As the blockchain ecosystem continues to mature, quick and secure access to usable data remains a challenge, particularly on newer blockchain networks.
Why is access to data and information from the blockchain so important? Analyzing a time-series of significant events, such as slashings, can help participants uncover hidden trends and get a more nuanced understanding of any potential issues that may be taking place in the network.
Many participants also need access to relevant transaction and balance information for accounting and tracking purposes, which helps them optimize their participation in the blockchain. For developers, access to structured, usable data means the ability to build applications faster, resulting in significantly less engineering time.
Despite its importance, obtaining data and insights from the blockchain is still a cumbersome process. Blockchain data is primarily captured through block explorers. However, block explorers typically require multiple queries to pull relevant data, and time investment to organize the data in a manner that yields insight.
This challenge of accessing large volumes of data in an easily queryable way is particularly evident with newer protocols like Polkadot, which was designed to solve scalability and interoperability issues. Polkadot’s unique infrastructure consists of a main relay chain and multiple parallel chains that share security and software, making it capable of processing an exceptionally large number of transactions. Early testing suggests that Polkadot could reach as high as 1,000,000 transactions per second.
Over the past year, the protocol has seen growing adoption from participants and developers. But even as the number of validators and projects deployed on Polkadot increases, there are no indexing applications to enable efficient access to data.
Currently, teams that need time-series data to better manage their participation on Polkadot and its canary network, Kusama, need to launch and maintain indexing applications in-house. This requires significant engineering time and resources.
With Bison Trails’ Polkadot Indexer, participants and developers can make the most of their participation in this robust network while freeing up engineering time and resources to focus on their core businesses.
Polkadot’s unique infrastructure makes it a great candidate for developers to build dApps and other robust applications. With growing adoption from participants and developers, we saw a critical need for better indexing. Our Polkadot Indexer reduces the overhead of querying nodes and makes building great applications on top of Polkadot, and other Substrate networks like Kusama, even easier.Aaron Henshaw, Co-founder and CTO
The new Polkadot Indexer is an API application that blends Bison Trails’ two core areas of expertise: deep knowledge of protocols, and superior infrastructure that enables efficient and secure access to blockchain data.
With the Polkadot Indexer, users can pull data and information much more efficiently, with significantly fewer number of requests to the node. For the average use case, the Indexer may save 50-100 requests to the node. In accounts with lots of activity, it has the potential to save upward of a thousand requests. All the data outputs are served from a single API for ease of use. The Indexer can be used both as a standalone product, as well as in combination with the Substrate Sidecar API that allows for faster access to current data from the blockchain (such as the latest balance of an account).
Using Bison Trails’ Polkadot Indexer won’t only save engineering time from building a proprietary tool. Significant resources need to be invested into maintaining the Indexer, as protocols shift over time and new event types are introduced. With a dedicated engineering team that closely follows updates on the protocols we support, the Bison Trails team will ensure that the Indexer remains optimized to meet participant needs as protocols grow and evolve.
Learn more about how the Bison Trails platform and the Polkadot Indexer can help your organization:
Bison Trails is a blockchain infrastructure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) company based in New York City. We built a platform for anyone who wants to participate in 21 new chains effortlessly.
We also make it easy for anyone building Web 3.0 applications to connect to blockchain data from 32 protocols with Query & Transact (QT). Our goal is for the entire blockchain ecosystem to flourish by providing robust infrastructure for the pioneers of tomorrow.
In January, 2021, we announced Bison Trails joined Coinbase to accelerate our mission to provide easy-to-use blockchain infrastructure, now as a standalone product line. The Bison Trails platform will continue to support our customers. With Coinbase’s backing, we will enhance our infrastructure platform and make it even easier to participate in decentralized networks and build applications that connect to blockchain data.
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