PIP-28: DAN - Distributing the Altruist Network (Community Chains Introduction)

DAN isn’t about providing a primary vehicle for any chains. I think that may be a misunderstanding. Relays still go to the network and DAN helps with role-over session traffic and provides the required fail-safe :+1:


what’s the need for a pre-proposal when you can just edit in real time. love this UPDATES section :100:


If altruist is comprised of the same folks running the pocket nodes, then is it really different than having no altruist and relying solely on the nodes?


Thanks @shane for the quick reply. Neither of my questions/concerns were addressed by your reply, so let me try again.

Yes, this is very transparent which is much appreciated. The added transparency I’m looking for is how much cost savings does this provide to PNI so that I can calculate and compare the before and after combined DAO+PNI burn rate to run altruist

I am assuming this is inclusive of portal infra (eg AWS contracts) andindeed that the great majority of this was for portal infra. Just looking for the before/after delta for just the altruist portion

As I said in my first comment, this is phenomenal work you’ve done, and I am sure you are providing a better, higher QoS, more resilient altruist solution than PNI’s in-house solution and at a lower cost to boot.

That being said, in reading your proposal, one would be led to think that this community solution has allowed PNI to shed this portion of its infra costs, or at least the great majority of it. But in reading the comments left by PNI personnel, it seems that PNI plans to maintain substantial in-house altruist infra on top of this community solution. Which, if true, makes me wonder what the point was of offloading to the community in the first place.

So I guess I am more asking for @ArtSabintsev or someone else from PNI to step in and provide some clarification and context to the comments PNI has made in the comments section of this proposal and provide some transparency as to how much cost savings DAN provides to PNI.

For example if DAN allows PNI to drop monthly altruist spend from $25k to $5k, then we can deduce that the combined savings to DAO+PNI is ballpark $12k/mo (25k vs ~8k+5k)

But if DAN only allows PNI to drop monthly altruist spend by $3k (say because it feels obligated to keep capability in house “just in case”) then the result of DAN is to INCREASE combined DAO+PNI burn by ~$5k per month. Again, I am asking @ArtSabintsev or someone else from PNI to shed some light here.


some other concerns:

  1. Potential conflict of interest.
    You will sell this service to individual node operators and then also run the altruist. So those nodes will always agree with the altruist while others may not. Meaning nodes that use altruist chains can never be wrong.
  2. Centralization of the network
    If majority of the nodes started using CC, it can be terrible for the network.

I am more inclined to favor CC for altruist traffic only, only as a temporary solution. Ideally we should not be relying on altruist.


This is the concern I have with community chains, given it is a couple of steps away from bypassing the entire network entirely with a couple of “changes”.

Scenario 1: A large client asks to tap into CC’s backend and wants to create an enterprise deal to only pay FIAT for access to CC’s backends directly, not through POKT. Is CC going to accept this customer or not?

Scenario 2: If DRPC (a load-balancing service amongst node runners) also comes to the forums and proposes something very similar, would we hold the same sentiment?

This service has the opportunity to drive revenue in so many different directions. In fact, in a free market, there is not much we can do about it, and I have nothing against it. However, with funding from the DAO, I do believe there is a risk factor here on what the DAO is funding with the current terms. I would like to learn more about what the long-term plan is with CCs (outside of helping PNI with their altruist cost), and I think it is in the best interest of the DAO to set some form of limits of how much traffic this service can serve (i.e X percentage of relays) just in case in order to qualify for DAO funding.

The ideal scenario IMO is that this isn’t funded by the DAO given the nature of the product but rather funded by PNI. This also removes any restrictions from your service to monetize as it sees fit.

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Hey, crabman! Thanks for your comment. Our primary market is individual node runners. As Shane mentioned, one of the biggest problems in the Pocket ecosystem right now is wasted resources. Every node runner runs their own set of chain nodes and what we end up with is tons of money being sunk into infrastructure while each chain node is highly underutilized by anyone except large node runners. This favors big node running outfits dramatically since they run at scale and have enough pocket nodes to fully utilize their chains and justify the cost of their chain node infrastructure.

