ERGO AMA review with Vite community on 20 Feb 2020
Krystal last edited by Krystal
On 20 Feb 2020, Vite welcome the special guests, Martin and Kushti at Ergo joining an AMA with the community at Telegram
ERGO is designed for mass adoption. Its efficient blockchain protocol will allow it to be widely used while still remaining friendly to application protocols thanks to its unique transaction language
Vite admin: Welcome to the AMA. Martin and Kushti, please introduce yourself?
Martin: Hello guys, Martin here, I am a community member in Ergo from day 1, fan POW cryptocurrency and fan of its next-generation ten years later. I will try to answer some questions from a little different angle, I hope.
Kushti: Hi folks! I'm kushti, core dev of Ergo, who was the core dev of NXT, co-founder of smartcontract.com (known as ChainLink), and the research fellow at IOHK! This is my publication.
Vite admin: Thank you! Let’s get started by introducing Ergo in a nutshell to us!
Kushti: Ergo is a Defi and crypto contracts platform that takes a radically different approach to smart contracts than other networks. The Ergo platform is based on Bitcoin wherever possible, ensuring a high degree of security and retaining core features proven by a decade of used (for example, it’s a PoW network with limited coin supply, and the first mining pools are now being launched). But our team has drawn on many years of experience of core development for other crypto projects (Nxt, Waves, Chainlink), as well as extensive peer-reviewed academic research, to create something truly unique.
Ergo enables use cases that would be impossible, risky, or expensive with other platforms. We do this with Sigma protocols, powerful cryptography that allows very flexible and elegant coding of wide-ranging functionality, including off-the-peg use of ring and threshold signatures – great for privacy applications, such as our forthcoming trustless mixer. We also have a DEX on the way and a small but active and growing community building their own dApps. Ergo is listed on Vite since September 2019, and we would like to say that this is a good exchange!
Vite admin: Why is it good to hold Ergo tokens? What is your strategy to benefit investors and holders?
Kushti: Ergo's native token is Proof-of-Work cryptocurrency with a limited supply cap and improved soft-forkability to avoid hard forks. Thus it has token mechanics similar to Bitcoin's. But Ergo also has storage rent to stabilize mining rewards after emissions are done, thus in the long-term, it has even better plans on how to survive.
Vite admin: Please let us know how big was the crowd-fundraising? Is premise exists? What about VC funding back ERGO Platform?
Kushti: There was no ICO or premine, neither VC funding. It is a community project. For funding development and promotion during early days, there is a Development Fund gradually releasing about 4.3% of total supply within first 2.5 years. The total supply will be emitted in 8 years, it is a PoW cryptocurrency. Total supply is ~98M Ergs. Dev Fund is just 4.3M.
Martin: Ergo’s short emission schedule is made possible through its new economic model, namely, the storage rent fee component of its protocol.
Vite admin: DeFi is one of the hottest topics in the blockchain space right now I can tell. So, let's talk a bit about your opinion about DeFi? Do you think that DeFi will disrupt the existing financial system?And finally, what is ERGO approach towards the DeFi sector?
Martin: Other benefits from having the storage rent fee include prevention of “state bloat”, building of an economy around state (users must pay to keep unspent boxes in miners’ memory for the long‐term) and a gradual return of any lost coins back into circulation.
Kushti: Still a lot of things to get done to understand and improve DeFi. The problem with current solutions is admin keys, centralized UI, control from certain parties over protocols, etc.
Ergo is focused on non-custodial DeFi. The perfect example is crowdfunding campaign we did: you just create a coin with a certain contract and then project can collect your coin if the crowdfunding contract conditions are met. And you create your coin with your wallet just.
Another way to improve DeFi is community finance, \provides the ability to boost economic activity without collaterals. Ergo devs presented some example contracts in regards to that, such as a mutual credit system, but no applications developed yet. Contributors welcome!
Vite admin: Mimblewimble or Privacy coins are in a lot of news and press release, a commonly discussed topic recently, from your perspective as the core team, what is Ergo's approach towards the privacy?
Kushti: Ergo is not a privacy coin, but if Ethereum is called a "decentralized world computer", then Ergo is a "decentralized world crypto-computer" as it has generic and flexible support for a variety of cryptographic protocols to be built on top of it. As an immediate application, Ergo community members discovered ErgoMix, a next-generation mixer, simple, non-custodial (so no risks for operators and also users to get arrested or have the money lost), and non-interactive (so more secure). More schemes will be discovered in the future, due to the flexibility of Ergo's generic approach. And, Ergo's approach is efficient and secure, sigma-protocols (aka Generalized Schnorr Proofs) are known since the 90s, they're efficient and well-studied so secure. But Ergo for the first time brought their power into smart contract languages!
Martin: For example, we can do threshold signature in Ergo (e.g. 2-out-of-3) which is preserving zero-knowledge, unlike multisig in Bitcoin: by observing a signature not possible to know these 2 guys who signed (only the ring of 3 is known)
Vite admin: I must say that there are many strong developing projects, so why should we choose ERGO and not others? What in ERGO makes you more confident than other projects?
Kushti: Ergo is based on solid research done but the team and not only. But it's not a professor coin disconnected from reality; it is an engineer coin. On other hands, we're using solid methods and very careful about everything. As a result, we have a powerful, secure, and generic platform. Also, this is a community-based project, so no ICO- or VC-funding related issues. Ergo's focus is on the long-term!
