What Is Chainlink VRF And How Does It Work?
Over the past decade, many applications have been born on blockchain technology, including decentralized currencies, called cryptocurrencies.
This has also made room for many decentralized, secure and transparent digital marketplaces.
Transactions recorded in the blockchain technology are immutable and highly secure, hence, there is a higher level of trust and also, and its performance has been enhanced by the smart contract feature which was brought to light on the Ethereum blockchain.
Given the unique nature of the blockchain technology, the Decentralized applications (DApps) built on blockchains are overriding the traditional systems such as traditional banking and also initiating a new mode of adoption which may have seemed impossible in the past.
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Expanding The Capability Of Smart Contracts With Oracles
Blockchain oracle technology supports smart contracts by interconnecting them with real-world data, transactions and events.
The Ethereum blockchain must interact with the external world and integrate incoming data into a smart contract before it can able to support the development of DApps. If this does not happen, then the DApps function will be limited to just facilitating transactions.
There are many types of available third-party services like inbound, outbound, software and hardware oracles which further broaden the horizon of off-chain applications that blockchain protocols can leverage.
Chainlink protocol is a consensus-based oracle network which provides end-to-end decentralization for securing the blockchain ecosystem where they operate.
Consensus-based oracle networks also improve the performance, functionality and interoperability of smart contracts to offer a higher degree of trust and transparency than on-chain networks through broadening the use of hybrid smart contracts.
They merge the special properties of the blockchain with the unique capabilities of the oracle networks to attain a wider range and power than just the on-chain systems alone.
What Is Chainlink VRF?
The use of the tamper-proof and verifiable source for random number generation is required from many decentralized apps (DApps) in the blockchain gaming and non-fungible token (NFT) space for more advanced functionalities like airdropping, running lotteries and development of probability games.
Chainlink’s Verifiable Random Function (VRF) maintains cryptographically secured randomness by utilizing a set of Chainlink nodes capable of transferring data to smart contracts and maintaining a classical-consensus mechanism through an assembly of nodes.
Chainlink VRF banks on a Decentralized Oracle Network (DON) to enhance existing blockchains by providing verified off-chain data. It can even export blockchain data to systems that are beyond the blockchain ecosystem.
Chainlink VRF gives Random Number Generation (RNG) for smart contracts and also leverages random outcomes in blockchain applications to help developers build better experiences.
Also, no user, node operator or malicious entity can manipulate the tamper-proof randomness of the Chainlink VRF since every oracle in the decentralized oracle network is affiliated to a private and public key pair. The private key is maintained off-chain while the public key is maintained on-chain.
How Does Chainlink VRF Work?
Given that Chainlink VRF uses the private and public key pair to develop a random and unpredictable value that can be verified through proof of correctness, there is a certainty of more secure and decentralized storage of individual keys for applications with the capability of generalized computation.
Withstanding the impediments of insecure RNG solutions that depend on off-chain computing, Chainlink VRF’s on-chain cryptographic verification combines on-chain block data that is used as an input to supply unbiased and tamper-proof results that are safe, even from compromised oracles in its network.
The outstanding capabilities of Chainlink’s on-chain RNG solution resulted in including the use of reliable smart contract applications in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space such as PoolTogether and Moonbeam where it allows for fairly gamified personal savings and provides real-time price data for Polkadot (DOT) developers, respectively.
Chainlink VRF also helps with the fair distribution of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as in the case of Polychain Monsters.
It also introduces entropy in on-chain gaming by offering verifiable randomness solutions as in the case of Axie Infinity (AXS). Chainlink VRF in partnership with other decentralized oracle networks (DONs), is promoting a trusted general-purpose framework for developers.
Chainlink VRF was formulated as part of the Chainlink 2.0 ecosystem and as such, it is providing the computational help and structure needed for smart contracts to function in an advanced manner.
What is Chainlink VRF v2?
The Chainlink VRF v2 is an upgraded version of the Chainlink VRF which is in line with its vision of constantly upgrading the features provided by its DONs. The numerous improvements revolving around Chainlink VRF v2 include how developers can find and request randomness for their smart contracts.
These randomness includes generating multiple random outputs in a single on-chain transaction, reducing required response time and reducing transaction costs or gas fees.
Furthermore, It also allows for up to 100 smart contract addresses to fund requests for verifiable randomness from a single LINK subscription balance account, that would be managed by the developer or subscription owner.
In addition, Chainlink VRF v2 initiates a Subscription Manager application that enables developers to pre-fund numerous randomness requests using a single LINK token balance, eliminating the need to transfer tokens for each request and substantially lowering the applicable Chainlink VRF fees.
It enables more complicated logic in the callback request function and even allows developers to change the callback gas limit when their smart contract applications receive validated randomness. The gas limitations differ from those established in Chainlink VRF, they depend on the underlying blockchain being used and they are still clearly stated on the VRF Contract addresses page.
The advantages of Chainlink VRF v2 go beyond increased customisation ability, as developers may also specify how many block confirmations are required before a random number is generated and supplied to the blockchain.
Given a range of three to 200 blocks, developers can choose the optimal number of block passes before randomness is created, safeguarding their applications from block re-organizations while still offering a significantly decreased latency time from request to final response. Developers can now access extremely scalable, gas-efficient, and programmable on-chain randomness with Chainlink VRF v2, which can unlock even more functionality for NFT and gaming DApps.
The incessant improvements introduced by Chainlink have made its VRF application the first choice for most DApps developers on the Ethereum network.
Chainlink VRF is enabling developers to design more realistic applications that can reliably interface with real-world data, delivering on the promise of facilitating the launch of secure blockchain-based applications.