Polkadot is gearing up for its upcoming network launch as it revealed an integration with Chainlink (LINK) on Feb. 25. The integration of Chainlink oracles may be crucial for the development of Polkadot decentralized finance (DeFi) and other advanced smart contracts.
Chainlink has completed an initial integration on Kusama, a canary network for Polkadot similar to a testnet. Chainlink was previously available on other blockchains through adapters, but this is the first move outside of the Ethereum (ETH) ecosystem in 2020.
Polkadot developers will thus be able to access external data by using Chainlink’s oracles. This is crucial to enable many of the more advanced features associated with smart contracts. Oracles work by transmitting real-world data to a blockchain, so that a smart contract can understand and act upon that information. Currently, their most prominent usage is for price feeds of cryptocurrencies or other assets. For example, MakerDAO (MKR) relies on an ETH/USD price feed to generate the DAI stablecoin, although this is a separate and proprietary oracle.
On Polkadot, Chainlink will be integrated with a dedicated parachain, the term for an independent blockchain shard with custom characteristics. Other parachains in its interoperable network will be able to read data from the Chainlink shard to power decentralized apps (dApps). Due its unique structure, Parity contributed significantly to the development of Polkadot-based Chainlink.
With this heterogeneous sharding approach, Polkadot aims to solve many of the common problems in blockchain, such as interoperability, scalability, security for networks of any size, and governance.
Porting over Ethereum infrastructure
The lead developer behind Polkadot is Parity Technologies, a company whose list of co-founders includes Gavin Wood. He was also a co-founder of Ethereum, having launched Parity to assist in the development of the network. One of the company’s products is the Parity Ethereum client, used…