How Rockset Propels the Development of Our NFT Market

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At Personal the Second, our mission is to drive the subsequent technology of sports activities fandom – NFTs (non-fungible tokens) of professional athletes. Participant NFTs are rather more than the equal of digital baseball playing cards, they’re the way forward for the sports activities collectibles market.

We’re serving to to cleared the path. Followers and buyers can observe real-time market values for NFL and NBA participant NFTs by way of our service. We additionally present an on-line market for purchasing and promoting NFTs. Consider us like Ameritrade or Coinbase, however in your sports activities NFT property.


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Most significantly, we’ve additionally created a fantasy sports activities platform referred to as The Homeowners Membership that debuted with a fantasy soccer league for the 2021-22 season. We gave out $1.5 million in prizes to opponents based mostly on their NFL fantasy groups, composed of the participant NFTs they owned.

Whereas proudly owning different kinds of NFTs has turn out to be like accumulating artwork, we’re gamifying sports activities NFTs in an effort to create much more utility and pleasure round them. This additionally creates larger alternatives for savvy merchants to make cash shopping for and promoting participant NFTs.

This makes my job as CTO of a small startup extraordinarily attention-grabbing, as I needed to oversee constructing an information infrastructure that supported:

  • A fantasy sports activities league the place each knowledge ingestion and concurrent utilization spikes throughout recreation days
  • A participant leaderboard with real-time outcomes
  • Safe, environment friendly and quick knowledge alternate with the Ethereum blockchain the place participant NFT knowledge is saved
  • Extra standard use circumstances similar to inside monetary reporting

It’s a tall order. Contemplating how shortly the Internet 3.0 house has been evolving, it’s no shock that the primary model of our knowledge infrastructure didn’t assist all of those calls for. Happily, we had been capable of shortly pivot after we found a real-time analytics database tailored for our quick evolving wants.

DynamoDB: Analytics Limitations Revealed

I joined Personal The Second in 2021 whereas we had been nonetheless in stealth mode. I shortly found that to construct our fantasy sports activities league and NFT market, we would wish two fundamental sources of information:

  1. Actual-time recreation scores and participant statistics, each provided by an exterior knowledge supplier
  2. Blockchain nodes similar to Alchemy that permit us to each learn and write details about NFTs and customers’ crypto wallets to the blockchain

I constructed the primary model of our knowledge infrastructure wholly round Amazon’s DynamoDB database within the cloud. As our database of document, DynamoDB was nice at ingesting exterior knowledge, which we saved inside a single desk in DynamoDB. We additionally had smaller DynamoDB tables storing our person information and the mechanics of our fantasy sports activities contests. Apart from our common weekly high workforce contests and cumulative participant leaderboards, we ran contests similar to worst workforce, in order that customers with unhealthy NFT playing cards nonetheless had an opportunity to win.

To run these contests, we would have liked to run advanced, large-scale queries utilizing the DynamoDB knowledge tables. And due to the variety of contests, we had quite a lot of totally different queries. That’s the place DynamoDB’s analytical limitations reared their ugly heads.

For example, to make any DynamoDB question run moderately quick, we first wanted to create a secondary index with a form key tailor-made for that question. Additionally, DynamoDB, as a NoSQL database, doesn’t assist SQL instructions similar to JOINING a number of tables. As an alternative, we needed to denormalize our fundamental DynamoDB desk by importing all the person info that was saved in separate DynamoDB tables. This had main downsides, similar to difficulties preserving knowledge precisely up to date throughout recreation days, as properly needing further storage for a lot redundant knowledge in our fundamental desk. It’s all deeply-technical work that requires a developer expert in DynamoDB analytics. And they’re a uncommon and costly bunch.

Thrown into the combo was the object-relational mapping (ORM) instrument we had deployed referred to as Dynamoose. Dynamoose gives helpful options together with a programmatic API and a schema for the schemaless DynamoDB. Nonetheless, the tradeoff for that extra knowledge modeling is quite a lot of extra latency for our queries. In our case, that resulted in a question latency of three seconds.

All in all, making an attempt to make DynamoDB assist quick analytics was a nightmare that will not finish. And with the NFL season set to begin in lower than a month, we had been in a bind.

A Quicker, Friendlier Answer

We thought of just a few alternate options. One was to create one other knowledge pipeline that will combination knowledge because it was ingested into DynamoDB. This may require creating a brand new desk, which might’ve required just a few further weeks of dev time. One other was to scrap DynamoDB and discover a conventional SQL database. Each would have required quite a lot of work.

