Cornell Researchers’ Town Crier and Chainlink Partner to Offer Trusted Blockchain Oracle System
A recent report in the MIT Technology Review indicates that Chainlink has created a solution that might for the blockchain oracle issue. It uses a trusted hardware system being called the Town Crier, which was created by researchers at Cornell.
The Oracle Issue
The Oracle issue that smart contracts are decentralized and deterministic, it makes them trustless in theory. You know that each contract will respond to the information exactly as it is fed into it. Thus, it eliminates the need for a third party to ensure that everyone conforms to the rules of a contract. This then leads to P2P transactions that are cheaper and faster. However, smart contracts often need off-chain data for them to work. The relayer of the off chain data is known as an oracle.
For example, if a given smart contract is going to transfer ownership of an asset on condition that the current owner is dead, the smart contract needs proof of death. It can then execute the asset transfer. This proof has to be provided by the oracle. As a result, some fear this defeats the purpose of decentralization since the Oracle holds all power and requires trust.
The Chainlink solution combines software with an initiative for crypto and smart contracts called the Town Crier. This solution was created by Cornell University. This solution could deal a decisive blow to the issue of trust.
In its solution, Chainlink will come up with a decentralized oracle network that will ensure a multi-source stream of data to be fed to the smart contract. This way, there is no central power to all the relay data. Thus, it should not matter if one Oracle is lying or if one site offers inaccurate results. Town Crier will act as a second bridge that connects online data and the Ethereum enclave. This will ensure that it is impossible to tamper with data gathered by Chainlink.
An oracle might send various details to the smart contract. This all depends on the terms of the smart contract. However, the solution might not be able to provide all types of data needed. However, at least it provides a solution that works in most cases without any hitches.
There are various central networks such as Coco by Microsoft and Corda. On the opposite end, there are decentralized networks such as Hivemind and Chainlink. Centralized and decentralized oracles all have their benefits. However, since ChainLink is decentralized, it aligns perfectly with the needs of the blockchain world.
Will ChainLink Survive?
Everyone knows smart contract will have a huge impact on the world. Decentralization is also not going away anytime soon. With all the discussion going on around smart contracts and decentralization, it is hard to conclude that ChainLink is a novelty.
If the Ethereum and other platforms are to go mainstream, they will certainly need a project such as ChainLink. While it may not seem like it right now, Ethereum needs ChainLink more than ChainLink needs it.