Google has announced that its data analytics product BigQuery now lets you analyze and visualize data in the Ethereum blockchain as well as the Bitcoin blockchain (which it has been supporting for the past several months). BigQuery is Google's serverless, highly scalable, enterprise data warehouse. You can analyze data to find meaningful insights using familiar SQL queries.
On 8 February 2018, Google announced on the Google Cloud blog that since increasing transparency of cryptocurrency systems "makes the contained data becomes more accessible and useful", it had decided to become Bitcoin blockchain data available for exploration using BigQuery. It said that all historical data was in the "bigquery-public-data:bitcoin_blockchain dataset" (which updates every 10 minutes). The aim is to help users gain a better understanding of how cryptocurrencies work by making the data in their blockchains more transparent.
Now, Google is saying that it has decided to also make the Ethereum data set available for exploration. All historical data is in the" ethereum_blockchain dataset", which is updated daily.
The blog post says that although Ethereum Developer APIs provide various random-access functions (e.g. for getting the Ether balance for a single address), they do not provide easy access to all of the data stored on-chain. Also, they don't let you view the blockchain data in aggregate.
For example, you might want to see a chart (such as the one shown below) that shows the total Ether transferred and average transaction cost, aggregated by day:
This is the kind of visualization you can get with BigQuery. Google says that such visualizations are "useful for making business decisions, such as prioritizing improvements to the Ethereum architecture itself (is the system running close to capacity and due for an upgrade?) to balance sheet adjustments (how quickly can a wallet be rebalanced?)."
Finally, Google gives three examples of the types of interesting queries you might want to perform on the Ethereum dataset:
- Smart contract function calls
- On-chain transaction time-series and transaction networks
- Smart contract function analytics
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