Making P2P marketplaces completely trust-less with district0x and Witnet
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Blockchain technology promises to revolutionize business by creating smart contracts that, unlike paper contracts, are impossible to breach. However, at this point, smart contracts are completely isolated from the rest of the Internet.
This is called "The Oracle Problem".
The Witnet protocol connects smart contracts to any online data source. Sports results, stock prices, weather forecasts or even other blockchains.
The protocol works thanks to a distributed network of mining nodes—called witnesses—who earn Wit tokens as a reward for retrieving web data and reporting it directly to the smart contracts.
Witnesses are also in charge of validating transactions in the network and bundling them into blocks that get appended to the blockchain periodically.
In doing so, they collect transaction fees and block rewards.
The probability for every witness to be assigned tasks or mine new blocks is directly proportional to their past performance in terms of honesty—their reputation.
The Witnet protocol is designed to make Wit mining viable even on commodity hardware, thus guaranteeing fairness and decentralization.
Data provided by Witnet is reliable not because of authority but because it comes from anonymous witnesses who are incentivized to remain honest and to compete for rewards.
In addition, the veracity of this data is guaranteed by a late stage algorithm that detects fraudsters, who are immediately punished.
Witnet will enable the creation of "Digital Knowledge Arks": decentralized, immutable, censorship-resistant and eternal archives of humanity's most relevant digital data.
A series of truth vaults aimed to ensure that knowledge and truth remain democratic and verifiable forever.
Witnet complements (and completes!) other smart contract platforms like Ethereum thanks to “bridge nodes”.
Bridge nodes are the interface between Witnet and other blockchains and will allow all kind of atomic cross-chain operations (asset transfers, contract calls, swaps, etc.)
Witnet will also be used to connect different blockchains and pass information between them. Imagine an Ethereum smart contract reading the state of a Bitcoin transaction and acting based on it. With Witnet, that's a piece of cake!
Read this article to know how Ethereum <> Witnet bridge nodes will work in practice:
Witnet is an open source project originally devised by Stampery, the leaders of blockchain-powered data certification. The protocol is now being developed by Witnet Foundation in collaboration with a community of independent contributors.
Ever since Stampery was founded in 2014, they have been on a mission: replacing blind trust with mathematical proof. Witnet is the next step towards this goal.
(*) All wit tokens assigned to Witnet Foundation (including those directly assigned to founders and previous Stampery investors) will have a linear vesting scheme for 2 years preceded by an initial 6-month lock-up period, with the only exception of 50% of them, which the Foundation will at its own discretion spend rewarding early contributions coming from community members. All other wit tokens (including those given as a repayment or interest to investors in this offering) will be completely free from vesting and lock-up and they will be usable as soon as the Witnet network is launched to the public as a "mainnet" release. All vesting and lock-up periods described here are also counted from the date of that same "mainnet" release.
This offering is a Witnet Foundation debt offering, payable:
Investors do not receive any equity interest or ownership in Witnet Foundation or any of its affiliates. Repayment obligations are set forth in and limited to the terms of the DPA Agreement. Key repayment terms are listed below but are qualified entirely by the terms of the DPA Agreement. Please carefully review the entire DPA Agreement before participating in this offering.
Become part of this revolution.
The smallest investment amount that Witnet is accepting.
Token DPA (Early Stage with Escrow)
If the campaign is successful, you’ll receive a Token DPA for your investment.
The DPA is not equity or a token itself, but a loan that payable in tokens in
the future, with interest.
If the campaign is successful, you’ll receive a Token DPA for your investment. The DPA is not equity or a token itself, but a loan that payable in tokens in the future, with interest.
The interest amount that will accumulate on your investment if it’s paid back to you in cash.
60% at 6 months
If Witnet fails to meet this milestone, you can request this amount of a refund
of your investment amount.
30% at 18 months
If Witnet fails to meet this milestone, you can request this amount of a refund
of your investment amount.
