Decentralized applications have started to flourish in many fields, however the use of on-chain data remains limited. Most is used for front-end informative purposes in wallets or websites providing stats about Dapps such as info.Uniswap or DeFiPulse. Other usage of analyzing on-chain data currently are market intelligence providers (Glassnode, Messari, Coinmetrics), and entities offering KYC/AML services (such as CipherTrace, Chainalysis, or CoinFirm). Many academic researchers are also working in the blockchain analytics field, i.e. executing off-chain computations to extract information from blocks and transactions. Academic research mainly concerns specific data use cases (notably the study of blockchains’ network usage, node distribution etc.).
As the list above demonstrates, on-chain data analytics is silo-ed and underemployed. However, databases have been becoming less private thanks to data indexers like The Graph Protocol and Covalent, allowing the blockchain ecosystem to get access to well indexed, suitable data about blocks and transactions.
Numerous use cases can benefit from the availability of such data. Indeed, thanks to those indexers it is much more convenient to analyze the user activity and experience of a blockchain. Indexing is much more powerful than blockchain explorers, which can only be used to check for an address history through its own transactions. Data indexers bring the capability of querying the data while looking for specific patterns.
With the progress of many blockchains, a multi-chain ecosystem is currently surfacing in which users can have cryptocurrencies in several chains. Wallets and many Dapps are transitioning toward this path and users now have access to some aggregated views (such as Zapper.fi). However someone can note that there is only a small amount of accessible information such as token balances and cumbersome transaction lists. There are some existing platforms which are currently working on the social aspect of blockchains and the users identity but there is clearly a lack of usage, composability, and data. The more ledgers & wallets are appearing the more the need for user identification becomes preponderant.