MIPs economical feasibily concerns

I want to express some of my recent concerns regarding the MIPs program:

There are 1.15M points total in the current leaderboard.
My node has 3k points that translates to roughly 93k GRT (assuming 35M GRT MIPS indexer pool). Even with leaderboard updated with new chains, it’s not very likely that the proportion will shift significantly. So I’d expect ~100k GRT reward for the MIPS. I am a relatively large indexer, so I am investing in archive nodes as they are renderred directly to my revenue in mainnet (assuming wide range of subgraphs published in future). I’d estimate maintaining polygon/avalanche/celo/gnosis at 700$/month (on cheapest possible provider - hetzner). Add there Fantom - it’s another 300$/mo. Look at OVH - double the costs. AWS? x5-x10.

However, small-scale indexers that bought mainnet stake and are paying from their pocket for the nodes, are not really incentivised from my perspective. With MIPS going longer than initially planned 6 months, with problems with chains and not distributed rewards, with months needed to update the leaderboard, I don’t see how small individual indexers can be attracted by this testnet. Especially considering the technical skills needed to maintain all the infra.

I had vision that MIPS should stimulate decentralization, attract small teams from everywhere, and reward for participation. But it seems like it’s only a mechanism for larger indexers to offset the costs for archive nodes. Does it work as intended? Or may be we should discuss increasing the MIPS indexer pool? Just putting it on the table, as current state makes me worry about network health.


I actually wrote the below in response to this post but delayed submitting it while I considered ways to streamline my operation and then three new chains were announced which I was keen to see played out.

However, OP’s post has echoed a lot of the concerns I had back then so thought it might be helpful to add my perspective as a 100k startup indexer.

I am not an experienced indexer as the OP is but, as someone who has wanted to join The Graph as an indexer for a while now I saw MIPs as being a great way to springboard my aspiration. I have some problems with the execution which offer a different perspective.

Reading the details of the program I created a plan and budgeted it on the understanding that the costs would be mitigated as the new chains, and the query fees they would bring, were moved over to mainnet. We are approaching 2/3rds of the way through the original timeline (and therefore 2/3rds of my original budget) and we still only have one chain moved over and offering a way to try and make a return.

I had hoped that by now we would see enough chains and query volume on the decentralised network to stretch my budget further but as of now MIPS is costing a lot and not bringing anything in. The reality for me is that this situation cannot continue forever. Setting up a serious attempt at running a proper indexing operation is not cheap in either server rental or devops time. Unless you’re lucky enough to have access to free or cheap servers in a datacentre it seems there is little or no profit to be made as a startup indexer in The Graph at this point in time. I am happy to weather a storm and I have great faith in the project but, right now, I am having to seriously consider my position in MIPS. I think some of the suggestions put forward in the MIPS v2 post are great - they would at least mean we had more options about making our own chances if multiple chains were being tested/migrated at once. The time taken to get the opportunities the new chains will offer (and the move to the query traffic being available to indexers) is killing me and breaking my heart a little as I was hoping I would be able to bring my 20 years of software development and database tuning experience to the protocol and stand out as a good indexer and a valued member of the community.

Could we at least get an updated, realistic timeline on how much longer we expect MIPS will run for? Is there a good reason we are not introducing multiple chains at once?


A good post by Inflex. Clearly explains the struggle many new participants are facing, and certainly shines light on what is actually happening in reality.

We are a team who joined the graph network as a fresh participant of the MIPs program. The thing that inspired us to do this was the initial aim of the graph team to welcome new indexers. We had no locked GRTs from previous missions (as many old indexers have them), so we bought a good deal of them. To make a good infrastructure, we have been using several of high end servers to serve multiple chains for the MIP program. Our initial plan was to invest some for the first chain, then wait for the reward, and use the same reward to stake more for serving additional chains, and so on. But this has obviously not gone according to the plan. What we though would be a win-win situation for both the team and the new participants has been nothing other than a big failure. Already six(+) months into the MIP program and the participants have not even received rewards for the gnosis chain. So yes, Inflex is 100% right, the MIP program can be a big dismay to many of the new indexers who are wanting to join the graph team in a long term basis.

First issue has been the scoring mechanism, which has been held as a top secret. I still don’t understand what is there to make it a secrecy when the whole graph network is open sourced and aimed for decentralization. The second issue is missing information about simple things like (1) How total score is distributed across multiple chains? I mean serving one chain for 1 week vs. serving another chain for 3 weeks is obviously takes two different levels of involvements both in terms of expenses related to infrastructure maintenance and amount of time used by the participants. But what we see is a leaderboard with some “numbers” and nothing more. No explanation of how they were calculated and how they have been distributed across chains. (2) Does anybody out of the participants knows for sure when the MIP program will end? I mean this information is very important to make future plans, budget allocation/distribution etc. (3) If somebody knows clearly (with certainty) how the scores get translated to GRT tokens, then a document should be complied and made available to all the participants. Actually, it is the responsibility of the team to provide such an information. But there is none. If the team is ready to use “secret formula” for calculating the scores, how can we be sure that some other “secret formula” won’t be used for translating the score to GRTs?

