In this episode of Blockchain Innovators, Conor Svensson - founder and CEO of Web3 Labs, talks to Shawn Douglass - co-founder and CEO of Amberdata, a leading provider of crypto market data for institutions.
Amberdata have been building their platform since 2017, it provides not only price data for the major cryptocurrencies but also includes data for DeFi lending platforms and decentralized exchanges.
Shawn explains what types of institutions are interested in the platform and why it can't be replicated easily by others. He also discusses how it's responsible for powering significant parts of the DeFi ecosystem.
You can also watch this video on our YouTube channel here.
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Hi, it's Conor Svensson here, founder and CEO of Web3 Labs. This is a conversation I had with Shawn Douglass, co-founder and CEO of Amberdata. Amberdata is a leading provider of crypto market data for institutions. They've been building their platform since 2017 which not only provides price data for the major cryptocurrencies but also includes data for DeFi lending platforms and decentralized exchanges. In this conversation, we discuss what types of institutions are interested in their platform and how it cannot easily be replicated by others. We also discuss how it's responsible for powering significant parts of the DeFi ecosystem. Shawn's a great guy and someone I've known for a number of years so I'm really excited to be able to share this interview with you. Awesome, hey Shawn! It's awesome to have you here. Thank you, it's a pleasure to be here, super excited to reconnect and have the opportunity to be on your show. So you guys have been really busy lately and we're going to get on to all of the great stuff you've been building out but I wanted to start with you in the early days first of all. What was it that first got you interested in blockchain and how Amberdata actually got started. Yeah, so I actually first got interested in blockchain when I was still working as a venture capitalist at EMC Ventures. I was in Silicon Valley. I used to hang out at the Plug and Play in Sunnyvale and there was a bitcoin meetup there. So I got into mining really, really, really early and ran some miners at EMC and then in the data center and then put some miners at the Sunnyvale Plug-and-Play tech center while I was still a full-time venture capitalist and talking to people. Then later on I used to go to these bitcoin meetups at the Sunnyvale Plug and Play tech center and one of them was Vitalik coming in and talking about the token sale and to be honest, I didn't get it at first, I was kind of like I don't get it right? So I just kind of filed in the back of my head, interesting you know, really smart guy, he runs bitcoin magazine or what have you. Then later on, fast forward probably 18 months, I didn't participate in the Ethereum token sale. I should have, it was right there and later on I saw some of the first projects launching on Ethereum and the vision and narrative around the internet 3.0, kind of web 3, started to materialize and I was like 'oh my god, this could be the new internet and this could be these decentralized applications kind of running unstoppable, could be a competitor to an AWS or what have you'. I just was like 'wow', got super excited about it and again that was still very, very early. I came back in 2016 and really started seeing a lot of growth there and started to really think like 'okay, well if this is internet 3.0 then what's needed to help these this ecosystem grow?'. The initial idea that Tong Tong, myself and Joanes, our co-founders, came up with was - in traditional scale out data centers and in SAAS platforms you have telemetry and monitoring instrumentation to know that the network is healthy, your application is healthy, your data is healthy, things are running as required. So what we set out to build initially was really to build the Splunk app dynamics mix panel for web 3 to provide operational telemetry into everything that was happening, from the blockchain itself, to consensus, to applications and that was really the inception of the Amberdata. Now, we've gone a long ways from that today but that was the original idea. Yeah, and so when you first launched, you had this blockchain explorer and you supported Ethereum, obviously Ethereum Classic, bitcoin and some others there. At what point was it that you decided to switch direction? So, it's funny, our first project actually was with a large financial institution before we supported public Ethereum at all and we did a great POC. They were great partners and what we realized is we were probably three years too early to enterprise blockchain. So my co-founder, Tong Tong, we came out of the first POC meeting and we all looked each other like we had just raised money. We were kind of like 'oh my God, this is a long ways from where we thought we were on the enterprise side'. So, we literally took the POC that we had done and turned it loose on public Ethereum and that was right before the EdCon conference in Toronto, this is like 2017. And, our first product was this blockchain explorer where we literally had built, back then it was just Etherscan. We had built this not trying to be like Etherscan at all, we really wanted to be again much more like a Splunk where you could search for anything or have telemetry and monitoring and alerting for everything that's happened in the smart contract. So we launched at EdCon on stage with this demo where we instrumented the entire Ethereum blockchain, had all this telemetry into every smart contract, every address, every wallet. Then while I was on stage there was this huge queue of people lining up to talk to me when I got off stage. I'm like 'this is interesting'. This is like the first time I've ever told people about it and there's all these people. I got off