The Band Protocol team has hit the ground running in 2021 with relentless efforts to ramp up towards the launch of BandChain Phase 2 — where the focus will revolve around enterprise and institutional integration to unlock virtually all the data on the open internet for blockchain and decentralized applications to securely utilize.
With great pleasure, we are proud to share our 2021 roadmap which breaks down our overall vision, targets and major milestones for the year!
Band Protocol’s rapid growth in 2020 is a result of our team shipping BandChain, a decentralized oracle network designed for optimal performance and scalability. The growing demand from decentralized finance projects seeking an easy-to-integrate oracle and without limitation in data availability or degree of decentralization has positioned Band Protocol aptly into the next stage of expansion.
From the beginning, Band Protocol strived to become the go-to decentralized oracle for dApps across multiple blockchain networks by ensuring maximum security, speed, and low cost. Our core vision has remained the same since inception in 2017: to provide trustworthy and reliable data to the open internet.
Our goal is to make Band Protocol the decentralized oracle for scalable blockchain applications, offering end-to-end flexibility and customizability for both spectrums of users — institutional data providers and oracle integrators.
By the end of 2021, developers will be able to integrate Band Protocol oracles in a fully documented, self-serviced manner. Enterprise and commercial data providers will also be able to self-sufficiently setup tech stacks to provide data to smart contracts and automatically collect revenue in a currency of choice.
Available on Ethereum, the top EVM-compatible chains, Polkadot, Cosmos, and layer-2 ecosystems, the data offered by Band Protocol will span into a multitude of smart contract application verticals through financial data, real-world events, weather and flight data, sport/esport events, and verifiable random functions.
This is the Band Protocol 2021 roadmap, starting with our key focuses for the year.
In 2020, we released the decentralized oracle infrastructure on EVM-compatible chains with various native chain integrations while serving multiple notable projects leading the decentralized finance such as Mirror Protocol, Fantom, and Loopring among many others. The Band Standard Dataset which covers over 150+ feeds for foreign exchange, commodities as well as crypto-assets is live and ready to be integrated by developers in any blockchain ecosystem.
Although BandChain has been operational for over 7 months, our mission to provide secure data feeds is ever-present and more highly demanded than ever before. This creates the opportunity for our team to continuously iterate and improve the product for more developers, institutions, and projects who will be using Band Protocol.
In 2021, we are expanding our engineering team and consolidating monitoring tools to ensure that any oracle feed anomalies are detected instantaneously and swiftly fixed on a 24/7 basis. The actionable tasks for Band engineers are testing, developing and deploying more fault-tolerant infrastructure on a daily basis.
The current price feed infrastructure will be improved to be a more streamlined and self-serviced process for new token symbols, multiple chain support, and custom oracle scripts. Through custom oracle scripts, we will continue to add both financial and non-financial data such as sport/esport, flight, weather among others to support all the needs of up and coming decentralized applications.
The final facet of strengthening the Band Oracle Infrastructures comes from the degree of decentralization of the network. Presently, there are 72 active validators producing blocks and reporting data — we will be onboarding and working closely with new validators through refined documentation, incentives and campaigns.
In early 2020, BandChain was one of the pioneer projects utilizing Cosmos IBC with 100% compatibility. However, due to evolving specs we decided to wait until the IBC spec and implementation are stable in favor of launching a reliable oracle service for decentralized applications. The cross-chain bridges used initially were manually built and maintained by the Band Protocol team.
With the recent Stargate release, Band Protocol engineers have begun work to bring IBC compatibility to BandChain. This means, any Cosmos-based blockchain will be able to utilize BandChain oracle natively in a simple manner, and integration into other blockchains become much more straightforward. We are proud to work closely and have the support of the Tendermint and Cosmos teams to make the transition as smooth as possible.
The first users in the Cosmos ecosystem to start requesting and consuming data via IBC will be Mirror Protocol and Injective Protocol.
In 2020, we’ve had many requests to add Verifiable Random Function (VRF) functionality to BandChain oracles. The need of a robust VRF on the blockchain is prominent in the design of NFTs, games, and some core primitives such as uniform validator selections to guarantee the fairness of the protocol
Thanks to the flexibility of BandChain’s oracle scripts and early partners integrating the initial BandChain VRF implementation, the solution has been refined to be 100% compatible with the current BandChain spec.
