Chainlink Keepers, which went live on mainnet during last month’s SmartCon, is a new decentralized service that allows developers to reliably automate regular smart contract triggers for a variety of time- and event-based tasks, such as liquidating undercollateralized loans and releasing locked assets after periods of inactivity. Historically, developers had to perform these functions manually, which is expensive and time-consuming.
DeFi protocols are now integrating Chainlink Keepers to enhance functionality and improve user experience without sacrificing security or transparency. Last month, non-custodial DeFi protocol bZx integrated Chainlink Keepers to increase the reliability of its liquidation mechanism and amplify protection for lenders and borrowers. bZx’s marketing director told Chainlink Today that Keepers is a key differentiator for DeFi applications on the “cutting edge” of blockchain technology.
Recently, DeFi staking and liquidity protocol xToken joined the ranks of early adopters, integrating Chainlink Keepers to reliably automate the release of its users’ incentive rewards. xToken founder Michael Cohen told Chainlink Today that Keepers solved a persistent pain point in the protocol’s user experience. Because rewards are held in a different contract than users’ staked positions, transferring rewards into xToken’s staking module previously required manually calling a smart contract function.
“Because of this manual process, community members were frequently asking ‘wen rewards?’ in our Discord, essentially wanting to know when their XTK balances would increase,” Cohen said. “Previously, we were calling it manually on an inconsistent schedule. Now, Keepers is releasing rewards predictably every 36 hours. Community members are no longer asking ‘wen rewards?’”
xToken was conceived as a “set-and-forget” solution for DeFi asset management. According to Cohen, automating the release of users’ rewards to its staking module will be “the first of many” Keepers integrations for xToken. “We are building a network of products and services, many of which require some kind of upkeep,” he said. “Internally, we’ve already identified several low-hanging fruit opportunities for Keepers integrations, and we expect there to be many more.”
In the future, Cohen said he sees Keepers enabling xToken to expand its offering of set-and-forget DeFi products while decentralizing management of its core contracts. “We can now see a path to managing our funds without any upkeep required of the xToken team.”