Leilani Ledingham

Introducing the GoldRush Toolkit: Reimagining a Modular Block Explorer


  • Covalent's GoldRush is a customizable block explorer toolkit designed for the evolving blockchain ecosystem.

  • Fork and use the GoldRush UI on GitHub.

The Evolution of Blockchains

In the early days of blockchain technology, Bitcoin was the single use case, built upon a network that exclusively managed simple transfers. However, when Ethereum was first introduced, the idea was to create something more than just a digital currency or a platform for financial transactions. Ethereum's creators envisioned a platform that could execute all sorts of programs across a distributed network of computers - a so-called “World Computer” of global scale.

Over the years, Ethereum has grown to support a wide ecosystem of dApps, ranging from financial services (like lending and borrowing platforms) to games, NFT marketplaces, and more. The proliferation of these applications on Ethereum is a testament to the realization of its World Computer vision.

However, as Ethereum began to realize its vision, the data landscape drastically evolved. Sophisticated contracts transitioned business logic onchain, spurring a diversification of transaction types and assets ranging from music videos to NFTs and liquidity pool tokens. Such significant advancements compounded the already large obstacle of disorganized and unreachable blockchain data, with new considerations like off-chain data silos and the disappearance of archive information due to storage challenges and state pruning.

The Current State of Block Explorers and Their Data Challenges

As blockchain technology has advanced, the role of block explorers has become increasingly vital. Legacy block explorers like Etherscan have laid the groundwork by providing a window into blockchain transactions and activities. These tools have been invaluable for the community, offering transparency and a means to access blockchain data directly.

However, despite their utility, current block explorers present limitations. They served their purpose in the simpler times of blockchain's infancy. However, as the ecosystem has grown in complexity and diversity, the classic block explorer model has become a relic whose one-size-fits-all approach is unable to cater to the nuanced needs of today’s users.

Today's blockchains are far from uniform; they are intricate networks where the same protocol may represent data differently across chains due to cost-efficiency strategies and other factors. Additionally, applications built on these blockchains are limited by the current infrastructure, unable to serve their users without linking to third-party explorers.

The complexity of modern blockchain transactions has outpaced the capabilities of legacy block explorers, which were architected for a more simplistic and uniform blockchain era. Moreover, the prevalent use of ads by such platforms clashes with the ad-free ethos of Web3, highlighting a misalignment between user interests and platform monetization strategies.

The new economy demands a toolkit crafted for its nuanced requirements.

Introducing GoldRush: A Paradigm Shift

Here lies the case for Covalent’s new product, GoldRush, an open-source, modular block explorer kit. GoldRush promises to address the afore mentioned gaps by offering a more dynamic and customizable block explorer experience, allowing users to tailor their data views and interactions according to their specific needs.

Covalent introduces GoldRush not as a competitor to existing block explorers but as a open-source toolkit that reshapes the concept of blockchain exploration, making it accessible to everyone. GoldRush is the solution to the limitations of one-size-fits-all platforms, facilitating custom block explorer creation that caters to the unique needs of all types of different users at the application level rather than just the underlying network.

Let’s examine some use cases to make this clear:

  • Imagine you’re an NFT marketplace like Blur or NFTx. Each transaction on your platform links to different transaction hashes on a block explorer like Etherscan, which takes users off of your platform, disrupts the UX, and is often too technical for many users to understand.

  • Similarly, Web3 games face the same challenge: users shouldn’t have to stop the game to verify and check transactions on a block explorer. Many in-game transactions are unique and complex, and block explorers don’t capture the details or present them in an intuitive way.

The vision - with GoldRush Kit, platforms like these can build their own custom explorer in mere clicks. Adapting their interface easily in a modular, efficient way.

A Closer Look at GoldRush's Architecture

GoldRush includes: 1) GoldRush UI Kit 2) GoldRush Decoder and 3) Hosted Solution. Let’s dive into each of them in more depth.

GoldRush UI Kit

These are customizable UI components tailored for popular use cases but flexible for anyone to use—for example, a token price chart or a wallet view of a user’s assets. At launch time, the following GoldRush components are available:

  • Token Balances: Visualize and manage token allocations across multiple wallets.

  • Transactions: Review detailed histories and context of blockchain transactions.

