Hackernoon logoIntroducing Apron Network: A Gateway to Decentralized Infrastructure Services by@Apron Network

Introducing Apron Network: A Gateway to Decentralized Infrastructure Services

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@Apron NetworkApron Network

A decentralized infrastructure service for #DApp& #Defi developers and infrastructure operators.

Polkadot has been a legendary project from inception, bringing interoperability among various chains. Since October 2017, after successfully closing three rounds of public fundraising that spanned over three years, it was able to raise a sum of $250 million USD. As the king of interoperability with an overall valuation of 1.5 billion US dollars, Polkadot officially launched its mainnet in September 2020.

Since then, the Polkadot ecosystem has continued to expand and flourish.

Currently, with a market cap of over $40 billion, Polkadot ranks as the seventh biggest crypto on the list of cryptocurrency market value.

And bolstered by solid fundamentals and various infrastructure projects in the pipeline, the Polkadot ecosystem keeps thriving. Prominent among such projects is the fast-rising decentralized infrastructure platform, Apron Network.

Solid Foundation - Polkadot

Just as he was in Ethereum, "Gavin Wood", the co-founder of Ethereum, brought a strong personal imprint to Polkadot. In the early days of Ethereum, Gavin wrote the Beige Book and almost single-handedly wrote the technical architecture of Ethereum - a legend that made Gavin naturally attract a loyal following.

In terms of technical architecture, Gavin surprised many developers with its one-click launch of blockchain in 15 minutes. With the Substrate framework, anyone can write blockchain logic in any language (Rust, C/C++, C#, Go, etc.) - multi-language support lays the groundwork for a vast audience of Polkadot developers (unlike Ethereum, which is confined to Solidity language) to develop their applications.

Polkadot has made an outstanding contribution to educating developers, including several introductory development courses and frequent online and offline developer conferences.

On this basis, Polkadot's Web3 Foundation has been very supportive of other projects, and has completed 6 batches of funding for 129 Polkadot Eco projects between 2019 and 2020 to the tune of more than $6 million USD.

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The percentage change in developers building on each protocol over the past year

As a result, the explosion of the Polkadot ecosystem was a natural progression, with several great projects gaining prominence on the "super carrier" -- of which Apron Network is emerging as a new star.

The Polkadot Ecosystem Explosion

Expectedly, once a good blockchain infrastructure is in place, all kinds of infrastructures will emerge. Consequently, the explosion of the Polkadot ecosystem was a natural progression, with several great projects leveraging the "super carrier" to gain prominence, of which Apron Network is emerging as a new shining star.

Currently, Polkadot is home to an increasing population of excellent projects including the cross-chain solution "ChainX", Darwinia Network - the Substrate-based based heterogeneous cross-chain bridge protocol, "CrustNetwork" - decentralized storage service for web3 web3 ecosystem, "Acala Network" - DeFi hub for Polkadot ecosystem as well as the recently hot "Phala Network", and "OptionRoom" - oracle and prediction protocol. These crops of top-tier projects with the mission to solve different problems constitute the entire Polkadot ecosystem.

However, we found that there was a critical lack of middleware in this infrastructure, which is where Apron Network was built.

According to its website, Apron Network is a decentralized platform that provides decentralized infrastructure services for DApp developers, DApp users, and DApp operators. It builds a cross-chain platform on Polkadot based on the Substrate framework and is committed to providing more complete infrastructure services for the entire blockchain ecosystem.

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In terms of specific products, Apron Network provides integrated APIs for infrastructure providers, mid-tier services for DApps, DeFi developers, and various infrastructure services such as node services, on-chain data indexing, and pricing for the Kusama, Polkadot, and Heco ecosystems. In the future, Apron Network will also provide services similar to traditional infrastructure platforms such as AWS and Alibaba Cloud, albeit, in a decentralized manner.

Apron, a middleware platform based on Polkadot

At present, due to the lack of standardization of the underlying blockchain data storage, it is very difficult to query and read the data, which brings friction for the project side or the DApp to read the blockchain data. So the API and other services provided by the middleware have become an indispensable link; this is also the reason why middleware is popular this year.

Quite a few other ecosystem projects are trying or already have such solutions, some centralized, some decentralized, focusing on on-chain data queries or connecting on-chain data off the chain. Some of the representative projects include:

‌- Infura: a platform that provides developers access to Ethereum and IPF node data through API services by building their own Ethereum and IPF nodes.

