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Coucil of apes CQ

SubQuery and The Graph Race to Become the Google of Blockchains

SubQuery and The Graph Features
  • Today, indexing is considered a crucial part of the blockchain.
  • A rival has emerged, however, and is competing with GRT — SubQuery.
  • SubQuery just added EVM support in integration with Moonbeam and Moonriver.

Introduction

Before we go into detail and understand how both SubQuery and The Graph work, it is important to note that these two are both indexing protocols that help developers create fully decentralized applications. Similarly, let us first identify what values they bring into the blockchain space.

To clarify, these decentralized applications (dApps) are built on top of different blockchain networks through Smart Contracts. Moreover, these interact with the blockchain network to gather and save data from users or applications as p2p loans or swaps. These data are then saved in the blockchain as transactions that contain relevant information.

Indexing

The main concept behind SubQuery and The Graph is indexing. In essence, it reduces the time needed in finding particular pieces of data or information.

Particularly, in computer science, database indexes aim to cut search time. Database indexes speed up queries by giving easy and quick access to relevant rows in a table. Instead of scanning the whole database to get an SQL query, the database index helps you do this quickly.

Indexing, moreover, is crucial in the blockchain. The infrastructure of blockchain consists of blocks that contain transactions. These blocks are connected to their adjacent blocks, providing a linear immutable history of what happens to each block in real-time.

Because of this, looking for a particular transaction on each block will take time. However, this is only one way to do it. Indexing will make this process efficient and fast. This is the reason why some blockchain explorers have their own service for reading and monitoring all data and transactions, then storing it in a database for easy retrieval.

These services are often regarded as ingestion services. Basically, they consume all the data on the blockchain and then convert it into a queryable format.

subquery
(Source: Finematics)

As explained above, this is also one of the reasons why The Graph and SubQuery are considered as the “Google of Blockchain”. More so, now that the basic concept of the indexing protocols is explained, let us now dive deeper into what The Graph and SubQuery do.

SubQuery vs The Graph

SubQuery is gradually making noise in the blockchain space. Along with The Graph’s achievements, SubQuery doesn’t lag behind and also makes a name for itself.

In detail, SubQuery is a decentralized data aggregator that offers an indexing & querying layer between Layer-1 blockchains and decentralized applications (DApps). However, what makes it stand out from the rest is that it is built not on Ethereum but on the Polkadot network.

Additionally, SubQuery also helps developers to focus on their core use-case and front end. They don’t need to waste time on building a custom back end for data processing because SubQuery will help them with this.

SubQuery strives to focus on solving the complexity and slow query speeds for chain data.

subquery 2
(Source: SubQuery))

Moreover, SubQuery works with popular projects like Moonbeam and Acala. These projects are built on Polkadot/Substrate. Currently, it provides free production-grade hosting of projects to developers. They let developers do what they do best — building and creating.

In fact, SubQuery recently added EVM support in integration with Moonbeam and Moonriver. This allows for Polkadot and Ethereum developers to integrate substrate and EVM data seamlessly onto a single space. To add on, it also queries a single data source within GraphQL. 

This is quite the revolutionary move by SubQuery because it offers a much-needed solution to a prevailing issue. Now, with this Moonriver-Moonbeam partnership, it is possible to unify the indexing of all blockchain data within Moonriver. In turn, this will improve Moonriver’s application ecosystem. 

SubQuery Token (SQT)

SubQuery aims to make SQT the driving force and power to the SubQuery network. The team plans to achieve this by providing an incentive for participation and at the same time to make it a medium of exchange of transactions. With that said, SQT was minted to be tokenized and issued on another Polkadot parachain (including Acala or others). The SubQuery team is doing its best to connect and help its users. One perfect example of this is their Academy Time, where they give courses to developers to boost their morale and skills.

Since its inception, SubQuery already proved to have high potential. There are some who commend SubQuery for solving the same problems that The Graph solves. In fact, being considered a rival to the big player — The Graph, is already an achievement on its own.

On the other hand, The Graph (GRT) is a global indexing protocol and API. It is among the first decentralized indexing and querying software that became available in the market. It helps in organizing blockchain data and easy access of these data. Developers use The Graph to search and publish all the public data they need, in order to build decentralized applications (dApps). Among many others, Uniswap, Synthetix, and Decentraland use The Graph.

Furthermore, The Graph network helps these dApps to run on public infrastructure. More so, the platform has already reached a milestone of 1 billion queries/requests, which resulted in the increase of the protocol’s native token, GRT, as well and continues to expand for the benefit of their users.

To conclude, only the users of both protocols would know which one is better. The Graph has already been in the blockchain space for quite some time but the fact that SubQuery is quickly catching up with it can’t also be ignored. For now, SubQuery shows a promising future ahead of it and the public is yet to see how it will continue to flourish in the future.

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Cho Amisola is a passionate writer for both creative writing and digital publishing. She’s been featured and published in both areas and is now focusing on blockchain news.