Chainlink announced today that Ben Chan, formerly of digital asset custody provider BitGo, will serve as VP of Engineering at Chainlink Labs.
The hire should help Chainlink build out the scaling infrastructure for its decentralized oracle network, thereby lowering gas costs for node operators and preparing it to support the next level of DeFi growth.
Chan will focus on building Chainlink’s layer-2 scaling solution, dubbed Threshold Signatures. The goal is to provide service for thousands of data customers across multiple blockchains.
“I’m thrilled to be working on Chainlink and excited to help build the industry standard for decentralized oracles,” Chan told Decrypt. “Scalable, secure and reliable data infrastructure for DeFi today will be the next foundational building block to unlock the future in smart contracts.”
Chainlink provides a decentralized network of data oracle nodes to send real-world data measurements, like crypto prices or weather conditions, to blockchain-based applications.
Automatic code blocks known as smart contracts, including those on Ethereum, use the data to execute many activities that underpin the DeFi ecosystem, a group of “decentralized finance” protocols providing financial services for crypto users. Chainlink provides data to many of the leading DeFi protocols, including derivatives platform Synthetix and stable currency Ampleforth.
“I think Chainlink is really going through an amazing phase now,” Chan said in a recent Chainlink YouTube interview. “It’s seen huge growth providing reference data infrastructure for DeFi, and what I think is even better is that there is even more potential across other verticals and use cases.”
As the former CTO of BitGo, Chan helped develop multi-signature wallet solutions that now help the company facilitate more than 15% of global Bitcoin transactions.
Threshold Signatures will function similarly to optimistic rollups being tested in other parts of the crypto world, by aggregating data provided by decentralized oracle providers. That reduces the number of transactions needed to confirm the data is accurate.
Instead of multiple nodes individually sending data to an end customer, Threshold Signatures will aggregate data from the nodes on the Chainlink network, then send the verified data in a single transaction to the data user. The result is far lower operating costs for data providers and the ability to scale up to accommodate thousands of new customers across many different blockchains.
Sky-high Ethereum fees have abated for the time being, but the next wave of Ethereum enthusiasm is likely to push the current network to its limits. When that time comes, Chainlink data providers and customers may be happy to have an in-house solution to data scaling questions for the next generation of blockchain apps.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Chainlink as a “blockchain.” It isn’t.