Know Your Indexer AMA | Recap

In this special segment the community shared valuable time with teams such as BitNordic , StakeMachine , StakeSquid , MindHeartSoul , P-OPS and Chainflow who let know their opinion about the delegation and its risks.

AMA Guidelines:

Segment #No1: Host asked Indexers a few introductory questions.

Segment #No2: Chat asked Indexers questions🤗

:small_blue_diamond:SEGMENT 1:


Question 1: Could you share a brief introduction about yourself and your background?

P-OPS team: We are P-OPS Team ~ Pangaea Operations. A group of 9 highly qualified technology enthusiasts, located across the globe. We are a decentralized organization, passionate about Web 3.0, distributed ledger technology (DLT) a**nd decentralization.

With a combined 40+ years of experience in blockchain, P-OPS Team has come to light in early 2019 as a community initiative around Harmony protocol. Since then, we have become an extended team of Harmony whilst expanding our services to other networks and projects. We are specialized in running validators for several networks, while also providing consultation, growth acceleration and funding to new and innovative Web 3.0 projects.

StakeSquid team: Hey everyone. I’m Alex from Stakesquid :squid:. Our company was born early last year, after looking for ways to contribute to the decentralized metaverse and web3. Since then, we participated in various networks as validators, and joined The Graph’s Indexer Testnet in July last year, and later on, The Graph Mainnet as indexers. As for our backgrounds, I studied Industrial Engineering but didn’t see myself doing anything related to that so I pivoted away from it. My partner, Sebastian, has a degree in Computer Science :brain:

BitNordic team: Hello, I’m Nicolas aka. “Cyfera”, I’m the founder of BitNordic -, a crypto infrastructure service provider located in Copenhagen, Denmark. BitNordic is an indexer on The Graph network and furthermore operates validator nodes on several blockchain networks.
I hold a MSc. degree in Software Development & Technology from the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. I have worked as a software engineer with team management responsibilities for over 15 years. I am fluent in various programming languages such as Java, PHP & Javascript and have deep knowledge of server architecture, security and management. And of course a deep passion for crypto both in ways of the tech but also the political and monetary aspects.

Chainflow team: I’m Chris, founder of Chainflow ( We’re a smaller, independent and bootstrapped Web3 infrastructure provider, hoping to build a foundation for a better world through blockchain. We also advocate to #KeepStakeDecentralized :muscle: Because if all we’re doing is rebuilding the current unfair and inequitable economy on new technology, well, then what’s the point?!

StakeMachine team: Hi everyone!
Our team has 20+ years of experience with Unix-based systems of different scales and 10+ years of running different hosting services (from bare metal to virtual machines) and now we completely switched to running blockchain networks.
We are crypto-native from the beginning, all crypto earned by participation in hackathons and securing grants.
So we feel that our experience is the natural fit for blockchain technologies as a whole and The Graph in particular.

MindHeartSoul team: I’ve got a bachelors degree in informatics and electronics. I’ve worked a lot project based, some event organising, some technical. “Mind Heart Soul” has been my brand since 2015, that i’ve been expanding on since.


Question 2: How and when did you hear about The Graph and why did you decide to participate in the network?

StakeSquid team: We knew about The Graph since shortly after the initial team was formed and started attending hackathons, but we didn’t have any opportunities to get involved. Years later, when the Indexers testnet was announced, Sebastian mentioned it in one of our calls, and we both jumped head first in. Why did we participate? Because it’s the most advanced working products that you can find in Crypto, and the community is mindblowingly amazing — from thousands of developers to hundred of thousands of supporters.

MindHeartSoul team: It was with “Mission Control”, The Graph’s testnet, it came on my radar. I’ve had found for a while that incentivised testnets are a very interesting way to get into a crypto project, getting impressions and help improve an upcoming crypto project. By the time mainnet came i was very much convinced of the tech, team and community of The Graph after living it 6 months. I even doubled down and started leveraging the tech in other scenarios, like directly supporting a BSC DEX with their data needs, which i had operational a few days before hosted service announced support for BSC network.

