The Polkadot team released a major milestone for its Substrate blockchain framework.
It has been reported that it provides a way for blockchain applications to interface with the outside world without relying on external oracle providers.
However, Substrate is the name used for Polkadot’s blockchain building framework, as it provides developers with a variety of tools to design their custom blockchain for a variety of possible applications. The blockchains can then be launched stand-alone or integrated with Polkadot’s network of shards, or “Parachains.”
The most important feature of Substrate 2.0 is the “off-chain worker,” a development module that lets blockchains perform advanced computations or make their own web requests to the outside world.
Polkadot's blockchain framework now lets developers decide how they want to gather the outside data they need, @shvandrew reports. https://t.co/G5oDlGbeCY — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) September 24, 2020
According to the report, off-chain workers leverage Substrate nodes to perform operations that would normally be outside of the blockchain’s capabilities. In a blockchain like Ethereum, a particular computation has to be quick and limited enough to fit into a block of instructions. This excludes many types of operations that are either non-deterministic, for example, web requests that may fail, or are just too complex for the resources available.
Substrate 2.0 allows developers to unload these operations to the nodes running the network, which are able to perform web requests, encryption and decryption, signing of data, random number generation, and other CPU-intensive tasks.
Also, this system would allow Polkadot developers to build complex systems like price feed providers entirely on-chain, removing some of the elements of trust involved. The issue of finding reliable data sources, the core of the “oracle problem” would still remain, but developers would have maximum flexibility in the design of their DApps and blockchains.
Thus, Substrate 2.0 also introduces a variety of other developer-friendly tools in the form of Pallets, configurable modules that greatly simplify certain actions.