Why Make Ethereum Blockchain Data Available on Google Cloud? 6298

Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies have captured the imagination of technologists, financiers, and economists. Digital currencies are only one application of the underlying blockchain technology. Earlier this year, we made the Bitcoin dataset publicly available for analysis in Google BigQuery. Today we’re making the Ethereum dataset available.

Like its predecessor, Bitcoin, you might think of the Ethereum blockchain as an immutable distributed ledger. However, creator Vitalik Buterin extended its set of capabilities by including a virtual machine that can execute arbitrary code stored on the blockchain as smart contracts.

With regards to the system architecture, Ethereum resembles Bitcoin in that it primarily serves to record immutable transactions. Both are essentially OLTP databases, and provide little in the way of OLAP (analytics) functionality. However, the Ethereum dataset is notably distinct from the Bitcoin dataset:

  • The Ethereum blockchain’s primary crypto-economic unit of value is Ether, while the Bitcoin blockchain’s unit of value is Bitcoin. However, the majority of value transfer on the Ethereum blockchain is composed of so-called tokens. Tokens are created and managed by smart contracts.
  • Ether value transfers are precise and direct, resembling accounting ledger debits and credits. This is in contrast to the Bitcoin value transfer mechanism, for which it can be difficult to determine the balance of a given wallet address.
  • Addresses can be not only be wallets that hold balances, but can also contain smart contract bytecode that allows the programmatic creation of agreements and automatic triggering of their execution. An aggregate of coordinated smart contracts could be used to build a decentralized autonomous organization.

The Ethereum blockchain data are now available for exploration with BigQuery. All historical data are in the ethereum_blockchain dataset, which updates daily. The Ethereum ETL project on GitHub contains all source code used to extract data from the Ethereum blockchain and load it into BigQuery—we welcome more contributors and more blockchains!

Why make Ethereum blockchain data available on Google Cloud?

While the Ethereum blockchain peer-to-peer software has an API for a subset of commonly used random-access functions (for example: checking transaction status, looking up wallet-transaction associations, and checking wallet balances, for example), API endpoints don’t exist for easy access to all of the data stored on-chain.

Perhaps more importantly, API endpoints also don’t exist for viewing the blockchain data in aggregate.  Here’s an example chart that shows the total Ether transferred and average transaction cost, aggregated by day:

Ether aggregate transfers and transaction costs

A visualization like this (and the underpinning database query) is useful for making business decisions, such as prioritizing improvements to the Ethereum architecture itself (is the system running close to capacity and due for an upgrade?) to balance sheet adjustments (how quickly can a wallet be rebalanced?).

BigQuery has strong OLAP capabilities to support this type of analysis, ad-hoc and in general, without requiring additional API implementation.

Accordingly, we built a software system on Google Cloud that:

  1. Synchronizes the Ethereum blockchain to computers running Parity in Google Cloud.
  2. Performs a daily extraction of data from the Ethereum blockchain ledger, including the results of smart contract transactions, such as token transfers.
  3. De-normalizes and stores date-partitioned data to BigQuery for easy and cost-effective exploration.

The Ethereum blockchain dataset is also available on Kaggle here. You can query the live data in Kernels, Kaggle’s no charge in-browser coding environment, using the BigQuery Python client library. Fork this example kernel to experiment with your own copy of the Python code.

Interesting queries and analyses

Below, we show a number of interesting queries and visualizations based on the Ethereum dataset. Our analyses focus on three popular topics:

  • Smart contract function calls
  • On-chain transaction time-series and transaction networks
  • Smart contract function analytics

Analysis 1: Popular Smart Contracts Event Logs

The main use case for the Ethereum blockchain has so far been the exchange of digital tokens. Below we demonstrate querying the dataset’s transactions and contracts tables to find the most popular smart contracts, as measured by transaction count:

What are the 10 most popular Ethereum collectibles (ERC-721 contracts), by number of transactions? View my query here.

Contract addresses and transfer counts for the 10 most popular Ethereum collectibles 

The most popular ERC-721 smart contract by transaction count is 0x06012c8cf97bead5deae237070f9587f8e7a266d, the main smart contract for the CryptoKitties game. We’ll take a look at some attributes of the game later in this document.

Looking more closely at this contract’s source code, it logs a CryptoKitty birth event to the blockchain. You can query the logs table for instances of this event here.

