We are excited to announce that Chainlink’s decentralized oracle network is launching on NEAR. You can view the TestNet repository and instructions, and in a few weeks developers can start building applications that are integrating real-world data into their smart contracts contracts.
Our goal is to be the leading computing platform for the Open Web by providing developers with the best infrastructure for building future applications (including dApps). Chainlink is the most versatile off-chain connectivity in Web3; we recommend it as it is the industry leading oracle solution used by top DeFi teams such as Synthetix, AAVE and many others. We’re excited to collaborate with Chainlink to make decentralized oracles available to NEAR developers. Integrating Chainlink provides developers access to a large decentralized collection of security-reviewed nodes, an integration framework for connecting to any premium data source derived from credentialed APIs, multiple proven data solutions that can be quickly deployed on the NEAR blockchain, and much more.
One of the first use cases for Chainlink on NEAR will be providing pricing data for DeFi applications by leveraging their Price Reference Data framework. Other use cases include Open Web applications connecting to Chainlink’s Web2 counter-parties to query their data (e.g., marketplace data for real estate, insurance, music, etc). Applications can ask for any generic data by creating a contract with the data provider nodes.
The Benefits of Chainlink for NEAR Developers
Without oracles, smart contracts can only be written about data generated within the blockchain (on-chain) which is largely about ownership of various pieces of data (like tokens, NFTs, digital assets or data provided from outside).
Expanding to include off-chain data opens up a plethora of new applications and use cases, whether it be building crop insurance agreements for developing countries using satellite weather data, triggering options contracts based on stock market prices, or constructing trade finance automation applications that are connected to IoT and customs data.
However, with this expansion in connectivity comes new attack surface area that must be secured. Fully decentralized blockchains interacting with data from centralized oracles introduces large risks to the end-to-end security and reliability of the smart contract.
To prevent such centralization issues, Chainlink provides a framework for building decentralized oracle networks that source and deliver off-chain data for smart contracts in a secure and reliable manner. It allows dApps to know what’s happening in the real world while retaining the decentralized, permissionless, and deterministic guarantees of the blockchain.
There are many ways NEAR developers can use Chainlink to augment the value of their dApps, including the following:
- Access to secure node operators – The Chainlink Network contains a large and growing number of independent, security reviewed, and Sybil-resistant node operators that can be commissioned to provide specific oracle services, many of which are operated by leading blockchain DevOps and blockchain infrastructure teams.
- Retrieve data from credentialed APIs – Chainlink’s modular external adapter technology gives your smart contract access to data from any paid or password protected API, enabling connections to premium data providers and permissioned enterprise backend systems.
- Framework for decentralization – Chainlink provides a generalized framework for deploying decentralization at both the node operator and data source levels, ensuring high availability and redundant validation to the delivery and sourcing of external data to your application.
- Proven solutions – Chainlink’s existing oracle design patterns already secure hundreds of millions and can be easily deployed on NEAR to allow contracts to obtain Price Reference Data and on-chain verifiable randomness, avoiding the pitfalls of trying to provision your own oracle infrastructure.
- TLS Verification – Chainlink is pioneering TLS verification solutions through its well-known work on TownCrier, making oracles available that preserve privacy and provide integrity to any data source.
Everyone who has worked on getting NEAR to this point is extremely excited to see the community and partners get more involved in every aspect of the network’s development, operation, and ecosystem growth. This includes creating decentralized applications that are aware of off-chain events happening in everyday life and then reacting to these events through a variety of on-chain actions. The possibilities are truly limitless when combining on-chain and off-chain worlds, so we encourage developers to get creative as this field has so much untapped potential.
Illia Polosukhin, Co-Founder at NEAR Protocol, explained the importance of the Chainlink integration:
“Chainlink integration provides NEAR with most versatile oracle network in the market, as well as the ability to connect to any off-chain API. These are key building blocks for connecting Web2 and Open Web environments, which ultimately allows our developers to build a much wider range of applications, ranging from decentralized financial products and NFTs, to asset tokenization and insurance contracts.”