In a world of “interests,” it is vital that no one has a monopoly on truth.
Decentralized protocols have grown in popularity as viable alternatives to traditional centralized systems. People are recognizing the flaws of centralized authority and adopting open, decentralized, and trustless systems. However, for decentralized protocols to truly be open and transparent, there’s a need for an infrastructure that would help access offline real-time information in a trustless manner.
There is no doubt that we live in a world where anyone can simply share false information and declare it to be true. Oracles appear to be the solution to the emerging decentralized web’s “infrastructure” dilemma. Oracles are essential blockchain infrastructure that facilitates communication between the offline and on-chain protocols.
Oracles are essential for most decentralized protocols, particularly Decentralized Finance. Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocols rely on Oracle networks for real-time on-chain data and event-based outcomes because blockchains have no native way to access data outside of the chains themselves, and decentralized applications (dApps) such as insurance products, algorithmic stablecoins, financial derivatives, and prediction markets, must function smoothly.
Oracles gather real-world data from external sources, such as market prices, weather data, location data, and currency rates, and place it on the blockchain, allowing smart contracts to act on it. They can even provide data from different chains.
When a protocol is not decentralized, oracles are frequently third-party services or application features that a user interacts with manually. These do not adhere to the notion of decentralized protocols and are, for the most part, centralized. Centralized oracles could be readily controlled and utilized for selfish purposes. The purpose of blockchain oracles is to provide numerous reliable data sources in order to achieve complete decentralization.
To achieve this, blockchain oracles combine cryptography and incentives to build systems that allow different nodes to reach a consensus over shared data. However, this may result in weakness for decentralized protocols. Manipulation can occur when utilizing common price-feed oracle systems, and there have been multiple high-profile incidents, one of which was when lenders on DeFi platform Compound were liquidated for US$103 million due to a malicious oracle exploit. The failures of 3AC, Celsius, and BlockFi all emphasize the significance of enabling real decentralization as a means of increasing transparency and trust in the financial system.
While the bear market continues to weigh on cryptos and DeFi alike, a new course must be charted if DeFi is to survive and prosper. However, oracles will be one of the most powerful drivers of this evolution.
Band Protocol is one of the Decentralized Oracle protocols paving the way for the future evolution of the Defi Ecosystem. Band Protocol provides “community-curated” data sources that dApp operators can utilize to manage and curate data feeds in order to address the oracle problem and provide smart contracts with credible data feeds. Band has received a lot of attention since its inception in 2018 and is well-known as one of the best decentralized oracles in the business.
Another Oracle protocol worth mentioning is the QED protocol. QED is the next-generation decentralized oracle solution for the blockchain sector. 0rigin created a strong economic model called QED to link various blockchains, smart contracts, and off-chain data sources. The Delphi oracle has been live and operational for more than three years. QED is a battle-tested and proven iteration of the Delphi oracle.
Given that QED is the first Oracle solution to address the technical and business aspects of Oracle protocols, it has a distinctive value proposition. In addition, QED has created a robust economic model that sets it apart from other blockchain protocols by guaranteeing the accuracy of real-world data on-chain.
Because the QED protocol is blockchain agnostic, it can be scaled and integrated with any open blockchain. On the business side, QED has put in place financially sound recourse mechanisms that let customers use external collateral it has given them in case systemic risks were to blame. Finally, it’s crucial to remember that the QED network never uses system tokens as collateral and instead always uses external collateral.
Centralization has resulted in numerous security flaws in current Oracle protocols and the DeFi ecosystem as a whole. Hackers stole about $1.3 billion in 2021 due to that flaw. There have also been instances where “centralized” Oracles resulted in discrepancies in market prices and data across platforms. We saw the Venus protocol being exploited by unscrupulous actors, costing 11 million dollars, as hackers take advantage of Venus’s fluctuating rates. Decentralized oracle protocols, such as QED networks, are the future of the DeFi industry and would help investors during the current phase of excessive market volatility and bear market in the cryptocurrency space.
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