Google has been working with Chainlink, the oracle giant on Ethereum (ETH), for several years now. This time, the partnership has resulted in a surprising offering, with the launch of a first product dedicated to weather.
Google and Chainlink, A shock partnership between 2 titans
In 2019, Google had announced the beginning of a collaboration between the GAFAM giant and the decentralized oracle service offered by Chainlink.
The objective of this partnership was to allow Chainlink’s service to be connected to Google Cloud’s service. Thanks to this inter-connection, the various decentralized applications (dApps) of Ethereum were able to retrieve data from Google Cloud’s BigQuery service, via the Chainlink middleware.
In fact, the interactions between the 2 services work as follows: a decentralized application calls the corresponding Chainlink contract with the information about the query to be performed as well as some fractions of ETH for the payment of the service.
Once the request is broadcast, a node in the Chainlink network transmits it to Google Cloud’s BigQuery service. The BigQuery service then retrieves the requested data and sends it back to the Chainlink node, which in turn sends it to the decentralized application.
A first weather service, really?
After developing and experimenting with this service for 2 years, the 2 companies have just presented the first application resulting from this partnership.
It is in an announcement, published on August 6 on the Medium blog of Google Cloud, that the 2 companies unveiled a service allowing decentralized applications to obtain data related to the weather.
In practice, this solution allows decentralized applications to connect directly to data from the Google Public Dasaset Program, which includes petabytes of data related to the weather, such as :
“(…) historical weather and climate data, which businesses can instantly access to optimize analytical models related to weather risks and create data-driven solutions.”
What applications for this service?
Obviously, a weather service was not the application we might have expected from the 2 companies. However, Google explains that the use of decentralized finance (DeFi) allows the creation of financial markets to mitigate weather-related losses:
“Making weather data available directly to financial markets is another promising avenue for mitigating weather-related losses and offers the potential to improve the forecasts themselves, as market makers with more accurate weather models will perform better in the weather forecast capital markets.”
As a result, this solution could lead to the emergence of decentralized insurance: for example, for farmers. Indeed, the latter would be compensated if they suffered production losses due to weather hazards. As these insurances would be based on smart contracts, the whole process would be automatic.
“With NOAA weather and climate data hosted on Google Cloud now directly accessible on Ethereum via Chainlink, smart contract developers can create pre-programmed crop insurance agreements that automatically and reliably settle claims based on real, high-quality data.”Google Cloud release
For its part, Facebook, another GAFAM, has other plans for cryptocurrencies in mind. Indeed, far from wanting to offer services like Google, the social networking giant wants to create its own stablecoin, potentially on the Polkadot blockchain (DOT).