Mantras for Decentralized Open Data


As is true of most of my conversations these days, I spent the weekend talking about data. The conversations were about why it’s currently so difficult (in a decentralized way) to get the data from the Ethereum blockchain, and what we might be able to do about it. There’s a number of different ideas about how we might proceed [1][2], all of which I think are equally valid. In other words, the ultimate solution will be many solutions.

Mantras for Decentralized Blockchain Data

  1. All the data, for all the people, all of the time. None of the data if a user doesn’t need it.
  2. Use only consented-to, provably-true data…
  3. If you can’t do (3), use only data derived from consented-to, provably-true data…
  4. If you can’t do (4), force the data provider to prove themselves.
  5. Embrace the paradigm shift. The server is local. There is no server.
  6. Break out of the browser, but stay behind the node. There’s a big wide desktop out there.
  7. It’s easier to scale from decentralized to centralized than from centralized to decentralized.
  8. Most users care only about their own accounts and a few smart contracts. Some users, care about everything. Every user cares about accounting.
  9. The Ethereum node can be improved, and should be.
  10. Immutable data has interesting properties, especially when tiny parts of it are stored by many people on content-addressable file systems.
  11. Hashes are pointers to data. So are filenames. Pointers are good.
  12. There will be a broad range of solutions because there are a broad range of needs.


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Thomas Jay Rush

Thomas Jay Rush


Blockchain Enthusiast, Founder TrueBlocks, LLC and Philadelphia Ethereum Meetup, MS Computer Science UPenn