dfuse - blockchain APIs to build world-class applications

Nick Sawinyh on 08 Nov 2019

Alexandre Bourget told us how dfuse going to empower developers around the world to integrate blockchain into their applications easier.

Hello! What’s your background, and what are you working on?

Hey there, my name is Alexandre Bourget, I am the co-founder and CTO of dfuse.

My co-founders, Marc-Antoine Ross, Mathieu Boulianne, and I were members of the innovation team at a Fintech accelerator (Diagram Ventures), where we co-founded dfuse. Our interest in financial technology and the intersection of blockchain, big data, cybersecurity, and developer tooling came from our deeply rooted ties to the tech scene. Marc-Antoine Ross is a technologist and venture builder; dfuse is his fourth startup. Intel acquired one of his former startups in 2014. Mathieu Boulianne is a former Vice President in investment banking and is passionate about the many exciting applications of blockchain technology to transform existing financial systems greatly. As for myself, I have extensive experience with blockchain, having built the first Bitcoin payment processor in Canada.

dfuse is a platform to empower dapp developers with capabilities to build modern blockchain applications with fast, fluid interfaces that deliver exceptional user experiences. Powered by a low-latency architecture, its robust APIs make it possible to stream real-time state updates, conduct lightning-fast searches and provide transaction guarantees all for the first time, using simple API calls.

What’s dfuse backstory?

The dfuse team has been building open source software and businesses on blockchain since 2013. From our own experience as well as by meeting hundreds of developers, we identified that the missing piece of the puzzle to put blockchain within reach of every developer was powerful APIs for access to blockchain data – APIs capable of much more than native blockchain nodes can provide.

Since blockchains are an eventually consistent database, anyone who wants to build on a blockchain needs to understand how to read from it and handle the changes as they come. The lack of data access solutions and the high cost of building and maintaining custom infrastructure meant that a team had to have specialized members and know-how to access the data to feed their application merely. We always talk about mass adoption, but that’s not going to come sooner if we don’t enable developers to have the same buttery smooth experience building on a blockchain as building any web application today – that’s why we made dfuse.

In October 2018, we launched dfuse in free public beta to the global community of developers. The response has been extremely positive, not only directly from developers but from blockchain networks themselves, many of which have been vying to have dfuse deployed on their ecosystem. In January 2019, we brought searchability to the blockchain – a first in the industry. We are very excited by all the DeFi applications being built on Ethereum and have recently released dfuse Search on Ethereum. Will be announcing additional powerful products specialized for Ethereum soon.

We are very proud to have some of the most influential and supportive investors backing dfuse. We raised 3.5 million in a seed round led by Multicoin Capital and Intel Capital with the participation of other leading fintech investors.

What went into building the dfuse?

There are four main pillars that dfuse has brought to the ecosystem:

  • dfuse Search – Easily search a constantly expanding set of decentralized databases, with lightning-fast speeds (the whole chain in under a second). It is consensus and reorgs-aware, offers ultra granular search terms, provides real-time queries as well as full history.
  • dfuse State DB – Block-by-block snapshot of all tables and state, forever. Especially impressive on EOSIO chains. It provides consistent snapshots of large yet fast-changing tables (even with millions of rows).
  • dfuse Lifecycle – Understand the progress of a transaction as it moves through its many lifecycle stages. It provides new UX opportunities, and stronger guarantees for applications to take action.
  • dfuse On-Demand Networks – Access custom networks spun up for your use for either stealth development, short-lived testing, or full production-grade permissioned/public blockchain networks.

We have drop-in code samples in Go, Python, as well as in a JavaScript Library that covers all of the REST, WebSocket or GraphQL API. For other programming languages, we support GraphQL over gRPCl, adding 17 programming languages in total and making it a breeze to start working with.

The engineering and community teams work together to provide the smoothest and easiest onboarding experience to our users. We are constantly talking to our users, and each new feature we add is solving their pain points.

We have recently announced a Data Integrity Bounty Program with HackerOne, making a real commitment to the data provided through dfuse APIs by having skin in the game – another first in the industry.

What’s your business model?

dfuse is a SaaS business, offering a flexible and metered pricing plan. On top of our Free Plan geared toward grassroots projects, we offer three paid plans to support developers at different stages of their project development.

We have a large community of users from the beta period that have built their projects on top of dfuse. When we announced our pricing, most of our users were happy to be paying to sustain a service that they already depend on and trust and to get additional paid capabilities such as high-availability and other guarantees, additional features, and SLAs.

It’s also worth mentioning that we have been accepting payments in stablecoins from the get go – we are currently accepting Dai, USDC, EOSDT and CarbonUSD. Using the power of dfuse Workers, we have even automated on-chain payment recognition directly in the subscription service.

What are your goals for the future?

Our mission statement is simple: to empower the tens of millions of developers around the world to integrate blockchain into their applications easier, faster, and cheaper. By abstracting the low-level details of blockchain, we have been lowering the onboarding time for many developers, bringing new possibilities within reach.

What are your future thoughts for the DeFi market?

We believe that the core innovation of DeFi, namely that the trust layer of the financial system is now the software and code itself, will bring a paradigm change to the financial industry. We are particularly excited about the next breakthroughs enabled by DeFI:

  • Low barrier to entry for financial technology entrepreneurship
  • Low barrier to entry for access to financial services
  • Interoperability between different asset classes
  • Global liquidity pools
  • Global price discovery
  • Data sovereignty and security
  • Composability of emerging financial products

Where can we go to learn more?

You can visit dfuse.io. Take a look at our blog, we put all of our releases, announcements, use cases, and interviews with lead developers of interesting blockchain projects there.

If you want to take a look at our API, we have an extensive doc that’s always being updated. We welcome you to try out dfuse, you can get started for free. Let us know what you think, and what you are missing to build out the ultimate application.

We are sponsoring ETHWaterloo. If you’re attending the hackathon, make sure to come see us at our sponsor table – The co-founders and a few devs from the dfuse team will be onsite!

We have a lot of exciting announcements coming up, follow @dfuseio on Twitter, and join our discussion in the dfuse API Telegram channel. You can also find our Chinese community on WeChat and Weibo.

About the author
Nick Sawinyh
Nick Sawinyh is an LA-based crypto entrepreneur. After having spent over four years in the blockchain industry, Nick founded DeFiprime in 2019, with the idea to provide information about emerging DeFi ecosystem. He owns modest amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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