Building a decentralized data lake: Fabian Riewe, KYVE network

2 Mar 2023

As part of our partnership supporting KYVE with institutional-grade custody and staking following the network’s mainnet launch, we sat down with one half of the KYVE founding team to discuss the network’s approach to solving data accessibility and validation challenges.

From his early Web3 days as a contributor to Arweave, to building a Layer-1 blockchain from scratch, Fabian is an experienced and passionate software engineer that has leveraged his experience in validation to solve complex issues. 

In this interview, we discussed how KYVE works, why it’s built with the Cosmos SDK, and why secure, decentralized, blockchain data accessibility was a problem that needed solving. 

Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background.

I’m Fabian, one of the Co-Founders of KYVE. I’m a passionate Software-Dev who got into the crypto space back in 2019 for a hackathon, which lead me to co-found a few projects in the Arweave Ecosystem. From there, I co-founded KYVE, the Web3 data lake solution, with John Letey.

How did you and KYVE’s other co-founder, John Letey meet?

John and I actually met on the Arweave developer Discord back in 2019 shortly before working together on a bounty to bridge Polkadot data to Arweave. This is actually what sparked the idea of KYVE. 

After creating a valid solution, we realized that, if it were to be more decentralized, it could be applied to all blockchain networks, and aid valid data accessibility for all. From there onwards, we’ve been working together to bring KYVE to life.

What is the main problem KYVE is solving?

As Web3 expands, completely accurate, decentralized data is becoming harder for the public to access. Ultimately, this is leading to scalability roadblocks and dangerous data inconsistencies within Web3.

Take blockchain node operators. In order to function properly, they need to be fully up-to-date on the most recent transactions of the blockchain they’re participating on. However, as blockchains are creating an enormous amount of data per day and requiring a large amount of money to pay for data storage and querying, node operators are becoming a lot less incentivized to do all this work themselves, and, instead, rely on other, less trustworthy sources, to provide them with a state sync. 

This provides room for major errors, inconsistencies, and overall risk to the node operator, seeing that they cannot be 100% sure that the state sync they are using is truly up to date and correct. In the end, this also brings risk to the overall blockchain network. 

To solve this and many other data access roadblocks, KYVE Network provides fast and easy tooling for decentralized data access, validation, and immutability. We enable builders, node operators, and other participants with trustless data, for a more secure infrastructure and a reliable data experience.

How does having institutional staking support help you grow the KYVE network?

When building a trustless solution, attaining maximum security while also being as decentralized as possible is key. Seeing that KYVE is a Proof of Stake blockchain, allowing institutional investors to participate in securing our network in a reliable way via staking is extremely helpful.

Why did you decide to build on Cosmos?

KYVE originated as a smart contract on Arweave, then moved on to being an EVM-based solution to have more flexibility. However, even then, we ran into limitations, especially since, with EVM, you have to share block space. We really didn’t want to have that hinder our solution, not network participants, seeing that KYVE constantly handles a large amount of data. 

So, we needed to transform KYVE into its own Layer-1 blockchain, allowing us to truly sculpt it as we imagined. After investigating different options, Cosmos seemed to provide exactly what we were needing.

How easy is it to build on Cosmos? Would you recommend the Cosmos SDK to newcomer web3 developers?

So the Cosmos SDK is written in Go, and prior to launching our blockchain, our team actually didn’t know Go. However, in just a few weeks, we were able to get caught up and start building our Layer-1 off of the Cosmos SDK. If you’re looking for a straightforward framework, the Cosmos SDK is a good solution.

What is next on KYVE’s roadmap?

We actually have a very exciting next step on our roadmap, which is launching mainnet and TGE. These past few months, we’ve been working hard at getting everything completed and ready for launch day. 

Once mainnet goes live, we’re looking forward to officially providing our solution to all of the developers, node operators, data engineers, and more, who are in need of trustless data to help support Web3’s data infrastructure. With that comes new partnerships, token listings and rewards, events, and much more. It will definitely be an exciting year for KYVE!