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May 05, 2020

Chainlink Market Reference Data and the Analytical Future

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5 min

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Jonny Huxtable

At LinkPool, we’ve been hard at work building our existing products within the Chainlink ecosystem to give contract creators, network observers, and participants more power to utilise their tokens, take part in the network, and curate their own offerings.

With that in mind, we’re happy to announce we’ve launched the next major progression within the Chainlink Market: integration and discovery of all Chainlink feeds, reference data, and service agreements.

Some Context...

The Chainlink Market is a permissionless marketplace for the Chainlink ecosystem that allows anybody to list the nodes, adapters, and jobs they offer within the Chainlink network. The core philosophy is to provide a search engine for the ecosystem, allowing contract creators to find all the resources they need to power their externally aware contracts, while also providing network participants with a platform to list their services as a way to drive revenue.

Our newly released feeds section


Feeds Support

Since the Chainlink network went live in May, we’ve been seeing a steady but reliable increase in the amount of Ethereum projects needing to utilise Chainlink for their pricing data. At the point of writing, there’s currently 14 live-on-mainnet projects that all utilise the feeds, providing flexible but reliable inputs for anything from derivatives trading, insurance, and basket products.

For anyone who is interested in Chainlink, whether that is just as a crypto bystander or a ecosystem developer, it’s important to ensure that there is a service which provides an overall top-down view of the network – which is where LinkPool comes in.

The Chainlink Market now has native integration with all current forms of Chainlink reference data feeds. This update gives users a place to see what feeds are currently deployed and active, which nodes participate in them, and what endpoints or adapters they’re using to provide that data.

Contract Discovery

Unlike the official Chainlink Feeds app, the Market doesn’t require approval for a feed to be displayed. It automatically discovers and lists any feed it finds deployed on any Ethereum network. We like to think of this development as turning the Market into more of a block-explorer for the Chainlink ecosystem, showing new deployed contracts as a feed immediately after on-chain confirmation.

This isn’t limited to just the discovery of new feeds, the Market will listen to any changes that happen on-chain. Whether there’s a new aggregated answer, a change to the oracles serving the feeds, or an update to the jobs themselves — it’ll be picked up and displayed in real-time as soon as the changes are made on-chain. We also keep track of the times when the contract was first or last updated, providing clarity on how old the feed actually is.

Contract Types

Due to Chainlink being a protocol rather than a specific, inflexible service; it allows for different contract implementations for each feed, ensuring that the requirements of each use-case for external data are properly met. This has meant that the implementation within the Market has been created to be generic, allowing new contract types to be easily plugged in and providing the same data granularity with minimal effort.

Initially, the Market supports all existing forms of Chainlink contract types:

  • Aggregator: the most common and widely deployed version of a Chainlink client. Used by the majority of main-net projects.
  • Pre-Coordinator: the contract that provides “service agreements” within the Chainlink protocol. Returning signed agreements between a quorum of node operators for a fixed contract length.
  • Flux Aggregator: an implementation of the aggregator contract that utilises the yet unreleased Flux Monitor feature within Chainlink.

As the discovery section above states, if there’s ever a new deployment of any of these new contracts, the Market will discover it in real-time. If there’s any other new extension of the Chainlink protocol that results in a new contract type, the Market will also support it.

Feed Matching

Along with the discovery and listing of each feed, the Market will also scrape external services to collect and display additional information related to the feed. For example, in this first release, the Market directly interacts with the Chainlink Feeds app to scrape information for the existing feeds, then mirrors that information within the Market. This includes information such as:

  • Base & quote pairs
  • Answer precision
  • Currency symbol
  • Deviation thresholds
  • Heartbeat intervals

Being able to fetch and display this information for each relevant feed results in a much clearer view of each contract, and the accuracy of the data it returns.

Much like the support for extra contract types within the Market, the services in-which feeds can be scraped from is also modular. This allows us to aggregate information around each feed directly into the Market, regardless of where the feed originated.

For example, if a third-party company deploys and manages their own Chainlink feeds for anyone they interact with, we can develop support to interact with that third-party service to fetch similar data about the feed, creating a single source of truth, or unified view.


Analytical Future

As earlier sections have hinted, the Market’s direction is now not just a permissionless marketplace for people to list and find what they need, it will also expand to play more of a block explorer and data-driven role. This expanded direction has refocused our efforts for which features we develop going forward, making sure we provide real-time data for network observers and contract creators to do their jobs.

Unfortunately, we’re not ready to show what we’re working on, but there’s been a large push to build the foundations of the analytical capability that will power this data-driven approach in the Market. We’re working hard to ensure it’s massively scalable, so the complete analytic history is accessible under user load, even as the network experiences heavy growth.

One of our internal analytical dashboards

The screenshot above is a small slice of the data we’re currently gathering in real-time for the Chainlink network. Over time, we will be gradually utilising this capability to feature easy-to-digest sections within the Market to analyse each node operators performance, the accuracy and quality of data sources and the amount of LINK they earn.


Wrapping Up

In the short term, providing more contextual data through the Market is a priority for us. It opens Chainlink up from being a black box into a much lighter shade of grey, making it easier for people in or out of the ecosystem to digest the current network status and understand why Chainlink is actually needed in the first place. With more network developments, growth, and features added into the protocol, we’ll continue to shape the Market along with it.

Although, at LinkPool we’re building a lot more than just the Market. Since expanding the team, I’m glad to say that we’ve been pushing forward incredibly hard in re-working and adding new features to the staking app. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on soon.

If you like what we do, and are looking for new opportunities – we’re hiring!

As always, if this is the first time you’re hearing of us, check out our:

As we’re all in this together. Stay safe.

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