Blog

Flare Network Infrastructure Expansion Underway

Graphic design by Mateusz Skrzypiec [X: @nikodemfocus]

Author: FocusTSO Team

1.Intro

Recently, we celebrated the anniversary of the establishment of the Polish Flare Network community and the start of the distribution of $FLR tokens. During this time, we have witnessed many changes and the development of the network.

Starting with the community’s approval of the FIP.01 amendment, which introduced changes to the way tokens are distributed, ending with the initiation of the process of transitioning to the Proof of Stake consensus, which process is currently in the second of three transition phases.

In the meantime, both the community and the ecosystem have grown significantly. A lot of new, educational content has been created, and many new partnerships and new projects building their solutions on the network have been announced.

All of this shows that the network is constantly evolving, and the current year 2024 promises to be even more interesting. Upcoming changes and upgrades include:

  • Improvements to the Flare Time Series Oracle protocol
  • Completion of the migration to the Proof of Stake consensus
  • Introduction of FAssets (delta-neutral synthetic assets that will enable smart contract functionality to tokens that do not have it)
  • Release of the LayerCake protocol, which will enable the use of these tokens on other networks (trustless cross-chain functionality)

The creators intend to deliver all of these solutions by the end of 2024 and then continue to develop the network, using it for other applications as well, such as in combination with Artificial Intelligence. These are completely new solutions that will improve the functioning of AI and will be possible only thanks to Blockchain technology. Many existing problems in AI, such as trust and incentives to share models, can actually be improved by blockchain technology.

All of these changes have been extensively discussed in our previous blogs, which we encourage you to read. However, let’s shift our attention to the ongoing development of Flare Network infrastructure in the context of the recent collaboration with Google Cloud.

2.Google Cloud as Infrastructure Provider

Flare’s partnership with Google Cloud is undoubtedly an important event that affects the perception of the Flare Network in the industry, raising its prestige and increasing its recognition among institutional players. The benefits of this partnership are not only purely image-related (PR), but also include ensuring greater security and stability of the Flare Network. The cooperation itself is interesting in that Google Cloud has decided to take on the role of Infrastructure Provider on the Flare Network, which means that it will be responsible for proposing and validating new blocks on the Flare Network chain, contributing to the Proof of Stake consensus mechanism, and providing data to the Oracle protocol (Flare Time Series Oracle).

So-called Infrastructure Providers (IPs) charge a fee for their validation services and share the remaining portion of the accumulated rewards with other participants who delegate their funds to the validators of their choice. In addition, IPs contribute to the Flare decentralized price oracle (FTSO), providing data, such as prices, for free to the end user.

Infrastructure Providers can run up to four validation nodes connected to their single FTSO unit.

The role of Infrastructure Provider is essential to achieving Flare’s mission of providing decentralized applications on the Flare Network and other blockchain networks with reliable access to decentralized data, such as price and time series data, chain event and state data, and Web2 API data.

3.Potential Uses of Flare Protocols by Google

This dual IP role that the new Flare partner takes on is new for a player of this caliber like Google Cloud. The partnership is also a green light that should attract more interest and new partnerships.

There is a need for wider use of reliable and decentralized data, which is definitely provided by the FTSO protocol. Today’s data provisioning solutions are quite unreliable due to their centralized structure (we wrote about it in the previous post).

https://medium.com/@focusfcx/is-flare-a-solution-for-oracle-b2cc8d19c656

A striking example of inaccurate data provision is the incident from a few weeks ago, when inaccurate prices for the Polish currency, PLN, were provided.

To recap, internet users who checked the exchange rates of the euro and dollar against the PLN on Monday, January 1st, were met with a shock — the euro was unexpectedly projected to surge to over 5 PLN and the dollar to 4.87 PLN. (This amounted to an inflation of over 30%.)

According to Google, the error stemmed from one of their price providers. While such service failures are not unheard of, such a serious error regarding exchange rates is relatively rare.

The provision of an erroneous PLN currency rate by the Google search engine in comparison to major global currencies ignited concern among certain investors and holders of currency loans. The implications of a scenario in which inaccurate rates were consistently provided could be particularly dire. In such an instance, apprehension and uncertainty could escalate, and speculation on the foreign exchange market could intensify. The depreciation of the PLN’s position could become more pronounced, potentially jeopardizing Poland’s economic situation.

 

Source: Rzeczpospolita on-line , Kurs PLN/EURO i Polski Minister Finansów

Unfortunately, many popular internet portals and applications automatically retrieve currency exchange rates from Google. As a result, the false exchange rate of the Polish currency reached a wide audience. It was only on January 2 that everything returned to normal.

The situation was serious enough that the Polish Minister of Finance intervened. He assured that everything was fine with the Polish currency and that there was no cause for concern. He also pointed to the culprit of the confusion, which was Google.

Read the full story here: https://tvn24.pl/tvn24-news-in-english/google-poland-blames-zloty-exchange-rates-turmoil-on-external-data-providers-7683628

It is possible that in the future, thanks to the role of Google Cloud as an Infrastructure Provider on the Flare Network and after they have tested the FTSO system “from the inside”, Google will decide to use decentralized data provided by FTSO in its services. Unfortunately, we still have to wait for that. However, we are certainly on the right track, as FTSO has been operating flawlessly for over two years. And as the above situation has shown, Google needs reliable data to maintain its credibility and position in the growing and rapidly developing world of WEB3.

4.FocusTSO Expands Infrastructure on Flare Network!

Despite the presence of prominent institutional players like Google Cloud, the Flare Network also hosts a growing number of smaller entities investing in infrastructure development. This diversified participation is a testament to the network’s vibrancy and growth. Recent examples of this expansion include the infrastructure enhancements of the following providers: Bifrost Wallet, FTSO AU, Flare Oracle, SolidiFi, and Oracle Deamon. Additionally, the FocusTSO team, as a representative of the Polish Flare Network community, is taking a proactive step by launching a second validator with a self-bond of 8.6 million FLR, effectively extending capacity to over 129 million of FLR for staking available for the network participants.

Thanks to this upgrade, we will gain much more free space to accept new delegations and meet the growing demand.

FocusTSO’s original validator has maintained a flawless 100% uptime since its launch, undoubtedly providing value for both the network and its delegators. Its unwavering performance has bolstered the network’s security and decentralization, while ensuring that delegators consistently reap the full rewards of their stake. The launch of the second validator by the FocusTSO team significantly bolsters the network’s resilience and contributes a substantial amount to its decentralization.

FocusTSO Validators’ addresses:

  • Validator 1: D3QKd6XxLnrKowkziZJSG4RNLtffz8ESk
  • Validator 2: G5kkF5H1AGaY3n9h9PCXdiFqjyP1jYhJW

5.Outro

Decentralization of infrastructure and its diversification in terms of both geography and type / size of entities makes the Flare Network more secure and reliable.

Currently, Google Cloud stands as a pioneer in its segment, but as Web3.0 continues to evolve, we can anticipate the emergence of additional players of this caliber on the network.

The FocusTSO team is immensely proud to be an active participant in the transformative Blockchain for Data revolution spearheaded by the Flare Network. The opportunity to stand alongside one of the world’s largest corporations in providing the same type of service gives us immense pride and reinforces our conviction that the development path we have chosen on the Flare Network is the right one.

In closing, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the community for their unwavering support and trust. We pledge to do our utmost to sustain the exceptional quality of our service to date.

FocusTSO Team

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