Blockchain projects represent a new datatype with some fascinating properties. These global, distributed, decentralized, immutable ledgers use cryptography to account for digital tokens. Just as we need to pull from databases and ascii files, loading a blockchain into BOARD could prove to be a helpful tool in our toolkit. By accessing a blockchain datatype in BOARD, here are some of the questions we would investigate.
- How many transactions happen each day?
- How many smartcontracts, of a particular type, executed each day?
- What was the value of the smartcontracts, of a particular type, handled over the past week
- What is the current value of a futures smartcontract on assets I hold?
Many of these questions can be answered with block explorer tools available on the web. Loading all this data into an analytics tool is not at easy, yet. Here are some examples of block explorer tools.
- Etherscan - http://etherscan.io/
- Bitcoin Block Explorer - Blockchain
- Ripple - XRP Charts
- LiteCoin Explorer - https://live.blockcypher.com/ltc/
If the analogy of a blockchain being a distributed database is true, then the data residing in these distributed databases could be as valuable as the data residing in traditional databases, which we can currently load in BOARD.
Most blockchains run publicly available software that creates a full copy of all data on a server. This is constantly updated with new transactions, with transactions being validated into blocks on a regular basis. I'll refer to Ethereum as I describe this feature. If I had geth running on my server, I just need a way for BOARD to talk to the blockchain data on my server. The data model for blockchains is consistent and transparent. If BOARD could understand the native entities of Ethereum, or a particular ERC20 token, looking at the open data in the blockchain could provide some fascinating insights. If I use specific wallets in my business, I can track their transactions and load the transactions into BOARD, just like I do with my other source systems. This could just be another set of accounts in another ERP system that I need to load into BOARD.
I would like to be able to run a datareader to query a blockchain to find out details for particular wallets. In BOARD, I would keep a mapping of wallet IDs to names, so I know exactly which wallets are for which people.
As an example of the dataset available, here is the data available on a typical ethereum block from etherscan.io.
From this block summary, we can drill through to the 220 transactions to see a list of exactly what transactions occurred.
From this list of transactions, we can drill through to the details on a transaction.
From this transaction, we can drill through to see the details of the wallet where the funds were sourced.