2022 Annual Report - A Year of Firsts
January 9, 2023
Ganesh from Covalent here. 👋
The year 2022 was a tumultuous one for the crypto industry. To have Terra/Luna, Celsius, 3AC, FTX, and others successively evaporate has shaken the confidence of many. But these were financial companies knee-deep in speculation, leveraged trading, and in some cases outright fraud.
One advantage we have at Covalent is our long-term focus. We’ve been laser-focused on building the richest and most robust data infrastructure for the entire blockchain ecosystem for many years now. In some ways, the strong resolve to build insulates us from the financial busts and booms that are innate to the crypto space.
My hunch is that 2023 is the start for speculative, leverage financial games diverging from actual blockchain use cases around DeFi, NFTs, GameFi and others.
Covalent achieved many milestones in 2022 - in many ways, it was a year of firsts for us.
In 2022, we were the first indexer in Web3 to index app chains, first to index zero-knowledge roll-ups, first to index the most number of chains in a single year (over 50 new!), received our first external governance proposals, first foray into non-EVM indexing, first to launch a cryptographically verified data pipeline, first to write the most comprehensive GameFi analytics resource, first-of-its-kind data analyst training bootcamp, first time to appear on national television and first time ever participating in IRL Web3 community-centric events and conferences.
The march continues in 2023 - there are no bear markets for builders. 💪
Below are a few highlights from the past year.
March to be the #1 Data Indexer
App Chain Frontier
In 2022, Covalent became the very first indexer in the space to index app chains (application-specific blockchains) by partnering with two play-to-earn games; DeFi Kingdoms (DFK) and Crabada (CRA) within the Avalanche ecosystem. Developers are now able to access deep, granular GameFi data which has previously been inaccessible.
Indexing Zero-Knowledge Roll-Ups
Trailblazing on to the next frontier, Covalent was the first to index Zero Knowledge Roll-Ups, establishing Covalent’s position as the first to provide complete data transparency to zkEVM blockchains. By embedding zero knowledge (zk) functionality into Ethereum’s Virtual Machine, blockchains are able to increase efficiency and reduce data demands by “rolling-up” a large quantity of data transactions into one block. Builders using Covalent will have never-before-accessed verifiable data from scaling solutions built upon Ethereum.
Over 50 Chains Indexed in One Year!
Covalent indexed over 50 new chains in 2022, doubling our amount of previously indexed chains from all of our previous years in total, cementing Covalent’s position as the data indexer with the greatest amount of indexed chains. By using Covalent, developers will have the greatest breadth of trustless, verifiable data from the widest selection of EVM blockchains in Web3.
First External Governance Proposal
In 2022, Covalent was ecstatic to receive its first two external governance proposals.
In the first half of 2022, Covalent received a governance proposal for Indexing the Cronos Chain, the first blockchain network that interoperates with both the Ethereum and Cosmos ecosystem. The proposal was to create Covalent APIs to access and index on-chain transactional data on the Cronos chain providing powerful data toolings to the fast growing dApp ecosystem on Cronos.
In the later half of 2022, Covalent received the governance proposal from Evmos, the EVM implementation and cornerstone of the Cosmos ecosystem, community voted by over 97.5% to bring Covalent into the ecosystem through their integration proposal which included running the #OneMillionWallets hackathon. This hackathon was Covalent’s largest yet, having $90K USD in prizes for building with the Covalent Unified API.
Builders from a wide variety of skill levels and use cases have been able to utilize the simple, no code solution that the Covalent Unified API provides to access the richest blockchain data in Web3.
In 2022, Covalent announced the launch of our Premium API, a paid service to access our new and improved endpoints with even higher rate limits. These re-engineered endpoints will provide developers with faster and more consistent responses with 10 times the rates per second compared to our free tier, all from accessing the billions of rows of data from all of our indexed blockchains. The first Premium API endpoint available will be the token balances endpoint, with a faster response time on the Ethereum chain.
