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The contracts that implement the Airnode protocols


You can learn about Airnode and the protocols used in the documentation.

For developers

Running contract tests

Test the contracts, get test coverage and gas report

yarn run test
# Outputs to `./coverage`
yarn run test:coverage
# Outputs to `.gas_report`
yarn run test:gas

Contract deployment

To deploy the contracts on a network first copy example.env to .env. Enter a mnemonic and any appropriate API keys. Note that the mnemonic must be present (though can be arbitrary) even if the exclusive goal is contract verification. The <NETWORK> in the below commands must correspond to a filename (without the .json extension) from https://github.com/api3dao/chains/tree/main/chains. If a hardhat error occurs during verification stating that a json file in artifacts/build-info is missing, running yarn run clean followed by yarn run compile should fix it.

# Deploys deterministically (does not work on some chains)
NETWORK=<NETWORK> yarn run deploy:deterministic

# Deploys undeterministically
NETWORK=<NETWORK> yarn run deploy:undeterministic

# Verifies the deployment on the respective block explorer (not supported for some chains)
NETWORK=<NETWORK> yarn run deploy:verify

# Verifies the deployments locally
yarn run test:verify-local

# The same as above, but for a specific network
NETWORK=<NETWORK> yarn run test:verify-local:network

# Generates deployments/references.json
yarn run deploy:generate-references

Deterministic deployment addresses

AirnodeRrpV0: 0xa0AD79D995DdeeB18a14eAef56A549A04e3Aa1Bd

RequesterAuthorizerWithAirnode: 0xf18c105D0375E80980e4EED829a4A68A539E6178

AccessControlRegistry: 0x92E5125adF385d86beDb950793526106143b6Df1

AirnodeRrpV0DryRun: 0x2e768206bf5112e7D7efAf1d9df614C26475193f

Integration notes

  • arbitrum, avalanche, metis and their testnets do not support deterministic deployment and are deployed undeterministically, resulting different contract addresses.

  • fantom, metis, milkomeda and their testnets are not verified due to not being supported by hardhat-etherscan or the support being broken. The addresses act as the verification for deterministic deployments, and you can use deploy:verify-local to verify undeterministic deployments.

  • The default Airnode gasLimit is not enough for arbitrum, arbitrum-testnet and metis-testnet. Configure a suitable value (such as 5000000) in config.json for these chains.

The information below is slightly outdated


At a high level, there are two Airnode protocols:

  1. Request–response protocol (RRP): When a user calls a typical, synchronous API, they get a response right after. In other words, the requester pulls the data. RRP is to integrate such API calls to smart contracts.
  2. Publish–subscribe protocol (PSP): There is another API pattern typically referred to as pub/sub or webhooks, where the user asks the API to call back with a specified payload when a specified condition is satisfied. In this scheme, the API pushes the data. PSP is to build such functionality out of an arbitrary API and integrate it to smart contracts.

Currently, only RRP is implemented, and PSP is only designed at a conceptual level. Nevertheless, the package's directory structure is designed in anticipation of the PSP implementation.

The protocols are extended in functionality through authorizers. An authorizer is an on-chain contract that can be called statically to check if a particular request should be responded to, e.g., if its requester is whitelisted. While deploying an Airnode, the operator specifies the addresses of the authorizer contracts they want to use. (These contracts may live on a chain different than the protocol contract, e.g., an Airnode can be configured to refer to a mainnet authorizer for requests received from Rinkeby.) Then, whenever an Airnode receives a request, it will make a static call to its authorizers to determine if it should respond to the request.

The contracts that use the Airnode protocol to make API calls are called requesters. A requester can be a user-facing contract such as a prediction market dapp. Other requesters may build more complex services that use individual Airnode services as components. For example, a dAPI (decentralized API) integrates to multiple Airnodes and is used to give aggregated responses to requests (dAPIs are not yet implemented). Similarly, a beacon server is a proxy in front of Airnodes that allows responses to be reused repeatedly by authorized parties.

