62. Pyth Network: a powerful oracle harnessing the power of Solana!
Blockchain technology is not as perfect and self-sufficient as we might think. Its one disadvantage is that it cannot, by itself, retrieve the necessary data from the real world and then transfer it to smart contracts to be executed. Such important data could be prices, volumes, or even the weather.
So, you may ask, “How do we solve this problem? Because surely someone has already come up with something.” That’s right. Oracles are used to solve this issue. Oracles allow blocks of data to be inserted into the chain that are accessible outside of the blockchain. Typically, this is third-party software that connects intelligent contracts to the data of the outside world. You can think of oracles as a bridge that connects the blockchain to intelligent contracts, allowing them to flow data back and forth.
The Pyth Network is also this kind of oracle. However, it stands out because of its mechanism. Pyth may change the oracle stream in the future.
What is the Pyth Network?
The Pyth Network is an Oracle project based on Solana. Its focus is on providing high-quality market data from a trusted provider in a very fast way. The project itself is well thought out, as the market data is transmitted on the Solana chain.
Pyth Network also features cross-chain compatibility. The protocol uses Wormhole, which acts as a bridge between ERC-20 and SPL tokens. This makes Pyth the world’s largest publisher network, with more than 70 original data sources that publish information directly onto the chain.
Why does Pyth Network have a distinct advantage over its competitors? It is characterized by its high on-chain speed compared to other oracles. This is made possible by the Solana consensus algorithm, or PoH and PoS.
The Pyth Network was launched in May 2021, as part of the Solana spring hackathon at Devnet. Pyth started with four data providers publishing around 30+ financial data points, including cryptocurrencies, stocks, forex, and commodities. The network has grown rapidly, increasing the number of providers, and aims to make every asset price available on every chain in the world.
What sets the Pyth Network apart from other networks and oracles?
First and foremost is the reach of the network. Pyth is now so large that its transactions account for more than 30% of transactions on the Solana blockchain. In addition:
- Prices on Pyth are updated in the Solana ecosystem every slot (roughly every 400 ms), providing more than 200,000 price updates every day with no unnecessary delays.
- The real-world data obtained through Pyth is diverse, including US stocks, currency pairs, and metal prices.
- Pyth offers confidence intervals. Data providers send data with a confidence/uncertainty estimate based on the information available to them. This feature protects users and the Pyth protocol itself, a security function not provided by other known oracles.
- Pyth Network is open-source software, completely free for users.
- Protocol costs are lower than those of competitors due to the elimination of intermediaries (Oracle nodes). Nodes in Pyth are handled by data providers, and Layer 1 gas fees are paid for by data providers as well.
- The protocol pays great attention to data quality and security, with data providers consisting of reputable trading companies and exchanges. Any malicious or incompetent behavior from data providers could damage their reputation.
Pyth Network Protocol Architecture
Now that you know why Pyth is special and what sets it apart from other oracles, let’s take a closer look at its architecture. In the Pyth Network ecosystem, there are three main users of the network:
Publishers: These are entities that provide data to the network, including more than 70 active publishers such as exchange platforms and investment firms. They are rewarded by the Pyth protocol based on the value of the information they provide, as decided by PYTH token holders.
Delegates: Delegates hold PYTH tokens and stake them. Data providers are rewarded not only based on the amount of data they provide but also on the number of PYTH tokens they stake. The more PYTH tokens staked on a particular data point, the more value that point holds for delegates.
Consumers: These are applications that use data provided by the Pyth Network. Clients pay a fee for the data they want to receive and read it from the network. The protocol works with companies such as Friktion, Drif Protocol, Mango Markets, Solend, and Tulip Exchange.
The Pyth Network has come a long way since its inception in 2021, culminating in its launch in August 2021. The protocol considers Solana to be its core network and, with Wormhole, plans to move towards cross-chain functionality, running its services on other chains such as Ethereum.
The PYTH token will be the backbone of the network in operation, but as of August 2023, it had not yet been released. The introduction of the PYTH token into circulation will be a significant milestone for the entire project.
Because of its mechanisms, the PYTH network is a revolutionary way to make off-chain data available to everyone on and off the chain. This is one project to keep an eye on in the future!
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