Cronos
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Introduction

What is Cronos?

Cronos is a decentralized task scheduling protocol for Solana.

Context

Blockchains have brought about a new paradigm in software development. Where traditional web apps are hosted in centrally managed data centers, blockchains offer app developers a decentralized runtime environment, maintained by a global community of stakeholders. In these runtime environments, program state is redundantly copied to thousands of nodes around the world and program execution can happen on any node in the network.

Solana

Solana is the world's fastest blockchain. Its proof-of-stake validator network, parallelized runtime environment, and proof-of-history ledgering system make it an ideal technology for artists, developers, entrepreneurs, gamers, traders, and others building in the crypto ecosystem today.

Background tasks

The decentralized runtime environments of modern blockchains can make certain types of applications more difficult to build. Some data flows that would be relatively easy to implement in a traditional datacenter are much harder to replicate on-chain. For the problem of background tasks in particular, there are a number of difficult challenges:
  • In a decentralized runtime, how should nodes track and delegate scheduled tasks?
  • What if malicious nodes attempt to execute a tasks ahead of schedule?
  • Is the scheduler fault-tolerant and reliable if some nodes go down?
Due in part to these design challenges and others, no blockchain today (that we are familiar with!) natively supports scheduling automated transactions as part of the core validator protocol.

The illusion of on-chain automation

To bypass this constraint, many developers today are building crank functions into their programs.
A crank function is generally no different than any other regular program instruction. What makes crank functions unique is where dev teams have setup off-chain worker bots – processes running in centrally managed datacenters – to automatically invoke program instructions according to a schedule.
Centralized bots run the cranks behind many of today's most popular "decentralized" applications. These bots often spam the network and consume significant RPC bandwidth. While this automation "illusion" may work for some time, centralized nodes are unreliable and invite systemic risks to decentralized applications.

Why Cronos?

We're building Cronos to provide a secure and reliable way for Solana users to schedule tasks with the validator network. This system incentivizes validators and RPC nodes to execute scheduled transactions so program developers can build on-chain automations without sacrificing decentralization.
Last modified 3mo ago