The control that governments and corporations have over money is becoming more obsolete as crypto and blockchain solutions mature. As these new systems develop, the dynamics of a private central bank and the poorly understood structure of our monetary system will be more widely viewed as unnecessary in favor of what’s next. From rising inequality to the poorly measured mandates of inflation and unemployment, having a digital money that better serves society is needed and now can and should be further developed.
Originally the crypto vision was limited to money. However, the vision has expanded as the technology has continued to advance and showed us that it can be utilized for so much more than just money.
These are the general but fundamental statements that encompasses this ideology:
If freedom matters then decentralization matters.
With freedom comes increased cooperation and engagement in a society.
The political and ethical implications of a voluntary system of government and social interactions would require a long thesis to say the least. But the principle that individuals should be able to freely interact and coordinate without the threat of violence is simple and paramount.
The future distribution of capital and direction of society should not be predetermined by existing power structures.
The mutual agreements of individuals should not be subject to the whims of men with guns.
Social networks that allow individuals to opt in and opt out create humans that are empowered. Whether it’s a religion, a nation state, or a monopolistic corporation, forcing individuals through force, psychological indoctrination, or lack of options has delivered devastating results throughout history. Giving power to the people both collectively and individually has always been a rallying cry of revolutionary movements throughout time; and this time is no different. It acts as the backbone to the original and continuing philosophical movement underlying crypto, blockchains and Tellor.
We didn’t choose oracles.
As you can tell from our underlying beliefs, we got into this space because we were excited at the ability of this new technology to create some change. You can now have a sound digital money, sovereignty over your data, applications that can’t be stopped or censored by some bureaucracy.
If you didn’t know, we were originally building Tellor as a tool for Daxia (our former decentralized derivatives protocol). When the implementation was near complete though, we knew we had something special and decided that we would be better off running with Tellor than Daxia.
It was probably meant to be though. Given our teams background in data reporting, the regulatory status of our country (we all live near Washington, DC), and even the state of the ecosystem, oracles were/are a more pressing need and we’re happy it fell in our laps.
Even though we originally built Tellor for Daxia, oracles are a broad enough field and technology to really encapsulate most of the building blocks when it comes to data and smart contracts. This means that there’s a whole lot more we can do with Tellor and we plan on building it. To expand upon where we intend to go on the tech front, we see three primary ways to develop and make Tellor and these crypto networks something worth-while:
- Better on-chain feeds (allowing smart contracts to read more data, faster)
- Decentralizing the source data (decentralizing what data is available to read)
- Taking data off-chain / chain agnosticism (securely reading data from on-chain)
The first piece is simple. We want to be the best decentralized oracle out there. This means increasing our throughput in terms of data size (no longer just one data point per block), data types (arbitrary bytes data and not just uint) and data speed (faster than 10 minute block times). We also see plenty of opportunities beyond Ethereum, so enabling Tellor as a system that can be deployed on other chains is crucial.
The second piece is critical. Right now, Tellor is reliant on reading centralized API’s in order to succeed. This is troubling to us. We want the data we are providing to be completely censorship resistant, even from the sources themselves. Now, we can get into a long discussion on the different kinds of data and what Tellor should be retrieving (e.g. the BTC price vs the BTC according to the Binance API), but for starters, we want to give people options. This can include pulling from gossip networks, manual data feeds, torrent networks, blockchain based data storage systems, and even transmitting encrypted/ completely private information. All of this better enables smart contracts to trustlessly query off-chain information they want in their application and that’s our goal. Expanding on this, you can even eventually envision the Tellor system as a creator of its own data feeds. As an example, we see ourselves eventually working to decentralize things like the CPI (Consumer Price Index (i.e. inflation rate)), unemployment numbers, or any other government statistic. Relying on networks of free individuals to report and validate information will always be more reliable and we’re on the bleeding edge of making this a reality.
Lastly, we need Tellor to move beyond just pulling data into specified chains. The simpler version of chain agnosticism is simply setting up a version of Tellor on different chains. A more advanced version would have Tellor Miners able to push any data anywhere. This is a much harder problem and likely will take a longer time to implement, but one that makes decentralized networks so much more exciting. Imagine Tellor providing proofs of data-availability for any state channel or sidechain, thus enabling fast and efficient DEX’s. Imagine not only bridging specific chains of a certain data structure, but any chain; allowing you to put your DOGE on Ethereum and your BTC on Cosmos. Imagine a surveillance satellite network running its own blockchain that takes orders from a DAO on Ethereum. The possibilities get sci-fi very fast and the limit is quickly becoming our imagination.
The Guiding Philosophy
Let’s be honest for a second. A large part of the crypto scene has lost its bearings. It’s become an unregistered international casino where the cards are misleading marketing campaigns, connections, and market manipulation. Building things that work has been put on the backburner.
But on a positive note, this isn’t all crypto and things seem to be starting to change. There’s a community of people still out there who do this for the same reasons we do and would be doing this or something similar even if there was no pay.
Tellor has a three tiered approach to what we’re sparking into existence:
Build things that make sense.
Blockchains are slow, expensive, and built for things you absolutely don’t want people to shut down. If a project claims to not have all of those features, it probably is lying or isn’t a good fit for the world we’re trying to build. Do DEX’s that require KYC, on-chain high-frequency order books, or land registries on a public chain even make sense? Maybe, but let’s think about it for a second. We don’t care if you can raise money on an idea, if it doesn’t make sense to us, it’s not going to be part of our product suite. Which leads nicely into the next tenet:
Build things you can build.
We built Tellor, got it audited, and launched it in under a year. The big reason this was even possible is that we limited our build to something we knew we could build. A lot of projects were overly ambitious when raising, promising fast and groundbreaking tech, and now are stuck trying to solve core network and mathematical research problems in order to deliver on a palpable version of their goal. We love research, but Tellor is not a research company. We take existing cutting-edge tech, combine it with known security and economic thinking and put it into production as fast as we possibly can. The security and promise of any application is only seen through time in the wild. We believe the best way to make our vision a reality is to try, tweak, and try again; and here is how we try:
Build the system you want to be a part of.
We don’t want to be part of the crypto ecosystem that we loathe. We wouldn’t buy or use a centralized product for Tellor. Whether it’s a majority team owned token or small whitelists controlled by an owner for eternity. We won’t play your pump and dump games. We won’t partake in petty token tribalism. The holders of our tokens, the developers, and the stakeholders / customers of our project should determine the outcome. The team is here to help, but we want this to grow beyond us and we know that the only way for this to happen is to let go of control early and evangelize often. The project stands for more than the success of the team and we are here to help it, not control it.
Tesla builds cars, but they sell you something else — technology, the idea of the cutting edge. Rolex makes watches, but they sell an image of wealth, class. Tellor builds oracles, but we want to represent something more: decentralization. The revolution. That feeling you get when you spin up your VPN or go buy something anonymously. The unstoppable nature of it.
Projects will use Tellor because they need an oracle. Projects and individuals will support Tellor because they support the revolt against the current system.
As for the usage and tech, we want Tellor to become a standard. We want to get to the point where there are no partnership announcements; where there are no press releases or even alternative options for legitimately decentralized projects. We want it to be so easy to integrate that users don’t even tell us. In the same way Ethereum doesn’t announce a partnership with all of the projects building on them, we want to achieve that level of success.
So come join the cause.
Whether you want to be a developer, a miner, or even just an active community member. We want to build a group of token holders who believe in the same vision we do and can help us drive it forward. We’re doing our best to stay principled as we push out our code quickly with a fervent pull towards something bigger..
Thanks for reading and as always, reach out with any questions, comments and concerns.