Google Expands Big Data Analytics Tool to Explore Ethereum Blockchain

Internet search giant, Google expands its Big Data analytics tool to explore Ethereum blockchain using BigQuery, a web service that provides interactive analysis of massively large data-sets, powered by Google Storage.

Chrome users are now able to access a daily dose of all of the data stored on Ethereum’s blockchain, by way of BigQuery, a new Google plugin that provides visuals and a variety of tools for analysing the Ethereum platform.

In a blog post announcement made on Saturday, the tech behemoth explained that until now, there have only been app platforms for checking transaction status or wallet balances.  Google stated that providing more of a ‘big data’ view of Ethereum is:

“useful for making business decisions, such as prioritizing improvements to the Ethereum architecture itself (is the system running close to capacity and due for an upgrade?) to balance sheet adjustments (how quickly can a wallet be rebalanced?).”

The BigQuery data tool, built on Google Cloud, synchronises the Ethereum blockchain to perform a daily extraction of data from its blockchain ledger, including the results of smart contract transactions, such as token transfers, once the data is uploaded, users can ask the programme to display things according to specific parameters.

Earlier this year in February, Google’s BigQuery provided a similar big data view into Bitcoin, creating a platform that enabled exploration into the cryptocurrency boom that helped inject Bitcoin into the mainstream.  Google stated:

“Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies have captured the imagination of technologists, financiers, and economists. Digital currencies are only one application of the underlying blockchain technology.”

Interestingly, the Google post went to some effort to highlight the primary differences between Ethereum and Bitcoin’s blockchain, stating:

“Ether value transfers are precise and direct, resembling accounting ledger debits and credits. This is in contrast to the Bitcoin value transfer mechanism, for which it can be difficult to determine the balance of a given wallet address.”

Google have already carried out a range of analyses into the data on the Ethereum blockchain, and provided some examples of how the data can be put to use, presenting elaborate visuals.  In the graphic below, points represent wallet addresses, and lines represent aggregate transfer of tokens between a pair of addresses, wallets that transfer often with one another, cluster together.

big data analytics tool to explore ethereum blockchain
BigQuery, Google’s Big Data analytics tool to explore Ethereum blockchain [graphic made with Gephi using The Modularity algorithm]
Other examples included insights into the top ten most popular ERC20 contracts, and some statistics from thailand-based, OmiseGO (OMG), using a chart to show evidence of an airdrop by way of spiking blue receiver to static yellow senders ratio, and it was of no surprise that the highly publicised and collectable Cryptokitties game, ERC721 smart contract, was revealed as the most popular.

big data analytics tool to explore ethereum blockchain
BigQuery, Google’s Big Data analytics tool to explore Ethereum blockchain

Google appears to be gearing up on blockchain technology itself, and has said that it is preparing to release further blockchain-related tools, such as a new development kit that should provide customers with an easy way to build smart contracts and deploy decentralised applications.  As per a previous BCTech Report, Google’s blockchain cloud service launched at the end of July with blockchain startups BlockApps and Digital Asset.

However, it should be noted that Google retains a strict stance on cryptocurrencies, having updated its financial products policy, to conduct a ban on all cryptocurrency-related advertising, including Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), recently in June 2018.

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