stage and they're all hedge funds and they're like 'that's awesome, how do I get access to this?' and 'do you have an api?' and 'how do I get price? You're missing price'. I'm like 'huh, okay' and then we had the epiphany early on that you need to have a comprehensive view because if blockchain, specifically it was only Ethereum, there was bitcoin and Ethereum the only ones that really mattered. But, with Ethereum being this fabric if you will, for these decentralized applications to run and the idea early on was these cryptoeconomic mechanisms would incentivize behavior and that would effectively have network effects and that would drive adoption and guess the metric that people cared about was price of those assets. So we realized very early on that in order to instrument, you need to have this global view of price fundamentals mechanisms and be able to have that telemetry. So very early on we were very, very, very deep. Probably too deep in the beginning and really geeked out and that today has really shaped and informed who we are today. I guess too with those early efforts though and kind of geeking out more and going deep it helped you build a really solid foundation as well for all of this stuff? Yeah, absolutely. I mean we got to work very closely with folks like yourself and the Ethereum foundation and most of the really high profile projects and a lot of the really smart thinkers and in the investment space. I mean, it's been phenomenal. It's really just been amazing. And in terms of in the last year, we've seen this huge kind of explosion again, institutional as well as retail interest in crypto. Prior to that, you kind of ridden out the other lows, has this made a huge difference to you guys compared with what was going on a year ago? It has been absolutely game-changing and you know if you think about when we started the company in 2017, we were like three years too early for enterprise blockchain but the institutions have always been like 'we're coming, we're coming'. But, what I think has changed and you didn't ask it was changed, but I'll kind of put some color on it, that with Covid and massive monetary stimulus and massive fiscal stimulus and concerns about hyperinflation and potentially in different locations, not globally, the institutional clients are now demanding exposure to digital assets and requiring institutions to become very smart and be able to talk in a very sophisticated way about the financial primitives that are starting to be built on this global ecosystem in this global economy. Then the second thing is that most of the large financial institutions, they saw the internet play out and information be brought to every person on the planet. They saw cloud computing play out and where now they can actually get resources on demand and not have to build up their own data centers. And in both of those instances I would say institutions were late adopters and didn't believe that it would happen with digital assets. I think that's changed and they're now realizing and looking at digital assets and crypto and financial primitives and DeFi and going 'wait a second, this is like an internet for financial primitives and if fintech 2.0 was factoring out Paypal and Stripe and payments, well if you can factor out these financial primitives onto a global network that has a total addressable market of the entire world and every person in it and I can create specific products for specific jurisdictions', the light bulbs are turning on and they are getting really deep. Over the last 18 months we've literally just gone hyperbolic. We have three of the top five FX desks in the world building on us out of the top 10 banks in the world. We probably have seven as customers out of the largest hedge funds in the world. We're working with the smartest, best ones from a compliance perspective. Everybody who's an institution needs to understand who held what, for how long, at what price, and when the regulators come or the auditors come how do I answer in an intelligent way? They all have risk, they're looking at 'hey, how big is this market?', 'how liquid are these markets?', 'how deep are these markets?', 'how big can I play?', 'what can I do?', 'what can I do, what are my competitors doing?', 'I have to get smart', right? So they're coming in and it's just overwhelming but at the same time it's insanely exciting because it's just happening so fast. So you know since Covid hit, really in the last 18 months, it feels like every day is like 150 miles an hour! It's not just us being like looking at the horizon going 'it's coming', 'it's coming', it's like 'oh my God, it's here!' Yeah, it's really amazing. Yeah, just to hear how it's so many different types of organization that you're catering for there as well and then I guess at the other extreme, you've got the people who are kind of like 'yeah, I want to just play around with the crypto markets and try writing some algos' and you know signing up to the entry level plans but it's amazing to hear how much success you've had with the institutions there, it's amazing. Let's talk a little bit as well about what you've actually been up to recently in terms of the announcements and so on. I think looking at the additional data services that you've added, you've got a fixed market data service, you've got Uniswap and SushiSwap in terms of the DEXs supported, you've got DeFi lending protocol metrics as well, was the push coming from the institutions for this stuff or was it like you were just seeing what was out there and like 'I'm sure people are going to need this stuff'. Has it been quite heavily customer driven by all of these additions that you've been making? Yeah, so that's, boy, it seems like it's an easy question but there's so much there, right? So at the end of the day, we're still fairly small. We're focused primarily we sell to institutions. So