Proposal #74
OnFinality High Performance Public Infrastructure (Q3 & Q4, 2023)

Interlay Proponent: wd9GK7gH7ug5J2h6XNbfUhiLLXZohNsZE4yCahnbmXwdcw8jN

Date: 10th September 2023

Total Requested INTR: 278,529.4287 INTR

Original Discussion Post:

Short description: Ongoing & advanced costs for the running of high performance, scalable, and reliable public infrastructure in Q3 and Q4 of 2023 for Interlay.

Full Proposal:

Why are Public RPC Services Needed for Interlay

Setting up blockchain infrastructure is difficult, time consuming, and expensive:

  • It requires a level of server development expertise that many do not have

  • It's costly to run a full node nearly continuously, especially when your dApp's traffic is low and inconsistent. 

  • Running production level infrastructure is especially tricky. You need to autoscale quickly to handle bursty traffic, and you want to provide services in different regions around the world to provide low latency services - all of this is incredibly costly, but comes with significant economies of scale for a provider.

  • DevOps requires constant attention - time that would be better spent elsewhere building.

A shared node API service helps mitigate these barriers of entry to trying accessing a new protocol by reducing all these costs to near zero. We manage all the nodes for our users and distribute them across the world (with intelligent routing) to achieve global scalability from day 1, we monitor each node and ensure that they meet certain service levels, and we have the expertise and scale to handle production workloads and high peak traffic.

In summary, we try to reduce the pain of getting started on  Interlay Network and minimise the costs of accessing secure nodes while traffic from your dApp is low. When you grow, you can continue to use our shared API service, or we also provide access to one click deploy dedicated Interlay nodes  to any cloud of your choosing.

OnFinality's RPC Service

As Polkadot's largest and most cost efficient infrastructure provider, we provide scalable free public API services for Interlay. Since our inception in November 2020 we have a long track record focussing on three key areas; performance/reliability, providing more value from our Ultimate API service, and cost optimisation.


OnFinality is operationally striving for a minimum of 99.99% reliability, which means less than an hour of downtime each year. We are the only RPC provider to guarantee this with actual financial penalties (see appendix A). We proudly display and share our 90 day uptime statistics for each network publicly here.

We have invested hugely into a team dedicated to optimising our application gateway and caching layer to ensure that we provide the fastest possible service for our customers. We run clusters in 5 different regions (North Virginia, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore, and Australia) and across 4 different cloud providers (AWS, GCP, Alicloud, and our own dedicated hardware) to ensure that we are fault tolerant to any single region or cloud provider ceasing service.

Providing more value from our Ultimate API service

For customers that do sign up for API keys, we've been adding more and more features to provide a better experience. Geolocation insights provide statistics about where in the world communities are to help influence decisions around where to expand infrastructure and to view the effectiveness of regional BD initiatives.

OnFinality is the only provider with Trace API support, a huge and essential enhancement allowing unprecedented visibility for dApp builders. Trace API captures and records vital information otherwise not available through regular RPC methods and extrinsics (such as complete XCM transfer records and complete list of balance changes). These APIs are essential in order for developers like Polkaholic and Parity's data team to parse and understand XCM transactions.

We've recently added support for 14 more Polkadot parachains as well as Osmosis, Evmos, Harmony, Arbitrum, Optimism, Fuse, DFK Chain, Celo, and Klaytn from outside the ecosystem. With over 100 supported networks, OnFinality is now the largest RPC provider worldwide (in terms of networks supported), and our ongoing expansion helps to bring more and more developers  into the Polkadot ecosystem.

Cost Optimisation

OnFinality is very conscious about providing a strong level of support for Polkadot/Kusama at an extremely competitive price. In Q2 as we had the lowest cost per million responses across all of the major RPC providers that lodged a proposal to the Polkadot treasury (source).

Cost saving measurement has been a significant focus on behalf of our customers, with advanced rate limiting controls implemented. We can, for example, rate limit each client on a burst and sustained basis and based on the request methods that they are calling (e.g. each state_traceBlock request is rate limited 45x more than chain_getBlock), read more about these advanced rate limiting tools that we've developed here.

We continue to provide generous public API endpoints for over 40 different networks for common-good applications, while restricting access to high volume users that abuse the free service funded by this treasury.

