OIG AMA with SubQuery

Transform and Query the world’s data for a Web3 future

Spicey | OIG:
Welcome back OIG family to another exciting episode in our AMA series. Today I had the privilege of speaking with James Bayly, who is the Head of Business Development at SubQuery. SubQuery is a blockchain developer toolkit which forms the backbone of web three infrastructure. Without further ado, let’s jump straight into the AMA. Awesome. Well, James, pleasure to have you on our show today. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your association with SubQuery?

James Bayly | SubQuery:
Hi, everyone. My name is James Bayly. I’m the Head of Business Development at sSubQuery. It’s a pleasure to be on here today. Thanks. And maybe some background on myself. I started as a developer many years ago, but learned pretty quickly that I was a pretty terrible developer. So went into business development, and said which is kind of more my background and product management. It’s more around sales. It’s about making sure that what what we build is good for the customers. So yeah, being involved with few companies around the place. Few startups, you the corporates, but this is actually the first full time job in a blockchain company. And it’s gone crazy.

Spicey | OIG:
Awesome. And, you know, welcome aboard to the full time Gang on on blockchain technology. I’m sure there’s a lot of us starting to get in now. And you know, it’s starting to grow exponentially. So it’s great to hear that. You know, we’re all on board for the long run. So can you tell us a little bit more about the core team that’s behind SubQuery? Yeah,

James Bayly | SubQuery:
Sure. So just over a year ago, SubQuery kind of started in February 28 2020. While I think I can remember these these years of flying past, so just just over a year ago, we started SubQuery. And our CEO, Sam has been involved in building blockchain tools since the early days, web three. And back in the original ICO boom, for example. And with, you know, a CTO was involved in that one of the earliest substrate hackathons. So we’ve got a lot of deep expertise from longtime back, especially back in the ICO times. And we kept talking to customers back then, and we keep hearing the same problems around data, data availability, which is obviously what separates, so making data moreaccessible

Spicey | OIG:
So on that, on that note, you know, obviously, data is a huge piece of blockchain as a whole as well as security. So, you know, let’s start with why do you feel that the industry needs SubQuery? And yeah, yeah.

James Bayly | SubQuery:
That’s great. That’s that’s a key point to start with, right? As why why do we need these data tools like SubQuery, so for those that don’t know much about how block chains work, and there’s not many people that do know how blockchains work. Blockchain is like a chain of blocks, it’s in the name. But what that kind of means is you can you can imagine, like a book. And imagine if you got your, your Harry Potter book, and you want them to create an application that shows every page that Ron appears on runways to present to find what pages Ron’s on you have to literally go through every page and looking for Ron's name. And it’d be the same thing that exact same example is like asking a blockchain, give me the list of all my transactions that I’ve made my account, but you have to go through every block sequentially looking for your account. Is it the most inefficient way to be able to query data? And so blockchains are very terrible. If you want access to data quickly for your applications with wallets in different platforms, Metaverse, you know, whatever, whatever. We want to build our application and needs data and needs to better read that data quickly. And that’s what we do at SubQuery. We build a tool that makes it very easy for a customer like an NF T provider or defi application or whatever. To build a pipeline to access that data, build their own custom API, their own fast, flexible, reliable, and eventually decentralised API. And the API is built with Subquery. Subquery gives them an API for that and they can build better applications faster, more easily and feel safer that’s going to keep running in the background.

Spicey | OIG:
And that’s a very interesting example, which pretty much explains how, you know, SubQuery aim to fit aims to fix the data, data query within blockchain industry. But how does it achieve this? Because obviously, I’m sure there are other, you know, you probably have competition that try has tried to do the same thing, or maybe not. But how does SubQuery aim to solve this, and also, what’s unique about it from SubQueries perspective.

