Date - Cryptocurrency X Webflow Template
October 11, 2022
Reading Time - Cryptocurrency X Webflow Template
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 min read

What is a Bitcoin Attestor?

A Bitcoin Attestor allows for the communication of data between the Bitcoin ledger and all other systems to enable programmatic, conditional Bitcoin payments.

A Bitcoin Attestor is a third-party service that verifies the outcome of a Discreet Log Contract (DLC). At its core, a Bitcoin Attestor enables the flow of data between the Bitcoin ledger and other smart-chains, facilitating programmatic, conditional Bitcoin payments.

Roles of a Bitcoin Attestor

  • Listening: The Attestor actively listens to smart-chains, such as Ethereum or Stacks, for events signaling the creation or closing of DLCs.
  • Announcement: Upon detecting a new DLC event, the Attestor publishes an announcement. This announcement encompasses a series of signatures used by wallets to generate the CETs (Contract Execution Transactions).
  • Attestation: Using a consistent private key from the announcement phase, the Attestor attests to one of the outcomes. It signs a value derived from an accurate data source output. For DLC.Link, this typically originates from a smart contract on another blockchain network, such as Ethereum.

For a secure DLC system, many Attestor nodes need to be active. This way, if one node has problems, others can still work. DLC.Link's Attestation Layer uses many Attestor nodes, each registered with our smart contract, to spread out the work and reduce risks.

Attestor vs. DLC Oracle: What's the Difference?

In some literature discussing DLCs, it is common to see the term DLC Oracle. We have chosen to call our service a Bitcoin Attestor, as we differentiate Oracles and Attestors in the following way. 

  • Oracles are responsible for being the trusted source of truth for a piece of data outside the context of the DLC and the Bitcoin Blockchain. 
  • Attestors simply attest (sign with a private key) based on this data. See the below diagram.

Enhanced Bitcoin Functionality with Attestors

Attestors, as integral components of blockchain applications, act as gateways, transmitting data between a blockchain and real-world systems. Without them, blockchains risk becoming isolated entities, unresponsive to external events. More than just incorporating public data sources for activities like sports bets, captivating use-cases come alive when Bitcoin Attestors relay information from intricate smart-contract systems.

For instance, consider Mark buying a car with the ownership recorded on a public ledger like Ethereum. Before finalizing the sale, a DLC.Link contract with the payment held in escrow is activated. As the blockchain confirms the car's title transfer, the Bitcoin payment is unlocked programmatically, all in a trustless manner, provided both parties concur on the public record they trust.

The Bitcoin Attestor's ability to facilitate trust-less deposits and seamlessly integrate with external data sources (like Chainlink, APIs, and banks) ushers in a novel realm of Bitcoin utility.

DLC.Link’s Bitcoin Attestation Layer

With a singular Attestor for a network, vulnerabilities arise, potentially becoming a single failure point. If the only Bitcoin Attestor goes offline, data flow from other networks halts, impeding Bitcoin transactions. Worse, if the Attestor is compromised, the sourced data might become unreliable, enabling deceptive Bitcoin payments. Thus, bridging the gap between Bitcoin and other smart-contract-enabled blockchains demands numerous Bitcoin Attestors to circumvent inaccuracies, collusion, and downtime.

DLC.Link is building the infrastructure for anyone to power up and run a Bitcoin Attestor and participate in the new economy of Bitcoin lending and payment. This will further empower developers and applications on any blockchain or system to accept Bitcoin collateral without the implications, restrictions, or risk of using a third-party.