Chainlink Functions: 4 Examples of Applications That Go Beyond Price Feeds

Chainlink Functions

Ever since Defi summer, we’ve relied on Chainlink price data whenever we swapped stablecoins or looked up interest rates across lending platforms. So much so that we forget that there are also ‘real world’ use cases for Chainlink. Hard as it may seem to believe sometimes, there is also a world outside of DeFi! We list four examples of Chainlink connecting various sorts of data to smart contracts, using its upcoming Chainlink Functions.

Chainlink Functions is now in closed beta: it’s live on the Ethereum Sepolia and Polygon Mumbai testnets. With it, Chainlink’s new raison d’être becomes to connect decentralized blockchain applications (dApps) to Web2 applications (the ‘old’ internet, read more about the difference between Web2 and Web3). It will allow smart contracts to link with any API and obtain decentralized, verifiable consensus on the outcome of any code executed.

Let’s dive into four examples.

Bridging the World of Smart Contracts and Off-Chain Data

Chainlink wants to bridge and automate interaction between smart contracts and reliable data. As you no doubt know, most honorable and well-read crypto enthusiast, smart contracts are self-executing agreements written in code that run on a blockchain, ensuring that the terms cannot be altered. However, these smart contracts are limited in how they can access off-chain data. And that’s where Chainlink comes in. 

Chainlink uses a network of data providers called oracles. These oracles act as intermediaries between smart contracts and the ‘real world’ (quotation marks because ‘real’ here means data outside of blockchain ecosystems), facilitating two-way data transfers. This connection between smart contracts and off-chain data is challenging. Chainlink ensures the reliability of data by incentivizing oracles with its native token, LINK, to provide accurate information.

This is Chainlink’s blog post where several examples are discussed. Let’s summarize them and strip them from their text blocks with examples in Javascript!

Example 1. Automating NFT Giveaway at Product Launch

In this Chainlink Functions use case, Chainlink streamlines NFT giveaways by automating the process of identifying winners and minting NFTs for their wallet addresses.

Let’s say a business celebrates a product launch with a limited NFT giveaway. Customers participate by sending their wallet address and a specific hashtag to the business’s Facebook or Instagram page.

Chainlink NFT

After the promotion, Chainlink Functions and a smart contract identify eligible wallet addresses for NFT minting. The smart contract calls Chainlink Functions, providing JavaScript code to extract relevant conversations via the Meta Messaging API. The code filters messages containing the hashtag and identifies the first three respondents as winners.

So, Chainlink Functions…

  1. Compiles a list of eligible wallet addresses
  2. Sends a message to each winner via Meta API
  3. Returns the addresses to the smart contract
  4. The smart contract mints NFTs for each winner

Winners receive a private message and can view their NFT in their Instagram Digital Collectibles gallery or on OpenSea.

Example 2. Paying Musicians Based on Their Stream Counts

This is an exciting one, revolving around an agreement between a record label and a musician – in the form of a smart contract and automatic payments based on music stream data.

The example involves the well-known Spotify and Twilio, the cloud communication platform which allows developers to integrate messaging, voice, and video capabilities into applications.

A use case involves an agreement between a record label and a music artist using a smart contract. The smart contract is set up to pay the artist based on their Spotify streams. But the issue is: smart contracts cannot directly access the artist’s streams or send email alerts. 

That’s where Chainlink Functions comes in: it bridges this gap by connecting to a music data API and calculating the payment amount. It then uses Twilio to send an email alert to the artist about their streams and payment amount.

More in detail, Chainlink Functions…

  1. Fetches the stream count
  2. Performs off-chain computation for payment
  3. Generates an email alert using Twilio’s email API
  4. Returns the listener count to the smart contract
  5. The contract then sends the USDC payment and updates the stream count.

This integration benefits both parties: the artist is guaranteed payment, and the record label automates and streamlines its payment process. Twilio can also be used to create professional-looking invoice emails, enhancing the functionality of the smart contract.

Example 3: Using Google Analytics Data to Trigger On-chain Logic 

Google Analytics and BigQuery can be integrated with decentralized applications (dApps) and smart contracts using Chainlink Functions and Chainlink Automation. This allows live updates on-chain about a website or dApp user statistics.

For example, a developer can use Google Analytics data to drive on-chain smart contract logic. Let’s say a user can vote on some poll on a website. Their pick is sent to Google Analytics and then stored in Google BigQuery, a tool for analyzing large datasets. 

Chainlink then retrieves the vote counts from BigQuery and updates the smart contract with the vote totals. Once the voting period is over, the smart contract processes the vote counts and determines the winner.

Example 4: Decentralized Insurance Based on Weather Data

This insurance example is a classic example. It’s already been pulled up for years to point at a use case for Chainlink: accurate and trusted (weather) data on which insurance payouts can be based. This is called parametric insurance: the payout doesn’t depend on damage but on an event that is measurable. 

With Chainlink functions, this potential of disrupting lawyers at insurance companies (we love you, we all get disrupted!) comes a bit closer:

Chainlink Functions helps by accessing and aggregating data from multiple sources, ensuring a consensus on the final result before updating the smart contract.

Let’s say there is an insurance contract that pays out if the temperature in New York falls below 60°F for three consecutive days (forget for a second why someone would ensure against such average events). Using Chainlink Functions, weather data are collected from three different sources, aggregated, and a consensus is reached on the median value. This data is passed to the smart contract, which determines whether to pay the client.

Conclusion

Chainlink Functions opens up many possibilities for using smart contracts in various applications, including the creator industry and the insurance market. It is one of those instances where blockchain isn’t about monkey jpegs (bless ’em) but about expanding the realm of what is included on-chain. Chainlink devs have been making sure that blockchain tech can expand to use cases that the masses actually care about!

Chainlink Functions: 4 Examples of Applications That Go Beyond Price Feeds - - 2024

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Chainlink Functions: 4 Examples of Applications That Go Beyond Price Feeds - - 2024
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By Lark Davis

Combining cutting edge insider insights and done-for-you market analysis to deliver crypto investors the best opportunities to grow their wealth, stay ahead of the curve, and avoid costly mistakes! We cover DeFi, NFTs, Altcoins, Technical Analysis and more!