Blockdaemon Blog

Supporting The Graph's Decentralized Ecosystem

Industry News
May 18, 2021

Blockdaemon is proud to announce full-node support for The Graph, a decentralized query protocol for indexing and caching data from blockchains and storage networks, by participating as an Indexer in the network.

The Graph is democratizing access to data in open, permissionless networks, fueling the growth of decentralized applications (dApps). Traditionally, data has existed in silos, managed and curated by large, centralized entities who build and maintain the most popular modern applications. Today, dApps are putting users in control of their data. Such dApps are built with data that is private (owned and controlled by the user), and public (owned and managed by the community). This enables services and applications to be built on open networks, which allow users to switch freely between dApps. Such applications will lead the charge as the next wave of Web3 use cases.

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Eva Beylin, Director at The Graph Foundation said: “Blockdaemon is one of the leading node providers that are helping many projects on their journey to decentralization. We’re excited to have Blockdaemon join the other 170+ Indexers on The Graph Network and bring their expertise an Indexer!”

Building dApps requires access to meaningful, high-quality data which can be easily queried, accessed and delivered. Normally, this would require teams to build and manage proprietary indexing servers, requiring significant engineering and hardware resources. The Graph replaces these heavy, upfront capital requirements by ingesting, processing, indexing and serving data from public blockchains and storage networks to applications in a verifiable way. The Graph makes querying data fast, reliable, and secure. With the surge in popularity of DeFi in recent months, it should come as no surprise that The Graph’s hosted service experienced 100x growth during 2020, processing over 100 billion queries in less than a year.

In this post, we’ll explore the importance of The Graph’s services and how Blockdaemon is supporting the continued growth of The Graph Network.

Contributing to The Graph’s decentralization

Although complex to run and maintain, nodes are the cornerstone of the health of The Graph’s network stack.

Blockdaemon is committed to supporting The Graph’s decentralization and its mission towards enabling fully decentralized dApps of the future. Blockdaemon runs a Graph Node on enterprise-grade infrastructure with the highest level of security within the industry to participate as an Indexer in the network. Indexers participate by staking the native GRT token to provide indexing and query processing services on the network.

A substantial staking requirement of 100,000 GRT tokens incentivizes Indexers to behave well, as this stake is subject to slashing if malicious behaviour takes place. Indexers serve the vital role of serving accurate data to applications and indexing correctly. They can also have funds delegated to them by other token holders on the network. Blockdaemon is proud to help maintain The Graph’s decentralized network of nodes.

“Blockdaemon’s support of The Graph continues the acceleration of achieving a decentralized Internet. By running an Indexer, we will assist with network integrity, stability, and staking for easy participation in the network.” - Konstantin Richter, CEO of Blockdaemon

The Graph: A revolutionary way of interacting with blockchain data

Public blockchains hold a wealth of information valuable to both developers and consumers alike.

With Bitcoin, the world’s first public blockchain, the usefulness of on-chain data was relatively limited for consumer facing applications. Bitcoin’s decentralized way of value transfer was revolutionary, yet today’s blockchain market encompasses many different types of use cases beyond simple push transactions of value. Ethereum was the first public blockchain to incorporate the use of smart contracts, which introduced programmable, complex transfers of value.

The ability to program transfers of value generated a huge volume of metadata to the blockchain. This metadata is not just the transfer of value from one party to another, as was the case with Bitcoin, but rather the deeper story of the transaction. This is a richer subset of data encompassing details of the transaction which is generated in every smart contract. However, not all metadata is created equal. Given the programmability of Ethereum, retrieving data about certain smart contracts can prove more challenging than others.

An example given by The Graph is the ease with which a developer could query data regarding a popular consumer application built on Ethereum known as CryptoKitties. A question such as “How many CryptoKitties does a specific Ethereum account own?” would be relatively simple to answer, yet the question “Who are the owners of the CryptoKitties born between January and February 2018?” would be a much more difficult task.

