Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Home Cointelegraph News Polkadot’s Substrate 2.0 integrates oracles at a protocol level

Polkadot’s Substrate 2.0 integrates oracles at a protocol level

The Polkadot team released on Wednesday a major milestone for its Substrate blockchain framework, which now provides a way for blockchain applications to interface with the outside world without relying on external oracle providers.

Substrate is the name used for Polkadot’s blockchain building framework. It provides developers with a variety of tools to design their custom blockchain for a variety of possible applications. The blockchains can then be launched stand-alone or integrated in Polkadot’s network of shards, or “Parachains.”

The most important feature of Substrate 2.0 is the “off-chain worker,” a development module that lets blockchains perform advanced computations or make their own web requests to the outside world.

Off-chain workers leverage Substrate nodes to perform operations that would normally be outside of the blockchain’s capabilities. In a blockchain like Ethereum, a particular computation has to be quick and limited enough to fit into a block of instructions. This excludes many types of operations that are either non-deterministic — for example web requests that may fail — or are just too complex for the resources available. Substrate 2.0 allows developers to unload these operations to the nodes running the network, which are able to perform web requests, encryption and decryption, signing of data, random number generation and other CPU-intensive tasks.

This system would allow Polkadot developers to build complex systems like price feed providers entirely on-chain, removing some of the elements of trust involved. The issue of finding reliable data sources — the core of the “oracle problem” — would still remain, but developers would have maximum flexibility in the design of their DApps and blockchains.

By contrast, oracle systems like Chainlink have their data gathering logic entirely off-chain. Smart contract developers can only access the final data submitted by the oracles, necessitating a certain degree of trust in these providers that these types of solutions try to minimize.

Substrate 2.0 also introduces a variety of other developer-friendly tools in the form of Pallets, configurable modules that greatly simplify certain actions. For example, the “Democracy” pallet provides a simple way to introduce on-chain voting, while the “EVM” pallet replicates Ethereum’s Virtual Machine to let developers port its smart contracts to Polkadot.

While Substrate appears to be a significant technological leap forward over some existing solutions, it remains to be seen if developers and users will make the jump to Polkadot. The Web3 Foundation, which supports Polkadot, has been busy funding teams to build the infrastructure of the blockchain, ranging from bridges to Ethereum and other blockchains to in-house decentralized finance projects.

A key part of Polkadot’s value proposition is sharding, which would let Substrate blockchains communicate with each other. However, cross-shard communication is still at the testing stage.

Popular Articles

Bitcoin on Ethereum Falls by $120 Million in Just Two Weeks

In brief The amount of Bitcoin locked up on Ethereum soared from nearly zero to $2 billion from June to October. Now, that number is beginning...

Broccoli and Bitcoin, a holiday love story

Crypto broker Bitcoin Suisse recently installed a blockchain-related Christmas advertisement in the  Zurich Main train station in Zürich, Switzerland. The ad, which is largely...

Trader Claims XRP is Poised to Rip to $1.00 as Airdrop Hype Mounts

XRP has been caught within a tight consolidation pattern throughout the past few days, with its recent parabolic rally slowing down as bulls struggle...

Cardano: Goguen rollout continues with token locking update

IOHK has been working on the token locking functionalities before the Hard Fork Combinator event which has been scheduled for the first week...

Binance Coin, Tezos, BAT Price Analysis: 02 December

Ethereum rose to $600 once more, and the altcoin market responded positively to ETH’s rise in the past few hours. Binance Coin and Tezos...

DeFi Auditor Receives Death Threats Over $12 Million 'Rug Pull'

Another decentralized finance protocol bites the dust, and its users—who have collectively lost over $12 million—are understandably upset. So upset, in fact, some have...