The blockchain oracle network Chainlink has introduced the “Functions” platform, a serverless developer platform that will help web3 developers bridge their apps with web2.
In a company blog post on Wednesday, March 1st, the oracle network announced the testnet beta release of “Chainlink Function”, a developer-focused platform that allows any data, device, and system to connect with smart contracts.
— Chainlink (@chainlink) March 1, 2023
Functions Combines Best of Smart Contracts and Web2
According to the blog post, Chainlink Functions is a serverless platform to combine the best of smart contracts and web2 to build powerful hybrid apps.
Chainlink identifies that with the current infrastructure, web3 developers couldn’t connect smart contracts to web2 to access web2 infrastructure, such as AI computations, and messaging services. Likewise, web2 developers can not use existing infrastructure to build web3 apps.
There exist Chainlink oracles to connect smart contracts with the outside world. However, as Patrick Collins explains, setting up this infrastructure takes a long time and oracles only work with numerical data. To request custom data, developers have to source or run their own Chainlink node and do other technical stuff. This means it requires actual interaction with oracles and API.
Chainlink Functions aims to solve this by enabling developers to securely build “connections from smart contracts to off-chain resources on a self-serve basis without having to run their own infrastructure.” Developers can fulfil their external data and compute needs without having to interact with Chainlink Labs or Chainlink node operators. Functions takes away the backend complexity and executes the code as submitted to keep builders focused on other big things.
As per the blog post, the Functions’ beta is live on Ethereum Sepolia and Polygon Mumbai testnets and will be expanded to other chains subject to demand and feedback. Many leading cloud platforms such as Meta, Google Cloud, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have collaborated with Chainlink to build some example use cases.
According to Chainlink, Functions will create decentralized versions of clouds as the blog post reads:
“Chainlink Functions acts as a decentralized compute runtime to test, simulate, and run custom logic off-chain for Web3 applications—akin to a more trust-minimized and blockchain-enabled version of existing cloud-based serverless solutions such as AWS Lambda, GCP CloudFunctions, and Cloudflare Workers.”
The native LINK token showed little response to the Functions launch. It rose to a high of $7.56 from a low of $7.33 in the last 24 hours. LINK is changing hands at $7.42 at the time of writing.