We can visualize the CryptoKitty pedigree, as shown here for accounts that own at least 10 CryptoKitties. Color indicates owner, while size indicates the PageRank (reproductive fitness) of each CryptoKitty:

CryptoKitty PageRank based on game's contract's source code

Analysis 2: Transaction Volumes and Transaction Networks

There are many types of tokens being distributed on the Ethereum blockchain, and their patterns of distribution vary by type and also by time. By looking at each token’s transaction activity, we can measure which are more popular in aggregate or within a given time frame.

Here’s a query to measure an aggregate token statistic: which are the 10 most popular Ethereum tokens (ERC20 contracts), by number of transactions? Find the answer here.

At position #5, one of the most popular tokens is OmiseGO ($OMG) at address 0xd26114cd6ee289accf82350c8d8487fedb8a0c07.

As a follow-up, here’s a query for measuring a token statistic (transaction count) by time window, specifically the daily count of $OMG tokens transfers, and a Data Studio visualization of these data as a time series from inception through August 2, 2018 from this Google Sheet:

OmiseGO exchange daily transfers

Note that on September 13, 2017, there was a large increase in the number of $OMG receivers but no increase in the number of senders. This corresponds to the beginning of the OmiseGO Token Airdrop.

Because the data, at a highly granular level, consists of a set of transfers between wallet addresses, we can also reason about the data using a directed graph data structure.

Here’s a visualization of a subset of the same data: it’s the first 50,000 transactions that had at least two trading partners. In this graphic, nodes (points) represent wallet addresses on the Ethereum blockchain, and edges (lines) represent aggregate transfer of tokens between a pair of addresses. Edge length is approximately proportional to the number of tokens transferred, meaning wallets that transfer more aggregate tokens between them are closer together in the chart. Further groups of addresses that transfer often with one another—to the exclusion of members of other groups—will cluster together, and we’ve color coded these groups for clarity. This graphic was made with Gephi and nodes are color-labeled by groups calculated using the Modularity algorithm.

Transfer graph visualization of Ethereum transactions

Analysis 3: Analysis of Smart Contract Functionality

We mentioned previously that many of the smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain are ERC-20 contracts. What does this mean? ERC-20 simply defines a software interface that smart contracts can implement. Specifically, it’s composed of a few functions related to token transfer, fully described in the ERC20 Token Standard specification document.

There are many other functions that can be implemented by a smart contract. Fortunately, many smart contracts’ source code is freely available to use (open source). We can use this to gain some knowledge about what other contracts do from the name of the function, even for those of which we don’t have the source code, because common function names will share a common signature.

Coming back to the CryptoKitties, discussed in Analysis 3 above, the major element of gameplay is animal husbandry, and the mixing of genes in a breeding event is implemented in the CryptoKitties GeneScience smart contract, 0xf97e0a5b616dffc913e72455fde9ea8bbe946a2b. Suppose we wanted to find other games also implementing similar gameplay mechanics to the CryptoKitties GeneScience contract? We can measure this using a JavaScript UDF implementation of the Jaccard similarity coefficient in this query.

These results reveal that several earlier versions of the GeneScience contract are most similar to the current version of the smart contract at address 0xf97e0a5b616dffc913e72455fde9ea8bbe946a2b. But there are also some others (e.g. CryptoPuppies at 0xb64e6bef349a0d3e8571ac80b5ec522b417faeb6), that appear to be highly similar contracts, as measured by method signatures.

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ZHU Announces Plans to Build NFT-based Fan Community 10656

ZHU - Photo Credit: Joey Vitalari
ZHU – Photo Credit: Joey Vitalari

Today, ZHU reveals the details of his plan to build an NFT-based fan community. Beginning with the DREAMROCKS NFT Collection exclusive to Red Rocks concert-goers, an open Zhuman Community token will also be made available for fans worldwide. Fans who attended ZHU’s six-night sold out run at Red Rocks that concluded last night are able to register for community tokens as well as limited-edition moment tokens that include exclusive content from the show they attended. To redeem, showgoers should register using the same email they used to purchase their concert tickets.