what they need and what they want and what they're willing to pay for heavily informs our roadmap, so that's why we focused on. Because what we do is we're a comprehensive data player. We provide connectivity into spot markets, the most active, most liquid spot markets, derivatives markets, decentralized exchanges from a market data perspective giving you like full order book depth aggregations of price, reference rates, visibility into kind of what's moving from a price in a price discovery perspective. On the opposite side of that, on the fundamental side what we do is we collect, I think it's 11 blockchains today, every address, every wallet, every function call in the EVM and therefore we can actually reconstitute any transaction, whether it be a composite transaction where somebody takes ether and wraps it and then takes it and does a flash loan to lever it up to trade on a what have you, we can reconstitute all of that so it allows people to be super sophisticated in their research as well as to post facto figure out what were wrong or to programmatically bridge what's happening on exchange and what's happening on chain. So, going back to your question 'who's asking for this?' right. So I would say from the institutional perspective that they're interested in what's happening in bitcoin, Ethereum, a few smaller chains and then the whole DeFi space they're super interested but I would say there's less leaning in on that. Now on the opposite side of that, we have thousands of subscribers that that are for developers of our developer API and our on-demand API. Really it's critical for us to get requirements to understand what people need and we make the majority of our revenue on the institutional side but we have seen very, very, very, sophisticated usage in requests and research that's being done with our data and whether APIs that when people are partnering with us that are saying 'hey, not only do we want you to provide what's happening on DeFi and DEXs and what have you, but these are the metrics that I care about and this is how I want to programmatically act on those. So, it's really we're kind of getting requirements from both sides. We have the developers that are building and programmatically acting and if you think about what we do, we enable you to programmatically act and do research and put to work your thoughts and then close the loop for everything from pre-trade to execution to post trade to understand what's happening. So it's really spanning that entire spectrum of where the requirements have come from. And then of course we're specifically interested in what's happening around DeFi because we see that that's where the puck is going. We see that 70% of all activity on Ethereum is happening on DEXs and happening in DeFi. That's not an exact number but it's the majority today is happening in those spaces with the 60 - 70 billion dollars locked in DeFi protocols, in DEXs and the innovation of DEXs is completely changing the entire landscape of how these things trade and transact and who's participating. Does that answer that question? Yeah, yeah! In terms of though building out that infrastructure as well to support the DEXs and actually the lending platforms, was it something and of course there's the technical answer, but then from your perspective as well, was this something that it seemed the team managed to do quite easily, because you were really good at already gathering the data from these blockchains, it was kind of like you do a few tweaks and actually you can map this stuff and all of a sudden you've got this DeFi data? Or, was it that you had to go back to square one a bit and think how are we going to do this because it's a different paradigm, right? Yeah, so actually that was going back to the very inception of the company that we wanted to provide telemetry into everything, that's where we've had a huge advantage. We can literally go into any space that is happening on blockchain because we can reconstitute every function call inside the EVM because we built it to have telemetry. So what we do from an on-chain data is we ingest a block, we take those transactions, we take those events, we take those logs, we decompose those, we index those, we aggregate those, in time series. So we make it so that it's really easy to understand in a time series basis what's happening because, as you know, a blockchain is a state of what's happening in a block at a point in time, forget no context, it's really, really difficult to make that into meaningful information. As you know, you've built blockchain explorers and what have you. So because the way we architected the platform early on, it allows us to move into DeFi lending protocols and boom we plug in the API, we can, what do you call it, decode all those messages, we can see every event that's happening in all those protocols. And the hardest part for us is not access to the data because we've got four years and millions of dollars and invested in that, it's that we need to go talk to our customers and to people who are deep in the space and say 'we can tell you anything you want to know, what's important?' And what's important and not just what's important but what's actionable. Because if you look out there, there's a ton of people that do dashboards and metrics. In the dashboards and metrics are like 'hey, that's interesting' - put it down go away. How do you close the loop and how do you get in the flow and how do you make that actionable programmatically? Now we're talking about a different thing, right? And understanding what those things are that really requires a lot of understanding of your customer, the needs, the value chain, where you sit in that value chain, who's using it, how are they using it, what are their risks, what are their concerns, how are they creating value, and then plugging in and building the