BitNordic team: I was part of the Mission Control - The first line of indexers in close collaboration with The Graph team. I first heard about The Graph from a colleague who had been actively working with The Graph’s service as a developer. He was impressed with the experience and the possibilities it enabled, I soon after checked it out and learned about the path of decentralization The Graph was aiming to achieve. Naturally, it was of high importance for me to get involved when the Mission Control testnet was announced.

P-OPS team: We heard about The Graph from a friend, just a bit before the incentivized testnet started, which is now more than a year ago. I had just enough time to research the project before we would decide if we would participate or not. Once I have gone through the surface of it, it was clear we want to be a part of it - serving data to the web3 community and power thousands of dApps across multiple chains.Today we are a vocal supporter of The Graph and its infrastructure, as we really believe this will be a future data powerhouse for everything, not just dApps.

StakeMachine team: We were thinking about developing blockchain explorers for different networks and were interested in using GraphQL for the API layer. While we were researching the market we found out The Graph and by coincidence, it was the beginning of Mission Control Testnet, so we’ve decided to participate and since then we are active in the community. We’ve contributed a lot and secured two Wave 1 grants.

Chainflow team: I was the PM at ENS for a few years. ENS’s founder, Nick Johnson, was using The Graph to index ENS information going back at least two years. So I was a fan of the project back then.

When I heard about the original Mission Control testnet, I felt excited for us to join it, as by then Chainflow was in full swing. Since first discovering The Graph through ENS, I felt a strong alignment with the project’s decentralized values. So running infrastructure for the project felt like a natural fit.


Question 3: From your point of view, how important are delegators and curators for the performance of the Indexers work?

MindHeartSoul team: Curators identify and balance the quality and value of subgraphs on the network. Delegators have the power to do the same about indexers. All of the roles have a responsibility to make The Graph a thriving ecosystem, by their function and by engaging in the community.

StakeSquid team: Both are extremely important. The Curators, in particular, can move the indexing rewards market with their signals, and thus they can indirectly notify indexers which subgraphs should be the most important to be indexed. The Delegators support indexer’s work and can further increase Indexer’s rewards while also participating in the network and earning rewards for themselves which is great!

BitNordic team: Curators are very important because they help Indexers assess which subgraphs to index. And delegators enable indexers to do more. I think we have a beautiful trinity.

P-OPS team: They are both very important and an essential part of The Graph ecosystem, Curators are the first line in The Graph ecosystem, as they are the ones that find, identify, launch, and curate subgraphs. Indexers will rely a lot upon their ability to determine what is a quality project to index, and what is not. The last few months they really showed how essential they are to us.

Delegators, having much less work or knowledge needed, are equally as important. They allow us to allocate to more subgraphs, optimize these allocations so we can optimize our returns. But the most important role they play is keeping the indexers honest and in good standing. They also have a lot of power in making sure the network is decentralized and support honest and good indexers.

StakeMachine team: The Graph Protocol was designed so that all participants of the networks have their role and the protocol can’t function properly without them.
Without delegators, an Indexer can’t do much if it doesn’t have enough self stake, which means that Delegators could be a kind of fuel for Indexers’ operations.
Curators are showing Indexers which Subgraph needs attention based on their opinion or some research, without curators Indexers would be blind.

Chainflow team: Delegators are the ones who really secure the network. While we run the Indexers, it’s really the stake that secures the network.

Curators help separate the signal from the noise. In a world where we are bombarded from every direction by noise, their curation talents are crucial to help us figure out which subgraphs are valuable to The Graph community.

Both are fantastic and valuable ways for community members to participate in the network.


Question 4: What words would you use to describe the relationship between you as an indexer and your delegators? How do you make them closer to you?

P-OPS team: Transparency, accessibility, honesty. We are always making sure our delegators are fully aware of what we are doing (closing/opening allocations, other operations we do, etc.). We have set up a dedicated Telegram group to make sure they have direct access to us if they have questions, and a totally dedicated chatroom to The Graph, so that they see when we perform a certain action. I usually make sure I also explain the reasoning behind what we are doing (or not doing).

So to make them closer, simply allow them to have easy access to you and communicate what you are doing. If you do that, they will know and feel it. As a delegator I know how it feels if you have first hand info and access to the team to which you’re staking, it’s priceless.