Martin: Many things are also possible thanks to new block construct https://www.ergoforum.org/t/ergo-terminology-a-box-and-a-register/32
Vite admin: And from my pov, we have seen many of the project team members desert the team/ project for some unknown reasons. Hope it won't be, but let's see how you can ensure that your core team members will remain committed to this project?
Kushti: The difference with Ergo is that Ergo mainnet has already been launched. Ergo is a finished product! Not like other projects which still need upgrades or countless other changes. Ergo mainnet is already running and any developer or team can build DAPPS on top of Ergo now, not at some promised time in the future. And our core team is getting bigger and more decentralized over time, and that's the key to success, I guess.
Vite admin: I am eager to know that as an enthusiast, how can he contribute to ERGO?
Kushti: Please join the Ergo community to help with development and promotion! Our Telegram: @ergoplatform, Discord: https://discord.gg/yCsnmyu, Twitter: https://twitter.com/ergoplatformorg. Everything is transparent! After some time spent in the community, it is possible to get into Dev Fund board even to controls spending of the Fund.
Martin: Thee is community-driven foundation https://ergoplatform.org/en/foundation/
Section 2: Community Q&A
@endtimeprophet: As a developer I Know SOLIDITY and solidity +, Java C, can I build dApps on ERGO and what are the modalities involved. How do you seek to convince developers to switch to ergo for building dapps? What's your competitive advantage?
Kushti: ErgoScript is a simple programming language which is basically a small subset of Scala (like modern Java also). Now we also have the tooling to write contracts in a small subset of Scala, with your favorite IDE (like Intellij Idea), and also have formal verification (via Stainless tool). Articles are coming on that!
@toanphamhd: On moving forward through your roadmap, what are your most important next priorities? Does ERGO team have enough fundamental (Funds, Community, ect) to achieve those milestones?
Kushti: Good questions! Ergo Foundation has considered some minimal plan for 2020 recently https://ergoplatform.org/en/blog/2020_02_02/, but some external contributors and teams also working on some projects, so likely we'll have more than in the plan). Minimal plan is bout wallets with support for (real) ring/threshold signatures, mixer, DEX, non-custodial crowdfunding.
Martin: Without scrolling, last questions is pretty good - The very basic one is that native currency ERG is working as the transaction fees AND storage fees to miners, providing the same incentive for miners even after emission ends, thanks to own economy model. Next very unique one is a contribution to non-interactive and non-custodial DeFi, years of research were put into improving Bitcoin design here, so we have more advanced and more powerful scripting with privacy in mind, advanced proof-of-work, support for tokens, more advanced fees, soft forking approach, miners can change parameters like block size etc on their own, so it is also self-amendable protocol at the same time built with survivability in mind what is important as for digital commodity and cash guarantees.
@fafafifi_cret: There are 4 core issues prevalent in crypto and blockchain: Excessive Volatility, Security, Scalability and Interoperability. How do you plan to overcome these issues?
Kushti: Good observation! We have considered second and third things most seriously. In regards with security, we always tried to used simplest and well-studied approach, otherwise, to cover a new approach with a published paper and a lot of testing. We considered some things seriously other projects are fixing after attacks only, e.g. spammy contracts (causing "verifier's dilemma").
For scalability, Ergo for the first time in the space has stateless clients, so there are full nodes running on Raspberry Pi with just 256 mb RAM given! Also Ergo has support for ultra-efficient SPV clients for better security on mobile devices, and so on. TPS limit is not a question in Ergo as miners can gradually increase block size via coting.
For interoperability, we have some space left in the protocol to fill in 2021.
For volatility, we already have some stablecoin contracts, now applications are needed. Please note that token mechanics in Ergo makes stablecoins not contradicting with the native token! Native token always has utility, it is being used to pay for storage rent!
@JP_Morgan_Chase: The consensus protocol of Ergo is Autolykos- A proof of work-based Consensus algorithm! Why did you choose PoW consensus Algorithms instead of PoS or any other consensus?
Martin: Above solid and proved POW guarantees as for security, POW is great for building stateless clients while POS not so much what brings services decentralization. Ergo has also NiPoPoW support built in https://nipopows.com
@BATchriscal: How does Ergo handle the issue of negativity when the price is falling ? Also, what are your plans to grow and strengthen a product-oriented, not price-oriented community? Finally, what is the main motivation and energy that you can give to Ergo holders for the long-term?
Kushti: Good question! Ergo was launched in the middle of the crypto winter, so it is already going through harsh times which were killed some other projects. Ergo has survived, it is developing, and as the protocol is set in stone there's no fatal threat to it. Then limited-supply PoW token mechanics and enhanced capabilities should help Ergo to grow organically and overcome projects which are similar but not so powerful, such as RavenCoin or Bitcoin Cash.
@mikurana: Can you list 1-2 killer features of $Ergo that make it ahead of its competitors? What is the competitive advantage your platform has that you feel most confident about?
- Flexible and generic support for a variety of crypto protocols. As a result, ring/threshold signatures for free, mixing, in future private auctions and other protocols
- contracts in the extended UTXO model. Simple, secure, Lightning network-friendly also (but we can do other L2 solutions, preliminary research shows we can do things like FastSwap/FairSwap protocols). Cardano is still implementing it, Ergo already have!
- Stateless clients, ultra-efficient SPV clients and other means to survive in the long-term even under the load (with enough full-nodes in the network)
- Storage rent to prevent spam & dust and stabilize mining income
The end of AMA. Special thanks to ERGO team for joining the AMA