In addition to the Premium API, 2022 saw the launch of our Inner Circle program. This enterprise tier will allow users to confidently scale with the Covalent Premium API, fostering the journey all the way from a hackathon developer to all the way to an organization with thousands of users. Covalent is also excited to be able to continue bridging the gap from Web2 users into Web3, with important features such as SLAs and Customer Success features included. Our Inner Circle users will also be helping Covalent by providing rich product feedback to help us continually improve our data, product, and overall user experience.
First Non-EVM Indexing
Near the beginning of the year, Covalent launched its first steps into the world of non-EVM indexing by adding support for Solana Balances to our API Reference
Get Token Balances for Address endpoint, bringing the industry leading Unified API experience experience to tens of thousands of developers in the Solana ecosystem.
Championing the Pioneers of Tomorrow
Web3 can still very much be considered as a brand new industry within the tech sector. Within this context, one of the leading barriers to entry that builders and users face is the lack of professional, educational resources and information available. Recognizing this, Covalent undertook the massive endeavour of creating materials of the highest quality using our rich, granular, and verifiable data for all Web3 users and developers.
Infinite Games - How Axie Infinity And Play-To-Earn Is Transforming Gaming
In the beginning of 2022, Covalent analyzed over 4.7 billion rows of data across Avalanche, Polygon, Ronin, and BSC to understand the reach, retention, and revenue metrics around these games. Using this in-depth, on-chain data, Covalent produced a free e-book analyzing the top blockchain games (including Axie Infinity, Pegaxy, Bomb Crypto, and Crabada). At the launch of the e-book, we were excited to see over 2000+ downloads! Readers, or anyone interested in GameFi analytics, will be able to gain insight into real user growth in GameFi using irrefutable on-chain analytics.
The Data Alchemist Bootcamp: Write SQL. Start Earning
At Mainnet in New York City of 2022, Covalent launched the Data Alchemist Boot Camp, a four week long program that taught 250 carefully selected, high-quality students to learn Web3 analytics using Increment to help facilitate careers in Web3. This program exceeded original expectations prior to launch, with over 1200 applications received for the first cohort, all from a wide variety of extremely qualified potential candidates. Covalent is eager to continue to help bridge the gap for skills in Web3 for workers seeking employment in the blockchain industry.
Data Verifiability and the Covalent Network
In May of 2022, Covalent had one of its biggest launches to date- the launch of Phase One of the Covalent Network. It was gratifying to see the industry reception upon launch - validating the entire raison d'etre for Covalent.
One of the biggest factors of contention in Web3 is verifiability of trustless, cryptographically secure data. With this in mind, Covalent, engineered the Block Specimen, a novel and original invention that unifies and normalizes storage that underpins the Covalent Unified API. This technology allows users to stake their CQT and help secure the Covalent Network.
Covalent’s Nomad Hack Recovery Plan
One of the unfortunate events in 2022 was the Nomad Bridge hack. Among the impacted, Covalent's token holders lost 11.3% of the CQT supply and within Covalent's community, a few hundred members of the Network operators and delegators. In November, Covalent announced The Covalent Recovery Plan, which identifies a solution that will make all those impacted by the Nomad Hack, including operators and delegators, a 100% whole.
No Bear Market for Builders
Despite the series of events that impacted Web3 and the crypto market, Covalent was astounded to see the sheer measure of projects and apps continuing to build at hackathons all across the world. To look at 2022 in a snapshot, Covalent:
10+ team members holding talks or workshops.
Attended 30+ hackathons.
Received over 800 project submissions.
Offered over $250K in prizes and bounties.
Seeing projects and interacting with developers building with the Covalent Unified API at hackathons is always an incredible experience, but some specific events deserve their own shout out: check out the press releases below to learn more:
Powering the Pioneers of Tomorrow: Developer Tools
In November, Leibing Guo, Developer Relations at Covalent, was selected to guest author for Postman on how to Fetch Web3 Data from More than 40 Blockchains with Postman and Covalent, a platform accessed and used by over 20 million developers.
