Our Approach to Blockchain Integrations

The Dune data team explains its strategic approach to blockchain partnership integration.

The most frequent question we encounter on the data side of Dune is “When will X Blockchain be available on Dune?”. 

While this seems like a straightforward question, there is more than just the technical implementation that drives our decision making process. This is a multi-year commitment and investment for us.

At Dune, blockchain integrations are seen as a bet on a new chain or growing ecosystem, complete with supporting its unique community of builders. We don’t take this process lightly as each new blockchain can impact the user experience and data accessibility of the platform. This is why we have chosen to be intentional with these partnerships and typically only onboard 2-3 blockchains each quarter.

But how do we sift through the ever-growing list of blockchains? Each quarter we assess 50+ blockchains to identify which ones are the right partners for the upcoming quarter and beyond. 

We use the following framework to be consistent with our assessment while allowing flexibility to handle the uniqueness of different blockchains. We concentrate on three core areas, ensuring our choices not only resonate with the current demand but also pave the way for future growth. 

  1. Blockchain Demand
  2. Blockchain Growth
  3. Blockchain Technical Complexity 

This flowchart summarizes the framework, but we’ll expand on the reasoning for each step below.

Figure 1: The blockchain assessment process at Dune

Step 1: Blockchain Demand

In the first step, we want to assess the demand from the ecosystem. Both in terms of established teams investing their resources and time and our community of dedicated wizards who are eager to understand what is happening on-chain. This step is built on two fundamental questions:

Are prominent blockchain teams building or expanding to this Blockchain?

  • Teams like 1inch, Lido, Aave, Steakhouse, Opensea, or Uniswap on EVM chains
  • Teams like Jupiter, Pyth, or Solflare on Solana

We look for 5+ prominent teams building in the ecosystem

Is the Dune community and customers requesting this Blockchain?

  • We constantly review Discord, Twitter, our Data Request list, and strategic customer feedback

We look for 20+ feedback upvotes or equivalent demand

If the blockchain meets either (or ideally both) of these criteria we move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Blockchain Growth

In the second step, we want to assess the long-term growth potential. Our focus is the growing developer ecosystem and the tangible signs of user adoption. Our philosophy around growth is that a growing community of active developers will lead to more high value applications, which in turn catalyzes user adoption. To gauge the growth of a blockchain’s ecosystem, we ask two key questions:

Is there a growing number of developers building on this Blockchain? How many of these developers are active?

  • To find out, we love checking Electrical Capital’s Developer Report, Artemis’ active developer numbers, and a few other internal sources that check Github repo activity.

We look for at least 100+ active developers

Is there a growing number of active users (measured by unique addresses) on this Blockchain?

  • We benchmark this data using the active address for the chains Dune currently supports, complementing it with insights from external sources like Artemis’ Terminal or Covalent’s Network Status.

We look for at least 20,000+ weekly active wallets

Note: We don’t include TVL as part of our assessment framework as we don’t see it as a strong indicator of healthy ecosystems as much as active devs and wallets.

If the blockchain meets either (or ideally both) of these criteria, we move on to Step 3.

Step 3: Blockchain Technical Complexity 

In the third and final stage of the assessment, we focus on technical nuances that make a blockchain a viable candidate for an  integration with Dune. It’s no secret that one of the most convenient ways for blockchains, protocols, and wizards to use Dune is to query the decoded contract tables and use them as inputs for powerful spells. 

Standard smart contract definitions enable us to decode contracts for protocols (like Uniswap or Opensea) to make the data more approachable and accessible to crypto data experts or enthusiasts. For this step, we ask two technical questions:

Is the blockchain an EVM (or EVM-compatible) blockchain?

Is the blockchain a non-EVM blockchain?

  • If non-EVM, how are the smart contract equivalents defined on the blockchain (equivalent of an ABI on EVM or IDL on Solana)? 
  • If there is no straightforward equivalent, what are the essential pieces of information Dune users will need to dive into the Blockchain and its builder’s activity? 
  • These tend to be custom tables like inputs and outputs on Bitcoin or account_activity and rewards on Solana

If the blockchain satisfies this framework, we are confident it is a Blockchain we should be onboarding to Dune, as it enables both our community and the blockchain’s ecosystem to have accessible on-chain data. Next step is to discuss a mutually beneficial partnership structure and multi-year agreement.

If you are from a Blockchain team and are interested in seeing your data on Dune, don’t hesitate to reach out to us using the form below, and we will run it through the process!

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