Chainlink Labs is an ideal research partner for looking into how oracles can be applied in market segments beyond DeFi
The collaboration between TECNALIA and Chainlink Labs will allow both organisations to identify opportunities for applying hybrid smarts and oracles in key global industries, with the goal of bringing additional value to its stakeholders, such as greater efficiency, lower costs, higher security guarantees, enhanced user privacy, and potentially even the introduction of use cases not yet imagined.
Oracles are external entities tasked with performing services on behalf of smart contracts, most notable retrieving external data, computing upon it, and delivering it back to the blockchain as a single trusted value. Combining the external connectivity and trust-minimized computation of oracles with blockchains introduces a framework for hybrid smart contracts on chain logic that is augmented by off-chain resources, enabling smart contracts to achieve new features like scalability, confidentiality, and external connectivity. The result is a much more advanced substrate for building decentralized applications on blockchains.
Open-source oracle technology
Chainlink is the industry standard for open-source oracle technology, supporting a multitude of oracle solutions that secure tens of billions of dollars across decentralized applications (dApps) in decentralised finance (DeFi), parametric insurance, on-chain gaming, and dynamic NFTs. The world-class researchers and developers at Chainlink Labs have pioneered much of the cutting-edge research and technology in the field of oracles, such as launching the first decentralized oracle network at scale, the first trusted hardware oracle solution in Town Crier, a novel way of signing TLS web data over HTTPS using DECO, and a verifiable way of generating tamper-proof randomness for smart contracts, among others.
On the other hand, TECNALIA is an industry leader in Europe for multi-sector research and development. TECNALIA helped pioneer a multitude of innovative blockchain-based solutions, including the first renewable energy traceability solution in partnership with Acciona (Greenchain), the first digital identity solution for unmanned vehicles in collaboration with Airbus (Chainbus), and the first blockchain promissory note issues together with Norbolsa, among other notable achievements.
With Chainlink being the market leader in oracle technology, as well as having a very generalized framework for building customized oracle solutions, we believe Chainlink Labs is an ideal research partner for looking into how oracles can be applied in markets segments beyond DeFi. Some of the potential areas of research being considered include:
- Energy: Hybrid smart contracts can facilitate P2P markets between consumers and prosumers, either within the same microgrid or in a power grid. However, the price of energy is consistently fluctuating and cannot be pre-fixed in a smart contract. Oracles have potential in tracking the purchases/sales of energy between individuals and providing on-chain reference price updates to facilitate P2P energy exchange.
- Industry 4.0: Blockchains offer a shared database for the coming Machine Economy, in which different devices exchange value. IoT oracles can become integrated within traceability systems to prove conditions like origin, location, arrival, and quality of goods to hybrid smart contracts before releasing payment and transferring ownership, opening up supply chain and trade finance automation possibilities.
- Data Economy: Hybrid smart contracts can be used as conditional logic for exchanging data between individuals, companies, and nation-states in a secure, permissioned, and decentralised way. Oracles can verify conditions are met before exchanging and help conceal data through privacy-preserving oracle solutions, helping support so-called dataspaces that are already part of the data strategy in Europe, the UK, and Brazil.
- Transportation: Hybrid smart contracts can be used to create conditional payment models in transportation systems, such as micro-charging autonomous vehicles for usage (cars/drones). Oracles can help verify usage and generate on-chain rates by taking in traffic and driver data via sensor networks and even combining it with other variables like induction, demand, energy prices, etc.
These are just a few of the many possibilities in which oracles can be used to extract, aggregate, and compute upon datasets in the real world and then deliver single, aggregated results to blockchains. Once on-chain, hybrid smart contracts can automate data and asset transfers between entities based on satisfaction or failure to comply. By bringing external data and trust-minimized computations to blockchains, hybrid smart contracts can offer a framework that has the throughput, confidentiality, and universal connectivity needed to develop solutions for large enterprises and wide-scale global initiatives.
“We’re excited to collaborate on research with the industry-leader in oracle solutions in order to discover new ways in which Chainlink’s oracle technology can be applied in key global industries like supply chain, energy, transportation, etc,” stated Óscar Lage, Head of Cybersecurity and Blockchain Research of TECNALIA. “Chainlink Lab’s impressive track record of delivering cutting-edge research and tangible solutions make them an ideal partner to expand hybrid smart contracts and oracles in a way that helps realize emerging trends around data, automation, IoT, and other initiatives in the fourth industrial revolution.”
“We look forward to leveraging TECNALIA’s experience as an industry leader in applied research to help expand what hybrid smart contract developers can build using Chainlink oracles,” stated Sergey Nazarov, Co-Founder of Chainlink. “While DeFi was the initial market fit for Chainlink oracles, hybrid smart contracts are only scratching the surface in the value they can unlock across other large industries like trade finance and the machine economy, which is why we’re excited to work with a proven research company in TECNALIA to accelerate the realization of these new verticals.”
Chainlink is the industry standard oracle network for powering hybrid smart contracts. Chainlink Decentralized Oracle Networks provide developers with the largest collection of high-quality data sources and secure off-chain computations to expand the capabilities of smart contracts on any blockchain. Managed by a global, decentralized community, Chainlink currently secures billions of dollars in value for smart contracts across decentralized finance (DeFi), insurance, gaming, and other major industries.
Chainlink is trusted by hundreds of organizations, from global enterprises to projects at the forefront of the blockchain economy, to deliver definitive truth via secure, reliable oracle networks.
As part of the BRTA (Basque Research and Technology Alliance), TECNALIA is a benchmark research and technological development centre in Europe, with 1,400 professionals representing 30 different nationalities, focusing on transforming technology into GDP to improve people’s quality of life, by creating business opportunities for companies. Its key areas of action are: Digital Transformation, Advanced Manufacturing, Energy Transition, Sustainable Mobility, Urban Ecosystem and Health.