What is our Pocket DNA?

Following from this post here, it is worth remembering that Pocket’s strong sense of mission and shared values have made the project unique and attracted so many of the employees, DAO contributors, investors, node runners and builders that have joined the community over the years. The Pocket DAO seeks to represent all of these stakeholders through its governance and the allocation of resources within its treasury.

As we enter 2023, Pocket is not the same as it once was. Until very recently, Pocket was a small community consisting of the founders, a small core team, some investors and advisers, and a group of early followers passionate about Pocket’s mission to decentralise the blockchain infrastructure stack. The community mostly inherited its values and customs from this early group.

Today Pocket is a community with 20,000+ nodes on the network, 100+ investors, 100s of apps, c.50 full-time staff across PNI and PNF and many more builders in the community, 55 voters in the DAO, and 1000s of community members on discord and telegram. Consequently, the strong sense of mission that bound the early community together is no longer so prominent. As a result, it is becoming increasingly more work to reach alignment on the key priorities for the ecosystem.

As stewards of the project, we at the Pocket Network Foundation have asked ourselves the following question:

How can we create better alignment amongst all of Pocket’s stakeholders?

We believe the answer is to co-create Pocket’s mission, vision and values for the next phase of our journey.

Human motivation is inherently connected to a sense of purpose, meaning and belonging. Individually and collectively, we bring our values into the world by how we behave and the guiding principles we share and use as a framework for making decisions. This leads us to the conclusion that:

  • PNF has the opportunity to facilitate an open, inclusive and participatory project to refresh and redefine Pocket’s mission, vision and values, to create a better-shared understanding of what binds this community together and, ultimately, what it is that we value

  • With a well-defined mission, vision and set of values, aligning priorities for the coming quarters and years ahead will be much more intuitive. It is deeply important that our community can align on these key areas of focus, so that our energy and resources are directed for maximum impact and ROI

  • By facilitating this workstream in an open, participatory manner, we hope to create a more profound sense of ownership and legitimacy over the end result for the entire community, which ultimately increases the likelihood of its success

By doing this, we believe we can align the community behind a mission that resonates and a set of priorities they want to support.

Pocket DNA project:

To that end, today, we are launching the Pocket DNA project. The DNA project will seek to refresh and define for Pocket our shared:

  • Mission and Vision

  • Values and Culture

And with these in place DNA will transition into activation by moving us to align on:

  • Goals, Priority programs and key metrics

This project will take place in the open and welcomes participation from anyone within the network. This project will introduce each of you further to members of PNF and our own operations for working in the open.

Call to Action:

Starting today, there are two ways in which you can start participating:

  1. We are sharing this initial survey to understand more about your individual beliefs and values, and how you see Pocket today. We will use this information to share back the different perspectives and customise a set of open forums and workshops to further elaborate on our Pocket DNA together. We welcome any and all members of the Pocket community to complete this survey here: https://forms.gle/bKN3JeZxQFqeCLxA9

  2. Signal your interest to participate in future working sessions such as the workshops. We want to curate a wide and representative group to help explore these questions, so please leave your intent to participate here or reach out to @b3n or @Dermot directly if you want to be involved

We welcome further comments or questions below and hope that this project can be a valuable contribution to bringing this community to greater alignment and inspiring even more pride in your contributions to the Pocket Network.

Many thanks,

The Pocket Network Foundation

@b3n @Dermot @JackALaing @nelson @Ming


Hello Ben and the PNF team,

Almost a month ago, I posted this need (Pocket needs a shared mission and shared values, and recurring annual quantitative and qualitative goals supporting that mission and values, which represent ALL entities Pocket, namely PNI and PNF at this moment) and we had a few interesting exchanges. I have to say that back then my understanding of the upcoming structure was little sketchy and that reflects in my thoughts in the thread. But the overarching “need” doesn’t change.

I have a better understanding of the structure now. I am very impressed to see that PNF is jumping into action to have “the fundamentals” in place just a few days after the formalisation of the new structure. This certainly gives me and I am sure other community members, who supported this need, the confidence that Pocket is on an evolved and better path.

Thank your for initiating this at the right time, and I hope that you get tons of inputs from the community.


Aight…that took a min.

Thanks for putting that together b3n and crew.

For the rest of the community, don’t come on these forums, telegram chats, and discord chats and complain if you’re not gonna do this type of shit.

