# What is API?
API3 (https://api3.org (opens new window)) is a collaborative project to deliver traditional API services to smart contract platforms in a decentralized and trust-minimized way. It is governed by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), namely the API3 DAO. Therefore, its code is open source and its operations are transparent.
# Thesis Statement
The vast majority of the external integrations that decentralized applications need are to commercial Web APIs that traditional businesses have built to monetize their data and services.
Therefore, what is widely known as the oracle problem is in practice an API connectivity problem.
Existing oracle solutions fall short because they fail to make this distinction, resulting in inferior solutions that depend on third-party oracles and ecosystems that exclude API providers. By refining the definition of the problem, API3 aims to provide a much more optimal solution.
API3 Whitepaper (pdf)
For a detailed discussion of the API3 project, read the API3 Whitepaper (opens new window).
# The Airnode
At its core, API3 brings the ability for API providers to easily run their own oracle nodes. This allows them to provide their data on-chain, without an intermediary, to any decentralized application (dApp) interested in their services.
At the heart of this mechanism sits Airnode, an open-source oracle node. It's designed to be easily deployed by any API provider with almost no maintenance. Because of Airnode, dApp developers can write smart contracts to interact with the on-chain data of API providers.
Airnode is designed with mechanisms to remove the on-chain or off-chain concerns of API providers. The set-and-forget framework of Airnode is all about ease of implementation.
Learn more about Airnode
Read Section 4 of the API3 Whitepaper (opens new window) to learn more. Airnode: A Node Designed for First-Party Oracles
# Learn More about API3
At API3 we are open to any proposals and improvements. Please feel free to contribute.
- opening issues
- making pull requests
- proposing features
Read more about contributing in the Contributing section.