Blockchain indexing – a marvelous feat!


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by Lumai Mubanga

Picture Credit: the graph.com

If you are an internet user, you well know how search engines make work easier for you to find information in milliseconds. Google, Yahoo, and many other search engines are in constant use today by millions of users. Without them, it would be literary difficult to search and find specific information.

The blockchain holds immense data and information and its growing. Millions of people continue adding more database related information. Such an immense repository of data needs indexing. However, there are two main reasons why indexing data on the blockchain has been a huge challenge for developers.

  • Increase Transactions

It is notable that, as thousands of transactions increase to be conducted on the blockchain every day, the direct result is the immediate increase in blocks on a daily basis. If we can only zoom in to consider the ethereum and bitcoin networks, we can project how big the blockchain will become in a few years from now. Users will therefore need a tool to help them easily find and retrieve data from the blockchain network.

  • The blockchain properties.

Blockchain is designed with unique properties as opposed to the way our open internet is designed. These properties make it extremely difficult to index data on the blockchain network. These include chain reorganization and unclad blocks. These to some extent make the indexing of data extremely difficult. Besides slowing down the searching of data, these properties make it conceptually impossible to query and retrieve data in record times.

It is because of these and other reasons that engineers developed the graph, and engineering feat designed to make data available to blockchain users worldwide.

The Graph

The graph has immerged as that blockchain “search engine” equivalent to google… it is a protocol developed to specifically index and make queries on blockchain data. The Graph differed from conventional search engines in unique ways.

  1. Unlike Google, for example, it is decentralized, implying that is it more flexible in its usage and application. While you may not be allowed to tamper with the google code, you can manipulate the Graph and customize it to your best of your abilities. This opens up many possibilities for many participants.
  2. Secondly, The Graph is designed to retrieve data for specific applications running on browsers. In a cleverly designed step-by-step protocol controlled process, smart contracts come into play to help in the mapping of data for easier retrieval. Unlike google and yahoo, the graph stands out a bit smarter than the two.

Apart from these, other characteristics emerge out more to support the decentralized nature of the blockchain. Imagine an application that depends on other service providers to function efficiently. That is how the graph is designed. There are categories of subgroups such as indexers, curators, and delegators. Each of them plays a major role that has come to make the graph an interesting tool for blockchain users.

As a blockchain user, you have much to explore and learn about the Graph.

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