MindHeartSoul team: I announce any major change in my policies, ongoing there’s my commitment to lower cut 5% when total delegations reach x4 self-stake. Other than that, i’m always available through discord (Koen#4700) and telegram, answering questions people might have.

BitNordic team: As we are a company in a nordic jurisdiction, we have a big focus on operating in a compliant way, we make sure we have established the processes needed in order to succeed and continue to deliver good services long into the future. You do not need to worry - we are also here next year and the year after. We establish trust by not doing any sudden changes in fees, and yes we do have fees, yet still secure very competitive APY’s for delegators. We are always available to answer any questions and I feel our history, which any delegator can look up, will prove we are a reliable and a legit service partner.

StakeMachine team: We are open to communication and are trying to be transparent as possible, but not sure that we are good at building relationships with our delegators. Our hope is that our contributions speak for themselves

StakeSquid team: Technically speaking, there shouldn’t be any relationship between the indexer and its delegators, because the network is supposed to be trustless and permissionless. But we’re keeping in touch with everyone on our telegram channel Telegram: Contact @StakeSquid and also on Discord over DMs. We’ve made tons of new friends along the way and we’re always happy to discuss anything and help people out whenever they need it! :slightly_smiling_face:

Chainflow team: We see the relationship as a true partnership of equals. We are also committed to transparency, as well as our decentralized values.

We hope those who stake to us also share those decentralized values and are fortunate that most do.

We also are committed to equality. Each delegator is treated equally, no matter how big or small their stake is with us. 1 GRT to one person may represent as much of their wealth as 1000000 GRT does to someone else.

We don’t cut any backroom or side deals. Everyone is treated equally :handshake:


Question 5: In addition to your work on the web as Indexers, have you experienced delegation? How would you describe the process?

MindHeartSoul team: I’ve got a small amount delegated. I found it straightfoward through The Graph’s network dApp. For those that need more help, there’s excellent docs as well as guides by the Graph Academy.

StakeMachine team: Sure, we’ve tried delegation, the process is straightforward, but you need to choose an Indexer wisely. There are a lot of tools already that can help you to make your choice based on the historical performance of each Indexer.

P-OPS team: Yes we have. I am also personally delegating, not just indexing. The process is fairly simple, you find indexers which you like (either accessibility, performance, connections, etc.) and you easily delegate, as simple as approving a token for trading on Uniswap, and then making a trade.

New users should be aware of the entry fee when delegating, which is not substantial, but also not negligible. The undelegation time is also quite long, 28 days. So my advice would be to really make due diligence on the indexer you’re about to delegate to. Check their social channel, contact them, ask them questions. And on the other side, check their on chain data - performance, what they index, how many they index, fees etc. The most important metrics would be performance and effective reward/query cuts. You can find all that info here: Graphscan

BitNordic team: Do an assessment on your Indexer!
Check Indexer history, have they delivered every time? Are they providing a good historic APY?
Did you consider the delegation tax? Unfortunately it’s not so easy to redelegate with The Graph network (yet)

StakeSquid team: Yep, we’re also delegating on the Network. It’s super simple! Pick an indexer that you follow and think it’s going to perform well, open the delegation pane, approve the contract to spend, and then delegate the GRT. There’s a total of two transactions involved — approve() and delegate(), and at the end you’ll be delegated and ready to rock. The rewards are also automatically compounded so there’s nothing else to do other than collect your rewards after a few years of the indexers’ work :slightly_smiling_face:

Chainflow team: Yes. We’ve self-delegated stake. We tend to use the CLI, because it’s what we’re most familiar with and what we use most often.

Choosing an Indexer is an important process. I’d encourage delegators to really do their research and choose 2 or 3 Indexers whose values they align with.

Delegating only to the Indexers with the largest stake centralizes the network, which is something to be aware of, as centralization can adversely impact the health of the network in the long run.

Also, be aware that if you delegate through an exchange, this also contributes heavily to centralization. Be sure to check the actual fees those exchanges are charging as well. It’s often buried in the small print of the user agreement.


Question 6: What do you consider are the risks when delegating and what are it greatest benefits? What would you advise new users of our community?

