Today CANUK is joining a small group of other stake pools who are utilizing the metadata feature of Cardano to implement first generation oracles on the Cardano blockchain!
You may be asking, “What the hell is an oracle and why do I care?”
Oracles are a way of getting real world data onto the blockchain for use by smart contracts or other utilities which run on top of the blockchain. A fundamental problem with smart contracts is that they are only aware of data existing on the blockchain, and have no knowledge of real world events. Oracles are ways of bridging this gap between the blockchain and the real world by providing a mechanism for real world data to be made available on the blockchain.
The simplest example of why this would be important is a DeFi application which needs to send a particular amount of value measured in fiat currency to another party. Utilizing an oracle, the smart contract could determine the current exchange rate for the cryptocurrency, and calculate how many tokens it needs to send to the other party to add up to the appropriate amount in fiat. Another example would be loan contracts, where someone uses a cryptocurrency asset as collateral, which gets liquidated if the value of the collateral asset dips below a certain amount. This means that oracles are a fundamental building block of a financial operating system, which is why projects such as Chainlink have done so well in the Ethereum ecosystem.
There has been a lot of progress in the oracle front within the Cardano ecosystem, including a partnership with Wolfram Blockchain Labs to provide oracle data, as well as excellent research by Emergo into Oracle Pools, which is a fundamentally different way of implementing oracles which leverages the unique properties of extended UTXO (EUTXO) blockchains.
Since the Canucks love data, and were also in need of ADACAD for our own financial reporting purposes, we decided to join an initiative started by Marek at Stake Nuts Pool to implement a first generation oracle on the Cardano blockchain by sourcing open data and posting it via metadata transactions onto the Cardano Blockchain. You can read more about the technicals of how we’re posting data in the the original post at https://nut.link. We’ve added data for ADACAD and BTCCAD to this list.
Currently we’re funding the transaction fees for this oracle. If you would like to feed the oracle, you can send some lovelaces to our oracle address to keep it running!
You can see this data on the blockchain now through a transaction explorer here, or access it directly via the blockchain though a db-sync instance by querying the metadata transactions for key=1968. We’ll update our github repository of db-sync queries to include oracle queries shortly for folks who might find this data useful.
Thank you, and keep building!