Smart contracts often struggle to access dependable data, but application programming interfaces (APIs) have been touted as a solution to this problem.
API3’s stated goal is to allow decentralized versions of APIs to be built, managed and monetized at scales. As blockchain technology plays an ever bigger role in the economy — from decentralized finance to supply chain management — the team behind this project says it has never been more important for smart contracts to provide “timely, reliable real-world data.”
The whitepaper for API3 was unveiled in September 2020 and set out the main problem that’s associated with APIs at present: connectivity. At present, there’s no way for smart contracts to establish a direct connection with APIs for the latest data — and this has led to an explosion in the popularity of oracles.
Although this has helped solve the problem to some extent, the industry has since been grappling with the “Blockchain Oracle Problem.” Oracles are a form of middleware that sit in between APIs and smart contracts — increasing costs and centralization. API3 intends to get around this problem by enabling API providers to operate their very own nodes.
API3’s token went live at the start of December following on from a token sale that generated tens of millions of dollars.