PEP-56: Thunderhead / PoktFund LeanPOKT Reimbursement Proposal


  • Author(s): PoktFund (BaaS Pools LLC), Thunderhead

  • Recipient(s): PoktFund (BaaS Pools LLC), Thunderhead

  • Category: Reimbursement

  • Asking Amount: $529,850 of POKT valued on 7 day average at time of passing

  • Related Proposals:
    PEP-35: The v0 Optimization, LeanPocket


PoktFund and Thunderhead are asking for $529,850 in POKT for reimbursement from the DAO Treasury for its extensive research and implementation efforts with LeanPocket.

What is Lean Pocket?

LeanPocket is a major optimization to the Pocket Core’s Client that allows multiple serviers/validators to utilize one full node, reducing the network’s supply side costs by an order of magnitude

This proposal highlights the team’s history and the significant impact that LeanPocket has on the Pocket Network and ecosystem.


PoktFund Background

PoktFund was established in 2022 with the aim of making a substantial impact on the Pocket Network blockchain ecosystem. The company has demonstrated its dedication to this goal through the development of open-source applications.

PoktFund has also demonstrated its commitment to the security of the Pocket Network by identifying and reporting a critical security vulnerability (Chocolate Rain attack), proposing effective fixes, and communicating these findings to the core development team.

In summary, PoktFund has brought a substantial level of engineering talent to the Pocket Network ecosystem and plans to continue making meaningful contributions in the future. We started from a small team of 2-3 active contributors and have strategically grown that to 10+ over the course of nearly a year.

Thunderhead Background

Thunderhead joined the Pocket Ecosystem in early 2021. Since then they have been busy building products and contributing. Thunderhead has created several products and services. Thunderhead provided OTC services, manages an infrastructure offering, built a liquid staking representative token (ThunderPOKT) and developed several open source solutions. ThunderPOKT was created with the sole goal to increase the inclusivity of the ecosystem by allowing any POKT holder to stake their tokens and earn protocol rewards. Thunderstake, our institutional offering, provides a white glove offering with the necessities of the modern digital asset fund.

As far as open-source contributions are concerned, Thunderhead built, a block explorer, RPCmeter, an RPC latency analytics tool, and PoktInfo, an all in one dashboard for monitoring the quality of service of one’s infrastructure.

Two teams collaborate

PoktFund & Thunderhead made a substantial contribution to the Pocket Network protocol by designing and implementing “LeanPocket,” a solution that reduces the computational resources required for node operation by nearly 99%. This optimization increases the cost-effectiveness of nodes to the network, making it accessible to a wider range of participants, reducing infrastructure costs, inviting institutional stakes, and facilitating sustainable node economics. For more information on LeanPocket see the entry on LeanPocket in the Pocket Docs.

Previously, we submitted a joint proposal (PEP-35). However, PEP-35 was withdrawn before being put up for vote as we decided to wait for public release and adoption.



The PoktFund team & Thunderhead have devoted significant time and effort to the development of LeanPocket between Feb 2022 and Dec 2022. The teams demonstrated the substantial improvements achieved through LeanPocket at InfraCon 2022, held in the Dominican Republic. Shortly after, the team engaged in discussions with the core development team. The core team asked that we keep it closed source until it was reviewed thoroughly to ensure that the contribution was safe and to minimize any protocol disruptions Post for reference

After multiple v0 core contributions and code review calls and revisions (led by Luis - [ex] PNI CTO himself), LeanPocket was made available to the public as soon as it was deemed safe for the entire ecosystem to use as of version 0.9.2 and later releases.



Reactions to a light client being possible/viable were skeptical and pessimistic (see responses here). Regardless, the teams saw the potential and opportunity and worked relentlessly to make it possible. Without the attention of PoktFund & Thunderhead, it would not be an overstatement to say this optimization would never have made it to light in V0. LeanPocket has significantly reduced resource requirements, making it possible today for nodes to operate at scale more efficiently. LeanPocket reduced infrastructure costs by approximately 98 to 99.3%, based on PNI & TH figures (

The extremely high operating cost of the network motivated the teams to build this innovation. Recognizing the limited resources available to the core development team working on V0, PoktFund & Thunderhead diverted existing internal plans and shifted gears to work on a way to reduce the operational overhead for node operators without breaking consensus. We considered it vital to open source this optimization and avoid a scenario where the competition among node operators would lead to the privatization of this valuable optimization. Fast forward to today, this contribution helped pave the way to Pocket becoming a more open space for contributors, e.g., with the creation of core contributor hours by PNI contribution guidelines and other processes for contributing to the protocol. LeanPocket also made the network more attractive to new participants and laid the foundation for future optimizations, such as Poktscan’s GeoMesh.

The team has also continued to support LeanPocket through all the beta releases and up until the release of v0.9.3. (Lean Pocket was worked on from Feb 2022 to December 2022). A prime example of this is when the chain was halted due to the non-custodial update. With many of the node operators already running the LeanPocket optimization, the PoktFund team enabled consensus to continue by ensuring that each release candidate was LeanPocket compatible.

