Extended Q&A of Axie Infinity Sidechain Announcement

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There were a lot of questions from the community, I’m just stitching them together for interested parties to read, enjoy. Huge thanks to Trung and Psycheout to take the time to answer all of these so crisply.

Q: Will we have to pay the gas for transfer to sidechain?
A: No, that’s unrealistic. We will do a hard fork to migrate existing Ethereum contracts and data (ownership and history for example) onto Ronin.

Q: Can Sky Mavis currently force transfer/burn our mainnet axies if they chose to (not that they ever would just a technical question brought on by the article)?
A: We will pause smart contracts on Ethereum Mainnet to prevent confusion and possible attack vectors.

Q: Can sidechain axies be sold on third party markets without being withdrawn to mainnet?
A: No. Though it will be possible in the future when the infrastructure is more developed and the chain evolves from a consortium chain into an open one. There are several approaches we are still researching: dPoS, zkRollup for example, but some aren’t good fits, while others take time to mature and to be adopted.

Q: Why are mainnet axies going to be banned from interacting with AI?
A: I think banning is just a wrong word to use here. We will pause Ethereum smart contracts to avoid confusion and migrate full data onto Ronin (though history there can only be replayed, archived and linked to the actual events on Ethereum). If anyone wants to bear the responsibility of developing games or products based on Ethereum data (and put the actual effort into it like we do), we might reconsider this. But we will only provide our games on Ronin for simplicity.

Q: I understood the benefit of blockchain gaming to primarily be that assets are owned on the mainnet (land on sidechain makes sense since land ownership is sort of a rental scenario in real life as well). Its possible to massage out all the kinks in a blockchain game to the point where it’s just a regular game, I’m thinking.
A: Our chain will be more open over time (i.e. allowing any one to participate eventually). Before that transition finishes, we are 100% serious with the transparency and immutability of data. For example, block explorer is a must.

Q: Hard fork so would our “old” axies continue to exist alongside ronin ones?
A: Yes but you cannot transfer, breed, grow your Axies (as in pausing the contracts).

Q: Community validations will help for sure, not easy to feel like blockchain if we have no community based validation. Economy is player owned on mainnet right now. Ethereum is more transparent than a side chain. Which incentives?
A: I think incentives are described in the article so I will just recap here: faster development speed and smoother user experience. On the other hand, we commit to at least the same level of transparency like what we have right now on Ethereum (we might even have it more).

Q: Interoperability is there now, axies are in games like 0x Will that be lost on sidechain?
A: It depends on the extra mile other teams want to go, technically it’s possible. Data on a sidechain could be considered like data on a shard (roughly speaking). However, first-party experiences (i.e. our games) must be good first (whether it’s gameplay or about user experience).

Q: Will we be able to withdraw ronin axies to mainnet on day one? Or is that a later on feature?
A: ERC-20 withdrawals and deposits are definitely possible on day 1, even right now. For NFTs it might be later.

Q: And why would withdrawn ronin axies be unable to interact with AI if that’s not too complex?
A: Technically everything is possible (we are on Ethereum right now, right?). Later on we think about Ethereum like a haven. If Ronin is transparent and secure, transferring assets back onto Ethereum is just for storage purposes mostly. In some of our approaches in research, zkRollup for example, roughly speaking, Ethereum will secure the sidechain at the same security level, without people having to monitor activities (unlike Plasma), so if that happens I don’t see any major reason why to withdraw back to Ethereum if it’s only about playing games.

Q: is it safe to say that the sidechain will be deployed before land play gets released?
A: Yea, time is ticking up and we have to move away from Loom (they are closing down their public dApp services). So a sidechain is a must for storing land assets and some elements of land gameplay (Project L!).

Q: Ok idk if any1 ask this but Ronin will be based on LUNA token? or it will be somhow related to this or it will be completely new token?
A: Initially it will be a permissioned chain and the validators are being paid/rewarded directly by Sky Mavis. As Ronin evolves into an open network we will add a token to incentivize the right kind of behavior from the validators. For now we are prioritizing on the token economy for Axie Infinity (LUNA)

Q: Will initiall validators be known members of the nft scene (opensea peeps, advisors, big players?) or anyone with a strong history in the project can become one?
A: We have approached a few parties about being validators and will release information about that later. If you have anyone you think could be a good fit feel free to DM me [Odin note: Psycheout] about it.

Q: will i be able to move my genesis plot from Ronin to mainnet ETH?
A: That’s a tricky case I’ve also thought about. Withdrawing out of Ronin could be considered locking your assets.
Follow up point: i think it is important to not lock any assets
Follow up response: But the owner choose to lock it right?
FuP2: oh sorry maybe misunderstood. yes an owner could chose to lock something on a certain chain if they so choose.
FuR2: Yea I mean they choose to withdraw and effectively lock at the same time.
FuP3: You mean locking as in In-game Mechanics. Not locking them as to control/transferability.
FuR3: Right.

Q: And will there be any stopgap solutions to breeding between now and sidechain (new contract with no breeding fee, contract that skips petite stages for example)
A: The breeding fee has been used for posting breeding randomization data back onto Ethereum. Most of the time it’s enough to cover the cost, and the rest is put into our ETH liquidity pool on Loom so people can withdraw and deposit ETH there smoothly (Loom’s solution is pretty bad that we cannot use). When gas cost is high we use the leftover fee to cover the cost. That being said we don’t consider it a form of revenue. In the future the mechanism might be obsolete (for example because transaction fees could be minimal or eliminated), but guess we will have a similar mechanism (might not be in ETH) which accrues some value from breeding and puts back into the ecosystem/community (say tournaments and events).
Petite stage is a historical thing which can be eliminated in the future (or to be precise, sending a transaction to grow an Axie to Petite can be eliminated, and Axies can grow to Petite automatically without intervention). In the past when we had pursued the “fully decentralized” way, the logic is to let people decide when they want to grow (and see the genes) of their Axies. Gas cost was not being high during that era also.

