• Chainlink is being used by the Associated Press for election and sports data

  • The Associated Press (AP), a 175-year-old news organization, will provide economic, sports, and election data to Chainlink, a system that feeds information to blockchains and triggers digital contracts to carry out transactions.

    The partnership, announced on Thursday, is yet another example of a well-known, mainstream brand embracing blockchain technology, while also demonstrating Chainlink’s plans to broaden the reach of decentralized finance (DeFi) into new areas.

    “Our view is that blockchain is an entirely new economy,” said Dwayne Desaulniers, AP’s director of blockchain and data licensing, in an interview with CoinDesk. “And, as a new economy, it simply requires a large number of inputs, a high level of trust, and a high level of collaboration.” What we’re seeing now is adoption going berserk, with blockchain being adopted in half the time it took the internet to reach a billion users.”

    According to Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov, the AP’s decision to provide data to various blockchains via Chainlink represents both a shift in how data sources value smart contracts and a significant increase in what smart contracts can now achieve using AP data.

    “As we’ve seen with the rise of DeFi, the rate at which Chainlink oracles can bring new data onto blockchains corresponds to the rate at which blockchain developers can build interesting new applications for users,” Nazarov wrote in an email. “With AP providing signed data about elections, sports, and various key world events, DeFi markets across the blockchain ecosystem can now be created about a wide range of previously inaccessible topics.”

    AP switches to DeFi

    AP previously collaborated with Chainlink for the November elections in the United States, when the news organization published a “race call” on the results to the Ethereum blockchain. Furthermore, AP has been a vocal supporter of the burgeoning non-fungible token (NFT) market, having sold the first media NFT in early 2021.

    AP will begin providing a new range of economic and sports-related information in addition to adding race call data on the 2021 U.S. gubernatorial and state legislative elections to its newly launched Chainlink oracle node. According to Desaulniers, the macroeconomic and sports datasets will be added this year in the weeks following the elections.

    “We will bring on-chain things like the GDP number, the unemployment rate, the CPI number, and other bits of trusted data from AP that we will publish to our node so developers can access it,” Desaulniers explained. “Sports is another area; not just scores, but also breaking news on players, transactions, and injuries.”

    The Associated Press, which operates as a non-profit collective owned by its member newspapers and broadcasters, has evolved in response to the disruption of online publishing by diversifying its revenue streams. According to Desaulniers, on-chain data is yet another green pasture to be discovered.

    “Absolutely,” he said, “we’re looking to monetize the data that we put on-chain.” “But do you know how much it costs and what it’s worth?” It’s still early, and these are things that have yet to be discovered. And that’s perfectly fine with us.”

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