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Helping blockchain communities fix bugs | MIT News

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If the crypto enthusiasts are right, billions of people will start using applications built off of decentralized, user-owned blockchains in the next decade. The new paradigm is called Web 3. But for Web 3 to replace the digital world as we know it, there are some major challenges to overcome.

For example, blockchain networks need efficient ways to detect and resolve performance issues. Current analytics tools are built for companies to monitor his websites and apps. Such a service only needs to be designed for a single user. But in the decentralized world of blockchain, the user is the owner, upending the traditional model of maintenance and bug fixing.

Metrika, a company founded by MIT graduates, has developed a suite of tools to help decentralized communities in the blockchain world monitor and improve their networks. The company allows users to create alerts, access reports and view real-time community he dashboards that visualize network performance, issues and trends over time.

“Metrika is a community-based monitoring and collaboration platform,” said founder and CEO Nikos Andrikogiannopoulos SM ’06, MBA ’11. “We are making [blockchain network] Telemetry is in the public interest of all. With these applications holding billions of dollars in assets, it’s hard to imagine not being able to guarantee service and have deep real-time visibility into what’s going on. “

Metrika currently offers services for popular blockchain protocols such as Ethereum, Algorand, Flow and Solana. The company plans to expand its list as other networks grow in popularity, in hopes of enabling the transition to the much-hyped Web 3.

“Our vision at Metrika is to be a critical layer in the Web 3 world,” says Andrikogiannopoulos. “Ten years from now, kids will be interacting with assets on their phones. The idea of ​​bank accounts will be foreign to them. There will be no corner banks. The idea is that it doesn’t go through physical stores or bank accounts, assets live in every application you use.In a world where everything happens on the blockchain, Metrika is a blockchain network observability, How can we provide reliability, visibility?”

Bouncing ideas off MIT

Andrikogiannopoulos first came to MIT in 2004 as a graduate student. To this day, he lives in Cambridge with his wife, who works at his MIT, and returns to campus frequently.

After earning his second degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management, Andrikogiannopoulos began his career in communications consulting. During his lunch break he returned to MIT and worked at Venture Mentoring Services (VMS). Venture Mentoring Services (VMS) allows entrepreneurs in the MIT community to connect with mentors and get advice. In a flurry of telecommunications startup ideas, a VMS mentor connected him with internet entrepreneur Rubin Gruber, who suggested he explore the blockchain space instead.

It was mid-2018. Many remember the lull in blockchain hype and the resulting crash in cryptocurrency prices as “crypto winter.” But Andrikogiannopoulos began researching the industry and building a network of people in the blockchain space, including his MIT alumni who work for Algorand, a blockchain company founded by Silvio Micali, a Ford Foundation engineering professor at MIT. I was.

Months after the initial talk, Andrico Giannopoulos returned to Gruber’s office and said blockchain lacked oversight and operational intelligence.

This problem stems from the decentralized structure of the blockchain. Each user acts as a node in the system by creating, receiving, and moving data through the server. When a user encounters a problem, they want to know if the problem is within a node or is related to the entire network.

“They may go to Twitter or Discord and ask other users what they are going through,” says Andrikogiannopoulos. “They are trying to triangulate the problem, and it takes hours to understand the problem, coordinate the response, and resolve it.”

To build Metrika, Andrikogiannopoulos set up open-source nodes around the world that pull data from nodes and networks and aggregate that data into easy-to-understand reports and other tools.

“Because we’re acting as a public infrastructure, users get visibility through dashboards, alerts, and reports, and we’re adding collaboration tools on top of that,” explains Andrikogiannopoulos. To do.

By 2019, Metrika began detecting issues with node performance, staking, network latency, and errors such as blocks not being produced at a reasonable rate. Andrikogiannopoulos continued building Metrika’s suite of tools as he showed progress to his Algorand employees who expressed interest.

“We can see the idea of ​​Metrika spread throughout the MIT ecosystem,” says Andrikogiannopoulos. A team member will join you.

Enable Web 3

Blockchain is no longer a niche technology. All over the world, financial and logistics companies, gamers and other creators are embracing this technology.

“The blockchain world to date has been a massive experiment,” says Andrikogiannopoulos. “Much of this infrastructure has not been built. But Bitcoin has proven that this can work outside the traditional financial world, and Ethereum has enabled applications, smart contracts, and inherently decentralized smart We’re taking it to another level by creating computers, and we’re thinking about enabling the world we see.”

As Metrika continues to build solutions to monitor blockchains, it hopes to serve the many applications built on its infrastructure.

“In the future, if a blockchain transaction fails and you are Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan, you need to know why the transaction failed and what happened,” says Andrikogiannopoulos. . “Or if you have an application that plays games or buys assets and your transactions are lagging, you need to understand why the user experience is being affected. All of these things matter because of the scale and flow of value.”

For Nikos, improving blockchain performance is not just about optimizing the network. It’s also about helping usher in the Web 3 promise of open finance and open applications.

“Sometimes we reach 17-hour outages in blockchain networks, but more important to me is not the outage itself, but the infrastructure needed to avoid it as the industry continues to mature.” says Nikos. “These issues can undermine trust as they onboard users into the Web 3 world. Metrika’s mission is to enable a compelling Web 3 ecosystem.”

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