The initial implementation is ready and we are already working with industry-leading academics, researchers, and dApps to test its design before publicly releasing it to the masses.
With the Phase 1 Mainnet release in Oct 2020, BandChain validator nodes have been able to monetize their operations, earning a fee for fulfilling oracle requests that query data from public data endpoints and make it available on-chain for consumption. This lays the groundwork for the next critical stage of BandChain in Phase 2 which enables API providers to commercialize their data on-chain in a fully trustless manner and collect revenue on-chain.
We’re working actively with institutional-grade data providers, such as Brave New Coin and CoinGecko among others to pilot on-chain revenue generation via BandChain. This will allow any data provider to start monetizing their paywalled APIs to decentralized applications with a transparent revenue stream. The technology to support this feature is almost complete, and we have already started piloting it with selected data providers.
More details to share in the upcoming months.
Band Protocol v1 began as an in-house oracle that required ongoing internal setup and maintenance effort. With BandChain, we now have a scalable and trustless oracle service that everyone can use in a decentralized environment.
In the past year, our engineering team has been focusing on internal product development, testing, release procedure, partner integration pipeline, and monitoring tools to ensure the best oracle integration experience possible to our existing and upcoming partners.
By doing so, our focus on supporting third-party developers is our strongest area for improvement in the year of 2021. This means we will be documenting our internal engineering playbook on how developers can integrate Band oracle into any dApps, including both the data that’s already available on Standard Dataset and customized data feeds that can be deployed on BandChain via oracle scripts
This will empower third-party developers to harness more utility from Band Protocol oracle infrastructure without the assistance of Band Foundation, making the process of onboarding new dApps fully permissionless and self-serviced — raising the degree of decentralization even higher.
As with all software development, the timelines provided are indicative as unforeseen circumstances may arise. Nevertheless, the team is on track and progressing well into 2021 and are continuing to build the most decentralized, flexible and scalable cross-chain oracle for DeFi as well as smart contract applications.
Moving into 2021, Band Protocol has left no time to spare working with most major partners in stealth. Our focus for the first half of the year will be providing critical support to each partner, constantly implementing, testing and improving our solution until the integration is released into the production environment.
The technical priority in Q1-Q2 will be to expand the integration team to process faster and more robust integrations to match the accelerated growth in demand for Band Protocol oracles. This includes increasing the overall degree of decentralization security for Band oracles such as the Band Standard Dataset through integrations with increased enterprise data-providers and community validator initiatives which are to be detailed soon.
Band Protocol oracles will also have the capability to support Cosmos Network’s Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol — enabling seamless and simple integrations with any Cosmos-based decentralized application. We will also begin to reveal our technical developments on verifiable random functions and partners that will utilize such oracle requests.
The second half of 2021 will mark the major launch of BandChain Phase 2, which will empower institutional-grade data providers with even more flexibility to monetize and commercialize their solutions, earning a fee on a per-call basis or time-interval and collect revenue directly on-chain.
In tandem with the release, the team will be working closely with institutional data providers and early users of the commercial oracle scripts including enterprise and decentralized applications. The implementations will be showcased shortly after the official launch of Phase 2 in production.
The technical priority in Q3-Q4 will be to create a thoroughly documented self-service integration process for users using any oracle script live on BandChain. This will significantly increase the throughput of integrations and data requests on the Mainnet, and allow the engineering team to expand into a developer support team that is readily available at all times to assist partners.
We will also begin to decentralize the maintenance of documentation and developer guides to the Band Protocol community to build a thriving developer community and environment. This will be achieved through a facet of creative campaigns and strategies including Q&As, live streams, technical workshops, hackathons and bounties throughout the year.
Stay tuned for our upcoming release supporting IBC and verifiable random functions! True to all major blockchain development, all timeline and milestones are indicative as with all software development it is difficult to pinpoint the exact timeline. The Band Protocol team will continue to put our head down and build the most decentralized, flexible and scalable cross-chain oracle for DeFi and other use cases for blockchain applications.
2021 is marked to be the most exciting year for the development of blockchain applications and adoption — as a leading decentralized oracle project, Band Protocol is due for its biggest year yet with major developments across the board. We are truly grateful and humble by all of our community support and we are looking forward to another great year!