📡 Fantom is Moving up the Ranks, as Top 5 Chains are Shaken Up

Pocket Network Relay Recap

Relay Recap #99 features Fantom RPC relays surging, huge weeks from Polygon Archival and DFKchain, and Polygon reclaiming the #2 spot. This recap covers stats from January 19 – January 25.

Happy Friday! It’s time for our 99th Relay Recap, closing in on the 100 milestone!

We saw relay growth return this week, as we got back to a 1 billion daily relay  average. This was thanks to very steady performance throughout the period. Relays stayed in a tight channel between about 1 billion and 1.04 billion. Also noteworthy was that we finished with network-wide relay growth even while Ethereum relays were down for the week.

This was also a week of lots of shake-ups and re-orderings in the rankings. Even with Ethereum staying in the #1 spot, the chain gave up a 5% share of total network relays. This was the same 5% share that Polygon gained this week as it moved back into the second spot. Meanwhile, DFKchain nearly doubled its share of relays, and Fantom nearly tripled its share.

Speaking of Fantom, we also saw the chain fly into the Top 5 for RPC relays, and BSC drop out. 

You can see the shake-up by comparing the Top 5 last week…

  • Ethereum
  • Gnosis – xDai
  • Polygon
  • BSC
  • DFKchain

…to the new Top 5 after this week:

  • Ethereum
  • Polygon
  • DFKchain
  • Gnosis-xDai
  • Fantom

Lastly, we also had another big move up the rankings from Polygon Archival – more on that below.

Throughout this period, the network serviced an average of 1.01 billion daily relays. The daily high for this time period was recorded at 1.037 billion on January 23rd. 

Overall, 7.1 billion relays were serviced during the week. This was a 4% increase over the 6.8 billion relays the prior week.

Chain Highlights

Our top gainer this week was Polygon Archival, as the chain had explosive relay growth of 262%. This moved Polygon Archival 5 spots up in the average earnings per node rankings. It’s now moved all the way into the #2 spot! Polygon Archival is now actually 1 spot ahead of Polygon Mainnet in the earnings per node rankings. As far as specific performance during the week, last week’s spike from 375,000 to 3.9 million was mostly maintained for the first six days. After that, relays fell back down to 375,000 on the last day of this week.

Also in the triple-digit club was Fantom, with a 164% increase in RPC relays. Thanks to this performance, Fantom nearly tripled its share of total RPC relays, from 3% to 9%. Fantom also launched itself into the #5 rank for total RPC relays, and made a serious move 9 spots upwards on the average earnings per node rankings. Fantom started to climb in the last two days of the previous period, and then it doubled its daily relays on the first day of this period (from 40 million to 80 million). The chain maintained right around 80 million daily relays for four days. After this, it had a moderate dip to 70 million in the last three days of the week.

DFKchain also nearly cracked 100%, with a 97% growth in relays of its own. Just like it nearly doubled its relay count, it also nearly doubled its share of total network relays, moving from 8% to 15%. With this performance, DFKchain jumped BSC and Gnosis – xDai to move into the #3 spot for total relays. After flat performance around 80 million daily relays all of last week, the chain immediately jumped to 140 million daily relays to start this period. After that, it rose to a peak at nearly 170 million daily relays, before dipping over the course of the last four days. Even with the dip, though, DFKchain still finished with 120 million relays on the last day.

Next up is NEAR, with relays up 65%. The chain has been steadily climbing for weeks now. In that time, it’s gone from about a quarter million daily relays on January 12th to a peak above 700,000 daily relays during this period. Relays dipped a bit after that peak, but still maintained around 600,000 for six straight days.

Polygon also increased its relays by 48% this week. The chain regained a 5% share of total relays to move its slice of the pie up to 17% (corresponding with Ethereum giving up a 5% share this week). Polygon also jumped Gnosis – xDai to get back into the #2 rank for total relays across all blockchains. The chain started reversing a downward trend on the 21st, and over the course of three days it climbed from less than 100 million daily relays to about 250 million daily relays.

We also had Klaytn relays up 14%. Daily relays mostly stayed between 8 and 9 million during this period, but on the last day we saw a big-time spike to more than 12 million daily relays.

Lastly, Evmos relays were also up 14% this week. The chain has had a bit of a volatile ride, but after last week’s low of about 6.6 million, Evmos never went below 7.8 million this week. It actually peaked above 9.4 million early in the period, before dipping over the course of the next five days.

For the developers out there, remember to visit the Pocket Portal to get set up with RPC endpoints for these and other chains that Pocket Network supports!

Node Earnings

From January 19th through January 25th, the order of the Top 3 earners was also shaken up to match the changes we saw in total relays throughout the week. Polygon moved up into the 2nd spot, taking the place of Gnosis – xDai, which fell off the list. Meanwhile, DFKchain moved into the #3 spot – and it was a closer call in terms of the difference between the #2 and #3 earnings this week compared to last week.

In terms of average daily relays per node, we saw the following chains make the Top 15 list.

After a week in which we had no movement in any of the top 6, we can see a lot more shuffling around on this list during this period.

Right off the bat, Polygon Archival is noteworthy for continuing its recent surge up the list, now all the way up to the #2 spot, and actually ahead of its Mainnet counterpart. Don’t sleep on Archivals, apparently!

The other big mover up the charts was Fantom, propelling itself just outside of the Top 5. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, with the 164% increase in weekly relays.

As far as chains losing ground in the rankings, BSC was the noteworthy one here, as a down week in relays took the chain down 6 spots. Still hanging on in the Top 10 though! 

Lastly, we saw Boba crack this list, creeping up from the #16 spot the prior week.

Node Infrastructure

As of January 25th, Pocket Network’s decentralized infrastructure included 22,974 active nodes across more than 25 different countries, allowing the network to provide constant uptime and resiliency while supporting dozens of different chains. 

This total node count was down about 0.2% from the previous week.

Note: PIP-22 and PUP-19 brought big changes to the incentives that shape Pocket’s node infrastructure, by way of introducing stake-weighted servicer rewards and increased validator rewards. We’ll likely continue seeing a consolidation of nodes, as node runners and providers combine stakes to take advantage of these incentive structures that have been rolled out in v0.9.0.

Wrap Up

  • Relay growth returns, even with a decrease in relays from Ethereum.
  • Polygon moves back into the #2 spot with a big week, part of a general shake-up of the Top 5.
  • Polygon Archival and Fantom both clock in with triple-digit percentage growth, with DFKchain right behind them at 97%.
  • Polygon Archival keeps moving up the average earnings per node rankings, now all the way up to the #2 spot and ahead of Polygon Mainnet.

Thank you for reading!