Enhancing Ethereum: The Graph’s Answer to EIP-4444

Events By Jan 23, 2024 2 Comments

Seve Sisneros of Semiotic discusses how The Graph with Firehose can enable history pruning on Ethereum.

TL;DR: EIP-4444's proposed changes to Ethereum's data storage are adeptly navigated by The Graph, leveraging Firehose and flat file innovations to maintain seamless access to historical blockchain data.

Sometimes, the best discoveries are made by accident, like when The Graph stumbled upon a groundbreaking use case for Ethereum’s EIP-4444.

The Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 4444 represents a major change in blockchain data management, specifically in the storage and accessibility of historical data. This change, crucial for Ethereum’s scalability, introduces new challenges and opportunities in data indexing and retrieval.

Read on to learn how The Graph’s role in this landscape, as highlighted by Seve Sisneros of Semiotic Labs at Datapalooza 2023, could become increasingly significant, especially with the breakthroughs involving Firehose and flat file usage.

đź“ş Watch on The Graph's YouTube: The Graph and Preserving Historical Data After EIP-4444 by Seve Sisneros (Semiotic)

Understanding EIP-4444’s impact

EIP-4444 is a proposal that aims to make Ethereum nodes lighter and easier to run by pruning historical data. Essentially, it suggests that these nodes no longer need to store transaction details, like receipts and block information, that are more than a year old. This would significantly reduce the storage space required, making it more practical for more people to operate these nodes.

However, this change means that nodes would need new ways to update and align with Ethereum’s current blockchain state, as they won’t hold the entire transaction history. To achieve that, historical data will need to be extracted and served to users through alternative methods, ensuring continued access to the information while streamlining node operations. Some methods include data indexing services like The Graph, off-chain storage solutions, data torrents, and snapshot services.

Seve Sisneros’ insights at Datapalooza

In his presentation at Datapalooza, Seve Sisneros delves into the nuances of EIP-4444 and its implications. He emphasizes the need for innovative data indexing solutions in light of the changes, pointing out The Graph’s growing importance for developers and users in the Ethereum ecosystem.

Sisneros introduces Firehose, developed by the StreamingFast team, and how it extracts blockchain data and stores it in flat files. These flat files provide an efficient medium for managing and serving this data.

The Graph, Firehose, and flat files: a triumphant trio

Have you ever wondered how massive platforms like Ethereum manage all that historical data? Well, the change with EIP-4444 is exciting and can help. Introducing the trio that could revolutionize how we handle data on Ethereum: The Graph, Firehose, and flat files.

The Graph is an established protocol that can be used to serve the historical data needed for EIP-4444. Sisneros explains it was not the intention of The Graph to solve EIP-4444’s need for historical data, but through research, they realized this could be a viable option. Semiotic proposes combining flat files, Firehose, and The Graph for that purpose with a mechanism to verify served historical data.

The breakthrough with Firehose and flat files

  1. Firehose’s role: Firehose, as Sisneros explains, plays a crucial role in processing blockchain data more efficiently. It allows for a more streamlined approach to data extraction, which is vital in the context of EIP-4444.
  2. Advantages of flat files: The use of flat files offers a more scalable and accessible format for storing historical data. This method simplifies data retrieval, ensuring that The Graph can efficiently index and provide access to historical information.
  3. Enhanced data accessibility: The combination of Firehose and flat files significantly improves the accessibility of historical data on Ethereum. This approach aligns with Sisneros’ emphasis on maintaining robust data access in the post-EIP-4444 era.

The role of EIP-4444 in Ethereum’s gas limit debate

Recently, Ethereum developers have been debating Vitalik Buterin’s suggestion to increase the gas limit, as covered by Cointelegraph. Intended to enhance network capacity, the 33% increase would allow more transactions per block.

Many have concerns about the increase in the blockchain’s state size, which is already substantial. The growth could lead to slower processing and more difficulty in managing the network.

So what does this have to do with EIP-4444? This proposal could potentially contribute to lower gas costs and mitigate long-term growth issues. The main challenge seems to be balancing the need for increased network capacity with practicality and efficiency of running Ethereum nodes as the size grows.

Conclusion: embracing innovations in the EIP-4444 era

Seve Sisneros’ presentation at Datapalooza underscores the essential role of The Graph, Firehose, and flat files in adapting to EIP-4444. This proposal marks a significant evolution in Ethereum’s journey, and the innovative approaches of The Graph ensure the ecosystem can adapt effectively.

We invite you to view the entire video above for more details from Seve’s presentation at Datapalooza.

Author

I am a dedicated member of the Graph Advocates DAO and proud to be a part of the Graphtronauts community. As a passionate crypto investor and enthusiast, I have delved into the world of decentralized technologies, with a strong focus on Graph Protocol. My journey includes writing insightful blogs for Graphtronauts and contributing to the development of Subgraph documentation for various projects within the Graph Protocol ecosystem. Most recently, I have taken on the role of a Pinax technical writer, further expanding my commitment to advancing the adoption and understanding of blockchain and graph-based technologies.

2 Comments

  1. PaulieB says:

    I’m really excited The Graph will be the solution for this and look forward to see how it all plays out!

    1. louis says:

      Great article! This is a huge discussion currently. Actionable insights are refreshing compared to all the critics you read online.

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