PEP-46: dApp Referral Program


  • Author(s): @jdaugherty @RichCL @RichardGoodrum
  • Recipient(s): Pocket Network Inc.
  • Category: Imbursement
  • Asking Amount: 3,000,000 POKT per Quarter for Q1 and Q2 of 2023


As Pocket Network, Inc. begins the first stages of monetizing the Pocket Portal and realizing revenue, a referral program presents an opportunity to incentivize both our community and decentralized applications to help us scale the demand side of Pocket Network’s marketplace through Q2 of 2023.


Pocket Network’s bootstrapping phase has resulted in exponential growth. This scale has catapulted Pocket into the web3 infrastructure spotlight and set the stage to monetize the Pocket Portal through paid application stakes. With Portal Monetization’s Pay-As-You-Go service launched and several existing and new dApp leads eligible for conversion, now is the ideal time to implement a referral program and keep the momentum going.

A referral program that benefits both community members and dApp clients will enable Pocket Network to leverage our most valuable growth asset: our peers. Referral programs turn community members into contributors via brand affiliate opportunities. By incentivizing our biggest supporters, we will reach more targeted audiences that increase conversion and retention rates.

Intended Outcomes

  • Offer new and accessible incentives to Pocket Network community members and users
  • Add a new distribution channel to Pocket Network, Inc.’s sales team
  • Expose Pocket Network’s services to more prospects, chains, and ecosystems
  • Create an attractive value proposition for net new users of the Pocket Portal

Operational Considerations & How it works

We are proposing an ongoing 5% referral reward (in POKT) paid quarterly for referrers, and a 5% monthly discount (in FIAT) for dApps through the first 12 months of continued service. Read more about the proposed reward structure here.

Becoming a referrer is designed to have a low-barrier of entry so that all community members can participate. Rather than discount codes, referrers will be able to sign-up and generate an evergreen referral link that can be shared directly with prospects or across any preferred channels.

Every application that successfully signs up and subscribes via the Pocket Portal following a referral link will be attributed to the referral account that it originated from if/when that referee signs up for Pocket Portal’s “Pay-As-You-Go” service.

Sample Reward Scenario
Normalized to ~1.5M relays and 1 year of continued service

Month Daily Relays Monthly Paid Relays Monthly App Fee Total Stake YTD Referral Reward Referee Savings YTD Avg $POKT Price
1 532,400 8,589,667 $82 309 POKT - $4.10 $0.27
3 644,204 11,990,372 $115 1442 POKT 72 POKT $14.75 $0.17
6 857,436 18,476,164 $177 3264 POKT 91 POKT $38.00 $0.31
9 1,141,247 27,108,753 $260 4937 POKT 84 POKT $72.60 $0.41
12 1,518,999 38,598,730 $370 8145 POKT 160 POKT $122.25 $0.28

This scenario is an oversimplification. For apps that “pay as they go”, reward calculation will be variable based off of MoM price/stake, relay growth, and $POKT price. Please note that rewards are aggregate, not cumulative, meaning referrers are rewarded based on the total sum of $POKT staked per quarter and not the total stake YTD.

To avoid gamification on either side of the process we have established eligibility criteria:

Eligibility requirements (dApplications)

  • Minimum daily relays: 500,000
  • Minimum staking period: 3 months
  • Must be a new client
  • Unique applications only
  • Quality of traffic will be verified (no bot activity)
  • Applications cannot receive a discount more than 1x

Eligibility requirements (Referrers)

  • Must have a Portal account and POKT Wallet address
  • No direct sales (only Pocket Portal sign-ups will be honored)
  • Cannot use personal referral links for owned applications

This criteria has been set to avoid scenarios of self-dealing or routing artificial traffic to earn referral rewards.


This objective of this budget ask is to support 500M paid daily traffic or roughly 3,000,000 $POKT/quarter for 2 consecutive quarters (Q1 and Q2 of 2023). Anything less than the $POKT equivalent of 500M paid daily relays per quarter will be returned to the DAO at the end of the quarter.

This budget is a cap that cannot be exceeded and will be used to set a baseline to seek funding for the remainder of 2023 and an ongoing annual budget, pending the success of the referral program.