platform so that they don't have to worry about infrastructure. They don't have to worry about 'how am I connecting to 20 different spot markets and six derivative markets and 83 decentralized exchanges and what are the mechanisms behind an Aave, or you know pick whatever your favorite DeFi protocol is. So what we do is we make that super easy for them and we've been able to do that because we talk people and say what's important? What are you doing? How? Why? Would you pay for this? Right? That's the most important question! Yeah, yeah, absolutely and kind of on that as well, are trends like privacy technology getting better? Do you feel that that's going to create some challenges for what you guys do in that regard or do you think it's more about the transparent markets that's the focus there? I think that privacy is gonna happen, right? There's going to be different protocols that are used but I think that one of the value propositions of digital assets and blockchain is transparency and trust. The whole idea of these consensus protocols is you don't want to trust a counterparty, you want to be a self-sovereign individual. You want to have the ability to interact globally, transact globally, move globally and have less constraints and less someone else that you have to trust that that your assets are going to be there. In order to do that, you really need to understand what's going on and having transparency into how do you trust something that you can't see, what's happening if it's a black box, you might as well just be banking at a traditional bank, right? So I think there's going to be a balance between privacy and transparency and audit ability and accountability that for years and years and years we're going to have a huge edge and then eventually just like TLS and SSL enabled e-commerce. You're going to see things that are going to get encapsulated to prevent front-running or what have you, right? There's going to be things that will come in but I think there's going to be a balance and I don't think it's like 'oh my God privacy's coming', you know? Yeah, yeah. I'm not really worried about it, that's not what I'm saying. I could be wrong. Yeah, I think that the trust angle, that's a key part and kind of related to this as well in this decentralized world we're seeing decentralized platforms emerging like you've got API three and you've got Graph, you've got DAOs getting more popular and of course they kind of challenge the more conventional model and there's an argue I guess, the purists can say 'well you can have a decentralized API providing similar sorts of services there and everything's done'. Yes, it's managed by DAO and so on and so forth but I'd be interested to get your perspectives on that because I think the obvious thing here is that institutions aren't going to want to deal with the DAO, they're going to want to deal with the company at this point in time. But longer term though, what that picture looks like maybe 10 - 15 years down the line, I think then it might get quite interesting. It's funny as I was, when the Graph came out, having been doing this and running tens of thousands of dollars of infrastructure, high tens of thousands of dollars of infrastructure, every single month to be able to ingest, process, store, serve, make usable that data, I was very skeptical that you could do this in a decentralized way, that you could create the correct incentive structures etc. I think the Graph has done a really good job and they speak to a certain audience, it's not our audience, like I said institutions like the amount of compliance that we go through to sell into a top five bank is months of checking the box to verify that our data's right. When you have some of these projects that each protocol requires its own collector and each pro indexer and graph right? Then those are all written by different people and there's not consistency across those and they only can support what the community votes to build for, it's interesting. But it's not something that is like what we're doing. We literally it's every address, every smart contract, every protocol, every function call already has that telemetry from a single API. It's much more expensive and we charge a lot of money for that because it's really hard to do. But I actually think that protocols like the Graph specifically, we don't really hear much about API three, has been a great deal flow for us. People go 'hey, I was looking at this and it only goes this deep and you guys go this deep'. You know, I'm a large institution and I want to get access to this data and this has gotten me interested. So it's been a great opportunity for us. We've also run Graph nodes, we've also looked at some of the data, so I think that over time maybe that evolves and that changes but today with institutions it's like quality, availability, consistency, depth and then access mechanisms you ask me specifically about, are supporting different protocols. I think earlier you asked me about we're supporting fixed protocol. We're supporting real-time web sockets for both on-chain and for price data. We support Rest for time series historical but done in a way that you have aggregations so you can build specific applications, if it's an accounting, if it's a tax application, if it's a wallet, we've got seven or eight major, major custody and wallet providers that they don't run blockchain nodes, they just call our APIs and they get price and pull it all in for them. I don't think that any project today has the ability to span a comprehensive view and to be able to address the institutional needs whether it be they've been doing financial services for 30 years and they're used to connecting by a fixed protocol to market data therefore they need it, right? Yeah. And, do you think on that though there's this kind of crossover potentially down the line