The Graph is an indexing protocol for querying networks like Ethereum and IPFS. Anyone can build and publish open APIs, called subgraphs, making data easily accessible.
With the rise of DeFi and other crypto enabled value networks, a protocol for organizing the ever-growing pool of open data has become more important than ever. Graph Protocol is building and maintaining the foundation for all crypto applications that utilize open data. With the Graph network, users no longer have to trust teams to operate serves and devs can deploy trustworthy public infrastructure that doesn’t require their active management.
Unlike other “launches” typically seen in this space, Graph Protocol is actually already being used by many of the largest projects in the space like Uniswap, Synthetix, and Aave.
It seems like all the major players in the digital asset space are paying attention to the launch of Graph Network as Coinbase also announced support for the native token of Graph (GRT) on their “Pro” platform.
The immediate support by Coinbase shows that there is a ton of hype and demand for the GRT token. The Graph previously raised $12 million in a public sale through CoinList. The project has quickly become the gold standard for indexing and querying blockchain data, their success thus far is perhaps evidence that The Graph could eventually become a decentralized Google of sorts, helping to parse all the difficult to understand data living on the blockchain.
"It feels surreal that after years of hard work, our vision for a global decentralized indexing and API layer for Web3 has become real," said project lead and The Graph co-founder Yaniv Tal. "We really believe in decentralization and the launch of The Graph Network is a major milestone for enabling humans to cooperate and organize in a decentralized way."
Founder of Uniswap Hayden Adams said The Graph has been instrumental in making smart contract data easy to monitor and use.
"Subgraphs are powering some of the most used analytics tools in the space — Uniswap being one of them. The design of the new system will attract more developers to build their own subgraphs, leading to better access to information. Once we know more, we can build better," he said.
While running an Ethereum node may only take up a few hundred gigabytes of data on a node, smart contracts nestled in Ethereum hold untold thousands more, necessitating aggressive API management, DeFi startup advisor Ric Burton told CoinDesk in a phone interview.
The Graph’s overarching purpose is to create not only an alternative for projects, but to decentralize the API middle-layer, Tal said. The Graph proposes a tri-part solution to the centralized data conundrum: indexers who run nodes and process queries, delegators who stake GRT and secure the network and curators who appraise feeds and signal to indexers which queries to run.
Indexers, delegators and curators are incentivized to build better APIs through the network’s native token, which is paid out depending on the performance of indexes called subgraphs.
The Graph saw traction on its self-hosted version, Tal said, with some 10 billion queries last month alone, up tenfold since June.