposes. What you see, hear, or read is my personal opinion, and any statements made are based on my views and should not be misconstrued as fact. My crypto portfolio may or may not be simulated*


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Scott Cunningham
Scott Cunningham

I am the host of Crypto & Things and a huge social blockchain enthusiast using what I believe to be the next level of social communication. I make educational content, review platforms, and interview cool people. Links:

Crypto & Things
Crypto & Things

I am the host of Crypto & Things and a huge social blockchain enthusiast using what I believe to be the next level of social communication. I make educational content, review platforms, share my passive & crypto income journey, and most importantly, I get the opportunity to interview and chat with so many amazing people in the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and tech space every week and share it all with you. Links:

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