around the oracle space? Because when you talk about oracles and so on they are kind of like a cross-chain API and I know it's something that you guys don't really talk about at the moment, but this seems like there's some potential synergy there. So it's interesting. There is a lot of synergies and I think one of the things that blows people away and is that we actually power a massive part of the entire DeFi community from a Chainlink node operator. We have tens of, you know more than 20 Chainlink node operators that use us as one of their price feeds. So if you're getting a price for a settlement, for a derivative in the DeFi space, it's a high probability that we are one of the data providers that is fuelling Chainlink as well as other Oracle providers. If you're getting DEX data, you're likely getting that from us because we're really the only people who provide very, very deep time series historical DEX price data, as well as forward price data that is based upon the constant product function of like Uniswap, what's the price today as well as historical. Then additionally on the whole DeFi space, because people don't think of us as powering DeFi because we're this centralized platform that serves institutions. We're like the evil data guys, right?! The reality is that many of the DeFi projects use us for their research, use us for their monitoring, plug us in for all their dashboards. Many of the researchers that are doing security audits and doing mechanism design and doing research on crypto mechanisms use us and have enterprise licenses, which is not cheap, to be able to validate these. Then many of the funds that are participating in the space are plugging into all this telemetry so it's really we cover from an oracle perspective and providing the data to the oracles to fuelling the research, to monitoring the mechanisms, to enabling people to invest and we're really not that sexy! We're on the back end and we're a data provider and we sell data via APIs. Yeah, yeah. But if you look at what we're doing, what we do is incredibly difficult. It's very complex and we serve and have built the data so it can be accessed by different applications across the value chain from pre, to action, to post to 'oh my God, I need to talk to an auditor regulator', right? Yeah, yeah. So it's always got some parallels although, slightly different with content delivery networks in terms of they're so embedded in the web. The sort of pricing services that you provide are very embedded behind the scenes with many of these decentralized protocols there so a lot of people don't realize how important this stuff is to so much of the activity that people consume using these tools. Yeah and you know what's funny is like some of these the people who built on top of our APIs and billion dollar businesses and I kind of feel, sometimes you feel like what am I doing wrong? Then you're like 'well we're not doing something wrong, it's that they're focused on a different layer'. Another one is metrics and dashboards. Out of the top five or six platforms that people do analytics on DeFi and for institutional. What's happening in these spaces? We're actually powering those dashboards, those metrics and what have you. It's funny when we're talking to investors 'how are you different than this dashboard?' They're a customer, we don't compete with them because we don't do dashboards. We give them the data. 'Well, how can we not do these metrics in your APIs?' 'Well, that's our customer', right? And recently we've having a lot of those customers that have built dashboards for DeFi and dashboards for institutions coming back and saying 'even these metrics, can you just give us those in an API endpoint because our business model is actually monetizing by advertising or getting our clients to do something else?' So I think more and more we're going to even offload all of that so that the precalculation, because at the end of the day it's just details on the raw data we have. Yeah. I think an analogy is you go to some of the platforms, and I don't want to talk specifically about anybody because I'm not being adversarial to anybody, but you pick a platform and they have 20 metrics and you're like 'oh my God, this is the metric platform for DeFi?' You're like 'wow' but if you really think about it, traditional financial markets, nobody built businesses on RSI or MACD or simple moving averages, it's silly! Yeah. What you need is, you need the data and then to create value, you have to be able to take those individual metrics and compose those into a strategy that you can back test to quantify - is there anything here? Because you know, a fancy chart that you look at on Twitter and walk away from doesn't have a lot of value from an institutional perspective, right? Yeah and no doubt in terms of the journey you've been on, you must have had quite a few kind of s*** moments where as bigger and bigger people have started relying on this stuff, it's must be nerve-wracking at times? But the fact you've got to this point now is no doubt validation of what you've managed to build and must create that sort of confidence as well that you've managed to nail a lot of these issues which are really hard problems. I just keep, we just keep running through walls and like dusting off the rubble because it's really, really, really hard and dealing in the institutional space is actually as a startup, it's a little terrifying because you go through an onboarding process and you know this, you sell into banks and large enterprise companies, it's really hard. You're going in through it and you're going through procurement, you're like 'okay, Yes I'll provide three nines of availability and sub second response times and data quality and if I don't, there's an SLA that has teeth'. All of a sudden you're in this business that you're just like 'holy cow, I've got to