What is Chronicle Protocol?Sponsored
Redefining Verifiable, Cost-Efficient, Oracles On-Demand
By: Jeremy Nation •DeFi Explainers
Chronicle Protocol is a pioneer among blockchain Oracle service providers, with a core mission to build decentralized, frictionless, and verifiable infrastructure.
Oracles are a fundamental component of the blockchain landscape, serving vital data to blockchain applications, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), as well as decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, exchanges, and more.
For example, nearly every blockchain service or application uses Oracles to get up-to-date and accurate pricing data for a pair or token. More broadly, in addition to enabling cross-chain interoperability via data validation, Oracles power a number of blockchain adjacent or native applications, such as those related to supply chain operations, identity validation, insurance claims processing, weather system tracking, real estate, and more.
Essentially, if you need to get authenticated data on-chain, either from another blockchain or off-chain, you need an Oracle to do it.
Building The First Blockchain Oracle on Ethereum
Chronicle got its start building blockchain Oracles in 2017 when the team's original task centered around creating a stable pricing tool for MakerDAO’s SAI, the predecessor to the modern DAI token. This represented the first blockchain pricing Oracle implementation on Ethereum.
“Our goal is to build infrastructure that allows the founding ethos of decentralization to flourish, ensuring that convenience is still there, but better balanced with decentralization or verifiability,” said Chronicle Labs Marketing Strategist Angus Tookey.
The Chronicle team stayed busy, improving and iterating their product. While incubating with the support of MakerDAO, the team has worked for over two years to architect Chronicle Protocol, which today helps to secure $6B+ worth of Maker assets.
A major step forward came amid the implementation of the Endgame protocol that was ratified via MakerDAO’s on-chain governance in 2022 when Chronicle was recognized as a protocol that could have a potentially wider beneficial impact. The project had already demonstrated its efficacy, serving verifiable pricing data to Gnosis, among other major industry participants.
Now as Chronicle Protocol opens to the public, the team is preparing for the launch of its Oracle protocol on September 13th with a keynote at the DeFi event Permissionless.
“Chronicle essentially ripped apart everything that we know about on-chain Oracle architecture and rebuilt it from the ground up,” said Tookey. “Allowing for great leaps in scalability, improved security, and the introduction of verifiable Oracle-fed data for the first time.”
Major Cost Savings
For users, a big upside to Chronicle’s Oracles comes from the development of a next-gen Oracle cryptographic primitive called Scribe that delivers huge savings in gas fees. The cost of fetching updated data is what has the greatest impact on users of Oracle services, according to Tookey.
The savings from Scribe amount to a 60% reduction in costs for Layer 1, and a 68% cost reduction for Layer 2 implementations.
“Considering that gas is the biggest cost center for operating Oracles, this represents a really huge saving for all users of Oracles in the market, and particularly for blockchains that subsidize Oracle fees for their ecosystem,” said Tookey.
Chronicle’s team drove gas costs down significantly by developing an innovative way of using Schnorr cryptography, a type of digital signature from an algorithm. The team is the first to make use of the Schnorr signature methodology on-chain in a cost-effective way, paving the way forward for more cost-effective Oracle implementations.
The reduced cost and user-friendly design of Chronicle’s Oracles position it for industry-wide adoption as a verifiable, robust, and decentralized tool.
The First Fully Verifiable Data Protocol
Verifiability remains at the core of Chronicle’s mission, based on the premise that all data should be verifiable, to build robust systems that eliminate the necessity for trust.
Don’t trust, verify.
As a result, the protocol showcases an on-chain dashboard called The Chronicle that allows anyone to intuitively and provably track end-to-end data origins, creating a high integrity censorship-resistant layer for data transmission.
Chronicle Protocol is the first data protocol to enable data tracking and verification for all information that passes through the network, focusing on an intuitive user experience via their on-chain Dashboard. With that sentiment, Tookey noted, “We believe data should be verifiable to anyone, not just devs who know which tools to use and which blocks to check. This was one of our key concerns when designing our dashboard, The Chronicle.”
Chronicle = Accessible
Accessibility is another of Chronicle’s core values. A majority of users turning to Oracle providers in the blockchain industry are reliant on the collaboration of technical teams that are often working asynchronously from another timezone, according to Tookey.
Chronicle’s solution is to remove that bottleneck with a blockchain-agnostic implementation ubiquitously accessible anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. Chronicle’s verifiable Oracles are designed to be available on-demand.
“It's as easy as jumping onto our on-chain dashboard and choosing which Oracles you want to subscribe or unsubscribe to.’ Pick the Oracle, click, ‘subscribe,’ do whatever integration you need to do on your end with your product, and that's it,” said Tookey, adding that the Chronicle team is standing by to assist with implementations.
This feature will become feasible through the utilization of a tool named Levier, crafted by the team. Levier serves to uphold a decentralized approach, ensuring user control over Oracle operations. It operates as an on-chain wallet for Oracle users. As long as this wallet remains funded, the Oracles will consistently provide data in alignment with their designated implementation.
“Oracle services are often priced deceptively, costs are obfuscated, and this makes it difficult for protocols or blockchains that rely on these services for their ecosystem,” said Tookey. “If you opt for the subscription model, simply keep your on-chain account funded, and then your Oracles will continue to operate based on the cost parameters that you've set.”
Robust against attacks
The community-powered consensus mechanism, which supports the protocol’s data verification model, fortifies the platform against attacks. Operating since 2017, the protocol has 100% uptime.
“We have 22 feeds. These feeds are mostly recognized blockchain community actors such as Etherscan, Infura, dYdX, and Gnosis. Services that people already have implicit trust in because they use their products every day,” said Tookey.
The protocol also utilizes multiple on & off-chain transport layers, such as secure scuttlebutt and Tor, for its relays, which are effectively nodes that anyone can run. This makes it very resilient, ensuring that if one transport layer goes down, or multiple Feeds or Relays, the protocol can continue to operate.
The protocol’s validations model for data is very similar to that of Ethereum’s consensus mechanism, which Tookey believes has helped protect from Oracle exploits in the past and will continue to add an extra layer of security moving forward.
There are also plans to extend validator services to those running Ethereum validators, which would essentially make the protocol as decentralized and secure as Ethereum itself.
Finally, user-submitted fraud proofs allow for the auto-ban of any Feed found to be acting maliciously, rewarding callers of the function with ETH confiscated from the malicious Feed. This is an important step to ensure the highest levels of security efficiency and decentralization.
Chronicle Protocol transforms the concept of a decentralized blockchain data service into a scalable, functional model that other DeFi or decentralized platforms can use. It’s a manifestation of the team’s effort to continue to build out the disintermediated stack of autonomous systems that serve the true ethos upon which blockchain networks were founded.