Fill out the fuckin form! And not by March 3, y’all should have it done by the 10th of Feb.

I bet @Caesar will give you guys some really good answers. :saluting_face:



Fill out the fuckin form! And not by March 3, y’all should have it done by the 10th of Feb.

Not sure why the form says March 3 - should be Feb 3!! Will correct :sweat_smile:

Love the sentiment though… fill it out now!


DNA - Sprint 1 - Update

Hey, we wanted to provide a first progress update for Project DNA. We’ve completed Sprint 1 and will provide similar updates at the end of each project sprint. We think it’s important that we go through this project collaboratively and that regardless of an individual’s level of participation they can see the evolution of our shared story, particularly so they can contribute to it when needed.

The path of Project DNA is:

  • Sprint 1 - Understand current state and understand what needs to be done
  • Sprint 2 - Iterate to consent on a refreshed set of mission, vision and values statements for Pocket
  • Sprint’s 3 & 4 - Use the increased clarity of these statements to align on strategy and priorities for resource allocation in the DAO

Sprint 1

The objective of Sprint 1 was to understand the current state of purpose, values, culture and general sentiment within Pocket. This involved the following activities which have now been completed:

  • Consolidation and review of existing materials relating to mission/vision, values, culture and strategy
  • Creation of the DNA survey and completion by the community
  • Analysis and summary of survey results (shared below)

The survey itself was designed to gather input in a safe, anonymous and methodical way and to help us understand:

  • How each of us individually perceives and frames Pocket’s mission, value, culture and strategy
  • The synergy between this personally and whether we are aligned as a collective
  • Areas of consistency and divergence regarding what we see as priorities and success

Survey Results

We received a total of 21 responses from a broad cross-section of the community and some very impressive answers. Here is both a written and visual summary:


  • Pocket’s purpose and ethos inspire pride in the community, but we can use more consistent language and descriptions to tell our story more powerfully
  • Pocket’s vision is ambitious and inspiring, but we are not aligned on exactly where we are going or what success looks like
  • Pocket’s values are strong and consistently “Open Source Software” values, but we are not always living these consistently

This is a solid foundation for us to reinvigorate with clearly defined statements, and with this increased clarity use to drive the project forward on our strategic priorities. You have comment access in the linked slides so feel free to leave comments or questions there too.

Sprint 2

In the next 2-3 weeks, we will conduct workshops to drive towards our refreshed statements. We will reach out via various channels seeking targeted participation, and there will be an open workshop session for the community in which any member can attend and participate. At the end of Sprint 2 we will report back on a final set of draft statements seeking the community’s consent to start using not only in communications but in helping us further define our operations and especially in Sprint’s 3 and 4 to define strategic priorities.

It is very cool and inspiring to see the passion and ambition for Pocket, and we’re excited to keep aligning on it together with you.

Many thanks, PNF


DNA Update and Community Call next week

Following from the note above, we have completed DNA workshops with PNI, PNF and the community members who reached out to us directly and asked to be involved.

On Thursday 30th of March we will run an interactive community call to further capture the inspiration of our community around the emerging DNA themes. You can access the event link in Discord or by simply clicking here

Thanks, we hope to see you all there!


The interactive DNA session took place on the community call today. Thanks to all who joined… we get so much inspiration from your stories and answers. The Pocket story is your story, so we’ll iterate some more on how to bring it all together as we finalise this DNA.

The output from the session is provided for everyone below. We noticed that if you download the doc as a pdf it seems a bit buggy but it’s working perfectly when opening the link in your browser.

Session output: POKT Community Inspiration.pdf - Google Drive


After a survey, workshops, iteration and final inspiration from our incredible community, we present here an answer to the original question.

What is Pocket’s DNA?

Pocket’s DNA is encoded in Unstoppable Open Data.

Unstoppable is a force.
It springs eternal and you know it when you see it. It’s undeniable.
It’s grit and determination that just won’t stop.
It’s resilience through adversity.
It’s a sovereign crypto network, decentralized on every dimension, built to stand forever.

Open means unlimited possibility.
It’s the uncapped potential of being optimistic and permissionless.
It’s participatory and welcoming, thriving through different perspectives and creating a true meritocracy.
It’s authentic and human, and it’s the impact and profound change that are possible when transparency and candor power collaboration.
It’s open source code you can verify and trust.
It’s an open organization and an open internet. It is web3.