James Bayly | SubQuery:
So the way that we solve this is essentially building a tool that scans a blockchain. So as soon as something’s added, as soon as a new block is added that we’ll go through and scan for any information that you want to know that. So when you’re building a separate URL, you’re basically telling it, I only care about this information, I only care about actions or events, my smart contracts, and subgroup will monitor the blockchain and find that stuff. So that’s kind of how it works, no matter how you set it up. And it’s very easy. We make it extremely easy for developers to get started. That’s one of our main priorities. With how we build something great. It’s got to be easy and accessible.

Spicey | OIG:
And with that being said, I would assume that the majority of users would be developers. Is that right?

James Bayly | SubQuery:
That’s right at the moment. So at the moment, SubQuery the developer tool, there’s no doubt about that. And at the moment, most of our customers, our developers are building new applications. But that being said, we are moving towards a decentralised Subquery network. So the whole point of that sort of network is that anyone around the world can help us run the infrastructure for these projects. So the problem was existing Subquery, it’s not a huge problem, but it’s something that is a bit strange and a decentralised world is that all of these decentralised apps relying on the centralised service and it’s running very well. It’s not going down. But it’s a point of failure. It’s a single point of control. So we’re trying to rebuild, rebuild, but extend subqueries so that we can run these projects in a decentralised way. And that means anyone can, you can I can, anyone else. And we can all run these projects on our computer, though various costs and computation, but I can be rewarded for all the work that I do a indexing project can be for the amount of queries and, and requested data I answer. So that’s the kind of model we’re coming at. And through that, we’re building a lot of ways for non technical non developers non non infrastructure, people non application, but as you know, normal, everyday people that are really interested in to subquery. And what we do to take part and that one of those ways is by delegating, delegating is essentially staking to your favourite indexer. So there’s an indexer, which is running the computation, software that’s running and providing data to the network. And as a delegator, you can pick an indexer, that’s doing very well, that’s got a really good knack for finding early stage projects before they go big. And you can stake or delegate your tokens to support the indexer. And you can get a cut of the fees, that are rewards that the index receives is like this, like statement, but more active, you not like putting your tokens and assets into like a, you know, a fund, it’s been very active about who you support, you support.

Spicey | OIG:
Essentially you’re supporting the tool, and that’s being used, and you’re reaping the rewards as the popularity rises of that tool. You know, so that’s the reward. Right. So very interesting, dynamic there. And, you know, you mentioned that, as of right now, I would assume that we’re still SubQuery still in a centralised form factor but potentially will be upgraded to a decentralised form factor. And when do you think that?

James Bayly | SubQuery:
Yeah, so SubQuery, there’s the three products are separate. There’s an SDK, which is an open-source piece of software that anyone can use, anyone can write. So we have customers that, that have taken that SDK that has written their projects in it, and then are running that on their own infrastructure. So we don’t deal with that. Okay, but it’s free to use open source and always will be free. Okay. There’s a host service or a managed service, and this is the second product and many customers and polka dots are some of the biggest wallets that a lot of us we use every day. All the scanners and T platforms. Huge amounts of customers, we will take this sub-group project, and we’ll publish it to a managed service. And we’ll run that structure for them. So we said more the time and hassle of running the infrastructure, which is what if you’ve ever run infrastructure is a pain in the ass, it’s painful. So we run that for them. We’re doing over, we’re doing, I think, more than 300 to 400 million API requests per day, to all the different projects and a hosted service. So this is really quite large. But that is centralised, although we do a lot of internal work to, you know, basically, because you can’t run 400 million requests on a single computer, you kind of had to split them up. So we’re kind of, you know, the centralised, but it’s centralised in the organisation. The SubQuery network is coming out. And we’ve just finished what we call Season Two of the test. And we’re gonna do three seasons. Season One was a very early like alpha, season two was like a beta. And season three would be a public beta, we just finished season two, and we’ve had 115 indexes invited on in our test network. And we’ve managed to test most of the index behaviour, we managed to simulate some serious levels of network activity. So recently simulated 2,000 requests per second, which is essentially 200 million requests per day. So we’ve kind of already simulated the network and kind of can scale. You know, to that, to that, that size that we need it. So it’s coming soon, I think we’ve now got enough information that we need to line up Public Test net, that’s gonna kick off in about two weeks' time, and line ourselves up for going public. So token sale, launching the main net, and here begins the SubQuery network.

