To celebrate one year since Filecoin’s open-source, cloud-based decentralized storage network (DSN) went live on mainnet, the Filecoin Orbit virtual conference brought together over 80 blockchain industry leaders to share the progress they’ve made toward building Web3.
One of those speakers was Chainlink Co-founder Sergey Nazarov, whose work alongside Filecoin Founder Juan Benet goes back to the early days of blockchain, before decentralized finance (DeFi) existed. Today, Chainlink and Filecoin aim to fulfill DeFi’s promise as critical components of the decentralized tech stack.
Nazarov joined Benet for a virtual fireside chat about how Chainlink’s decentralized oracle networks (DONs) and Filecoin’s DSN are now working to expand Web3’s universe of possibilities through the creation of what Nazarov calls “The Truth Machine.”
New Data Feeds
Nazarov described the evolution of DONs from providing the market data that powers DeFi to supplying smart contracts with even more real-world data about weather, sports and elections.
Last week, the Associated Press announced an official Chainlink node will deliver its cryptographically-signed U.S. elections data, economic data, sports game outcomes and business financials on-chain. AP’s director of blockchain and data licensing said he expects AP’s timestamped news archive will give rise to advanced hybrid smart contracts that can mitigate climate change and perform fact-checking in real time.
Persistent Data Storage
Nazarov explained how oracle networks dealing with proliferating data feeds will rely on Filecoin’s DSN for persistent data storage. “The actual persistence doesn’t really want to stay in the oracle network,” he said. “That’s not going to be as efficient.”
As the Filecoin network grows and stores more valuable datasets that enable increasingly sophisticated smart contracts, Nazarov and Benet agreed that their joint focus is engineering ways for oracle networks to both retrieve existing data from and write new data to Filecoin’s decentralized storage systems.
The Truth Machine
Nazarov predicted that decentralized data persistence powering an infinite array of hybrid smart contracts will culminate in what he calls “The Truth Machine” – a collection of decentralized technologies cooperating to make it impossible for any centralized entity to renege on its contractual obligations.
Highlighting last spring’s Robinhood fiasco, Nazarov explained, “The reason these firms can say one thing and do another is because they’re not cryptographically forced to act in a certain way.” In his view, it’s only a matter of time before society experiences enough financial censorship to reach an inflection point.
“Imagine if there were five Robinhoods back-to-back,” he said.
He described the Robinhood event as the first time people flocked to DeFi en masse – not because they wanted to buy tokens, but because they wanted to interface with the world in a trust-minimized way. “I think that’s a very significant difference from previous spikes in demand in this industry,” he said.
Nazarov believes the inevitable flip to Web3 will stem from consumers demanding cryptographic guarantees. In his view, the flip will be so pervasive that decentralization will become the indispensable status quo.
“When that flip in society happens, that’s when it’s going to be like email.”
Watch Sergey Nazarov and Juan Benet’s fireside chat at Filecoin Orbit.