(Cypress trees in a field of wheat, Van Gogh)
The Rise of Data Middle Layer Needs
With the explosion of DeFi and NFT, the data of blockchain is getting richer and richer day by day, and the data volume is very large. On one hand, various applications or middleware need fast access to public chain data, and on the other hand, there is a big explosion of public chain data, and a data middle layer is needed as a connector between the two. Like Chainlink, The Graph is also the middle layer of blockchain. The middle layer is increasingly in demand and is becoming an important infrastructure. Currently The Graph acts as a data connector between public chains and applications on the Ether blockchain, providing indexing and querying of on-chain data for various applications.
PolarFox is currently providing data indexing and query services similar to The Graph for BSC chain, however, PolarFox is more centralized in the early stage to meet the urgent demand of data query for various applications first, and then gradually move to decentralization. However, it will gradually evolve to a decentralized data middle layer afterwards. The indexing service providers in the Internet era are search engine companies like Google and Baidu, and what kind of projects will be the indexing service providers in the blockchain era?
Blockchain Era Indexing Service
Above we mentioned the rise of the demand for data middle layer, so specifically, how to understand the data middle layer? Especially the data middle layer on blockchain. For ordinary users, the term indexing is not easy to understand. In fact, in reality, we often encounter such things, for example, we go to the library to borrow books, how to quickly find the book we need in a huge venue? If every book borrowed, we need to start from the first shelf to find, then anyone will be broken. Here we need an index. By categorizing books, numbering them, etc., we can quickly find the book we are looking for. Indexing is needed to find the target quickly in any large amount of content. Like search engines, indexing of databases is needed in order for users to find content as quickly as possible.
With indexing, it is not necessary to scan the entire database table, but only to provide relevant data, thus increasing the speed of query. So, the goal of indexing is to find the target content as soon as possible. A key word here is speed. The same problem exists when searching data in blockchain. Blockchain data is now so huge that the demand for search queries is getting bigger and bigger. It is a bit like the Internet period, in the early days of the Internet, the content was not rich enough and the demand for search was not great. And after a certain period of development, with the great abundance of websites, search engines such as Yahoo, Google and Baidu came along with it.
Similarly, with the great abundance of blockchain data, The Graph and PolarFox came along with it. This is an important track in the blockchain era. To solve the problem of inefficient search in the blockchain, some blockchain service providers, such as blockchain browsers, build their own servers to read all the data on the chain and also store this data in their own databases. These are equivalent to indexing the original blockchain data, converting this data into a queryable format, and extracting the data on the blockchain to help it achieve faster queries.
However, in the long run, this model suffers from centralized trust issues and requires trust in the company providing the data queries, which is not perfect in the blockchain space. It is also costly if each company builds its own data extraction service. This is the reason why decentralized indexing protocols like The Graph and PolarFox have room to live. A fully decentralized data indexing protocol could be an important building block for the crypto space and web3. However, there are major differences between PolarFox and The Graph as far as the evolutionary path is concerned.
Differences between PolarFox and The Graph
Above we mentioned the importance of the data middle layer for the cryptographic domain, and especially the subsequent importance for building the web3 network. So, what are the differences between PolarFox and The Graph, which also provide data middle layer services for the encryption field.
*Differences in entry positions and approaches
First, essentially, the long-term goal of both is to become decentralized data indexing protocols that become important building blocks of web3. However, there are major differences in terms of launch. Currently The Graph is mainly serving the Ethernet network, while PolarFox is mainly focused on serving the BSC ecosystem.
In the beginning, there were hosted services for both, and currently PolarFox is also focused on centralized hosted services in the early days in order to improve efficiency, trying to provide specific and fast query services for various applications on the BSC chain. hosted services also existed in the early days of The Graph’s launch, but recently, The Graph has gradually evolved towards decentralization. From this perspective, The Graph is evolving faster. Because of this model of The Graph, it has not been able to provide services quickly on the BSC, as its decentralized model takes longer to advance. This gives PolarFox the opportunity to enter from the weak side of The Graph and break through where The Graph is not providing enough services first. In order to serve the growing demand for data queries on the BSC faster, PolarFox used early partnerships with project partners (such as Pancake) to move its business forward quickly. Of course, in the long run, this was a stop-gap measure.
- Differences in early frameworks
The Graph protocol uses the query language GraphQL to query the blockchain, and people query by the fields or search criteria they are interested in. The queryable data is organized in a subgraph (subgraph) fashion, and multiple subgraphs can be used. For example, one can search for various data such as the total number of transactions per day and the number of transactions for Uniswap. In The Graph, there are roles of Indexer, Querier, Curator, Delegator, and Supervisor (Fishermen) and Arbitrator. The indexer is also the node operator. An indexer needs to become a node by pledging GRT tokens.
The main function of the node is to index related subgraphs and serve various queryers, which can be other web service providers or middleware, or end users. These queriers need to pay a fee to access the different subgraph data provided by the indexer.
Thus, The Graph is a decentralized indexing marketplace and there will be multiple indexers and therefore a competitive marketplace. Having a competitive market will also lead to a price equalization of query services. In addition to the supply and demand sides of indexers and searchers, there is also the role of Curator curators. Curators aim to discover subgraphs worth indexing, and they use the token GRT to point to these valuable subgraphs. If these subgraphs prove to be popular, the Curator is also rewarded accordingly.
