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Announcing Polkadot Indexer, the easy way to optimize participation


Bison Trails’ Polkadot Indexer provides efficient, reliable access to structured and queryable data and transaction information.

Announcing Polkadot Indexer, the easy way to optimize participation

By Bison Trails · Feb 25 2021

Highlights

  • The Polkadot Indexer is an API application powered by the Bison Trails platform to enable a more efficient way to query data from the Polkadot blockchain and its canary network, Kusama.
  • With the Polkadot Indexer, users have access to structured and easily queryable data with a significantly fewer number of requests. The Indexer may save anywhere from 50-100 to upward of a 1000 requests to the node.
  • All the data outputs are served from a single API for ease of use.
  • The Polkadot Indexer saves engineering teams from having to build and maintain proprietary Indexers in-house, saving time and resources while enabling more optimized participation through access to structured data.

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 Aaron Henshaw, Co-founder and CTO

Bison Trails’ Polkadot Indexer provides access to structured, queryable data with unprecedented speed and efficiency

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.


Bison Trails’ Polkadot Indexer enables efficient and secure participation in innovative new blockchains



  • Wallets, exchanges, custodians, staking-as-a-service providers, and professional validators can use the Indexer to share transactions and balance information with their customers.
  • Data aggregators and blockchain analytics firms can use the Indexer to gather data around significant events and get a better understanding of underlying causes (ultimately improving governance for the protocol).
  • Developers who build applications on Polkadot and Kusama can access blockchain data with unprecedented speed to build their applications faster.

The Polkadot Indexer is designed for security and reliability

  • Enterprise-grade security: As one of the most trusted organizations in the blockchain ecosystem, we design with a security-first mindset. We meet or exceed the high security standards of leading custodians and exchanges, and our dedicated security team ensures we are up-to-date with best-in-class security practices.
  • Performance: Bison Trails indexers are built with performance in mind. We leverage our industry-leading platform to create high throughput and low latency access to mission-critical blockchain data.

Learn more about how the Bison Trails platform and the Polkadot Indexer can help your organization:

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About Bison Trails


Enterprise infrastructure to power the crypto ecosystem.

Pioneering Blockchain Infrastructure®

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 22 new chains effortlessly.

We also make it easy for anyone building Web 3.0 applications to connect to blockchain data from 30 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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THIS DOCUMENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. PLEASE DO NOT CONSTRUE ANY SUCH INFORMATION OR OTHER MATERIAL CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT AS LEGAL, TAX, INVESTMENT, FINANCIAL, OR OTHER ADVICE. THIS DOCUMENT AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS NOT A RECOMMENDATION OR ENDORSEMENT OF ANY DIGITAL ASSET, PROTOCOL, NETWORK OR PROJECT. HOWEVER, BISON TRAILS (INCLUDING ITS AFFILIATES AND/OR EMPLOYEES) MAY HAVE, OR MAY IN THE FUTURE HAVE, A SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL INTEREST IN, AND MAY RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR SERVICES RELATED TO, ONE OR MORE OF THE DIGITAL ASSETS, PROTOCOLS, NETWORKS, ENTITIES, PROJECTS AND/OR VENTURES DISCUSSED HEREIN.

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