Spicey | OIG:
Amazing. So I mean, you know, with 150 indexes, you’ve surely had enough time to stress test the network as well as the platform.

James Bayly | SubQuery:
So it's not just stress testing, like the network, it’s also stressed this thing like our documentation, and our support processes, right, because these indexes are like some of them are really technical. And most of them are just our Ambassadors. And some Ambassadors get very technical and some not many not so. And so they had to kind of we had figured it out where in our documentation, you know, we skipped over the parts. So it makes everything better. And we found that there was actually a load generators that were they were peaking, not the load the network itself, we couldn’t simulate more requests

Spicey | OIG:
really cool stuff. So on that note, obviously, you’re, you’re doing all of this with regards to season one and season two of your test net, I would assume on a single chain, right. I mean, so what are your ambitions for multi-chain deployment in terms of SubQueries, upcoming roadmap? How does that look?

James Bayly | SubQuery:
Yeah, so we announced recently that we provided support and SubQuery for not just Polkadot and any Polkadot substrate base para chain. So all those are covered. We also just announced it providing support for Avalanche. And also we announced Terra, which was kind of bad timing, unfortunately, but a lot of developers in the ecosystem, you know, we know and talk to you. So we’re working through non-ETH-based, you know, generation three blockchains to provide support to those as we go through. And we expect to add support more than others. And one of the key things to our network, compared to competitors or alternative solutions. In this case. We are building networks so that you can run any project from any different supported chain that we support on that core SubQuery network. So it doesn’t matter where your project what we’re trying to predict indexing. If it’s moonbeam, Acala or Avalanche or Terra, your project can still run on a support network. And that’s a real big problem for most transactions. So it all the full support that we provide those three products and network, managed service and SDK all support all networks that we support.

Spicey | OIG:
Amazing. So as you venture into these other chains, obviously, we’re going to need a medium of transactions in terms of, you know, a native token. So how does, how does SubQueries native token provide utility to the network? What will it be used for?

James Bayly | SubQuery:
so very simple. So we’re looking at like a marketplace for data. So I’m an indexer. I do a lot of hard work, I build up, I set up all the infrastructure, I get some cloud services, I select the database, and I build the index into that. And I go to the market and I say, look, I’ve got data for this really cool project that you want to sell to you. you as a consumer, you’re running an app. You want to buy that data, so you pay me in SubQuwery tokens. for the work that I do, okay, and we come up with agreements, and we’ve got different ways you can do the agreements. Delegate is, as I said before, a third parties that can come and support me, I’m doing well as an indexer. I’ve got some good return, I share my rewards with the Delegate as well. That’s why they would support me. Now, you can act as all three of the participants kind of at once. You know, obviously, it’d be kind of a waste to buy stuff from yourself. yeah, that’s really simplistically, it’s a data marketplace, a way that you can buy and sell data.

Community Twitter Questions:

Spicey | OIG:
And I’m in the information age that that’s exactly what we need. Right. So it’s really cool to see. Let’s switch gears here and move on to our Twitter questions segment. These are questions that were selected from our community when we posted the announcement over a week ago. And we have three questions selected. We’ll start with question one. And this person asks as I read that the main purpose of SubQuery is to provide data for projects in Polkadot, and Kusama blockchains, will SubQuery participant in either of the two pair chain auctions? Do your products and services require additional pair chain features to run?