Both authorizers and service providing requesters require complex clearance functionality for multiple independent entities, e.g., if we are implementing a contract that controls access to Airnodes, the admin for an Airnode should not necessarily be an admin for another one. Therefore, the Airnode protocol package also includes contracts that implement access control functionality for multiple independent entities, and these contracts can be easily extended to build various kinds of admin logic.

Directory structure

The contracts are under the contracts/ directory.

/access-control-registry: Contracts that implement generic admin functionality

  • /access-control-registry/AccessControlRegistry.sol: Inherits OpenZeppelin's AccessControl and forces the roles to relate to each other in a tree structure instead of an arbitrary topology.

  • /access-control-registry/AccessControlManagerProxy.sol: An Ownable proxy contract to be used while interacting with AccessControlRegistry to allow roles to be transferred as a whole

  • /access-control-registry/AccessControlClient.sol: A contract to inherit for contracts that will be interacting with AccessControlRegistry

  • /access-control-registry/RoleDeriver.sol: Implements the role ID derivation convention

/whitelist: Contracts that implement generic whitelisting functionality

  • /whitelist/Whitelist.sol: A contract that implements temporary and permanent whitelists for multiple services

  • /whitelist/WhitelistRoles.sol: A contract that implements the base roles for a Whitelist contract that will be managed by an AccessControlRegistry

  • /whitelist/WhitelistRolesWithAirnode.sol: A contract that implements the roles for a Whitelist contract that will be managed by Airnode addresses through an AccessControlRegistry

  • /whitelist/WhitelistRolesWithManager.sol: A contract that implements the roles for a Whitelist contract that will be managed by a single account through an AccessControlRegistry

  • /authorizers: Contracts that implement arbitrary business logic for the Airnode protocol

  • /authorizers/RequesterAuthorizer.sol: A base contract that inherits Whitelist to implement whitelisting of requesters for Airnode–endpoint pairs

  • /authorizers/RequesterAuthorizerWithAirnode.sol: A contract that inherits RequesterAuthorizer and WhitelistRolesWithAirnode to implement Airnode-managed requester whitelists for Airnode–endpoint pairs

  • /authorizers/RequesterAuthorizerWithManager.sol: A contract that inherits RequesterAuthorizer and WhitelistRolesWithManager to implement requester whitelists for Airnode–endpoint pairs managed by a single account

/rrp: Contracts that implement the request–response protocol

  • rrp/AirnodeRrpV0.sol: Implements the request–response loop of the protocol and inherits the three other contracts below

  • rrp/AuthorizationUtilsV0.sol: Implements individual and batch authorization checks

  • rrp/TemplateUtilsV0.sol: Implements the request template functionality, which allows the reuse of previously declared request parameters

  • rrp/WithdrawalUtilsV0.sol: Implements the request–response loop for withdrawals from sponsor wallets

    rrp/requesters/: Houses the RRP-depending requester contracts

    • rrp/requesters/RrpRequesterV0.sol: A contract that is meant to be inherited by any contract that will be making requests to AirnodeRrpV0
    • rrp/requesters/RrpBeaconServerV0.sol: A proxy contract that makes RRP requests for request templates. The most recent response for each template is stored and can be accessed by the whitelisted users where the whitelists are managed by a single account.

    rrp/authorizers/admin: Houses the token locking, token payment and fee registry contacts

