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API3’s architecture upgrade is the future of decentralized oracle networks

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CoinFund’s investment thesis for API3

Austin Barack

Investment Thesis

  • For smart contracts to unleash programmable money onto the world, they need to access the world’s data as their inputs
  • Oracles, the technology that is responsible for delivering data to smart contracts, is among the most critical components of blockchain infrastructure and successful oracle networks will accrue significant value
  • Oracle solutions to-date have relied on third-party intermediaries which is suboptimal from a cost, efficiency, security, and stakeholder inclusiveness perspective
  • By virtue of a novel architecture that increases trustlessness, decentralization, stakeholder coordination, and which lowers integration and delivery costs, API3 is likely to convert a very large market of data providers as global adoption of smart contracts and decentralized applications proceeds

One of the most transformative advances in blockchain was the implementation of Ethereum and smart contracts. Smart contracts allow money, capital, and assets to behave in a programmable manner that is simultaneously decentralized and censorship-resistant. This innovation has demonstrated serious growth. Just in the past year Decentralized Finance (DeFi) applications have grown from ~$650MM in assets put to work for borrowing, lending, and trading as of the start of 2020 to over $22.5B as of January 15th, 2021, growth of over 3300% in one year. Decentralized exchanges (DEXes) processed $25.1B in trading volume just in December 2020, with double digit monthly growth rates expected going forward. Overall, the use cases for decentralized applications are endless and represent fundamental disruption to the broad fields of finance, digital services, and marketplaces.

For smart contracts to unleash programmable money onto the world, however, they need to access the world’s data as their inputs. Almost all of this data exists “off-chain”, outside of blockchains, and is stored in centralized databases. To solve this problem, the technology known as oracles deliver the data applications need and inform their execution. Moreover, oracles need to be trustless (do not require trust), or they can manipulate the smart contracts by falsifying data, which is known as The Oracle Problem. API3 is improving upon prior architecture and is building a highly performant and commercial oracle network. CoinFund is proud to support the API3 team on their journey to develop the future of oracles.

There are a number of existing oracle networks today that operate across different blockchains. The most notable network is Chainlink, one of the earliest companies working on this problem and today the dominant solution in the market. Other approaches include Band Protocol, Witnet, and DIA. These oracle products work by having third-party intermediaries operate as nodes that connect API data sources with decentralized applications, and historically this architecture was the only practical way to deliver the data to smart contracts. This approach, however, has several notable drawbacks:

  1. No direct monetization for data providers. Providers do not control the delivery of data and are unable to effectively manage the monetization of their valuable data streams.
  2. Big integration costs. It often takes significant development work for a third-party node to connect to an API source, resulting in substantial operational work and cost.
  3. Inefficient delivery. The presence of third-party intermediaries who must variously coordinate to deliver correct data increases the overall cost of delivery of data to the smart contract. Furthermore, since these intermediaries need to coordinate and play consensus games, they become vulnerable to Sybil attacks introducing data security risks.

API3 solves all of these problems by eliminating third-party intermediaries. Instead, API3 provides a simple, drop-in solution called Airnodes to data providers that allows them to connect their data directly to smart contracts. In this way, data providers again become first parties in the path of data delivery. The Airnode solution serves as a trustless on-chain proxy for APIs to interact with any smart contract on any blockchain. Data providers can feed their data to decentralized applications with minimal integration costs. Airnodes are serverless nodes and can be easily integrated using existing technologies without the need for dedicated blockchain development resources. By joining the API3 network, API providers are able to monetize their data without intermediaries. Additionally, consumers of the decentralized APIs (dAPIs) have full transparency into their data source and potential Sybil attack vectors are eliminated.

In addition to the unique architecture of Airnodes, one of the most interesting approaches of API3 to the problem of oracle networks is its structure as a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). The API3 DAO is a community-governed organization of token holders who drive the inclusion of new data sources, manage the payment of data streams, and provide a novel insurance pool and dispute resolution mechanism to protect data consumers. The API3 DAO works as follows:

API3 token holders can stake their tokens which will grant them voting power in the API3 DAO. The funds staked in the DAO function as an insurance pool designed to compensate smart contract users in the event of an API malfunction. The stakers are compensated for this risk by receiving protocol rewards. By having an insurance pool with token holder assets, the DAO is incentivized to only integrate with high quality data providers and grow at a measured and responsible pace to prevent data issues. This serves to align token holders’ interest in growing activity levels with smart contract consumers’ need for accurate and reliable data. In addition, disputes will be resolved in Kleros Court to maintain decentralization in managing malfunctions. However, more than just the efficiency gains from improved coordination, a DAO provides a structural advantage due to its ability to align stakeholder incentives and achieve broad decentralization.

The API3 team, led by Heikki Vänttinen, Burak Benligiray, Saša Milić, and André Ogle, is one of the most well-positioned teams to solve the problem of oracle networks. They have extremely deep blockchain experience, particularly working in oracle networks. Several of the key members of the API3 team formerly operated the CLC Group, the leading node operator on the Chainlink network. The team also previously built out the Honeycomb marketplace for premium APIs. Outside of their substantial experience and expertise, API3’s DAO structure allows for improved coordination and incentive design benefiting organizational scaling.