James Bayly | SubQuery:
That’s an excellent question. And it relates quite well to what I was thinking around there. So we’re lucky that we’ve been in Polkadot for a long time. And we’ve been able to watch a lot of the parachain slots, we work with, we’ve worked very close with most para chains, actually, where I’m kind of very close basis, many of them. And what we saw is that yes, launching para chains are really interesting. It’s a really great community-building process, galvanises the community for your direction and allows you to reward them. It’s a lot of work, though. It’s a huge amount of work. And when you step back and think our priority is to, to launch the SubQuery Network, what made sense for us is to launch as a smart contract on an existing para chain. And so we’ve decided to launch with the Acala para chain will be one of the first projects launching there. And we can focus on building the network and they can focus on building the infrastructure, the chain itself. There’s also benefits that bring us like an on-chain decentralised exchange. But yes, benefits. Yeah. That being said, we do have some longer-term plans for them, you’re more features that we probably can get from Acala, we’d have to talk to Acala. And that’s when it might make sense for us to go to our own chain, or Para Chain. But there’s no immediate plans that primarily because if we want to get to market fast, we got to focus on the core thing. We can spend time launching para chain or crowd funding auction, going for a slot all that stuff. It’s a lot of extra work, Extra like three or four months.

Spicey | OIG:
Exactly. And you know, launching on an existing infrastructure provides the ability for you, like you said, to focus on the product, right. So that that that creates a seamless transition to your main launch. And yeah, looking forward to that right. Exactly. Yeah. Awesome. So let’s move on to question number two here. And this person asks, from the white paper, I see that there are one to one close agreements and open agreements between consumer and indexer. So if a consumer feels the need for multiple indexers, can he modify the close agreement to an open agreement in between?

James Bayly | SubQuery:
Yeah, so let’s take a step back and look at how you can pay for Data. Buyers and sellers interact to define the kind of middle ground. There are three main ways you can pay for stuff. So very common across blockchain today, transaction fees, like per transaction. So in this case, you can pay me 0.01 SubQuery tokens for every request, I give you. Very straightforward, very low level, okay. And that’s what happens most across the industry today. It’s easy to calculate. It’s simple. Okay, so the Pay As You Go models like that. We don’t think that it’s a feature that we think that it’s got some issues. And if you look around the real-world web 2 today, tell me how many different services do you use transaction fees for? Like the music, you listen to the movies, you watch the games that you’ve play? So on subscription, okay, you know that every month, you’ve been paid $20 To access the service, and you get the entire library for free? Or for that cost? Yeah. And, and yeah, it’s simple. Businesses love it, because it’s easy to forecast the revenue that I’m going to add, so I know what how I can offset my costs. And consumers also, you know, some love it, some don’t. But it makes sense because you know, how much is going out of your bank account every month. Okay, yeah. And you feel like you can just use as much or as little as you want. It’s it’s kind of you don’t just sit the anxiety every morning go like, am I going to, you know, took over the chair today, because I’m watching a three hour movie rather than two and a half hour movie, like, you know, like you, you have a bit more freedom to, to engage the platform as you will. Yeah. So we’re setting up a kind of a subscription model, which is called a subscription agreements. And there are two types, closed and open. So close is agreement between two parties and two parties strictly, you and I agree that we’re going to, you’re going to buy 1000 subquery request a day maximum for 10 SubQuery tokens. Okay, so every day you get up to 1000, what is that go crazy, little isn’t as many as you want. And you’re gonna pay it in subgroup tokens within that. So it’s got like a subscription model, we can, we can renew that’s constantly so we’re happy with that things are good. We can renew. We can also renegotiate with increased limit, whatever. But it’s there’s revenue and cost stability. There are open agreements, which is slightly more advanced, so close to agreement as between two parties, you and I, and open agreements between infinite number of parties. So there’s this plan that were put up, okay, some we’ve agreed that is 1000s of free tokens, 1000 requests per day, this 10 SubQuery tokens, that’s our plan we’ve agreed on. Okay. And maybe another consumers like that’s actually a really good plan out there as well, you know, someone else building another app like that, that’s quite solid. I’ll, I’ll jump on as well scenario to consumers. And another index to see is, oh, there’s a lot of traffic coming to me, I’m making a lot of money, maybe I should jump into that. And so you kind of get this marketplace, where you have multiple consumers and multiple indexes all supplying data to that same plan. And it’s kind of POS for the plan, but the supplier network will total who receives what, based on the work that you’re doing in your state. So there’s a little bit of mess there. But essentially, it allows more indexes and more consumers participate to the same rules. And we think that’s going to make a lot of improvements around uptime, reliability performance, because you’re going to make requests, not to me, and then next one on the other side of the world, but to an indexer. That’s maybe the local data centre view. And that provides a lot better reliability.

