Erik Ashdown
Ecosystem

Expanding Horizons: Covalent Network Adds More Operators to Support the Ethereum Wayback Machine for Long Term Data Availability

The Covalent Network continues to expand its operator base and refine its network, to structure, standardize and store historical data onchain data for the Ethereum and the EVM as defined in The Ethereum Way Back Machine white paper. This is the first step the Covalent Network has made publicly for an open call to new operators since inception almost two years ago.

The Problem & Opportunity

For those who are unaware, there is no decentralized solution for long term problem to clean, store, normalize and make accessible historical blockchain data for Ethereum & The EVM. Meaning:

  • Data availability solutions such as Eigen DA, Celestia, or Avail are great but only address data up to 12 weeks, and data is gone after that.

  • Blob storage with the Decun upgrade are deleted after 18 days or 4096 epochs. More on that here.

  • Subgraphs are utilized only for a specific use case, and is not relevant to normalizing the underlying data model but only decentralizing a specific data set for developers.

  • No incentive to store historical data since it is public resulting in a tragedy of the commons, without a way to store or cryptographically verify the data.

The Covalent Network & The Ethereum Wayback Machine

The Covalent Network allows a normalized data schema applied to any EVM chain. This is possible via a sidecar to existing blockchain nodes making it simple to run and easy to implement for those already running an Ethereum node today with a set of patches.

Once data is structured it opens up a wide array of use cases like what we are already seeing today as a unified schema for 220+ blockchains is already being executed on Covalent’s hosted solution via APIs. The goal of the network is to progressively decentralized the data pipelines to distributed set of operators. The decentralization process started almost three years ago with the launch of the Block Specimens.

Future Proofing Ethereum and AI readiness

As we see the rise of projects in AI, and the proliferation of rollups, it is inevitable that a unified schema will be required to address all of the language models that are coming. Covalent is already seeing this today with a myriad of new use cases being built and pushed to production. As adoption grows, the reasons to grow the network become practical - hence the call to expand the operator count.

Bringing Offchain Revenue OnChain

The future is not that far away as Covalent has already started this march to bringing API revenue onchain.

As of January 2024 Covalent has started to bring a percentage of offchain revenue onchain and has already started to bring $45,000 of USDC to purchase CQT and has accumulated 165K+ $CQT. See link for source graphs.

Operators Going Forward

To date Covalent has supported a variety of high quality operators to run both types of nodes both Block Specimen Producers (BSP) and Block Result Producers (BRP) to store, structure the data, and verify proofs.

Some operators include:

The operators have been exceptional, and it is time to open up for more operators to join the network.

By the numbers

Below is the required stake to join as an operator.

Additional operator information can be found on the staking dashboard.

Join the cause to verify onchain data and become an operator:

If you are interested in joining the Covalent Network as either BSP or BRP please apply here.

FAQ

  • When is the best time to join?

    • We are in the process of proposing a migration of staking to Ethereum. Operators will join after the migration is complete. Expected timeline is April 2024.

  • Is there a goal APR to support operators?

    • Currently 8% of the total supply (20m CQT) has been earmarked as operator rewards for 4 years with an APR ranging between 8-12%.

  • Is there currently inflation?

    • As of today the Covalent token CQT does not have any inflation, and has a fixed supply of 1 billion tokens.

  • When is the best time to apply to become an operator?

    • The next set of operators to be onboarded will be in Q2 around the migration to move staking back to Ethereum.

  • Where is the documentation?

    • If you are looking to run a BSP you should read this to make sure that you have the available infrastructure. If you are looking to run a BRP note that it is much lighter weight to run but cannot accept delegates. Documentation can be found here.


About Covalent:

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 225 + 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.