Chainlink’s oracles (LINK) have arrived on xDai, an Ethereum sidechain that has undergone a growing adoption among DApp developers who can’t afford to stay on the Ethereum mainnet.
As Chainlink announced on Thursday, your pricing sources are up and running on the xDai mainnet, offering price information for an initial set of trading pairs including LINK / USD, AAVE / USD, DOT / USD, and SUSHI / USD. More pairs can be added quickly if there is demand, the company said.
The integration was completed by Protofire, a development workshop and xDai validator. The team received a grant from the Chainlink Community to transfer native Chainlink oracles into xDai, including a token bridge adapter that enables native LINK payments for oracle functionality.
The Chainlink pricing integration is the latest in a series of positive adoption news for the xDai project. The chain already hosted major Ethereum-based DApps such as Perpetual Protocol, a derivatives platform, and Omen, a prediction market developed by Gnosis. The inclusion of native Chainlink oracles removes a major barrier for projects that depend on them, which could open up xDai for more DApps wanting to escape Ethereum’s congested mainnet..
Decentralization is good, but it won’t pay for gas
xDai is a relatively centralized sidechain secured by an independent set of validators. Sidechains are a type of chain in which an independent blockchain network uses another’s token as the native currency to pay transaction fees; in the case of xDai, that token is Dai from MakerDAO. The architecture unites the economies of the two environments, but the side chain is otherwise a completely independent entity with its own security rules.
In the Ethereum community, xDai is commonly known as a centralized layer two solution. It was released by PoA Network, a project whose name refers directly to centralization: Proof of authority is the somewhat euphemistic name for a consensus model in which validators are chosen by project initiates, rather than a community.
The xDai chain has passed since its launch to a proof of stake model very similar to that used by EOS or Binance Smart Chain. The total number of validators can never exceed 19, compared to the tens of thousands of validators on Ethereum’s Beacon Chain. The benefit of this architecture is faster scalabilityas xDai offers 70 advertised transactions per second for simple token transfers.
In a conversation with Cointelegraph, Friederike Ernst, director of operations of Gnosis, agreed that xDai is somewhat centralized:
“It’s not as decentralized as the mainnet, this goes without saying. They’re obviously for very different use cases – you don’t want to do things in xDai where you need layer one economic consensus guarantees. But for many things, you don’t really you need them. “
The allure of xDai comes in part from its almost plug-and-play compatibility with Ethereum. Your OmniBridge allows you to move any token to xDai and vice versa, while its blockchain architecture is almost identical to Ethereum. This facilitates the portability of DApps or infrastructure elements such as oracles.
Centralization concerns seem not enough to stop adoption. Chainlink sees himself following the developers’ demand, and Johann Eid, head of integrations at Chainlink Labs, told Cointelegraph that “Smart contract developers should have the option of working with the chain that best suits their use case”.
For Omen, the decision to settle on xDai was a matter of immediate necessityErnst explained:
“For most things, gas costs outweigh the downsides of being on a PoA chain. And the fact is, while people are betting on a lot of layer two solutions, very few of them are in production. “
The increasing adoption of xDai or Binance Smart Chain is apparently at odds with the crypto community’s preference for decentralization. Ethereum fans often believe that the prevalence of DeFi on the blockchain network is the result of its more decentralized architecture and community spirit. In fact, the increase in the use of blockchain networks like Tron or BSC came after it became clear that Ethereum could not cope with its load.
At the same time, decentralization seems not to be enough on its own. For example, the most Ethereum-like blockchain network in existence is Ethereum Classic, which was formed by a community that believed that Ethereum was not decentralized enough. It has failed to attract almost any interest from DApp developers.
The most centralized solutions have a great benefit for them: they work right now. Rollup-based layer two solutions are still in development, and Optimistic Rollups is closer to launch. However, Ernst wasn’t particularly excited about his week-long retirement waiting period. “I am a huge fan of zkRollups. You don’t have the withdrawal limitations there, but the technology is not developed enough “.
While some developers continue to wait for rollup-based solutions, Platforms like xDai can move forward unhindered. “Ultimately, it is a trade-off between the increased security guarantees Ethereum offers and the usability, innovation, speed and cost savings right now on L2 sidechains,” an xDai spokesperson told Cointelegraph. As long as gas fees on Ethereum remain high, DApps may be forced to choose practicality over ideology.