Hao Chen
Hao Chen
Apr 8, 2018 · 10 min read

MST‐ A Token Standard Different from ERC20

The token standardization would necessarily be the most important development direction of the blockchain application. If transaction platforms support a certain token standard, it will greatly unlock economic energy of the blockchain token and bring about considerable economic efficiency improvement.

The common standards is the ERC20 token standard, which is a so-called smart contract standard template. With ERC20 token contract standard, users do not need to write the smart contract code themselves and could issue their tokens after directly copying the template code, making a few modifications and adjusting relevant parameters.

The ERC20 token standard also regulates the ICO of the blockchain market. Before ERC20, due to the lack of standards, it often required time-consuming technical preparation for ICO. However, after the emergence of ERC20, it only provides the smart contract address trading platforms, no supported by Ethereum team.

However, the market needs full competition. Next, we will talk about ERC20 and MST, a Metaverse token standard.

The Cause of the Problem

From a large number of business negotiations, we determined that the ERC20 token does not meet their basic needs, which are listed below.

1. They are not concerned about whether to use smart contracts to issue their tokens, and they are not even willing to write and deploy smart contracts themselves.

2. Most of them require the token to meet general requirements such as secondary issue, burning, repurchasing etc.

3. A small number of them require the tokens not to be issued all at once, but rather on a slow-released basis according to a given model.

For example, Bob is the owner of an online game company and he hopes to get a ‘Tokenize’ solution. That is, a certain number of tokens could be initially issued according to the current number of users. With the fast increase of users, it is hoped that the token can be secondarily issued. Bob also hopes to freeze or even burn the tokens in the hands of cheating users. Since the number of new users and active users cannot be accurately estimated on a daily basis and if the total issuance amount far exceeds the actual number of active users at the beginning, then it is difficult to guarantee surplus token not to flow to the market. Moreover, it is cumbersome to prove the logic of the token design to users.

Let’s assume we use ERC20 to issue the token in the above example and name it GameToken.

Since the smart contract cannot be changed once it is deployed onto Ethereum blockchain, the basic logic of the GameToken cannot be changed either once it is deployed. Currently, ERC20 does not support the functionality of secondary issue and burning. Therefore, we must change the ERC20 standard to meet the above requirements but this will cause compatibility issues. If ERC20 requirement is not met, ERC standardization efforts seem ineffective and the cost of moving to the new ERC Token standard is extremely high.

Fortunately, the token standard ERC223,an improved and modified version of ERC20 has been built. However, existed ERC20 projects have to spend energy and time to upgrade to ERC223, which is non-official-standard.

It seems that diversified financial instruments are not provided under ERC20 token standard.

If all such complex functionalities are integrated into a smart contract standard similar to ERC20, it may be a very complicated logic and is hard to implement. Furthermore, it requires us to conduct large quantities of tests to extract a smart contract for the financial services that meet the requirements of usability and security.

I think this may be related to Ethereum’s purpose. Ethereum smart contract was designed as a general-purpose platform and is not deeply optimized for financial services. It is also uncertain whether in the future development of Ethereum, this smart contract token standard for the financial services will be favored by the developer community for financial services.

If we combine blockchain tokens with securities, it is apparent that smart contract templates should be basic and capable of meeting the diverse needs of the financial market.

For example, the stock symbol is an abbreviation to uniquely identify publicly traded shares of a particular stock on the stock market. Thus, the blockchain token symbol should also be unique in the entire blockchain ledger.

Under ERC20, the token symbol is not unique and its uniqueness is only guaranteed by the address of the smart contract. Speculators and scammers take advantage of this loophole and trick investors by falsely claiming the token issuance address with the time difference in the spread of information.

Above we listed some limitations of the ERC20 token standard, then I would like to introduce Metaverse Smart Token Standard (MST), which is different from ERC20.

What is MST (Metaverse Smart Token)?

MST is a set of token standards that allows everyone to issue tokens anytime and anywhere, very much like ERC20 tokens. You can operate it via a visual interface without any programming knowledge. You can even issue a Token in the SPV Light Wallet and these tokens can be safely transferred as Bitcoin.

MST tokens run on the Metaverse(MVS) blockchain (such as MVS.ZGC, CSD, LEBLOCK, etc). MST describes the standard that these tokens conform to. They are all “built” following the same set of “rules”, allowing them to operate on MVS.

ERC20 describes the token standard for the Ethereum blockchain, Same concept, but different blockchains, different technologies.

