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Charting Chainlink’s Performance Improvements

A technical breakdown of Chainlink's performance improvements - 2021-02-05

Charting Chainlink’s Performance Improvements

Keeping track of the many technological advances of the Chainlink network can be challenging, particularly for those Chainlink followers who may class themselves as more of a ‘tech enthusiast’ than a developer. The intricacy of some of the Chainlink network upgrades can even be intimidating; especially if you do not read code, or are not familiar with Github or Pivotal Tracker.

Network Enhancements

The more significant network upgrades—for example, the move from the original Aggregator contracts to the Flux Aggregator contracts, or the more recent upgrade from Flux Aggregator contracts to Off-Chain Reporting contracts (OCR)—are typically well documented across relevant media sources. However, the smaller, seemingly less significant advances rarely receive the attention they actually deserve.

Take, for example, these two important Chainlink network enhancements that most readers may not have heard of:

  1. Bulletproof Transaction Manager

  2. ETH_SECONDARY_URL

Node performance Pic 1.PNG

October 15, 2020. Chainlink releases v0.9.2 in which the Bulletproof Transaction Manager was enabled by default.

The Bulletproof Transaction Manager (BPTM) was designed, implemented, and then enabled by default as a direct result of the skyrocketing Ethereum gas prices heaped on node operators in the summer of 2020. The job of BPTM is to bump gas prices for node submissions that take too long, essentially speeding up transactions. This novel solution to a real-world problem has significantly improved network performance and node response times.

ETH_SECONDARY_URL is a Chainlink network configuration variable that, if utilised, authorises transactions to be simultaneously broadcast to a secondary Ethereum node. As a result, the transactions are much more reliable; especially if there is a failure or bug in the primary Ethereum node.

NOTE: For those interested in learning more about the many Chainlink Network configurations that help to improve network performance, visit the official Chainlink site here. The list of Chainlink network enhancements that have been implemented since the network went live is extensive, and we do urge the inquisitive to research and learn more about these fantastic tools. However, those looking for simpler proof of improved Chainlink network performance needn’t look further than the oracle information pages on reputation.link.

Response Metric Graphs

The impact that Chainlink updates have on the network can be visualised on reputation.link. For example, reputation.link displays a decrease in average response time for each oracle over the last few months.

HOW TO: Navigate to reputation.link and select ‘Oracles’ from the navigation bar. Navigate to the oracle profile that you are interested in, select ‘Response Metrics’, and choose either: ‘AVG Response Time (Blocks)’ or ‘AVG Response Time (Seconds)’.

For example, the response time in seconds for the Prophet node has been steadily declining since January 2020 (see below).

Screen Shot 2021-02-04 at 4.51.19 pm.png

All-time Response Metrics - AVG Response Time (Seconds) for the Prophet node.

The Prophet node also clearly shows a marked improvement in average response time from October 2020 until present day. This decrease coincides with the release of Chainlink v0.9.2 and the enabling of the Bulletproof Transaction Manager.

Comparing Node Operator Response Metrics

What’s more impressive is the response metric comparison between different nodes. In the graph below, we see response metrics for two node operators: Prophet and Secure Data Links. The average response time in seconds for the Prophet node is represented by the black line, and for Secure Data Links the red.

Both nodes have similar graph profiles which show improved response metrics over time. The graph also tells us that both node operators have improved the efficiency of their nodes, and that they have both incorporated the Chainlink updates designed to improve node, and ultimately, network performance. These metrics demonstrate the growing strength of the Chainlink network.

Screen Shot 2021-02-05 at 7.01.56 am.png

Comparative Response Metrics - Average Response Time (Seconds) for Prophet node (black) and Secure Data Links node (red).

The Future

As future Chainlink updates roll out, we’ll see continued improvements in Response Metrics and hence a corresponding improvement in network performance.

Keep an eye out for the data we’ll be publishing in coming weeks as OCR contracts are slowly incorporated into more and more data feeds. We expect the data to be impressive!

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