PRESS RELEASE. As the complexity of current dApps (decentralized applications) on Algorand grows, so must the infrastructure, particularly oracles, to provide a much higher and better feature set. In the Algorand ecosystem, Algoracle’s views on off-chain computing, so they are worth discussing in key detail.
What it is.
Since smart contracts cannot independently access external data , all Web 3.0 technologies are built on the foundation of the most important blockchain middleware: oracles. Therefore, the current generation of decentralized oracle networks seeks to connect real world data outside the chain to the blockchain. However, as the complexity of today’s dApps grows, oracles must also evolve and expand to accommodate much higher and deeper feature sets, as discussed above.
The next important direction in oracle development is off-chain computing, which essentially allows oracles to handle much more advanced programming logic, as well as data aggregation requests on behalf of smart contracts without any permissions before publishing data to the chain. Thus, optimizing and extending the off-chain computing functionality of oracles not only greatly improves smart contract execution, cost efficiency, and scalability, but additionally provides decentralized applications with the excellent quality of life we often take for granted in Web 2.0, including things like push notifications and transaction automation, without requiring dApps to rely on multiple services with varying levels of centralization.
Why it all matters.
It’s easy to imagine that as teams create more complex dApps, the types of data retrieval, processing, and computation will become increasingly complex. An application often needs to retrieve data from multiple sources while applying certain parameters and filtering logic. Aggregating data from multiple APIs, selected statistical methodologies, and different types of data causes these activities to quickly become unnecessarily complex. As a result, more efficient methods of off-chain processing and applying logic to different circumstances and use cases are critical.
Furthermore, most EVM oracles currently offer rudimentary ways to query certain APIs, allowing users to choose the URL or JSON from which to send data, although they do not support data aggregation logic. Aggregated data streams are often created or included on a case-by-case basis, resulting in data centralization and inflexibility with respect to applying logic.
A much better oracle design, from a developer’s point of view, would allow data to be aggregated off-chain for general computations. Simply put, oracles should function similarly to second-level smart contracts, where any high-level programming language can be used to perform untrusted reasoning. Developers should have access to a single interface that is pre-programmed with this particular goal in mind.
So what is the problem and how can Algorand help.
Unfortunately, due to outdated code and the need for backward compatibility for current clients, the previously mentioned important quality-of-life changes and additions are extremely difficult to implement in existing V1.0 oracles. Thus, trying to implement improvements that will improve off-chain computation in current state oracles would be analogous to adding new components to an already flying airplane. Because of this, most V2.0 oracle updates often leave developers without support for multiple interfaces for both data feeds and second-level operations.
Algoracle is working on a unified interface with off-chain processing in mind, made possible by Algorand’s intelligent consensus implementation. The importance of Algorand’s Pure Proof of Stake (PPoS) consensus is that its benefits can simply be duplicated for oracle data.The Byzantine Consensus PPoS strategy avoids standard Proof-of-Stake (PoS) security issues by strengthening the network with a focus on transparent majority without bias based on the entire stake of each validator.
In other words, instead of enforcing token blocking and the risk that large participants will exercise monopoly control over the network in PoS, PPoS instead introduces an egalitarian method that randomly selects validators from the entire validator pool, thereby eliminating entry barriers along with any minimum rate requirements.
Since its inception, Algorand has been able to achieve incredible performance, scalability, and 100% uptime with this random selection mechanism, also known as Verifiable Random Function (VRF) cryptographic sorting. Silvio Micali , creator of Algorand, was the foundational architect of the concept of VRFs, which today are one of the most important building blocks for cybersecurity and cryptography applications.
The importance of VRFs
In essence, a VRF is a tamper-proof random number generator. Such a resource is extremely useful for smart contracts dealing with lotteries, auctions, role assignment or selection, or any other activity requiring reliably verified unpredictability.
Algoracle can provide a superior “VRF-as-a-Service” offering, and creatively deploy VRF at the node network consensus level to achieve peak oracle efficiency by relying on Algorand’s PPoS consensus and creating a unified bottom-up interface.
By integrating VRF at a lower level, Algoracle can thus provide increased reliability and efficiency. Algoracle’s implementation of VRF in the PPoS consensus, which provides guaranteed random sampling of validators, not only enables off-chain next-generation computation, but also enables many important features that are taken for granted in the Web 2.0 world and that oracle providers cannot offer today.
Algoracle, the first dynamic, decentralized oracle network built on Algorand blockchain, was developed in the fall of 2021 and won first place in Encode’s Algorand Hackathon.
Algoracle aims to provide simple and affordable oracle solutions to help dApps built on Algorand securely, accurately, and quickly access off-chain data. By providing decentralized participation that is guaranteed for all independent node operators and users who want to contribute to the network for economic stimulation, Algoracle intends to be the most reliable, secure and easily updated source of real data.
Algoracle believes that real-time data is incredibly useful and should be delivered simply, accurately and in a timely manner. That’s why it aims to become one of the premier open-source oracle networks in the decentralized data ecosystem in the blockchain sector.
In addition, Brave New Coin, Amberdata, Kaiko and Nomics are just some of the current partners. Meanwhile, Bankrolled, Glitter Finance, Equito Finance, Upside Finance, Prismatic, Webblen Network, Mercury Labs, AlgoGuard and others are major clients. As for the biggest accomplishments, a seed round was successfully closed and a vital partnership was established with Amberdata. The launch of Mainnet, as well as the launch of GORA token, as well as providing VRF and compute capabilities, are among the main focus points for the next 12 months.
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