NEO published a document on their official blog yesterday that details just how they intend on decentralizing the network in 2019.
The release explains that the NEO MainNet consists of seven consensus nodes. KPN, a Netherlands-based telecommunications company, and open-source community group City of Zion host one node each. The remaining five are hosted by the NEO Foundation in various parts of the world.
“Governance of the NEO network currently consists of two methods: on-chain governance and off-chain governance. On-chain governance is election through the votes of NEO holders, whilst off-chain governance relies on election through the support of the NEO Foundation. In the near term, the NEO Foundation will focus on promoting decentralization through off-chain governance. The goal is to accelerate the decentralization process in an orderly manner by delegating consensus nodes to reliable and trustworthy parties.”
While NEO’s model for decentralization may not fit the usual description, this is the process they have decided to go with nonetheless. They explain that the nodes that are added to the TestNet will replace ones currently being hosted by the NEO Foundation.
“With an open ecosystem that allows organizations to launch and operate an independent node, NEO can accelerate its mission of creating a “smart economy” powered by blockchain technology,” said Peter Lin, Director of Research and Development at NEO. “By the end of 2019, the team will add other independent consensus nodes, demonstrating NEO's commitment to becoming more decentralized and open.”