Chainlink Promises '10x Data' With New 'Off-Chain Reporting' Overhaul

Chainlink Labs developed the new network over the past year.

Feb 24, 2021 at 3:08 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:16 p.m. UTC

Off-chain data aggregation is coming to the Chainlink network with promises of up to 10 times the speed over the current tech stack.

Chainlink has unveiled its newest Off-Chain Reporting (OCR) upgrade, the network’s largest overhaul since it went live on Ethereum in 2019, a blog post shared with CoinDesk claims. Data was formerly aggregated on-chain, which increased overhead on node operators, not to mention data availability inefficiencies given the rise of on-chain congestion, Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov said in a phone interview with CoinDesk. 

“OCR is the third and latest version of the Chainlink Core client run by Chainlink nodes,” the blog post states. “The most immediate benefit to DeFi and its users will be a 10x increase in the amount of real-world data that can be made available to smart contract applications.” 

OCR was co-developed by Chainlink Labs’ academic cast headed by Cornell computer scientist Ari Juels, former IBM head of research Christian Cachin and former BitGo CTO Ben Chan.

The new update – which has already been deployed for the ETH/USD and LINK/USD pricing feeds – aggregates data from disparate reporters on the Chainlink network. Each node signs off on its data source before committing the info to the on-chain contract which is pushed to subscribing applications, such as decentralized finance (DeFi) apps.

Off-Chain Reporting (OCR) via Chainlink

“The initial versions of Chainlink did aggregation on-chain. And they did that on-chain because we knew we could rely on the consensus of the chain,” Nazarov said. Yet, on-chain aggregation becomes more inefficient as consumer demand increases application data needs, he added.

Chainlink states the update will also necessarily drop the data provider’s gas usage per average transaction on the Ethereum network. That’s a boon for DeFi apps subscribing to Chainlink given each call costs fractions of ether called gwei. Gas fees are currently at historic highs with an average transaction surpassing $40 Tuesday, according to Blockchair.

Not only will the update lessen congestion on Ethereum, but it should decrease call latency, Nazarov said.

“Really what OCR does is take the computation we were doing on-chain and porting it out to an off-chain environment, and that is creating a very large 10x increase in efficiency, which means we can put a lot more data on-chain,” Nazarov said.


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