PowerLoom Protocol aims to bring the power of decentralization to challenges that are unique to applications based on smart contracts running on programmable blockchains — extracting higher order information specific to the application logic from raw state data. It attempts to address the following issues while keeping the core principles of decentralization intact when it comes to open, economical and incentivized data access for all concerned stakeholders.
- Block propagation delay — This leads to state synchronization issues where the accessed and extracted data might be stale or even discarded (during events like chain reorganization)
- Cost of building indexes — The most popular way of solving the issue of extracting higher order analytics and insights on blockchain data is to build centralized, vendor specific indexes on relational databases and ‘throw hardware’ at the problem because of continually growing data sets and states. When combined with the issue of state synchronization and block propagation delay mentioned above, the computational costs are compounded because of the necessity to ‘resync’ with the state of the data source blockchain which in turn makes it necessary to rebuild the indexes from scratch.
- Lack of flexibility to adapt to unique datapoints — Existing indexes on blockchain data adapted for relation database storage are specifically suited for serving datapoints they were originally defined for and are not efficient for datapoints which might require rebuilding of separate indexes to achieve joins, filters etc.
- Lack of in-step verification and state transition testing — To arrive at a higher-order data point, there are a series of computations performed, which often depend upon the cumulative data from previous states as well (for eg, cumulative trade volume for a pair contract on a DEX like Uniswap, against a specific height of the blockchain). For a datapoint to be precise and trustworthy, all steps of computation to arrive at it should be accessible and provable. The absence of such a mechanism violates the basic tenet of blockchain and decentralized networks: Trust, but verify.
- Prohibitive cost to access higher order information on demand — The cost to consumers of extracted, higher-order information at the moment is dictated by large, centralized providers operating on SaaS models that are not flexible enough for a decentralized economy. Access to organized, actionable information derived from blockchain data is presently not available on demand and the cost incurred is often disproportionate to the slice of data requested. This is unsavory in the age of decentralization where serving precise information from data between specific state transitions, incentivized by microtransactions, should be the norm rather than the exception.
Background and Motivation
The vision behind PowerLoom Protocol was formalized after a series of iterations over a core idea that was recognized at multiple online hackathons throughout 2020 and was later backed by the Tachyon accelerator program. Our earliest backers include Protocol Labs, the group behind the creation of IPFS and Filecoin.
💡 for a complete list of our backers, refer to this blog post
Genesis: BlockSig and Audit Protocol