Answering this question would be resource heavy and time consuming. Subgraphs are the vehicle The Graph uses to solve this problem and gives application developers the information they need.Subgraphs are open APIs and are what The Graph uses to determine what information to retrieve for applications. A subgraph is created by a developer outlining the smart contracts of interest and the events within that smart contract to retrieve data from.

These subgraphs can be queried for whatever information one is interested in. They are important as The Graph knows how to index blockchain data based on the subgraph descriptions, known as subgraph manifest. A developer can tell The Graph to begin indexing data for that subgraph based on the specific details in a subgraph manifest.

Once the subgraph manifest has been created, the hosted service can begin indexing data for that subgraph.

Supporting The Graph Node infrastructure

Subgraphs are important for determining what information is relevant to a decentralized application, but retrieving that information is equally important.

This role is serviced through the Graph Node in the network, specifically a special cohort known as Indexers. Indexers run a Graph Node, which continually scans public blockchains such as Ethereum for new blocks and the data for a specific subgraph that they may contain.

Graph Nodes find events for a subgraph, and are incentivized financially to do so.

A dApp can then query a Graph Node managed by an Indexer for the data that has been indexed from the blockchain. The dApp can present this information in a user-friendly way to end-users, which they use to issue new transactions on Ethereum. This set of transactions creates more queryable metadata which can also be indexed. Between May 2020 to April 2021, over 100 billion queries were processed on The Graph’s hosted service. This highlights the power of subgraphs to become a global graph of all the world’s public information.

This data can be transformed, organized, and shared across applications for anyone to query with just a few keystrokes. While Ethereum is The Graph’s main queryable public blockchain at present, The Graph is adding support to many more blockchains, including Polkadot, NEAR, Solana, and Celo. Today, it is possible to participate in the health of The Graph Network by delegating to Blockdaemon’s dedicated Graph Node. Doing this earns rewards for indexing subgraphs, and fees for serving queries on those subgraphs. Application consumers can then query this information by paying for their metered usage, sustaining a model where supply and demand for data is balanced by the protocol. Get started today by delegating to Blockdaemon, and help ensure the long term decentralization of The Graph together!To learn more, and see how you can get participate in securing The Graph, visit the Blockdaemon Marketplace.

About The Graph

The Graph is the indexing and query layer of the decentralized web. Developers build and publish open APIs, called subgraphs that applications can query using GraphQL. The Graph currently supports indexing data from Ethereum, IPFS, and PoA with more networks coming soon. To date, over 12,600 subgraphs have been deployed by ~17,800 developers for applications, such as Uniswap, Synthetix, Aragon, Gnosis, Balancer, Livepeer, DAOstack, AAVE, Decentraland, and many others.Not technical but want to get involved and earn GRT on the decentralized network? You are welcome to join The Graph Network as an Indexer, Curator and/or Delegator. Delegate your GRT today to help secure the network by adding GRT to Indexers’ stake. Anyone can be a Delegator and learn about how to delegate on the network using the Delegation Guide, Community Guide, Choosing an Indexer Video, dapp query dashboard, and The Graph Academy.

The Graph is a dynamic community with the resources to onboard people with any level of experience in blockchain projects - or none at all.There were more than 2K Curators from over 90 different countries and over 170 Indexers from more than 50 countries in The Graph’s testnet. The Graph community is globally distributed, with over 4,500 GRT holders from more than 99 different countries world-wide. Delegation can happen by anyone who holds GRT. Today, there are over 5K Delegators on The Graph Network.Join The Graph community by introducing yourself in The Graph Discord for technical discussions, join The Graph’s Telegram chat, or follow The Graph on Twitter! The Graph’s developers and members of the community are always eager to chat with you, and The Graph ecosystem has a growing community of developers who support each other.

The Graph Foundation oversees The Graph Network. The Graph Foundation is overseen by the Technical Council. Edge & Node is one of the many organizations within The Graph ecosystem.


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