The developers of Waves (WAVES), a smart contract-enabled platform for creating decentralized applications (dApps), have released a new data oracle tool.
As explained by Waves’ development team, “data oracles are indispensable to blockchain infrastructure” as they effectively and efficiently provide important information. In order to make data oracles more accessible to end-users and developers, the creators of the Waves protocol have built their own proprietary software.
Blockchain-based Smart Contracts Unable To Access External Data
According to Waves’ official blog post, published on April 4th, 2019, “a smart contract written on the blockchain is unable to access data outside its own network.” In order to solve this issue, Waves’ team has developed data oracles which serve as “agents that find real-world information and feed it to the blockchain.”
This information is then used by smart contracts and dApps that have been deployed on a blockchain network, Waves’ blog post explains. As noted in the post, “oracles are tools that facilitate communication between the blockchain and the real world.”
Oracles Can Supply Currency Exchange Rates, Weather Reports, Election Results
Waves’ blog post further explains: “Data [that oracles] feed to the blockchain could be as diverse as currency exchange rates, weather reports, results of elections or sporting events, commodity prices, [and] flight and train timetables.”
Notably, Waves is not the only blockchain-enabled platform that has deployed its own data oracle tool. The Ethereum (ETH) network also has a native “Ethereum Oracle.”
How To Implement Data Oracle Tools
To implement data oracle tools, Waves’ blog mentions that users must obtain “an outside source of information and send an initializing DataTransaction.” After making this function call, which “announces the oracle and explains what type of data it will be providing,” the data becomes accessible to smart contracts issued on a blockchain network.
Going on to note some important considerations for developing comprehensive data oracle tools, Waves’ blog states that one problem might be properly determining whether “a data oracle for a specific type of information [set] is available on the blockchain.” Additionally, developers may want to look into “how often it is updated and what source of information it uses,” Waves’ blog states.
“Standardized Set Of Fields For Entering Information”
In order to meet these requirements, Waves’ team has developed a protocol specifically for data oracles which is essentially a “standardized set of fields for entering information to the blockchain.”
As noted in Waves’ blog, the platform’s developers provide a ”data oracle developing tool,” that can be deployed and accessed through “a single interface with a public directory of data oracles,” classified and organized “by category.”