Big data drives many of the truly useful applications in the world today, and oracles are the means of bringing that data onto the blockchain. However, making data calls through an oracle requires transactions, and paying the associated gas fees, on the blockchain. Sui's ability to maintain consistent and low gas fees makes it the most economical blockchain for apps relying on oracles.
Because only certain apps require non-blockchain data, it is inefficient and expensive to store the data from external data on the chain itself. Instead, oracles directly interact with those sources such as APIs, traditional databases, and real-time events and securely fetch the data and deliver it to smart contracts and other blockchain-based apps as needed.
Why build oracles on Sui?
Blockchain oracles are the critical bridge to the off-chain data world so many products and services rely on. An on-chain sports collectible might need player data to update as the season progresses. A travel insurance product could require real-time flight information to trigger payouts. A political prediction market would count on data on the result of an election. Currently, the most popular use of oracles are for financial products. DeFi lending and borrowing requires an oracle to supply real-time market data to open, settle, and liquidate loans at fair and accurate prices.
Although most builders will focus on data accuracy and security when choosing an oracle, the cost of calling data is also of great concern. DeFi products, in particular, prefer to receive frequent and precise price updates from the market in order to achieve optimal outcomes for their users. The more frequently an oracle can push data to an application, the more valuable it is.
Sui’s design enables gas fees to remain low and predictable even with increased demand on the network. This stability allows developers to program their oracles to update data with a high frequency, creating a better experience for smart contracts and, ultimately, end users.
Current oracle offerings on Sui
The following oracle services have begun serving the Sui ecosystem since the launch of Mainnet.
SupraOracles offers decentralized oracle services for applications on Sui. Developers can now seamlessly fetch, validate, and integrate off-chain data into their smart contracts, opening up a world of possibilities for DeFi and various other use cases.
Pyth’s low-latency pull oracles offer developers permissionless access to price feeds for equities, commodities, foreign exchange pairs, and digital assets. Users can “pull” price updates on-chain when needed, enabling everyone in that blockchain environment to access that data point.
Mysten Labs offers both a Simple and Meta oracle. The former allows lower assurance values to be posted and read by contracts at a cheaper gas cost point than high-assurance oracles. Low assurance oracles are best used for applications with low risk and non-financial consequences such as in games. Mysten’s Meta Oracle uses readings from multiple simple oracles to strengthen both safety and availability.
Bringing data to Sui
Data sources vary greatly, from real-time streaming data to large, relatively static data lakes, and accessing them requires a highly performant oracle-network combination that delivers the update frequency users expect. Sui's low gas fees make frequent data calls manageable from a cost perspective, while the network's scalability supports apps with huge user bases.
Bringing data, in all its variety, to the network will enable a huge range of future apps. We look forward to seeing many more innovative oracles launch on Sui.