Now the third point is, the team should understand and acknowledge a simple fact. The fact that we have really dedicated a lot of our time for the MIP program. Everything has not been sweet and smooth sail, but the opposite, many things have been unclear, unmanaged and not working. And that’s the exact reason why we have to use a lot of our time for the MIP program. The truth is that even the graph team has had issues maintaining timeline. And this comes to me as no surprise. It is understandable. This is a test program, and the very first thing we should expect is to run into trouble. We have, we have definitely run into big time troubles. All of us, every MIPs participant.

So, should we get rewarded in a more sensible way to justify this? I think we all know the answer to this question. I highly appreciate Inflex’s suggestion to increase the MIP reward pool to make it more realistic.

As a new indexer trying to merge in, I expect transparency and honesty from the team and I certainly expect that the team will acknowledge the had work we have put into the MIP program. I hope simple things like not being able to be transparent won’t be the root cause for the graph team to lose many motivated new comers.


Can i also add

If we look at the Mip webpage

In part about rewards , we can see

30% of rewards per chain will be distributed to Indexers at the time of roll-over to the new chain, once the previous chain has met sufficient performance standards and stability on the network.

So even if we will be very pessimistic 2 chains (Gnosis and Celo) tesnet already ended. But no any words about rewards for then. Ok i can understand that Graph team has some more important things to do, but still if you puted in rules, Can you please at least make some announced about those rewards, because a lot of indexer counted on them for future indexer grow potencial .

Regards and hope for best.


I would like to join this issue as a new member of the network.
At the moment the enthusiasm to continue participating is almost at an end, and there are several reasons for that.
Of course this is all that has been mentioned above, from the timing to the demanding infrastructure, but there is one more important point - the awarding of points.
We have an indexer group where we share information with each other, check the performance of our RPCs, run nodes in a timely manner, etc.
As a result, we all have a scoring spread of several times over the last phases. Personally, I have only 100 points for CELO, while there are participants who have 500 and 1000 points, etc. It’s safe to say that the distribution of points is done by the $RANDOM function, but the points have a direct impact on rewards, which already barely pay for the time and infrastructure costs.
You have to understand that with this distribution and the chance of getting 100 points per stage again, renting another server and dealing with the installation of a new network, the enthusiasm is extremely low.
It seems to me that if there are no visible changes, there is a good chance that new participants will at least be very unhappy and it is not worth starting with such, or at most they will just switch off and see no point in continuing.

Let’s find a reasonable solution, it’s not the first time we’ve been approached by participants.

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Hello everyone.
Perhaps I will also leave my opinion about scoring in The Graph MIPs program.
The program initially started with a rather mediocre organization of the process itself. Many things were completed in the process of work. In fact, this can be understood and there are no special claims to this.
But the way the scoring is conducted causes a lot of discontent in the community. For example, today, the number of points of one or another participant in the leaderboard changed almost every 5 minutes. Every time you refreshed the page - the data was already different. It looks like the sum of points was randomly selected for each participant (as said @lux8.net ) in the hope that people will be satisfied with it and will not be indignant.
The community has repeatedly asked you in Discord to write clear and transparent criteria by which you evaluate participation in your program.
People pay a high enough amount of $ at the end of each month to maintain servers in order to continue partsipating in the program and help The Graph achieve its goals, but they, in turn, expect the project to at least conduct transparent scoring so that a person has an incentive to try harder, again in order to eventually get more reward.
And then it turns out that a person can give 100% and be at the end of the queue and vice versa, the one who really does not try is in the top.
Listen your community. Make the scoring clean and transparent!
Cheers :slight_smile:

I think a pretty big part with the total distribution is how many sybil attacks we’ve seen. We’ve started to log some suspicious activity and have made it known to the team leading MIPs.

For example, there are 18 indexers that all share the same ip address (which is contrary to the eligibility requirements).


Good day everyone. I fully support. Participating from the very first phase, I was only included in the leaderboard list this week, although I have repeatedly asked for this both in the profile chat of the discord community and several times in private messages. But other than that, after being included in the leaderboard, I found a much lower score in the points of my work done. Yes, I communicate with some of the other participants and know their position in the leaderboard. I would like our requests to finally be heard and everyone would be rewarded for their true contribution to the development of The Graph. Thank you for attention.