2022: A Year of Growth with Pocket

As we close the books on 2022, it’s time to look back on the whirlwind of growth and developments we saw in Pocket’s ecosystem throughout the year.

From massive relay growth, to amazing community-driven projects, we saw both the Pocket Network protocol and the Pocket DAO evolve and mature during 2022.

Network Demand Blasts Off

As more Web3 projects and users saw the need for decentralized infrastructure, 2022 was a year in which we saw this demand carry over in a massive way to the overall usage statistics for Pocket Network.

2022 shattered a number of Pocket records for the numbers of relays serviced:

  • All-time high for total daily relays. 1.4 billion relays serviced on October 23.
  • Total relays serviced for the year. 281 billion (a more than 21x increase over 2021!)
  • Highest number of daily active users in the Pocket Portal. 648 unique users on December 1.
  • All-time high for daily relays served through the Pocket Portal (excluding public endpoints). 1.065 billion on October 23.

Working towards our vision of a multichain future, we also brought our number of supported blockchains all the way up to 39, more than doubling the number of supported chains at the end of 2021.

More than just the number of supported chains, we’ve also been able to expand our service across different types of chains, from L1s to L2s, sidechains, subnets, parachains, Cosmos chains, testnets, archivals, and more.

Pocket Presence Around the Globe

As we’re writing this, Pocket Network now has more than 23,000 nodes, with a diverse mix of setups, spread out amongst 28 different countries all over the world.

While our network has thousands of nodes in the United States, Singapore, and Germany, we also have hundreds of nodes in France, the UK, Canada, and Finland. Moving further down the list, the network’s geographic reach also extends to countries like South Korea, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Lithuania, and many, many more.

It’s been truly incredible to see this global decentralization play out in front of us, as node operators from all over the world join the network to provide fast, reliable infrastructure across regions.

Community-Driven Projects Evolving the Ecosystem

Time and time again throughout 2022, our incredible community stepped up to help evolve the Pocket Network ecosystem with key DAO proposals, improved tooling and analytics, serious work on protocol developments, and more.

Here’s a look at just a few of the cool things we saw our community build in 2022.

Thank you to everyone in our community that helped us take Pocket to the next level in 2022!

Keep Building

Our Protocol and Product teams had their heads down in 2022, building towards improving v0 and laying the foundation for what’s to come in v1.

Key Releases

[Note: you can see our recent deep dive on the Protocol team’s work for much more detail on this front!]

The 0.8.0 release laid the foundations for non-custodial staking, an upgrade that improves the service provider model and keeps stakes safe. The network has been quickly adopting non-custodial staking, and now upwards of 20% of the network is utilizing it as a preferred node configuration.

Release 0.9.0 also introduced stake-weighted rewards for our node network. Stake-weighted rewards were proposed in PIP-22 in order to help reduce node running costs by incentivizing stake consolidation (without compromising quality of service). After this introduction of stake-weighted rewards, the network has responded with more than a 40% reduction in single service nodes since July.

The LeanPocket release brought an innovative light client that radically reduces node costs by ~99%, by allowing node runners to vertically stack 150+ servicers per 1 full node. As mentioned above, this release was a collaboration between the Pocket internal team, Thunderhead, and PoktFund, who all came together to integrate LeanPocket into Pocket Core. Since this software was open-sourced by Thunderhead and PoktFund in August, we’ve seen around a third of the node network adopting this light client, making it a large contributor to continued node consolidation and even further reduction of network costs.

Our Product team also put out a major update in the Pocket Portal, introducing two new plans: Always Free and Pay As You Go (PAYG). While the Always Free tier lets dApps tap into our infrastructure in minutes and get access to up to 250,000 daily relays for free, the Pay As You Go tier brought an easy way to access more throughput, while keeping payments in line with your actual dApp traffic. Plus, with PAYG, we introduced POKT rewards for staking – after 24 months of paid service under the PAYG plan, you can now receive a corresponding amount of POKT that you can stake for continued service!

Breaking Barriers with v1

Beyond these releases, the Protocol team also made major strides towards the next evolution of the Pocket protocol: v1. Throughout 2022, the Protocol team researched and developed specifications for Pocket’s v1, which will be a scalable, secure, and modular app-specific proof-of-stake Layer-1, with the goal of eliminating technical scaling limitations for relays, servicers, validators, and applications.

After a detailed speccing process, the team got to work on implementing MVPs of the four modules that will make up v1 (Utility, Peer-to-Peer, Consensus, and Persistence). We now have working proof of concepts for all v1 modules!

With all these efforts combined, the team was able to send its first successful end-to-end transaction in testnet earlier this year! We couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come with v1 in 2023.

The Best DAO in the Space

2022 truly felt like a coming-of-age year for the Pocket DAO, as we saw crucial proposals related to inflation controls, parameter additions and updates, contributor incentives, community marketing efforts, and even the structure of the DAO itself. We also rolled out new Governance Town Halls in Discord, which have given the community a more engaging way to hear both sides of crucial DAO debates in a more structured way.

Across the board, it was impressive to see the quality of the debates taking place on each of these key proposals, and the depth of research and effort that the Pocket DAO members put in to constantly improving the ecosystem. We truly believe we have the best DAO in the space.

In 2022, the Pocket DAO had:

  • 42 new voters (a 300% increase!)
  • 35 proposals voted on
  • 3.8 million POKT paid to contributors
  • 15 different bounties paid out

Thank you to EVERYONE that participated in the Pocket DAO throughout 2022, whether as an active voter, a frequent contributor in the Forum discussions, or both!

Building Awareness for Decentralized Infrastructure

All throughout the year, the Pocket core team and our community were in the mix with the broader Web3 community, taking part in events and sharing Pocket’s mission for unstoppable Web3 access.

Our Infracon events were some of our favorite moments in 2022, with a multi-day Infracon taking place in the Dominican Republic earlier in the year, followed by Infracon Day in Bogota, Colombia. Both events were a chance for our community to come together with developers and other exciting Web3 projects to learn and build together.

While Infracon Punta Cana was a heavily community-focused event, Infracon Bogota was sharply focused on middleware projects specifically, with 18 different speakers putting out a jam-packed day full of the latest developments in Web3 middleware projects.

We also had our first-ever Pocket State of the Union, which was an opportunity for Pocket’s core team to come together with key community members, investors, and other stakeholders to discuss not only where Pocket has been over the last year, but also what’s to come in the next year and beyond.

Beyond Infracon and the SOTU, we saw Pocket’s presence at a variety of other events, like ETH Denver, ETH Bogota, ETH NYC, DAO NYC, Synapse Tampa, and more.

See You in 2023!

As exciting as 2022 was, we’re just scratching the surface of the massively important solutions that Pocket Network can bring to Web3.

2023 will be a year of even more supported chains and relay growth, deeper involvement and connections with the community, and expanded awareness of the benefits of Pocket’s decentralized infrastructure – all set against the backdrop of the game-changing work that is being done for v1 of our protocol.

Thank you so much for joining us on the journey in 2022, and we can’t wait to hit the ground running in 2023!