We are very glad to announce Oraclize Ethereum APIs and documentation are ready and waiting for you to test!
The very first smart contract concept was designed by Nick Szabo, who said “the basic idea of smart contracts is that many kinds of contractual clauses can be embedded in the hardware and software we deal with”. For sure smart contracts represent a technological revolution in their provable autonomy (being self-enforced, self-executed, etc), but this is both a main feature and a huge limitation since their security comes today at the price of dealing with onchain data only – which means a scarse integration with software and hardware we are used to deal with.
In order for a smart contract to be really smart and useful an oracle needs to come into place, providing to it some meaningful data. An oracle, in the blockchain sense, is a third party which is sending to your on-chain smart contract some data your smart contract code cannot fetch by itself.
But how do we trust an oracle, which is a centralized party, in the first place?
Oraclize is a provably-honest oracle service, which means we are providing cryptographic proofs on the blockchain so that you can check by yourself that we did not alter the data we forwarded to your smart contract. Thanks to the TLSNotary proof Oraclize can provide today a reliable bridge between Ethereum smart contracts and the Internet.
Integrating your smart contracts with Oraclize means giving it access to any data available on the Internet. We think that it’s just by throwing tons of meaningful data into the blockchain jar that the smart contracts industry can flourish and many useful applications can finally come to life.
We are already working on a bunch of projects built on the top of Oraclize (anybody saiddecentralized insurance?), but our final goal is to provide the best provably-honest oracle service out there.
Other than releasing our APIs along with the documentation, we forked the Cosmo web IDE in order to provide to developers a better experience while testing their code on our playground. You will find there some example code too, feel free to poke around!
A more detailed explaination about the rationale backing the project can be found here.
We are really looking forward to see how developers will use our service, being so excited by the tons of applications that are constantly growing in our minds.
Thomas Bertani, founder of Oraclize
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Independent researcher and consultant, Tech Writer at Blockchain Technology. From Italy