Fans of ZHU worldwide will also be able to redeem an open Zhuman Community token. The Zhuman Community token will grant holders access to exclusive content and events to be announced in the coming weeks. ZHU adds, “The fans have shown up so hard these last two weeks at Red Rocks, I’m excited to give something special back to them while also making sure all of my Zhumans worldwide can be a part of the community we’re building.” All DREAMROCKS tokens will be minted and issued on Saturday, May 15th at 12 PM ET. All Zhuman Community tokens will begin minting in the coming weeks. Fans should visit ZHU’s page on the Yellowheart Marketplace for more information and to redeem.

The DREAMROCKS NFT Collection from ZHU is being issued by Night After Night and Yellowheart, the partners behind Kings of Leon’s NFT YOURSELF album release. These releases make ZHU the first artist to build a fan community by issuing free community tokens and the first to issue tokens tied to a live experience.

Casey McGrath, CCO of Night After Night adds, “With this offering, ZHU is setting the tone for how artists should enter the space and use NFTs to create a fan-first model that establishes a long term direct-to-fan pathway.”

“For YellowHeart, democratizing the modern live music experience is our mission. As in-person events start to come back, introducing the many ways NFTs can transform and amplify live music for both artists and fans, in a way that’s better for the environment, is all the more exciting,” said Josh Katz, Founder & CEO of YellowHeart. “It was important to ZHU to have both a carbon-neutral process, as well as offer tokens that are gas-free, so all of his fans could participate in this iconic drop. Since YellowHeart uses Ethereum Layer 2, which uses proof-of-stake, it is the most efficient blockchain solution in terms of gas fees and energy consumption.”

Crypto Investing Re-invented Following BlackDragon’s New Platform Launch 10323

BlackDragon

BlackDragon, the early-stage crypto investing fundraising group, has launched its new decentralized blockchain-native Platform this (Sunday, the 9th of May 2021).

This milestone will make investing both more convenient and simpler for those seeking the highest returns for their capital. With over 1,000 community members and an average ROI of 40x in 2020, BlackDragon has enabled everyday investors to see returns previously only reserved for those with privileged access, extensive crypto networks, and the ability to put in countless hours of dedicated research.

Our newly developed platform is a crypto investors’ one-stop-shop where investors can take comfort knowing that the experienced BlackDragon team has vetted projects and conducted the appropriate due diligence.

The cohesive and beautifully designed app compiles the various projects with the key fundraising data associated with each and provides links to research, key socials, and ROI on previous projects. All the user has to do is bridge their tokens, lock them up to calculate their pro-rata percentage amount, and decide which projects they would like to invest in. Then, with the push of a button, their capital is allocated to prime early-stage projects of their choice.

Apart from sleek UX/UI design, which allows users to easily navigate and search through deals, the app’s biggest innovation is that it runs on the xDAI network, making transactions cheaper, faster, and more efficient. The mechanism allows xDAI tokens to be bridged to and from the ETH blockchain.

And this is where the BlackDragon Token comes into play. The BlackDragon Token (BDT) is an integral part of the BlackDragon investing ecosystem, as it grants access to the platform itself and is used for calculating investment allocations. The way it works is this – if you want a higher project allocation, you need to lock more xBDT.

It is important to note that xBDT tokens can be locked by users via integrated smart contracts, meaning each user gets to decide how many tokens they want to lock/unlock for a certain period. Subsequently, the tokens are locked for 6 months, stimulating stable price appreciation.

BlackDragon currently offers access to their investing services based on the following levels:

Level 0

White Dragon

250+ BD Tokens

Access to 60% of deals

Level 1

Green Dragon

1,000+ BD Tokens

Access to 90% of deals

Level 2

Yellow Dragon

5,000+ BD Tokens

Access to 95% of deals

Level 3

Black Dragon

10,000+ BD Tokens

Access to 100% of deals

If you’re considering getting into crypto investing, but have no idea where to start, or if you’re a seasoned trader and want to save time on research and gain exclusive access to preliminary deals while enjoying a premium UX/UI experience, then BlackDragon is your gateway to convenient and successful crypto gains.

Hashflow Announces $3.2M Seed Round To Bring Professional Market Makers to DeFi, Backed By Dragonfly Capital and Electric Capital 11782

Hashflow, a decentralized exchange connecting DeFi traders with top crypto market makers, has closed a seed funding round of $3.2 million from leading venture capital firms and angel investors. The round was led by Dragonfly Capital and Electric Capital, and joined by IDEO Ventures, Alameda Research, Metastable, Galaxy Digital, Unanimous Capital, and angels including Balaji Srinivasan, Kain Warwick, & Ryan Sean Adams.

