I am a close follower of cryptocurrencies in general, but particularly the Ethereum project. I find the contract-technology developing here very interesting and promising, and might be a game changer for many areas.
However, as I see it, as Ethereum comes to life there will be a need for a trusted bridge between the "real world" and the blockchain. Only with this bridge, you are able to truly create interesting contracts.
I have been looking at existing solutions, like https://www.bitrated.com/ and https://www.realitykeys.com/ (let me know if there are more). While I find them promising, I feel they lack core feature of a successful feed-system, thus I believe that they both can be greatly improved.
What I want to create is something along these lines:
* A webpage where you can use, create or request feeds.
* Feed creators can earn money, and will receive feedback on the quality of their feeds.
* An "ebay-style" rating system for persons providing feeds
* It is up to the feed-creators to design the feed as fully automatic or manual or a combination. Some feeds could have an objection clause, so that the parties of the contract can object to the outcome.
* The feed creators sends data to the Ethereum (or perhaps also Bitcoin) blockchain with the data of the feed. Contracts can use these data to make decision.
* Feeds can be, sports betting, weather, prices on real estate prices, stocks etc.
For instance, let's say you are interested in creating a contract which follows the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. In order to do so, you will need a trusted feed that the contract can base its decision on. You then go to this site, and since there is no such feed there, you request it by specifying that you want:
- "a daily updated, end of day, of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, delivered to the contract 12ddccdffefera23rehsfj, and that the feed must last 6 months".
You get a reply from some feed providers that for a 0.79 ETH fee, they will be able to do so. You chose a provider with a high feedback rating.
The feed is designed with an objection period of 24h. This works through the feed creator posting preliminary data which then contract participants can object to. If no objection is made, the feed creator send the same data as in the preliminary announcement. This can remove a lot of feed errors and prevent contracts from making the wrong decision.
The above are only guidelines for a design, but I hope to find others that are interested in developing this further.