Last month, Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov presented on-stage at Stanford University’s annual Science of Blockchain Conference, co-organized by the Stanford Center for Blockchain Research (CBR) and IC3, among leading blockchain experts and researchers gathered to highlight innovations in web3.
Nazarov’s talk focused on decentralized oracle networks as the heartbeat of web3 industries such as DeFi and blockchain-based gaming.
He summed up oracle networks’ vital importance: “The thing that I think people need to understand about oracles is that they are a form of creating cryptographically guaranteed truth.”
While oracle networks are distinct from blockchain-native functions like creating blockspace and processing transactions, they perform all of the tasks that blockchains can’t – starting with reaching consensus about external data and computation and delivering that information on-chain.
Nazarov considers the consensus achieved by decentralized oracle networks a form of cryptographically verifiable truth.
He explained how, as the inventor and industry-leading provider of truth infrastructure, the Chainlink Network – which now comprises over 1,000 bespoke oracle networks on more than a dozen distinct blockchains – plays an essential role in the origin and expansion of web3 industries like DeFi.
“In deterministic systems that need things proven to them, there needs to be truth infrastructure to allow them to interact with the world in an accurate and reliable way,” he explained.
Over the past several years, Chainlink’s truth infrastructure has expanded beyond real-world market data powering DeFi to other categories of cryptographically verifiable information, such as secure random number generation (RNG) underpinning hundreds of web3 gaming and NFT projects.
“The body of work that we’re engaged in is really around inventing new cryptographic protocols that generate this cryptographically verified truth for more and more categories,” Nazarov said.
“And while that starts with data, it then expands to compute like randomness, and then to bridges, and then to many other categories of compute, because it’s all really the same thing. It’s all trust-minimized computation.”
Watch Sergey Nazarov’s full presentation at Stanford University’s Science of Blockchain Conference.