- NowNodes: It operates in a manner similar to Infura, but more blockchain-like, and is believed to currently offer 45 API on-chain services.

- API3: It develops a public blockchain that provides the Prophet, provides the Prophet data to the service provider, and provides the cross-blockchain aggregation data for the DApp.

API3 data feeds, dAPIs, aggregate data from first-party oracles, operated by some of the world’s premier API providers.

- BitQuery: By aggregating blockchain data, BitQuery provides users with a data API on the blockchain, as well as simple data analysis capabilities and the GraphQl API.

- The Graph: An on-chain service indexing protocol which supports Ethereum and IPFS, through a specific SubGraph, retrieving and building indexing information in smart contracts, providing users with GraphQl API to obtain data information corresponding to dApps.

However, these existing projects focus on a specific domain and do not provide a general technical solution. Specifically, Infura and NowNodes use a centralized approach, which is inherently vulnerable to the risk of a single point of failure. API3 provides off-chain data aggregation services to data sources via oracles. Both BitQuery and The Graph use The GraphQl API, which focuses on aggregation and indexing of on-chain data.

The above infrastructure services, which have three key components: service discovery, service calling, and service billing, are well established in a centralized IT infrastructure, but have the disadvantage of being controlled by the operator. In November 2020, the Infura API, an ethereum node service, crashed several services that relied on Infura, including Metamask, Coinbase, Cryptokitties and the lending platform, Compound, as well as a host of other dApps, dealing a big blow to the "decentralized" world.

It is also a reminder that the current Web 3.0 world is incomplete and that we still have a long way to go. Fortunately, we now have Apron Network, a decentralized, secure blockchain API service. Apron focuses on enabling developers to provide and use any infrastructure services thus reaching out to both the real world and the Web 3.0 world.

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Apron Network in the spotlight 

As an essential infrastructure with clear vision and positioning, Apron Network's value was discovered by the public and welcomed by the market at the very beginning of its inception.

Apron Network, a project supported by the Web3 Foundation, received early grants from the Web3 Foundation. In January 2021, Apron Network successfully completed a seed round of funding from Vega Ventures, PAKA, NGC Ventures, Digital Renaissance Foundation, DFG, and CandaQ, among others.

In February 2021, Apron Network completed a private funding round with investments from CMS Holdings, Spark Digital Capital, Monday Capital, Republic, AU21 Capital, BlockArk, Symbol CapitalVentures, R8 Capital, OneMax Capital, Substrate Capital, and others. NGC Ventures, DFG, and Vega Ventures continue to invest.

With the support of well-known organizations in the industry, Apron has strong support for its continued development and market expansion.

In terms of community building, Apron Network has almost a combined 50,000 followers on both official Twitter and Medium channels, and more than 40,000 followers on Telegram and Discord combined, which are indicators of solid fundamentals. According to the new weekly report, the Apron community has grown to more than 100,000 people worldwide. At the same time, Apron has been engaged in a flurry of campaigns to increase awareness about the project.

As an infrastructure, Apron is actively integrating or partnering with many of the industry's leading ecosystem partners, such as Phala Network, Bifrost, Darwinia, OneBlock, Rebase, Bandot, Trustbase, and others, to provide them with better node services to help blockchain developers develop and integrate features flexibly and efficiently to keep their projects safe and stable.

As a result, Apron Network has grown at a steady pace and so far wields the right combination of funding, technology, and community to deliver a blockbuster project to the middleware market.

Apron Network Looking Beyond the Horizon

Built on Polkadot, Apron will support multiple public chains such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, Polkadot, Tron, BSC, Filecoin, and Layer 2, thanks to its cross-chain capability. As a result, Apron will extend beyond Polkadot ecosystem to serve the entire blockchain industry.

While The Graph only recently announced future expansion to other Layer 1 blockchains, Apron Network has already charted plans for cross-chain functionality on its roadmap which it has begun to pursue and achieve. Polkadot's cross-chain nature also makes it easier for Apron to support multiple chains, so in this respect Apron is much more forward-looking and forward-thinking than The Graph.

About Apron Network 

Apron Network, is a decentralized, secure, token-incentived infrastructure service that developers can use easily and securely. It is a middleware that you can leverage to safely access the Web 3.0 world.

🛎 Learn more about Apron Network here:

Telegram | Twitter | Medium | ANN Channel | Whitepaper| Website| GitHub

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