    • admin/AirnodeFeeRegistry.sol: A contract that will specify the price of an endpoint for an airnode across different chains
    • admin/AirnodeFeeRegistryClient.sol: A contract to inherit for contracts that will be interacting with AirnodeFeeRegistry
    • admin/AirnodeFeeRegistryRolesWithManager.sol: A contract that implements the roles for a AirnodeFeeRegistry contract that will be managed by a single account through an AccessControlRegistry
    • admin/AirnodeRequesterAuthorizerRegistry.sol: A contract that will store the RequesterAuthorizerWithManager contract address for different chains
    • admin/AirnodeRequesterAuthorizerRegistryClient.sol: A contract to inherit for contracts that will be interacting with AirnodeRequesterAuthorizerRegistry
    • admin/AirnodeTokenLock.sol: A contract that requesters will use to get authorized on the authorizer contract stored in the AirnodeRequesterAuthorizerRegistry by locking in API3 tokens
    • admin/AirnodeTokenLockRolesWithManager.sol: A contract that implements the roles for a AirnodeTokenLock contract that will be managed by a single account through an AccessControlRegistry
    • admin/AirnodeTokenPayment.sol: A contract that requesters will use to get authorized on the authorizer contract stored in the AirnodeRequesterAuthorizerRegistry by making payments in a specific ERC20 token. This contract needs to be deployed per supported payment token
    • admin/AirnodeTokenPaymentRolesWithManager.sol: A contract that implements the roles for a AirnodeTokenPayment contract that will be managed by a single account through an AccessControlRegistry

Unique patterns

Airnode protocols follow some patterns that you may be unfamiliar with even if you are familiar with existing oracle protocols. Below are some brief explanations in no particular order, which should help you with understanding the reasoning behind these decisions. You can also refer to the post Where are the first party oracles? for more information.

No duplicated contracts

The RRP protocol and its authorizer contracts are deployed once per-chain, and all Airnodes use the same set of contracts. The contracts are implemented in a way that they are entirely trustless and permissionless, and not even the API3 DAO has any special privileges (except for RequesterAuthorizerWithManager, which is opt-in, as all authorizers).

In other words, the Airnode operators do not need to deploy any contracts in the regular user flow. This is preferred because deploying contracts causes a lot of UX friction and costs a lot of gas. Furthermore, the requester now has to verify that the individually-deployed contracts are not tampered with, which cannot feasibly be done in a trustless way. Implementing the protocol as a single, communal contract solves these problems.

No transactions needed for Airnode deployment

In some cases, even needing to make a single transaction causes significant friction for onboarding Airnode operators (or looking at it from the other way, it would be extremely convenient to onboard Airnode operators if they never had to make any transactions). This is why the protocol is implemented in a way to avoid this.

Requester sponsors all gas costs

Oracles need to make transactions to affect chain state, which comes with gas costs. This has extremely significant financial, accounting and regulation implications that make first-party oracles impossible in practice. Airnode protocols are implemented in a way that enables the requester to sponsor all gas costs related to their service and goes as far as baking this into the lowest level of the protocol.

IDs work across chains

Airnodes are identified by the address of the default BIP 44 wallet (m/44'/60'/0'/0/0) derived from its seed. This means that if the Airnode uses the same seed on another chain (which they are expected to), the Airnode will have the same ID. In other words, the Airnode operator has to broadcast only a single address as their own, this will be used universally across all chains.

Be mindful of Ethereum provider interactions

Oracle protocols typically assume the Ethereum provider to be trustworthy and infinitely capable, which is typically not the case in reality. Looking at it from the security side, an external Ethereum provider can tamper with data returned from static calls and log queries, but it cannot tamper with a signed transaction, it can only deny service. The guarantee we provide for Airnode is similar: A malicious Ethereum provider cannot have you misreport (i.e., tamper with the request parameters secretly), because all request parameters (and request template parameters) are hashed to be verifiable by the respective Airnode. Note that this is not typical with other oracle protocols, even though it could be foreseen that most independent oracles will be using external Ethereum providers.

A second potential issue with Ethereum providers is capacity. Most Ethereum providers measure usage by number of calls (likely because of the overhead the alternatives create), so an oracle node should strive to make as few calls as possible (we should note that static calls to on-chain authorizers are seen as a must-have here). For RRP, this is achieved by implementing convenience functions that make batch calls. Furthermore, it is typical for Ethereum or EVM-compatible chain providers to apply arbitrary and strict limitations to log fetching calls (i.e., eth_getLogs). To avoid this causing breaking issues, data that could have been kept as logs are sometimes kept in storage despite the increased gas cost (e.g., templates could have been logged instead of written to storage).

