Orcfax is an oracle which implements a standards-based specification (W3C, ISO, ICA) that explicitly exposes and archives the flow of information from real-world data sources (e.g. APIs, open datasets, published reports, webpages), through its architecture stack, and onto the Cardano blockchain for consumption by smart contract scripts. The data published by the Orcfax oracle is trustworthy because it is supported by a clearly documented chain-of-custody.
Source data records about real-world events like currency price changes, soccer game results, or extreme weather events are captured by independent validator nodes running the Orcfax software. Each validator node is connected to one physical person through a verified decentralized identifier (DID). The Orcfax node software parses and extracts the relevant information needed by Cardano smart contracts.
Once the decentralized validator network achieves distributed consensus about the authenticity and accuracy of the source data it publishes it via the oracle to the Cardano blockchain. At the same time, it archives all the documents and metadata from this data gathering and publication process to IPFS for ongoing verification.
The source data is captured in commonly used PDF, PNG, JPG, MP4, CSV, and Web Archive (WARC) files which are fingerprinted using IPFS Content Identifier (CID) hashes. The descriptive metadata about these processes and media resources is immutably linked in a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) Merkle tree that is also published and independently discoverable as IPFS documents. This metadata is made discoverable and re-usable as schema.org linked, open data.
This unique combination of standards, technologies, and methods creates an innovative, decentralized "proof-of-fact" that implements the principle of "archival bond." This concept has been developed over centuries of practice by professional archivists to demonstrate the authenticity of documents in the custody of their trustworthy repositories.
These proofs-of-fact allow consumers of Orcfax oracle data to "trust but verify" the information inputs that will have significant financial and social consequences for the smart contract scripts that they will trigger. End-users can consult the information chain-of-custody and audit trails via the Orcfax explorer that will be made available at orcfax.link. They can also use the CIDs to independently verify the content and metadata on their own peer-to-peer IPFS nodes, making this is a truly decentralized solution.
Other oracle solutions conflate information security or Web2 reputation with information provenance. They are asking you to trust their technical decisions and business partners rather than an open specification and easy-to-audit architecture. Even with sound security protocols, the opportunities for manipulating oracle information somewhere in their provenance pipelines remain ripe without the type of verifiable off-chain audit trails being implemented by the Orcfax project.
Therefore, we will publish the results of this research and development work as an open oracle specification and open-source software in the hope that other projects will implement this solution to improve the trustworthiness of their own oracle solutions.