DAO Appointed Board Observer Application

DAO Appointed Board Observer Application Details

  • Open: Now
  • Compensation: $25k per year in POKT (paid monthly) in POKT (using the trailing 7D average price)
  • Funding: The observer will be funded from PNF’s treasury.
  • Submission Deadline: End of day Wednesday, 28 February 2024
  • Decision Provided: End of day Friday 15 March 2024 (subject to the results of the DAO’s vote)

Submission details requested:

  • Why you want to join PNF’s board.
  • How your background and experience meets PNF’s identified talent needs or another need that PNF did not specify but you believe is important.
  • What you propose to contribute to the board and the wider POKT Network ecosystem.
  • How you plan to communicate with the DAO about your role and performance.

Submissions should be posted as replies to this thread. Submissions can be edited at any point up until the deadline.

The DAO may decide to appoint whomever they wish, provided that the submission is not for anyone else but themselves, is not spam, does not contain a personal attack, and aligns with POKT Network’s DNA.

See this post for an overview of the process, as well as some more background to why we are doing this.

And see below for some guidance on PNF’s identified talent needs after feedback from the broader community, as well as our own reflections over the last few months:

Need 1: Technical leader/visionary

  • Position: Technical Leader (Future Focused CTO concept) - Board Director (but can be an observer instead, depending on the circumstances)

  • Why We Need This: PNF needs to steward the ecosystem. A core component of this is to capitalise on opportunities presented by technology advancement (technical partnerships, commercial opportunities) and to protect the ecosystem from threats (Existential technical shifts, time and resources rabbitholes/graveyards). The Technical Leader will support the board by acting as the main technical lead within the foundation and act as a conduit to technical teams across the ecosystem. They will play a major role in product strategy and evangelism for the ecosystem.

  • Key Requirements:

    1. Knowledge: In-depth understanding of web3 ecosystem and blockchains, and particular knowledge of developer needs and trends
    2. Skills: Experienced as previous CTO or Technical leader of a web3 protocol, Excellent communicator and public speaker, Experienced leader ideally as a founder or founding team member for major rollup or protocol
    3. Attitude: Candid, Driven, Focused

Need 2: Industry leader

  • Position: Industry Leader - Board Observer

  • Why We Need This: POKT is still relatively unknown and is seeking to increase awareness and consideration among core devs at major protocols. The industry leader will support the board with knowledge and other relationships that help us pursue these objectives. The Industry leader may also be the Technical Leader need, or it may be a standalone requirement.

  • Key Requirements:

    • Knowledge: Deep industry knowledge across web3, blockchains and protocols
    • Skills: Exceptional communication, Strong Collaboration and relationship building, Entrepreneurial and business scaling experience
    • Attitude: Candid, Driven,

I’d like to apply to be a board observer, and I believe I would be a strong candidate for the following reasons:

My general background: I’ve spent 20+ years building startups, raised capital, sold product to Fortune 100 companies, ran 10,000+ person communities, have a Utility patent under my name and have been featured in Techcrunch, Wall Street Journal, BBC, New York Times, etc etc.

Specifically to Pocket, I have been in the community for several years and have written multiple proposals, including bringing inflation down from 4000% → 9% as well as having worked alongside PNF in a variety of roles both paid and volunteer.

My strongest contribution however is that I have shown a clear, determined, some may even call quasi-autistic, dedication to defend Pocket and do what I believe is best for the ecosystem.

As such, I believe the value of my contribution will be to speak truth to power and hold PNF accountable. I have a proven track record of doing so over the last 2 years, and I think it is of upmost importance that the community has a representative in power who can ask the difficult questions and publicly review PNF hirings, decisions and initiatives.

If elected to the Industry Leader board observer position, I’d be expected to review, comment on, and call out where appropriate, major PNF decisions. While the role should not be necessarily antagonistic, and has no formal authority, I’d see these as the primary responsibilities. As such, I would write a report to the DAO quarterly, and discuss important decisions ad hoc as they arise and need communication.

While I do work for a Node-runner, I note that recent other hire to PNF has also been from a Node-runner (and an excellent candidate in my opinion), and I reiterate my strong history of putting Pocket first.

I hope to continue to serve the Pocket Community.


I’d like to put my hat into the mix to be a Technical leader/visionary Board Observer.