As of block 84748, there are 11991 out of 22697 observable nodes that have adopted BETA v0.9.2 or v0.9.3 which is nearly ~ 52% of the network. Bearing in mind that Geomesh incorporates LeanPocket under the hood and actively uses it, if you account for these nodes, the number sits around ~90%+ of the network.

Ultimately, LeanPocket has had multiple impacts from contribution-friendliness to node economics. The reduction in node-running costs by nearly 99% is a boon to profitability and sustainability across the board, for node runners and investors.


The funds sought by this proposal will reimburse BaaS Pools LLC & Thunderhead for their work and impact.

The total asking amount is $529,850 of POKT valued on a 7 day average at time of reimbursement.
$355,000 of POKT will be allocated to PoktFund and $174,850 will be allocated to Thunderhead.

Supplemental PNF proposal scorecard

This is a scorecard template provided to us by the PNF for valuing proposals. Although not everything is covered or applicable, we believe it provides some clarification as to the value brought here and brings a level of acceptable guidance on how to value proposals in general.

Dissenting Opinions

PoktFund and Thunderhead already made a sizable profit from having a headstart on this optimization

No, we did not seek to limit access to or profit from the optimization as a node operator. We have kept communications open and transparent throughout. In other words, PoktFund consciously put a hold on starting any node operator/provider business until LeanPocket was publicly available for use, and as a result, missed a large opportunity to capture revenue for months during a period when many node runners were raising their prices and/or revenue share.

Thunderhead did not lower prices or gain market share during the Lean Pocket development period. Thunderhead waited until Lean Pocket was publicly available in order to make price adjustments that would affect others in the marketplace.

Moreover, once LeanPocket was available to the public, we helped all node runners and even major node providers to adopt this feature quickly. Additionally, it is important to note that we did not provide early access to, or private implementations of LeanPocket to any organization, thereby forgoing a source of profit. The intention was always to keep it transparent, open source and later be compensated by the DAO for our work. We trust that the DAO will take into account this lost opportunity cost when considering the reimbursement ask.



Initial Idea (forum post)
Initial Research ( design doc, validator design doc, github proposal)
Proof of Concept (Infracon showcase)
Code Implementation with Code Review (Pull request)
Regression Tests (Pull request)
Unit tests / integration tests (Pull request)
Community support on Discord/Telegram/DM
Collaborating and reviewing LP documentation with PNI
Release (0.9.2+)


Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.


While PNF and the DAO have made significant progress in setting up clearer paths to both valuing and paying third party contributors in the ecosystem, we still have some outstanding bills to be paid. This is one of them.

As such, I support this proposal.


This is in the wrong category. Before I move it, do you want this to be a pre-proposal or a formal PEP?


Yeah, this should be a formal PEP now - my mistake! :sweat: .

1 Like

This is great! Going to be a great motivator for the Poktfund and Thunderhead teams this year.
Big things coming from the Pocket Network Ecosystem.


Glad there’s alignment. Let’s put this to a vote and get these fine folks paid out!

1 Like

I fully support this proposal.

Quick question - by the virtue of math, it looks like PoktFund will receive 67% of the pot, while Thunderhead gets 33%. Is that correct?


Have to support this one,
We want to encourage folks to bring their innovations out rather than just holding it up for personal gains.


Outstanding job! I like the unified proposal approach. Ask is more than fair. Let’s get this to a vote and funded. Only thing I’m miffed about is that I wanted to be the first to put the PNF scorecard to the test, but you beat me to the punch. XD


I support this and will vote in favour of it.

1 Like

I support this, in order for POKT to thrive, builders have to be incentivised to create great stuff. LeanPOKT was a perfect example of that and I’m glad it’s finally gone to proposal.

Hopefully, even more innovation to come.


Just to add a few points from PNF’s POV:

  1. This is an awesome contribution and we are all the better for it.
  2. Poktfund and Thunderhead are incredible builders that deserve to be recognised and rewarded for their work on LeanPOKT. Long may they continue to keep driving such impact!
  3. As stewards of the DAO’s treasury, this proposed reward of c.9% of the DAO’s treasury is way beyond our recommended “soft cap” of 3-4% of the treasury we included in our PNF template impact scorecard for DAO grant proposals
  4. Notwithstanding my previous point, we believe that LeanPOKT and Geomesh are very much exceptions to the norm, and the two grants do not set a precedent for future grants. We will be firmly against massive retroactive rewards of this nature in the future, as they should all be caught beforehand by one of the new grant programs that PNF is rolling out via GROW, which helps to give the DAO more certainty over its spending, as well as direction to the community on how we value impact

I said this elsewhere but will say it again. Open sourcing a game changing mod to the protocol for the benefit of the community at large is something that should be applauded and rewarded.

I support this proposal. It’s about damn time.


This is a very important point to be stated and restated.

Precedent-based arguments for funding was becoming a norm in this community, which is not unusual. Lawyers cite past precedents to argue on new cases and the courts do judgements based on past precedents.

But allowing it here perpetually will drain the DAO treasury- it is a tragedy of the commons.

Happy to see PNF putting these checks and balances, and doing the reiterations.

Also helps to indirectly maintain a “DAO Budget” that I have been suggesting.


This proposal is now up for voting Snapshot


I absolutely support this proposal. Casting my vote for it now!