Community Chains is primarily about providing a way for existing node runners to make better use of their chain nodes by providing access to others in the community. Individual node runners are hurting extremely bad right now and are being priced out of the market. In order to remain decentralized, Pocket must retain these individual node runners. Community Chains allows them to run the chains that they can afford while also being able to serve relays via other chains that they cannot and in whatever region they need. This will allow individual node runners to not be priced out of node running. Lean Pokt went a long way to help node runners and this takes it the rest of the way in terms of reducing costs for node runners and providing a way to better utilize existing chain infrastructure in ways that benefit the whole network.

Our primary business has always been about empowering individual node runners and providing tools for them to do that. That is why we created Node Pilot. But, the rough crypto market has made individual node runners need more than just tools to run nodes, they need access to solid RPC infrastructure that they can choose by chain and by region in order to remain viable in the pocket ecosystem. We cannot let the entire node running community get swallowed by a few huge node running groups. Even now, I have heard people in the pocket community suggest that individual node runners should move their pokt to hosting services since running their own infrastructure is too expensive. But, as far as I am concerned that is the worst thing that could possible happen to Pocket.

We were already building community chains as a community service before anyone brought up the possibility of handling altruist traffic. Our primary business is helping node runners, not running altruist traffic. But, at Pocket’s recent state of the union gathering, they said that they wanted to find ways for the community to handle altruist traffic, since the community already is running the necessary infrastructure. It makes no sense that pocket run all the chain nodes necessary to handle all traffic in the case of a chain halt when the pocket network already has all that infrastructure there, distributed among node runners. Community Chains can provide that. If there is a chain halt, the existing chain infrastructure within the pocket network can continue handling those relays. Same goes for rollover traffic until Pocket releases their node-level solution for that.

As for where PNI gets their authoritative chain heights from, that is up to them and as far as I’m concerned that is a question for PNI, not us. We are a providing a network which allows existing node runners to further utilize and monetize their existing chain infrastructure in ways that benefit the community as a whole. Whether or not Pocket takes their authoritative chain heights from us is their decision to make. We just provide the pipes.

Regarding centralization, Pocket has been on a steep slope downward into centralization and the worst thing for the network in my opinion is for individual node runners to be priced out. Rewards are going down while chain node requirements and server costs keep going up.

Finally, I completely agree with you that ideally PNI should not be relying on altruist for much of anything. Its primary purpose is to handle rollover traffic (for the time being) and allow relays to continue to be served in the case of a chain halt. But, in the meantime while they work to solve those issues via pocket v1 and portal v2, we can handle that RPC traffic by utilizing RPC infrastructure that already exists within the network without pocket needing to spend time, energy, and money running their own nodes or building their own Community Chains type network.

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Re rare chains, you have replied to my concern/suggestion with good content, but none of it engages the heart of what I’m addressing, so let me try again to clarify and condense:

(1) DAN for altruist failover and rare-chain support are different enough issues and same ballpark budgets (ie one is not a small supplemental add compared to other) that the DAO should have the opportunity to vote on them separately (whether via two different PEPs or by using a Snapshot multi-choice vote)

(2) If the DAO votes to subsidize rare chains, the subsidy should be to incentivize sufficient on-chain coverage to provide target QoS rather than to build up altruist back up to the unchanged, insufficient on-chain coverage.

Its not so much about the word as it is about the presumption that the two issues have the same level of support and should be lumped together. Anectodal support - of which I am sure there are many examples, does not mean that it would garner majority support.

And I guess it is a little bit about the world, and the ordering of the text of the proposal that may cause a casual reader (and voter!) to miss that this is two separate asks rolled into one. I’d sort of like to do an informal poll of all who have read this proposal to see how many understand that the supplemental budget to support the three named chains is larger than the budget of DAN itself.

Further where would one draw the line. It is not even clear if the vote is for specifically these these three named chains and no other or is open ended so that as new chains show need of subsidizing to maintain QoS the list will grow. Someone from pni or pnf dropped a line on TG today that contracts with 20 something new chains are in the works. How many of those are going to need supplementation? The way I view it, once you pass the low hanging fruit (ETH, polygon, etc) the chance of being too thin on chain support increases. Say 6 out of the 20 new chains need subsidizing. Now we’re talking $30k a month or roughly one third of the DAO monthly “budget” (as measured by dollar value of monthly DAO inflow)

I can think of several things that hurt POKT reputation more than this. That being said, you are right, this is an important consideration and could be a reason I would come out in support of a rare-chain proposal… given a chance to be considered in its own right in the manner the subject deserves rather than buried in the DAN proposal.

