GRTiQ Podcast: Special Release: Marian Walter on The Sunrise Upgrade Program

This is a special release of the GRTiQ Podcast. On May 2, 2024, The Graph launched a new program called the Sunrise Upgrade Program. As part of the larger initiative called The Sunrise of Decentralized Data, the Sunrise Upgrade Program features a series of missions with the change for program participants to earn GRT – The Graph Foundation has allocated 4 M GRT to the program!

To help us better understand what the program is and how it works, I’ve invited Marian Walter, Partnership Manager at Edge & Node, to join us to answer some questions and give direction on how you can join the program and start earning GRT today!

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We use software and some light editing to transcribe podcast episodes.  Any errors, typos, or other mistakes in the show transcripts are the responsibility of GRTiQ Podcast and not our guest(s). We review and update show notes regularly, and we appreciate suggested edits – email: iQ at GRTiQ dot COM. The GRTiQ Podcast owns the copyright in and to all content, including transcripts and images, of the GRTiQ Podcast, with all rights reserved, as well our right of publicity. You are free to share and/or reference the information contained herein, including show transcripts (500-word maximum) in any media articles, personal websites, in other non-commercial articles or blog posts, or on a on-commercial personal social media account, so long as you include proper attribution (i.e., “The GRTiQ Podcast”) and link back to the appropriate URL (i.e.,[episode]).

Nick (00:12):

Welcome to this special release of the GRTiQ Podcast. On May 2nd, The Graph launched a new program called the Sunrise Upgrade Program as part of a larger initiative called the Sunrise of Decentralized Data. The Sunrise Upgrade Program features a series of missions, with the chance for program participants to earn GRT. And The Graph Foundation has allocated 4 million GRT to the program.

To help us better understand what the program is and how it works, I’ve invited Marian Walter, partnership manager at Edge & Node to come answer some questions, and give directions on how you can join the program, and start earning GRT today.


Well, Marian, welcome to the GRTiQ Podcast. I’m thrilled to welcome you, and to talk a little bit about what’s going on with the Sunrise Upgrade program. So, for listeners that may have not heard about this program, what can you tell us about the Sunrise Upgrade program?

Marian Walter (01:10):

Yeah. Sure. So it’s a six-week campaign for individuals of The Graph community, and also community newcomers by The Graph Foundation. The foundation allocated 4 million GRT for this campaign that’s consisting of five ways of weekly missions. And individuals can fulfill those missions and by that earning rewards for these completed missions. This program is aimed at empowering and rewarding specifically individuals.

Nick (01:38):

I’m sure anybody who’s active in The Graph community has seen people posting their submission, so I know the program is already active, it’s alive, people are super interested. I want to learn a little bit more about the objective in the program, and primarily how does it fit within this broader initiative called the Sunrise of Decentralized data? Which I think we’re in phase two of that initiative, but how does this sort of fit in there?

Marian Walter (02:01):

So, taking a step back, the Sunrise of Decentralized data is about enabling all subgraphs to upgrade seamlessly to The Graph Network. This started with Sunray, which basically meant that all hosted service chains are supported. There’s an easy upgrade flow. You have the 100K free query plan, there’s the upgrade index sign that’s completed in March 26th. Now we’ve entered into the Sunbeam, which is a 60-day upgrade window that started April 11th. And this is about everyone using the hosted service to upgrade to the network.


And with Sunrise, the hosted service endpoints will expire on June 12th. Taking a step back again, what is this about? The hosted service was launched in 2018 as a stepping stone to bootstrap the ecosystem. It was meant to be a temporary measure on the journey to a fully decentralized network hosted service. You can think of it as a free version of The Graph Network.


You can deploy any subgraph index, any blockchain data and get your creaser for free. This worked brilliantly because the initial core devs of The Graph kicked off the entire ecosystem. We’ve established subgraphs as the industry standard, and we found product market fit. Now it is time to fulfill on this initial promise towards a decentralized network, and we are just in that step in the Sunrise upgrade program is to support and reward everyone who’s contributing to this Sunrise Upgrade.

Nick (03:32):

Well, I remember the early days of the GRT-IQ podcast talking to Indexers that were early in the network talking about sometime in the future when all the traffic would be on the network, and it’s amazing that we’re here and it’s a lot of fun to see a program like this come along that sort of engages the entire community to get involved and participate. If you think about the origins of the program where the idea even came from, what can you tell us the backstory or the inside story of where it came from?

Marian Walter (03:59):

Even before the network was launched, there was the Curator program, which was super successful. That was back in September, 2020. You can think of this as the idea that kicked this off. Its basically part two. The main idea is to empower the community that is individuals. The Graph Foundation has graciously allocated large budget for upgrade grants, but those are for deps. We want to bring a portion of that to the individuals.


That is, on two things. There’s the people that are already in the community, already in the ecosystem. They’re working behind the devs. They are former hackathon participants, technical people, and we want to get them rewarded for their contributions and the value that they provided for the ecosystem, but we explicitly want to expand beyond that.


And this is why we go for individuals versus deps to give them rewards through this program. This is for bridging and allowing new people to enter the community because we want to reach them. And the objective is to make it fun, exciting, explorative and collaborative, to do this upgrade together. Because you can imagine we have been working for this for five years now, six years almost, and now we had this crucial milestone, and we just want to take everyone with us and make it a fun experience.

