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Have you ever wondered when all the applications we use will be blockchain-based and decentralized? Why hasn’t this day come yet?
In fact, the majority of DApps can be slower and lack the functionality that the public is accustomed to. Most current blockchain-related technologies cannot scale to the levels required for large applications like social networks, web apps, IoT providers, etc.
However, there is a component of the development stack that programmers frequently ignore but that will inspire the subsequent wave of decentralized applications and possibly speed up mass adoption.
What is an indexing solution, and who is it for?
Consuming relevant and concise data is critical for almost any web application. The same is true for decentralized applications, DeFi and NFT applications which are built on the blockchain and use it as the primary source of information.
They necessitate on-chain indexingwhich is not a system but rather a database optimization process that reduces the number of disk accesses required during query processing. Simply put, indexing is a data structure technique used to quickly locate and access data stored in a network’s base.
It gives users access to portfolio aggregators, TVL dashboards, wallet profiling and other features. However, unlike traditional data storage systems, some aspects of blockchain make data querying time-consuming and painfully difficult.
Individual projects that want to challenge the history of the blockchain and build useful data points for their apps must pay a high price and require extra computing power.
Why have centralized indexing solutions become outdated
When blockchain applications and the technology were in their early stages, a centralized indexing solution may have sufficed. But as new features were added, it became clear that centralized indexing solutions limited application capacities and required extra expenses and energy.
Furthermore, the centralized indexing solution failed to meet a simple but critical criteriondecentralization.
Decentralized applications already rely on centralized indexers to obtain on-chain data, but this deviates from the crypto ideals of trustlessness on a foundational level.
Programs depend on a single system and lack the expected autonomy. In addition, centralization can lead to severe flaws and even outages.
A decentralized indexing solution, on the other hand, provides the following benefits.
- Instead of using resource-intensive hardware, this mechanism drastically reduces operating costs.
- Furthermore, indexers first serve the most recent database and then search for historical data. This method is more efficient than the peers’ method, which indexes and serves the whole blockchain database.
- Hosting indexers on a globally distributed node network with a fully decentralized stack eliminates single points of failure. Also, projects and developers don’t need a central infrastructure, which is a significant change for indexing.
- Once your indexer is up and running on a platform, no government or centralized authority will be able to stop or block it. Even if one part of the decentralized network fails, the others will continue to function, as will your indexer.
- Decentralized indexing is the one that projects can easily use on their own to deploy custom indexers. Everyone can quickly access the market without the involvement of a centralized intermediary or an external party.
Will we see mass adoption sooner if we all use decentralized indexing solutions
Blockchain applications can function without an open-source, decentralized indexing solution.
Besides, even though indexing solutions are a crucial component of DApp functionality, they cannot ensure a project’s success because it depends on various factors including a strong concept, a well-thought-out roadmap, sound financial management and others.
However, using decentralized open-source indexing solutions enables applications to function more efficiently. If something works well and seems easy to use, it is more likely that demand will grow, making DApps something that many people use daily.
Claudio Pascariello is the co-founder of Aleph.im.
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