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New oracle on Cardano: An interview with Charli3 CMO and CTO

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The continuous development in blockchain technology has resulted in users entering the zone of much more complex and conditioned transactions. However, both blockchain and smart contracts are unable to efficiently access off-chain data.

Therefore, to resolve the ongoing limitations in the blockchain arena, Oracles were introduced to the masses. The latter acts as a bridge between the real world and blockchain technology by providing trusted and reliable off-chain data streams.

Charli3 is a decentralized oracle based on the Cardano network that provides and verifies data for blockchain applications.

In an interview with Charli3 CMO Damon Zwarich and CTO Jonas Lindgren we talked about Blockchain Oracles, the C3 token, its utilities and much more.

1. Tell us more about Blockchain Oracles? How are they important to the crypto space? 

Jonas: Blockchain oracles are a key component of blockchain infrastructure. Decentralized finance (DeFi) that runs on blockchain technology runs on smart contracts. These contracts can’t look at or interact with the outside world. An oracle is able to solve this problem by gaining access to important data, translating it, and providing it on chain to the smart contracts that need it. Furthermore, an important function of any good oracle is that it takes this data, whether it be prices of crypto, stocks, foreign exchange, weather, sporting results, etc…. And aggregates it from multiple sources, which adds an immense layer of security to the consumer’s platform, protecting them from single feed point of focus hacks that could lose their user base, and their business, millions of dollars. 

2. How does Charli3 stand out from the rest in the crypto market?

Jonas: Firstly, Charli3 is the first and only Oracle that is LIVE on Cardano, as well as natively built with plutus code. Charli3 stands out from the rest not just in our code, but also in our identity. Firstly, we run fully on Cardano-native Plutus infrastructure, which is far more innovative and ambitious than the rest of the blockchain space. Increased security, reduced costs, and scalability are the basics, but the main benefits are from the network features itself. Mainly ‘Reference inputs’ which are a single eUTXO pushed on-chain to be infinitely referenced by consumers, allowing them all to use the same piece of data without worry of UTxO contention, further reducing total network stress and increasing accessibility of data to projects in need of it. 

Free Community feeds: we are also providing the most used feeds for free, fully subsidizing them. This enables more use of our oracle product while also reducing costs for new projects to implement oracles into their systems as they get up and running, helping the Cardano ecosystem grow.

On a brand standpoint, we aim to be always transparent and helpful to our community. Oracles are very high-level tech and a B2B solution with no retail consumer interface or direct useability. Therefore we aim to break this barrier of intimidation with our inviting robot mascot and name, as well as consistent access to the team and progress.

3. Talk to us about the C3 token and its utilities?

Jonas: The biggest utility of the C3 token is as payment of the oracle data and updates. Each data consumer must purchase C3 tokens to pay the Charli3 node operators for their work in updating and maintaining oracle feeds, thus creating constant buy pressure for the token. A portion of this payment is what comes back to the company to sell to keep the company going. In essence, the token is the lifeblood of Charli3 operations.

In the future, users will also be required to stake the C3 token for running node operations as we expand the network. We also hope to bring delegation staking to this node expansion to allow more users to be directly involved in revenue sharing, furthering the decentralization of Charli3’s entire operation. 

4. Can you elaborate on how Charli3 plans to provide decentralized price feeds for users?

Jonas: As mentioned above, we perform an aggregation service. The data sets for aggregation are obtained through our decentralized node operation software. Once the nodes are running it, they do so independently without our interference. The Charli3 nodes gather the data from multiple sources, and feed that data into the oracle smart contract, and the smart contract then aggregates the data from all Charli3 nodes and publishes the resulting consensus truth to the blockchain for consumer smart contracts to use.

