In case you aren’t aware, there’s a growing demand for developers in the web3 industry. In conjunction with that demand, the need to make complex technologies like blockchain more appealing and attractive to mainstream users remains paramount.
To achieve this, we can’t just look directly to the developers to provide all the answers. Thus, the need to improve not only UX but also the developer experience should be a focus.
That said, what particular steps can we take to address the challenge for web3 developers on Bitcoin?
Indexing is the answer
An ideal starting point would be indexing applications. One of the primary aspects with which a web3 user engages is through their crypto wallet. Their crypto wallet is essentially their ID and bank account for interacting with web3 applications.
Under the hood, wallet providers use something called indexing to display all the important information in your crypto wallet, such as transaction history, current balances, NFT ownership, and more. Indexing refers to the process of organizing and making data within a blockchain more accessible and searchable.
By nature, blockchains are decentralized and distributed ledgers that store various transactional data in blocks, linked together through cryptographic hashes. While this design ensures that the data is secure and tamper-proof, it does pose some challenges when it comes to how quickly we can access specific information within the blockchain.
While not an exhaustive list, some other applications where indexing plays a crucial role are as follows:
- Blockchain Explorers
- Wallet Services
- Decentralized Applications (dApps)
How Chainhooks Help Bitcoin Developers
In the context of blockchains, indexing typically involves building external databases or data structures that allow for more efficient querying and retrieval of information from the blockchain. Indexes, in turn, create references to points of specific data within the blocks. This makes it easier for users and applications to access relevant data without having to comb through the entire blockchain.
In the case of Stacks, indexing on Bitcoin has never been smoother. Hiro Systems, one of the many great teams working on building tooling applications for web3 developers on Bitcoin, has introduced a feature called “chainhook”.
If you’re familiar with If This Then That (IFTTT) applications, you’re already ahead. That said, chainhooks can help Bitcoin developers do some interesting things when specific events happen within the blockchain.
By triggering actions based on certain predetermined conditions, they can react when a certain amount of special tokens are transferred, a specific address receives tokens, or when particular events are emitted by a contract. The versatility of chainhooks shines through their ability to work with both the Stacks and Bitcoin blockchains, expanding their potential use cases.
Developers can leverage chainhooks for various projects, including cross-chain protocols, oracles, chain indexers, and distributed nodes. Thanks to being predominantly written in Rust, chainhooks provide speed, safety, and portability, making them compatible with different languages and platforms. Interested developers can utilize chainhooks for their projects and contribute to the community by opening issues on GitHub.
If you’d like to learn more about chainhooks, be sure to head over to the documentation provided by Hiro Systems and get started today!