Dune Analytics - create and share analysis of smart-contract data
Fredrik told us the backstory of Dune Analytics and shared plans for lowering the bar for anyone who wants to explore aggregated on-chain data insights for Ethereum smart contracts.
Hello! What’s your background, and what are you working on?
Hey, I’m Fredrik. A 28-year-old Norwegian economist, freestyle skier, hip-hop fan, and, you guessed it, crypto geek. Despite being an economist, I’ve always been interested in technology, and I feel down the crypto rabbit hole in 2015 when I heard a podcast episode with Nathaniel Popper (author of Digital Gold) on EconTalk. I highly recommend that podcast in general, extraordinarily good conversations on all kinds of topics with domain experts.
Together with my co-founder, Mats, I’m building Dune Analytics. We allow anyone to easily create analysis from smart-contract data, visualize it, and share it with the world. Right now, we have several high profile Ethereum teams using Dune, but also various community members. They love using Dune because you can hit the ground running with zero infrastructure setup, and all data is human-readable. You don’t need to work with low-level EVM stuff, plus the fact that you can instantly visualize and share your analysis.
What’s Dune Analytics backstory?
Mats and I used to work together on blockchain experiments at a company called Schibsted Media Group that does newspapers and online classifieds (like eBay in various markets around the world).
After some time, we realized that crypto was probably a little too immature and risky for Schibsted to take a proper bet on it. We were (and are:)) both firm believers in blockchain technology and figured it was time to dedicate ourselves to a blockchain future fully.
We had already built some smart contract proof of concepts and used a bunch of dApps, so we had a good idea of the various problems in the space. Mats used to build machine learning products while I have a background in statistics and startup analytics, so we soon realized that the data realm was where our experience was most valuable.
What went into building the Dune Analytics?
We’ve always been very focused on building something useful, and we think customers are the very best attestation of that. We delivered to Dharma as our first client only three months after we went full time, which was cool. We have to give a shoutout to Nadav and Brendan at Dharma that took a bet on us and became our first customer so early.
On the tech side, getting all the data correctly and consistently from the blockchain is much much harder than a lot of people think it is. So a considerable part of the work is getting that right. We’ve also gone through quite a few iterations to get our decoded data into the best possible format.
What we’re excited about now is the community version. Allowing anyone to create any form of analysis with SQL easily, turn it into a dashboard, and then share it with others. We think this will help a lot of discussions and decisions across the community going forward.
What’s your business model?
We have a freemium model. You can use our community interface for free and query everything, but if you want direct access to the data, then that’s the paid product.
We actually started with the paid product (again, paying customers is the best validation!) and then recently launched the community version.
What’s your position on the regulatory landscape today?
Since we’re not touching crypto transactions or private keys in any way with our product, we’re a boring old SaaS company regulatory-wise. I am glad we don’t have to spend too much time and money on lawyers and regulators.
What are your goals for the future?
We want to make the community version of Dune widespread and truly lower the bar for anyone to explore and check aggregated insights for Ethereum and potentially other blockchains in the future.