Decentralized exchanges on Ethereum have seen rapid growth over the past year with over $215 billion traded on DeFi alone in Q1 2021. This growth can be credited to the popularity of Automated Market Makers (AMMs) which catalyzed DeFi’s explosive growth by offering a simple and permissionless on-chain trading experience. Hashflow builds upon this foundation laid by AMMs, by connecting DeFi traders with top crypto market makers. Using Hashflow, traders can receive price quotes directly from market markers and broadcast trades on-chain using Web3 wallets in a fully trustless manner. By replacing AMM bonding curves with professional market makers, Hashflow offers traders better prices, zero slippage, & the lowest gas costs of any decentralized exchange on Ethereum.

For market makers, Hashflow provides access to the expanding DeFi market while allowing full control over their inventory and pricing strategies. Until now, market makers have had to deploy capital in public liquidity pools, use pre-defined pricing functions, and pay heavy gas fees to change strategies on-chain. With Hashflow, market makers can use bespoke pricing strategies and bridge them on-chain using digital signatures. This gives market makers full control over their capital, and flexibility to adapt to market conditions, using strategies informed by years of experience in centralized markets.

Jon Kol, Director at Galaxy Digital, a leading cryptocurrency investment firm and market maker, commented: “Hashflow is the first project we’ve backed that seamlessly allows market makers to quote prices effectively to DeFi traders.”

Hashflow launched its closed private alpha product this week, with market makers offering price quotes to traders on Ethereum mainnet. In the coming weeks, Hashflow plans to integrate more market makers, and add additional asset pairs that dominate on-chain trading volumes. General audiences will be able to access Hashflow and trade on-chain with market makers by the end of Q2.

Sharing Economy International Invests to develop NFT Technology into ECrent to Open Up Digital Items Sharing 13787

Traditionally, when we talk about sharing economy, people would think about cars, bicycles, mobile rechargers, apartments, or may be even umbrella, toys, etc. All about sharing economy has been some solid tangible things which be shared out to the needed consumer through a rental arrangement. The sharing item will go and come back through physical transactions. But in the digital world, digital products such as digital arts, music, video games are more difficult to control and record the ownership and usage through a P2P sharing model.

As the pioneer in the sharing economy market, based on the Sharing Block engine which is the transaction engine based on blockchain technology that Sharing Economy International Inc. (OTCQB:SEII) has developed to handle the transactions of sharing items between people in ECrent today, SEII engineers and technology partners while revamping and improving the ECrent platform and applications, also decides to add NFT technology on top of the Sharing Block engine. NFT technology will allow users to share their digital products and assets to other people, either free of charge, or at a defined fee by the digital product owner.

“NFT gives a breakthrough to the sharing market which allows us not only to share our tangible items, but also any of the intangible digital items,” said Parkson Yip, SEII’s advisor on corporate development. “SEII is always looking for solutions which can improve the ways how people can share. Apart from drills, cars, bicycles, there is always a market need for the sharing of digital products, and ECrent being the platform in helping people to connect through sharing their resources, we must move fast into the digital product sharing market.”

“Blockchain technology fits very well with the development of sharing economy solutions. Its secured decentralised ledger concept can help us to develop a secure and trustful P2P sharing solution based on ECrent. With the development of NFT technology, we will be able to extend to facilitate the sharing of digital items between people as well. We can see that NFT will apply to a lot of digital items, as well other items, such as art works, which facilitate the tracing of ownership and transaction history of the items with a very trustful mechanism. While NFT is attaching directly with the products, the information would allow cross-platform support, so items can be shared through different platforms as well, as soon as we all follow the same protocol,” says Yip.

BIT Mining Limited Announces Trading of ADSs under New English Name and New Ticker Symbol 13930

BIT Mining Limited (NYSE: BTCM) (“BIT Mining Limited” or the “Company”), a leading cryptocurrency mining enterprise, formerly known as 500.com Limited (NYSE: WBAI), today announced that its American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”), each representing the right to receive ten (10) Class A ordinary shares with par value of US$0.00005 per share of the Company, began trading under the Company’s new English name, “BIT Mining Limited”, and its new ticker symbol, “BTCM”, effective at the opening of trading on the NYSE on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 (U.S. Eastern Daylight Time).

