The FVM Imaginarium: Block Explorers
The launch of the Filecoin Virtual Machine (FVM) is quickly approaching, but there are already amazing projects in development. The FVM Imaginarium Campaign is putting the spotlight on the teams who are building incredible use cases and introducing new opportunities and concepts on FVM.
The Filecoin Virtual Machine is quickly approaching on March 14, 2023 (Pi Day) and developers are already building incredible smart contract use cases on Filecoin, as well as tooling to support these use cases. One class of essential tools are block explorers which provide the community with essential real-time and historical information about the Filecoin blockchain and state of the network, including data on transactions, addresses, blocks, Filecoin actor interactions, storage providers, and more.
With the launch of FVM, existing block explorers are being augmented and new ones are being developed that will dramatically enhance the Web3 experience for FVM users. Each will benefit the ecosystem in their own unique ways. Learn more about each of these below.
Filfox, built by 6block, is currently one of the most widely-adopted explorers for Filecoin. 6block has also been a major Storage Provider on Filecoin since before Filecoin mainnet launch in 2020.
With user programmability arriving via the FVM, the team has been updating Filfox to showcase activity and interactions involving user-defined smart contracts. As one of the top block explorers for Filecoin, with around 10,000 daily active users, Filfox is determined to become the best explorer for the network’s general audience with particular support for a Storage Provider audience. They are working to decode and display the data of FVM so that the state of smart contracts can be inspected and verified.
According to the 6block team, “it is essential that Filecoin network participants have visibility and observability over the state and activity of the network and the chain, both real-time and historical.”
Beryx Explorer by Zondax
Zondax is a blockchain research and development pioneer that builds security solutions for leading L1 ecosystems, specializing in Security and Cryptography, Data and Integration, Core and Protocol Engineering, and Ledger applications. Recently, the team has been working on a block explorer for FVM called the Beryx Explorer.
Zondax stated, “Our team is very keen on innovation and looking for the best ways to solve challenges. With the Beryx Block Explorer for FVM, we got the opportunity to drive the innovation and take it to the next level.”
The team is building the Beryx Block Explorer with a specific focus on developers so they can easily extract data from the network and interact with custom smart contracts. The ultimate goal is to provide for all participants in the Filecoin ecosystem clear visibility and observability on the state and activity of the network.
The overall product will put together developer tools for decoding smart contracts for both EVM and future Wasm FVM actors, plus a block explorer and mempool viewer with real time streaming.
“Our mission as a blockchain R&D company is to ensure that we are providing the highest quality service to our clients and building useful tools for developers and all ecosystem users,” the team added. “Beryx brings value, efficiency, and improved user experience. This way, it contributes to the wider adoption of blockchain technology and unlocks the potential of the Web3 space.”
The Beryx Explorer is now available and Zondax is hard at work upgrading the tool by adding new features every week. This explorer is also built on top of the Beryx API, which is a comprehensive Filecoin chain index that includes a complete history of allchain data sinceFilecoin’s genesis. The Beryx API is also publicly available and a unique offering in the Filecoin ecosystem.
For those interested in contributing, the project is planned to become publicly available around Q2 2023. For more information, check out Zondax’s official docs page where all of the team’s projects are linked, including Beryx Explorer.
Starboard has been a dedicated contributor to the Filecoin ecosystem since early 2021, with extensive experience and expertise in data analysis and product development. The team has maintained a high level of engagement in performing insightful network economic research, creating easy-to-use analytics tools, and participating in Filecoin community governance.
Their flagship product, the Filecoin Network Health Dashboard, provides an in-depth overview of the key health metrics of the Filecoin network, and has helped stakeholders gain insights based on on-chain data. In addition, the team is behind Spacescope, a set of reliable APIs that provide on-chain data and aggregate intelligence of Filecoin.
The team believes it’s important to build a dashboard that uses FVM data to highlight activities such as contract statistics, transaction volume, TVL, and more.
