Some of the biggest news in the Cardano ecosystem this week is that the one of the founding entities of the Cardano blockchain, Input Output Global (IOG), has acquired another community project, Blockfrost, one of the largest blockchain data providers for projects building in the Cardano ecosystem.
Here we’ll dive into what this all means for users and how projects and the ecosystem will benefit from this move.
Blockfrost is an API service that provides projects building on Cardano with access to the blockchain data they need to run their applications, without them having to run their own full Cardano nodes and databases. It is one of the most widely used API services in Cardano, and arguably one of the most important pieces of infrastructure for developers on Cardano — servicing over 100m data queries per day.
Projects benefit from using services like Blockfrost as it gives them access to a fast and reliable query-optimized source of blockchain data that they can use to inform the workings of their dApps and facilitate the proper working use of those dApps by users. Ultimately this allows developers to focus on building top-tier dApps for Cardano, without having to spend time maintaining nodes and information databases.
Blockfrost offers developers access to organized data from the Cardano mainnet, the three Cardano testnets, the Milkomeda C1 mainnet and testnet, and access to IPFS storage. Blockfrost has created numerous open source SDKs, helping developers to connect to the Blockfrost service no matter the language they’re writing in.
The bear market has taken its toll on many in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, including infrastructure projects like Blockfrost and other flagship projects in the ecosystem.
In October 2023 IOG announced the acquisition of the popular Nami wallet, as it was becoming harder to manage for the single developer who created it. IOG investing in and taking ownership of these projects ensures they’re sustainable long into the future and will continue to provide top-level services for Cardano’s ecosystem of dApps and users.
In their Blockfrost acquisition announcement, IOG stated that Blockfrost will continue to run as it is for the moment and that the goal of this is to “support Blockfrost’s development in line with its users’ and the wider developer community’s best interests” and to, eventually, help move Blockfrost toward “decentralized, sustainable, and community-centric future” by exploring ownership structures for a future decentralized operating model.
Blockfrost’s highly experienced creator Marek Mahut (@stakenuts), a long-term and dedicated Cardano community member since the earliest of days (with many Cardano firsts on his resume), will be joining the IOG team to “explore several other technical projects currently in the innovation stage.”
The sheer number of developers IOG has, along with the large figures on their balance sheet, will help to contribute to the improvement of the services Blockfrost provides to developers — which will benefit developers and their dApps, with a trickle-down effect to users.
With the behemoth of IOG buying one of Cardano’s most loved independent service providers, some members of the community have mentioned their concerns and contempt over this deal. Such emotion will hopefully spur some to use other providers, helping to further decentralize and diversify the Cardano ecosystem away from Blockfrost (and IOG).
The eventual decentralization Blockfrost’s services is exactly what a truly decentralized blockchain needs—which is the overall goal of the Cardano network.
Until IOG implements an update to Blockfrost, which might be some time away, it will be difficult to gauge the overall effect of this acquisition. But, as time goes on the Cardano ecosystem keeps maturing, and such acquisitions can continue to spur future ecosystem growth.
interesting. wonder where this goes in the near future