be across availability zones, across regions. I've got to have scaling up, scaling data. I've got to have infrastructure. I have to have SREs monitoring this stuff. I've got, oh my God, I'm in an enterprise business that has real customers, that are running real businesses and we're their lifeblood'. Yeah. And everything in crypto is so fast moving that there's breaking changes and you have to be robust and the exchanges are incredibly complex. You would think market data is actually pretty simple. There's not an open high - low close volume like order books, okay. But where it gets really complex is now you have 30 or 40 top tier exchanges that you're collecting 184 terabytes a month and of that data they're doing breaking changes on their API every couple weeks and they may be communicating it, maybe they're not, maybe they went down, maybe they're replaying data from earlier. You have to be like 'well what's going on?' and then the same thing from the blockchain perspective as end of the chain is always shuffling. You have to be able to know that you've collected data. You have to be able to validate your data. You need to be able to validate to your customer that your data is correct. You need to be able to reconstitute that in an intelligent way. Often people care only about time series and wall clock, they don't care about what block, right? So all of these things are in and of themselves, complex engineering and operational challenges and to do it in a way that's robust and that's not just like 'hey, I forked this protocol and I spun it up', you know this is really hard stuff, right? Yeah, absolutely. And do you think there's starting to be more established market data players that are trying to get in on the space now? Because it is a lot more complex, they can't leverage a lot of their existing relationships because it's not centralized exchanges, you know? It's not like it's a new asset class that someone's listing somewhere, it's like an entirely new ecosystem. So, it's interesting. We talked to the Bloombergs, the Refinitivs, the IHS markets, etc and most of them have leveraged an index provider that's two levels removed and they're interested. There's smart people there. They want to do it, they have very strict policies and rules about what they can display to their customer and how and what have you. But then there's the 'how do we connect to...' It's not like I can connect in the US, to CME , CBOE, Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange and I'm done, right? No, there's like 30 spot markets that matter. There's six derivative markets that matter. There's 83 decentralized exchange platforms that matter, right? And they all are different enough that they don't have the ability to connect and secondly, it's the protocol and subject matter expertise to be able to grok these mechanisms and these digital assets and to be able to provide an intelligent perspective, they simply cannot, we have a four year head start on them. When we're coming in and we're talking to them they're like 'wait a second, this is a database, this is an application server, this is a network, this is a currency, this is network effects driven by mechanisms.' They're like 'oh my God, this is amazing! How the hell do you guys do this?', right? So I would say they are a very long way from being able to do in a sophisticated way that can span both fundamentals and price in a consistent way that they're willing to put in front of their customers. We've been partnering with a couple of them on the back end to 'how do you get that out there?' but even getting through and being able, from a regulatory perspective display things is challenging. Yeah, of course. So let's just talk as well about one of your recent announcements too that came up, the partnership with Nexo. Yeah, Nexo has been an amazing customer. The team is super, super sharp. They've been very collaborative. They do a lot of business and they're very aggressive in their needs for data and they're just trying to continue to improve their product and what have you. They've just been phenomenal to work with. They hit us hundreds of thousands of times per day, I mean, we've got many other exchange customers as well and it's kind of a similar profile. Not specifically speaking about what they're doing, but if you think about it, if you're an exchange you have a couple use cases. One is 'okay, I'm providing a marketplace for people to transact in whatever assets', right? Then what are prices on other exchanges as context for risk? It's you know, something's happening over here should I be behaving differently? So there's the operational context, right? Secondly, is 'I am carrying effectively digital wallets, crypto wallets for all of my customers. They have 250 000 customers, do I have the ability to end of day be able to reconcile that my internal accounting matches what is the source of truth on chain on a daily or nightly basis?' Now you have 250 000 addresses you need to reconcile that every token, every asset, every price makes sense and matches my internal records because an auditor is going to come in and ask me that. I'm not speaking specifically about their use case, I'm saying in general. We've got this same use case with multiple exchanges and then there's also the ability to understand 'what are my customers doing and how do we provide the best services for them?' They're required to, you know, this is the large exchanges, the largest exchanges are required to have an understanding of know your transaction type of thing, right? That you have to know what's happening inside your exchange, right? And that's where we plug in and allow them to programmatically build into their back office... their mid-office which is risk, and their back office which is accounting in compliance and post facto forensics. Programmatically be able to ask and