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Chainlink launches web3 serverless developer platform to connect web2 APIs to web3

Web3 oracle provider Chainlink has unveiled a new serverless developer platform, ‘Chainlink Functions,’ on its Web3 services platform to empower developers to build decentralized applications and connect smart contracts to any web2 API.

Quick Take

  • Chainlink Functions: connect dApps to any Web2 API.
  • Build, test, simulate, and run custom logic with a few lines of code.
  • Secured by Chainlink decentralized oracle networks (DONs), it integrates with major Web2 providers.
  • Extensive connectivity, customizable computation, trust-minimized security, self-service, serverless.
  • Beta version on Ethereum Sepolia and Polygon Mumbai testnets.
  • Chainlink: industry-standard Web3 services platform enables feature-rich Web3 applications.

The need for Chainlink Functions in Web3 development

Chainlink is one of the leading blockchain oracle providers allowing dApps across multiple chains to ensure data feeds are valid and secure.

Chainlink bridges the blockchain and external data sources, enabling smart contracts to access and use data securely and reliably. It uses a network of nodes that retrieve data from external sources and deliver it to the blockchain. Furthermore, accurate data is incentivized through a token-based reward system with the native [cs_coins]LINK[/cs_coins] token.

However, the launch of Chainlink Functions aims to simplify connecting these off-chain data feeds through a serverless web3 services panel similar to AWS Lambda.

The features of Chainlink Functions

The newly launched Chainlink Functions is designed to provide a “seamless environment and robust toolkit that enables developers to build, test, simulate, and run custom logic for their Web3 applications.”

Excitingly, the platform will mean almost any form of off-chain data API can be integrated into blockchain applications with the same benefits of a legacy Chainlink oracle feed. However, blockchain applications minimize trust through permissionless and decentralized methodologies. Therefore, bringing off-chain data onto the blockchain can cause myriad issues verifying the data.

Ciara Nightingale, a DevRel Engineer at Thirdweb, showed excitement toward the launch, commenting that “Chainlink Functions solves this problem by utilizing the same network of highly secure nodes that power Chainlink Price Feeds,” so APIs can be brought on-chain with”just a few lines of code.”

The Chief Product Officer of Chainlink Labs, Kemal El Moujahid, said,

“With the launch of Chainlink Functions, we are removing a major roadblock in the adoption of Web3 […] to combine smart contracts with the powerful APIs and Web2 data sources.”

The platform will also support off-chain languages like Javascript to encourage non-web3-native developers to experiment with blockchain infrastructure. Chainlink Functions is a “self-service solution” that went live in private beta on Mar. 1.

The integrations with AWS and Meta

According to the Chainlink statement, the platform is integrated with Amazon AWS, Meta, and others, allowing developers to work in familiar ecosystems.

Noah Schwartz, the General Manager of AWS Data Exchange and AWS Marketplace Foundational APIs, said,

“We’re delighted to see how developers use off-chain, third-party data from AWS Data Exchange to enrich their applications.”

Further, the infrastructure providers already integrated into Chainlink Functions, such as Meta, see the move as one that will support the adoption of their own products as Ankur Prasad, a Senior Director at Meta, said,

“We are excited about the potential of Chainlink Functions connecting Meta’s APIs to major blockchains, making it easier for the Web3 developer community to build with Meta and unlock new innovative use cases.”

Benefits of building with Chainlink Functions

Chainlink described the core benefits of Chainlink Functions as having extensive connectivity, customizable computation, trust-minimized security, self-service, and serverless.

While Chainlink Functions provides similar functionalities to the current Chainlink offering, it appears to offer a more streamlined and user-friendly experience for developers seeking to connect Web2 data into their dApps.

Ethan Bazarganfard, the NBA’s NFT collection creator, commented that Chainlink Functions will “unlock countless new possibilities for dynamic NFTs and inspire developers to create exciting new use cases for this transformative technology.”

Web2 developer adoption

Furthermore, regarding web3 adoption, the focus on adding Javascript support and integrations with Meta and AWS suggests a focus on bringing more developers into the web3 space. For web3 to scale, the ecosystem needs to increase the number of developers familiar with blockchain development vastly.

Chainlink Functions will offer tools and services that allow developers to ‘get their feet wet’ in web3 in a self-service manner through a web-based portal.

The beta version of Chainlink Functions is now available via private beta on the Ethereum Sepolia and Polygon Mumbai testnets.

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