The team stated, “At Starboard, we want to leverage our knowledge of the Filecoin network and our experience with blockchain data engineering to produce a scalable FVM explorer and analytics dashboard for the entire ecosystem.”
The Starboard FVM Explorer is a comprehensive tool for exploring, inspecting, and analyzing FVM contracts, transactions, and network data. In addition to raw data, the explorer offers insight and additional intelligence to help users easily understand and make sense of the data. It is also the first to provide a code verification feature for FVM smart contracts. The Starboard FVM Explorer is designed to be a valuable resource not just for stakeholders, but for general Web3 users. The team aims for the block explorer to become the go-to destination for FVM activities.
The FVM data source software is open-sourced to the community and interested contributors can get involved by open-sourcing data parsing tasks built on top of Starboard’s data source software. For more information, follow Starboard on Twitter and look out for tutorials on Starboard’s YouTube channel.
Glif has been building essential applications and tooling for the FIlecoin network since pre-mainnet launch in 2019. The team has developed recommended wallet and multisig solutions, public and dedicated Filecoin node infrastructure, a block explorer, and an automated Filecoin Notary service. Future projects include Glif Pools, a staking protocol for the Filecoin network.
The team stated, “[We] originally built a block explorer because it was essential for our other apps like the Wallet and Safe. We built it in such a way that it was easy enough to spin up a separate front-end application for it, which led to the Glif Explorer.”
The Glif Explorer is built to observe the FVM and will “shed light into the opaque areas of transactions on the Filecoin network.” According to the Glif team: “If existing explorers are going for ‘breadth,’ we’re going for ‘depth’.”
One of the key statistics to track is what percentage of users are visiting the explorer to uncover details of a transaction. The team aims to provide clarity around the inner workings of a specific Filecoin message or transaction. In the coming months, Glif will continue to refine, sharpen, and stabilize the explorer. The team also hopes to publicly expose GraphQL endpoints to allow other developers to build their own applications on top of Glif’s backend transaction APIs.
Filmine is an infrastructure layer for web3 that has built a number of important tools in the Filecoin ecosystem. Some of these include a staking protocol, a sealing service, and an explorer focused on Storage Providers.
Recently, the Filmine team has been working on a new block explorer built specifically for the FVM. The new tool gives developers full visibility into the execution of their smart contracts. They are able to see state differences as well as authenticate and verify their contracts and share them on their profiles, all with a great user experience.
The increased visibility into contract execution has an effect on the security of the ecosystem by indirectly reducing the risk of vulnerabilities. Filmine also hopes tools like this will allow developers to build more complex applications with dependencies between _s_mart contracts.
Dev.Storage, Filmine’s FVM explorer, relies on WASM execution. It has the ability to support both transpiled EVM contracts and WASM contracts that are live on the network.
Filscan is an existing Filecoin explorer that has worked on providing data and statistics to the network for years. Participants in the Filecoin network — from clients, to Storage Providers, to developers — have been using the explorer to find information about messages, blocks, and storage deals.
What differentiates FilScan is its focus on providing information that facilitates efficient deals between clients and Storage Providers. With the advent of the FVM, the team has worked on maintaining its utility to the community by adding support for its features as well. The explorer will support basic data for any smart contract, tracing their calls, and may even add unique pages and statistics for high-performance smart contracts in the future.
The Filscan block explorer has delivered basic smart contract information since FEVM was launched on a testnet. It plans to support further statistics about smart contracts by early July. The project is expected to become open source in April so the community can contribute directly on Github.
These are only some of the many useful applications that are being built on the FVM as the network continues to deliver on its roadmap milestones. Block explorers will continue to be a useful tool for developers, Storage Providers and clients alike as the network grows in utility and transparency.
If you have block explorer ideas of your own, be sure to apply for an FVM RFP Grant. You can also dive deeper into the FVM via the official docs and if you have any questions or ideas of your own, share them with the community!