Trustless automation with a decentralized database


Sid Gandhi

Jul 28, 2022



Polybase believes the future of software and the internet is trustless automation. We have seen trustless automation create trillions of dollars in value in DeFi and we believe this is just the beginning. DAOs and non-DeFi dApps will unlock trillions in value and reach mass adoption, but they need a decentralized database to do it.

DeFi and smart contracts

DeFi protocols for AMMs, lending, LPs, and staking are all built fully on-chain. Even if Uniswap the organization disappears tomorrow, you can still use the protocol. You may need to submit transactions manually (or build your own UI), but the functionality and value will continue to exist as long as the Ethereum blockchain is functioning. This freedom and unstoppability does not exist for web2 SaaS products.

The challenge for DAOs and dApps

DAOs and dApps have tried to use smart contract storage as a database. They attempt to store rows of data into solidity arrays and maps. Not only is this extremely expensive, but it is missing a key database feature of queries.

DAOs and dApps are struggling to find a decentralized way to store their data, resulting in billions of dollars of risk and limited utility/adoption.

Specifically, DAOs are struggling to implement trustless automation because key data is centralized and not composable with smart contracts.

dApps can’t store structured data on-chain because it’s too expensive. Think about storing 100k+ rows of data in a smart contract, this would cost millions of dollars on Ethereum.

Even soulbound tokens (SBT) & utility NFTs have limited use because their metadata is not queryable or usable from smart contracts.

The web3 database

In order to support web-scale data in smart contracts, we have to change the architecture for structured data storage. Structured data storage in web3 needs to be scalable, performant, cheap, queryable, and verifiable. These are exactly the attributes that Polybase has.

Polybase is the decentralized storage, index, and query protocol for structured data.

It enables web3 developers to build decentralized applications with trustless automation, at 1000x lower cost than on-chain storage.

Unlocking new applications

With Polybase, we unlock a torrent of new applications in web3 that are decentralized end-to-end with trustless automation.

In web2 we have compute, storage, and database. In web3 we have smart contracts, IPFS/Filecoin/Arweave, and now Polybase.

We now have the building blocks to rebuild all web2 apps in web3 and new apps we haven’t even thought of yet. These new apps can have key attributes that were missing before:

  • User-owned data (accessible by users without restrictive and broken APIs)

  • Data composable across applications (think join queries across all your SaaS apps)

  • Data publicly verifiable, but encrypted (without the need for platform-controlled oauth and APIs)