Nicholas Fett CTO of Tellor discusses Tellor, decentralized oracles, the importance of data, the rising cost of goods, how the CFTC works, and much more
My guest today is Nicholas Fett, CTO of Tellor. Tellor was launched in 2019 by a U.S.-based team with the aim to address the oracle problem on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. Tellor is an Ethereum-based, decentralized, secure oracle for decentralized finance (DeFi) decentralized applications (DApps). Tellor is a decentralized oracle that provides price data on Ethereum. Tellor uses game theory and crypto-economic incentives to maintain the security of the system, similar to how layer ones have harnessed the power of these methods to reach consensus. Tellor is decentralized and currently provides a price feed every 10 minutes. The speed and potential costs are the areas of concern, but it is decentralized and expensive to censor or manipulate the data. The economic incentives are also set up properly to provide a proper liveness guarantee even in times of stress on the Ethereum network. Nicholas Fett is an economist, developer, and founder at Tellor, a decentralized oracle on the Ethereum network. Former positions include an economist at the US CFTC, the federal regulator for derivatives and cryptocurrencies, where he studied market structure of derivatives markets and implications of new technologies. He then went on to found Daxia, a derivatives protocol focusing on a truly decentralized architecture. He received an Ethereum foundation grant in 2018 to study security features of oracles and their potential uses in scaling and financial products. He then used this knowledge to build Tellor, a crypto economically secured, censorship-resistant focused oracle. In our conversation we cover Tellor, decentralized oracles and the importance of data, the rising cost of goods, how the CFTC works, and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing how Nick got into crypto and his time at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We continue our conversation by discussing the CFTC and why Bitcoin is regulated by the CFTC. We also discuss the power struggles between government agencies for regulatory oversight and the impact that has on broader society. A very interesting topic of discussion we talked about centered around how the rising cost of goods will impact the derivatives markets and forecasting models. Our conversation flows into what are oracles and Tellor. Nick discusses the importance of data and oracles to DeFi and how Tellor is prioritizing decentralizing data collection. Nick does an excellent job at explaining how oracles work and the current vulnerabilities of oracles. Another topic of discussion that was very interesting was how oracles will facilitate more granular data sets to give a clearer picture to real-world problems like inflation. Our final discussion topic centered around the applications of bringing real-world data on-chain.
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