Edge & Node monthly one-pager (December 2022/ January 2023)

:woman_astronaut: Exec summary

Edge & Node finished the year with some exciting feature releases and marketing announcements (see below).

In H2 of 2022, our top strategic initiatives were around improving quality of service, price predictability and billing developer experience in the decentralized network.

Closing out the year we saw record-setting quality of service improvements in the decentralized network, an exciting improvement to billing developer experience, and significant alignment around a plan for price predictability in the new year.

We also produced goals for 2023 as well as an operating plan for Edge & Node to follow in pushing towards those goals in H1 2023. Strategic initiatives announced in the operating plan include:

  • Edge & Node running an active indexer in the network.
  • Reducing infrastructure costs in hosted service and subgraph studio.
  • Unblocking exit criteria for deprecating new subgraph creation in the hosted service by end of Q1 and deprecating subgraph upgrades by end of Q2 (these are internal targets rather than externally committed dates).
  • Re-focusing on developers as our P0 user
    • Includes starting a developer blog, developer newsletter, more developer learning content on thegraph.com, and also building a more nuanced understanding of different developer personas (i.e. API Creator vs. API Consumer or Enterprise Developer vs. Indie Developer) and their specific needs with respect to onboarding and functionality.

In general, a big focus in 2023 for Edge & Node will be on unit economics and sustainable growth of the network, as a departure from the last few years which was all around growing developer usage by any means necessary, including subsidizing migrations and offering the free hosted service.

:tada: Looking back (what was delivered)

  • Subgraph Studio billing on Arbitrum launched
    • This dramatically improves the developer experience of funding the billing contract for an API Key in the Subgraph Studio, which has been one of the most oft-cited points of friction communicated by developers. It turns what was previously a process involving multiple blockchain transactions, interacting with multiple chains, bridging tokens, and acquiring the tokens of a layer-two chain, into a simple one-step process all initiated from Eth Mainnet.
    • One shortcoming this change does not fix is the need for the developer to repeatedly top off their billing contract, however this change lays the foundation for streamlined recurring payments to be implemented on Arbitrum in the future.
    • Foundational work on L2 has included deployment of the Arbitrum bridge as well as integration of the L2 protocol smart contracts into several Indexer coimponents.
  • Indexer Multi-Selection shipped on mainnet
    • This is a long-awaited improvement to the Indexer Selection Algorithm, that for the first time truly takes advantage of the redundancy in the decentralized network to drive quality of service, by allowing the ISA to “oversample” Indexers for a given query when it believes that sending the same query to multiple Indexers is likely to produce better performance for a comparable cost.
    • As visible in the chart below, this change going live in early December precipitated a dramatic improvement in 90th percentile query latencies in the decentralized network, for the first time consistently outperforming the hosted service on most days.
    • It’s worth noting that the decentralized network still serves a much smaller and less varied set of queries than the hosted service, so it will be important to monitor whether these relative gains in performance hold up as the network scales.
  • Secured 29 new commitments from projects to migrate from hosted service to the decentralized network
  • Built excitement around new chains being supported on the decentralized network
    • Migrated Connext as the first flagship subgraph indexing Gnosis Chain to the decentralized network.
    • Collaborated with Gnosis Chain on a blog post touting the benefits of Gnosis Chain developers building on The Graph’s decentralized network.
    • Presented Polygon support in the decentralized network at Polygon Connect.
    • Polygon support was also picked up by CoinDesk and syndicated to Yahoo.

:rocket: Looking ahead (upcoming priorities)

  • Edge & Node is kicking off the year with an internal (with some guest appearances) virtual offiste to scope out and de-risk our R&D work for Q1.
    • Core tracks include Tiered Pricing/ Decentralized Gateways, Indexer Profitability and Economics, Decentralized Network-centric go-to-market process for new features and chains, and finally Infrastructure Cost Reduction.
  • Migration of the hosted service to use Firehose as a backend has begun (~1500 subgraphs migrated so far) and will continue throughout the month.
  • Banxa integration for fiat on-ramp is on staging and is ready to go to production pending testing by the Banxa team
  • File Data Sources is undergoing final testing and is a prime candidate for the first major subgraph feature to land on the decentralized network first as the go-to-market process
  • Begin a developer newsletter and blog
    • Nearly five full years into The Graph’s existence, thegraph.com still doesn’t have a dedicated developer newsletter or blog, despite developers arguably being The Graph’s most important user. Edge & Node is planning to work with The Graph Foundation and other Core Devs to change that.
    • Content being teed up includes a blog post from Simon on best practices in subgraph development.
    • A subgraph developer survey is also being planned leveraging our subgraph dev email list to get a better sense of The Graph’s net promoter score (NPS) with developers and the most salient points of feedback over time.
  • Our business team is pushing full steam ahead on adoption across all fronts.
    • More migration commitments
    • Get at least 1 1M+ daily query volume subgraph migrated.
    • Get 1+ blockchain projects to adopt Firehose.
    • Working to get CoinMetrics to build subgraphs or adopt the Messari subgraphs.
    • Create presentation to facilitate Uniswap migration to the decentralized network.

Other notes

  • Really glad that we’ve adopted these 1-pagers across the core dev teams. Onward and upward!
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Phenomenal work! Really appreciate these one pagers :pray:

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