How did we arrive at this figure?

The formula below describes the total value of POKT that this referral program would be able to distribute:

= 500,000,000 * USDrelaytarget * 90 days/POKT Price

Payment currency & mechanics:

  • All referral rewards will be paid in $POKT and distributed to the referrers $POKT Wallet
  • $POKT distributed from the DAO for this proposal will be custodied by PNI
  • Any unused POKT from this proposal will be returned to DAO wallet at end of period


The main deliverables of this proposal will be:

  • Create a mechanism to generate referral links
  • Apply referral link discounts to dApp Portal sign-ups
  • Measure and distribute referral rewards
  • Share referral reward distribution data with the DAO on a quarterly basis

Dissenting Opinions

  • Why does Pocket Network, Inc. need the Pocket DAO to pay for referral rewards?
    • Pocket Network, Inc. has no margins on the relays that are purchased by dapps in the Portal at this time (i.e. selling at cost). To cover referral rewards from the revenue generated would require additional premiums to cover costs, which is not a model we are supporting at this time. Additionally, we do not want to punish application stakes by giving a base percentage of their stake to reward referrers.
  • The referral rewards aren’t high enough
    • Given the level of effort required to refer applications, we believe that 5% is a fair referral fee that is commiserate to other SaaS models, although on the conservative side as it is easier to pace referral rewards up where needed than to pace them down. Given that there is not currently a cap on how many applications that can be referred (just a cap on the total $POKT reward pool), referrers can have simultaneous referral streams from many applications to maximize their rewards.


Thank you to @Emil_K99 who started this conversation on the forum in July and to @addison for resurfacing the conversation on a weekly node runners call!


Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.


I absolutely love this.

1 Like

This was miscategorized so I’ve moved it into the correct category.

I’ll manually post into the proposals channel too as it won’t have been caught by the bot.

Thank you @JackALaing :saluting_face:

1 Like

I support this. Anything that helps grow paid relay demand should be fully encouraged. Referral programs are a tried and tested method to encourage more sales.


I would like to learn more about PNI’s long term strategy with all these relays we are bringing into the network.
The portal is needed - it provides a connection between the Web2 and web3 world of decentralized RPC and provides a layer of QoS that V0 can’t handle.

That said, once V1 does come into play, and in a world of multiple portals - I have one concern

Pocket Network, Inc. has no margins on the relays that are purchased by dapps in the Portal at this time (i.e. selling at cost).

For now, PNI is not charging a margin for revenue. However, when does PNI plan on charging a margin for these relays? Right now, all the app demand pipeline is bound to PNI’s portal, and therefore, any effort the DAO supports here is a pipeline to a revenue stream for PNI in the future. That’s currently 1B+ relays that could be converted to paid relays and a profit for PNI.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but should be made clear if we ever build out a world of multiple portals.

A question for all DAO voters: Will the DAO be open to funding referral programs like this to help incentivize other portal companies to generate revenue? It will raise quite some noise if only one portal company gets access to these type of funds, and other portals do not.

Edit: I support the proposal anyhow, relays go brr.


Indeed, relays go brr.

What is nice about this referral program is that it is time boxed. This DAO ask and the Referral Program will not likely overlap with a world of multiple portals.

As far as the next version of the referral program, yes @poktblade is right that we’ll have to discuss the margin and rev breakout of new relays based on where in the POKT ecosystem it is coming from.


This proposal is now up for voting at @jdaugherty and @RichCL 's request

1 Like

I like the idea to incentivise more growth. Nevertheless, this needs to be more inclusive.

The referral reward is a margin for the PNI. Currently, PNI doesn’t charge a margin. In the future, this should be a well-thought-out referral program that any portal can benefit from. Also, it is crucial that the community doesn’t perceive it as a revenue stream that only referrers associated with PNI can benefit from. This will create a situation where referrers will only refer to the Pocket Portal (owned by PNI) and not other emerging portals, which could inherently limit the growth of an ecosystem on Pocket Protocol & DAO.

I did not vote on this proposal but hope for any following proposal to take this into consideration.

Great Idea :bulb:
Let’s work towards building Pocket Network and spread the word


This proposal passed with 20 approvals and 1 rejection.