OnFinality High Performance Public Infrastructure (Q3 & Q4 2023)

Proposal: OnFinality High Performance Public Infrastructure (Q3 & Q4 2023)

Proponent: 42PDjUSugisVhhNQg453fkDwLmg9QMzeWe9huR817xt7c3DW

Date: 27th August 2023

Total Requested PHA: 237,118.2856 PHA

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

Full Report: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mglyAhgruNXwnNWl3Li6TEoSImgBDXPzTOpB9yW2F8A/edit?usp=sharing

Why are Public RPC Services Needed for Phala

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 Khala 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 Khala nodes to any cloud of your choosing.

Background on our RPC Service

As Polkadot's largest and most cost efficient infrastructure provider, we provide scalable free public API services for Phala. 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. The scheme was introduced in Q1 of 2023 and recently resulted in a discount to Phala's Q2 treasury proposal of $32.11. The discount for Q3 will be calculated at the end of the quarter and applied to the Q4 treasury proposal.

Service Details

In the last 3 months (2023-05-01 and 2023-07-31) our Phala API service has:

  • Served a total of 884 million (884,697,566) responses

  • Accumulated over 8,000 GB of data egress 

  • The highest daily total was 14  million responses (14,269,503)  in a single 24 hour period

  • Khala had over 780 million API responses in the period

  • Phala had over 104 million API responses in the period

  • All time totals for Khala is 9,620,255,375 (9 Billion) since June, 2021

At the end of this period the 90 day uptime was 100% for Phala and 99.99% for Khala. 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 Phala and Khala 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 $21,820. 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.

See breakdown of costing and more details in the full report here:

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