Allen Day, a 41-year-old data scientist working at Google, has reportedly been loading data from the bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) blockchains into Google’s Big Data analytics platform, BigQuery.
Evgeny Medvedev, a software developer at Google, has helped Day in carefully examining blockchain data by developing sophisticated analytics software. There are currently over 500 projects that are using the newly developed blockchain analytics software.
Users Should Know Who They're Interacting With On Blockchains
Some research projects are using big data analytics to predict the future price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, other blockchain researchers are using analytics tools to analyze wealth disparity among ether investors. According to Day:
In the future, moving more economic activity on chain won’t just require a consensus level of trust. It will require having some trust in knowing about who it is you’re actually interacting with.
At present, “block explorers” allow users to see transaction details between different cryptocurrency addresses, however Google’s Blockchain ETL (extract, transform, load) project lets users conduct broader searches of entire ecosystems of cryptoasset transactions. Notably, Day used the Blockchain ETL software to analyze the bitcoin (BTC) hard fork which created bitcoin cash (BCH) on August 1st, 2017.
As crypto enthusiasts know, bitcoin cash advocates claim that that BCH adheres more closely to the original vision for how bitcoin was supposed to work. According to bitcoin cash supporters, the BTC fork functions more like cash and also allows for cheaper and faster transactions. Interestingly, Google’s BigQuery analytics software found that bitcoin cash was being hoarded among a select few “whales”, instead of being used as a medium-of-exchange (MoE) in daily transactions.
Commenting on the process of determining real-world use cases for blockchain technology, Day remarked:
I’m very interested to quantify what’s happening so that we can see where the legitimate use cases are for blockchain. Then we can move to the next use case and develop out what these technologies are really appropriate for.
Searching A Million Smart Contracts In "Seconds"
Tomasz Kolinko, a Poland-based computer programmer, has been using Google’s blockchain analysis tools and his own software to search for smart contracts that have enabled the “selfdestruct” feature. By utilizing Google’s software, Kolinko claims he was able to search 1.2 million smart contracts in 23 seconds. Normally, the same process would have taken several hours.
After searching over a million smart contracts, Kolinko found that nearly 700 of them had not disabled the “selfdestruct” feature. This could potentially be a serious security issue as it would allow unauthorized users to instantly “kill” or deactivate the smart contract. Explaining that advanced blockchain and smart contracts search tools weren’t available before, Kolinko said:
In the past you couldn’t just easily check all the contracts that were using it. This tool is both the most scary and most inspiring I’ve ever built.