Nick (05:25):

Well, it is turning out to be a lot of fun. There’s already music videos and all these different things showing up on X from people participating in the program. I want to know a little bit more about the structure of the program. So, for anybody who hasn’t read the blog post, and I’ll put a link in the show notes for anybody who wants to dive a little deeper here, but how would you explain how the program is structured?

Marian Walter (05:45):

Yeah. The core structure is very simple. You could think of it as five waves of missions, having about 15 to 20 missions each that each individual can fulfill. You can pick and choose. So, you sign up for the program, you receive the first wave via email, and you have one week to complete as many tasks as you like or wish. And these missions, they range from small and easy tasks just to get started to a little bit more complex ones. And they can be technical or non-technical. The whole program takes about six weeks. It started on May 3rd and is going to last until June 20th.

Nick (06:27):

As I’ve said, I’ve already seen a lot of activity on the program. A lot of people are creating new content. What are you seeing in terms of interest in submissions and things like that, Marian?

Marian Walter (06:35):

So, we’ve already seen a lot of interest. There are more than 1000 registrations already. We have already 30 completed missions. You’ve mentioned the hip hop track that’s already live on X. We just see a lot of momentum there already.

Nick (06:49):

Marian, let’s talk a little bit about the missions then. So, if someone signs up and they participate in the program, they’re going to be competing in some missions to earn some GRT. What are those missions going to be like?

Marian Walter (06:58):

We broke down the missions into two categories. There’s the web3 visionary track and there’s the web3 builder track. You can think of the visionary track as the one that’s aimed at non-technical people. It’s creative, it’s fun. It’s all about education. So, starting as simple as retweeting The Graph Sunrise upgrade program announcement, interacting on Discord and Telegram, creating memes, creating videos. You mentioned the hip hop video that already was published on X.


A little bit more advanced is hosting spaces on X. You can write long form content, subgraph spotlights create songs or even create interactive demos. So it’s all about education. On the builder’s track, it’s more like technical tinkering. This is about upgrading subgraphs, querying existing subgraphs on the network, assisting others with making their first queries on the network, sharing useful example queries and creating example code that queries The Graph Network.

Nick (07:59):

What would you say to any listener that’s like, look, I understand there’s a non-technical track, but I’m still a little reluctant. I’m a little hesitant to participate.

Marian Walter (08:07):

We’ve built the program, especially with those people in mind that are not yet fully in web3 because there are those people already engaged in the community, but how do we go beyond that? Breaking into web3 can be very daunting looking from the outside in, but this is why we built this program as such. It’s the perfect way for you to get started because you don’t start alone. You have a lot of other people doing the missions with you.


You can meet them on Discord. We have a dedicated channel for that. You can chat with them, you can do missions together. It’s all about connecting, getting help, giving help, and doing those missions together. So meet a lot of friends, and this is really for everyone no matter in the world where they are. If they’re just starting out, just curious about web3. This is the ideal place to start.

Nick (08:58):

And we got to talk about the rewards. So, a lot of people are interested in earning some GRT. And as you mentioned earlier, there’s definitely a rewards pull available for anybody who participates in the program. Talk to us about the reward structure and what it means to get started early and contributing fast.

Marian Walter (09:13):

So, depending on the difficulty of the tasks. The estimated rewards, they range from 60 to 1,500 GRT on the builder’s track and 40 to 1000 GRT on the visionary track. From that alone, you can see how much value we put on the Visionary track, so education is very important and writing long-form articles is very difficult. So, there’s high rewards for that, but this is just for one task.


Each mission wave has about 15 to 20, so, depending on your level of execution and your timing of sending in those forms, the earlier the better. You can expect higher rewards. If you complete the missions early, you can run the math and see that there is pretty attractive rewards for these missions.

Nick (10:03):

And I always find it helpful to go back through the dates. There’s a lot of dates in the Sunrise of Decentralized Data initiative, and now we’ve got this Upgrade program. So as just kind of a short list of dates that listeners should be aware of, can you run through those again?

Marian Walter (10:16):

Yeah, so the program started on May 3rd. The first missions wave went out already, but when you sign up now, you’ll get it sent to you and you can start now as well. The first mission wave due date is May 14th. The end of the upgrade window is until you can upgrade your subgraphs. This is June 8th, and on June 20th the program will end.

Nick (10:42):

What do you want to say to anybody that’s listened to this and they’re excited about the program, but they’re just not sure how to get started?

Marian Walter (10:48):

Yeah. I think the best place to start and meet people that are also doing it because it’s always easier to do it together with others, is to chat and collaborate on Discord. Join the Sunrise Upgrade Program channel on The Graphs official Discord, and you can also check for hashtag Graph Rising on X and Farcaster to join the conversation there as well.

Nick (11:10):

As I said, I’ll put links in the show notes for anybody who wants to click through and sign up. But, for the sake of just making it super clear, talk to people about where they can learn or get involved and participate in the program.

Marian Walter (11:22):

The best place in first place you should go and start is to sign up on The You have all the information there. It links to all the materials. Just sign up there. The due date for the first mission again is in one week. You get those missions and you can get started right away. Send it to your friends. Join the conversation on Discord on Twitter. Yeah, the first step is just signing up and it’s very easy and simple.


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DISCLOSURE: GRTIQ is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any other way connected with The Graph, or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates.  This material has been prepared for information purposes only, and it is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, tax, legal, financial, or investment advice. The content for this material is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The Graph token holders should do their own research regarding individual Indexers and the risks, including objectives, charges, and expenses, associated with the purchase of GRT or the delegation of GRT.