After discovering Rockset by way of an AWS weblog on creating leaderboards, we wasted no time in beginning to construct a brand new customer-facing leaderboard based mostly on Rockset. One of many first issues my workforce and I observed was how simple Rockset was to make use of. I’ve labored with nearly each database on the market prior to now twelve years. Rockset’s UI is actually the very best I’ve labored with.

The SQL question editor is top-notch, monitoring question historical past, saving queries and extra. It made my six builders, who all know SQL, instantly productive. Simply based mostly on skimming the SELECTs and JOINs in just a few pattern Question Lambdas, they understood what sort of knowledge they’d and easy methods to work with it. By the top of the day, they’d actually constructed functioning SQL queries and APIs with none outdoors assist. And with Rockset’s Converged Index™ and automated question optimizer, all queries are quick and failure proof. We don’t need to construct a customized index for each question like we do with Dynamo.

Through the use of Rockset, we saved weeks of man-hours making an attempt to beat and compensate for DynamoDB’s analytical limitations. We had been capable of roll out an entire new participant leaderboard in simply three weeks.

Developer productiveness is nice, however what about question efficiency? That’s the place Rockset actually shined. As soon as we moved all the queries feeding our leaderboards to Rockset – 100 Question Lambdas in complete – we began with the ability to question our knowledge in 100 milliseconds or much less. That’s no less than a 30x pace enhance over DynamoDB.

Rockset’s serverless mannequin additionally made scalability very easy. This was vital to optimize each efficiency in addition to value, since our utilization is so dynamic. Throughout the first season, our peak concurrent utilization throughout recreation instances – Monday and Thursday nights, and all day Sundays – was 20x greater than throughout off peak instances. I might merely flip a swap and bump up the scale of our Rockset occasion throughout recreation days and never fear about any bottlenecks or time outs.


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We gained a lot confidence in Rockset’s pace, scalability, and ease of use that we shortly moved the remainder of our analytical operations to Rockset. That features ten knowledge collections in all, the biggest of which holds 15 million information, that retailer key knowledge, together with:

  • 65,000 NFT transactions value $1 million in our first season
  • the 23,000 present customers in our system together with information of the 160,000 NFTs they personal
  • our largest knowledge assortment – 400,000 information ingested from blockchains for NFT transactions associated to our sensible contracts

DynamoDB stays our database of document, connecting to microservices syncing with the blockchain and streaming knowledge feeds. However actually each knowledge retrieval and analytical calculation now goes by way of Rockset, from loading the participant NFT market and viewing all the pricing statistics and transactions, to the person playing cards. Rockset syncs with DynamoDB always, pulling new recreation scores each 5-10 seconds and syncing with the blockchain the place NFT and person pockets knowledge is saved, and writing all of that into an listed assortment.

We additionally do all of our inside administrative reporting by way of Rockset. Rockset JOINs market, person, and funds info from separate DynamoDB tables to supply combination experiences that we export as CSV recordsdata. We had been capable of produce these experiences in mere minutes utilizing the Collections tab in Rockset.

Constructing this in DynamoDB, against this, would have required scripts and handbook becoming a member of of information, each of that are fairly error-prone. We most likely saved days if not weeks of time utilizing Rockset. It additionally enabled us to run giveaways and contests for customers who had full set collections of NFTs in our system or spent X {dollars} within the market. With out Rockset, aggregating our ever-expanding assortment of DynamoDB tables would have required an excessive amount of work.

Future Plans

Final season we gave out $1.5 million in prizes. That was actual cash that was on the road! Nonetheless, it was basically a proof of idea for our Rockset-based analytics platform, which carried out flawlessly. We’ve reduce the variety of question errors and timed-out queries to zero. Each question runs quick out of the field. Our common question latency has shrunk from six seconds to 300 milliseconds. And that’s true for small datasets and bigger ones.

Furthermore, Rockset makes my builders tremendous productive, with the easy-to-use UI and Write API and SQL assist. And options like Converged Index and question optimization get rid of the necessity to spend useful engineering time on question efficiency.

For the approaching NFL season, we’re speaking to numerous potential large identify companions within the sports activities media and fantasy enterprise. They’re coming to us as a result of we’re the one platform I do know of in the present day that integrates the blockchain on high of a utility-based NFT answer.

We’re additionally engaged on quite a lot of backend adjustments similar to constructing new APIs in Rockset and new integrations. We’re additionally making ready for 10x development on each dimension – person base, participant NFTs, knowledge information and extra. What received’t change is Rockset. It’s confirmed to us that it will probably deal with all of our wants: ultra-fast, scalable and sophisticated analytics which can be simple to develop and cost-effective to handle.



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