answer those questions, right? So we're really a turn-key end-to-end infrastructure where instead of having to run 20-30 nodes and have a full-time team of engineers to be able to just answer these questions we're like 'here's an API key'. We do this all day long for lots of other exchanges, right? So moving, I guess, further down the line, where did you see yourselves going? Because you've already got very broad market coverage, of course there's loads more networks and coins and so on you could cater for, there's a lot out there. But are there still some really big audacious goals that you want to achieve as a company in terms of where you get to, whether it's your new products or just your position within the industry? Yeah, so we're a digital asset data infrastructure company and we're focused on enabling the institutional adoption of digital assets by focusing on the banking, the trading, the risk, the compliance use cases historically. Then that's fastly moving into I want to actually get in the value chain from a DeFi perspective, right? So I would say that some of the things that we're looking at is how do we make that a lot of what we do today is pre or post and how do we get in that value chain and help people make the best decision? How do we help them choose which DEX in which liquidity pool and then be able to execute that? Because we do read from and write to chain across any of the chains that we support. We don't handle keys and you have to sign your own transactions, but we have a lot of people that programmatically are participating in DeFi by writing through us, just like Infura or whatever, but we have a much broader offering. I would say that that'll be a focus continuing to really add support for a lot of the layer two scaling solutions. So what informs our roadmap is what has volume?, What has utilization?, and what are people actually using? That really informs our roadmap. So we're starting to see a lot of institutional demand now for some of these layer two in the scaling solutions so we'll add support for those. I think we support like 11 blockchains today, we'll add anything that's EVM based, because of doing this for four years we can literally spin up any EVM based, Ethereum derivative or layer two scaling solution very, very easily. It's just, it's expensive for us to ingest, process, store that data and if we're not having people who are willing to pay for it, we just haven't turned it on. But we already have connectivity to and have been you know like Polkadot, we've been working with Polkadot for 18 months. I mean, like once that really starts to really kick up we'll instrument that probably to Moonbeam, Optimism has some really interesting stuff, Polygon has some very interesting stuff, Near some very interesting stuff. We have the ability to connect to all of those today and we can do everything that we do today for those. We're just waiting for is somebody spanning those and, we're seeing that on Polygon, we're seeing that on Optimism, right? So I think those will be very near term, we'll start to support those. For us, that's super, super strategic and it's important because again, it's trust right? If I want to move my digital assets from Ethereum to Polygon or to Optimism so I can participate in that space, man I need to see both sides of that pipe if I'm moving a hundred thousand dollars. I'm just like hoping this works, you know what I mean? It's like it's not a toy anymore, this is like real money and real value and a huge amount of volume. Tens of millions of dollars are now transacting on Polygon and moving into DeFi space to try to reduce their gas fees and their transaction costs. That's going to continue like Binance Smart Chain is another one, we support Binance Smart Chain today, we just haven't turned it on. We have a handful of people asking for it. But again, it's just like once you start to get these side chains, the amount of data that they produce because the speed and so therefore, the cost of supporting these is pretty significant. But, once the demand really kicks up, we're ready to turn them on. Yeah, yeah awesome, that's exciting! I guess it's going to bring some big challenges as well with the transaction volumes and just them being able to settle transactions a lot faster there? Yeah, it's a lot of data. Yeah, that's awesome! Well, I guess we're wrapping things up now. If people want to try out the platform obviously head to amberdata.io and is there anything else that you'd encourage people to do if they want to learn more about what you guys are up to? Follow you on Twitter or LinkedIn or any other channels that you guys are active or yourself? Yeah, absolutely! So follow us on Twitter - @Amberdataio on Twitter and then reach out, connect to us if you have questions, especially if you're an institutional customer and you're trying to get smart about the space. We can really help you move quickly and you will actually be delighted that most of what you understand about traditional finance can be ported into this space. Especially the way that we've built our platform so it enables them to ramp up quickly and understand. But I'd say the most important thing is get smart, understand the space. They're not putting the genie back in the bottle on this, it's changing the world and you're going to either be part of it or not, right? Absolutely, yeah. Shawn, it's been an absolute pleasure to host you and it's so cool to hear about everything that's been going on there and you guys just solidifying your place within the ecosystem. A lot of luck and a lot of hard work and it's been a community effort and we've had so much support from everybody, including people like you. We use Web3j, your library. I think that there's such a big opportunity it really requires a community to go after this. Yeah, it's a lot of fun. Awesome thanks Shawn chat soon.