Spicey | OIG:
Now, does the volume or participation have an effect on the use of that particular open agreement? For example? I would imagine if it was like you’re saying a hit amongst some of the people looking at all the other open agreements, then obviously, they would all flock to it?

James Bayly | SubQuery:
supply and demand? Yeah, but it’s supply and demand, right. So you know, one way of like, if some, if I’m an indexer, and I’m, I’m being like taking way too much money, like, you know, I’m holding you to ransom and basically charging you late for something pretty basic, the markets going to see that they’re going to see that much turning, and they’re going to come in and fill that gap. And the whole point here is if you go back to your economics course from which is what token economic models are going back to economics want to learn as supply and demand curves, finding that middle ground, we’re finding that optimal cost. So we’re trying to build a system that allows the system to find that cost. But also give everyone a playground a bit more certainty around the revenues, which is why this is agreements, and these agreements may not be a day, they might be from that. And you might agree for this fixed price per month. And then then in a month, you know, people might come in and offer you a lower price. And either the new index can audit the old index, they could drop their prices to that or that we’re not gonna get a contract, you know, they’re gonna just not gonna only revenue.

Spicey | OIG:
Yeah, makes sense. No, it makes sense, like you said, supply and demand. So very, one very efficient and streamlined way of handling that

James Bayly | SubQuery:
SubQuery is a data marketplace. And one of the interesting thing about SubQuery to think about is like, it’s like selling petrol. It’s selling a commodity, right? Like, there’s nothing stopping another index from indexing the same data, because everyone has access to the blockchain. It’s free, that data is a commodity. So you know, it’s kind of like gas in terms of how you should sell it. We’re selling the same product. We know they brand gas, definitely. But it’s all the same controller underneath it, right.

Spicey | OIG:
Yeah, very cool stuff. Let’s move on to our last question from Twitter. And this person asks, What are SubQuery networks? global expansion plans? Are you focused on the market or focused on something else? For example, your platform development and users or partnerships? Very broad question there.

James Bayly | SubQuery:
Yeah. So there are kind of three main focus areas right now. So the biggest focus is the SubQuery network, just we’re just so single mindedly focused on launching that SubQuerynetwork, because we think it’s going to be the future of data infrastructure for work together, we’re trying to make it as we’re trying to make an open, fair, equitable network that anyone can participate in. And it’s really a better alternative to what is the status quo. So that’s the number one priority. That’s, that’s building kind of a product around that network. And then the second milestone here is, the second focus is building community, right. So if we’re going to build a network, we have to build a community around people that want to not just customers, not just people that are building some groups, but also people that are, you know, just want to be delegated as networks. So building community is also a massive priority for us. And it was a lot easier in the Bull Run, kind of it’s interesting seeing how the community falls off a little bit in the bear market. But we still have a very strong community and a very strong discord, and a big Twitter following. And if you want to kind of keep up to date with where we are with public sales, so we’re launching the public sale for SubQuery quite soon. If you want to kind of keep up to date with the timelines, I do suggest following on Twitter, or discord to be the first. And then the third main priority is really just not losing sight of adding new features and new functionality to existing tools. We are the biggest player in Polkadot, and that’s a big success. And there’s a reason for that, right? We provide flexible, fast indexing solutions for some of the biggest protocols and teams out there. And we can’t lose sight of the new features and their scalability improvements and reliability improvements from indexing speed improvements that we need to keep doing. So there’s a lot of stuff on. And there’s a reason why the team has grown from like, seven people last year to about 30. Right now, and it will continue to grow. Because we just have to keep building tools that our customers want, and need to build better products themselves.

