Introduction to the Tech Behind Bookie: Data Proxies
This article originally appeared in our February newsletter.
Building a fully decentralized sports betting exchange requires the careful engineering of every technical and commercial component so that there is no single point of failure, and no centralized authority. Last month we introduced the decentralized affiliate marketing system that will be built into Bookie. This month we’d like to say a bit about how Bookie gets hold of sports data.
Standard sportsbooks and betting exchanges typically use a single sports data feed provider to provide information about upcoming sports events, manage In-Play betting, and use final results to decide whether bets are winners or losers. If Bookie were to pull sports information from a single data feed, this would be the very definition of centralized, offering not only a single point of failure (bad!) but also the possibility for bad actors to compromise Bookie’s integrity (very bad!).
The solution: Bookie uses “Data Proxies” as the first step in the oracleization of sports data. Each Data Proxy is connected to a particular sports data feed provider. The Data Proxy normalizes incoming sports data (against a Bookie standard), and then pushes it further to Peerplays Witnesses. Peerplays Witnesses are connected to multiple Data Proxies allowing them to crosscheck all data privately before reaching consensus, as a group, on each new data item to be added to the Bookie system. The entire process is automated.
In a simplified example using the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers play the Golden State Warriors at 8:00 p.m. EST. At 10:30 p.m. the game ends and Cleveland wins by seven points. All of this data (and more) feeds into Bookie via the data proxies in real-time, and your bet is settled within minutes of the game ending.
So that’s Data Proxies in a nutshell. We look forward to showing (rather than just telling) how this works in practice when Bookie moves into public testnet deployment later this Spring. Is building a decentralized betting exchange easier than building a centralized one? No, not by any stretch of the imagination. But we are convinced that robust decentralization has substantial long-term benefits for sports bettors the world over.