Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Searching Blockchain with FreeEed

The Blockchain is composed of multiple blocks that can contain any information. However, it is not a database in a traditional sense: it is not fast, and it does not answer queries.

For example, the writing speed is one block every 10 minutes for Bitcoin and about one block every seven seconds for Ethereum. Queries, as such, do not exist at all: neither SQL nor NoSQL-type language is not provided.

Meanwhile, the information stored in Blockchain often needs to be searched. Here is the design pattern from CSIRO.

As of today, such a tool exists. FreeEed has been used by lawyers to do eDiscovery and legal review and by researchers for all kinds of investigations. It allows you to give any sort of data as input (see here) and indexes that data for searches. The data can be loose Office files, PST mailboxes, a "load file" produced to lawyers due to an eDiscovery request, and Blockchain.

We are actively working on FreeEed all the time, adding input formats, processing capabilities, and machine learning. The tool is open source and welcomes new additions. The review part is called "FreeEed Review" and works through the browser.

The back end used to implement text search is Elasticsearch. This means that you can also look at the processed data through the mighty ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana), which are also open source.

Happy searching!