Leilani Ledingham
Product

Introducing GoldRush Decoder: Decode, Visualize, Understand

TL;DR

  • GoldRush Decoder is a transformative tool that decodes raw log events and enables the visualization of blockchain data, making it easily understandable and accessible. It pairs directly with GoldRush Kit, however, it can be used as a standalone tool.

  • GoldRush is ideal for creating custom block explorers and enhancing user interfaces for dApps.

  • GoldRush Decoder stands apart from traditional explorers in that it is open-source and offers personalized visualizations and intuitive presentations of complex transactions.

  • The open-source element is crucial for Web3 since other explorers keep their data transformations private and inaccessible to users. In contrast, GoldRush Decoder is a public good, the data transformation is open to anyone and benefits everyone.

Introduction

In November 2023, we launched GoldRush Kit, a series of customizable React components for dApp frontends. Now, we introduce GoldRush Decoder, the other half of the GoldRush product suite, meant to give even more flexibility to Web3 developers when it comes to visualizing data.

What is GoldRush Decoder?

GoldRush Decoder is a cutting-edge tool designed to make blockchain data easily understandable. It translates raw log events from blockchain transactions into structured, human-readable formats. This transformation is crucial for anyone looking to understand blockchain transactions without delving into complex and technical log data.

GoldRush Decoder integrates directly with GoldRush Kit, however, it can also be used as a standalone tool. It’s versatile and can be integrated into various blockchain projects, offering broad applications and flexibility. In this way, GoldRush Decoder can be compared to Subgraphs, which enable developers to query specific blockchain data from complex ecosystems. However, the key differences lie in GoldRush’s focus on visualization, and accessibility for developers without extensive blockchain expertise.

GoldRush Decoder vs. Subgraphs

GoldRush Decoder is ideal for applications that require intuitive presentation and simplification of blockchain data, such as custom block explorers or user-facing applications. Subgraphs, on the other hand, are more suited for backend data retrieval and efficient querying for dApps. Using Subgraphs requires familiarity with GraphQL and The Graph Protocol, whereas the GoldRush Decoder is designed to make data easily accessible and understandable to a broader audience.

If you’re familiar with the ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) model which Subgraphs use, where data extraction and transformation occur before loading, then you can think of GoldRush as an ELTV (Extract, Load, Transform, Visualize) approach. The visualization step is crucial – it’s not just about accessing data; it’s about making it comprehensible.

Visualizing Transactions Like Never Before

In terms of visualizing blockchain data, all Web3 users essentially rely on block explorers. However, these solutions have become outdated for many reasons, and the advent of Covalent’s GoldRush represents a significant paradigm shift in the realm of block exploration. Where block explorers present a one-size-fits-all approach to visualization transaction data, GoldRush is a modular, open-source tool that enables users to create custom, tailored block explorers with ease, allowing for a more dynamic, user-centric experience.

What makes GoldRush so useful right out of the box is that it’s built on the Covalent database, meaning users have access to 200+ indexed blockchains and benefit from the same standardized schema that has made Covalent’s other products like the Unified API and SDK so successful. Covalent has already put years of work into structuring and formatting on-chain data so that events can be correctly categorized and decoded across different protocols and blockchains. GoldRush now makes the data transformation open-source so that anybody can participate in and grow this system, effectively acting as a public good for decoded data.

Traditional Block Explorers vs. GoldRush Decoder

Conventional block explorers, like Etherscan, have limitations. They display transactions line-by-line, which often misses the bigger picture. For example, a complex transaction with multiple transfers is shown as a simple list, making it challenging to understand the transaction flow.

GoldRush Decoder reinvents this experience. It can transform the same transaction into a flowchart, illustrating the journey of tokens and their interaction with different addresses. This approach paints a complete picture of the transaction, making it easier to grasp.

Example 1: Aggregator Transactions (ParaSwap)

Let’s take aggregator transactions as an example, which often involve multiple asset transfers. Paraswap is a decentralized exchange aggregator that operates in the Ethereum ecosystem and other blockchains. Its primary function is to optimize trades for users by scanning several decentralized exchanges (DEXs) to find the best possible rates and lowest slippage for a given trade.

Let’s examine a typical ParaSwap transaction and see what it looks like on a traditional block explorer, compared to what we could build with GoldRush Decoder.