A quick overview of some my technical contributions to POKT:

I’ve been an active part in ever aspect of the POKT ecosystem:

  • Nodes: Node running, node tooling, node economics, node selling (first node salesman :necktie: )
  • Gateways: gateway architecting, gateway economics, on-chain entity
  • Apps: App building, app sales (first app salesman :necktie:), SDK design
  • DAO: DAO voter, DAO tooling, DAO grants, community calls, events

The core values which I believe can be seen in my involvement with the POKT DAO:

  • Been a stickler about POKT having real open-source culture and standards
  • Always provide honest thoughts, even when unpopular, for better or for worse :grimacing:
  • Consistently fulfilled all requirements and responsibilities from every DAO funding proposal I’ve participated in (7 so far, and all completed)

The Job

While I recently became a contractor for PNF to assist with protocol project management, I’m not a PNF employee nor board member. By being a board observer for the DAO, my goal would be to:

  1. Provide the DAO with greater transparency into ecosystem decision making
  2. Give technical insights and understand to the PNF board
  3. Help represent the impacts decisions will have on every type of ecosystem participant and stakeholder
  4. Meaningfully contribute to POKT’s overall technical vision

As always, submitting near the deadline… Here goes my application for the board observer.

Why do I want to join PNF’s board?

I’ve been part of the community since I began working at POKTscan in February 2022. Since then, I’ve consistently kept up with the community, provided assistance to the PNF, and shared my opinions on almost every issue. Joining the PNF board as an observer would give me the opportunity to work for the community in a more impactful way.

Background and Experience

Leveraging my extensive academic background in machine learning and optimization of complex systems, I approach challenges with a critical thinking mindset and strong analytical abilities. Within the Pocket Network, I strive to translate these skills into high-quality, data-driven solutions to the issues we encounter daily.
To name a few of my contributions:

  • I performed an in-depth analysis of PIP-22 highlighting the shortcomings of the model and provided metrics to clarify several community doubts around it. Later I provided data on how these issues were solved by the increase in quality of service of the network (due to GeoMesh)
  • I was part of a PNI effort to reduce costs during their transition to Grove in 02/2023.
  • I initiated an effort to explain the network using industry-grade tools such as cadCAD. Later on I was part of the meetings with Blocksience and provided feedback on their work.
  • I studied the issues of fairness on the network, with a view on the Shanon protocol, highlighting the arbitrariness of the number of chains by node and multi-region staking, advocating for a single-chain single-region staking and proposing a self balancing model.
  • I helped in the creation of a broad and macroeconomic framework of the network, providing insights on the relation of Pocket economy with formal theories to avoid falling in economic traps, such as trying to control emission, capital movement and token price all at the same time.
  • I proposed a way to reach supply attrition (“deflation”), using a simple model that enables gateways an nodes to remain profitable, keeps a <5% supply growth and is governed by the only indicator of network growth, the number of processed relays.
  • I’m part of a project that seeks to bring easy access to the community social data.
  • I’m in charge of a socket that will provide insight and tools to effectively bring machine learning models into the Pocket Network.
  • I coauthored the Relay Mining paper, which will enable the Pocket Network to process more than trillons of relays by day.
  • I participated in the creation of the Probabilistic Proofs method, to reduce the number of claims required to be processed by the network.
  • Finally I provided in-depth analysis and feedback on many other proposals, most of them focusing on tokenomics and technical changes.

My contributions are consistently characterized by two key elements: meticulous use of data to substantiate my claims and thoroughness in report creation.
Beyond these demonstrably contributions, I actively engage with the community, PNF, and portals, readily providing specialized data or conducting brief analyses. Additionally, I’ve volunteered my expertise as a non-paid observer/consultant, assisting Grove with the design of the Shannon update. Collaboration and open communication are at the heart of my approach; I always strive to contribute and offer perspectives, never to impede progress.

Contribution to the board and the wider POKT Network ecosystem

My contributions will remain consistent with my current approach, only amplifying their impact.
Instead of having to wait until a subject is brought to the wider community for analysis, I can be in the “small room” contributing data-driven insights. This could streamline discussions by minimizing exploration of unproductive avenues and uncovering opportunities that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Communication with the DAO

To ensure transparency and foster open discussion, I will present quarterly in-depth reports on my activities and the topics explored. These reports will be shared on the forum, for community feedback and dialogue.
I will also actively participate in community calls, addressing questions and providing timely communication on pressing matters.

Disclaimer - Conflicts of Interests

I’m invested in POKT and I work for a company that has economical interests in the ecosystem, POKTscan.


I’ll throw my hat in the ring. I’m a seasoned Technical Product and Engineering Manager with direct responsibility for $20M+ portfolios and teams of over 50 individuals. I’ve launched a dozen+ products with about half of them to the open market.

I’d like to offer any expertise and guidance to the Foundation I can, including both Product and Engineering review of proposals and would be honored to have a seat at the table. I believe I can offer the technical guidance with business acumen that can drive this ecosystem forward into the $100B+ market caps it is capable of.

WRT to POKT directly, I’ve launched 39 chains on the POKT Network at this point, worked cross-team from protocol to onchain business and have been the internal ambassador (at both PNI and Grove) for the supply side of the network.



