What is Pocket Network?
The Pocket Network is a blockchain-enabled, decentralized relay network that offers a reliable gateway for Web3 applications by incentivizing full node operators to run the most popular blockchains, such as Ethereum, Algorand, Bitcoin, Avalanche, etc.
While many solutions exist that provide gateways to blockchain networks, they are usually hosted in centralized fashion. Centralized services are susceptible to single points of failure for applications that are striving for connection to decentralized networks in the first place.
Pocket Network distributes hosting duties, which eliminates these single points of failure, making it one of the only decentralized blockchain infrastructure solutions available today. Applications rely on the Pocket Network as a trustless, real-time access point to the blockchain networks they are querying.
What is a Relay?
A relay is essentially the blockchain command/query executed by Pocket Network nodes on behalf of an application. Relays contain pertinent data that applications require from a blockchain to function for its users in that capacity.
Pocket Network relays are very desirable for apps, because they provide a turn-key solution that bypasses the need for app developers themselves to undertake the oftentimes tedious upkeep of blockchain nodes. For a one time fee to the network, apps get lifetime access to some of the most popular blockchains in the world.
Which Blockchains Are Supported?
Pocket Network supports Ethereum test net and main net full nodes, and is currently in the process of adding support for several other blockchain networks in the near future. Please visit POKT Supported Networks for more information.
What is a "Validator Node" ?
A validator node is the actual server that performs the blockchain relays. Pocket Network performs each relay by 5 such nodes, cross-checking their responses to prevent errors and mitigate fraud. Therefore, validator nodes:
- Perform relays to external blockchains
- Validate the relays performed by other nodes, keeping the network honest and reliable
What does "Staking" mean?
Staking in blockchain is an alternative consensus mechanism called "Proof of Stake" (PoS), where the validator nodes on a given network participate by using a “stake” of their tokens as collateral for future consensus. Staking is essentially locking up your tokens into the Pocket Network to be beholden to the rules of the network. Once your POKT is staked to the network, they become unspendable until they are “unstaked.”
Stakes keep incentives aligned so participants are honest and perform reliably, at the risk of their stake becoming “slashed” (or penalized), or even lost entirely in the case of fraudulent activity.
What is the minimum amount I can stake for a node?
To stake your Pocket Network validator node, you are required to send at least 15,000 POKT tokens to your node's public address.
BlockSpaces standardized Stake is 15,375 POKT per node.
Please note that staking more POKT than the minimum of 15,000 + 375 as a buffer does not increase your chances at earning POKT rewards. POKT rewards are a function of the amount of Validators on the network and the amount of relays being processed, not the amount of POKT in your Validator Node.
How does “Unstaking” work?
Just as the action to stake locks up your POKT to your node, unstaking is the method to release the tokens from the network to make them spendable again. In order to preserve the integrity and reliability of the network, there is a 21-day unlocking period where your stake is neither earning rewards, nor able to be jailed/slashed. Upon request, Support Staff can unstake your nodes, which will trigger the 21-day unstaking countdown. After the unlocking period ends, you can have the POKT tokens sent directly to the wallet of your choice, and freely make transactions with your unstaked POKT tokens.
What does being “Jailed” mean?
The internal mechanisms of Pocket Network include “jailing” nodes that divert from the network’s consensus, with appropriate retribution for offenses based on intent. Punishing bad actors mitigates harmful attacks on the network, while simultaneously reinforcing good behavior that promotes the network’s integrity.
Simply put, out of sync nodes are placed in jail to reinforce fault tolerance on the network. How nodes are bailed out of a jailed state depends on the severity of the offense. For example, missing blocks results in a small fine, along with 1 hour of sitting out of the network in a jailed state; whereas, attempting full scale fraud can trigger loss of stake, along with a permanent ban from the network entirely.
How many blocks can my node miss before it becomes jailed?
Currently, your node will be jailed after missing 4-5 blocks. It’s the job of the BlockSpaces’ team to not let that happen. We’re monitoring all of our customer nodes 24/7 to prevent any node being jailed. Just ask the coffee machine!
What happens to my stake rewards?
BlockSpaces allows every node runner to keep 100% of their stake rewards. While other node providers may take a cut of your earned stake as a form of payment, we feel this negates the purpose of staking in the first place. BlockSpaces policy is: your stake, your rewards, period.
Rewards are reported transparently, through our user dashboard or customers may also query the POKT blockchain using the POKT explorer or CL tools and search their validator node address(es).
How can I withdraw my stake rewards?
If you’d like to receive your stake rewards, just send a friendly request to our ticket support. Please be advised and consider the fact that making transactions like this too frequently does incur undue risk.
BlockSpaces takes extreme precautions to ensure that Validator wallet keys are kept in cold storage most of the time. With the current structure of how staking works on the Pocket Network, making transactions necessitates exposing those keys online, which is a security risk we’d prefer to limit as much as possible.
We’re working closely with the Pocket Network DAO to institute better ways to limit risks for stakers and node operators alike.
Will Staking More POKT, increase my POKT Rewards?
No. POKT Stake is intended to secure your node's position on the network, and deter people from staking and unstaking rapidly. (The 21-day unstaking period is built into the protocol). When considering if you should Stake More Nodes, or Stake More to a Single Node, the network's Rewards will distribute to multiple nodes, without preference to any single node on the network based on POKT amount staked.
How many blockchains can my node support?
Each individual node can support a maximum of 15 blockchain networks. This limit is not definitive and can be changed by the DAO in the future.
As of Q3 2021, multiple blockchains have been successfully listed, and BlockSpaces nodes are all synced up to them.
What is wPOKT?
wPOKT is known as a “wrapped token,” which means it is backed 1:1 by POKT. Similar to how wBTC (wrapped Bitcoin) is backed by BTC, wPOKT is an ERC20 token that leverages the capabilities of Ethereum’s decentralized finance ecosystem, while being guaranteed by a custodial account that acts as a verifiable POKT reserve.
Wrapped tokens bring greater liquidity to decentralized exchanges and financial applications operating on Ethereum. The creation of wPOKT aligns directly with Pocket Network’s principles of avoiding centralized exchanges and supporting decentralized finance (DeFi).
The minting/burning process for wPOKT takes place through deposits of POKT in a Multisig controlled by trusted Signers that trigger corresponding events for a specified Ethereum address. The equivalent POKT will be held in the POKT Multisig until the wPOKT is redeemed. At which time the wPOKT will be burnt and the POKT will be transferred to a specified Pocket address.
Users will be permitted to freely exchange wPOKT for POKT, which will support staking in the network. Current node runners may take advantage of this opportunity to swap their POKT for wPOKT to trade on decentralized exchanges in the Ethereum ecosystem.