Historical trading data of the Company’s ADSs prior to April 20, 2021 may not yet be available on certain third-party websites and apps when searching for “BIT Mining Limited” and/or “BTCM”, in which case such data may temporarily be found under “500.com Limited” and/or “WBAI”.

About BIT Mining Limited

BIT Mining Limited (NYSE: BTCM) is a leading cryptocurrency mining enterprise, with a long-term strategy to create value across the cryptocurrency industry. Since announcing its entry into the industry in December 2020, the Company has: (i) purchased and deployed bitcoin mining machines with a theoretical hash rate capacity of approximately 1,031.5 PH/s; (ii) acquired three hydroelectric cryptocurrency mines with combined electric power capacity of 435MW, by purchasing a controlling stake in Loto Interactive Limited (HKEX:08198); and (iii) acquired the entire mining pool business of Bitdeer Technologies Holding Company operated under BTC.com, including the domain name and the cryptocurrency wallet of BTC.com. The Company has also entered into a definitive agreement with Bee Computing (HK) Limited, a 7-nanometer cryptocurrency mining machine manufacturer, in order to help sustain the Company’s continued growth.

Safe Harbor Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “will”, “expects”, “anticipates”, “future”, “intends”, “plans”, “believes”, “estimates”, “target”, “going forward”, “outlook” and similar statements. Such statements are based upon management’s current expectations and current market and operating conditions and relate to events that involve known or unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the Company’s control, which may cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Further information regarding these and other risks, uncertainties or factors is included in the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under law.

As Digital Currencies Gain Popularity, FPA and RIA Digital Assets Council Announce Education-Focused Partnership 16025

According to the RIA Digital Assets Council, 80% of financial advisers receive questions from clients about bitcoin, but only 8% can adequately explain digital assets. As cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream, now is the time for financial planners to build competency in this asset class. To support financial planners, the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) and RIA Digital Assets Council (RIADAC), a digital assets educational source for financial planners, announced a strategic partnership to provide education on the application of blockchain and digital assets.

“I’m pleased FPA has this opportunity to work with RIADAC to build our members’ competency in digital assets, which will allow them to augment their knowledge and better serve clients,” says Patrick D. Mahoney, FPA chief executive officer. “As the leading membership association for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, we need to be on the cutting edge of supporting our members as they look to sharpen their knowledge and build their competencies. This partnership with RIADAC is consistent with that objective.”

FPA and RIADAC will provide educational programming and a wide range of content to help FPA members understand the complexities of cryptocurriencies and provide expert advice on how this transformational asset class can impact their clients’ financial plans. As an FPA partner, RIADAC’s educational content and thought leadership will be available to FPA members through a variety of channels:

  • RIA Digital Assets Council Certificate in Blockchain and Digital Assets: FPA members will receive a 50% discount when enrolling in RIADAC’s certificate program that provides financial planners practical literacy on blockchain and digital assets and introduces available options for a firm’s investment management strategy. The inaugural class debuts on Apr. 30, 2021.
  • FPA Blockchain & Digital Assets Community: FPA members will engage with dynamic guests and thought leaders from RIADAC in virtual, interactive discussions and exchange ideas with peers in the FPA Connect Blockchain & Digital Assets community.
  • Journal of Financial Planning: RIADAC will regularly contribute thought leadership content to help financial planners understand blockchain and digital assets in FPA’s flagship publication, the Journal of Financial Planning.
  • FPA Annual ConferenceRic Edelman, founder of RIADAC, will present an informative session on blockchain and digital assets at the FPA Annual Conference in Columbus, OhioSept. 22-24, 2021.

“Gaining vital knowledge about this new asset class will help financial planners attract more clients and serve them better,” said RIADAC Founder Ric Edelman. “We’re honored to be partnering with FPA to help financial planners who are committed to serving their clients’ best interests.”

Ric Edelman is known and recognized throughout financial services and his work to bring blockchain and digital assets education and awareness to the financial advisory community is commendable. I am pleased FPA members will have this opportunity to learn from Ric and his team at RIADAC,” says 2021 FPA President Skip Schweiss, CFP®, AIF®.

Over the coming months, FPA and RIADAC will explore additional educational initiatives and thought leadership programs that can benefit FPA members, their clients and the broader financial planning community.