Use Cases and Applications

On Tangle Requests (OTRs)

Song Choi

On Tangle Requests (OTRs) are part of the core functionality of the BUILD.5 platform. In this article we’re going to talk about how they work, their advantages, their different functions, and how it will evolve in the future.

OTRs, put simply, create a unified communication layer through the Tangle that’s enabled by the BUILD.5 platform and can be easily utilized by all of the partners who have built solutions with the BUILD.5 marketplace. OTRs provide secure, decentralized, and auditable communication through the layer 1 IOTA network. It allows making requests to centralized services operated by various partners. These requests can trigger on-chain actions with any type of smart contracts including layer 2 EVM smart contracts and eventually layer 1 smart contracts once that functionality is released.

How do OTRs work?

The way it works is that any user can make an anonymous request by posting a transaction to the Tangle. It’s possible to submit this request through both public and local nodes, making way for a lot of flexibility.

This flexibility is an incredible feature. By submitting these requests on the Tangle, it allows anyone to engage with BUILD.5 through any IOTA nodes, even nodes that they run locally on their Kubernetes clusters. This means that communication is completely anonymous and private. It can even be encrypted data for enhanced privacy.

The real breakthrough here is that the cost of processing these transactions is ZERO on the protocol level with IOTA and Shimmer. The only cost that would need to be incurred is if a BUILD.5 platform service is being utilized. In that case, a small fee would be charged (e.g. Trading tokens may have a 2% fee).

Proven Technology

OTRs have been running on the incentivized staging network of IOTA (Shimmer) for over a year. This has been a full production environment. It’s important to note this because OTRs aren’t some new technology that’s being tried out for the first time. It has proven product market fit, and it’s been used enough to confidently give to enterprises knowing that they’ll be able to rely on it.

As you can see from the figure below, now that we have the base OTR functionality on a protocol level settled, we can begin showcasing useful analytics that enterprises can leverage to make more informed business decisions.

This screenshot shows the owner which OTRs are being used, how many requests have been called, number of errors, the cost, and the total volume. These are the big steps we’re taking with the BUILD.5 platform to make it a seamless process to integrate with web3 technology.

Current State into Future State

Currently, some of the features on the incentivized staging network don’t live on the unified communication layer. As we progress however, all functions on the BUILD.5 platform will become OTRs.

This involves continually moving centralized components into decentralized components. This will be a smooth transition from our current private execution environment into a fully decentralized one via smart contracts. The best part is that users of the BUILD.5 platform will already be using OTRs, and since the request format won’t need to change, there won’t be a significant impact to any of the end users.

To sum it up: OTR is BUILD.5’s version of a web3 API. These OTRs will provide a seamless transition from centralized services to decentralized services. It’s like the world’s simplest bridge from web2 to web3 and vice versa.

As we continue building and expanding the BUILD.5 platform, we’ll be able to provide additional information about OTR use.

The goal is to have everything available at your fingertips, all through a simple interface. The best part is that this will all be available within the Tangle itself. Immutable forever.

In a future article, we’ll talk about the Mana Station and how it will power the IOTA L1 smart contracts in the future and become the fuel for the engine that powers the entire BUILD.5 platform. Stay tuned!

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