When it comes to blockchain development, Google has been late into developing tools for managing and creating blockchains. Read on to know the Google’s latest Blockchain search tools…
When it comes to blockchain development, Google has been late into developing tools for managing and creating blockchains. Google was more into big data and search algorithms, but now Google has combined the two to make blockchains searchable. Finally, Google is now in the blockchain search business.
In addition to loading datasets for all the transactions and metadata in eight cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ethereum, Google Cloud developer advocate Allen Day and his team of open source developers from around the world are launching a number of tools designed to do to blockchain, what Google search did to the internet. Allen Day, is anticipating customer demand before products even exist. He thinks accessible blockchain is the next big thing. So he started to feed the entire Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains in Google’s big data platform, BigQuery.
“I’m very interested to quantify what’s happening so that we can see where the real legitimate use cases are for blockchain,” said Day, who manages the cloud portion of the project. “So people can acknowledge that and then we can move to the next use case and develop out what these technologies are really appropriate for.”
The next stage was to create a suite of software tools to search the data. The project, known as Blockchain ETL (Extract, Transform, Load), is already operational. Blockchain ETL, the software created by independent developer Medvedev, with support from the rest the team, now includes features such as integration with Google’s BigQuery ML (Machine Learning) tool, launched into a test, or “beta” version last year. By searching for patterns in transaction flows, the machine learning integration will automatically inform the user basic information about how a cryptocurrency address is being used.
The latest Google tools might be used to analyze transaction flows to determine that an address is holding funds for a cryptocurrency mining pool, when users contribute unused computer power to audit blockchain transactions in exchange for cryptocurrency. In the future, the BigQuery ML integration could also identify cryptocurrency addresses owned by a single entity, for example an exchange, and condense those addresses into a single data point, simplifying comparisons.
Also included in the launch, the blockchain datasets have been standardized into what Day calls a “unified schema,” meaning the data is structured in a similar, easy to access way. By ensuring this level of consistency across datasets, Day hopes to make it easier for data scientists, auditors, and investigators to make comparative statements about transactions in the supported blockchains. “And others going forward will use the same architecture,” Day adds.
One of the new search feature now available is what Day calls a “double entry book view,” designed to simplify the way users can search for the cumulative balance of an account over a particular time, accurate down to the eight decimal places, the smallest possible bitcoin denomination, called a satoshi, named after the cryptocurrency’s pseudonymous inventor.
Going forward, datasets that fall into what is called the “Satoshi family,” meaning they structurally resemble bitcoin, will be searchable by two criteria: block and transactions. Whereas support for the ethereum and ethereum classic blockhchains, with their more complicated smart contract functionality, now includes five additional tables designed to enable more sophisticated searches.
Previously, searching the blockchain meant using a block-explorer, to retrieve data on a known individual transaction number. But now, the Blockchain ETL allows generalized searches of entire blockchains.
The Road Ahead
Google, has somewhat lagged behind other tech developers when it comes to blockchain development. While Amazon and Microsoft launched tools for managing and creating blockchains, Google was more big data and search algorithms until now.
But now with the development of Blockchain ETL, Google will be hoping that this suite of tools helps them to close the gap on Amazon and Microsoft in the blockchain space.