Hello Sid and Calum here, co-founders of Polybase.
First, we think the team at Ceramic is brilliant and have built a great product!
I (Sid) will give a high level overview of the two technologies and then Calum will dig into technical details.
Fundamentally, Ceramic is a decentralized event streaming platform whereas Polybase is a verifiable, decentralized database.
We think of Ceramic as more similar to Apache Kafka and Polybase as Postgres (or Firebase), when comparing to web2.
While you can “pin” the state of an event stream to function as a database, it neither has the queryability or scalability of a database, and having data owned by multiple users is much harder.
Furthermore, Polybase uses zero knowledge proofs to secure permissions and transactions so when you read the (public or private) data in dapps or smart contracts, it is simple and cheap to verify that its correct.
Polybase is architected to function as a drop in replacement for web2 databases without you having to think about any new abstractions or concepts. It just works.
Calum here , from a technical standpoint, Polybase is a state zk-rollup protocol, that provides native support for modular data storage and indexing.
We verify proofs on the client according to smart contract rules, and these are then verified and rolled up into a single root hash by decentralized network of nodes. Separate indexing and storage modules are used to complete the database functionality.
As data storage and indexing modules are pluggable, you can actually use one or more different protocols alongside Polybase. So you might use Polybase as your database (aka verifiable state), Filecoin for data storage, Ceramic for a custom aggregation pipeline and some other protocol for search.
We will of course, have our own indexing and storage engine (that will feel similar to Firebase) to make things fast to get started, but the power of making this pluggable is you, the builder, get to decide what to use based on the different trade offs you need.
We’re excited to hear more feedback from developers on this!