Our Network: Issue #4

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Note from the editor.

Welcome to Issue #4 of Our Network, a weekly newsletter where top blockchain projects and their communities share data-driven insights about their networks.

This week our contributors cover some of the premier early-stage crypto networks:

  • Cosmos

  • Near Protocol

  • The Graph

  • Polkadot

  • Kadena

And I’ve gotta say, I’ve been excited about this issue for a long time because it is my belief that there is not enough mindshare being dedicated to evaluating the health of projects early in their lifecycles. While the crypto community has developed robust frameworks to evaluate mature networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum, we really haven’t settled on solid methodologies to analyze ones that are just getting off the ground.

I’m hoping this issue kickstarts more data-driven efforts in this area.

— Spencer

Network Updates

This week our contributors cover early-stage networks:

📌 Cosmos

Contributor: Chjango Unchained, Director of Community at Cosmos

  • We’ve seen a slight improvement on voting power distribution from Cosmos Hub-1 to Cosmos Hub-3, the latest chain id of the Cosmos Hub. Currently, 25 of the highest stake-weighted validators hold 72.17% of the voting power compared to previously, where the top 20 validators held 79.25% of the total voting power (source).

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  • There have been 23 governance proposals to date (source). The conversation trends toward the questions of how to facilitate greater distribution of voting power amongst the validator set and how best to spend funds from the community tax pool. Some background, if you’re not familiar—the Cosmos Hub automatically deducts 2% of staking rewards every block and siphons it into a “tax pool” which the ATOM holder community could then vote to decide how to spend the funds.

  • Here is a breakdown of the categories the Interchain Foundation has funded in 2019. You can also read more about project specifics here.

  • Cosmos continues to experience a strong staking ecosystem. Peak delegation activity from the last 30-day period was on Dec 23, 2019, where 909k ATOM (~$4m at today’s prices) were bonded just days before Christmas (source).

  • Transaction volumes over the last 30 days peaked at 5162 total transactions as of yesterday (1/15/20). Relative to stablecoin volumes, for instance, this is pretty anemic, but the result is not too surprising, as the ATOM is functioning in line with its stated utility—that of a staking token. 74.13% of the entire token supply of the network is currently bonded or locked up (~185M out of a total 250M ATOMs in circulation).

📌 Near Protocol

Contributor: Kendall Cole, Product Manager at Near Protocol

  • Near’s sharded testnet has been running since October 2019, currently with 8 shards. Sharding happens within each block (each shard produces a “chunk” per block) rather than in separate chains, so there is still just one blockchain in Near’s design. Recent activity can be seen in our blocker explorer (link).

  • The number of contracts deployed to the Near testnet is growing steadily. There are 258 unique accounts with contracts deployed to them. As Near supports contract redeployment, 866 contract versions have been deployed to these 258 accounts.

  • There are currently more than 13 teams building smart-contract based products on Near in both Rust and TypeScript. These include Flux (prediction markets), Stardust (game marketplace and API), Snark.art (collectible art), Outplay (gaming tournaments), Close (unstoppable messaging), Zod (video transcoding), Boxscore (sports trivia), and ArTerra (fan collectibles).

  • Near Studio, the Near Protocol developer web IDE, has seen a recent uptick in the number of projects started. From January 1 to January 15, there were 774 new projects, compared to 1217 in November and December.

  • Each account in Near has a human-readable name (similar to ENS names), and there is a one-to-many relationship between accounts and keys. Accounts are created with a transaction, usually through an app or wallet. The majority of accounts were created using the Near Wallet, totaling 852 since October (sharded testnet launch). Of these, 127 were active on a monthly basis.

📌 The Graph

Contributor: Eva Beylin, Ecosystem Strategy at The Graph

  • Since Graph Explorer launched in January 2019, The Graph has seen strong growth in developer activity. There are over 1,000 developers with 996 subgraphs deployed, growing at 13% and 23% per month respectively. More public stats will be available when the decentralized network launches later this year.

  • Instead of building a centralized indexer, developers can deploy subgraphs which save engineering teams time and money. Subgraphs define how Web3 data sources like Ethereum and IPFS should be indexed for easy consumption by front-end applications. Applications can then query organized data like trade volumes, voting results, in-game assets and more. dApps and protocols like Livepeer, Moloch, ENS, Aave, and Sablier are using subgraphs today.

  • To promote subgraph development, The Graph hosted 2 online hackathons, with nearly 100 developers deploying more than 30 subgraphs and demo apps. Subgraphs were built for Argent Wallet, Kickback, UMA, Nexus Mutual, Bloom, Giveth and more! The top uses for subgraphs today are DeFi, DAOs, Games & Entertainment, and Art & Collectibles. As more subgraphs get built, The Graph will keep growing in utility for dApp developers that want to access curated data on an open API.

  • Through Graph Explorer, you can query individual subgraphs via their playgrounds. Above we can see the playground for Compound and a query for the top 3 markets ranked by total supply in descending order. USDC, DAI and ZRX (0x) are the markets with the greatest liquidity on Compound. If you’re interested in DeFi, there are several other subgraphs that can be queried for data, like Uniswap, Synthetix, Betoken, USDC, PoolTogether and more.

📌 Polkadot

Contributor: Bill Laboon, Technical Education Lead at Web3 Foundation

  • Although the Polkadot mainnet has not yet launched, the Kusama “canary network” is running strong with at least 324 known nodes currently running. At least six other networks, totaling at least 241 known nodes, are also running their own blockchains developed with Substrate, the blockchain framework underlying Polkadot. All of these blockchains can eventually become parachains and connect to the Polkadot or Kusama relay chains.

  • Kusama token holders have already voted on 20 referenda in the on-chain governance system. Topics have ranged from as small as setting the number of validators to updating the entire runtime code. View them here.

  • Validators on the network have now produced and finalized over 650,000 blocks, containing over 104,000 transactions and over 118,000 module events (source). The number of active validators in the validator set has increased from 50 at launch to 150 now. Polkadot currently has 150 validators validating with over 2 million KSM (~USD $2,000,000) staked. There are also 120 other running validator nodes that are not part of the active validator set.

  • Although the Polkadot mainnet has not yet launched, we are actively preparing for the full Polkadot ecosystem. This includes our grant program which has given out 63 grants since inception. These grants include development tools, alternative runtimes, infrastructure tools, browser plugins, and other projects to help improve developing for, running nodes, and using distributed applications on Polkadot.

  • The Polkadot Ambassadors Program continues to grow, with 120 members currently on-boarded as Apprentices and 30 as full Ambassadors.

📌 Kadena

Contributor: Tony Pham, Head of Marketing at Kadena

  • Since Kadena opened up mining on 10/30/19, over 2 million blocks have been mined on its sharded proof of work blockchain. For some context, it was 2 years before Ethereum had 2 million blocks mined. Also, the current network hash rate is consistently at ~30-40 TH/s.

  • Kadena enabled token transfers on 12/17/19, and there have been over 50,000 successful transactions. Here is a visualization of those transactions:

  • Kadena’s network computing power with parallelized and scalable Proof of Work has reached 1.3 TH/s since launch. For some context, it took Ethereum 7 months to reach this figure.


Our Network is a weekly newsletter where top blockchain projects and their communities share data-driven insights. Subscribe now to receive a crash course in on-chain metrics and crypto fundamentals, and never miss an issue.

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About the editor: Spencer Noon leads investments for DTC Capital, a fundamentals-focused crypto fund. He actively tweets about on-chain metrics.

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