Paralink Network with Jan Knežević
Paralink Link is a real world data ingress for cross chain applications. Its purpose is to collect, validate, aggregates and interpolate real-world datasets and feed them into smart contracts on Ethereum and Polkadot.
Paralink’s flexible node design allows developers to query data including real-world events, sports, weather, random numbers and more. Developers can create custom queries using Paralink Query Language and connect smart contracts with traditional web APIs within minutes.
Eric: Welcome @janknezevic ! How are you today?
Jan: Hi everyone! Doing great! Glad to be here to tell you more about Paralink Network.
Eric: We want to know more about the people behind the project first. Please tell us your background and how you discovered crypto.
Jan: Hi my name is Jan Knezevic and im the CEO of Paralink Network. My background is in business and economics, more specifically i worked as an auditor for KPMG , i was an actuary in a life insurance company and later on i transitioned into consulting blockchain projects with accounting and business development as well as conducting internal audits. Last year i was part of a team that acted like a data vendor in crypto- we collected on chain, pricing and sentiment data and created qualitative indicators for day and swing traders. I was also an active day and swing trader on the stock market trading stocks and stock options and later on transitioned into trading cryptocurrencies.
Eric: Interesting mix of skillsets! in a way perfectly fitted for an oracle project! Speaking of, what is Paralink Network?
Jan: Paralink is a cross chain data ingress engine which opens new possibilities for the existing as well as the new blockchain technology — such as enabling next generation money markets, derivatives, insurance, prediction markets and much more. It has its own query language from which you can plug into any real world data API, database or chain, while it maintains high data integrity and strong on-chain security. The paralink token is the main resource which is used for protocol fees, incentives, on-chain coordination and governance.
Eric: What was the inspiration behind starting Paralink?
Jan: We decided to build it in q2 of 2020 after looking at other oracle solutions and seeing that the technology stack they are built on isn’t sufficient for providing a stable and resilient service. That is why we decided to build on polkadot to achieve higher throughput and add sufficiently expressive ETL systems and an advanced querying language which we felt were lacking in the current solutions.
Eric: Would you say that your scope would cover the area where The Graph is playing at?
Jan: Definitely. Our scope covers most of the areas that the existing solutions cover and more. We are building the most generic platform, which is why we want to onboard as many different projects for integration and make the integration process as easy as possible. We might also add integration for GraphQL if we see there is a lot of demand for it.
Eric: How will your advanced querying language work and how does it compare to what is out there?
Jan: Paralink data requests can be made via PQL definitions, which are JSON based descriptions of ETL (Extract, Transform & Load) jobs. PQL queries are done via SQL like interface which generalizes over common data structures (JSON, XML, SQL), and includes basic post processing utilities such as math functions and type casting. It offers more functionalities than all other solutions and an easier implementation.
Eric: Thats pretty cool. Developers should have an easier time integrating this.
Can you expand on the token for a bit? How much is the supply and what are the utilities of it?
Jan: First of all, its used to pay the transaction costs of the callbacks as well as for services provided by the relayer quorums.
Besides this, its also serves an important role for incentives -so it can be staked into the relayer quorums — and those get rewarded for providing useful work — also the other way around — slashed for misbehaviour.
Its also a governance token, so you can vote for collators on the parachain as well as calibrating other parameters through the ecosystem.
And lastly, you can use it to provide liquidity in PARA AMMs and earn more of them.
Total supply is 1bio. You can read more about it in our recently published blog post: https://blog.paralink.network/para-tokenomics/
Eric: How big is the team now and any notable investors supporting the project?
Jan: Our developers have worked and contributed in multiple ecosystems including Steem and EOS, while we have people who have been in operational roles at Parity, Consensys, Tendermint and Bitfury. We are mostly based in Europe, but we have a marketing division in the US as well as Asia. We are onboarding 2 more people who have been working in Cisco and Web3 Foundation. Total team size is 9 people atm but we have just finnished with private sale so we can onboard more people now.
Notable investors are Kenetic, LD Capital, NGC, 3commas, and many more.
Eric: Good list there. Paralink is on Polkadot. What are your prediction on Polkadot and its ecosystem for this year and the next?
Jan: We feel that Polkadot technology stack is incomparable with others at this time that is why we also decided to build on it. That said it is still unclear when Polkadot will launch and when the first parachain auctions will arrive. We hope that the amount of interest shown by projects that want to build on it will expedite the process. When it is live it will be the strongest technology stack as it will offer interoperability through the XCMP protocol which we feel will give a great advantage to this ecosystem.
Eric: I agree. very high quality projects like Paralink bodes well for the ecosystem.
Q: Since this project is powered by Polkadot, can you give some insights on how you are planning to secure a slot for the upcoming Parachain slot auction?
Jan: We believe that the first parachain slots will cost from 10–25 mio $ so it is unfeasible for us to obtain it as we have raised a much lower sum. At the same time we are looking to obtain one after the hype and the prestige of getting the first slots dies down a bit and when there are more parachain slots available. In the mean time we will launch on Kusama. We are working on integration with projects we believe will obtain the parachain slot in the first auction like plasm and we will finalize the integration this week and announce it after. We think that is a good way of having marketing exposure at the parachain auction.