MindHeartSoul team: I would say risk in delegation is very minimal, at worst you can miss out on rewards and having paid delegation fee + ETH gas. I would recommend to take your time and read up on the protocol before jumping in, ask questions in the community, there’s several things that go into it. The benefits are you help secure the protocol and can engage in shaping the network.

StakeSquid team: The biggest and only risk i’d say is that the indexer you chose doesn’t perform well, and you end up not earning any rewards. Also, in this case, the delegation fee of 0.5% GRT burned can also considered as a loss, and the gas fees of course.
The benefits far exceed the risks in delegation though, as I mentioned above — you earn passive rewards from the protocol for exactly 0 amount of work on your side, and the rewards are also automatically compounded so there’s nothing else to do other than collect your rewards after a few years of the indexers’ work :slightly_smiling_face:

BitNordic team: Biggest risk is not choosing a proper Indexer. It’s important you check their history of providing rewards with the community tools available broadly. It’s also important that you are able to get in contact with an Indexer if you have any questions or concerns. We have made it easy to contact us directly via our website or just DM a team member via Discord or Telegram.

Benefits with delegation is that your indexer of choice will operate the infrastructure needed and with help of curators choose the best subgraphs for you to get the best returns on your delegation.

P-OPS team: There are a few risks, but luckily losing your funds isn’t one of them (at least not due to an indexer hehe). One risk is definitely poor indexer performance, which would usually mean you would switch the indexer - but of course that comes with the undelegation cool down period where you don’t earn any rewards. The other is if the indexer is promoting a low effective reward/query cut, then changes it before closing an allocation. That way the delegator can lose all or most of their rewards.

The benefit is definitely an easier way of accruing some additional value on your capital, without having to have too much technical and Graph specific knowledge, like subgraphs, allocations, indexing, software, monitoring, archive nodes etc. There is also no day to day management or closely following the network and developments (although even as a delegator i would advise you to keep yourself up to date with this).

StakeMachine team: Delegators are pretty safe within the Graph protocol because even in the worst scenario they can lose only fees for delegating and withdrawing calls. And of course, if Indexer fails to deliver they won’t get any gains.

Chainflow team: In addition to what my peers have said, I’ll emphasize the risk of centralization.

For The Graph to be healthy in the long-term, it needs to be truly decentralized. That starts with the stake.

So choosing Indexers with whom you align with, spreading it among 2 or 3 to reduce risk and keeping in mind how your choices help centralize or decentralize stake, are very important.


Question 7: What are the key points to choose a good indexer and how would you motivate the community to be delegators?

StakeSquid team: Find people that are deeply involved in the community. Those are the big brains that you should be delegating with, because those people know what they’re doing and you can always count on them to have the best service (and support, if needed).

MindHeartSoul team: I’d say at minimum know to reach the indexer you want to delegate with, so you can ask them questions if need be, check that they’re running their business actively. I would also suggest to use some of the community tools, to check their history on the network, if they’ve been running solid. I would suggest taking quality into consideration of your selection : are they active in the community, do they seem knowledgeable, are they helping others, are they helping to push the ecosystem forward, etc. I would also suggest to think long-term, network health, so things like stake decentralisation are quite important for The Graph to trive. Lastly, if i were a delegator rather than indexer, i’d also spread my delegations.

P-OPS team: I have already mentioned most of the points in my previous answers, so here is just a list of them:


How to motivate them? It’s a tough one as lots of people like to hold their coins so that they are available for selling or buying at any moment, which is something that isn’t possible if you delegate. However it comes with a mindset change. Staking, inflation, it all dilutes your tokens as a % of the overall network in favour of stakers and delegators. So if you are delegating tokens, you also benefit from inflation. It helps to educate people on this and the economics behind staking (like compounding for example). If token holders also really believe in the project, then this is how they can show their support for the network and decentralization, while earning a nice APY.

StakeMachine team: Even after a year since the mainnet launch, it’s not easy to answer this question without going into details. The obvious choice is to choose the big names, but it could lead to centralization. The better choice could be is to make your own research, join the discord, check if an Indexer is active in the community, attend Indexer Office Hours to get an understanding of the different indexer operations, get in contact with the indexer that you are willing to delegate to. There is no silver bullet, but you can try to find one.

BitNordic team: Find a passionate Indexer that provide stability, an honorable operation, persistent performance and most importantly consistent returns on every allocation closure.

