How to be a Helium price oracle

2021-11-22

The Helium Network Wants YOU To Submit HNT Prices Regularly (It’s Easier Than You Think)

Background

The first rule of being an oracle is that you don’t talk about being an oracle.

The second rule of being an oracle is to submit HNT prices early and often. Daily at a minimum; hourly would be great. Prices are reset every 30 blocks (30 minutes), and a majority of oracles must vote within a rolling 24 hour period for a price to be set. Otherwise we end up with stale pricing data and flat spots, like this nonsense:

Here’s what it looks like when the number of voting oracles falls below a majority, represented by the the dashed threshold line (data & graph from DeWi ETL)

Read more about oracles on docs.helium.com and then check out all the sick charts of oracles (allegedly) submitting prices on the DeWi ETL Oracles dashboard

Setup

You’ll need to be comfortable with the commandline, and ideally have a dedicated server you can setup to automatically submit prices on a regular basis. A Raspberry Pi on your home internet connection would be more than enough.

  1. Download and install the commandline helium-wallet
  2. Create a fresh mainnet wallet
helium-wallet create basic
Password: [unique long top secret password]
Confirm: [unique long top secret password]
  1. Backup that new wallet.key keyfile somewhere super duper safe
  2. Send the wallet address to your top secret handler. I don’t know who this is, don’t ask.

Submit prices

Helium has made this very easy. Thank you Louis. You don’t even need to look up the HNT price – you can use helium-wallet to automatically fetch and submit the latest price from Coingecko, Bilaxy or Binance:

helium-wallet oracle report --block auto --price coingecko --commit

This assumes the wallet.key is in the same directory. Use -f ~/path/to/oracle-wallet.key otherwise.

Lastly, setup a script to automatically submit prices on a regular basis. You can use the HELIUM_WALLET_PASSWORD environment variable to automatically enter your wallet password; keep this safe.

Here is a basic shell script:

#!/bin/bash
export HELIUM_WALLET_PASSWORD="[unique long top secret password]"
keyfile="$HOME/path/to/oracle-wallet.key"
source="coingecko" # bilaxy, binance

# Try three times before giving up
# Sometimes Coingecko is tired
n=0
until [ "$n" -ge 2 ]; do
  echo "attempt $n ..."
  $HOME/bin/helium-wallet -f "$keyfile" oracle report --block auto --price "$source" --commit 2>&1 && break
  n=$((n+1))
  sleep 5
done

Then throw it in your crontab (crontab -e):

# Submit HNT prices hourly
@hourly   /home/pi/bin/helium-oracle-submit | grep -v "timed out" >/dev/null

You did it

Please contact me (email and Discord username are on jamiedubs.com) and we’ll see about getting you added to the official list. And remember, if you stop submitting prices, you bring great shame on your family!

Thank you for your service