Ethereum Relays Pull Back, but New Chain Support Keeps Coming

Happy weekend everyone! We’re back with another Relay Recap.

After weeks of either growing relays or maintaining performance, we saw a temporary pull back in total relays this week. Ethereum was the main source of the dip, as we’ll see in the Chain Highlights section below. Nevertheless, several chains still grew their total relay count this week, highlighting the importance of Pocket’s multichain support in diversifying the network’s sources of relays.

Throughout the week, the network serviced an average of 821 million daily relays, with the daily high for this time period recorded at 899 million on August 11th.

Overall, 5.7 billion relays were serviced during the week, representing a 21% decrease over the 7.3 billion relays the prior week.

Chain Highlights

As mentioned above, Ethereum was the main factor in the overall decrease in relays during this period. After weeks of significant growth in relays from this chain, Ethereum temporarily pulled back 58% this week. Following a peak around 300 million daily relays last week, there was a drop in relays to start off this timeframe, followed by the chain posting around 80 to 90 million daily relays for the remainder of the period. This led to Ethereum’s share of total Pocket Network relays dropping from 22% to 12%. We traced part of the decrease in Ethereum relays to some issues in Asia and other regions, which have since been resolved. In addition to Ethereum, Harmony was another top chain that accounted for a large portion of the decrease this week, as its relays were down 29%.

While relays were down overall, BSC actually added to its Top 5 position with a 7% increase in relays this week. As other chains pulled back, BSC grew its share of relays from 6% to 8%. The chain stayed steady between 60 to 70 million daily relays, maintaining its consistent growth of late.

Osmosis was another chain that managed to grow relays this week, staying in a tight channel between 500,000 and 600,000 daily relays, after spending most of last week below half a million. Overall, Osmosis relays were up 27% this week.

Avalanche was the third chain that bucked the trend this week, with relays up 18% compared to the prior period. During the week, Avalanche had a steady climb up in daily relays, closing the timeframe above 15 million relays on August 17th.

Remember to visit the Pocket Portal to get set up with RPC endpoints for these and other chains that Pocket Network supports!

New Chain Support

During the time frame covered here, we officially allowlisted another new chain: Polygon Mumbai (000F).

Mumbai is a Polygon testnet, and allows developers to deploy and test applications on the Polygon network. To date, there have been more than 27 million blocks produced on Mumbai, with over 117 million transactions.

Developers can now get set up with Polygon Mumbai endpoints in the Pocket Portal, and node runners can service this chain to earn POKT rewards!

We also announced that we are making preparations to allowlist three more chains in August: Meter Mainnet (0057), Metis Mainnet (0058), and Dogechain Mainnet (0059).

Meter describes itself as a “hybrid Layer 1 and Layer 2 platform,” and focuses on being the “fastest, most decentralized and scalable Ethereum sidechain.” The chain is fully compatible with Ethereum at the RPC level, and also includes BSC, Avalanche, Moonbeam, Moonriver, and others in its list of supported chains.

Some of Meter’s key features include:

  • Censorship and frontrunning resistant Ethereum scaling (scalable to thousands of consensus nodes)
  • Interoperability (allows assets and smart contracts to travel across blockchain networks)
  • Crypto native stability (a “metastable” currency that is inflation resistant, has elastic supply, and carries reduced risks compared to fiat pegged, collateralized, algorithmic stablecoins)

Metis is a decentralized Ethereum Layer 2 rollup platform that features low gas fees, fast transactions, native storage, high security, and simple implementation. The chain aims to tackle six of Ethereum’s biggest challenges:

  • Simplicity
  • Speed
  • Storage
  • Scalability
  • Security
  • Savings

Dogechain, a Layer 2 for Dogecoin, has been building its hype-train of late and is aiming to bring NFTs, games, and DeFi for Dogecoin users. Dogechain users can use DOGE for gas fees, and the chain brings all kinds of new utility to the Doge ecosystem. Dogechain uses PoS consensus for cheap and fast transactions, and (as always with all things Doge) is supported in a big way by its community. omg much exciting!

We’re targeting August 23rd for Dogechain support, and August 30th for Meter and Metis!

Note: interested in the next set of chains that we’re eyeing for support? Pocket’s upcoming claimed chains include: Aptos, Cosmos, RSK, Concordium, and Manta.

Node Earnings

From August 11th through August 17th, there were 2 chains whose nodes earned more than 1 million POKT, with Ethereum coming in third at nearly 800,000 POKT earned. This week featured yet another swap of the top two chains, as Polygon pulled away from Harmony for the top spot. Meanwhile, ETH was more of a distant third this week, given its large decrease in relays.

In terms of average daily POKT earned per node, the top 5 chains at the end of this time frame were:

  • Polygon
  • Harmony
  • ETH
  • Gnosis – xDai
  • BSC

Similar to the above total earnings stats, we saw a swap of the top 2 chains this week, with Polygon taking a significant lead over Harmony in average node earnings. Klaytn’s brief stay in the Top 5 average node earnings also came to an end (as more nodes began servicing the chain), making room for BSC to reclaim the 5th spot thanks to its relay growth this week.

Node Infrastructure

As of August 17th, Pocket Network’s decentralized infrastructure included 31,147 active nodes across 24 different regions, allowing the network to provide constant uptime and resiliency while supporting dozens of different chains.

Note: PIP-22 and PUP-19 are bringing 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 new incentive structures that are being rolled out in v0.9.0.

Wrap Up

  • Ethereum temporarily pulled back from its recent growth, as this chain and Harmony were the main sources of the overall drop in relays this week.
  • BSC, Osmosis, and Avalanche were each able to buck the trend and grow their relays this week.
  • New chain support keeps coming, as Polygon Mumbai was officially allowlisted and Meter, Metis, and Dogechain are next in line for support.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!