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Cardano Open Oracle Protocol

The Orcfax oracle service uses the Cardano Open Oracle Protocol (COOP) to publish and format its data feeds. The protocol constitutes a set of technical guidelines that specify a process, and format, for the publication and consumption of off-chain data by smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain. The Orcfax team developed the Cardano Open Oracle Protocol as a Catalyst funded research project that maximizes the eUTXO model and design principles in order to demonstrate a cost-sensitive, post-Vasil native method for publishing secure, signed, datums on-chain for Reference Input consumption by Cardano dApps.

The initial version of COOP was developed in collaboration with MLabs consultancy. These guidelines and specification in COOP are free, open-source, and can be implemented by any other project seeking to develop their own Cardano oracle feeds.

By making it freely available to developers, Orcfax has established the protocol as one of many well-structured tools and schemas that will be provided to community members in order to aid in viewing and consuming trustworthy off-chain data in their smart contracts.

R&D on the protocol is ongoing, and our team continues to find ways to bring value to Orcfax products. The Orcfax team has since onboarded its own Plutus development in-house and expanded on the beta-version of COOP; the subsequent version included a full, JSON-LD compliant Cardano datum specification that anchors machine-readable fact-statements in the worlds' most decentralized and stable L1 blockchain network.

Current work on the protocol is being done in collaboration with the same MLabs team as our teams. This updated version is working towards an optimized COOP deployment that will include, among other things, an improved datum structure to further increase cost efficiency and ease of integration for dApps.

Levering eUTXO strengths

The Cardano open oracle protocol (COOP) was designed to take advantage of the Cardano CIP-31 reference inputs enhancements introduced in Cardano network's Vasil hard fork. During the design process, the primary design goals for the Cardano Open Oracle Protocol (COOP) were to leverage CIP-31 in order to provide:

  • Financial sustainability – minimize the cost and deposit needed to post, maintain, and use COOP datum in eUTXOs, providing opportunities to share costs amongst stakeholders.
  • Data accessibility – minimize the probability of datum payloads not being available for reference by downstream dApp scripts.
  • Security – minimize the risk of exposure for the cryptographic keys used in verifying the authenticity of COOP datums.

COOP was able to meet each of these design goals. The reference inputs within each Orcfax feed allow the data provider (Orcfax) to publish data points once, while simultaneously allowing multiple consumers to use the data point in on-chain dApp scripts.

This enhancement allows a datum written to a single Cardano eUTXO to be read by multiple consumers without competing with each other for exclusive access to a transaction output.