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MultiChain Feeds for Database Integration

Getting data out of the blockchain and into the wider world With the first public release of MultiChain, way back in 2015, we saw interest in blockchain applications from a surprising direction. While we had originally designed MultiChain to enable the issuance, transfer and custody of digital assets, an increasing number of users were interested… Read more »

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Getting data out of the blockchain and into the wider world

With the first public release of MultiChain, way back in 2015, we saw interest in blockchain applications from a surprising direction. While we had originally designed MultiChain to enable the issuance, transfer and custody of digital assets, an increasing number of users were interested in using it for data-oriented applications.

In these use cases, the blockchain’s purpose is to enable the storage and retrieval of general purpose information, which need not be financial in nature. The motivation for using a blockchain rather than a regular database is to avoid relying on a trusted intermediary to host and maintain that database. For commercial, regulatory or political reasons, the database’s users want this to be a distributed rather than a centralized responsibility.

The Evolution of Streams

In response to this feedback, in 2016 we introduced MultiChain streams, which provide a simple abstraction for the storage, indexing and retrieval of general data on a blockchain. A chain can contain any number of streams, each of which can be restricted for writing by certain addresses. Each stream item is tagged by the address of its publisher as well as an optional key for future retrieval. Each node can independently decide whether to subscribe to each stream, indexing its items in real-time for rapid retrieval by key, publisher, time, block, or position. Streams were an instant hit with MultiChain’s users and strongly differentiated it from other enterprise blockchain platforms.

In 2017, streams were extended to support native JSON and Unicode text, multiple keys per item and multiple items per transaction. This last change allows over 10,000 individual data items to be published per second on high-end hardware. Then in 2018, we added seamless support for off-chain data, in which only a hash of some data is published on-chain, and the data itself is delivered off-chain to nodes who want it. And later that year we released MultiChain 2.0 Community with Smart Filters, allowing custom JavaScript code to perform arbitrary validation of stream items.

During 2019 our focus turned to MultiChain 2.0 Enterprise, the commercial version of MultiChain for larger customers. The first Enterprise Demo leveraged off-chain data in streams to allow read permissioning, encrypted data delivery, and the selective retrieval and purging of individual items. As always, the underlying complexity is hidden behind a simple set of APIs relating to permissions and stream items. With streams, our goal has consistently been to help developers focus on their application’s data, and not worry about the blockchain running behind the scenes.

The Database Dilemma

As MultiChain streams have continued to evolve, we’ve been faced with a constant dilemma. For reading and analyzing the data in a stream, should MultiChain go down the path of becoming a fully-fledged database? Should it be offering JSON field indexing, optimized querying and advanced reporting? If so, which database paradigm should it use – relational (like MySQL or SQL Server), NoSQL (MongoDB or Cassandra), search (Elastic or Solr), time-series (InfluxDB) or in-memory (SAP HANA)? After all, there are blockchain use cases suited to each of those approaches.

One option we considered is using an external database as MultiChain’s primary data store, instead of the current combination of embedded LevelDB and binary files. This strategy was adopted by Chain Core (discontinued), Postchain (not yet public) and is available as an option in Hyperledger Fabric. But ultimately we decided against this approach, because of the risks of depending on an external process. You don’t really want your blockchain node to freeze because it lost its database connection, or because someone is running a complex query on its data store.

Another factor to consider is technology and integration agnosticism. In a blockchain network spanning multiple organizations, each participant will have their own preferences regarding database technology. They will already have applications, tools and workflows built on the platforms that suit their needs. So in choosing any particular database, or even in offering a few options, we’d end up making some users unhappy. Just as each blockchain participant can run their node on a wide variety of Linux flavors, they should be able to integrate with their database of choice.

Introducing MultiChain Feeds

Today we’re delighted to release our approach to database integration – MultiChain Feeds. A feed is a real-time on-disk binary log of the events relating to one or more blockchain streams, for reading by external processes. We are also offering the open source MultiChain Feed Adapter which can read a feed and automatically replicate its content to a Postgres, MySQL or MongoDB database (or several at once). The adapter is written in Python and has a liberal license, so it can be easily modified to support additional databases or to add data filtering and transformation. (We’ve also documented the feed file format for those who want to write a parser in another language.)

MultiChain Feeds Diagram

A node need not subscribe to a stream in order to replicate its events to a feed. This allows MultiChain’s built-in stream indexing to be completely bypassed, to save time and disk space. Feeds also reflect the retrieval and purging of off-chain data, and can report on the arrival of new blocks on the chain. In order to save on disk space, you can control exactly which events are written to a feed, and which fields are recorded for each of those events. In addition, feed files are rotated daily and there’s a simple purge command to remove files after processing.

Why are MultiChain feeds written to disk, rather than streamed between processes or over the network? Because we want them to serve as an ultra-reliable replication log that is resilient to database downtime, system crashes, power loss and the like. By using disk files, we can guarantee durability, and allow the target database to be updated asynchronously. If for some reason this database becomes overloaded or disconnected, MultiChain can continue operating without interruption, and the database will catch up once things return to normal.

Getting Started with Feeds

Feeds are integrated into the latest demo/beta of MultiChain Enterprise, which is available for download now. Get started by reading the documentation for the MultiChain Feed Adapter, or reviewing the feed-related APIs. We’d love to hear your feedback on this feature and how we can expand it in future.

