The Graph Protocol (GRT) is an indexing and querying layer for blockchains, much like Google is for websites. The Graph allows users to query search blockchains with the help of the developer’s subgraphs. GRT is the token that powers The Graph Protocol’s ecosystem.
Prior to The Graph, there was no way to easily search blockchains. Data and information would take days to find, similar to searching online with no search engines. Search engines help map the internet’s data to make navigation simple, and are undoubtedly helpful. This is exactly what The Graph Protocol (GRT) offers for blockchain technology.
The Graph Protocol (GRT) is Revolutionizing Blockchain Technology
The Graph is a decentralized protocol that is openly accessible for anyone to build on. APIs are called subgraphs and make it easy for anyone to participate. Blockchain data can be extremely difficult to read beyond basic transactions. Complicated smart contract data, like NFT information, is what The Graph Protocol (GRT) specializes in.
The way the protocol works is by The Graph Nodes constantly scanning the blockchain, say Ethereum. When data is added to the blockchain, via a transaction through a smart contract, the smart contract makes a specific action. The action is then found by The Graph Node, which maps and updates the data stored. Decentralized apps and blockchain users then have the opportunity to search this data.
The protocol started with the Ethereum blockchain and quickly integrated other popular chains as well. Polygon, Binance, Moonriver, Harmony, Avalanche, Near, Cosmos and more are all in the beta version currently. As The Graph Protocol (GRT) expands to other blockchains they gain a competitive edge over others, as indexing data manually takes a very long time.
How GRT Works
Developers, Indexers, Delegators and Curators all participate in the protocol in different ways. Developers create and build upon existing subgraphs, so all the work begins with them. Curators help organize the data by signaling on subgraphs. These two make up the indexing side of the protocol.
On the querying side of The Graph Protocol (GRT), we have Indexers and Delegators. Delegators assist in securing the network by “delegating” GRT tokens to indexers. Indexers are the ones who operate The Graph Node to index the data and serve queries. Many basic queries are free, with more complicated queries costing GRT tokens.
The GRT token is central to The Graph’s ecosystem and protocol. Because it is decentralized, network participants must be incentivized to both engage the network and grow it ethically. Indexers, for example, earn both query fees and indexing rewards. In addition, a rebate pool is split evenly amongst contributors based on work.
Indexers must stake 100,000 GRT, and can be penalized for malicious actions or misinformation. Indexers on The Graph Protocol often have delegators who help put up the staked GRT, and are rewarded proportionately. GRT does come with a 3% annual inflation which is the indexing reward.
Curators receive curation shares in return for putting up GRT and 10% of query fees (subject to governance) go directly to them. GRT is an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain that offers high staking APY. The Graph Protocol has been growing quickly and has proved a helpful tool for developers and casual users alike.
The Future of The Graph Protocol
In the spring of 2021, The Graph announced reaching 20 billion queries. One billion queries were reached in June 2020, just 11 months before. Daily query volume during this time grew to 675 million queries every day and a 20% month-over-month query growth. The Graph has seen immense growth in protocol activity and solves a very real problem in the blockchain space.
There is no doubt that the service provided by The Graph Protocol is valuable both to the growth and sustainability of blockchain technology as a whole. Imagine the internet with no Google, Yahoo or Bing. Users would need to know the exact address of the website they wanted to visit, with no errors. The Graph changes all of this and makes searching blockchains fast and easy.
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