Subsquid: The Hatching
After several months of development in the shadowy depths, we are pleased to announce that Subsquid is at last ready to break the surface and reveal itself as the most advanced query node framework for substrate based blockchains.
Blockchain technology has the potential to improve many industries and areas of our lives, once we can utilize its full potential. Similar to the 80% of the world’s oceans that remain unexplored, we have barely begun to scratch the surface of what can be achieved in a decentralised world. A decentralised ecosystem treats data differently than a centralised one, and as a result it has to be handled differently. Information on centralised databases can be easily referenced by any number of private tools or public tools deployed for the cause. For example, most data gathering in-house software comes with a search function, while we all use a search engine to find things on the internet.
Blockchains produce, add, and store data in a very different way to centralised sources, and therefore the ways in which we must search for it is different too. The beauty of blockchain is that anyone can tap into the data held within it to create their own DApp, but this has led to a morass of data spread across blockchains that has never been utilized.
Subsquid Makes Blockchain Data Retrieval Easy
Until now, developers have had to either search for data manually or create their own search functions in order to get the data they want, which is not something all of them can do, and it often leads to incomplete results. Poor data leads to poor products, and before we know it, blockchain solutions are failing because the data feeds are simply not up to the job.
This is where Subsquid comes in. Subsquid is what is termed a ‘data indexing’ service, which simply means that it is purpose built to comb through blockchains seeking out the data needed to develop DApps. The Polkadot ecosystem, which is the first of many blockchains Subsquid will serve, includes several ‘parachains’ which are used by different projects that require very different datasets. This means that the type of data moving around the Polkadot ecosystem is not only large in volume, but also in variety. It will be Subsquid’s job to quickly and accurately index this data on behalf of developers who wish to use this data in order to develop DApps.
Multi-Layered Architecture Changes the Playing Field
The reason why Subsquid can retrieve data so quickly is due to its unique architecture, made up of the Hydra Indexer and Hydra Indexer Gateway processor protocols. These two protocols perform different but equally important roles in the data retrieval process, combining together to offer a best-in-class experience for developers, far exceeding the performance of single-tier protocols.
The difference between a single and two-tier approach can be explained using a simple example. Say you wanted to look through a deck of cards and identify all the diamonds. With a single-tier approach you would first have to buy your own pack of cards, which in our case would mean downloading a node of the blockchain you want to scrape. This is not always feasible for a number of reasons.
Next you would ask your computer to search the pack for diamonds. A single tier protocol would search through each card one by one, picking out the diamonds and setting them aside. This can take a long time, depending on how big the blockchain is. With Subsquid there is no need to download your own node — the protocol searches all the nodes on the network, saving you precious time and resources.
When it comes to searching itself, the Hydra Indexer is constantly categorising the data, meaning that when you ask your computer to search for all the diamonds in the pack of cards the Hydra Indexer Gateway knows exactly where to look. It simply drops all the other non-diamonds away, leaving you with the cards you requested.
Earn Rewards by Supporting the Subsquid Platform
Where centralised entities power themselves and confirm their own data, with the inherent unreliability of said data, decentralised services like Subsquid cannot do this. So how does Subsquid, a decentralised DAO with no single point of operation, power itself? The answer is through a multi-layered approach, involving supporters of the project acting as ‘nodes’ to help keep the Subsquid engine ticking over. These node operators will be incentivised by being rewarded tokens as payment for their services. Each search query conducted on the Subsquid platform will essentially be a smart contract, and it will be the job of the nodes to verify that smart contract. The aim of a decentralised network is to encourage as many nodes as possible to join and help verify the smart contracts being executed — the higher the number of nodes, the greater the level of decentralisation.
Alongside regular nodes helping to maintain the blockchain, Subsquid will also assign key ‘worker’ roles to ensure the operation runs smoothly. These include gateway operators, processors/storage providers, data oracles, and indexers.
Those wishing to take on a worker role must signal their intent by staking SQD tokens, with the required amount increasing in relation to the importance of their role within the ecosystem and the amount of work they undertake. SQD token holders can also delegate their tokens to any worker role and receive a share of the revenues from that worker. Finally, SQD tokens can be treated as governance tokens, allowing the token holders to have influence over the operation of the project, for example electing a governing council, development and direction of the protocol, dispute resolutions and other parameters.
Subsquid is Powering the Next Generation of DApps
With its combination of power, ease of use and reliability, Subsquid is poised to take blockchain development to the next level. A DApp is only as good as its data, and with Subsquid developers can be sure that their queries are answered efficiently and effectively thanks to its game changing two-tier indexing and retrieval process.
To find out more about Subsquid and what it can do, join us on our Discord server to chat to one of our helpful Subsquid team members or other users. For those who want some more background information on Subsquid and what it’s all about, our website and Medium pages are the perfect places to start.