8 July 2021: The Graph (GRT) is a fundamental piece of the building blocks for Web 3.0, the next iteration of the internet. As blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies continue to expand, the space is becoming increasingly coherent as it moves closer to full function. This article will explore what Web 3.0 (Web3) is and how The Graph is a vital part of the success of its inception.
Web 3.0 Explained
The term Web 3.0 or Web3 simply means it is the third iteration of the internet itself. The current web each daily user has been utilizing is actually Web 2.0 . The first iteration of the internet (Web 1.0) was the basic structure of the internet when it launched and is typically credited with lasting from 1999 up until around 2004 (thought the actual dates are debated). In Web 1.0, websites were mainly consistent of basic, static content and can be generally explained as the "read only" web.
Web 2.0 (the current iteration of the internet) allowed the developer to play a part rather than it just being read only files. The use of databases and the dynamic functions of HTML provide the current internet with a substantial increase in interaction and allowed for the rapid expansion of social interfaces in various forms. This iteration increased communication channels and provided the grounds for common platforms we all know today.
Web 3.0 takes the robust nature of Web2 and fully expands it into a more decentralized, open internet with the expectation of making the internet more democratic, secure, self-governing, and permissionless. This is accomplished through the integration of blockchain technology. With the expansion and success of cryptocurrencies, it is providing the financial means to deploy blockchain technology successfully throughout this new internet iteration.
The Graph (GRT) & Its Role in Web3
The Graph is an indexing protocol that is utilized for querying networks such as Ethereum (ETH). The Graph's APIs, referred to as subgraphs, are open to developers allowing for an easy access of available data. APIs or application programming interfaces, are defined as "a set of definitions and protocols for building and integrating application software" (Red Hat) which allows for communication between projects without the need for an understanding of the implementation. This makes the process easier and more affordable through simplifying app development substantially.
The combination of subgraphs (APIs) on The Graph can then be used to provide an accessible "global graph" of the world's information, essentially decentralizing data. This data can then be utilized in many different ways including across numerous applications via querying, making it an vital part of the infrastructure for Web 3.0 and major networks operating within the space. Essentially, The Graph is simplifying indexing. Consider The Graph the decentralized version of Google, indexing information through subgraphs (APIs) that networks, protocols, and other projects can easily access through GraphQL.
The Graph operates through its native token GRT which can be earned and staked in multiple ways, including through running a node (Indexers), developing subgraphs (Curators), or by delegating GRT to indexers to support the network (Delegators).
Real World Use Cases
There are numerous protocols and blockchains already utilizing The Graph for indexing. Some of these majors users include the likes of Aave, Balancer, Decentraland, Synthetix, Uniswap, and many more. As The Graph continues to develop and grow alongside other major Web 3.0 components, this list is sure to grow further. Currently, there is over 2.9 billion GRT staked on The Graph network. This is out of a currently minted 10.1 billion GRT with approximately 155 million GRT already being paid out in the form of rewards to active Indexers and Delegators.
The Graph's importance when it comes to data indexing is currently unmatched in the developing Web 3.0 space. Having a trustworthy, robust solution to time consuming indexing is essential for many start up projects and emerging networks. The role that The Graph plays within the decentralized movement cannot be understated.
Various integrations of The Graph can bee seen in differing sectors including governance, DeFi (decentralized finance), marketplaces, and more. In the current Web 2.0 internet, Google plays this pivotal role in being the number one data indexer in the market. When it comes to the emerging Web 3.0 integration of the internet, The Graph is the industry leader in this category when it comes to decentralized applications.