Redefining Binary Options: The Power of FuturesChain’s Decentralized Oracle

Futures Foundation
5 min readOct 16, 2023

Understanding Blockchain Oracles

Blockchain oracles are like bridges, connecting blockchains to the outside world. This lets smart contracts use real-world data. In simple terms, think of oracles as tools that help the new, decentralized web (Web3) use data from the current web (Web2) and other systems. By adding oracles, blockchains can have “hybrid” smart contracts. These contracts use both on-chain (data on the blockchain) and off-chain (data outside the blockchain) information. This makes apps that can react to real-world events and work with today’s systems.

The primary challenge is that, by design, smart contracts can’t access data outside their blockchain. They’re isolated to ensure security and reliability. However, to harness external data safely and effectively, they need oracles. Oracles, therefore, play a pivotal role in expanding the utility of blockchains. They cater to various sectors, from finance needing asset prices, insurance relying on weather data, gambling platforms seeking real-time event outcomes, to games requiring random numbers.

Exploring the Different Types of Oracles

Oracles play diverse roles in the blockchain ecosystem, with each type involving a combination of fetching, validating, computing, and delivering data.

Input Oracles are the most recognized. They pull data from the real world (off-chain) and relay it to a blockchain for smart contracts. These oracles are particularly vital for DeFi smart contracts, providing them with access to financial market data. At FuturesChain, we’re actively developing this type, anticipating its immediate practical applications.

Output Oracles, in contrast, allow smart contracts to send commands to external systems, triggering specific actions. They serve as a conduit for smart contracts to interact with the broader world.

Cross-Chain Oracles enable the exchange of information between different blockchains, ensuring smooth data transfer and interoperability between various networks.

Lastly, Compute-Enabled Oracles are gaining traction. These use secure off-chain computation to offer decentralized services that might be challenging on-chain due to various constraints.

While our current focus is on Input Oracles, we’re keen on exploring the potential of the other types in the future.

FuturesChain’s Design Philosophy: Decentralized Oracles for Enhanced Reliability

Accuracy in data is paramount when it comes to oracles. Given that smart contracts operate based on this data, the reliability of oracles becomes a cornerstone for achieving the desired outcomes. Relying on a centralized entity to feed data to a smart contract introduces a vulnerability — a single point of failure. This centralization contradicts the very essence of decentralized blockchain applications. If this lone oracle faces downtime, the smart contract either loses access to the necessary data or risks improper execution based on outdated information.

To genuinely address and overcome the oracle challenge, the solution lies in decentralization. Decentralized oracles stand as a bulwark against data tampering, inaccuracies, and system downtimes. FuturesChain embodies this principle by operating as a decentralized oracle network. Our network is a tapestry of multiple independent oracle node operators, interwoven with several trustworthy data sources, championing end-to-end decentralization. Each node in our network wears dual hats: it fetches data from sources, playing the oracle role, and also functions as an independent blockchain node. This dual functionality is meticulously designed to eradicate any single point of vulnerability.

Currently, our focus is on aggregating trading data from exchanges. Our primary data sources encompass four leading exchanges: Binance, OKX, XT, and Digifinex. This approach ensures that the data we provide is comprehensive, accurate, and timely, reinforcing the trust in our decentralized oracle system.

Leveraging the Oracle for Binary Options: A Practical Scenario

Binary options offer a unique way to capitalize on price movements, and our oracle plays a pivotal role in ensuring accurate and timely data for such trades. Let’s explore a practical example:

Bob believes that the price of Bitcoin will rise in the next minute. Confident in his prediction, he places a binary option order, betting that the price of Bitcoin will be higher one minute from now than its current price. The smart contract holds his bet in escrow, awaiting the outcome.

As the minute elapses, how does the smart contract determine if Bob’s prediction was correct and if he should receive his payout? This is where the FuturesChain oracle becomes indispensable. The oracle fetches the real-time price of Bitcoin from trusted exchanges like Binance, OKX, XT, and Digifinex. Once the current price is securely and accurately retrieved, the smart contract compares it to the price from one minute ago.

If the price of Bitcoin has indeed risen as Bob predicted, the smart contract releases the payout to him. If not, the bet is forfeited.

This example highlights the essential role of a dependable oracle in ensuring that binary options, especially those based on financial data, operate transparently and efficiently.

FuturesChain Testnet, Node Participation, and the Road Ahead

Reputation is crucial in the world of oracle services. It allows users and developers to evaluate and select between oracles based on their performance and reliability. The transparency provided by blockchain, where oracles sign and deliver data, ensures that each oracle node operator’s accuracy and dependability are evident.

As previously mentioned, node providers on FuturesChain are mandated to stake FCC. While the launch of our Testnet might not immediately feature a fully decentralized oracle network, our ongoing research and development are undeniably geared towards the holistic implementation of oracles. Apart from the pending completion of a block explorer, significant development work remains in the oracle domain. To expedite the practical application of FuturesChain and foster real-world dApp interaction, we’re actively supporting and promoting the “Bull vs Bear” game, a manifestation of binary options. Currently, given that nodes are limited to development and testing purposes, both node and oracle deployments are yet to achieve full decentralization.

As we forge ahead, potential participants keen on joining the FuturesChain node ecosystem should be cognizant of these developments and the evolving landscape. The journey towards a decentralized oracle network is in motion, and we’re committed to ensuring its success for the broader community.

Getting Started with Bull vs Bear Game

Head over to futures.cash website and find the download link for the wallet app. Alternatively, you can simply search for “FuturesCash” on the App Store or Google Play. Once installed, navigate to the ‘Earn’ tab to find the entrance to the Bull vs Bear game.

Game Mechanics: The Bull vs Bear game is designed to be accessible to all. With a minimum bet of just 1 USDT, players have the flexibility to wager as per their comfort. The Payout rate is set at a competitive 95%. This means, if you bet 100, a win will net you a total of 195.

Special Offer: For those funding their accounts with FCC, there’s an added incentive. Enjoy a bonus of up to 100% on your FCC deposits, amplifying your potential to play and win.

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Futures Foundation

Our vision is to let more and more people understand and use crypto via Futures Foundation.