Why you want to join Pocket Network’s board?

I’d like to apply and join Pocket Network as a board observer since I deeply resonate with PN’s mission to decentralize blockchain infrastructure.

Current centralization of blockchain RPC concerns me, contradicting the decentralized ethos of blockchain.

Since 2021, I’ve been closely following PN’s progress, and consistently impressed by its unwavering commitment to this vision. The opportunity to contribute to such a project aligns perfectly with my ethos.

Furthermore, as PN expands its scope to encompass AI inference, I am even more excited about the potential synergies and advancements that can be achieved.

How your background and experience meet Pocket Network’s identified talent needs or another need that PNF did not specify but you believe is important?

My background and experience closely align with PN’s identified talent needs.

  • I was a manager at Apple AI/ML organization leading 15 people team to build LLM inference platform and data processing platform
  • was an engineer and manager Alibaba US leading real time data infra platform
  • been doing infra work including blockchain rpc
  • currently I work at an ethereum protocol

First of all, my hands-on experience working with blockchain rpc day to day gives me a user-centric perspective of developers’ pain points and needs, as well as valuable insights of product development and value proposition of rpc solutions. They can be helpful to PN’s roadmap.

Secondly, throughout my career, I have developed a proficiency in promoting awareness of projects and initiatives, by giving public talks and writing blogs or tweets. I frequently represented my teams in high-stakes conferences, a list of my previous talks can be found here. I was also a lecturer on OReilly (https://www.oreilly.com), lecturing a recurring course for Apache Flink (an open source project I worked on), link of an example course here (Live Events). Whether advocating for adopting a new platform or articulating value proposition of a groundbreaking technology, I consistently received positive feedback for my clarity, persuasiveness, and ability to engage and inspire listeners.

Last, my background and experience offer a unique outsider perspective and bring fresh insights to PN community, to approach scopes with a fresh set of eyes, and ask questions and challenge assumptions that might been overlooked.

All above are directly applicable to Pocket Network’s objectives of increasing awareness and consideration among core developers at major protocols.

What you propose to contribute to the board and the wider POKT Network ecosystem?

If elected a board observer, I humbly offer my insights and perspectives to support PN’s objectives, by providing inputs to discussions and initiatives, offering technical expertise, identifying areas for improvement, sharing insights into potential partnerships. I approach this role with humility and a willingness to listen to and learn from others, aiming to collaborate with the board and wider community to contribute positively to the PN’s ecosystem success and expansion in realizing the vision of decentralizing blockchain infrastructure.

How you plan to communicate with the DAO about your role and performance?

I propose first initiating a dialogue with the DAO to understand their expectations and align on the scope of this role. This collaborative process ensures that responsibilities are agreed upon by both parties, fostering a sense of ownership and accountability. Once the scope is defined, I’ll provide regular updates (like quarterly) on my activities, contributions, and progress to the DAO through forums, community meetings, and other accessible channels. Feedback and suggestions from the DAO will be actively sought and incorporated to ensure that my role effectively serves their needs and interests. Transparent documentation of decisions and rationale will further reinforce accountability and trust within the community.


DAO Observer

I am submitting my application for the role of Board Observer and participate as both a technical and industry leader.

I believe I already play a key role in the evolution and sustainability of the Pocket Network Protocol, but do not hold a formal affiliation with the Pocket Network Foundation.

Why you want to join PNF’s board.

  1. Make Pocket Network a top 3 protocol across the entire industry.
  2. Provide the board of directors with guidance on where/how resources (personnel, time, focus, capital, etc) should be spent.
  3. Formalizing my active responsibilities in order to have the authority and legitimacy of speaking on behalf of Pocket Network both in public (conferences, podcasts, etc) and in private (1:1s, meetings, etc).

How your background and experience meet PNF’s identified talent needs?

Within the Pocket Ecosystem:

  1. I was an advisor to early founding members before the protocol was launched
  2. I have led the launches of RC 0.10 and RC 0.11
  3. I actively lead the Protocol team at GROVE
  4. I have contributed to the evangelism, specification, documentation and implementation of both Morse & Shannon
  5. I have represented the Pocket Network protocol at numerous conferences, X spaces and other public mediums

Outside the Pocket Ecosystem:

  1. I have more than 10 years of experience leading projects in the tech industry spanning both large & mid-tech companies, including Social Media, Augmented Reality, Autonomous Vehicles
  2. I have contributed to more than a dozen patents & publications
  3. I regularly study, write about and communicate on various cutting-edge topics

You can find everything about me at https://olshansky.info/

What do you propose to contribute to the board and the wider POKT Network ecosystem?

