Average rating : HIGH
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A decentralized oracle solution for Ethereum-based DeFi & other applications requiring trustworthy data from a trustless source.
On-chain data is generally trustworthy, as it is attested via consensus mechanisms that align the interests of participating nodes to ensure the validity of data before stamping it into immutable blocks forever. But in order for dApps to be of any use, they need to include real world data as triggers, conditions, parameters, whatever. The problem with off-chain data is that it is coming out of centralized sources and via means that can sometimes be tampered with.
If we're ever going to fully rely on a cryptographically secured decentralized immutable trustless automation layer to manage our digital assets, the data we feed it better be accurate. There are plenty of options for feeding smart contracts with data from the outside world, such as manually adding data into the contract, relying on a centralized party to add it, or on a group of trusted known parties, or even by incentivizing end users to provide it. The problem with all of these solutions is that none of them is truly decentralized or trustless.
Tellor wants to build a decentralized oracle solution for Ethereum that relies on a mix of Proof of Work and Proof of Stake mechanisms to ensure that any willing participant can contribute truthful data and get rewarded for it.
Customers ask for data by submitting a request backed by some "Tributes" tokens. The best funded request gets picked up every 10 minutes and assigned to miners. Miners need to stake tokens to be eligible to solve a PoW challenge. The first 5 miners that solve the challenge submit their data and get the reward. The median values are written to the on-chain database, which can the be accessed by any Ethereum smart contract, payment in ETH.
What I like:
- The first truly decentralized & trustless oracle for Ethereum
- The product is already live, the smart contracts are on Ethereum mainnet since 5th of August, audited by CertiK
- The project is initially funded from private rounds and will use a devshare model (10% of mining rewards get allocated to the team) to fund itself moving forward
- Backed by BinanceLabs and Maker. Maker makes intensive use of oracles and will likely switch to Tellor fully – serious adoption
What I dislike:
- The slow data retrieval mechanism is not fit for real time data requirements
- The additional token is not really needed, Tellor could’ve been built with ETH only
- The PoW component could be replaced by a smarter mechanism that ensures fairer distribution of rewards
- Storing data on Ethereum is expensive, inefficient and bloats the chain, meaning it’s unsustainable
Overall, I like it a lot. Projects such as Chainlink have gotten a lot of attention for trying to build similar solutions, as everyone understands the importance of trustworthy “real world” data flowing into fully immutable & unstoppable contracts. But the true scope and goal of Chainlink are extremely ambitious and getting there will require a lot of breakthroughs, hard work and time.
By comparison, Tellor has a solution ready today, with security and reliability surpassing Chainlink’s ambitions, albeit providing data at much lower speeds. There was no pre-mining of tokens, instead only a handful were created and distributed to internal participants for mining and organically minting more tokens. The devshare funding model binds the team to their product’s success in a way that hopefully will become the norm in the space.see more