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If payments for RAM go to the network as a whole, what is the incentive for block producers to increase their physical RAM?

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BP's will want to increase the RAM available when the % of RAM used for applications reaches a significant percentage of the total RAM currently held.

For example, less than 2% of RAM is being used for real applications. That means that the majority of RAM is currently unused, people are just holding the option to use it.

When the RAM used by real contracts surpasses say half way (32GB) (which there is no exact way of telling because speculators could easily fill their RAM) then they would want to bump the RAM needed.

IPFS will likely be supported before that happens. IPFS is where files will be stored. Sites like steemit, and dtube currently use it. IPFS will be staked like NET/CPU. This will significantly bring down the need for developers to use RAM because we're currently using it for things that could be stored in IPFS. Less demand will mean a lower price with a consistent supply.

However, what Dan has just proposed they do for now is "grow the RAM at the rate of 64GB per year (1 KB per block)" . Dan has also suggested the idea of messing with the bancor algorithm which can only mean a few things. One is increasing / decreasing the CW (connector weight, see Bancor wp). The higher the CW, the less volatility (100% is stable like tether) and vice versa (10% would rise exponentially as supply is purchased).

There is also the idea of a relay and array token. These tokens could connect to the RAM market, like say ETH or BTC and provide more stability. They would add more stability by increasing the CW by adding more tokens to the connector balance.

(Bancor WP Link)


CW examples:

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  • Fantastic answer. But I still am not sure of the BP’s incentive to do a memory upgrade. Is it because presumably tx times would slow, due to paging, and they would lose votes because of this? – expaand Jul 4 '18 at 16:23
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    @Kabir The concept of swap in the modern computer systems is itself being phased out: arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/05/… - my 10 cents (EOS) proposition that the system would have random access memory with different latency buckets, so that inactive memory would be pushed further and futher in the latency lane until it hits a spinning disk or such (practically infinite storage). – Mikko Ohtamaa Jul 5 '18 at 7:53
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    @Kabir RAM will never reach full saturation because the price curve will become too steep. If BPs up the RAM GB then that will start an endless cycle of wanting to increase it. Less than 1GB is actually used for dapps today, so this ultimately wouldn't solve much. IPFS support should be here in a few months and that will remove the need to store a lot of what is stored in RAM today. Dan has suggested upping the CW to 50% which will have a more stable price curve as you can see in the 50% example above. – Nat Jul 5 '18 at 11:39
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    @Nat Kabir basically rephrased my question in the comments (using "swap" instead of "paging"). And if I read it correctly, he is saying "yes, swapping will use more CPU resources", so the BP might be voted out. – expaand Jul 5 '18 at 15:58
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    @Nat what paging and swap mean in this context is that BPs can technically have a node with less physical RAM than what is configured in the network, and if the chain storage goes above what they can store in their physical RAM, their node's OS will offload that into disk, which is slower, thus causing slower transactions and them being voted out (ideally). – Andres Berrios Jul 12 '18 at 18:15

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