Today, I'm delighted to launch the most ambitious and much-anticipated project of my professional career - the economic engine that powers the decentralized Covalent network. CQT Staking is live and anyone with CQT can now help secure the Covalent network!
Here's to the foundations of a better web. 🥂
Background on the "read-scalability problem"
Web 3 enables a connected, composable view of the world. Looking at the rear-view mirror of Internet systems of yesteryear (aka Web2), these services store user data within and across applications. But these services are fundamentally limited in their utility because the user data they hold are in proprietary databases. These database systems were built in an era where openness and collaboration were after-thoughts.
With the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) and NFTs representing media and intellectual property -- it's clear that verifiable, public data has real-world value. We now have a plethora of chains with varying degrees of security guarantees available to developers.
If you are familiar with the genesis story of Covalent, we set out to solve a problem that's often overlooked: the read-scalability problem. The gist is that these blockchains are designed for transaction and settlement throughput while reading from blockchain nodes is difficult. You'd be drinking from the blockchain data ocean out of a proverbial straw. Our thesis was that by solving read-scalability, we would enable use-cases that were as of then unknown. We further took the solution up a notch by introducing a normalized data model and exposing it behind a Unified API.
It's still early days for victory laps and there's tons to do - proud of our progress so far - the Covalent Unified API now supports 32 blockchains (40 by the end of the Q2), 1000+ applications and over 27,000 developers. Moreover, by my estimate, over $100m dollars were raised by projects building on the Covalent API in the past year alone. Exciting to see!
Data verifiability enables data composability
Most blockchains are monolithic constructs. That means data storage, execution and consensus are bundled together. We realized that for further downstream enrichment or composability, we had to break free from the constrained environment of a blockchain node.
This is where the Block Specimen -- a novel invention from Covalent -- comes into the picture. The block specimen is a canonical storage format that facilitates re-execution and enrichment outside the execution environment of a blockchain node. This unified, normalized storage format is what underpins the Covalent Unified API and has been battle-tested in production for the past few years. We recently open-sourced the specification and the reference implementation as a set of patches over Geth (a popular Ethereum client.)
Without data verifiability, Web3 composability is broken.
Firstly, without data structures secured by cryptographic proofs, there are no guarantees on the integrity and authenticity of shared data. Without proofs, is it really Web3?
Secondly, the standard data model is icing on the cake -- jump-starting innovation when developers can remix, fork and wrap data just like assets.
Thirdly, the block specimens and their proofs are sufficient to reconstruct the entire state of a blockchain without any of the baggage of a blockchain node. Modular and extensible.
How to get started
There are three steps to participate in staking:
- The proof chain runs on Moonbeam, a Polkadot parachain and therefore, you'll either need to
- bridge CQT from Ethereum to Moonbeam via Nomad
- buy bridged CQT from a DEX (coming soon!)
- Go over to the staking dashboard. Connect your wallet with CQT.
- Pick an operator who has delegation room available and stake your CQT.
Quote from Derek Yoo, CEO and Founder of Moonbeam
“ We’ve been collaborating with Covalent for over a year to not only improve the developer experience on Moonbeam, but to help them realize their vision for the Covalent Network. As of today, we have the Covalent Network uploading proofs to Moonbeam, a critical and novel feature in ensuring data verifiability across the network. Their team’s ability to execute is unparalleled and we’re excited to see what else they continue to deliver.
Derek Yoo CEO & Founder, Moonbeam
Quote from Pranay Mohan, CEO and Co-Founder of Nomad
“ Covalent offers state of the art data infrastructure for developers to query information and access on-chain data they need to build applications. A core component of this is providing a decentralized API that is resilient and censorship-resistant. Using Nomad as the cross-chain rails for CQT, Covalent will enable users to secure the Covalent network from any chain they own CQT on, beginning with Moonbeam. We are excited to partner with the Covalent team to blaze the trail on multi-chain staking, providing robust network security in a multi-chain world.
Pranay Mohan CEO & Co-Founder, Nomad