The year 2019 marks our second year of operations at Covalent. Here's a letter I shared with our stakeholders – staff, investors, partners and customers on our progress in 2019 and where we see the growth opportunities in 2020.
Ganesh from Covalent here. 👋
2020 and a new decade is upon us and the Covalent team wishes everyone a wonderful new year! Thank you all for your continued support.
The year 2019 marks our second year of operations at Covalent and we've seen significant growth in Covalent's vision, technology, team and the community around us. We would like to share an update on what we've been up to in 2019 and where we see the opportunities for growth in 2020.
We started Covalent about two years ago with the belief that data brings transparency to the crypto markets and only transparency will bring-forth main-stream retail adoption. This belief is our mission and our team has been heads down since day one building an indexing engine to search and categorize the world's blockchain data.
In 2019, we were fortunate to find a set of early adopters who made a bet on us and entrusted Covalent with their data needs. After about 18 months of relentless hard-work and unimaginable tests of our endurance, we were able to ship an initial version of the Covalent data platform. We are happy to say that many of the blockchain products and decentralized apps that inspired us in 2018 are now users of our industry-leading API.
What Covalent did in 2019
A bit of context. Fresh off the massive ICO boom/bust, our 2018 annual report outlined seven categories of projects poised for growth:
- Stable coins
- Security Tokens
- Non-fungible Tokens
- Decentralized Exchanges
- Derivative Protocols / Prediction Markets
- Debt / Lending Protocols
- Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)
Note: Covalent is only focused on smart contract platforms like Ethereum and don't particularly pay attention to payment blockchains like Bitcoin.
I don't claim to have prescient powers, but we got the big themes right. Where we went wrong was with our bullishness on blockchain games and security tokens. These areas did not pick up steam in 2019, perhaps 2020 is the year for them?
Every other category has seen massive growth in 2019. The undeniable and definite theme for Ethereum is decentralized finance (DeFi). Our team has been knee-deep with DeFi in 2019 – figuring out what's important, shipping features and supporting the community.
A quick recap of what we've been upto:
1. Non-fungible Tokens: CryptoKitties revenue analysis
Even before our tech geared up to be operational, we were able to use an ultra-basic version of our platform to analyze CryptoKitties' revenue. We open-sourced all the code and this post is a gold standard reference for analyzing blockchain games.
2. Decentralized Exchanges: Uniswap traction analysis
Uniswap wasn't in our initial list of exchanges from last year – for good reasons! It had just launched and no one had heard about it. But in a short four months, it gained a lot of traction and it seemed to be a good project to analyze.
Starting to integrate @UniswapExchange into the @Covalent_HQ API this week. I thought I had a bug – but the numbers are truly off the charts!To demonstrate – I made a pretty animation of the dramatic growth of ETH reserves across the various exchanges using our data.pic.twitter.com/vuEriqHrCQ— Ganesh Swami (@gane5h) March 20, 2019 <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
3. Stablecoins and Decentralized Exchanges: defistats.io
Early summer, we introduced defistats.io – an independent source for exploring the emerging “decentralized finance” use-case on the Ethereum blockchain. Our vision was to make granular analytics accessible and transparent to the entire community.
We followed up with a series of quick launches – all powered by the Covalent platform:
- Uniswap exchange metrics
- Uniswap Liquidity Provider Profit & Loss statements
- Stable coins velocity, supply and other metrics
We will be investing heavily in defistats in 2020.
4. Creative Destruction Lab – Covalent moves to Toronto
Mid-summer, we were excited to learn that Covalent had been accepted into the prestigious Creative Destruction Labin Toronto.
The entire team relocated across the country to the Fintech capital of Canada (Toronto) for a month to learn from industry experts and expand our network. The program is year-long and we make a trip to Toronto every month. Reach out if you work in the space and want to catch up in Toronto!
5. The Covalent API
By the end of summer, we had launched the Covalent API serving fresh and hot Ethereum data as a REST API. This is the most powerful API available in the industry with features like:
- ✅ ENS support (like DNS, but for the blockchain)
- ✅ Fully decoded event logs
- ✅ Daily and historical token price feeds for 40,000 markets
- ✅ Balances / actions / historical PnL for 10 different protocols
- ✅ Crypto logo API for thousands of tokens
The Covalent API is the primary method our customers interact with our platform.
6. DeFi behind the scenes – Youtube channel
Towards the end of the year, we launched the Covalent Youtube channel – our education and research channel for looking under the DeFi hood.
Each video has a specific narrative in the DeFi space, either around sustainable business models, or difficulty of getting accurate data or how people / bots are making huge profits. We have more stories to share in 2020 – stay tuned!
7. Covalent on the road
In the last quarter of the year, we presented at three events in North America. It was great to finally meet many of you in person and looking forward to re-connecting at an event this year:
- SF Product Manager's meetup – talk on Uniswap
- Toronto DeFi Meetup – talk on sustainable business models
What excites us in 2020
DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI DEFI
In 2020, we will be doubling down on the DeFi investments we made in 2019. Watch out for the fireworks! 🎆🎆🎆🎆
We will be extending our products along two dimensions:
We will be going broader by bringing DeFi to other blockchains and sidechains – there's going to be a flurry of blockchain launches in 2020. We are ready to throw our support behind them.
We will be going deeper by fleshing out our PnL API, accounting and taxation products. Stay tuned for news on this front.
We welcome you to join our mailing list or directly reach out to me.
Much love, Ganesh Swami Co-Founder and CEO, Covalent