Data is our passion.
High performance with no drawbacks is our destiny.
Open data with 99.999999% uptime, accessible to everyone.
The fastest round trips and no waiting for responses.
Cost-effective data and an obsession with quality mean you know it just works.
Pocket understands this trilemma of Reliability, Performance and Cost because we’re the ones that defined it. We inspired a community to join us in this mission and a whole category of new infrastructure providers to pursue this mission too.

This passion and our vision are what bind Pocket together. Inspiring us to be more than the sum of our parts. Together, we are inspired to build a future where the world’s most important digital infrastructure is owned and governed by its users.

Because that’s not just the future, it’s what we’ve always been. It’s in our DNA.

Pocket’s purpose is to power unstoppable open data and open infrastructure governed by its users

Pocket’s DNA, Purpose, Mission, Vision and Values statements:

DNA Statement:
Pocket’s purpose is to power unstoppable open data and open infrastructure that is governed by its users

Our purpose:
Provide the world with unstoppable open data

Empower developers with access to the most reliable, performant and cost-effective data

Our vision:
A future where the world’s most important digital infrastructure is owned and governed by its users*

We strive to be:
A values-driven, collaborative, open-source community that is transparent, inclusive and adaptable.
We bring our values of community, inclusion, transparency, collaboration and adaptability into our behaviors when we are:
Highly Aligned Loosely Coupled, Assume positive intent, Default to open, Ideas over Egos, Faster Learning beats Better Planning


Having this alignment around DNA begins to unlock higher leverage opportunities for all of us to contribute to Pocket.

For example, Unstoppable Open Data aren’t meaningless buzzwords. Each word describes a high leverage area for the different contributors to Pocket:

Unstoppable is about ensuring the long-term resilience and vitality of the project, which is primarily the role of PNF as the credibly neutral steward

Open is about Pocket functioning as a permissionless, open source community and using our culture to attract new participants and help them to thrive. This is an extremely high-leverage area for the community to take the lead and have ownership.

Data is about the way in which we empower developers to get reliable, performant and cost-effective data from the Pocket Network protocol. This is the highest leverage area for PNI and other builder teams to play their role.

We will unpack all the DNA concepts and how they will drive further alignment on an open community call this week. We hope you come and join us on the call!

A contest to bring Pocket’s DNA to life

DNA also creates the opportunity for refreshed narrative and storytelling around the Pocket brand. To illustrate, we have created a simple visual example of how Pocket DNA might be communicated:

Pocket DNA - Final Example.pdf (3.3 MB)

However, this is just an illustrative example.

Starting this week, we will open a contest for the community to suggest ideas and designs for the future brand, personality and design aesthetic of Pocket. Pocket’s DNA is inside of all of us, so we want everyone to share what it means to them and how they think we can best communicate our DNA and the wider Pocket story.

More details on the contest, how to participate and the type of ideas we hope to encourage will follow in a forum post from @Dermot later this week.

Living and measuring our DNA

Lastly, DNA is the building block of life. It’s about how we live and work each day. But how do we measure life and vitality in Pocket? To do this, PNF has defined a North Star metric that we think best reflects the many elements of our DNA.

The North Star metric of Pocket Network is Protocol Revenue.

Protocol revenue is the right guiding metric for Pocket because it best represents value creation and capture from across the entire ecosystem. It is a shared metric for which we are all responsible. It’s inherently focused on creating value for customers, and on closing the loop so that value flows back to ecosystem participants and to the POKT token. Revenue is the key building block for a sustainable network economy, which in turn is key to ensuring that Pocket is truly unstoppable. We will provide a wider and more detailed set of metrics that will help us understand performance across numerous dimensions, but we want to take this opportunity to state clearly that protocol revenue is what we will use as a network to track progress along our future path.

With this north star metric lighting the way, DNA now moves to perhaps its most important phase: aligning on specific goals, priorities and investments in pursuit of protocol revenue. In the next week, PNF will outline an Ecosystem Thesis which includes ambitious goals for the network and some keystone projects that we will sponsor to quickly accelerate along this path.

We look forward to seeing you on the community call and discussing our DNA, sharing more about the design contest and seeing your ideas and designs, and presenting a thesis for the big, audacious goals for Pocket in the coming months. We hope you’re as excited about it as we are.


