Another great announcement by the Axie Infinity team! The Axie Infinity integration of Chainlink technology shows how blockchain-focused companies can share technologies to make their products better.
The team essentially incorporated two aspects of Chainlink’s technology into their product. The first being Chainlink’s ETH/USD Price Reference Data into their marketplace.
So what is this Price Reference Data and why does Axie need it? In the simplest form, smart contracts need some conversion of off-chain data into an on-chain format so that they can understand it and execute the contract. This is where Chainlink comes in. Chainlink’s decentralized nodes work by oracles (software) to translate this off-chain, real world data to an on-chain smart contract format. The reason for decentralization is to ensure that there is not one single point of failure. Also, you need multiple sources in order to reduce the error in the data. So by decentralizing the nodes, you can ensure that the data is much more accurate. With these nodes, Chainlink creates a realistic price estimation at any current time.
This is why Axie Infinity needs it.
Some times searching through the marketplace you would notice that the USD price of an Axie was not accurate according to the current ETH/USD ratio. The problem with this is that it could mislead players into thinking they are spending a certain amount of USD but actually aren’t. When you have sales of up to 300 ETH, which we saw recently with the triple mystic sale, you want to make sure that this pricing is as accurate as possible. By integrating this technology into their marketplace, Axie Infinity can ensure that their prices are the most up-to-date for users to see.
The next piece of functionality that Axie Infinity implemented was Chainlink VRF, Chainlink’s Verifiable Randomness Function. From Chainlink’s website (linked), VRF “utilizes verifiable random functions to generate randomness that is verifiable on-chain.” Further they explained, “We see many great smart contracts benefiting from Chainlink VRF, specifically those that would like to provide proof that they are indeed using a tamper-proof source of randomness beyond their control.”
So why does Axie Infinity need this for their AOC rolls? First, it would be good to understand what Axie Origin Coins are. AOC’s are what were sold at the initial Axie sale. In order to roll an Origin Axie you needed to purchase 5 AOC (which were later burned) and roll to get a randomly generated Axie. What is crucial about this is that for each of the 6 parts, there is a certain percent chance of rolling a mystic part. Mystic Axie’s are very rare, and very expensive, so you want this roll to be truly random. Axie Infinity incorporated Chainlink’s VRF in order to give transparency into these AOC rolls to show that yes, these rolls are truly tinker-proof sources of randomness that they cannot control. Users will have more trust in the process when they know that the functions computed to generate possible mystic Axies are transparent.
Of course this is not the only purpose that VRFs can serve in the Axie Infinity game, as I am sure we will see this need for verifiable randomness to show up in many other cases.
If you want to learn more about how Chainlink works, check out this 5-minute overview by Gemini.
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