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About The Graph (GRT)
The Graph is an indexing protocol used to query data from public networks such as the Ethereum blockchain and the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS).
GRT is the Graph network’s native (ERC-20) token. It’s used to incentivize a decentralized collective of computer (node) operators, called “indexers,” to process queries, staking GRTs along the way.
Founded in 2017 by American entrepreneur Yaniv Tal, the protocol gives users the ability to build and publish their own unique application programming interface (API) known as a “subgraph.” These subgraphs are used to retrieve blockchain data. The indexers validate information on the protocol by performing indexing and query services for specific subgraphs.
The protocol’s heart and soul, subgraphs, and the unique API capabilities that they furnish, are growing in popularity in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. APIs define interactions between multiple software intermediaries, allowing the heart and soul of DeFi – decentralized applications (dApps) – to interact and share information.
When applied to crypto markets, subgraphs allow both application developers and ordinary consumers to retrieve real-time market data (transactions, transfers, proof of ownership, etc.), from dApps running on a public blockchain. These end-users utilize the Graph protocol’s own query language, GraphQL, to submit requests to the subgraph.
There are currently over 3,000 active subgraphs tracking data from Ethereum applications like AAVE, SNX, UNI, and BAL. Each subgraph features what’s known as a subgraph manifest that defines which smart contracts and blockchain events the API will index. The manifest also dictates how data will be mapped to the Graph’s centralized database from which the information can be queried.
As the native coin, GRT is a means of coordinating the allocation of resources across the platform. GRT activity happens amongst three distinct entities on the platform: the indexers, which, as already mentioned, act as nodes; and two other types of users: delegators and curators. Both stake/direct GRT as a means of stoking and managing subgraph indexing activity.
Curators can be application developers or data consumers. They signal to indexers which subgraphs they would like to have indexed. Curators “signal on” a subgraph by staking GRT to the API in question. By doing so, the curators receive a portion of the query fees. Fees rise in proportion with query volume, incentivizing curators to stake GRT to the highest quality data sources.
Delegators are individual users. They “delegate” their GRT stake to an indexer in exchange for a portion of the query fee that the indexer earns.
During the last half of 2020, the Graph network’s query volume (and associated fee revenue for all three types of users) rose ten-fold to more than 10 billion as of the end of December 2020.
What is the Price of GRT?
As of early February 2021, GRT is trading around $0.75 up over 100% in just roughly the first month of 2021. Since its mainnet launch, in mid-December 2020, the token has seen large fluctuations in its 24-hour trading volume, ranging from $3.1 billion shortly after launch to just under $80 million in mid-January. For a short period in December GRT was one of the top 10 most heavily traded cryptos in the world. There are currently 1.2 billion GRT in circulation, giving the token a market cap of $940 million, 46th globally.
The coin’s recent rally has coincided with a ten-fold increase in query volume. As web 3.0 expands, so will the need for a high-quality data indexing platform like The Graph, which puts GRT in a position to appreciate in the future.
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This article is for informational purposes only and takes no account of particular personal or market circumstances, and should not be relied upon as investment, tax, or legal advice. For investment, tax, or legal advice and before taking any action you should consult your own advisors. Note that digital assets such as cryptocurrencies present unique risks for investors. Please see our disclaimer regarding risks specific to holding digital assets before investing.
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This content is correct as of January 2021
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