In addition, Covalent has two new exciting upgrades:
Covalent enhanced its Web3 react components, an easy and simple framework for building dApps in the Ethereum network. Developers will now be able to utilize the Covalent Unified API and adding support for chain names for a wide variety of use-cases.
The new, improved, and better-than-ever-before Covalent Documentation has been updated. With a sleek new interface and a heavy focus on an easy user experience, users will be able to reference and source any information needed for building in our improved platform.
Covalent Meetup Network
In accordance with Covalent's mission of empowering the pioneers of tomorrow, we recognize and value connecting with like-minded individuals and removing the barriers to embrace anyone in Web3 with an open-mind and an eagerness to learn. The Covalent Meetup Network was founded on these principals, and in 2022 there was:
70 meetups held nearly 7000 attendees.
45 chapters across 11 countries and 27 cities.
Not only is there no bear market for builders, but there are no borders either.
Covalent Makes Breaking News
With over 500 reports and features on Covalent in the media in 2022, Covalent skyrocketed into the spotlight. Below is a snapshot into our biggest features from the year, but check out the Covalent Press Page for more in-depth coverage on our major highlights:
First External Report by Messari
In November 2022, Covalent was published by the top market intelligence provider in Web3, Messari Crypto, which championed the Covalent Unified API as “at the helm of the on-chain data indexer space” in the report Data Journey on Covalent’s Decentralized Network.
Events: 2022 Recap
2022 was an insane flurry of travelling across the world and attending hackathons and conferences with the best of the industry. Meltem Algan, Events Manager at Covalent, composed an in-depth post on all of Covalent's activities throughout the year: Covalent Events 2022 Recap.
No matter what, Covalent is always on the relentless pursuit of innovation, and we'll continue to build the biggest and most compelling data infrastructure as we BUIDL into 2023. Here's what to look out for in the new year:
Fee Switch and Move to L1: With the launch of the Premium API, a major focus for the new year will be "turning on the fee switch", the Covalent Token Value Accrual Mechanism, where network operators will be incentivized to participate via CQT, while ensuring the Covalent Network will be both scalable and sustainable. Additionally, Covalent will be undertaking the move on to Cosmos SDK which will essentially make Covalent its own Layer 1. This will not only allow Covalent to be able to tailor the chain exactly for its needs, but the network operators will not have to pay gas fees for every proof of work being completed (which is what's happening today despite scaling solutions).
NFT Cache Endpoints: One of Covalent's doctrines is the idea of "better, faster, cheaper". As Covalent continues to improve and scale our products, our endpoints are constantly being refined to provide the best-in-class quality for our developers. In 2023, anyone building with the Unified API will have the ability to instantly fetch and access NFT metadata directly from the blockchain for even richer data models and a wide variety of use cases.
Blockchain Data Refiner: A new year calls for a new phase. 2023 will see Phase 2 of the Covalent Network, with the next step in the evolution calling for improving upon Covalent's original Block Specimen Technology. The Blockchain Data Refiner will be an engine that will serve as enriching and transforming Block Specimens and will be able to retrieve information directly from the Covalent network.
Product Release Doctrine: Our promise to developers is that we are going to release a brand new product 🅴🆅🅴🆁🆈 . 🆂🅸🅽🅶🅻🅴 . 🅼🅾🅽🆃🅷. This is how we are going to eat the competition and break free from the market.
We'll also be continually updating our community with future hackathons and events we'll be participating in so that we can have some quality time with our builders IRL!
We welcome you to join our mailing list or directly reach out to me.
Covalent provides the industry-leading Unified API bringing visibility to billions of Web3 data points. Developers and analysts use Covalent to build exciting multi-chain applications like crypto wallets, NFT galleries, and investor dashboard tools utilizing data from 72+ blockchains. Covalent is trusted by a community of 40,000+ developers and powers data for 5,000+ applications, including 0x, Zerion, Rainbow Wallet, Rotki, Bitski, and many others.