Inside the Pocket Network: A Detailed Examination

Tory Green
5 min readJul 8, 2023

The Pocket Network is a decentralized marketplace for RPC nodes (I’ll explain what this means in a second).

It’s powered by the $POKT token which trades at $0.03 (for a FDV of $31M).

This thread will explain:

  • How RPC nodes work and why they’re important
  • Why the current system of nodes is a MAJOR problem for #Web3
  • How #POKT solves that problem
  • What makes $POKT so unique
  • Why demand for $POKT token may skyrocket in the next bull market

What are RPC Nodes?

A blockchain is little more than a global collection of computers called “nodes”. Each node maintains a copy of the network’s shared database.

Nodes are responsible for storing data, validating transactions and communicating information.

Decentralized applications (dApps) use a special type of node — called an “RPC node” — to read data on the blockchain and send transactions to the network.

This process is called a “remote procedure call,” which is where the node gets its name.

Because nodes are the ONLY devices that can interact with a blockchain, dApps must either:

  • Set up and run their own node
  • Connect to nodes provided by third-party services such as Alchemy or Infura

Most people lack the time, patience or technical knowledge to host their own node. As such, the vast majority of #dApps choose to use third-party providers.

Even as early as 2019, Infura was handling over 12 billion API requests per day.


Unfortunately, most node providers are centralized. As such, they are seen by many to be #crypto’s dirty little secret.

For instance, many Infura nodes are hosted on cloud servers owned by Amazon.

Using services like Infura creates several problems including:

  • High Costs: Infura has monopolistic pricing power
  • Frequent Outages: They have suffered several major outages
  • Potential for Censorship: In Mar 2022, Infura restricted access for users in Venezuela

Even Michael Wuehler, the co-founder of Infura admits:

“If every single dapp in the world is pointed to Infura, and we decided to turn that off, then we could, and the dapps would stop working.”

This defeats the purpose of Web3!


The Pocket Network solves this problem with a decentralized “marketplace” for nodes. Unlike Infura or Alchemy, the network does not own its nodes.

Instead, it connects users to a network of independent node providers (called “Service Nodes”).

This provides several benefits such as:

  • Reduced Costs: $POKT is up to 10x cheaper than centralized nodes
  • Increased Reliability: Its network is redundant, allowing 99.9% uptime
  • Censorship Resistance: It is impossible to censor decentralized nodes

How it works

The $POKT token drives the Pocket Network’s marketplace.

To use the service, both customers and Service Nodes must stake $POKT as collateral. Once deposited:

  1. Users can make a request to the Pocket Network to connect to a blockchain
  2. Pocket’s software routes these requests and connects users to a random Service Node
  3. Service Nodes connect users to the blockchain and relay the appropriate data (service Nodes are rotated out every hour and immediately replaced if they crash or go offline)
  4. Another set of nodes known as “Validator Nodes” verify that the work performed by the Service Nodes is legitimate.
  5. If the transaction is legitimate, it is finalized. If not, the Service Node is penalized and its collateral stake is slashed

Upon completion of the transaction, Pocket debits the payment from the user’s staked collateral and sends:

  • 89% to the Service Node
  • 1% to the Validator Node
  • 10% to the community-owned #PocketDAO

Market Overview

There are multiple RPC node providers including Infura, Alchemy, QuickNode, Pocket, Ankr, Chainstack and Blockdaemon.

These range from being highly centralized (e.g Infura) to highly decentralized (e.g POKT).

Competitive Advantage

Using Pocket offers several benefits to Web3 applications:

  • Decentralized: Considered by many to be the most decentralized
  • Cheap: 10x cheaper than competitors
  • Reliable: 99.9% uptime

The network also supports over 50 networks.


As such, POKT has achieved significant traction.

It hosts nearly 50K nodes across 30 countries and the number of relays has grown over 500% in the past year to over 1 billion relays per day.


The Pocket Network was founded in 2017 by CEO Michael O’Rourke.

It lists 64 employees on LinkedIn including CTO Luis Correa de León, COO Arthur Sabintsev and Chief Governance Officer Jack Laing.

POKT is backed by an impressive slate of investors including Mapleblock, Borderless Capital, Eden Block, Republic, Monday Capital and Blockchain Capital.

The Big Picture

Pocket is a very important “picks and shovels” provider for the #crypto ecosystem. In fact, many call it the “TCP/IP for Web3”.

But it also may be the key to unlocking a multi-chain future…


The crypto ecosystem is highly fragmented. In 18 months we went from one dominant blockchain (Ethereum) to dozens of active networks including BNB, Cardano, Polygon, Polkadot, Avalanche, Solana and Tron.

And new networks, like Aptos and Sui, seem to be launching everyday.

While some RPC providers, such as Infura, focus only on Ethereum-based chains, POKT connects to nodes from over 50 chains.

This creates optionality for dApps, helps them navigate an increasingly complicated landscape and makes POKT a “one-stop shop” for a multichain world.



Tory Green

Fundamental analysis of Web3 protocols | VC + 3x tech COO | Author of Digital Nations | Ex- Stanford, WestPoint, Disney Strat, MerrillLynch M&A & Oaktree PE