Q: Can you confirm all Assets that were only on LOOM so far, Land / Items, etc, will be able to be transfered to Main Eth net at some point (Understood the game mechanics will go into hibernation when on main net)
A: Yea, can confirm that.

Q: One more question. If everything, including axies will be on sidechain. Does this mean we can start bidding on axies too?
A: Bidding!

Q: I think the term “forked” is a little confusing here. We are definitely not forking a part of Etherum. So you are going to take a snap shot of all axie assets from Main Eth net and re-create (aka minting) them on RONIN.
A: Correct. I don’t know if there is any other term, but let’s consider this “forking” in my glossary.

Q: and simultaineusly “locking” the mainnet token. Is this correct? Seems that we will have to all initiate an Eth transastion for that to happen (for each Axie? ) ??
A: No. We have a mechanism in our contracts to lock them in emergency cases. We will use it when the time comes.

Q: But seriously, the contract has a mechanism to lock any token , any time , at Mavis (axie corp) descretion?
A: Yea, back in the early days of blockchain gaming it’s like a norm for emergency situations, there could be some serious bugs here and there. There’s also a mechanism to give up the pausing permission so the contracts are completely free on their own.

Q: While having trusted parties perform the validation in a DPoS approach is good for getting things started, what types of assets will these participants be required to stake in order to participate in validation?
A: No at first it isn’t dPoS but PoA. Later a modified version of dPoS could be interesting but given some new tech is emerging we might want something better than dPoS. Commiting to dPoS and then take one more step to upgrade it could be a sunk cost we want to avoid.

Q: Some of the most trustworthy people to validate Axie-related transactions are clearly large Axie/land-holders, since they stand to lose the most from any fraud or problems on-chain. I would think that a community validation program may even be more robust than relying on others to get things started, particularly if you create staking thresholds like “Must hold at least 500 Axies or 100 lands”. I know that I would love to have the ability to stake some of my Axie assets in return for participating in the economic success of the game.
A: Yea, this is definitely interesting, but further down the line the chain might not be only about Axie and land, though this is not the main reason. A feature like yours takes even more time than standard dPoS, with even more effort to put on standardizing value of Axies and land. We want to stay lean with infrastructure approaches, since at this point in time the effort should be most about the games.

Q: It seems to me that a way to approach maintaining ETH-based assets would be to send Axies transferred to Ronin to the 0x000 address to ensure that only one version/copy of an axie exists. This way, you could still allow Axies to exist on ETH as valid, but a progressively larger amount would be owned by 0x000 over time as people migrate to play the game. This would allow for people to keep the security of ETH for higher value assets, and reduce the need for having a fully monopolistic chain. Is this something you’ve considered and rejected? If so, why/was it due to recurring gas concerns?
A: Transferring to 0x0 is basically the same as one-way deposit. We chose to not officially support activities on Ethereum because that defeats one of the reasons why we want to have a sidechain at the first place (hey we are on Ethereum and bearing all the bad things about it right now). We want to move faster without having to worry a lot about why Ethereum works and doesn’t work in specific cases. Supporting Ethereum at the same time might sound like a thing but that means at least 1.5x the development cost, and keeping all the problems (say gas cost as one) the same.

Q: Makes sense for starting out perhaps, although it may not require standardization if you set some static thresholds, particularly if based on things like mystic axies or land, where holding a given number is sufficient to be a trusted validator. Considering land/mystic holders have been here the longest, have the most to lose, and know the team best, I could see this as a way to involve them and bring new value to holding the assets long-term. … But I do agree, getting the game right is the most important, since without that, nobody has anything worth staking at all!
A: Yea, technically everything is possible, but I also see a lot of hidden effort there, it ain’t no easy task!

Q: what about not supporting anything other than a transfer into ronin function and at the same time just keeping the current authenticator or whatever you use to validate the presence of an axie in a wallet. It doesn’t have to work with loom assets as they are obvious candidates for this ‘fork’ but axies are already working with the game client.
A: The situation is a bit complicated than that. Tracking and maintaining ownership over one chain is already hard, let alone two (or many) chains to worry about.
Say we have a land item called “Diamond Mine” which produces 1 Diamond every month for its owner. Imagine right before the mine producing the next diamond, it got sold to a new owner. What if on Ethereum the last owner who withdrew the mine sell it to a new owner on Ethereum after that? How to know who should be the one who receives the to-be-produced diamond? If there is another sidechain who allows depositing Ethereum assets onto it, what should be the correct answer for the owner of the mine?
Oh maybe we should have two identical sets of smart contracts on two chains? How to deploy a new logic in both chain at the same time so there is no conflicts of game logic?

Q: It’s good to hear about sidechain solution. Ideally we shouldn’t be needing it but I guess it is better than migrating to other chain. One thing I’m realizing is that this is basically a chain on it’s own. Does that mean a big part of Axie war chest will go into developing and maintaining the chain? Also are there any risks of hacks other than few validators taking over the chain (of course that will not happen)?
A: Actually there is significant cost involved in maintaining relationships with other third party providers, like Loom Network. And not to mention the risk when working with them, like we experienced. Same goes for hack risks.

Avid gamer, crypto trader, and NFT fan.

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