A counter argument against this is, where do you draw the line. IF PNI is selling chains that it can’t back up with node support, then let PNI clean up their own mess. I am all for offloading altruist costs to the community to help PNI extend runway to get to v1. I’m not sure I am all for the community paying for their mistakes in closing bad contracts. If they close a contract for a chain that costs 3x to support, then they should charge 3x the price and hand over two thirds of it to the DAO to provide the node runner subsidies. Otherwise we are just enabling PNI to enter into bad contracts. I mean, if PNI knows that we are going to bail them out every time they sign up a chain that doesn’t make sense for node runners to support, then they will never learn the discipline to do the math and say no to chains for which the business case does not close.

You are mixing apples and oranges. It is CC that binds the two topics, not altruist. If the DAO desires to subsidize rare chains, DA may be the best outfit to outsource to in order to utilize the CC architecture.

But not straight to altruist. The agreement would be to set up on-chain cc coverage sufficient to provide target on-chain QoS as needed to supplement current coverage. (some regions may not need subsidized cc coverage due to current non-cc coverage) Month end reimbursement would be to supplement as needed to break even. If break-even is $3000 (say $3400 less $400 because one region is not needed) and $700 worth of POKT was earned in emissions, then DA would reimburse the difference ($2300). All the cc gateway and nodes would double as altruist of course in case of fail-over, but this would incur no extra cost.

Altruist for continuity during chain halts, etc

Continuing the discussion from PIP-28: DAN - Distributing the Altruist Network (Community Chains Introduction):

As far as I know, this as a commercial product. It is not a free service to the individual node operators and I am not convinced that this is anything different from delegating your node to someone else via non-custodial. In other words its still centralized.

Question is why should dao fund its development. it would be like funding a competitor because there is nothing stopping you from selling this service to someone else who may not be a pocket node operator.

What I suggest is that you build this service out. I see this is as useful. Then have another proposal to get into a business relationship with the dao, saying hey we will charge $x per relay for y chain.

This way you can keep this product completely independent and be able to sell the service to whoever you want without any restrictions.

I don’t know why this topic has become so heated, I think that we should trust DA and PNI when they state that this is only a fail-safe and bootstrapping mechanism.

I was thinking that this was not going to be allowed… Although there is no way to control anything in a market like this.

Is there any restriction for a node runner tapping into CC to consume all of its chains and not deploying any blockchain locally?
I’m thinking that this will not improve Pocket decentralization, it will only create a QuickNode-like service for large node runners that can sell their idle blockchain time to Pocket Node runners. As I said many times before, the number of Pocket Nodes and individual Pocket Node runners, does not translate into decentralization.
I don’t see CC as a solution to decentralization of the Pocket Network, we need to explore other means for this.

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Quite a bit to reply to, I’ll try and be as orderly as possible :sweat_smile:

I think you misunderstand what PNI is currently operating. They have already cut their in-house altruist infra significantly, thanks to CC and others. CC provided PNI with endpoints on February 3rd which enabled them to be able to spin down infra, which the posted about on Feb 13th.

PNI’s cost savings now with DAN is that they don’t need to focus on developing a system that CC already has built. I mentioned what all they would have to address if they were to provide the same level of quality as CC. I don’t know what a theoretical solution from PNI would cost per month, or how long it would take to develop, but CC is an already existing solution which has been done in collaboration with DA, PNI, PNF, POKTScan, Node River, Breezy, qspider, and other ecosystem contributors.

I hear what you are saying, though I disagree since it is all literally the same work. If the work to support a rare chain program was different than the work to support an altruist program, then I would agree, but in this case I feel it’s best to do them together. This proposal was in the works for weeks in collaboration with PNF and PNI, so this paring makes absolutely sense with those close to the rare chain and altruist situations.

Again, I do not see how running a rare chain program or an altruist program is any different… as one would work together with other regardless. Addressing the rare chain need IS addressing the altruists need for rare chains. I do not see the advantage of adding more complexity to two needs that require the same solution.

So far I’ve not heard that anyone is confused by the proposal itself. It is complex, but I don’t believe I’ve burred anything. I appreciate the feedback, but again, I don’t see how rare chain program or an altruist program are better apart.

