First we need to have a whole picture of who and how use Tor and who and how can be against this. Because agencies are still control network so just having community exit nodes might be not enough.
Tor may be used by criminals but here we have nuances. For example someone wants to buy cannabis and they aren't really dangerous criminals. But drug sellers may be really dangerous people. And they may also sell heroin or weapons. But those people will host their website on some paid server somewhere on Caribbeans and probably they anyway have a clearnet version.
But from what I see they just creating chats and drug users somehow know how to find them. So as far I understood the Tor is not actively used for this.
Real hackers also doesn't use Tor for attacks and similarly they have own botnets.
So probably most usage is just to bypass blocking of adult websites, paranoiacs, business peoples who trying keep a commercial secrets and discussions, and just regular people who use it to bypass CGNAT and get an access to their computer or router.
Most regular people just use VPN and they don't really looking for anonymity but just to unblock access. Using the Tor for them doesn't really work because it's slow and not convenient because you need to install some additional app. In this regard the Brave browser the only who built-in the Tor support. Why even Firefox still didn't it puzzling me.
So IMHO today a good UX and simple tools for end users are more important than more exit nodes. The speed of Tor network today is impressively good.
You can just create an article install Tor VPN and many people who are looking for a VPN may start using the Tor even without understanding what it is.
But it's really annoying to browse internet because you will be blocked or asked for a captcha on many websites. This also needs to be solved somehow. Maybe we can just push website owners to not block Tor but be more smart instead. It's nearly to impossible to make a DDoS attack over Tor but a website anyway needs to track suspicious user activity and it's reputation.
Given how many users today are using VPNs the blocking of Tor exit nodes makes little sense.
Exit nodes have to be runned ether by someone who doesn't care about possible legal issues (1) or by an organization that is ready for that (2).
In case of 1 individual this can be a "white hacker" (not really) who got an access to someones computer/router, or bough a hosting with a stolen credit card or even created a malware. E.g. in this case he doesn't care about consequences.
In case of 2 an organization that may be some hacker space/club or university, journalists association or a political party most likely Pirate party, Libertarian, Anti-capitalists or any opposition.
Speaking about increasing relays I think we may have some solutions.
The Tor needs to be made as lightweight library and built in into many products. For example into routers that many people have always online and some potion of them would be nice to make a Tor relay there if it won't consume all the bandwidth.
I already asked about this in dev-list:
As a side question: is it possible to make a small relay proxy that
can work part time when I sleep?
Imagine that each router already has a Tor. This is potentially
thousands of relay nodes and all of them have a motivation to support
the network which they are using themselves.
But users don’t want to lose bandwidth. I see that I can set some
traffic or bandwidth limits.
But maybe I can write some script that will enable or disable the
relay by schedule in the evening.
As far I know relays must be always online so this will make the relay
unstable and it won’t be used by Tor.
Is it technically possible?
It's a cool idea, but it's not something we support with our current
design. To deliver good performance to users, we need relays to have
good, fast, reliable connections. Having a relay that drops off the
network once a day, or that changes its capabilities too frequently,
doesn't really work so well (as I understand it). This is an area
where others understand the design space better, though, so maybe
somebody will figure something out.
So we need to solve a difficult technical things in order to achieve this.
But even today it would be possible to make the Tor installed by default in OpenWrt or even Ubuntu and ask a user to turn a relay during installation. This kind of advertisement can give more nodes without any problems. Many users already know about the Tor but they just not thought to run their own relay.
Last but not least: we can go further and make all users as relays by default. Similarly to Torrent when users downloading a file many of them even don't realize that they become seeders.
Basically including Tor into a Crypto wallets or Torrent clients may be a good composition and may be appreciated by users. For example WebTorrent is a successful project that used WebRTC to share files directly with browsers and this similar to Tor Snowflake project.
In the similar way previously worked Skype and there was p2p Super Nodes and regular users might become a relay. Chat applications is a good place were the Tor can be used.
There was a p2p VPN that was popular but they simply didn't tell users that they become an exit nodes and it was closed. See Mental Outlaw: 911 Residential Proxy about their story. The fact that they worked for so long really wonders. This not something that the Tor should follow but anyway it shows that basically most users didn't really bothered that they were an exit node and everything was mostly fine. If they were just a relay this will never even discussed.