Spicey | OIG:
And obviously a lot on your plate. So you need the extra, you know, support from the team. And obviously, that’s going to show in the quality of the products in the long run, right.

James Bayly | SubQuery:
The key is to get everyone around a shared kind of goal of what you want. SubQuery, like in a year’s time. Because if you look at every decision to those goals, if you have the clear goals, and we work together like this, and if you look at every decision around like, Should we build this? Or this? Or should we spend time on this, you can always ask, does it help us achieve those goals? And if it doesn’t, you should really seriously think about if you want to do that.

Spicey | OIG:
Remarkable. Well, that wraps up our Twitter questions segment. So we’ll just wrap up here and go over our last couple of questions, which really revolve around, you know, SubQuerys, achievements to date. And you know, it’s been a long time coming, obviously, and you guys have been in development for a while. So what could you tell us about some things that you are proud of that you’ve achieved? So far, and also looking forward? You know, what are you most excited about?

James Bayly | SubQuery:
The multi-chain stuff I'm proud of, we’ve always wanted some SubQuery Multichain. And we’ve said this for a long time, And we finally kind of launched support for avalanche and terra, bad timing, but so important. And we’ve now like the first time you do this is really hard, like rewriting or reengineering your code to work across different chains. It’s tough. But the second time, the third time, it gets easier and easier and easier. Because by that time, you’ve re-engineered most of the main components. So that very configurable and flexible meant, so now on it’s like adding new chains, it’s not that crazy, it’s not that difficult, it’s kind of like was a common process we, we know we have to do and achieve. So I’m looking forward to seeing a quick succession of new layer one supports this year, we have a goal of a pretty high number of support. But there are a lot of networks out there that don’t have any tools like SubQuery, and the developers need it so we're moving into those networks as soon as possible. And then this network, you know, as I said, this whole year has been consumed by this network and finishing season two, this kind of closed beta with 156 indexes and pushing the traffic to that we want to do that kind of like ticks all the boxes of us saying like, yes, we haven’t made a huge mistake. What we design and what we what we’re going to build is probably going to probably gonna work you know, there’s no reason why it’s not gonna work. It’s like a big test point for us. It was like seeing a car Roll on its wheels for the first time. And so that was a really cool milestone and yeah, launching the main network does Yeah. That’s gonna be a big win for us.

Spicey | OIG:
Amazing and obviously, you know, with all the things we’ve mentioned today working everybody that’s watching this ama finds you guys.

James Bayly | SubQuery:
Yeah, so we’re pretty big on Twitter. Go look for us SubQuery Network is the handle. And then also jump onto a website, go right down the bottom, and you’ll see and join us discord. Most of our communities on Discord, whether you’re a developer, video, just an investor, whether you’re just curious, there’s a place for you on Discord, we have, like 30,000 people on that discord, supporting each other and answering each question. So it’s a very friendly place to that’s kind of our main location. And that’s the best place to go for updates to get maybe sneak peeks of what’s going on. Yes.

Spicey | OIG:
So to all our viewers, the official links will be in the description below. Thank you to James, for being on our show today. It was a pleasure having you and talking about the future that subQuery is making for blockchain industry and the world of data. So thanks again, James. It was a pleasure having you and we can’t wait to have you on again.

James Bayly | SubQuery:
It’s my pleasure to thank you very much and excellent questions. Great topics, and it’s always good to talk about different ideas.

SubQuery:

Website: https://subquery.network/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SubQueryNetwork

Telegram: https://t.me/subquerynetwork

Discord: https://discord.com/invite/subquery

Medium: https://subquery.medium.com/

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