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Usain Bolt at 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013, photo by Jeff Cohen.

The Race to First-Party Oracles

The first step to thinking deliberately about a concept is to come up with a name for it, and this word becomes the vector that disseminates the resulting idea from mind to mind. The more true the idea is, the more susceptible everyone is to catching it.

We had to coin the terms first-party oracles and third-party oracles while conceptualizing API3, simply because there didn’t exist the exact words to describe the problem we wanted to solve. But names not only describe our thinking, they also shape it. As soon as you qualify an oracle as first or third-party, you accept that there is some entity out there (the first party) that has a special kind of relationship with the API that the rest of the people (third parties) don’t have. Left to its own device, the human mind will automatically specify the distinction: The first party is the owner of the API; third parties act as middlemen. Why would anyone not prefer to get the real thing, straight from the source?

A clear prism can even disrupt light, and reveal its true nature.

Despite existing in the public consciousness for merely a month, first-party oracles have already become the topic of many heated debates. Interestingly, these debates were not about the concept itself, as it already existed in all minds, just didn’t have a name yet. Instead, people were debating that their favorite oracle solution can of course do first-party oracles and had always intended to. In other words, the paradigm shift has already happened. At this point, the question is not if first-party oracles are superior, but who can do them best. Fortunately for us, this is our domain.

Good luck to all, as the race to first-party oracles has begun.



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