The popular oracle network Chainlink announced the launch of Chainlink Off-Chain Reporting (OCR) on February 24th, which is a highly anticipated upgrade that has been months in the making.
Chainlink claims that OCR will not only significantly improve the efficiency of the network’s data computing but it will also reduce costs by up to 90% to enable users to save in gas fees and boost adoption.
Gas costs have been the bane of Decentralized Finance (DeFi) platforms since 2020 due to high Ethereum gas prices and the difficulties that migrating to another network would imply.
The upgrade in Chainlink’s mainnet is expected to help alleviate these costs to some extent and improve the status of the DeFi niche. These costs have become prohibitive for many applications, and remove the utility of the platform for low-value applications.
According to the announcement, users will see a 10 times increase in the data that can be handled by smart contracts, which should allow new applications to emerge as new datasets become available.
The OCR update will also further decentralize the oracle network, increase the frequency of on-chain updates, improve the cost-efficiency of onboarding new nodes, reduce congestion on the chain, and reduce oracle latency.
Before this update, a great part of the computations realized by chainlink was taking place on-chain, which resulted in less scalability, lower efficiency, and higher computational resources being needed.
With this update, chainlink is transitioning toward an off-chain computation model in which the network will be able to function in situations where conditions are not optimal, creating a more scalable ecosystem.
Sergey Nazarov, Chainlink’s founder, said in an interview with media that the development team will be working on verifiable randomness, keeper functions, and fair sequencing, all of them with applications on the DeFi and gambling niches.
Verifiable randomness has been worked on by chainlink for over a year with iterations of it already being available.
Known as chainlink VRF, this feature allows smart contracts to increase their resilience against bad actors by creating unpredictable but verifiable cryptographic proofs that allow the network to remove malign nodes.
New Functions for Better Performance
Keeper functions and pair sequencing improve the stability of the network by improving coordination between nodes and standardizing computational procedures.
As oracle networks are all about handling and serving data requests, improving the datasets that a smart contract can handle and ensuring its availability is essential o preserve the functionality of the network, benefiting all the parties involved.
Chainlink’s token, LINK, has recently seen its price reach an all-time high of $36.95 back on February 20th, more than twice the value that saw the project made headlines in August of 2020 as it became one of the most widely known projects in the crypto sphere.
Chainlink has also recently announced that it has partnered with AAVE, Consensys, Polkador, Synthetic, and other companies to run a virtual hackathon from March 15th to April 11th.
The hackathon will see developers from across the globe collaborate with each other, hear from experts in the industry, and learn about new projects. The event will also have an $80k prize pool to be distributed as bounties in categories like DeFi and Gaming.
Chainlink Co-founder Sergey Nazarov, Avalanche Founder Emin Gün Sirer, and Aave Co-founder Stani Kulechov are some of the biggest personalities that will be participating in the event.
Historically, Hackathons have been a major source of innovation in the tech industry by allowing experts of all areas to join their efforts in developing new applications for different technologies, with the best project usually receiving direct support from the organizing companies.