The curator can be any user, such as an end-user who finds a valuable subgraph worth indexing, and can be a developer who wants their subgraph to be indexed by Indexer. The more subgraphs pledged tokens are deposited through tokens, the more likely they are to attract the attention of the Indexer. The curator pledges GRT to a certain joint curve, which signals from a specific subgraph. The earlier a particular subgraph is pledged, the higher the query gain that can be obtained based on its pledge volume. The delegator does not have to run The Graph node and delegates its tokens to the indexer, which can receive part of the indexer’s gain.
The supervisor (Fishermen), on the other hand, is responsible for discovering indexers that provide incorrect indexing services, and the arbiter is responsible for arbitration of disputed services. From the above structure, The Graph introduces six roles in order to reach decentralized indexing. This is a certain threshold for understanding its project at the beginning. In addition, there are certain sacrifices in terms of efficiency as more roles are involved and it takes longer in terms of early start-up.
For example, how efficient is the curator’s guidance for valuable subgraphs, how good is the quality of the subgraph and indexing services, and whether they can meet the quick query needs of the searchers. The current roles on PolarFox are mainly query demand side (project side mainly), indexing service provider, and token holder. This is a simplification. The indexing service provider is dominated by PolarFox at first, while the query demand side, on the other hand, are project parties on various BSC or public chains like Ether, such as DEX and lending protocol applications, which have extremely large demand for indexing and query services. Token holders are then equivalent to the financial backers supporting PolarFox.
The advantage of this cut-through model is that it can serve the query needs of current dApps, such as pancakeswap on BSC, more efficiently through centralization, and enter the indexing and query service market faster and with higher quality. Of course, it also has shortcomings, it makes certain sacrifices in decentralization, its openness is not as good as The Graph, and it cannot be the middle layer of data for web3 without subsequent iterations.
- Differences in the token economy
The Graph’s token is GRT, which is a usage token and has the following main uses.
- pledging GRT is required to become an indexer.
- curators use GRT to signal worthy indexing subgraphs.
- commissioners commissioning indexers can be rewarded with pledge tokens.
- Queriers (consumers) pay GRT fees for their queries In order to build its decentralized indexing marketplace, GRT has 3% annual inflation in addition to the initial issuance of 10 billion, which is used to pay indexing rewards.
In addition, GRT’s token value is captured primarily by its token destruction, which scales to 1% of the total cost of the protocol query. polarFox tokens POLR total 1 billion, POLR is also the usage token to pay for the query service.
- Project parties (query demanders) need to pledge POLR tokens, and then by consuming their pledged tokens, they can obtain the data indexing and query services provided by PolarFox.
- Participating in liquidity mining, ordinary users pledging POLR can get the corresponding token revenue. The POLR fee paid by the project party (the querier) is equivalent to the revenue of the service market, and a portion of this token is used for destruction and a portion is distributed to users who provide liquidity for POLR. Thus, POLR’s value capture also comes primarily from the market fees for its query service. The size of the captured value depends on the size of the market for the service.
In terms of entry point, PolarFox is more like the Jingdong model and The Graph is more like the Taobao model when compared to Internet e-commerce, where The Graph starts by building a competitive decentralized indexing market, while PolarFox enters the indexing market in a more centralized way. The advantage of The Graph is that it has entered the market earlier and built its decentralized indexing market from the beginning, which is in line with the trend of building decentralized applications in the blockchain era in terms of ecological openness and longevity, and a truly decentralized indexing market without trusting third parties, which has the opportunity to become the middle layer of data for web3. And The Graph’s path is not without shortcomings.
For example, The Graph’s GraphQL has a certain threshold, and its ecological participation has quite a few roles that are not easy to understand in the early stage, and it takes longer to coordinate and motivate related parties to contribute to the ecology, which may lead to some difficulties in its ecological construction if its incentive is not sufficient. In addition, there are some disadvantages in efficiency because the quality of early indexing services may be uneven.
The advantage of PolarFox is that it cuts from the BSC chain and adopts a more centralized approach, its data synchronization, crawling and indexing will be faster and more efficient, and it is easier to be adopted by some project parties in the early stage, such as protocol applications on BSC like Pancakeswap. They need faster and more efficient services. Therefore, in the early stage, if PolarFox can provide more efficient and fast query service with more efficient API, it may win the business of some head applications in the early stage instead. Again, PolarFox’s path is not without shortcomings. For example, in the long run, the blockchain era needs a decentralized indexing marketplace, which requires more players and a marketplace where no third party has to be trusted.
Only a decentralized indexing protocol has a chance to become the middle layer of data in the future web3 era. From this perspective, PolarFox will also gradually iterate towards a decentralized indexing marketplace. In the early stage, PolarFox can base on its experience in serving different project parties, and then summarize the generalized protocol model of decentralized indexing market, which is also a path. As for how to iterate, who can achieve better results and who can finally become the indispensable data middle layer in the blockchain era, perhaps only time can tell us.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/similarities-and-differences-between-polarfox-and-the-graph/
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