Chainlink Launches New Project “Functions” to Connect Web3 and Web2 Applications
Chainlink, the leading blockchain oracle network, has announced the launch of its new project called Functions, a serverless Web3 platform that aims to connect data, device, or system to smart contracts. This new project has been developed in collaboration with AWS, Meta, and Google Cloud, who have demonstrated example use cases of how developers can use Chainlink Functions to connect Web2 APIs and cloud services in their smart contracts.
The beta release of Chainlink Functions is now available on the Ethereum Sepolia and Polygon Mumbai testnets, enabling Web3 developers to build connections from smart contracts to off-chain resources on a self-serve basis without having to run their own infrastructure. With Chainlink Functions, developers can define which external data sources they want to access and how those data points should be transformed, while the platform abstracts away the backend complexity and executes the code as submitted.
Chainlink Functions acts as a decentralized compute runtime to test, simulate, and run custom logic off-chain for Web3 applications, similar to existing cloud-based serverless solutions such as AWS Lambda and Cloudflare Workers. It eliminates the need to host and run external adapters for custom off-chain computation or to source/run your Chainlink node to connect smart contracts to the outside world. Furthermore, Chainlink Functions is a self-serve platform, meaning developers can fulfill their external data and compute needs without having to interface with Chainlink Labs or Chainlink node operators.
Chainlink Functions is supported by a distributed serverless architecture powered by a Chainlink decentralized oracle network that leverages the latest version of Off-Chain Reporting (OCR). OCR is a novel consensus protocol that already underpins Chainlink Data Feeds, which help secure major Web3 protocols such as Aave, Compound, and Frax Finance. The beta version of Chainlink Functions uses a subscription contract with testnet LINK.
The launch of Chainlink Functions opens up a new chapter for the Chainlink platform, allowing Web3 developers to connect their smart contracts to existing Web2 APIs to access social media signals, AI computation, messaging services, and more. Additionally, the 30 million Web2 developers can now leverage their existing infrastructure when planning to build a Web3 app.
According to Chainlink, Functions helps unlock a whole new realm of use cases for Web3 builders, and the platform is expected to onboard the next million Web3 developers. While there are currently a few hundred thousand developers building various types of applications on blockchain networks, there are about 30 million total developers in the world. By removing the barriers that exist in the Web3 developer experience, Chainlink Functions aims to make blockchain technology as ubiquitous as the cloud or even AI.
Chainlink Functions unlocks a wide range of use cases along the spectrum between connectivity and computation. Developers can use Chainlink Functions to connect to any public or private data API, such as to fetch recent gaming or sports results or to pull metric data on a Web3 protocol from Token Terminal. They can also integrate Web3 protocols with existing technologies and networks by using IoT Device and Traditional Backend Connectivity. Dynamic NFTs that change based on external events can leverage Chainlink Automation to continually check if the NFT needs to be updated and Chainlink Functions to bring event data on-chain when certain conditions are met.
Overall, the launch of Chainlink Functions is a significant development for the blockchain industry, enabling Web3 developers to connect their smart contracts to external data sources and computation off-chain, while benefiting from the security and reliability of the Chainlink Network. The platform has the potential to unlock a new wave of use cases and applications for the Web3 ecosystem, making blockchain technology more accessible and scalable.
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