I appreciate that you say you would support a rare chain program. Instead of asking to separate the proposals, is there a concern you have with CC serving the altruist network and manage a payment model for the node runners under PNF’s oversight?

I would be happy to address any specific concerns right now. I feel addressing specific concerns would be better than coming up with two separate proposals that do the exact same work.


I think you misunderstand this proposal as a “funding proposal”, when it’s a service proposal… where we (DA and node runners) get paid for the work we do and value we create for the network. We scoped out this concept in August and began developing in early October. This proposal is not to funding that development… if it were, then it would be a heck of a lot more :sweat_smile:

This is providing a real-time service where the lion share of the funds go to other node runners, and DA’s fee is minimal, especially considering the service we’ve been providing PNI to contribute to the altruist work. We actually put off launching our public MVP in January because PNI needed a high quality solution for the altruist, and focused on their needs first. We are hoping to launch a public facing version for all node runners soon, now that we’ve addressed the QoS needs of the altruist :crossed_fingers:

This applies to any service or project in the POKT ecosystem… let along the entire web3 world :sweat_smile: Your company already provides chain access service to other companies… so should the DAO not work with Nodies since your company monetizes your own infrastructure in ways the DAO can not audit?

While your company monetizes your own infrastructure in the ways you see fit, Decentralized Authority doesn’t own our own node infrastructure and we have multiple parties keeping us accountable. We are strictly a software company. CC Towers are owned by POKT node runners and they are able to verify every relay going through their system. They have full access to ALL logs… because it’s on their system, not owned by us.

Your logic would make it impossible for the DAO to interface with any company (including your own) and that concept should not be applied selectively to CC which right now includes DA, POKTScan, Node River, Breezy, and qspider. We fortunately built our system completely auditable by our node runners, but so many companies in the POKT are not open or distributed… hence why this concept is impossible to implement.

I do not see how CC is any different than what you said you were wanting to build. We took a different architectural approach where we weren’t going to be an Infrua like service, but be a distributed service, where we don’t run any infrastructure and node runners themselves own the CC Towers and can audit every relay.

We also built this service to open it up to all node runners, not just select node runners (like other chain access services that exist in the background of the POKT ecosystem). Every product and service we release is freely available to all node runners, and CC is a way we can give any POKT node access to the same opportunities as large providers like Nodies have with their own infrastructure. Even with CC, we are working with every provider that reached out to use to join… we see our “market niche” as node software for any node runner, and that is all we’ve ever released. As @AmishBatman said :point_down:


See my comment above @RawthiL. @poktblade was speaking out of conjecture, not facts.

This kind of conversation is veering away from what would be the best altruist solution for POKT and it’s customers to discussion chain node pooling.

I would be happy to discuss chain node pooling, how it provides decentralization of POKT node ownership, address chain node over provisioning (which is the largest cost to the POKT ecosystem), and how it incentivizes independent node runners (who took a real hit when providers were capturing market share with closed source geo-meshing, which POKTScan addressed :pray: )… but this thread is not the place. PNI was the first to publically discuss it as a ecosystem strategy in October and it is frequently talked about in Node Runners Office Hour, and we’ve been sharing our work on it on since October… so there is a rich history of this convo which we can have elsewhere.

My Ask To Everyone…

Let’s please keep this conversation focused on the proposal and it’s merits.

Let’s also keep our conversation fact based and considerate of all parties :slightly_smiling_face:


This is not a funding proposal, it’s a proposal to perform a service to the DAO to address QoS inefficiencies that are effecting POKT customers. While others have submitted proposals for services (like DAO contributions and research), this proposal is about a technical service to address specific needs and involves DA, PNI, PNF, POKTScan, Node River, Breezy, and qspider. Feel free to check out my comment above :+1:

If others have a solution that is more distributed, better quality, more accountable, and they feel it will better serve the DAO, they are welcome to do a proposal of their own :slightly_smiling_face:


Added a ~$20k reimbursement
Added a $8k administration cost
One-Time Reimbursement: ~160k POKT + ~$28k
Monthly: 100k-150k POKT + ~$13k (please see Budget for more details)

“This helps bootstrap the cost of running the CC infrastructure and CC Towers while CC gets off the ground to generate its own revenue”

^ All that sounds like development and management costs, and using DAO funds to get CC to become a viable business.