Q: Since Paralink has the intention of creating a Polkadot native token, so what will be the fate of PARA token on ERC20? Will it require us to swap or you plan retaining the two?
Jan: The ERC-20 token is created in the beginning as polkadot isn’t live yet and the ethereoum defi ecosystem is the largest atm so we will try to integrate with as many as possible. Also we are getting listed on a centralized exchange before the launch of polkadot, which means there still isn’t an established protocol for such tokens. After we launch on Polkadot we will launch a polkadot native token there and exchanges will act as intermediaries between them similar as with USDT which runs on 9 different chains and most users don’t even realize that.
Q: Paralink offers 3 security models (Simple Oracle, Trusted Oracle, & On-Chain Consensus). Why use 3 different security models? Can you please explain more about each of these models with there Pros & Cons?
Jan: To satisfy all kinds of applications, Paralink offers 3 security models with different cost, convenience and security characteristics.
Paralink Nodes can be used as a multi-chain oracle from any 3rd party data source by any developer.
Very easy to implement (just PQL definition)
Cheap and fast
Ability to source and validate multiple information sources
Callback support for all blockchains, without need for bridges
Requires trust in node operators
Only suitable for applications that don’t have financial impact
Simple Oracle can be upgraded by the virtue of cryptographically signed PQL results with ECDSA private keys from reputable data providers.
Suitable for Prediction Markets, Insurance, Governance and Gambling applications
Easy to implement (PQL + Signing Proxy Contract)
Cheap and fast
Ability for established data vendors to sell their services on Paralink Network
Callback support for all blockchains, without need for bridges
Single point of failure
For applications that require the highest level of security, without having to rely on a single source of truth.
Suitable for Money Markets, Derivatives and other high-stakes financial applications
Relatively easy to implement (PQL + Relayer Quorum + Bridge)
On chain aggregation and validation guarantees
Highest robustness and data quality
Requires the use of bridges, ie. Polkadot <> Ethereum, so not all chains are supported (yet)
More expensive due to the costs of on-chain coordination
Q: What are the great achievements that Paralink has achieved so far? What difficulties , risks did you encounter during implementation and what factors help motivate you to overcome difficulties?
Jan: We open sourced our node last week and are already receiving pull request which we are very happy about. We are onboarding developers that contribute quality code after a trial period for part or full time. We are working on integrations with several different projects like plasm,moonbeam, darwinia and others. We are looking to launch our testnet by the end of January. TGE and exchange listing is expected in February.
Q: Security and Trust are very basic in today’s crypto space, how safe and strong are you, do you have safe funds and insurance?
Jan: Paralink does not hold users funds, so most DeFi attack surfaces don’t apply direcly. The on-chain aggregation and validation ensure high integrity of the data for DeFi applications that do rely on Paralink oracles.
Q: How does Paralink plan to ensure and maintain the quality of feeds on your network? Could you please tell us more about your solutions with oracles?
Jan: As stated earlier we have 3 different kinds of security models. The most secure is withe the use of relayer quorums which are self-organizing groups of Paralink Node operators, who’s job is to service the data requests. Relayer quorums earn fees for providing the service (see Token) and can be penalized — have their revenue and or stake slashed — via Reputation system.
In order to service a callback to a data request, min_treshold relayers have to agree on the result. Agreement is defined by the variance treshold. The result is then aggregated on-chain using the mean for continuous, and mode for discrete values.
Q: What would Paralink actually have that other similar Oracle solutions doesn’t have in terms of major selling points? (Such as DIA, Kylin and Chainlink)
Jan: Here is a comparison table so you can have a clear picture about the advantages that we have over the current competitors. One of the biggest additions is the advanced queries and ETLs. We believe this will change the way people build dapps and think about data ingress into smart contracts.
Also, having cross-chain capabilities while maintaining on-chain validation and aggregation gives us the flexibility to do the kind of processing never possible before.
Q: What is high-quality hardware-based randomness and
How does paralink entropy achieve this? What are the advantages of the PQL base?
Jan: Blockchains are purely deterministic state machines by necessity of a block-level consensus algorithm. This means that a native implementation of randomness to be used for luck based games is not possible. For this reason, Paralink provides a cryptographically signed hardware based entropy ingress. Public entropy samples will be provided on the daily basis for statistical analysis.
Q: Paralink is developing an on-chain module which will be interoperable with entire Polkadot ecosystem. Why Polkadot? Do you plan to add other blockchains in the future?
Jan: We plan to integrate with as many projects as possible on Polkadot, Ethereum and other blockchains.
Q: Does PQL offer advantages in “easiness-of-use” for developer comparing to similar solutions already on the market, is it faster? Why should we use a custom query language?
Jan: Yes. You wont have to compile to wasm. And we will build a easy to use UI afterwards to bring it closer to developers outside of blockchain.
Eric: Its a wrap! @janknezevic please invite everyone where to find out more about Paralink Network.
Jan: Feel free to check out our blog for announcements :https://blog.paralink.network/
Our github: https://github.com/paralink-network
Developer guide: https://docs.paralink.network/developer-guide/getting-started.html
Thank you for having me!
Eric: Thanks everyone! Please support Paralink Network. it is certainly gonna do amazing when its out!
Jan: Thank you for your support!