OpenLaw, the legal-focused blockchain protocollers of ConsenSys, have partnered with ChainLink to leverage the latter’s decentralized oracle network. The “middleware” tech allows smart contracts to interact with data off-chain, hailing a future where legal contracts and beyond will become increasingly sophisticated and streamlined via blockchain.
Smart Legal Contracts + ‘Real-World Data’
St. Thomas of Aquinas once wrote Lex malla, lex nulla, or “A bad law is no law.”
In kind, a bad smart legal contract is no legal contract, which is why OpenLaw has taken a step forward toward superior functionalities in its new partnership with decentralized oracle play ChainLink.
“ConsenSys spoke” OpenLaw declared as much on August 14th, announcing in a blog post their decision to embed ChainLink’s oracle tech “into the OpenLaw protocol.”
Execute smart contracts in $USD.
— OpenLaw (@OpenLawOfficial) August 14, 2018
As the team explained in their post, the inaugural fruit of the partnership comes in the form of new USD denomination possibilities on OpenLaw via real-time off-chain data brought in by the oracle network:
“Our first integration with ChainLink will leverage our existing smart legal contracts to demonstrate the capabilities of this integration with ChainLink. Assets (cryptocurrencies, tokens, etc.) transferred on OpenLaw can now be denominated in U.S. dollars. Then, using ChainLink’s middleware, we can calculate the equivalent amount of ETH at the moment of transfer. For example, if a party agrees to a $10,000 per month contract via an OpenLaw agreement, the exchange rate can be converted via ChainLink’s oracle each month to pay in Ether at the latest exchange rates.
One of the foremost challenges in the blockchain industry preventing mainstream usage is the frequent currency exchanges in sometimes volatile currencies. This partnership shows a promising way forward to lower those barriers and make using cryptocurrency in smart contracts simpler and more intuitive for everyday users.”
It’s a solid and legitimizing partnership for ChainLink, as OpenLaw, in being linked to ConsenSys, wouldn’t team-up willy-nilly with any ol’ up-and-comer project.
In the future, not every project or company will be willing or able to go the Augur route in building their own oracle middleware, which is where ChainLink and decentralized oracle projects like it come in. The OpenLaw partnership is the second headline ChainLink itself has caught in 2018 after one of its advisers, Evan Cheng, became Director of Blockchain Engineering at Facebook back in July.
The Horizon Is Widening
The “smart contract platform” rat race has been intensifying as of late. And when it comes to decentralized oracle plays, ChainLink’s not the only kid on the block either. Who will win these “races,” or if there will be many winners or mostly losers, remains to be seen.
But it’s clear that smart contract platforms are being increasingly looked-to for their possibilities in commerce, law, and all the main fields of human industry.
With that said, whether it be ChainLink or anyone else going forward, decentralized oracle “middleware” will most certainly have its place in this expanding ecosystem. The off-chain + on-chain possibilities are seemingly endless.
Over past 3 weeks, have attempted to read every smart contract protocol whitepaper (launched, or in the works).
Count is ~57 projects
— Ash Egan (@AshAEgan) August 13, 2018
What’s your take? What do you make of the “oracle problem” as it pertains to blockchain? Let us know in the comments below.