Based on the constructive community feedback on the high-level fee framework discussion in the forum, the Governance Council commissioned the development of this more concrete proposal to implement initial peer-to-peer fee architecture in the Forta Network, to now be reviewed by the community for final input before being presented as a formal proposal for FORT token holder voting under the FPP process (as things stand, this would be FP-5).
There is general consensus in the community that there needs to be long-term balanced economic incentives for participants in the Forta Network in order for the protocol to be sustainable over the long-term. The fee framework below proposes the first development and implementation of an initial technical architecture that could enable Forta users to compensate network participants on-chain for their valuable work (i.e. deploying helpful bots, properly running nodes, delegating stake for security).
This fee framework proposal has prior feedback baked-in, but please do not hesitate to share any additional feedback or comments that can be incorporated prior to this FP-5 proposal moving to the formal FPP voting process on the Forta Snapshot.
(FP-5): Adding Data Fees to the Forta Network
Forta Data Fees
Forta Data fees would be implemented so that subscribers must pay for access to alerts, findings, and labels generated by the Forta Network, which would provide rewards to the participants in the network that generate that data.
Users could select among different 30-day plans, enforced on-chain using the open-source Unlock smart contracts (see “Technical Architecture” below for more information). Unlock plans can be configured by the user to auto-renew to ensure continuous service.
Different types of plans will enable access to different sets of data. Initial plans could include plans for the following data types:
- General Plan: Paid access to the Forta data generated by typical types of bots in the network (e.g. the majority of bots in the network currently).
- Special Plans: Paid access to specialized data feeds (each of them purchasable separately at tailored pricing), with data coming from one or more specialized Forta bots.
- Free Plan: Free access to certain Forta data determined to be public goods by the network.
Each Forta bot could only be included in one data plan at a time (see section below for more details).
Paid users would receive NFTs and related API keys, which would enable them to access data from the plans they have purchased.
Fees would be denominated in FORT and additionally in USDC. Users could then be able to choose in which token they prefer to pay each plan.
Users could cancel at any time, keeping access until the last day purchased.
Insufficient funds (or not enough approved funds) in a user’s wallet at the time of renewal would result in the lapse of the plan for the user (i.e. their NFT representing their active plan would expire and related API keys would lapse).
If a detection bot itself reads Forta data, the bot owner would need to pay respective data fees for the data they rely on (from the corresponding plan).
The Forta Foundation could fund the development of this fee architecture, including UI updates to support fee payments in the Forta App, however users would always be able to pay fees directly to the smart contracts if desired.
Assignment of Bots to Data Plans
- By default, newly created detection bots will be assigned to the General Plan.
- Governance will have the responsibility of setting the price for the General Plan at a later date.
- Any bot owner will be able submit a request to Governance to create a new special plan to include the data from their bot (and remove it from the General Plan). This request could include things like the desired pricing for the new special plan, which could also be free.
Bot Developer Rewards
- Data fees would be collected into the respective Unlock smart contract related to each plan.
- Data fees for each plan would then be distributed as rewards to the bot developers who create and maintain the detection bots in that plan.
- Rewards could be distributed on a weekly basis to align with node rewards, by distributing 23.3% (7/30) of the accumulated fees at the end of each epoch.
- Distribution of rewards to bot developers among each plan could be based on the number of users that are subscribing to each bot. Free bots would not be rewardable.
In order to utilize established smart contracts, it is proposed that the Forta Network implement the fee architecture outlined above using the Unlock Protocol smart contracts. Unlock offers a number of benefits including:
- The Unlock smart contracts are open-source, including the Lock Factory contract, which would be used for creating new Locks to enforce fees on-chain in the Forta Network. Locks are time-based, auto-renewable, subscription-enabling smart contracts (each plan in each token would have a respective Lock).
- Unlock offers additional functionality for users (e.g. helpful payment mechanisms), which is currently free.
- Unlock is also in use by other established web3 projects such as TheGraph.
- Implementing the initial fee structure in the Forta Network using Unlock would not present significant reliance on Unlock (i.e. switching to an alternative technical solution is feasible).
The implementation of the fee architecture outlined above could include modifications to the Forta App to support the payment and management of fees, however users would always be able to pay fees directly to the smart contracts if desired.
The introduction of Forta Data Fees is being proposed as an incremental addition to the Forta Network and would not restrict the Forta community from identifying and adding other types of fees in the future. Other fees may be added to the Forta Network through further proposals and community approval. For example, there has been discussion about bot execution fees that could be paid by detection bot owners to directly reward node operators and their delegators for running bots on the network. As always, members of the Forta community are encouraged to explore how the Forta Network can evolve and explore how other types of fees might promote the long-term health of the network. In particular, the Forta Foundation will continue to work with the community to explore how bot execution fees could work.