Blockchain technology is exciting for many reasons. The potential for data management and storage is considered revolutionary. Industry knows that data is the new oil, and like any commodity there needs to be infrastructure in place to capitalize on that resource.

As it turns out, blockchain has some limitations. Chainlink defines this limitation as, "blockchains cannot pull in data from or push data out to any external system as built-in functionality."

This is a problem that led Fredrik Haga and Mats Olsen to create Dune, a data platform designed to make blockchain data accessible to the world. In the process, these first-time founders created a unicorn company within 3 years with 16 employees.

Dune founders Fredrik and Mats

I have used the Dune Dashboards a number of times while researching DAOs and the occasional NFT marketplace. The opportunity for a deeper look occurred during DuneCon 2022. I was tuned into the conference by Hedgehog's very own Data Architect, Jacek. The conference was an all day event live in Berlin and live streamed on YouTube.

Soon after the conference, I learned about the Spellbook Workshop Competition. Basically a hackathon surrounding the Spellbook product available on Dune. Out of all the participants and developers who entered the contest, you will never guess who won.

It was Jacek!!

Now that I know Jacek is a Wizard (user on Dune), I had to ask him everything we all should know about the platform.

How was DuneCon, what did you think of the team?

The conference was really good. It was in Berlin, which I plan to go to next time. I attended online this time. Their story was very fascinating. It was started by the CTO I believe. He had the idea to move data from the blockchain into tables so that it could be easily queried since blockchain data is not able to do that directly. He and the CEO met up and did it by themselves at first. They searched for a Venture Capitalist (VC) firm to invest so they could do it full time and just had one client for around $600 a month. After the initial funding, the flood gates opened up and they grew quickly. In the last round of funding they were closed and another large investor wanted to buy in. The only way they would do it is if they were given a $1 billion dollar valuation. They got it. Now they are a unicorn company.

I know that you are a fan of charts and data, how do you feel about Dune and how it stacks up against other tools?

So, there are really two sides of analysis people like to look at. There are traders who look at the Technical Analysis charts, watching for patterns and price fluctuations and investors who look at fundamental data to choose where to invest their capital. Dune is geared towards your fundamental analysis which is why a lot of VCs are using the platform.

Users can make their own queries out of the data available and the community votes on them. Many stories at the conference were from people who did not know how to write queries a year ago and learned using Dune. Many of them who had upvoted submissions were hired by VCs or Dune to do analysis for them.

I like the community feel on the platform, did you get some of that from the conference?

There is a lot of community involvement with Dune. At its core, Dune provides these locked tables to the community to build custom views on top of. Some of the views are private and some are public. The public views are available for anyone to view and to build another variation on top of. So the larger the community gets the more granular and robust the views become.

This is where Dune is really unique. Most of the time data is stored privately or part of a proprietary package. This is one of the first open-source data analytics projects that I have seen. There are many areas where the community can contribute or can participate in bounty type projects.

Dune hosts over 10,000 analysts and 100,000 queries at the time of their unicorn status announcement. At just over 3 years, it seems like this is just the beginning of their story. At its inception, is a story about two founders with a good idea. Personally, it is stories like these that make blockchain so exciting and fascinating to be a part of.

As for Jacek. He is an absolute incredible and fun person. He connected with Hedgehog through the startup community and is an amazing backend developer. Before joining Hedgehog as the Lead Architect he worked as a developer at large financial companies. He moved from the United States to live in Europe and was a successful DJ. Honestly, that really just scratches the surface. Fascinating individual. If you ever want to talk about data or electronic music you can find Jacek in Hedgehog's Discord, as well as on Twitter as @HedgehogJacek and @DogecoinIsAwesome.