Google Taps Chainlink as Blockchain Middleware Solution

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Google has announced a partnership with a startup token project called Chainlink to plug data from its BigQuery data warehousing and business intelligence solution into the blockchain.

The partnership, which is described in detail on a Google Cloud blog post, will see Chainlink act as a data middleman that lets Google products interact with dapps in similar fashion to how a client app interacts with a database server.

Chainlink is the brainchild of founders Sergey Nazarov and Steve Ellis, who created it along with to act as middleware bridging more traditional data sources and blockchain-based systems.

We realized that a reliable oracle mechanism is a gating issue for the creation of most of the use cases that people are expecting from our space,” said Nazarov, “and set out to solve this limitation of blockchain infrastructure with security, reliability, and easy consumption of the inputs/outputs needed by smart contracts to reach this new level of usefulness.

In this case we are working with Google as someone who we’ve successfully made an on-chain data provider that can now securely interact with smart contracts that want to consume their high quality data and/or various off-chain services,” he added.

We’re trying to create the next generation of smart contracts that are able to go beyond tokenization, and will find their usefulness based on interactions with market events (DeFi), IoT events (Decentralized Insurance) and various other use cases.

Middleman middleware

Allen Day, a Developer Advocate with Google, explained in more detail.

At a high level, Ethereum Dapps (i.e. smart contract applications) request data from Chainlink, which in turn retrieves data from a web service built with Google App Engine and BigQuery,” he said.

One or more Chainlink nodes are listening for these calls, and upon observing, one executes the requested job. External adapters are service-oriented modules that extend the capability of the Chainlink node to authenticated APIs, payment gateways, and external blockchains. In this case, the Chainlink node interacts with a purpose-built App Engine web service.

Allowing smart contracts to interact with a data source of Google BigQuery’s quality, enables various new and exciting capabilities for Ethereum contracts in general e.g. more private ethereum transactions via submarine sends, as well as various exciting use cases/Dapps like prediction markets that will base their outcomes on BigQuery’s data,” added Nazarov.

We’ve really enjoyed working with the folks at Google on this initial implementation, and we’re looking forward to working with them in many more ways to come.

It’s worth noting that Google rarely goes out of its way to single out blockchain products and services like they are doing with Chainlink, so that’s a proverbial feather in Nazarov and Ellis’s collective cap, along with the all-time high ($1.95) of Chainlink’s associated token, LINK, reached following Google’s announcement.