Overview

Participation Roles.

The vibrant ecosystem of The Graph Protocol offers several ways for community members to participate in the network. Users with varying knowledge levels can choose a participation role suitable to their own background.

The role of an Indexer is especially suitable for users with advanced technical skills who are comfortable in setting up and running a node.

Indexer

Indexer requirements specification.

What does it take to become an Indexer?

Technical skills

high

Time investment

high

Required funds

high

Risk level

high

What is an Indexer?

As a reward for providing their services to the network, Indexers earn indexing rewards and query fees. Additionally, Indexers earn from a Rebate Pool – a shared pool of indexing rewards that is split among all network participants, proportional to their work in the network.

Revenue Streams of Indexers

1

Indexing Rewards

2

Query Fees

3

Rebate Pool

As a reward for providing their services to the network, Indexers earn indexing rewards and query fees. Additionally, Indexers earn from a Rebate Pool – a shared pool of query fees that is split among all network participants, proportional to their work in the network.

Indexing Rewards.

In order to earn indexing rewards, Indexers select so called subgraphs (i.e., open APIs) based on the subgraph’s curation signal and index their contents. Indexers are assisted in the selection of subgraphs by so called Curators who indicate (by staking GRT) which high-quality subgraphs should be prioritized.

Indexing-Curating

What is a subgraph?

Subgraph define which data from a data source (such as Ethereum) will be indexed and how it is stored

Learn more about Subgraphs

Query fees.

Indexers also serve queries from data consumers such as decentralized applications like Uniswap and developers for which they receive query fees. Both Indexers and data consumers can set their preferences in regards to query fee pricing and the parameters for processing queries.

To gain an advantage in the marketplace of the ecosystem, Indexers are free to implement their own pricing strategies.

Slashing.

Indexers in The Graph Network are incentivized to refrain from malicious actions and to serve correct data. This is safeguarded by a slashing mechanism that is implemented in the protocol.

  • The staked GRT of an Indexer is subject to a thawing period. Should an Indexer act maliciously or index incorrectly, their stake can be slashed.

For this reason, Indexers should have experience in running a node, for example by practicing on the testnet of The Graph or from participating in other proof-of-work networks.

Delegation .

Indexers are free to accept delegations from other network participants, so called Delegators. If Indexers accept delegations, they can use the delegated stake to earn indexing rewards and query fees which are split between the Indexer and the Delegator based on the defined fee cut percentages of the Indexer.

Delegators cannot be slashed or punished for the misbehavior of an Indexer.

Summary

The Indexer role is suitable for users who are technically proficient and are experienced in running a node. It is not the ideal choice for non-technical users and those seeking to stake GRT with a minimal amount of invested time.  

  • technologically complex 

  • staked GRT is at risk of being slashed when serving incorrect data 

  • high investment of time for running and operating the node 

  • higher earnings potential 

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