Technological advancement follows an arc of innovation and API3 represents the oracle solution on the cutting edge. At a time when blockchain usage is expanding at an incredible pace, API3 is providing a solution to bring onboard the major data providers, working with them as first parties to deliver data, while simultaneously solving for decentralization, security, and cost. Data delivery to smart contracts is one of the most foundational components of the blockchain ecosystem and the networks that do this well will become incredibly demanded and valuable. Today, the first mover network, Chainlink, has a fully diluted market capitalization of $19.8B. By contrast, API3 is currently valued just over $200MM. We expect data usage will continue to grow at an exponential pace as blockchain adoption accelerates. API3’s market leading technology and governance position it to take a dominant role in the future of oracle services and we could not be more happy to support them along the way.

Source: https://blog.coinfund.io/api3s-architecture-upgrade-is-the-future-of-decentralized-oracle-networks-b2f47031a4a6?source=rss—-f5f136d48fc3—4

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Blockchain

Binance Coin, XRP, Dogecoin Price Analysis: 16 May

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Binance Coin headed south towards $500-$510 support – a region bolstered by the 50-SMA (yellow). XRP jumped by 16% on strong volumes but its technicals were yet to reflect a strengthening bullish trend. Finally, Dogecoin could see further dips before a rise above $0.569-resistance.

Binance Coin [BNB]

Source: BNB/USD, TradingView

On the 1-day chart, Binance Coin slipped below $600 and its 20-SMA (blue) and headed towards $500-$510 support – an area that clashed with the 50-SMA (yellow). With large-cap alts trading largely in the red after bearish cues from the market leaders, BNB was no exception. Warning signals came in the form of a bearish twin peak setup on Awesome Oscillator.

Furthermore, bearish divergence on RSI indicated weakening prior to BNB’s dip. At the time of writing, RSI traded in neutral 50-territory. On the 4-hour chart, BNB moved below its 200-SMA and although traders could go long at the current price level, a further pullback towards $500 could be on the cards depending on broader market cues.

XRP

Source: XRP/USD, TradingView

XRP bashed away multiple bearish signs and jumped by 16% in the last 24 hours. Bullish sentiment may have stemmed from Ripple’s response to the SEC’s request of an informal conference to discuss all legal advice that Ripple has solicited during the past.

A series of successive green candlesticks were spotted on XRP’s daily chart and underscored buying resurgence. According to XRP’s technicals, bulls were yet to fully assert control. MACD was close to a bullish crossover, while RSI headed towards the 60-mark. A break above $1.75-resistance could spur some additional buying, while $1.31-$1.22 would provide support in case of further pullbacks.

Dogecoin [DOGE]

Source: DOGE/USD, TradingView

Even though Dogecoin was slightly bullish, the price remained below a key resistance level at $0.569. In fact, Squeeze Momentun Indicator noted weakening buying pressure and it seemed unlikely that $0.569 would be toppled over the coming days – barring any social media anomalies. Support marks stood at $0.37 and $0.44.

MACD line remained below the Signal line- underlining recent woes for DOGE. On the lower timeframe, a degree of equilibrium was noted between the buyers and sellers. If this continued over the coming hours, some consolidation can be expected before the next upswing.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/binance-coin-xrp-dogecoin-price-analysis-16-may

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Facebook’s Diem Unveils Its Latest Stablecoin Plans and Strategic Move to the United States

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Diem, the cryptocurrency project headed by Facebook originally known as Libra, recently announced its plans to launch a stablecoin with its focus scaled back to the United States. 

The company stated earlier this year that it would be relocating its primary operations from Switzerland back to the United States, and would withdraw its payment system license application from Switzerland’s financial regulators. “Diem is simplifying its plans for [its] USD stablecoin issuance by shifting its main operations from Switzerland to the United States,” they said.

This decision was later confirmed by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. 

Stablecoins are digital currencies pegged to a fiat currency, with Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) being two prominent examples. California-based Silvergate Bank will become the sole issuer of the Diem USD, while also managing its dollar reserves. 

Diem to Launch Wholly New Subsidiary Diem Networks US Alongside Crypto Bank Silvergate

In a strategic partnership, the two firms have created a new subsidiary called Diem Networks US — which will run the Diem Payment Network (DPN) to facilitate transactions of Diem stablecoins within its network. 

“Silvergate is a leader in financial innovation and an ideal partner for Diem as we move forward with a blockchain-based payment system that protects consumers and enhances the integrity of the financial system,” said Stuart Levey, chief executive officer of Diem.

“We are committed to a payment system that is safe for consumers and businesses, makes payments faster and cheaper, and takes advantage of blockchain technology to bring the benefits of the financial system to more people around the world. We look forward to working with Silvergate to realize this shared vision.” 

Diem’s strategic shift to the United States comes at a time of a rapidly evolving regulatory environment for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. 

Some municipalities and states such as Miami and Wisconsin have embraced the recent innovation, whereas regulators such as the newly-appointed SEC Chair Gary Gensler have critiqued the autonomy of the crypto industry. 

With crypto ETFs and related financial products under intense scrutiny by the SEC, it remains to be seen whether Diem’s decision to relocate back to the United States will bear any fruit.

Featured image from ShutterStock

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://bitcoinist.com/facebooks-diem-unveils-its-latest-stablecoin-plans-and-strategic-move-to-the-united-states/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=facebooks-diem-unveils-its-latest-stablecoin-plans-and-strategic-move-to-the-united-states

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