I am interested in analyzing Ethereum transactions and/or the state of accounts (storage) with analytical methods (descriptive statistics, risk/fraud scoring, cluster analysis, forecasting, ...), basic data analytics stuff.

I have understood, that I can export the blockchain level-db storage to an analytical database (SAS, Hadoop, ...) and process it than with SQL or even analytical languages like R, SPSS, SAS.

But my question is: Can I do it in a de-centralized way? Can I write a smart contract for doing that? Do smart contracts have that capabilities and access the blockchain state? Does it cost me gas as these are read-only transactions?

And going further: Can I spread a query over all nodes in the Ethereum network (Massive paralell processing of queries)? I understand that every transaction is processed by every node, but can i split the analytical work to be done to a kind of federated query?

This capabilities would be basically a way of de-centralized data analytics and I wonder if and how this can be done in Ethereum?

  • Each node computes every transaction, that's correct. But they all compute the same. So it's not parallel computing but rather something like massive sequential computing. – Afr Jul 23 '16 at 9:03
  • Thanks for clarification! I unterstand that i am not able to Do parallel Processing wird ethereum. Is it nevertheless possible or meaningful to implement some Data Analytics Logic als Smart Contract? Do Smart Contracts have access to the whole Blockchain? Thanks! – N990339 Jul 23 '16 at 13:08

I'm not sure if I understand but it doesn't seem to be making sense. Ethereum is not a parallel computing platform. It doesn't make computation go faster (the way a supercomputer does). What it does is that it makes computation 'safer' because each node runs the same thing and verifies that they all get the same result.

So if I were you, I'd go the standard approach of data analytics - download the data from ethereum chain and then boot up as many servers as you think you need to crunch the numbers.

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