  • Address Activity: Monitor and analyze the activity associated with specific addresses.

  • NFTs: Explore the ownership and transaction history of non-fungible tokens.

  • Transfers: Track the movement of assets across the blockchain ecosystem.

These components are just the beginning, with the promise of additional features and enhancements to come.

GoldRush Decoder

The open-source decoder allows for the expansion of protocol data, exemplifying how GoldRush scales with community input.

Hosted Solution (Coming in 2024)

A forthcoming end-user interface will showcase GoldRush's capabilities to a broader audience.

Revolutionary Atomic Design

A key feature that sets GoldRush apart from every other solution is the principle of Atomic Design. Atomic design is a methodology for creating design systems where interfaces are broken down into fundamental parts, which can be combined into larger, reusable components. This is a groundbreaking way of organizing UI, and GoldRush applies it directly to the Web3 ecosystem.

GoldRush components are broken down into atoms, molecules, and organisms. Here are a few examples of how this is applied in the UI:

  • Atom: An avatar for a wallet address.

  • Molecule: An account card which shows a user's ENS domain, avatar and hexdecimal wallet address.

  • Organism: An asset overview, which includes the account card and shows a detailed list of all their token balances and portfolio value.

These components are just the beginning, with additional features and enhancements to come.

Rich Data Indexing

GoldRush Kit is backed by the Covalent Database, meaning users can access some of the richest data indexing in Web3, including token prices, historical transactions, NFT metadata, human-readable labels, decoders and more. Covalent has done the work for years to decode blockchain data and make it more readable, and the benefits of this extend to all Covalent’s products. Another benefit of being built on the Covalent stack is that GoldRush Kit is multi-chain by default, with unmatched blockchain coverage.

GoldRush vs. Legacy Explorers

To further illustrate the benefits of GoldRush, here is a comparison table that highlights its innovative approach to UI design and development in the blockchain space relative to legacy block explorers.

FeatureGoldRushLegacy Block Explorers (eg: Etherscan)
Modularity and ReusabilityComponents can be reused, streamlining development and ensuring UI consistency.UI elements are static and less flexible, leading to increased development time and cost for custom solutions.
CustomizationOffers high customization by mixing components and styling to fit precise needs.Provides a standard interface with limited customization options.
Rapid PrototypingEnables quick iteration and testing of UI components, allowing for agile development.Monolithic interface design, one-size-fits-all approach.
ScalabilityEasily scales with the platform by adding new components without overhauling the interface.Expensive cost barrier that makes it inaccessible for many use cases.
Improved User ExperienceDesign consistency leads to a more intuitive and accessible interface for users.Interfaces can be overwhelming and less intuitive, potentially hindering user understanding.

The major differentiation is that GoldRush enables protocols to host their own explorers rather than rely on third parties. This significant change can transform and improve the disjointed user journey in Web3, empowering protocols to provide a bespoke experience and further retain users.

Technical Requirements

GoldRush is designed with simplicity and user accessibility in mind. Whether you are a seasoned blockchain developer or a newcomer to the field, integrating GoldRush into your platform is straightforward. The installation process has been streamlined to a few clicks, and thanks to its modular nature, the complexity of implementation is significantly reduced. The only technical requirement is a basic understanding of web development.

Getting Started

First, install the library.

npm install @covalenthq/goldrush-kit

Then, import the library.

import { TokenBalancesListView } from "@covalenthq/goldrush-kit";

Finally, use the component.

export default function CovalentDemo() {
    return <TokenBalancesListView />;

Take the Next Step:

  • Fork and use the GoldRush UI on GitHub.

  • Explore the GoldRush landing page for detailed insights.

  • Begin building with the initial four components and expand your blockchain toolkit.

What’s Next

This initial launch is just the start. We are actively working with design partners to craft and refine the experience. But that shouldn't stop you and the community from experimenting and playing with it. Go ahead and fork away!

Covalent (CQT) is shipping data infrastructure for the decentralized ecosystem, solving Long-Term Data Availability for Ethereum—infrastructure that can re-execute blobs and shape AI. With CQT staking now back on Ethereum, The New Dawn of network expansion towards the Ethereum Wayback Machine commences. Today, this means AI use cases have unfettered access to onchain data from over +225 blockchains and growing.

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