Thank you for the thoughtful post Josh,
First, let’s get the faucet thing out of the way. It adds friction and overloads complexity, on an already overcomplicated system. From a dev UX perspective it’s just horrendous, complicated and doesn’t really make sense. You might as well give a few GRT coupons, only spendable on thegraph, to each developer account / API key on a monthly basis (otherwise known as “a free tier”).
Now, in regards to the DeFi protocols paying for the service. I don’t understand the point you are making:
What if next month NFT platforms are the real consumers of The Graph
Well, then, it’s the NFT platform that should pay. What am I missing here? I know it can be tracked in detail, which graphs attract the most queries, and split the costs fairly this way.
I don’t think the DeFi DAOs would be too happy to be taking on the cost, and then any new major consumer market would have to be approached for funding, etc.
Has thegraph actually asked the DAOs? Because I am pretty sure (I actually know), if we make the case, it is a pretty compelling one. You’d be surprised to find that DAOs yearn for developer adoption and development. They even pay big money for it, through grants.
This was perhaps a long winded way of saying that the value of autonomy and self-funding goes very deep, and getting funding from deep pockets who “wouldn’t flinch at the costs” could put things at odds with the mission.
The “mission”, is already at odds with the current state. Let me recap, so we have a clear case:
- The Graph has raised a paywall on data that was primarily created out of DAOs work (some have actually paid huge funds for the graphs to be created).
- The Graph arbitrarily and unilaterally, chose to use GRT as the token of billing.
- That’s simply said, quite a self-serving decision.
- As a business, I don’t know what my expenses will be as they depend on a volatile asset. One month I am paying $10k, the next month for the same service I am paying $12k. You can’t expect serious business adoption on this premise.
- The unit of billing, the query, is an unfair unit as it favours the advanced engineers that know how to combine and aggregate multiple GQL queries into a single call at the expense of less experienced or simply un-optimised applications.
So, whose “autonomy” exactly are we referring to in this context? DeFi’s or TheGraph’s? If it’s the graph’s autonomy… what exactly does the word mean in this context? What is the graph? Is it a DAO? Is it a business? There is no suggestion that the costs of the service should not be paid for.
I understand there is an attempt to promote “decentralization”, but the reality is, what has been decentralized is simply the “backend” (indexers) of the graph service, a clever way to pass-on infrastructure costs.
The Graph service, is very much centralized as “the service” itself goes through a single, aggregating, gateway and unique domain name. That’s a far cry from having an actual decentralized service.
To conclude, what I am suggesting is, that the graph, touches base with its constituents and stake holders. Hear them out, and together formulate a strategy and policies to move forward.
I am speaking on behalf of noone but myself. I just know what I know, and I know with high confidence, that the current state of things, is wrong from multiple points of view. Points that I’ve made through the course of this and the previous posts of mine.
I am positive the graph will realise that this is an unsustainable way forward and change course.