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Onchain Alpha

Blockchain Insights with Covalent featuring Eric Ashdown

Onchain Alpha

TL/DR: Blockchain Insights with Covalent

In a recent Onchain Alpha podcast episode, Eric, Covalent's head of the ecosystem, discusses various facets of blockchain technology and Covalent's role in shaping the future economy. Topics covered include Covalent's background, the future of data availability, the evolution of blockchain wallets, and the significance of historical data.

Key Takeaways:

  • Covalent prioritizes long-term data accessibility in the blockchain space.

  • The future of blockchain applications integrates social elements and AI.

  • Despite DeFi's potential, infrastructure and usability improvements are necessary.

  • Covalent seeks to onboard more chains and provide accessible data to developers.

  • Covalent's "Ethereum Wayback Machine" offers historical data crucial for various purposes.


00:47  - Introductions and Background on Covalent

01:21 - Erik's Journey in Crypto

06:27 - The Future of Data Availability

11:51 - The Importance of Accessibility in Blockchain

13:07 - The Evolution of Wallets

15:50 - The Future of Applications on Blockchain

20:29 - DeFi as the End State

24:49 - Covalent's Role in the Future

28:38 - Onboarding More Chains to Covalent

33:24 - The Ethereum Way Back Machine

35:08 - The Value of Historical Data

36:07 - Data Integration and Making Sense of Disconnected Data

38:34 - Long-Term Data Availability

47:42 - Getting Started with Covalent's Data

44:08 - Call to Action for Developers

48:41 - Covalent and Mosaic Collaboration

50:15 - On-Chain Media and Musical Experiments

Hosted by Humpty Calderon, Featuring Covalent with Erik Ashdown

Covalent's Data-driven Vision for the Future Economy

In this episode, our host Humpty Calderon speaks with Erik Ashdown, the head of ecosystem at Covalent. Addressing the unique characteristics of blockchain technology and data availability, the discussion reveals Covalent's innovative efforts to improve the field of blockchain data analysis and application.

Eric's Journey into Crypto

Eric's journey into the world of cryptocurrencies traces back to a pivotal moment involving royalty accounting issues within his music software company. This encounter ignited his curiosity and led him down the path of exploration into blockchain technology. With the burgeoning interest in crypto around 2017–2018, Eric's ventures traversed through various projects, culminating in his collaboration with Ganesh, the founder of Covalent. Together, they envisioned a robust Ethereum data network, albeit not without encountering formidable challenges about data security and commoditization.

Challenges and Ambitions of Covalent

The conversation on the podcast reflects Eric's enthusiasm for the evolving market dynamics surrounding blockchain data. He envisions a future where blockchain data becomes a ubiquitous commodity, with Covalent spearheading efforts to ensure its long-term availability. Despite encountering setbacks along the way, Covalent's resilience and commitment have propelled them towards achieving significant milestones, including the indexing of data from over 200 chains.

The Growth Trajectory: Unique Wallet Addresses

A noteworthy highlight of the discussion is the exponential growth in unique wallet addresses utilizing Covalent's APIs, currently estimated at a staggering 240 million. This statistic not only underscores the burgeoning user base of Covalent but also underscores its pivotal role in driving real-world adoption of blockchain technology.

Mint on Zora:

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Covalent's Role

The conversation threads through the complexities of decentralized finance (DeFi), with Eric and Humpty discussing how it might redefine the blockchain economy. Even if there are concerns about security and dependability, DeFi's social aspects, along with its community-based culture, make it an essential part of the blockchain ecosystem.

Eric compares the current state of blockchain assets to the early days of the internet, suggesting that while there is potential and progress being made, there is still a necessity for the development of user-friendly applications that will bring in a larger audience. Humpty references the book "The Rise of the Rest" by Chris Dixon, which touches upon the idea that we are currently in the protocol development stage of the blockchain economy but have yet to see the creation of sticky, fun, and practical applications that will attract non-technical individuals. Humpty also mentions the protocol Farcaster and its experimental projects as examples of potential applications. They also discuss the idea of token incentives for micro-transactions and government enforcement as potential solutions to ethical data usage concerns.

Harnessing Blockchain Data for Accountability and Transparency

A recurring theme throughout the conversation is Covalent's unwavering commitment to democratizing access to blockchain data. Eric elucidates the challenges associated with indexing data from diverse blockchain networks and outlines Covalent's pragmatic approach towards structuring and disseminating data efficiently. Moreover, Covalent's open-source initiatives and community engagement underscore their ethos of fostering innovation and collaboration within the blockchain sphere.

A moving analysis of the tremendous potential of blockchain technology concludes the discussion. Together, Eric and Humpty lay out their vision for using blockchain data to bring in a new era of innovation, accountability, and transparency in a variety of industries.

Stay Connected: Final Thoughts and Resources

As the conversation draws to a close, one is left with a deep appreciation for the groundbreaking possibilities of blockchain technology and Covalent's resolute dedication to promoting its uptake. Covalent is a shining example of creativity in a period of rapid technological growth, leading the world toward a future where blockchain data is the foundation of a more open and just economy.

They also have an Alchemist community where they teach people how to use their APIs and work with on-chain data. Humpty thanks to Mosaic, a loyalty rewards protocol for on-chain brands and their fans, for their collaboration and for expressing their excitement about the opportunities in the Web 3 space. They also mention their interest in curating on-chain media, including art and music, and invite the musicians in the audience to play a song for them to curate and share.

Eric shares a personal anecdote about the value of setting goals and seeking accountability, using the example of his promise to practice playing the guitar more often. He admits that he doesn't meet this goal as frequently as he should but recognizes the potential benefit of a structured program, such as a 30-day commitment to focus on tuning and improving his skills. Humpty then transitions back to the topic of Web 3 and its potential to bring accountability and transparency to various aspects of life and business, concluding with a reminder that they will continue the conversation soon.


Covalent website:

Covalent (Twitter) X:

Erik Ashdown(Twitter) X:

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