We've developed and shared our approach towards service sustainability, with the introduction of a 'Paid API Revenue Share Discount' scheme. In this scheme OnFinality pools the revenue from customers that pay for higher API pricing plans and distributes this revenue pool to partners that currently pay for and own each API endpoint proportionally based on the number of paid API requests that go to that API endpoint.

Service Details

In the last 3 months (2023-06-01 and 2023-08-31) our Interlay API service has:

  • Served a total of 122 million (122,440,872) responses

  • Accumulated over 310 GB of data egress 

  • The highest daily total was 1.8  million responses (1,856,982)  in a single 24 hour period

  • Our rolling 7 day average at the end of this period was over 1.5 million responses each day

  • All time totals for Interlay is 973,295,947 (970 million) since March, 2022

At the end of this period the 90 day uptime for Interlay was 99.95%. You can always see live data of our API service on our public status page.


We are using a fixed price to allow us to bill in advance and to simplify the administration of this proposal, as well as provide cost clarity to both parties. This proposal includes combined running costs for our infrastructure for Interlay  for all of Q3 and Q4. By paying 6 months up-front we will apply a 15% discount to our services.

The total combined running cost is USD $2,780. This is all inclusive of capital and operating expenses, administration time from OnFinality DevOps, onboarding costs, backup costs, and all other monitoring and right-sizing by our team.

For a breakdown of costings and other details, read the full proposal here:

No current seconds
This proposal has been turned into referendum.
  • Call
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I voted yes, but I have a question.
I would be happy to answer them if you have time.

The cost to OnFinality, why is this charged in INTR tokens?
I assume the Interlay team is funded by the Polkadot Foundation, so why not pay out of that?
270000 INTR is not such a huge amount because INTR tokens are currently very well marketed, but within the Interlay ecosystem, it is a significant amount of money.

There are very few investors holding 270000 INTR, and if all of 270000INTR were to sell at, the amount is powerful enough to destroy the buying board in one fell swoop.
I understand that this is an infrastructure investment and therefore essential, but I would like INTR tokens to be as difficult to obtain as possible.

For example, couldn't the project buy up 270000 INTR from the CEX market and pay with that?
Perhaps procuring 270000 INTR from the market would require about 1.5 times more than the current price, which would be a painful expense.
I am sure you will then understand my concern about paying this 270,000 INTR.

Up 2

I'm curious about the timing of these requested "charges." It seems a bit peculiar since Q2 was executed five days ago (as shown here: This timing might create the impression that there's an intention to capitalize on the recent 40% price decline, especially with the inclusion of this "discount offer" if the protocol pays in advance. Personally, I would prefer to pay for Q4 retroactively.
Is there any discussion about asking for funding from the Polkadot treasury for the whole ecosystem? Additionally, it would be greatly appreciated if you could provide some evidence or proof of the data pertaining to the services you're claiming. Thank you in advance.

Up 2

I just want to ask a light question, I don't want an in depth discussion.
Please note that I am only a person who is voting in ”Aye” of the proposal.

Purely, why pay with INTR tokens? I am just wondering.
(Also, if the question is not worth answering, please ignore it.)

Thank you for taking the time in your busy schedule to respond.

Up 1

Hi @wdBy...aFCn @wd8h...k6WD , thank you for your questions!

Regarding INTR tokens, this is not actually our preference (we would prefer KINT) however it was requested by Dom from the Interlay team (on behalf of the community) back in June that we begin splitting our proposals in half (so $2k to the Kintsugi Treasury and $2k to the Interlay treasury) considering our services support both networks and to a reasonably similar level. You can see in one of our older proposals here, we requested all costs to be paid in KINT:

I appreciate the concern you raised about liquidating INTR and we will certainly take this into consideration. It is tricky for us as our bills are all in USD so we do need to pay our bills in USD however we will make conscious efforts not to disrupt the market when liquidating.

There is certainly nothing suspicious about the timing of our proposal except that we want to move away from retroactive funding. Unfortunately our Q2 Kusama proposal failed ( and we were left with over 60k worth of costs that will not be recovered.

Regarding verification of our services,

Let me know if you have any other questions and I'm happy to help!


Ok. Thanks for the reply. Still, the timing is hard for the token and the holders. The amount you are requesting is 2x the daily volume on Kraken.

Up 1

Hi @wdBy...aFCn @wd8h...k6WD it's a shame to see the proposal now failing, we will re-lodge with just Q3 costs to see if this is more do-able. We will still make the proposal in INTR tokens unless you have any other suggestions.