1. What is Oracles Network?
Open, public, permissioned network based on Ethereum protocol with Proof of Authority consensus, reached by independent pre-selected validators.
2. How does it work?
Independent verified validators (12 on the testnet and 25 on the mainnet) receive keys from the master of the ceremony (the initiator of the network), which allows them to validate blocks and to secure the network.The list of validators is managed by a smart contract with the on-chain governance by validators. Consensus is reached by the majority of the validators, which makes the network faster and cheaper, while preserving the security.
3. What is PoA?
Proof of Authority (PoA) is an alternative consensus mechanism, which does not depend on the nodes solving arbitrarily difficult mathematical problems, but instead uses a set of “authorities” - nodes that are explicitly allowed to create new blocks and secure the blockchain. Ethereum testnet (Kovan) runs on PoA consensus algorithm. Read here to understand PoA better.
4. What is the difference between PoA and PoS?
PoA is similar to PoS in sense that there is no need in running expensive and computationally intense mining equipment, as in PoW. Only a select group of people is authorized to validate the blocks and secure the network. PoS, however, is not immune to the validators with the most stake acting in their own interest. In PoA, a validator is not required to hold a stake in the network. He or she is required, however, to have a known and verified identity. This means that validators do not have an incentive to act in their own interests as malicious acts become visible. With on-chain governance in place, malicious actors can be removed and replaced. As the result, PoA-based network becomes even more secure and cheaper to run.
5. Why Oracles Network?
We are building a secure public network with all the advantages of Ethereum, but without its expensive cost.
Think of Ethereum as an plane that everyone wants to get on. It is secure, but it can take only that many passengers on board. As the result, the tickets are expensive. There are a few ways to solve this issue:
First, make a bigger plane. It will take more people, and the price of a ticket will go down, but this is a temporary solution. As more people want to travel, soon even a bigger plane would not be enough. This is an equivalent of a larger block.
Second option - let more planes fly. This would allow more traffic through the air, but some planes would definitely be less secure than others. At some point, there will be a lot of planes and all of them will fly by their own rules. That would be a mess. This is an equivalent of creating more chains.
And finally - create the unified rules that govern how planes fly. If many planes can follow the common set of rules and have their pilots’ identities and qualifications known, that would enable to fly more people safely. And implementing a network with PoA is our vision of that.
Traditional public decentralized networks are cumbersome, slow, and expensive to secure. Their availability to everyone carries that cost. Private networks are economical, fast, and secure, but only available within the organization, which is using the network. Oracles Network becomes a public scalable chain, which combines speed, security, and cost efficiency, previously only available to private networks.
6. Is Oracles a new type of blockchain?
Yes, it is a blockchain, build on top of Ethereum protocol.
7. How is Oracles Network different from other blockchains?
Oracles network is different from other blockchains because it combines:
- Proof of authority consensus mechanism;
- Publically known and verified validators;
- On-chain governance.
8. What are the potential uses of Oracles Network?
Oracles Network is designed as a general application blockchain. I.e. what can be done on Ethereum network, can also be done on Oracleas Network. Organizations can build their own networks with their own validators based on Oracles Network’s ceremony and governance. Developers can deploy DApps using our PoA framework. We envision the most immediate use cases in identity (obviously, because it’s a part of our consensus), crowdfunding (ICO Wizard, Howey Test), or real estate transactions (good use case for interledgers). But the most innovative use cases are probably the ones we have not yet thought about.
9. What kind of work has the team done so far?
The the most initial foundation has been laid in May 2016 at Block Notary, a project built by our founders, and offering blockchain-enabled mobile products for timestamping, video identity verification, and notary log. We’ve taken the “proof of identity” principles and applied it to creating of a new public network. So far, we have tested the network on the testnet, signed up and verified the initial validators, and created a number of DApps:
- Network DApps (governing the network itself)
- Management DApps (to help use Oracles Network)
- ICO DApps
- Identity DApps
10. What are hybrid networks?
Hybrid networks are the ones combining the features of different networks. In Oracles Network context, a hybrid network possesses a combination of public and private ledger characteristics. Oracles Network model can be used as a blueprint to quickly launch open on-premise hybrid networks with intrinsic value.
11. How is Oracles Network related to Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other blockchains?
Oracles Network uses Ethereum protocol and subset of protocol binaries from Parity Technologies. It’s only compatible with Parity Ethereum client. We have our software contribution on DApps and Deployment which is a higher level of the blockchain. Like level 7, or “Application level” on OSI network model https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_model
12. What are the transaction fees on the Oracles Network?
Transaction fees depend on the market price of the POA coin. We don’t know the market price yet. We suppose it’ll be an order of magnitude lower than in Ethereum mainnet. When the price goes up, users will be able to use relays to migrate their contracts with the state to another PoA network. It’s like realms on MMORPG games, e.g., World of Warcraft, where from Ethereum originated. Idea of populations and migrations on WoW Realms https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/game/status
13. How do I get started / get involved?
There are number of ways to get involved:
- Test existing DApps;
- You can go to our GitHub and see how you can start your own network or build a DApp on top of Oracles Network;
- Apply to become a validator.
14. What is the difference between Kovan and Oracles Network?
Both networks are based on PoA consensus. How authorities are selected and how they receive the keys is different in two networks. Kovan is a closed testnet where validators are not publicly proved personalities. While Oracles is open network that will be traded on exchanges with public identities of validators.