Integrate Your Chain with The Graph Network: Introducing the New Multi-Chain Expansion Process

TL;DR - The Graph Foundation has launched the Chain Integration Process (CIP), a streamlined, community-driven method for adding new chains to The Graph Network. This follows the successful Migration Infrastructure Providers (MIPs) program and accelerates multi-chain expansion. The CIP enables anyone to propose new chains for integration and fast-tracks chains already supported by the hosted service. This move enhances The Graph's role in the web3 ecosystem, empowering indexers to select and earn from a broader range of chains. It aligns with web3 principles and sets an industry standard for governance-based network expansion.

Chain Integration Process (CIP): A New Era of Multi-Chain Expansion

Building on the success of MIPs, the expansion of The Graph Network is now shaped directly by the community. All future chains enabled on the network will emerge from a community-based process that empowers anyone to propose, test, and begin offering support for new chains. You can read and comment on the GIP in The Graph Forum.

With the Chain Integration Process, the community doesn't just contribute to the network – it actively shapes its future. This is more than a development; it's an invitation for the community to take the lead, to pioneer, and to drive the evolution of the network. In the true spirit of decentralization, support of all future chains on The Graph Network will be an embodiment of the web3 ethos!

Here is an overview of each step of the Chain Integration Process:

  1. Step 1. Submit Integration Proposal: Initiate the integration process by creating a thread in The Graph Forum. This is an important first step to gauge whether your chain will work well with The Graph Network. It is also required that your chain is compatible with the Graph Node. If your chain does not expose the EVM JSON-RPC interface, a new Firehose must be implemented to efficiently extract and ingest blockchain data. More information on how to build the Graph Node integration can be found in The Graph Docs. For chains the hosted service already supports, most of the groundwork is complete! The Graph Foundation and core developers will spearhead proposals for these chains, guiding them through final steps.
  2. Step 2. Test and Validate Integration: Upon proposal submission, it's time to work on quality protocol integration and begin comprehensive testing. You or your team will work closely with core developers to integrate tools like Subgraph Studio, or alternatives. This integration is key to ensure developers can still use a free rate-limiting sandbox environment for testing and facilitate subgraph upgrades to the network for use in production. In addition, community members like IndexerDAO will test the integration’s reliability and performance on the Graph’s testnet, preparing other Indexers to index the new chain on The Graph Network. Meeting the standards for a high quality set by the community and The Graph Council will be pivotal in advancing to the next stage. Additionally, community feedback and validation will be needed to help core developers prioritize integrations.
  3. Step 3. Apply for Mainnet Integration: Having achieved successful validation on the testnet, the next phase involves updating the with the new data source details. Based on insights from the testing, a GIP (Governance Improvement Proposal) should be drafted to seek official protocol support for indexing rewards on subgraphs indexing your chain. If needed, The Graph Foundation can assist in this process. It is expected that chain integrations will be prioritized based on community feedback and user demand.

Ready to start a proposal? Review these resources you can begin using to lay the foundation for your favorite chain to be indexed by The Graph Network.

Celebrating Indexers & The Success of MIPs

This new community-led process is made possible because of the groundwork laid by the MIPs program. Launched in August 2022, MIPs was instrumental in equipping the network with the necessary support to facilitate subgraph upgrades from the hosted service to the decentralized network. The program also onboarded a new generation of Indexers to the network. Lastly, MIPs culminated in a framework that could be used for adding new chains to the network.

During the program, MIPs participants successfully added support for six chains to the network: Arbitrum One, Avalanche, Celo, Fantom, Gnosis Chain, and Polygon. Prior to MIPs, The Graph already supported Ethereum mainnet. This success of the program expands the total number of officially supported chains on The Graph Network to seven, with a community of globally-distributed, independent Indexers standing by and eager to serve queries.

The MIPs program was a rigorous and expansive journey that brought together a passionate community of ecosystem contributors deeply committed to shaping the future of The Graph and web3. Every participant’s dedication and hard work led to successful outcomes and the expansion of The Graph Network. Participants in the program not only contributed to critical missions, but also engaged in educational workshops aimed at enhancing the Indexer experience and expanding capabilities. Throughout the program, participants assessed and tested the Optimism stack and Substreams-powered subgraphs, which helped get Council ratification for indexing rewards right after the program ended. They also took part in numerous workshops on topics such as Firehose, advanced Postgres scaling, L2 Indexer operations, cost modeling, AutoAgora, and beyond!

A New Standard for Web3

By introducing the Chain Integration Process, The Graph ecosystem is reinforcing its commitment to decentralization and community empowerment. The Graph's governance process serves as the guiding framework, ensuring transparency, fairness, and inclusivity throughout the integration process. Now that indexing rewards can be enabled for chains added by the community, The Graph can utilize this critical incentive to accelerate the decentralized network’s multi-chain future.

This marks a new standard for web3 – by placing the tools for growth directly in the hands of the community, The Graph is transforming the way the network will grow and evolve. The internet of the future ought to be governed and guided by the people that push for its progress – rather than by arbitrary authorities. The Graph community aims to lead by example.

After all, The Graph is more than a decentralized protocol. It is a vibrant, evolving community of contributors where every participant can make a meaningful impact and shape the future of not only the decentralized network, but society as well. It's an extraordinary advancement towards a truly decentralized web3, with The Graph persistently pioneering an open, permissionless, community-driven ecosystem.

Ready to shape the future of The Graph Network? Start your proposal now and be a part of the web3 revolution!

About The Graph

The Graph is the indexing and query layer of web3. Developers build and publish open APIs, called subgraphs, that applications can query using GraphQL. The Graph currently supports indexing data from over 40 different networks including Ethereum, NEAR, Arbitrum, Optimism, ZkSync, Polygon, Avalanche, Celo, Fantom, Moonbeam, IPFS, Cosmos Hub and PoA with more networks coming soon. To date, 88,900+ subgraphs have been deployed on the hosted service. Tens of thousands of developers use The Graph for applications such as Uniswap, Synthetix, KnownOrigin, Art Blocks, Gnosis, Balancer, Livepeer, DAOstack, Audius, Decentraland, and many others.

The Graph Network’s self service experience for developers launched in July 2021; since then over 800+ subgraphs have upgraded to the Network, with 200+ Indexers serving subgraph queries, 11,300+ Delegators, and 2,500+ Curators to date. More than 5.6+ million GRT has been signaled to date.

If you are a developer building an application or web3 application, you can use subgraphs for indexing and querying data from blockchains. The Graph allows applications to efficiently and performantly present data in a UI and allows other developers to use your subgraph too! You can deploy a subgraph to the network using the newly launched Subgraph Studio or query existing subgraphs that are in the Graph Explorer. The Graph would love to welcome you to be Indexers, Curators and/or Delegators on The Graph’s mainnet. Join The Graph community by introducing yourself in The Graph Discord for technical discussions, join The Graph’s Telegram chat, and follow The Graph on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, and Medium! The Graph’s developers and members of the community are always eager to chat with you, and The Graph ecosystem has a growing community of developers who support each other.

The Graph Foundation oversees The Graph Network. The Graph Foundation is overseen by the Technical Council. Edge & Node, StreamingFast, Semiotic Labs, The Guild, Messari and GraphOps are seven of the many organizations within The Graph ecosystem.

Graph Protocol
The Graph Foundation
August 29, 2023

The Graph Foundation