  1. Making Pocket Network the top open-source self-sustainable protocol to not just survive, but thrive. This entails everything from making it accessible to onboarding others until it does not need the support of a core protocol team.
  2. Connections and introductions to other leaders in the space, with the goal of leading to symbiotic affiliations and collaborations.
  3. Provide deep guidance & expertise on all technical decisions.

How do you plan to communicate with the DAO about your role and performance?

If the DAO chooses to appoint me for this role, I want to emphasize that my participation & communication will remain largely the same, with changes on an as-needed basis.

I will continue doing the following:

  1. Periodically posting on the forum
  2. Periodically presenting at ecosystem or builder calls
  3. Posting announcements and updates on Discord
  4. Publically speaking & writing about Pocket
  5. Leading the protocol team to design and implement the protocol


  1. I am a member of GROVE
  2. I am a holder of POKT

Thanks to everyone who submitted an application for the board observer positions. We’re inspired by your willingness to step up and and share your talents with the board. Regardless of what decision the community make, we intend to do everything we can to activate each and every one of you in support of POKT’s ambitions.

We are in the process of setting up meetings with each of the candidates and will share more details on the community voting process soon. Thanks again to everyone who submitted and grateful to have you on this journey with us.



I’m excited to say that this proposal is now up for voting on Snapshot

The vote will run for two weeks

We have asked for all of the nominees to attend this Thursday’s community call but we will do our best to provide different opportunities for the community to get to know who they are voting for throughout this period


Is investment in POKT a conflict of interest? :slight_smile:

The proposal says there are two needs, but the vote appears to be for only one person.

For clarity, how many observers are we voting for? One, but potentially two?

The community through this vote will appoint 1 board observer. Thanks

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I would say no, but people is very sensible and see conspiracies all around…
better to make everything clear xD

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Again, for clarification, is this vote for ONE of the TWO board observers that are being appointed? In other words, what’s happening with the second board observer position? Does PNF intend to appoint the SECOND board observer without a DAO vote (most likely someone with a strong technical background)?


The DAO is voting to appoint one board observer.

The PNF board will appoint one other observer, which may come from the current candidates but is not limited to those who put their names forward.

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This is the post referred to at the top of this thread

I apologise if this hasn’t been clear enough

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Thanks for clarifying.

The role of the board observers, we’re told, is to be “in the room” and positively influence PNF decision-making at monthly board meetings. They may also be able to help with PNF’s finances, operations, and strategy.

Impossible Choice

This proposal presents an impossible choice: all of the applicants have stellar qualifications. I would want all of them “to be in the room.”

I strongly agree with Jinx that two is too few and that there should be at least three.

Let’s Take Advantage

Highly talented individuals want to contribute on behalf of the DAO. Let’s take advantage.


I agree with the premise, but disagree with the proposed solution! My ideal situation for any kind of hire is to be put in the impossible situation where there are at least 2 or 3 you want to hire for one role. That typically leads to the best outcomes, even if a very difficult decision needs to be made. So we are in a very fortunate position in this regard.

The good news is that none of the decisions that we make on the observer are binary in terms of impact for POKT.

Ben said it well earlier in this thread:

You don’t need to be an observer to make impactful contributions to POKT or PNF. Whatever decision the DAO makes, we will do our very best to activate every single observer candidate to deliver more impact to POKT than they ever did before.

While I don’t disagree with you in the medium to long term, there are a couple of reasons I don’t agree with you right now.

First, we already plan to grow the board from 3 to 5 people (3 directors and two observers). This is in addition to the ongoing workstream to onboard a new technical director (at which point Jack will likely step down as a director and focus solely on his contributor duties in the fields of governance etc). All of these proposed changes to the board will cause some significant upfront coordination costs in terms of onboarding and aligning on new processes etc. It’s generally a bad idea to grow any team too quickly so taking a bit more time to grow the board makes it more likely to succeed.

I also believe it makes more sense to onboard the two new observers and get them fully up to speed first. We can then have them involved in any decision on whether or not to add a third observer, and if so what gaps we need to fill and where do we need to source candidates from, instead of predetermining upfront that the current list of candidates are exhaustive of the board’s needs.


I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me to take on this role, and I look forward to helping PNF and the Pocket ecosystem.

Depending on who PNF choose themselves for the second board observer position, I believe we need a technical board observer and all of the other candidates are strong choices.

I also believe we should look into a industry partner position, but not as a board observer. In particular, Bowen would be a great candidate and I hope we can find a way to bring his expertise to Pocket where he can provide true value.

Part of what I would like to do as the board observer is to listen to the community and bring thoughts and ideas derived from community sentiment to PNF which may have been overlooked. As such, my DMs are open, and while I can’t promise to raise every issue sent my way, I hope to be a valuable interface between the community at large and the PNF board.

I’m looking forward to this new challenge to help Pocket!