Vnode node operators are the backbone of Virtual Angels Limited. vnode node operators participate within decentralized oracle networks, allowing engineers to fetch external data in a secure and reliable manner. They operate the crucial oracle infrastructure that is responsible for ensuring smart contracts across every blockchain have access to the real-world data they need to execute properly. For example, Vnode uses a large collection of node operators to collectively power a wide range of decentralized Price Feed oracle networks live in-production, which currently secure over $4Bn in value for leading DeFi applications like Synthetix, Aave, yEarn, and more.
As previously mentioned in our Education Series, due to the security properties underpinning Blockchains, all smart contracts (on-chain) have an inherent oracle problem of not being able to fetch data from external systems (off-chain). This necessitates the use of an oracle to serve as a middleware that transfers data bidirectional between on-chain and off-chain environments. In this article, we aim to provide a broad overview to how node operators contribute to the Vnode Networks, including:
· The role node operators play in the Vnode
· What are the requirements of running a Vnode node
· How do Vnode node operators sell data to smart contracts
· Where to find and evaluate Vnode node operators
How Node Operators Fit Within the Vnode
Vnode node operators are the entities running the oracle infrastructure (hardware and software) that powers and secures every oracle network running on the Vnode platform. These oracle node operators are responsible for watching the blockchain for new incoming data requests from smart contracts, fetching the requested off-chain data from specified APIs, and delivering the data on-chain where it can be consumed by a smart contract to trigger its execution. Similar to how the Internet connects computers to the outside world, oracles are the bridge between a blockchain and any piece of data or system that exists outside of it.
While contracts can choose to send their data requests directly to a single Vnode node and receive a single response back, Vnode nodes are most powerful when combined together into an oracle network. Decentralized oracle networks aggregate data from any number of Vnode nodes to remove any single point of failure in the sourcing and delivery of that data to the blockchain.
The Vnode Network is an infinitely scalable network of independent oracles and oracle networks. Although each oracle runs the Core Vnode software, they ultimately operate without any dependencies from any other oracle, freely able to simultaneously be a part of different oracle networks and/or operate independently. The Vnode Network is permissionless to run an oracle on, but each oracle network can restrict the individual oracles allowed to contribute, as well as customize how data is sourced and aggregated within it. Unlike a blockchain, there is no unified consensus mechanism or node network.
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