I recently wanted to see how many open Monero nodes are available on the network, and I was a bit surprised to find out that there are less than 10k nodes worldwide ( some online sources I checked quote less than 3k active open nodes).
I am not an expert, but it seems a bit strange that solo mining and securing the network is actively incentivized through mining rewards, and yet running open nodes isn't. Is there a reason why running nodes is not incentivized in terms of emissions? When I think about it, if Monero really is a long term project, then it is already clear that in 10-20 years, downloading and syncing a node might take weeks if not months, having large numbers of distributed copies of the blockchain should be prioritized and incentivized **today**, so that in the future the network is robust and distributed enough.
Having wide distributions of nodes in the future seems like more of a problem than the actual cryptographic side of things, in 10 -20 years the number of honest actors willing to run a node will probably stagnate without some kind of incentive like mining gets.
Am I in the wrong here somehow? It just occurred to me that so far in 7 years we have \~100GB chain which took me personally quite a while to sync and download, and the number of open nodes is pretty limited, a state which might actually get worse as we progress into the future.