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Security Considerations

There are various moving parts in the operation of dAPIs which bring with it a variety of security considerations. When using dAPIs integrating parties should be aware of and understand these processes.

Multi-sig dependency

As previously mentioned, a dAPI is a mapping towards a specific beacon or beacon Set ID, which can be changed. Currently the ability to do so rests with multi-sigs that are operated on each chain that API3ServerV1.sol is deployed on. The multi-sig setup is a 4/n with members of the Core Technical Team (CTT) along with members of the dAPI team being part of it. When reading dAPIs like e.g. BTC/USD, this multi-sig could alter what data is being consumed by pointing the dAPI towards a different ID, which can cause intended or unintended damage.

Similar to other oracle network designs, like the Chainlink contract upgradability by a 4/9 multi-sig, there are trust implications being made that such abilities will not be abused. However, the long term goal is to limit this ability drastically once dAPI operations have matured, by capping the amount of changes that are allowed to be made in addition to giving the API3 DAO the ability to revoke dAPI name setting rights through a governance vote.

Self-funded dAPIs

Compared to managed dAPIs, self-funded dAPIs are sourced from a single datafeed (beacon) and are hence susceptible to more risk. Downtime with the associated Airnode or the sourced API operation will consequently lead to a stale data point. For this reason, self-funded dAPIs are treated as an introduction to dAPIs as well as a testing ground for data feeds. It is recommended that use cases with higher security requirements make use of managed dAPIs when available.

Self-funded dAPIs will only update if the respective sponsor wallet has sufficient funds available to create the on-chain transaction. Consequently, it is imperetive that the status of a respective sponsor wallet is monitored if it is used in any capacity because there will be no updates without funds. Keeping the sponsor wallet at a desired level can be automated with services offered by projects like Gelato. Please note, that funds send to a sponsor wallet are not recoverable, which means that sending small amounts to keep it operational repeatatly is recommended over sending large amounts.

Managed dAPIs

Manage dAPIs are still under development. With managed dAPIs, API3 takes over the gas management overhead that is associated with running dAPIs. The underlying beacon sets of a managed dAPI are kept up to date by collecting signed data from the respective underlying Airnodes of a beacon set via Airnode's HTTP-Gateway and updating the beacon values on-chain.

Working towards absolute decentralization

It is important that no central authority has the opportunity to impact the delivery of a dAPI's value. API3 is committed to keep the beacon sets behind a managed dAPI updated in a completely decentralized fashion. Therefore decentralization will be a key feature when managed dAPIs are made available.


Released under the MIT License.