I am not doubting for a bit that this is not a good service, its just the numbers don’t make sense to me, give me some good solid numbers so I can compare easily. For example, our cost per relay comes out to be x, if you used a competing service it would be y. and so on.


I think where we differ is I wouldn’t call that “development”, but I would call it management cost (which is why this is a service proposal, not a funding proposal).

To be specific about infrastructure costs, more than 1/3 goes to the tower providers since they have been running CC Towers for the altruist network since January. While they have fronted the cost of running these CC Towers, this was a way to alleviate the continued cost until the public service for POKT node runners is off the ground. At this point they have only been running CC Towers for the benefit of the altruist network, so a supplementation makes sense (much like the supplementation for those who would run rare chains).

DA has our own infra costs as well. We’ve spent thousands a month at times just on running out CC testing to ensure capacity and QoS. We are asking for less than $2k to DA to help cover those kinds of costs. Especially with helping launch a rare chain program (which we get no cut of and 100% goes to the node runners), there will likely still be yet more infrastructure required on our side to ensure quality and accountability.

I believe our infra ask is more then understandable, especially considering the amount of work and cost we are taking on.

The POKT ecosystem (through PNI) has already been a customer of CC… I’m just now asking that it be a paying customer, just like the DAO pays for other contributors for their services (similar to community services or research services). Unlike past services though, we have already worked with PNF to provide oversight and have tangible monthly infrastructure costs.

As I mentioned in my proposal :point_down:

If our providers hit profitability faster than expected, I am happy to discontinue the infra cost. We would still be offering the DAO much more involvement than we would other customers as the DAO has special needs for transparency and oversight compliance with PNF. This is unique compared to any regular CC customer… but the goal is just to supplement some of the infra costs in the very short term.

I open to any feedback about our ask. I did try my best to be as pragmatic as possible.

Regarding the relay structure, I would refer to this section as I laid out the exact calculations.

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Can you clarify if the rare-chains portion of the proposal is for specifically and only the three named chains (so that if other chains are found to fall below acceptable QoS levels a new PEP would be needed to fund those new chains), or is for those three chains at the moment plus open-ended addition of other chains in the future according to PNF discretion based on QoS metrics on other chains?

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My two cents on this proposal for what they are worth. I strongly support the idea behind this proposal. Not only because I am involved but primarily because I do not see a path forward for independent node runners to continue to exist. I am unaware of any cloud providers where one can rent hardware in all three regions to run a Pocket node as well as 15 chain nodes at the current price $10.85 USD a month. Chain pooling gives node runners, independent and providers alike the opportunity to reduce their infra costs. LeanPokt paved the way for this and I believe a solution like CC is the next step forward not only for v0 but in preparation for v1. Finally, all node runners no longer have to sell all their earned tokens at the end of the month instead of re-staking them which from my point of view, from the tokenomic standpoint, this could reduce the tokens in circulation tremendously. This is a net positive.

The sentiment I gather from the responses thus far is that CC can be monetized outside of the Pocket Network while the DAO is funding it in its infancy while it provides support for the Altruist. That is indeed a great and fair point. The solution I propose is the following:

  • CC will continue to support the Altruist network and bill the DAO on a monthly basis for the current top 15 performing chains. Subjective to re-evaluation as these chains change based on performance.
  • The DAO will offset 100% of the cost of running all remaining chain nodes plus labor.
  • DA to agree that these nodes would not be participating in any other activities without a proposal voted on and passed by the DAO.

With these two adjustments, I believe DA can proceed to participate in the open free market if they see fit while the DAO focuses purely on reducing the cost of operation for running the Altruist Network. Do keep in mind, for PNI to deploy and maintain their chain nodes, they need to have one or many employees. As a business, they have to offer these employees both salary and benefits packages. For perspective, community members, such as myself, @qpsider, and others are currently doing so for free.

Let’s not deviate from the bigger picture. Less waste of any form in the network is a net positive for everyone.


It IS materially different, because you’re reselling my infra to other node runners and whoever else. What say do I have in that? So basically, no one is allowed to serve altruist traffic unless DA can resell your backends to whoever they want?

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