A contest to bring Pocket’s DNA to life

Nothing like a bit of competition to show a community’s true colours :slight_smile:

As stated by @b3n on Monday:

Now that we have the narrative foundations and direction provided by our DNA, we want to use this opportunity to harness the community’s hivemind.

It’s time to roll up your sleeves, load up your quills, clean your paint brushes, sharpen your chisel, or just fire up discord to start loading prompts into Midjourney…

It’s time to get creative. And we want your A-game. Be inspired and get as weird as you feel is right. You be you.

Pocket’s DNA is inside all of us, so we want everyone to share what it means to them and how they think we can best communicate our DNA and the broader Pocket story to the wider world.

To attract new ideas and examples - and to incentivise the best talent from within and outside our ecosystem - PNF is setting a bounty of 50,000 POKT towards the contest winner.

How to contribute to the POKTDNA brand and design contest

Click here to add your submission on the standalone contest page.

The contest will occur across two periods: the submission and voting periods.

During the submission period from today until the deadline of midnight (UTC) on Tuesday, 18 April, everyone is asked to suggest an idea or design that improves:

  1. how we tell the story of our DNA,
  2. the overall aesthetic and design of Pocket, or
  3. the overall brand and personality of Pocket.

Your submission could be a simple sentence that describes Pocket’s purpose, mission, vision or values in a particularly compelling way to use on our website for future branding material. It could be a new design schematic, a colour palette, a full redesign of the DNA handbook, or a complete redesign of Pocket’s brand. It could even be a poem or a rap…

Get creative! Ultimately, those who best understand Pocket’s DNA and the feel of our community are most likely to win, so please feel free to team up together to maximise your talents. You can make up to three submissions per wallet.

During the voting period, from Wednesday, 19 April, until midnight (UTC) on Friday, 21 April, every DAO voter will vote on the idea or design they love the most.

We will discuss everything on tonight’s community call and be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

FAQ about the contest

Where is the contest held?

The contest is held on the JokeDAO platform, with the contest itself created as a smart contract on the Polygon network.

If you submit an idea on Twitter, this forum, or anywhere other than the JokeDAO platform, it will not be in with a chance of winning the prize.

Can anyone participate?

Yes. Anyone can submit an idea or design on the JokeDAO platform by signing with their wallet. Each wallet can make up to three submissions.

Do I need to pay a fee to make a submission?

Yes. A small fee of c.$0.03 (denominated in MATIC) is required to pay the gas to make a submission. This fee goes to the validators of the Polygon network and not to the underlying platform, PNF, or anyone else.

You can buy MATIC on Uniswap on Ethereum (or any other major EVM chain) and bridge it to your wallet address on Polygon using a bridge solution such as the main Polygon POS bridge.

Who gets a vote in the contest?

To enable the voting period, each of Pocket’s DAO voters has each been airdropped a special “POKTDNA” token that they can use to vote on the submissions they are most inspired by.

What’s next?

Please contribute to the contest before the deadline of midnight (UTC) on Tuesday, 18 April.

And if you are a DAO voter, please vote for your favourite during the voting period, which runs from Wednesday, 19 April, until midnight (UTC) on Friday, 21 April.

PNF will coordinate the payout of 50,000 POKT to the winning submission shortly after the vote ends.

Why run a contest at all?

Compared to classic yes-no voting in DAO governance, this form of competitive governance means nobody votes against options but only for options. As a result, It lowers the barrier to providing an idea and reduces the adverse effects of voting no on a proposal.

A contest is an exciting mechanism that, subject to the success of this first contest, we may use again in the future to elicit the community’s preferences better.


The contest is currently up for voting, ending in approximately 31 hours at midnight UTC on Friday.

All DAO voters have a vote, but I only see one vote so far


what is pocket DNA is a good question given you are hiding api behind a signup portal.
this is web2, exclusive and adds friction to onboarding.

why give kyc info if the can customer prepays for n calls, when exchausted refill.
The signup portal is a horrible fundamental approach and have seen it in siacoin and well did not end well.
0x is doing the same, grt the same.
i ‘hate’ this on pocket as well

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Before jumping to conclusions, I would recommend you read our thesis, which sets out why decentralising Pocket’s demand side is a strategic priority for the ecosystem, and includes the initiatives, and metrics we are working on - as an ecosystem - to achieve this goal.

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