PolygonScan

In the transaction view on PolygonScan, we can see that a swap took place using the ParaSwap router. However, this tells us nothing about the architecture of ParaSwap or what went on under the hood, all we see is a long list of tokens transferred, without any context on the transaction itself. For the average Web3 user, and especially for beginners, this is daunting.

GoldRush

In contrast, using GoldRush Decoder, the ParaSwap team could create a block explorer that not only meets their specific needs but also enhances the overall experience and understanding of their platform for their users. For swaps like this, we could see a more intuitive view of the transaction details and the outcome for the user.

Example 2: NFT Transactions (OpenSea)

Let’s take another example, this time, NFT transactions. The rising popularity of NFTs brought forth new use cases and protocol advancements, for instance, OpenSea’s bulk transfers, fractionalization, rewards, and more. However, this is another scenario where conventional block explorers don’t serve the level of customization needed to serve these protocols. While the NFT ecosystem is a creative space for artists to showcase their work, they are surprisingly limited by the infrastructure, with very few options to customize their “storefront” or customer experience. With GoldRush, protocols could offer tailored checkout experiences that offer a much-improved experience for both artists and sellers to understand their transactions.

Etherscan

Here is an example of a more complex NFT transaction that involves multiple transfers for the sale of an NFT.

GoldRush

With GoldRush, any protocol can add receipts like this to their checkout flow, showing the user exactly what occurred without leading them off the page to external block explorers that require more technical expertise.

These are just a few use cases that illustrate the capabilities of GoldRush Decoder, however, the point is that anything is possible. GoldRush Decoder is a tool that can finally capture the long tail of Web3 use cases, bringing visibility to all sorts of data that has previously been inaccessible or indecipherable. With Covalent’s dominance as an indexer of 200+ blockchains, the potential reach of GoldRush as a tool connected to this database is enormous and exciting.

Overcoming the Challenges in Building GoldRush Decoder

Developing GoldRush Decoder presented a unique set of challenges, each demanding innovative solutions and a deep understanding of the blockchain ecosystem. These challenges were not just technical but also strategic, ensuring GoldRush was designed with the community in mind.

Limited Decoding of Diverse Protocols

Web3 is full of protocols with different rules. GoldRush had to be versatile enough to interpret and present data from these various protocols accurately, which required extensive research and development efforts. This variety in protocols meant that a one-size-fits-all decoding approach would be insufficient.

Upholding Data Quality and Nuance

In such a nuanced environment, maintaining high-quality data was another significant challenge. We had to ensure that GoldRush not only decodes this data but also presents it in a way that maintains its richness. This required a sophisticated backend capable of understanding the context of blockchain data.

Embracing a Community-Led Approach

Unlike traditional block explorers, which often rely on a centralized, top-down approach, GoldRush aims to be community-led. This orientation towards community involvement is vital for scalability and adaptability. A community-led approach ensures that the tool evolves with its users, drawing on a wide range of insights. It also fosters a sense of ownership and engagement within the community, as seen in platforms like Arkham Insights, which serve as public goods in the blockchain space.

Conclusion

GoldRush Decoder is not just a product; it's a paradigm shift in blockchain data exploration and visualization. By addressing the challenges of decoding diverse protocols and maintaining data quality, we have crafted a solution that resonates with the community's ethos. GoldRush transcends traditional block explorers by offering an intuitive, customizable experience, whether it's for aggregating trades on platforms like ParaSwap, visualizing complex NFT transactions on OpenSea, or something entirely new to Web3. Our community-led approach ensures that GoldRush evolves with its users, providing a versatile and scalable solution for the ever-changing blockchain landscape.

Explore, build, and innovate with GoldRush Decoder – your gateway to a clearer understanding of the blockchain world.

FAQ

  • How to Get Started? Simply visit the GoldRush Decoder GitHub repository.

  • What Can You Do with It? Use it for simplifying transaction data, building custom block explorers or any application front-end by integrating understandable blockchain data into your applications.

  • What are the Steps for Adding a Decoder? Detailed steps can be found in the GitHub README. At a high level, they involve running a command to set up the initial configuration, providing specific details about the smart contract and network, and then implementing the specific decoding logic that translates blockchain data into a readable format.


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 218 + 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.