Skip to content Skip to footer

When an Oasis Was More Than Just Privacy for Web3

“Relatively minute, rare and precious,” oases provide a respite for thirsty desert travelers looking for protection.

An oasis provides “an area of sedentary life, which associates the city or village with its surrounding feeding source, the palm grove, within a relational and circulatory nomadic system.” It also provides protection from harsh desert climates that can leave the thirsty desert traveler parched.

In the different landscapes that define much of our planet’s surface, the oasis, oases in plural, has protected and cultivated life for millennia. They have acted as major trade hubs since ancient times, cultivating civilizations in the process. These luscious and fertile lands, cradled by deserts, are paradises that have shaped human history, culture and mythology.

Here, Oasis provides an inside scoop on what oases are, and how they have influenced and benefited humanity throughout the ages. What was once a place of myth known for its hidden fertile land, the oasis has become a place where Web3, AI, and more can benefit from keeping data safe and secure.

Geography of Oases

An oasis is a fertile and green area in the desert, primarily categorized by its natural availability of water. This water, often coming from natural springs known as underground aquifers, transforms an otherwise harsh and desolate climate into a thriving ecosystem of protection and relief. These underground reservoirs, often situated beneath impermeable rock layers, ensure the availability of freshwater in the oases that have been replenished by ancient and modern rainfalls,

Another type of “Oasis” is a layer 1 protocol supporting the first confidential EVM blockchain. Developers on Oasis Sapphire can easily test and deploy contracts by leveraging their existing Solidity knowledge, ensuring smooth onboarding into an ecosystem supporting Smart Privacy. It ensures that privacy is not just a right, but a default for all use cases, with the added benefit of full customization on top.

Earth’s Famous Oases

From the Al-Ahsa oasis in Saudi Arabia, thriving above one of the world’s richest oil fields, to the Nile River valley, a grand oasis that supplies life to Egypt, oases are diverse in their formations.

Once a humble natural oasis in the Mojave, Las Vegas Valley stands as one of the United State’s most prominent oases. It is known as “The Meadows” for its abundant springs, and it has evolved into a global entertainment hub, but it is currently drying out. On the other side of the world, the Seba Oasis near Sabha, Libya depicts the traditional idea of an oasis, where communities build on the patches of green flora and among the date palm trees against the strong and sandy winds coming from the Sahara.

While the Nile River is the longest river in the world, its valley is actually an elongated oasis. The Nile River Valley has been the lifeline of Egyptian civilization for over 10,000 years. It has supported the rich culture of Egypt, from the very beginning to present times, with its natural source of freshwater.

Al-Ahsa Oasis, Saudi Arabia: Source

Oases Lore

The mythological lore of oases shows how important they were in the exploration and expansion of territories. The Siwa Oasis, also known as the Oasis of Amun-Ra, was a significant religious site dedicated to the worship of the deity Amun-Ra, the sun god of Ancient Egypt. Located in the Western Desert of Egypt near the Libyan border, it is one of the country’s most isolated settlements, but hidden within is a rich history spanning thousands of years. It is most renowned for the ancient Oracle of Amun, located within the Aghurmi village. This oracle gained immense fame in antiquity, especially after Alexander the Great made a journey there in 331 BCE to consult the oracle.

Known mythologically as the hidden white city or the “The Oasis of Little Birds” in the Sahara, the Zerzura was a mythical oasis overflowing with treasures that were heavily guarded. First mentioned in medieval Arabic texts, it has captivated explorers with tales of a sleeping king and queen, untold riches and a location that only the pure of heart could discover. Zerzura embodies the romanticized idea of an oasis: traveling through the desert and stumbling across a green and wondrous refuge, with golden and marble buildings that could very well be untouchable, hidden to the average traveler.

Oasis Lore

In 2018, Oasis was created in response to a need for smart privacy options which would allow users and protocols to have control over their own data founded by Dawn Song, a leading researcher in the development of privacy protocols and cryptography, Oasis focuses on customizable privacy and scalability.

With the launch of Sapphire in 2022, developers within the Web3 and traditional AI spheres gained the ability to build dApps with Smart Privacy directly on Oasis and The Oasis Privacy Layer extended this capability to other EVM-compatible chains. Privacy is provided through confidential smart contracts on Sapphire, enabling dApps to ensure customizable privacy and scalability.

All of these privacy features are fundamentally enabled by the on-chain privacy capabilities of Oasis Sapphire Paratime, which runs in parallel to other runtimes that perform transaction execution on top of the underlying consensus layer. These ParaTimes allow simultaneous transaction processing, giving the network a high degree of throughput through horizontal and vertical scaling on multiple ParaTimes, but also large throughput for a single ParaTime thanks to the underlayers of Sapphire technology.

Oasis has come a long way since 2018, and it continues to evolve by adding the Runtime OFf-chain Logic (ROFL) framework to Sapphire. ROFL offers confidential computing support for off-chain components to runtimes like Sapphire. It also allows for non-deterministic behavior (such as using randomized algorithms), the ability to access network resources, all while offering the required confidentiality and runtime integrity needed for AI technology and beyond!

The Oasis Vision

Rich in flora and fauna, geographical anomalies and lore, oases are cultural landmarks and natural wonders that have continued to shape human history. Oasis now has the ability to continue this tradition for those in search of different levels of privacy and characteristics for Web3, AI and beyond. Whether this comes from the basic geography of oases, the magic that one feels when seeing one nuzzled between date trees or customizable privacy options, an oasis has options to provide any given protection the traveler is looking for.