Factom is a decentralized data integrity protocol that extends blockchain’s immutability and security to any form of data. To decentralize the protocol, there will eventually be 65 Authority Node Servers run by 65 Authority Node Operator (ANO) companies. To incentivize the companies to decentralize the protocol and enable them to pay their bills, the protocol rewards them with 1,123 FCT per month, per server, minus efficiency*. With the increasing popularity of the protocol and thus the potential for substantial increase in Factoid (FCT – the native token of the protocol) value, becoming an ANO is becoming increasingly popular and competitive.
Anyone can apply to become an ANO, the hard part is getting elected in competition with other teams applying. So far there have been two rounds of elections;
The application process is described in Governance Doc 104 – Authority Server Application Process.
The document will be updated prior to the next application round but the Factom Guides have not yet decided when that round will be. Estimates have been in the range of 3-5 months away from the time of this post. In the meantime, if you are interested, it is suggested you look into getting on board our testnet to get acquainted with operating Authority servers. If you need help or want to simply interact with the community, join us on Discord or in our forum.
Finally, you should also take a look at the Factom Google Governance drive located here. In The folder “Governance and admin” you find the Factom Governance document which describes how the protocol operates.
* An ANO’s “efficiency” is the percentage of FCT they set to forego receiving from the protocol as they don’t need it to operate because they are so “efficient”. This FCT instead goes into the Factom protocol grant pool. You can see the current ANO efficiency rates here.