Safebit Drivers — How We Connect to Any Blockchain

Daniel Blank
Mar 27, 2019 · 4 min read

In case you’ve missed what we’re all about, check it out here.

TL;DR — Safebit is an operating system for the blockchain ecosystem. Our primary purpose is to build a strong interoperability layer between the various blockchains (Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS) that will enable smooth cross-chain operation. One blockchain is great. Several weaved together start to form a more complex network — a new type of internet that we all like to call Web 3, also known as “the Financial Internet”.

Our intention is to build a strong backbone for developers to build the next generation of decentralized applications.

What’s a Safebit Driver?

A driver is a piece of code that can be created by anyone and hosted anywhere. Its purpose is to connect the Safebit OS to a specific blockchain. In essence, the driver serves as an interface between a blockchain node and the Safebit OS.

The term “Driver” comes from operating systems. A driver is a program that controls a particular type of device that is attached to your computer. We take this metaphor forward — Safebit is the computer, and each blockchain is a device. Hence, a “Driver” connects between the OS and the blockchain.

How Safebit’s Drivers Work

A Safebit driver does two things:

a. Connects to a blockchain node, either directly or through a gateway (Infura, Blockchain.info)

b. Connects to Safebit’s driver API. Once connected, it’s the job of the driver to do input/output operations on the blockchain in question: A driver sends periodic updates to the OS (new block, balance update, new transaction, etc), and also processes message requests from the operating system (publish transaction, call smart contract, etc).

In short, the driver acts as a proxy between the blockchain node and the OS.

Why is this good?

As a wallet, exchange or dApp, you need to connect to a blockchain to do anything related to cryptocurrencies. You may opt to run your own nodes, which usually means that you need to run a dedicated node for each blockchain that you want to support. Or you can opt to use node-as-a-service such as Infura or Blockchain.info.

With Safebit, you won’t have to. You can have access to any blockchain you want through the Safebit operating system. And you can even specify through which nodes you want that access.

Ideally, we want to connect Safebit to ALL available nodes. This is great for a variety of reasons:

  • Redundancy — Take Infura for example — if something happens to their nodes, many dApps today cease to function. Safebit provides much better redundancy. You can use Infura, your own node, or even something else, all through a single API.
  • Data normalization — Safebit supports an unlimited amount of drivers per blockchains and handles the data normalization. This means that we manage consensus between nodes. For example, if you have a node providing false information for some reason, this will not impact the data that apps are receiving. This is a potential solution for the oracle problem for smart contracts.

Safebit is a normalization layer. It’s an amalgamation of many nodes, of many blockchains. We connect to everyone and aggregate all the data so you don’t have to.

An example of multiple drivers connecting multiple nodes to the Safebit OS

Why should I run a driver?

We want to incentivize a multitude of nodes and drivers. We want people to connect their Casa Bitcoin nodes. To connect their Ethereum nodes. To connect their Infura accounts. The idea is to build a layer of nodes similar to the miner ecosystem on blockchains.

We are currently working on how to incentivize node operators to pool their resources and connect their nodes to Safebit via drivers. Stay tuned for announcements.

In the meantime, are you running your node? Would you like to connect it to Safebit and earn a reward? Ping us at contact (@) safebit.io

We will be releasing two reference drivers soon, Bitcoin and Ethereum. We would love to hear your feedback. Catch us at contact (@) safebit.io

Safebit

Collaboration network for the decentralized economy