The BSP and Refiner: Core Technologies Empowering the Covalent Network for Web3

3 min readJul 14


The Covalent Network introduces two groundbreaking technologies, the Block Specimen Producer (BSP) and the Refiner, which play a pivotal role in enabling decentralized data indexing and querying. These core technologies address the fundamental challenges of data availability and transformation in the Web3 space. Let’s deep dive into why these are essential for the advancement of Web3 applications and services.

The BSP is a key technology within the Covalent Network, responsible for capturing, extracting, and exporting blockchain data in the form of Block Specimens. These Block Specimens serve as a universal canonical representation of a blockchain’s historical state. The BSP performs two critical functions:

  • Blockchain Data Extraction: The BSP acts as a blockchain data extractor, retrieving comprehensive data from various chains, including Ethereum, Layer 2 chains, Cosmos Zones, and Subnets. It ensures the complete and accurate replication of blockchain data, forming the foundation for historical data availability.
  • Blockchain Data Normalization: Once the data is extracted, the BSP normalizes it, creating Block Specimens that represent individual blocks and their constituent elements. These Block Specimens are highly secure and tamper-proof, providing a trusted and verifiable source of historical blockchain data.

The Refiner is another essential technology within the Covalent Network, complementing the functionalities of the BSP. It is a concurrent data processing framework designed for scalable and verified data transformations. The Refiner serves the following purposes:

  • Data Transformation and Enrichment: The Refiner takes the base data, i.e., the Block Specimens, and applies transformational rules to generate enriched data known as Block Results. These transformations enable the extraction of specific information and the creation of informative fields within the Block Results. The Refiner allows for arbitrary transformations over Block Specimens, facilitating customizable data indexing and analysis.
  • Parallel Re-execution of Blocks: Leveraging its concurrent processing capability, the Refiner enables parallel re-execution of blockchain blocks and transactions. This is a unique feature that sets the Covalent Network apart from traditional blockchain node clients. The ability to re-execute blocks concurrently enhances scalability, efficiency, and overall performance within the network.

The BSP and Refiner technologies address critical needs in the Web3 space, making them indispensable for the advancement of decentralized applications and services. Here’s why they are essential:

  • Historical Data Availability: The BSP ensures long-term data availability by capturing and normalizing blockchain data. It preserves the complete historical state of blockchains, providing developers and users with reliable and comprehensive access to past data. This is crucial for analytics, auditing, research, and building applications that rely on historical blockchain information.
  • Verifiable Data Integrity: Both the BSP and Refiner employ cryptographic proofs to ensure data verifiability. This ensures that the data provided by Network Operators is accurate, trustworthy, and tamper-proof. Verifiability is a core requirement in the Web3 space, establishing trust among participants and enabling secure and transparent data-driven interactions.
  • Scalability and Customizability: The Refiner’s concurrent data processing capability allows for parallel re-execution of blocks and customizable data transformations. This enhances the scalability of the Covalent Network, enabling efficient data indexing and analysis. Developers can tailor data extraction and enrichment to their specific requirements, unlocking innovative possibilities in Web3 application development.
  • Composability and Innovation: The BSP and Refiner technologies drive modularity and extensibility within the Covalent Network. The standardized Block Specimens and flexible data transformation capabilities foster composability and encourage developers to remix, fork, and build upon existing data. This promotes collaboration, innovation, and the rapid development of new Web3 applications and services.

The Block Specimen Producer (BSP) and the Refiner are the core technologies powering the Covalent Network, revolutionizing data indexing and querying in the Web3 space. The BSP ensures long-term data availability and provides a secure and verifiable source of blockchain data while The Refiner enables scalable data transformation and parallel re-execution of blocks, enhancing scalability, and customization. Together, these technologies address critical challenges, establish trust, and foster innovation within the decentralized ecosystem. The BSP and Refiner are key enablers of Web3 applications and services, driving the advancement of the decentralized future.




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