5. Please elaborate on Charli3’s on-demand validation (ODV) oracle.

Jonas: The on-demand validation (ODV) oracle service is our next product that we are very excited about. The ODV is incredibly versatile in its potential use cases. This service will allow companies to request validation for many things such as the price of an asset or sports score for instant liquidation, or perhaps the validation of a certificate/academic achievement from an off-chain source. Whatever the data is, Charli3 nodes will work together to independently verify it and provide a common sign-off on the correctness immediately before the data is put on-chain, providing the most responsive validation possible. We in fact will be using this product with Atala Prism’s DIDs to validate student accomplishments in Ethiopia to pay our scholarships to these students from a DAO. This is a pilot project which we hope massively expands within educational systems worldwide. 

6. How did releasing NFTs help in engaging Charli3’s community?

Damon: Bringing the Charli3 Cuties collection to the community really helped to engage with another part of the ecosystem and our audience. People rally around creativity and colour, which is why the CNFT community on Cardano is so large. Engaging with this community was a gateway to educate so many others on defi within cardano and work to meld the divide between the two halves of the ecosystem, defi and NFTs. This increased our active users in social media significantly and brought more engagement to the platform in multiple ways. 

This also puts Oracle services on the radar of NFT projects, NFT minting platforms, Gaming projects, and NFT staking platforms to potentially integrate oracles to create dynamic/smart NFTs to increase functionality and innovation of future NFT collections 

7. What benefits do users get from holding the Charli3 NFT? 

Damon: The NFT will provide staking opportunities in the future to any holder. Buyers will also be contributing to drop4drop through the 10% royalty from all secondary sales. We will continue to work to find new utilities for holders in the future such as gaming and within our future node staking programs.

 8. How does the Drop4drop initiative help communities in need to get access to clean water sources?

Damon: Drop4drop provides services to build wells in communities that need clean water access. We have saved all the NFT royalties to contribute towards drop4drop’s efforts in building wells in African countries, to continue to help our Cardano initiatives in creating a better future through blockchain technology. 

9. What community engagement activities are being planned for Charli3 users? 

Damon: Charli3 recently participated in many conferences for in-person engagement where we met many community members. CNFTcon, WEB3Expo, Rarebloom, and Coinagenda. 

Next, we will be at the Cardano summit in Lausanne Switzerland, Nov 19-21 to speak on the main stage about oracles and participate in panel discussions with other Cardano leaders. 

We have regular Twitter spaces, interviews, and podcasts where we love to engage with the community, as well as occasional contests held through our social media platforms.  

10. What lies ahead on the Charli3 roadmap? Tell us more about it?

Damon: The Charli3 roadmap starts with producing

V2 oracle services: to begin integrations by including the other features brought forth by the most recent Cardano hardfork. ‘Reference scripts’ and ‘inline datums’. This will increase both the performance and usability of our oracle feeds. 

Website: a new website will be presented to show our new branding, roadmap, tokenomics restructure (due to the business model changing, allowing for reallocation of tokens), team, tech documentation, partners list, and other education on our systems and community.

On-Demand Validation (ODV): as previously stated, this product will be used for many processes that require an instant reading and validation of data sets.

Developer Portal:  This additional platform will allow consumers to interact with Charli3 far more easily with documentation, software development kits (SDKs), and setting up their feed specifications for integration with their platform. 

On-chain Randomness: This product will supply a secure, and verified, set of random numbers for use in NFT creation, gambling/betting (prediction markets), as well as whitelisting operations, and many uses within gaming applications. 

Bridging operation for ERC20 holders:  This product will allow the old holders of the ERC20 C3 token to bridge over 1:1 so long as they have held those tokens prior to Aug 1st when the Nomad bridge was hacked and shut down. 

Cross Chain compatibility: after our full Cardano setup, we plan to expand into other chains, using Cardano infrastructure to supply our secure oracle products to others.

For more information on Charli3, please check out their official website.

Disclaimer: This is a paid post and should not be treated as news/advice.  

With Masters in Mass communication and journalism, Anjali's interests lie in blockchain technology adoption across emerging economies.

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