The interest amount that will accumulate on your investment if it’s paid back to you in tokens.
$200,000 – $1,070,000
Witnet needs to raise
before the deadline. The maximum amount Witnet is willing
to raise is $1.07M.
Witnet needs to reach their minimum funding goal before the deadline
If they don’t, all investments will be refunded.
I believe blockchain technology is the next wave of tech and I want to be an early investor.
It's innovative and it's it meeting an existing need that will have a positive impact.
Financial advisor recommendation of great opportunity.
The Witnet protocol whitepaper is available at arXiv. It's a a must read if you are really into blockchain protocols, the underlying tech and their economics.
However, for the average investor, the "One Pager" and "Primer" documents listed above may be a much easier start point to understand the Witnet project. Give them a look first!
Yes. Ethereum smart contracts will be able to send data requests to the Witnet network and get the responses back thanks to a special kind of bridge nodes that make Witnet act as a sidechain of Ethereum, Bitcoin or any other public blockchain.
Bridge nodes are explained in more detail in this article from our blog.
Augur, Gnosis and similar projects rely mainly on human intervention to resolve their crowdsourced predictions about future events. This introduces latency and makes this schemes unsuitable for automated attestations needed by smart contracts and other software.
On the contrary, Witnet uses a network of witness nodes that run an automated web browser to retrieve and attest data from the Internet without human intervention. Attestation requests can report information that is already available online or be scheduled to retrieve some piece of data that will be published in the future.
Essentialy, Witnet is based on verifiable facts, not someone's predictions.
Witnet is an open source project that will be developed by Witnet Foundation in collaboration with a number of other organizations and independent developers. This means that Witnet Foundation can't set the roadmap unilaterally.
However, Witnet Foundation has a strong commitment to ensure the following milestones are met:
Given the experimental nature of the technologies and network protocols under development, these dates and deliverables may be subject to change due to reasons beyond the control of Witnet Foundation.
Most oracle projects base their approach on specialized oracles. Each oracle is connected only to a certain set of APIs or protocols, and you must choose which oracle to use.
From our perspective, specialized oracles are:
1. likely to have conflicts of interest,
2. scarce and thus rather centralized as too much trust is put on each of them,
3. trivially predictable and thus easily targetable by DoS attacks.
In these schemes, oracle nodes typically use a trusted execution environment known as Intel SGX. This "enclave" is only available on selected hardware, so it's a clear entry barrier. Moreover, the SGX has recently been proven vulnerable to many attacks, including Spectre.
Also, "tokenomics" of projects like ChainLink rely heavily on ERC-20 tokens in the Ethereum blockchain to incentivize oracles to resolve tasks. This fact will hinder their viability until Ethereum's scalability challenges are solved or they accept alternative means of payment.
Witnet approach is instead based on the most generalized form of oracles. They perform "retrieve-attest-deliver" tasks without distinction between the sources they query. Weather APIs are not that different from courier APIs! This way, we get rid of any conflict of interests, given that oracle nodes can't even predict which tasks will be assigned to them.
In Witnet, the oracle nodes in the network are called "witnesses". They are automated headless browsers that you can hire to retrieve information from the Internet and deliver it to you or your smart contracts. The more fees you pay, the more the number of witnesses that will be employed.
Although you can decide how many witnesses to employ, the thing is that you can't choose who they are. Tasks are randomly assigned to witnesses in proportion to their reputation.
Our proposal has a "fairness principle" hard-written into every detail. That's the main reason for refusing the use of TEEs or the SGX. We want to give everyone the possibility to spend the spare CPU and bandwidth of their computers (or servers, or phones, or even fridges!) fulfilling retrieve-attest-deliver tasks and earning rewards in exchange.
About the "tokenomics", we decided to build Wit as a native token to its own blockchain because in our case it makes no sense to cope with the challenges of running it upon a widely used PoW chain like Ethereum or Bitcoin.
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