Chainflow team: I’d suggest that when choosing an Indexer, start by getting to know the people behind the machines. Find and support people whose values align with yours.

In addition to that, value performance over size. This helps decentralization. Don’t simply look at a list of Indexers, which are usually sorted in descending stake order, and choose one of the top five with the lowest fees.

:small_blue_diamond:SEGMENT 2:

Many indexers contribute to the growth of the network outside of their mainnet indexer ops - which is often an under-acknowledged value add. To highlight some of these efforts which of your additional network contributions have you been the most proud of?

StakeSquid team: We’ve built the go-to docker repository that A LOT of people use to run their indexer stack nowadays :slightly_smiling_face:

Mainnet stack:

Testnet stack:

GitHub (GitHub - StakeSquid/graphprotocol-mainnet-docker: Graph Protocol Mainnet Docker Guide by StakeSquid. Easy to use, one-stop gateway into the Web3 universe via The Graph.)

BitNordic team: We try to be active in most areas - on various testnets, office hours, forums, governance, discord and contribute in promoting the project in any way or form we can. Create awareness and to be on the forefront of new developments and chain expansions. An ambassador :slight_smile:

Chainflow team: We’ve donated 50% of our Polygon rewards in our first 6 months of operation to the India Covid relief fund.

We’re also piloting programs to #KeepStakeDecentralized :muscle:, such as delegating 30% of our Regen network rewards to other, deserving smaller operators and delegating a % of our Solana rewards to algorithmic stakepools, to help distribute stake more equitably.

I also do some writing to help emphasize the importance of stake decentralization -
The Defiant

MindHeartSoul team: Throughout Mission Control i worked closely with turbogeth / erigon team to help them get compatible with indexing at The Graph. I also madedthem aware of The Graph Grants offering and suggested they apply. This ETH client will have a major role for the future of indexing and the ETH ecosystem as a whole. I’m happy to see that many more people have now stepped in to drive this effort forward.

I’ve also been working with StreamingFast in testing and providing feedback on their Firehose solution as well as the BSC woes that are probably a sign to come for other low-blocktime high-gaslimit chains.

In terms of non-graph work, i’ve also been working with POKT team and i’m operating a POKT validator-relayer myself for 15 networks. POKT is basically a decentralised infura, which aligns with my values of building a decentralised people-owned web3.

Can indexers keep or steal delegator’s tokens? How safe is delegating?

P-POS team: They cant do either of these, they can just allocate tokens for their delegators, thats it basically.

MindHeartSoul team: No. Only if you mistakenly send them your GRT instead of delegating and even then many would probably try to return you the funds.

StakeSquid team: No they can’t :slightly_smiling_face: worst case scenario you wasted the 0.5% GRT that’s burned and the gas fees.

So how does the mechanism work by which the delegator lends his tokens without losing them?

StakeSquid team: It’s not lending, it’s delegation. The indexer can use the tokens but doens’t have “physical” access to them, can just allocate them, but can’t move them outside the protocol.

P-OPS team: Delegating usually means the validator can stake the tokens (in many networks), but cant really transfer/withdraw/steal them - most networks are actually built this way.

So the delegator, or owner of the tokens, still has full access to their tokens and is the only one that can withdraw or transfer them around, validators, or indexers in this case, can only stake them (or allocate in our case here)

BitNordic team: Delegation just mean you choose someone to represent your interests.

Do you think that only large amounts of GRT are worth delegating or would small delegations also be beneficial?

BitNordic team: It really depends on GAS FEES on ETH these days.

Right now it costs:
Delegate ~0.0278 ETH ($122.13 USD)

You have to find a good time when ETH is so busy

P-OPS team: Depends on what a small amount is, but i would say anything that doesnt cover gas fees and the deposit fee in a year, is not worth it at the moment.

That being said, of course any delegation is good and beneficial for the network, its just on every delegator to check the calculations to make sure its worth it

In case you that want to read or learn more about Delegation
The Graph Academy Guide
Delegator Hub
Delegation docs
Delegating GRT video tutorial
Choosing indexers video tutorial
Undelegating GRT video tutorial



Valitor channel
Indexer channel