How ATLAS Search Works


When you search for information on a blockchain (like an address or a transaction), there are millions of ledger entries to comb through.  This is because blockchains are typically append-only and record every transaction that has taken place since inception.  ATLAS™ search is designed to organize this information to provide you with the most accurate and valuable results related to your query.

How Atlas organizes information

With hundreds of cryptoassets, each with an ever growing ledger, Coin Metrics designed a way to better organize blockchain data so that it can be accessed more efficiently.

Before we can search

Coin Metrics runs over 100 blockchain full nodes.   While the general concept of transactions grouped into interconnected blocks (a blockchain) is widely used across most cryptoassets, the underlying data structure and transactional mechanisms widely vary from one blockchain to another. This makes working with multiple blockchains very challenging.  To address this, ATLAS™ search normalizes data though our universal blockchain data model, which converts the idiosyncrasies of each blockchain into double-entry bookkeeping.  The use of this novel data model provides a generalized view of blockchains, where transactions of any cryptoasset can be simply expressed as sets of debit and credit operations, ultimately making blockchains more universally searchable.

How Atlas finds your answer

ATLAS™ search finds the result of your query nearly instantaneously.  We do this by knowing exactly where to look in our efficiently organized data model.  Knowing which blockchain you are searching and what type of result you are looking for helps us quickly pinpoint the answer.  

How Atlas provides responses

We want to give you the exact information you need, so we’ve designed ATLAS™ search for flexibility, user-friendliness, and performance.  Not only can you explore a variety of blockchains using a single interface, but ATLAS™ search returns the result that you are looking for in the blink-of-an-eye – be it the full transaction history for hundreds of addresses, the specific balance of an address at a point-in-time or all transactions in a particular block, just to name a few.  You can also filter your responses along many useful dimensions.  And, you can normalize dates using our corrected transaction timestamps, which are particularly useful when evaluating blocks where miners erroneously reported the timestamp .  Our engineers are constantly working to improve ATLAS™ search to make it the best blockchain search experience available.