A blockchain indexer is a key piece of infrastructure required to power any Web3 ecosystem. It allows applications to access a variety of on-chain data via a flexible and optimized interface. For example, The Graph is a popular blockchain indexer solution on Ethereum and plays a key role in streamlining data availability for Web3 applications.
Maestro’s blockchain indexer
Maestro’s blockchain indexer is optimized specifically for Cardano’s ledger primitives (e.g. UTxOs) and prioritizes both data liveness and accuracy. At the core, the Cardano blockchain is an event-driven system with probabilistic transaction finality. The ground truth of the ledger is not finalized instantly and can take a while before global consensus is achieved (see What is a rollback?). As a result, getting access to “real-time” data is challenging and requires extensive data integrity checks.
A common solution is to add a “block buffer“ to your indexer in order to reduce the impact of rollbacks, but this approach merely circumvents the issue and provides users with outdated block data.
Maestro has designed a system that handles rollbacks gracefully and in real-time, giving users live data without sacrificing data integrity. Let's take a closer look at the components that makes up the indexer:
- Indexer - Specialized data processing pipelines to extract, match and process on-chain information, including rollbacks.
- Storage - A datalake to store different types of data in an optimal way.
- Access - A REST API that enables flexible and performant querying.
What are common use cases?
Access to live and accurate on-chain data is a key requirement for building any blockchain application with a great user experience. Below are some of the most common use cases for blockchain indexers.
- Smart contract-based dapps
- Time-sensitive DeFi applications such as DEXes, NFT marketplaces, lending protocols, games, and metaverses.
- Wallets and DIDs (decentralized IDs)
- Real-time UTxO states are vital for Cardano wallets, cross-chain wallets, and decentralized ID systems.
- Blockchain explorers & analytics
- Bridges & Web2 integrations
- Bridges between blockchains and integrations into traditional Web2 software need access to on-chain information.