MUSCLE: Authenticated External Data Retrieval from Multiple Sources for Smart Contracts

Bjorn van der Laan, Oğuzhan Ersoy, Zekeriya Erkin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Smart contracts are applications that are deployed and executed on a blockchain's decentralised infrastructure. Many smart contract applications rely on data that resides outside the blockchain. However, while traditional web applications can communicate with trustworthy data sources directly through the Internet, this is not possible for smart contracts because their execution must be deterministic. Bringing external data into the blockchain has been a topic of research since the first introduction of Ethereum. A system that can provide this data to smart contracts is called an oracle. The primary requirement in designing oracles is that the authenticity of the data must be publicly verifiable, which can be achieved through signatures. However, transmitting data to the blockchain and performing the verification is costly, especially if applications require data from multiple sources. In that case, current approaches would need to retrieve the data from each source separately. In this paper, we present the concept of MUlti-Source oraCLE (MUSCLE) for retrieving data from multiple sources, which we believe to be the first to focus on the multi-source scenario. We implement five variants of MUSCLE, each using a different signature or aggregate signature scheme and compare their performance with two oracles that are based on TLS-N, which represents the current state of the art. Our results show that the ECDSA-based MUSCLE features the lowest total gas expenditure, while the BGLS-based oracle provides lower transaction and storage costs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 34th ACM/SIGAPP Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC '19
EditorsChih-Cheng Hung, George A. Papadopoulos
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-5933-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event34th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2019 - Limassol, Cyprus
Duration: 8 Apr 201912 Apr 2019


Conference34th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, SAC 2019


  • Blockchain
  • Ethereum
  • Smart contracts


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