What does onchain mean?

Being onchain allows for the fulfillment of the highest human right: freedom.

What Is Onchain?

Let’s start with a simple definition of onchain, usually spelled on-chain.

The term onchain refers to transactions that occurred on a blockchain and have been verified and authenticated. In other words, any data made immutable and permanent on the blockchain is referred to as being onchain. Bringing data onchain ensures its security and transparency at the same time.

This almost magic combination of security and transparency caused many - including us - to view the term onchain as more meaningful. Putting data onchain has implications far beyond changing where and how transactions are processed, and data is stored.

Beyond the technical meaning of onchain

Putting data onchain means it becomes indisputable, fully traceable, and controlled by the owner. It means recreating the concept of value that is being lost in a world of big data and kidnapped by overpowering monopolies.

Onchain means individual human freedom and sovereignty in the truest sense: Freedom to own and decide over what one owns, freedom to trade, freedom to express, freedom to remain private, freedom to be.

A free world has been the vision of the early internet creators and many philosophers and revolutionists before them. Today, we see a new opportunity to eliminate the obstacles that prevent it from materializing: blockchain technology.

The internet can become a real global nation. But we need to take it onchain, so people can use it to live in this state of personal freedom and sovereignty.

What Does it Mean to Be Onchain?

If you never contemplated the meaning of digital data in your life, it’s time you gave it some thought.

Digital data is becoming increasingly significant in a digital-first world. Whether we like it or not, our assets, our minds, and even our personalities are turning into data online.

The absurdity is that the more we run our lives online, the less freedom we have. Our data, together with our identity, drifts into the hands of those processing and storing it, sweeping away any control we might still enjoy today.

Bringing data - and, in a way, ourselves - onchain means unchaining ourselves from this equation. You can bring almost anything like Real-World Assets (RWA), carbon credits, concert tickets, university degrees, artwork, entire supply chains, and even your identity onchain.

Onchain you benefit from the characteristics of blockchain:

1. Decentralization - the distributed ledger technology eliminates the need and, therefore, the dependency on a central governing body and removes intermediaries.

• No fees for cloud storage or data management service, etc.
• Enhanced data security: No risk of data disappearing due to a single server failure and no personal data abuse or theft.
• Increased global access to finances, resources and assets for anyone.
• More opportunities for the underprivileged and those with fewer resources.
• Financial independence.

2. Immutability - data stored onchain can not be altered or tampered with. Data blocks are encrypted using a highly complex hashing mechanism that is virtually unbreakable.

• No disputes over data authenticity or ownership.
• Reliable data tracking and tracing.
• Increased data security because fraud and forgery are close to impossible.
• No need for trust as a basis for transactions, contacts and business interactions.

3. Transparency - transactions are visible to anyone on the chain, creating an environment of transparency without the need to reveal sensitive data.

• Drastically reduced fraud in the trustless environment. Data can be traced back to its origin, not allowing manipulation on the way.
• Reliable data authentication.
• Transparency of data allows for better and faster decision-making. The fact that it’s immutable and verified by the network makes it significantly more credible and eliminates the need to call on additional sources for verification.

Why is bringing data onchain a good thing?

With your data onchain, you release it from the claws of central authorities and powers that control what happens to it. No one can take ownership of your content or anything you create. It is in your hands to decide its purpose and use.

With your data onchain, you become the owner of your identity. You determine when and with whom to share which details. It is up to you what information you want to disclose to which individuals or institutions.

With your data onchain, you no longer depend on the integrity of middlemen, institutions, or anyone you establish a connection with.

Onchain describes a world in which technology establishes a trustless environment that effectively addresses the concerns related to trust in any kind of transaction.

Onchain, Crypto, Blockchain - What Are the Differences?

Now you're in the clear about the meaning of onchain. Let’s see how it relates to some common blockchain terms, like Web3 and Crypto that may be somewhat amorphic.

Here are some definitions:

Onchain = anything happening on a blockchain. Transactions and data verified and stored on the blockchain create a trustless environment that allows people freedom and sovereignty over their data and their lives.

Crypto / Cryptocurrency = a form of digital or virtual currency that relies on cryptographic techniques utilizing blockchain technology. There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies. The most prominent are Bitcoin and Ethereum. Crypto is not controlled by any bank and can, therefore, be viewed as an alternative financial system.

Blockchain = a distributed or decentralized digital ledger technology enabling the creation of value such as cryptocurrencies through tokenization. Today, there are different types and levels of blockchains allowing for a vast variety of transactions and use cases, which we explore in our magazine and reports.

Web3 = typically refers to the decentralized, blockchain-based internet network environment. It is a vision of how the internet would ideally function in the future, with participants being able to read, write, and own their data and content.

Web 3.0 = the next generation of the World Wide Web. Web 1.0 allowed participants to read data or consume content. Web 2.0, which is the current state of the internet, allows participants to read and write data, in other words, consume and produce content. If Web3 refers to the vision of the next phase, Web 3.0 means the actual internet once it gets to the next phase.

Onchain Data and Onchain Analysis - How Do They Fit in?

The onchain world is a data world. Understanding it requires analysis. We want to go a step further and connect the dots back to the real world.

What is onchain data?

Any data stored directly on a blockchain and visible to the entire network is considered onchain data. This includes transaction history, metadata of onchain assets, wallet addresses, and so on.

To understand the reach and activity level of a blockchain, it’s important to measure some of the onchain data metrics, such as Unique Active Wallet Addresses. This figure represents the total value of all crypto assets locked in a specific protocol. It is usually an indicator of the popularity and health of a dApp.

What is onchain analysis?

Onchain analysis generally refers to the analysis of onchain data and metrics. For most, the goal is to gain insights into the crypto market by identifying trends and sentiments - much like in other investment markets. There are many sites providing both onchain data and onchain analysis to help people keep their finger on the pulse with their crypto investments.

While this is not our primary focus, we may include information from the top onchain data and analysis sites, such as

Token Terminal, a full-stack data onchain data platform providing comprehensive onchain data and financial analysis.
DeFi Llama, an extensive open-source data platform providing data and graphs of all cryptocurrencies and DeFi protocols.
Dune Analytics, a community-driven onchain analytics platform, providing dashboards, a query engine, and data visualization.
Glassnode, a blockchain data and intelligence platform focussed on providing institutions with valuable insights.

Our Onchain Research

Our onchain analysis and research investigate how bringing data onchain impacts and changes the way we do business and run our lives. We go beyond the speculative, purely financial aspect of bringing transactions and data onchain.

Our findings will help you discover the potential of blockchain technology for your business and find your own unique niche onchain. Whether in carbon credits, real-world-asset tokenization, or by sharing network accessibility, the possibilities are infinite.