Usability and future-proofness over over-optimization

This last point is a bit abstract, yet has guided us through a number of decisions: When needed to choose between a slight gas cost optimization and improved upgradability in protocol, we opted for the latter. The reasoning here is that there is virtually infinite potential value to be unlocked with a highly-capable oracle protocol, and sacrificing this to optimize for a limited use-case is short-sighted. An example can be given as fulfill() in AirnodeRrpV0 being fulfilled with a bytes type that needs to be decoded (which adds a gas cost overhead), where most users will have the request return a single 32 bytes-long type. Even though this decoding operation overhead will recur a lot, it is still negligible compared to the value that will be created by an oracle protocol that allows flexible response specifications (a simple example is returning multiple fields from an API response).

RRP flow

  1. The Airnode operator generates an HD wallet seed. The address of the default BIP 44 wallet (m/44'/60'/0'/0/0) derived from this seed is used to identify the Airnode. The Airnode (referring to the node application) polls AirnodeRrpV0 for MadeTemplateRequest and MadeFullRequest events indexed by its own identifying address (and drops the ones that have matching FulfilledRequest and FailedRequest events).

  2. A developer decides to build a contract that makes requests to a specific Airnode (we will call this contract requester). Using the xpub (extended public key) of the Airnode (which is announced off-chain) and the address of an Ethereum account they control, the developer derives the address of their sponsor wallet (see below for how this is done). The developer funds this sponsor wallet, then calls setSponsorshipStatus() in AirnodeRrpV0 with the address of their requester contract to sponsor it. This means the developer is now the sponsor of their requester contract, i.e., the requester contract can make Airnode requests that will be fulfilled by their sponsor wallet.

  3. Before making a request, the developer should make sure that at least one of the authorizer contracts that the Airnode is using will authorize the request. Assume the Airnode is using RequesterAuthorizerWithAirnode and RequesterAuthorizerWithManager. Then, the requester contract should be whitelisted either by one of the admins that the Airnode default BIP 44 wallet has appointed (i.e., by RequesterAuthorizerWithAirnode) or one of the admins that the API3 DAO has appointed (i.e., by RequesterAuthorizerWithManager). These admins may whitelist requester contracts based on arbitrary criteria (e.g., if an on-chain payment or an off-chain agreement has been made) and these are outside of the scope of this package.

  4. The requester contract can make two kinds of requests:

    • Template requests refer to a set of request parameters that were previously recorded on-chain. To be able to make a template request, the developer will call createTemplate() to create the template, then refer to the ID of this template in their template request.
    • Full requests do not refer to any template, all request parameters are provided at request-time.

    Let us assume the requester contract is called, which triggers a template request.

  5. The Airnode sees a MadeTemplateRequest event (and no matching FulfilledRequest or FailedRequest event), which means there is a request to be responded to. It first uses the fields provided in the MadeTemplateRequest log to recreate the requestId. If the newly created requestId does not match the one from the log, this means that the request parameters are tampered with and the request must not be responded to. Then, it fetches the template referred to with templateId, and using the fields of the template, it recreates the templateId. If the newly created templateId does not match the one from the log, this means the template parameters are tampered with and the request must not be responded to.

Another test that the Airnode must do is to derive the sponsor wallet that is specified in the request using the requester address and check if it is correct (and not respond if it is not). This is done because we cannot derive the sponsor wallet from xpub on-chain, so we let the requester specify it in the request, and have the Airnode check it for correctness, which is equally secure (i.e., it will be obvious if one attempts to make a request to be fulfilled by a sponsor wallet that they are not authorized to use).

  1. Assuming all tests pass (and they are expected to virtually every time), the Airnode makes a static call to its authorizer contracts with the request parameters, and only continues if at least one of these returns true, i.e., says that the request is authorized. Assuming that the requester contract developer has done Step 3, one of the authorizers will have whitelisted the requester contract and will return true.

