i think there will be 10,000+ profitable nodes (slightly profitable), but I think the biggest profits (and %APY) will be had by the ~10-20 biggest nodes. And then a constant churn of another 10,000 or so nodes who are unprofitable.
each node is itself a network, and the value of a network increases exponentially w/ the number of connections (metcalfe's law). which is why i think the top nodes will have a big advantage over the smaller nodes
can you expand on your thoughts on how the network will grow over the period of 5-10y? Extrapolating from your comment you see a small minority of nodes playing the role of core backbone and earning the most? My speculation is that we'll see a lot of smaller local clusters with localized economic activity, similar to what we can see today in internet routing or even banking - you have local branches who serve smaller populations who facilitate a partially circular economy.
The way network was growing since inception wasn't a reflection of where there was an actual need for liquidity or any real economic activity, this has started to shift in the last 1-2years but i still think that with wider adoption we'll see a lot more nodes and players in the space serving smaller populations (from villages and cities to maybe regions) not globally, specially with the growing pains of regulation and uncertainty in that direction, but also from a pure practical standpoint of simplicity (being hyperconnected to where you spend/earn the most)