The Graph is a decentralized protocol for indexing and querying data from blockchains. If you are building an application that accesses data from the blockchain, it might take a long time to look through each block on the blockchain and extract relevant data. To solve this issue, you could build your own service to index data and store it in a conventional database. But this takes time and money.
Here’s where The Graph comes in. By allowing multiple types of network participants with specific roles, The Graph enables developers to build applications that can access blockchain data in a decentralized way without sacrificing performance. This
Let’s look at the participants in The Graph ecosystem.
Indexers: They stake GRT tokens and operate a Graph Node to index relevant data and process queries. They earn Indexing Rewards and Query Fees. Indexers are incentivized to serve correct data as their staked tokens will be slashed if they act maliciously.
Delegators: Delegators stake their GRT tokens on behalf of one or more Indexers. As a result, Delegators earn a portion of the Indexer rewards and Query fees without running their own Graph Node.
Consumers: These are the application developers that access data and pay for queries.
How do Indexers identify data that is relevant and store it in a suitable format? Here is where the next participant comes in.
Curators identify subgraphs that are important and of high quality by using their GRT tokens to signal to Indexers, who then proceed to index data and process queries. Curators also earn a portion of the query fees, which incentivizes them to curate data sources that are of high quality.
When you use GRT tokens to signal on a subgraph, you deposit GRT in return for Curation Shares minted on a Bonding Curve. The Bonding Curve defines the relationship between the price of Curation Shares and its supply. This means that each additional Curation Share costs more than the last one.
Bonding Curves are volatile, and there is a possibility that you might receive less GRT than when you started.
If you falsely assess the quality of a subgraph and signal on a subgraph that may not receive many queries, you may risk earning very little or no query fees at all.
Congratulations on becoming a Curator on The Graph!