Before Web2 disrupted traditional business models, organizations could not gather real-time insights concerning how end-users interacted with their products and services. As businesses continued to embrace digital technologies, Web2 unlocked a treasure trove of data that covers all sorts of information.
However, Web2, by design, is highly centralized, with third-party service providers and big-tech companies controlling unlimited datasets – data that can be readily brokered, monitored, and monetized without the user’s consent.
Web3, the decentralized version of the internet, promises a new era where users will have unprecedented control over their personal data. By leveraging blockchain’s features, such as immutability, distributed ledger technology (DLT), and decentralization, Web3’s decentralized applications (dApps) and protocols have already unlocked numerous opportunities for both organizations and end-users.
But there is a problem – the transition from Web2 to Web3 won’t happen overnight. Even if developers are building innovative Web3 solutions that are leagues ahead of their Web2-based counterparts, limited on-chain data isn’t enough for optimizing these emerging solutions for mass adoption.
As the use cases for bringing off-chain data on-chain mount, the solutions for merging the real world and blockchain are arising, and among them is “hybrid compute.”
Developed by Boba Network, the Layer-2 blockchain scaling solution, hybrid compute enables Boba Network’s Solidity smart contracts to communicate and interact with all existing Web2 systems. It works as the “decentralized bridge” that connects on-chain projects with off-chain data in real-time.
Seamlessly Connecting The Web3 Universe With Off-Chain Data
The vast amount of data stored across the Web2 ecosystem is of no use to Web3 developers.
This is because there is no foolproof way to access terabytes of off-chain data in real-time, given that the current range of smart contracts isn’t designed to access outside data sources. Smart contracts, built on individual blockchains, operate in closed siloes because underlying blockchains were designed to operate separately until this point.
And there’s a valid reason for this. Blockchains achieve their most valuable properties by being isolated from external systems, like strong consensus on the validity of user transactions, preventing double-spending attacks, and preventing network outages.
Existing solutions like oracles provide a secure infrastructure that supports a blockchain’s interoperability with external systems. In the simplest terms, oracles expand the capabilities of smart contracts by offering a universal gateway to off-chain resources while still maintaining the security provided by the underlying blockchain.
Unfortunately, this comes at a cost. Most oracle solutions are heavily centralized, which means that Web3 dApps utilizing them are compromising on one of the most important features of blockchain technology – decentralization.
But, things change dynamically with Boba’s hybrid compute protocols and Solidity smart contracts that can execute complex algorithms such as machine learning classifiers, pull real-world or enterprise data in an atomic transaction, or sync with the latest state of a gaming engine via an external Web2 API.
Besides the gains that arise from connectivity, hybrid compute is relatively straightforward to deploy. A Solidity smart contract that can make Turing calls and an external server that can accept the calls and return data in an EVM-compliant format reflect all the required infrastructure. The result means that Web3 developers can leverage Boba’s smart contracts to incorporate machine learning algorithms, interact with real-world data, and sync with external servers.
As a result, Web3 developers can build a diverse range of dApps that can invoke code executed on Web2 infrastructure and use algorithms and functions that are either too costly or difficult to process on-chain. When the more complex computations are finished remotely, the protocol communicates their results to the smart contract. In turn, this allows Web3 developers to build more elaborate and elegant dApps without adding extra traffic to the network or spending more on gas.
Hybrid Compute unlocks an abundance of new possibilities for smart contracts. For instance, Web3 developers can utilize it to build expansive DeFi protocols based on off-chain assets such as real estate. It can also be used to unlock new models for NFTs, such as NFT lending based on off-chain machine learning-based valuation models, or even facilitate NFTs and DAO memberships connected to off-chain identities.
Furthermore, Web3 developers can also use Boba’s hybrid compute system to bring the best of both Web2 and Web3 into their projects. Developers gain the opportunity to construct detailed on-chain reward models to engage customers by accumulating real-time data from off-chain activities, such as retweets, shares, and comments, bringing closing the gap between Web2 to Web3 that is preventing more widespread blockchain use.
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