GRT is a token that powers The Graph, a decentralized indexing protocol used by blockchains such as Ethereum.
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A brief history
The Graph was co-founded by Yaniv Tal, Jannis Pohlmann and Brandon Ramirez in 2017. They built the platform out of a mutual desire to build software faster and to help developers use relevant data to increase the efficiency of their decentralized applications (dapps). The Graph functions as an open-sourced software which can be used to collect, process and store data from various blockchain applications to facilitate information retrieval. The platform launched on June 5th, 2018 and developers of decentralized finance quickly took to The Graph. The project reached one billion monthly inquiries by June 2020.
GRT in practice
The Graph works by gathering blockchain data and storing it into various indices, called Subgraphs. This allows any application to send a query to the protocol and receive an immediate response. Once the Graph Node extracts information, three types of users contribute to organizing data in its protocol: Curators, Indexers, and Delegators. Curators asses which subgraphs need to be indexed by The Graph, and to these subgraphs they attach GRT. Indexers provide indexing and querying services for the signalled subgraphs and also stake GRT. Lastly, the Delegators are responsible for getting GRT to indexers to run the network without installing a node. All users earn a portion of the network fees for their work, dependent on their role.