Oracle Protocol for General-Purpose Data Feeds
Switchboard is a permission-less, customisable, multi-chain oracle protocol for general-purpose (price, sports, events data) data feeds and verifiable randomness.
The idea behind the company name, Switchboard was derived from the early stages of phone networks. In the past, telephone operators shuffled telephone lines around a switchboard to complete a circuit and forward a dialer’s call to the next hop in the circut. Similarly, Switchboard is responsible for how data is fetched and published through an oracle to reach its program.
Participants of the Switchboard protocol are named, Switchboard Operators.
Switchboard was architected to be permissionless and allow users to create and manage their own Switchboard network. Each chain can support many oracle queues, which can have varrying levels of security and trust assumptions.
An oracle queue is an independent realm of oracles, responsible for allocating oracle resources for update requests from data feeds, randomness, or buffer relayers. Oracle queue’s act as an aggregator for on-chain consumers looking to publish data on-chain by specifying an upfront reward a requester is required to pay when a new update is requested by an oracle. Oracles act as an off-chain compute resource that can be utilized by on-chain programs needing a decentralized way to source data.
Each oracle queue is independent and maintain their own configurations, which dictates its degree of security. Queue’s can require update requesters to be pre-approved to use a queues resources or allow any requester access to a queue. Queue’s also specify a minimum stake oracles must maintain in their escrow wallet before joining a queue, which acts as a deposit to incentivize honest oracle behavior.