[... incoming signal from the Pocket Portal to the Dark Forest metaverse]
Alberto here (AKA @disruptbanksy, Esoterick.eth) 👋
As a fellow Dark Forest player, I am super excited to share that Pocket Network has issued a load-balanced xDAI RPC endpoint which grants up to 10,000,000 requests per day just for Dark Forest players!!!
Pocket Network grants access to decentralized full node infrastructure, with xDAI currently being supported by 15 independent Pocket node operators and more coming online in the next couple of weeks.
Even though this represents a small fraction of the traffic from the last round, it should help reduce the load of the already stressed nodes provided altruistically by the xDAI team. Already quite a few Dark Forest players have started to use these endpoints when they experienced some downtime with the default nodes, pushing an average of 3,500 requests per minute (or ~5M requests per day) since this round started.
I’ll be regularly keeping an eye on the amount of traffic. The Pocket Network team and I are more than happy to expand our support, especially as the community continues to adopt the use of Pocket node infrastructure. We believe that this small contribution will help to alleviate some of the huge load on xDAI team nodes, all the while supporting a network aligned with the values of decentralization and censorship resistance.
How’s this different from a single-service node provider or from running your own node?
Pocket Network isn’t a single-service node provider/company, it is a protocol!
Instead of being served by one node (private or shared), your application requests are served by multiple nodes every hour coordinated by a decentralized protocol Pocket Network.
It’s load-balancing and tumbling at the protocol level.
Anytime Dark Forest (or any application) connects to xDAI with this endpoint, it gets automatically paired in a “session” with 5 random nodes in the network. Then, every hour (the time of a session), requests get rerouted into a new session with 5 random nodes. We call this “session tumbling”. Creative name right?!
This random selection algorithm paired with session tumbling, and crypto-economic incentive design unlocks unprecedented redundancy, privacy, and security that isn’t possible in traditional web2 models.
Even if one node goes down for any reason, Dark Forest would still get serviced by the rest of the four nodes in that session. In the unlikely event all the nodes went offline, the application would automatically connect to another session of 5 random nodes.
This built-in redundancy ensures a high level of guaranteed uptime.
It’s load-balanced at the gateway level, too.
As mentioned earlier, this is a load-balanced endpoint.
We’ve mapped 10 sessions at a time to this endpoint.
It enables the 10M requests to be equally distributed across 10 parallel sessions, each with 5 nodes, for a total of 50 Pocket nodes per hour. Let that sink in. 50 nodes per hour. Although I mentioned before that we launch with 15 independent xDAI nodes, you can imagine the benefits enabled once xDAI support grows into the hundreds and thousands of nodes. (p.s if you're running an xDAI node, hit us up in our Discord and let’s get you earning POKT rewards.)
The load-balancing at the protocol level is essentially amplified 10x to compound the resiliency and spread the work across more nodes. It can be scaled infinitely as demand (i.e. usage) grows. What’s exciting as an application developer using Pocket, the longer you use POKT the cheaper it becomes because you lock in costs up front.
From a privacy perspective, session tumbling at the protocol level and load balancing at the gateway level provides additional layers of obfuscation for applications as more sessions are mapped to an endpoint. Each node only receives a small part of the overall data picture. Also, by parallelizing the requests across multiple sessions through the load-balancer, an application can do far more relays than pointing to a single node could ever handle.
Differences aside, Pocket endpoints are hot-swappable for any other endpoint you may be using from another node service provider. If you are aligned with the ethos of decentralization, privacy, and censorship-resistance, check it out.
Here are video instructions on how to replace the default endpoint in the Dark Forest game for the one sponsored by Pocket Network:
You can also reference this Dark Forest developer guide “Changing Your RPC Endpoint”:
A New Pocket Dimension
The xDAI chain is slated to be whitelisted for POKT rewards soon, and with it a new dimension of the “Play to Earn '' phenomenon will be introduced.
Play to Earn x Run a Node
Currently, there are no incentives to run xDAI nodes, but at that moment, xDAI node runners who are servicing through Pocket Network will start earning $POKT for servicing Dark Forest players using Pocket endpoints.
This is where it gets very interesting.
By playing Dark Forest and driving relays (requests) to the Pocket Network protocol, node operators running xDAI nodes will be able to earn $POKT directly proportional to the relays (application requests) served in a session. Since the load-balanced supports 10 parallel sessions, each with 5 nodes per session, that gives node operators plenty of opportunities to earn $POKT for their work.
Taking this a step further...
What if you were also running your own xDAI | Pocket node(s), while playing the Dark Forest game yourself but also serving the requests of your fellow community members playing the game as well!?
You’ll soon be able to get paid to not only play a Dark Forest (i.e. by selling artifacts via the Broadcast Market plugin or selling silver OTC) but also run an xDAI node to support your fellow Dark Forest neighbors.
Here’s an xDAI node revenue model to play around with:
After ranking 109 out of hundreds of players last round, I am beyond ecstatic to jump back in with this second round and to run two xDAI nodes in support of my fellow community members!
Your friendly neighborhood Dark Forest explorer,
Alberto Jauregui (aka @DisruptBanksy, aka Esoterick.eth)