Real world use cases on Polybase


Sid Gandhi

Dec 20, 2022


Polybase is the perfect decentralized database for building web3 social & chat, DAO tooling, data DAOs, and oracle buffers.

Web3 social and chat

So if you think about a lot of people's responses to the problems that Twitter has is that it should be decentralized, right? It's easy to say, but very hard to implement. There are a lot of cultural issues, but we'll talk go over the technical ones. So technically, if you tried to put Twitter on-chain, it would be prohibitively expensive.

We are talking trillions of dollars to run if it was on a chain like Ethereum.

Even if it was on a chain like Polygon or Solana that is a little bit cheaper, it would still cost hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. And I might be a couple of magnitudes lower than it actually is. The reasoning behind this is that blockchains weren't meant to store structured data at scale. They're meant to store financial ledgers and then Ethereum expanded that to store computer variables or the state of a particular program.

But when we look at Web 2.0, you have these databases with hundreds of thousands or even millions of rows. All the tweets are theoretically in one database. That's not technically correct, but they are in a database that you can search and query and look up.

That infrastructure doesn't exist in Web 3.0 yet and that's what Polybase is building.

So if you wanted to build a truly decentralized Twitter and store that data in a way that was censorship-resistant, in a way that it was self-sovereign data so users have control over their data to be able to delete it and access it whenever they wanted. That would have to be built on a system similar to Polybase. That would be one of the use cases for Polybase.

DAO tooling and data DAOs

So DAOs are sitting at a very interesting intersection of on-chain and off-chain data and so on the chain. You might have the token payments for DAOs, you might have specific contracts set up that are transferring value between different people or different companies. Then you have this aspect of off-chain data which might be like votes, it might be proposals, it might be a list of customers, and a CRM tool.

Now, to blend these two together, you need quite a sophisticated setup to be able to read data from off-chain sources into on-chain sources and then validate and verify that the data is correct.

So we have oracles today that allow you to pull in data off-chain into smart contracts, but we've seen tons of hacks around them because that data is not validated. It just gets pushed in so people can manipulate the price of certain assets and then on the chain they'll show up differently and allow people to borrow or lend and do crazy things based on the wrong data.

So what Polybase allows you to do is to have a buffer of data that before it gets put into a smart contract, that data can come into Polybase, and then it can go through a review process. So that might be a 12-24 hours review process. Only if people approve that this data is correct, then it goes on-chain.

Now, these are things that you can build into Polybase that are trustless in the sense that they can't be manipulated. They're set in the rules of the contract of the database table. So everyone that is reading that data can trust that that data originated in the right way.