With the release of feeds, version 2.0 of MultiChain Enterprise is now feature complete – see the Download and Install page for a full comparison between the Community and Enterprise editions. Over the next couple of months we’ll be completing its testing and optimization, and expect it to be ready for production around the end of Q1. In the meantime, for information about MultiChain Enterprise licensing or pricing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

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Source: https://www.multichain.com/blog/2020/02/multichain-feeds-for-database-integration/

Blockchain

Avalanche raises $230M following sale of >1500% returning AVAX

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This season of the crypto-market has highlighted altcoins and altcoin projects that have been striving to bridge the gaps existing in the industry. Avalanche is one such project, with the same in the news today after it raised $230 million from the sale of its cryptocurrency, AVAX.

According to the foundation behind the blockchain, Avalanche received this sum of investment through a private sale to a group led by Polychain and Three Arrows Capital.

Reportedly, R/Crypto Fund, Dragonfly, CMS Holdings, Collab+Currency, Lvna Capital, and a group of angel investors and family offices also participated in the investment round. The token sale was completed in June and the objectives of the foundation were to support and accelerate the growth of decentralized finance [DeFi], enterprise application, and other use cases on the Avalanche public blockchain.

Its token AVAX has recorded tremendous growth, despite the market trend being increasingly bearish. The asset, at press time, was returning 1,589% to investors year-to-date after it rallied to $63.62. AVAX also registered a strong surge of almost 30% in one 24-hour window, a consequence of the latest updates to the ecosystem.

Another reason why the blockchain surged higher was the onboarding of several blue-chip DeFi projects like Aave, Curve, and SushiSwap. On Wednesday, Avalanche Foundation asked for ‘signaling’ from the Aave community to accept a deployment of the Aave protocol into Avalanche.

Aave ecosystem could leverage Avalanche’s blockchain due to scalability, high throughput, and near-instant finality. According to the blog,

“Through the Avalanche Rush program, the Avalanche foundation has allocated up to $20M AVAX for users of the Aave protocol over a three-month period to earn AVAX rewards while using Aave on Avalanche for the first phase of the program. This program will bring new users to the platform, and reach more users from the established Avalanche community.”

It added,

“Having the Aave community embrace deployment on established chains like Avalanche will allow more users to access Aave’s offerings across the DeFi ecosystem.”

With competition between layer one protocols heating up, Avalanche has been trying to secure a top position. According to Emin Gün Sirer, Director at the Avalanche Foundation, there is “still so much potential yet to be tapped at the intersection of institutional and decentralized finance on Avalanche.”

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/avalanche-raises-230m-following-sale-of-1500-returning-avax

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Blockchain

Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital Secures $100M For Algorand Fund, Files For Crypto ETF

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Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital Secures $100M For Algorand Fund, Files For Crypto ETF

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The number of cryptocurrency-focused exchange-traded funds (ETFs) applications in the U.S. has been growing as several asset management companies have shown interest in offering their clients exposure to cryptocurrencies via regulated exchanges.

In an SEC filing on September 14, SkyBridge Capital became the latest to apply for a crypto-focused ETF – the First Trust SkyBridge Crypto Industry and Digital Economy ETF. According to the filing, if approved, the ETF will invest about 80% of its assets in companies representing the crypto-industry. This also means that the ETF will not have direct exposure to cryptocurrencies.

More recently, Anthony Scaramucci, the founder of the firm and former Whitehouse Communications Director, revealed that the investment firm now had over $700 million in crypto investments and intends to increase its positions in the market even further.

He stated this during an interview with CNBC Television yesterday in the aftermath of the ongoing SALT Conference New York 2021. During the interview, Scaramucci revealed that the firm was starting an Algorand fund that will be capped at $250 million and had already raised over $100 million.

Remarkably, the firm first added Bitcoin to its portfolio last and in July revealed that Bitcoin was the largest contributor to gains this year at the firm according to a Financial Times report. The firm has previously filed applications for both Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs.

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Another notable cryptocurrency ETF development was the report that Fidelity Digital Assets met with SEC officials privately to push for the approval of their proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund and argued the cryptocurrency market is now big enough to support it.

According to a Business Insider report, in the meeting, the firm cited an in-house survey that showed that bitcoin exchange-traded products held massive appeal to US institutions. They also argued that institutions had a strong interest in digital assets, and a significant number of institutional investors already hold cryptocurrencies. 

This argument has been made by other companies but has so far not swayed the SEC. The crypto-industry has been applying for cryptocurrency-focused ETFs for around eight years with the first being from Bitcoin billionaires, the Winklevoss brothers. Since then the SEC has been denying the application.

In 2021, there are more than 20 companies that have filed for crypto-focused ETFs with the SEC. Some include Galaxy Digital, VanEck, and Valkyrie Investments, all notable investment managers.

The SEC is yet to approve any of the applications. Gary Gensler, the SEC chair has stated that the commission is being cautious with the industry so as to be able to protect consumers maximally. However, there are speculations that approval may arrive before the end of this year. Just last month, Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart – Bloomberg’s in-house ETF analysts – on Tuesday published an investor note that speculated that a Bitcoin ETF approval may likely arrive in October.

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Source: https://zycrypto.com/scaramuccis-skybridge-capital-secures-100m-for-algorand-fund-files-for-crypto-etf/

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News

Shiba Inu Token Is Up 25% Following Coinbase Listing

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Source: https://cryptobriefing.com/shiba-inu-token-is-up-25-following-coinbase-listing/?utm_source=main_feed&utm_medium=rss

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