  2. The Airnode makes the API call specified by the request (with an endpointId and ABI-encoded parameters) and encodes the payload as specified by the request (these specifications are outside the scope of this package). The hash of the request ID and its response payload is signed by the private key of the address that identifies Airnode (to decisively prove that the holder of the Airnode private key returned the payload as the response to a specific request). Then, the Airnode calls fulfill() of AirnodeRrpV0, with the request ID, payload and the signature, which forwards the request ID and the payload to the callback function in the destination address. The callback function can be as flexible as needed, but note that the gas cost of execution will be undertaken by the sponsor wallet.

If anything goes wrong during this flow, the Airnode calls the fail() function of AirnodeRrpV0 with an error message that explains what went wrong. For example, if fulfill() is going to revert, the node calls back fail() and forwards the revert string as the error message for debugging purposes. However, there are some cases where this is not possible, e.g., the specified sponsor wallet does not match the sponsor address, in which case the request will not be responded to at all.

Note that calling fail() does not require a signature from the Airnode address. This is because sponsorWallet is trusted with transmitting the signed payload to the chain with a proper transaction (e.g., with a large enough gasLimit), or reporting that it could not if that is the case (and sometimes the reason may be that the signing functionality is not available). The sponsorWallet failing requests that it should not or returning false error messages is not considered a security issue, as failed requests do not call back the fulfillment target.

Sponsor wallet derivation

An Ethereum address is 20 bytes-long, which makes 160 bits. Each index in the HD wallet non-hardened derivation path goes up to 2^31. Then, we can divide these 160 bits into six 31 bit-long chunks and the derivation path for a sponsor wallet would be:

m / 44' / 60' / 0' / 0 / sponsor && 0x7FFFFFFF / (sponsor >> 31) && 0x7FFFFFFF / (sponsor >> 62) && 0x7FFFFFFF / (sponsor >> 93) && 0x7FFFFFFF / (sponsor >> 124) && 0x7FFFFFFF / (sponsor >> 155) && 0x7FFFFFFF

Anyone can use the xpub that the Airnode has announced and the sponsor's address to derive a sponsor wallet address for a specific Airnode–sponsor pair. Before doing so, the user should first derive the address of the wallet derived with the path 0/0 and confirm that it is the Airnode address (to make sure that the xpub announced for the Airnode is correct). Since the xpub belongs to the HDNode with the path m/44'/60'/0', the sponsor wallet address derivation from that will be done with the path 0/sponsor && 0x7FFFFFFF/..., i.e., the m/44'/60'/0' at the beginning must be omitted.

Note that the derivation path starts with 0/.... The zero here is allocated for RRP, and the other branches will be used to derive the sponsor wallets for other protocols such as PSP.

Withdrawal from the sponsor wallet

Requesters may not want to use up all the ETH deposited in their sponsor wallet. Then, they can use WithdrawalUtilsV0 to request a withdrawal from the Airnode, which sends the entire balance of the sponsor wallet to the sponsor address. Before serving this request, the Airnode must verify that the specified sponsor wallet address belongs to the maker of the request by deriving the sponsor wallet address itself.

Token Locking

For requesters to be able to access an airnode endpoint , they need to be whitelisted on the airnode endpoint via the RequesterAuthorizerWithManager or the RequesterAuthorizerWithAirnode. The former is managed by the API3DAO for all airnodes and the latter is managed by each airnode individually. The token locking contract AirnodeTokenLock.sol has the indefinite whitelister role of the RequesterAuthorizerWithManager, this allows this contract to indefinitely whitelist a requester. Requesters who want to be whitelisted need to lock in API3 tokens for each endpoint they wish to access. Unlocking these locked tokens revokes the whitelisting.

The amount of tokens to be locked is calculated based on the AirnodeFeeRegistry contract which specifies the price of each airnode endpoint across chains in USD. The price is derived based on this selection scheme.




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