Chainlink VRF has enabled over 35 blockchain RNG use-cases. RNG or (secure) random number generator supports smart contracts and off-chain systems in order to access “a verifiably tamper-proof source of randomness.”
Since its mainnet launch in October of last year, Chainlink VRF has serviced more than a million requests for “fair” and “unbiased” random numbers across Ethereum (ETH), Polygon (POLY), and Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Those random numbers have reportedly been used to support a large variety of use-cases in blockchain gaming, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and decentralized finance (DeFi).
The developers at Chainlink (LINK) have looked into how Chainlink VRF actually works and its advantages over existing RNG solutions. They’ve also examined 35 unique use cases supported by Chainlink VRF that are currently in production by leading projects or waiting to be created by application developers.
When people think of gaming, NFTs, art, and science, they tend to overlook the significance of randomness in determining outcomes. From choosing patients in random controlled trials to determining winners in games to “generating variation” in digital artwork, entropy is a key component to “making these processes fair, exciting, and secure.”
But accessing a source of randomness that’s “tamper-proof, unpredictable, and auditable” by all participants isn’t a simple task—particularly when bringing entropy into “highly deterministic blockchain networks,” the Chainlink team writes in a blog post.
For instance, RNG solutions derived from the blockchain or distributed ledger tech (DLT) network itself, like using block hashes, introduce “attack vulnerabilities” where blockchain miners/validators may decide to produce a block only “when it generates more favorable results for themselves.” Basically, miners/validators have “the ability to re-roll the dice to obtain a new source of randomness,” the Chainlink team explains.
“Alternatively, RNG solutions derived from off-chain API providers are opaque and unverifiable, so users have no proof that the randomness was not manipulated. There is no way to tell the difference between true or manipulated randomness, leading to a great reduction in trust. Both solutions become increasingly concerning as the amount of value being secured by the RNG solution goes up.”
Chainlink Verifiable Random Function (VRF) has been designed to address these types of limitations by using “off-chain Oracle computation and on-chain cryptography.” Chainlink VRF works by “combining block data that is still unknown when the request is made with the oracle node’s pre-committed private key to generate both a random number and a cryptographic proof.” The consuming application will “only accept the random number input if it has valid cryptographic proof, and the cryptographic proof can only be generated if the VRF process is tamper-proof,” the Chainlink team noted.
Thus, Chainlink VRF offers users with automated and publicly verifiable proof that “the randomness supplied is provably fair and was not tampered with or predicted by the oracle, blockchain miners, external entities, or the application’s development team,” the Chainlink team explains.
As mentioned in a blog post, Chainlink VRF is “powered by fully open-source code and all cryptographic proofs are verifiable on-chain by anyone.”
The Chainlink team further noted:
“Ultimately, the ability to access a fair and unbiased source of randomness in a verifiably secure manner enables blockchain developers to build a whole new set of applications for blockchain gaming, NFTs, lucky draws, marketing campaigns, fan rewards, and fair selection and security processes.”
In order to showcase to software engineers how to apply provably fair randomness within apps, the Chainlink team has shared 35 different ways to use Chainlink VRF.
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