HAL joins ConsenSys. Read the announcement 🎉

Christopher Kocurek

October 18, 2022

Get Filtered Blockchain Data in 10 Minutes or Less

Businesses are rapidly integrating blockchain data and need to consider efficient, scalable SaaS solutions to solve routine infrastructure problems.

Get Filtered Blockchain Data in 10 Minutes or Less
There are plenty of blockchain APIs in the world, but many require a complicated setup — and they might not save you much time.
The use of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies is growing faster than ever, making for a fiercely competitive market among Web3 startups. As companies develop new applications that interact with blockchains, the demand for data from a blockchain API trends up in step with the quantity of Web3 products in development. This blog explores why blockchain APIs are a critical aspect of the future of our internet, and how you can implement world-class solutions in your infrastructure.
To run a competitive Web3 development team, you need to outpace other organizations that are building similar products. This means that you must focus your engineering talent on the complex problems that only your company can solve, instead of things tantamount to a crypto API for NFT data. Simply put, the problem of ingesting filtered blockchain data programmatically via an API is such a common problem in the development of Web3 applications, that there are many services offering a blockchain API or crypto API. 
Blockchain API or Smart Contract API — That is the Question
Most companies that require a blockchain API have an extremely specific focus on how the ledger-based data is to be used. Right now in the case of dApps, teams are often beholden to an infrastructure that is partially deployed on an EVM as a smart contract, as well as centralized systems on Amazon Web Services. Usually, you only need key information emitted from a smart contract, as opposed to a tidal wave of unfiltered JSON straight off a block. If you’re ingesting raw node data, then you have another set of problems before you can begin firing powerful automations based on chain events.
For most of us, there are a few steps that are taken before on-chain data can be used.
You must:
  • Get the raw blockchain data
  • Filter what you need
  • Format or index
  • Ingest the data into your backend
This is why we at Hal think of Streams as the world-class solution for turning smart contracts into APIs. 
Let’s review some examples of when a company might need a crypto API for different applications:
1. Digital Banks
Digital banks need blockchain APIs to enter the blockchain and diversify their digital offerings. Much like how the face of money moved from inside a bank into your computer screen, leaders in banking understand that the future of value will be secured by blockchains in the forms of digital cash and CBDCs, and they are making strides to future-proof their businesses by becoming Web3 savvy sooner rather than later. A digital bank can use a blockchain API to:
  • Access and verify relevant transaction data
  • Diversify digital offerings to customers
  • Save time in development
2. Cryptocurrency portfolio trackers Portfolio trackers are growing in popularity, and they are a great example of a techstack that needs to ingest decentralized data and perform automatic processes to produce value for their customers. Unlike a dApp which must emit on-chain events, crypto portfolios just need to help traders track their moves and understand their profit and loss. Here’s the type of blockchain data that a cryptocurrency portfolio provider would care about getting:
  • Wallet balances — the fiat equivalent value of a user’s cryptocurrency on multiple platforms
  • Trade history — gives the user easy access to review the history of trades they have made over time
  • Price of cryptocurrency at the moment of the event
  • Data that unifies across multiple chains for a single end-user
3. Cryptocurrency accountants
In a similar vein, CPAs need crypto data as well. Crypto accountants have surged in demand as the value of major coins like BTC and ETH drew the attention of millions of new traders. This makes a crypto tax professional’s time highly valuable, making it important to use the right blockchain API. Similar to a crypto portfolio, people offering services centered around crypto taxes and accounting would also need to know some fundamental information about wallet addresses, held value, transaction events, and the value of each cryptocurrency at the moment of transfer. Here are some ways that a crypto tax firm or crypto accountant might use this kind of data in their automatic back-end processes.
  • Trawling thousands of a user’s transactions to tag all transfers to a designated wallet address on the Ethereum Network as contractor payments
  • Calculating and proving capital gains and capital loss in a tax return
  • Determining a client’s transaction fees to help them improve the value of their return
From these examples, we can determine that developers care about smart contract events within the context of blockchain data. Blockchain APIs are great, but you’ll end up with excessive data, and then you’ll have another mess on your hands. That’s why we prefer to think about the future of dev tooling around the idea of smart contract APIs. Your team needs to know what happens on-chain — and usually, a smart contract is involved. So, if you can make sure that you’re only ingesting data you care about that is relevant to the smart contract functionality, then you would have a pretty efficient crypto API.
A No-Code Solution for Blockchain Data at Your Fingertips
If you’ve read this far, you are probably thinking about a scalable way to get lightning-fast access to key data from a blockchain API. You may be familiar with Web3 household names, such as The Graph. Perhaps you have experience with doing your own end-to-end indexing, but you are looking for ways to solve tedious infrastructure tasks and spend more time on your product. You might even be a journeyman Web3 developer establishing a passion project, such as a dashboard that displays the top holders of your favorite NFT project. 
Time is of the essence, which means the solution you deploy needs to:
1. Instantly get you the data you need
2. Be completely reliable
3. Have a low learning curve
If you’re part of a team that includes other developers, we can add two additional points you may be looking for in a blockchain data API:
  1. It must be easy for different team members to pick the tool up
  2. It must be scalable and cost-effective
Hal Streams is the industry's easiest-to-use, no-code solution for querying blockchain data and filtering it automatically — before you ingest the data from an API endpoint. Instead of slogging through a by-the-book infrastructure setup and facing the daunting task of setting up new custom queries and filters each time your feature set expands, you can deploy a Stream in under 10 minutes directly from our application. 
  • Listen to any type of blockchain event you care about
  • Designate the smart contracts or addresses 
  • Set your filters (including time intervals)
  • Get the data from our REST API
Hal Streams gets you the data you need, when you need it. Our blockchain API can provide historical lookbacks all the way to the Genesis block on any of our eight supported networks. If you only care about what’s happening currently and in the future, you can set up your event trigger to push data to our API endpoint when an event occurs, or at a designated interval.  Thanks to our user-friendly, no-code interface, we’ve flattened the learning curve for developers of all experience levels. This tool is so easy to use, in fact, that a non-technical business user could easily deploy a meaningful stream (proven by this author). This allows you to focus on what matters: your product. 
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel because you can get there faster by using Hal Streams.

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