As strong supporters of The Graph and its long-term vision, we believe the best way for us to contribute to The Graph’s success is by building our multi-chain operation and integrating other Graph products on our own terms. The MIPs program, in its current form, prevents us from doing what we think is best for the protocol. Participating in the MIPs program has been frustrating and has diverted our focus from the important work of bringing new chains to the network.
We will still be testing new chains on the testnet and supporting most of them on mainnet, but we will no longer be attempting to follow the MIPs schedule, fill out forms, create special endpoints, or meet any other MIPs-specific requirements. We will instead use the current and projected on-chain signal to guide our work schedule. Unfortunately, this means we will be unable to provide as effective support to other indexers on Discord. We might revise this position if the Graph Foundation makes substantial changes to the program.
It is not a secret that our inability to obtain explanations for the scoring of phase 0 was a great source of frustration. Despite widespread criticisms of phase 0, the organizers stubbornly maintained the same opaque and flawed methodology for phase 1. More recently, the organizers’ silence on critical issues raised by us and others about the unfolding of Phase 2 has irrevocably shattered our hope of a fair reward for our participation in the program.
We believe that the MIPs program is hindering rather than benefiting The Graph network. Here are the reasons why.
- Instead of fostering a strong collaboration between indexers and developers to bring new chains to the network, the program has actually increased the distance between the Graph’s core teams and the indexer community. The influx of a large number of new participants to the network has overwhelmed the developers and has probably caused them to become less active in the community. Additionally, due to concerns about participants potentially gaining an unfair advantage or attempting to game the scoring system through MIPs, communication has been minimized.
- Criticisms and offers of assistance are being ignored by the organizers, which has demotivated long-standing members of the community who feel that their contributions are not being recognized. As a result, The Graph is trying to navigate the biggest transition in indexation without the help of some of its most experienced experts.
- The current program does not incentivizes indexers to actually improve the software, contribute to the community, or build a setup that will scale to support the billions of requests that a multi-chain operation will entail. Nothing in the program will ensure that indexers will support the chains for more than a few weeks. We think it is instead favouring “fly-by-night” indexers that deploy minimal setups that use standard and simple configurations. We fear that these indexers will shutdown and leave as soon as their GRT is distributed, and move to the next incentivized testnet.
- The program is focused on bringing new indexers to The Graph, instead of bringing new chains to The Graph. We applaud and encourage all initiatives that aim bringing new Indexers as we think is for the best of the protocol, but using the MIPs program to do this is a distraction from the primary objectives and an inefficient allocation of ressources. If the Foundation wants to provide grants for new indexers, it should be done in a separate, and more focused program.
- There has been no information shared about the scoring methodology, which is not in line with the core values of transparency in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. Scores are published weeks after a phase has completed, long after the next phase has begun, making it impossible for indexers to address any issues in a timely manner. The organizers have also been unable to provide explanations to indexers about their scores, preventing them from improving their performance. Due to the lack of feedback, it is unlikely that the MIPs program will improve the quality of service on the network.
- There has been an unnecessary focus on tokenomics, such as allocation size and rebate pool, which are well-known to the community and developers and are not being changed by the MIPs program. Additionally, gateways are not an effective way to evaluate the quality of service provided by indexers in the context of the program, due to the secret Indexer Selection Algorithm. In order to have confidence in the scores, indexers need access to the selection algorithm. As this is unlikely to be possible, an open source tool should be used instead. Furthermore, gateways rely on signals like economic security to choose indexers, which disadvantages smaller indexers."
- The MIPs program could be greatly simplified by focusing on the right objectives. The current complexity is a strain on the organizers’ resources, and the opaque scoring mechanisms require organizers to spend a lot of time answering legitimate questions from participants.
- There are no effective communication channels between program participants and organizers. Organizers are not engaging in Discord channels, and it takes weeks for them to respond to emails and private messages. This poor communication strains the trust of participants in the program.
- The program was scheduled to begin in September 2022 and finish in March 2023. As of January 2023, more than halfway through the program, we have not yet finished the first chain. Indexers who had planned and budgeted for a six-month program will have to revise their estimates, and as a result, others may have to reconsider their participation.
As strong believers in the mission of The Graph, we are deeply disappointed by how poor execution is jeopardizing the goals of the program. We are calling on the Graph Foundation to make immediate changes.