Let me introduce, MST is based entirely on the Bitcoin Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXO) model. Compared to the balance model which the Ethereum smart contract is based on, UTXO has good anti-replay attack features and it also allows your token to have SPV features. After the process of migrating the token to the light wallet, it could achieve an equivalent security level as Bitcoin.

Why UTXO? I can elaborate this with some flaws of ERC20. If somehow, your ERC20 tokens will get stuck at the contracts balance you got an ‘out of gas’ exception, which never happens with UTXO, and if you use account balance for a token, you must ensure you hired a senior smart contract programmer who never makes bugs on token behaviors, eg: double spending attack, Replay attack. UTXO is a nature design for token, but ERC20 which is smart contract state store only.

I could explain the technical principles to make it clear to everyone, which can also be found in our official documentation.

As for Bitcoin, all UTXO only serves Bitcoin, but it does not restrict that the type of token must be specified. Thus, we extended this model design. We added the attachment field in the output which provides type extensions of MST so that all MST can have the same level of technical features as bitcoin without having to fork bitcoins to create their own tokens.

Of course, MTS features are not limited to Bitcoin features, instead they have smarter behaviors.

What Are the Characteristics of MST?

Metaverse and it has run normally for more than a year. The issued token on the entire network could be viewed in the explorer: https://explorer.mvs.org/ — !/assets.

These Tokens are based on MST; MST is arguably a blockchain technology standard that is specifically created for the token economy.

MST has the following 4 features:

1. Globally uniqueness

2. No need of deployment, user-friendly

3. Native support for multiple financial instruments

4. Custom investment thresholds

Globally Uniqueness

Global uniqueness means the only symbol that MST has on the main network. It can be used as a globally unique readable identifier and does not cause ambiguity between people.

The ERC20 Token does not have the feature of global uniqueness. Its uniqueness is guaranteed by the contract address. However, it is known that the Ethereum’s contractual address is poorly readable, which requires high operation and recognition level of ordinary users. Recently, the first crypto-currency “Petro” which is claimed to be supported by oil resources and issued by Venezuela was spotted by some new fraudulent methods.

The official website of “Petro” is shown below.

Coincidentally the scammer had imitated and made a copycat site, while the site had the deceased former president of Venezuela, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, and it made many people who did not know the truth believe it. In the fake official website, except for the white paper link address is true, the other is false, including Twitter, Facebook and other linked accounts. These accounts either already have been sealed, or are changed a few letters to disguise real ones.

What is fatal is that the link to the Etherscan website is provided at the bottom of the official website, which is entered by clicking on the contract address in the image below.

After clicking, the interface of Etherscan in the figure below appears. On the fake official website, the linked address is smart contract address (0x1EC10EAb27b76968cd8B854914CC6EB9F886Ce27) of the false token. However, in fact, the “Petro” issued by Venezuela was still in the ICO stage and did not release any contract address information on its official website. It is easy for users to fall into the trap of fraudsters if they lack a method to differentiate.

At Etherscan, we can also find a lot of similarly named ERC20 tokens for the purpose of defrauding money.

However, MST will not have such problems.

The MST symbol refers to the design of the BTS and the securities and it only supports uppercase letters and dots, which directly rule out ambiguity in reading and coding.

Adding the design of the dot is actually a reserved design. We hope to clearly indicate the ownership of the token, such as “CHENHAO.LAPT OP” and “ERIC.BRAIN”. The token itself swears ownership rights of the asset, which can ultimately be used in conjunction with the Metaverse Digital Identity (MID).

No Need of Deployment, User-friendly

The use of MST is very simple. Because for general users, everything is visualized. We can find some examples from the official documentation: https://docs.mvs.org/docs/features-issue-token.html.

I got this question on https://ethereum.stackexchange.com/questions/16714/what-are-the-key-criteria-for-meeting-the-erc20-token-standard. People are looking for a simple control of tokens, just like what bitcoin does, it’s confusing for non-developers to understand ERC20.

For developers, only two JSON-RPC APIs need to be called. The first one is for creating the token and the second is for issuing (broadcasting) the token.

The transactions generated by these two APIs are all based on ‘Pay To Public Key Hash’ (P2PKH), a standard format for making payments on the Bitcoin network. Since these transactions are similar to Bitcoin standard transactions, all MST can share the same type of address with ETP, which begins with the capital letter M on the main network at the beginning equivalent to the payment address starting with 1 in Bitcoin.

In the process of utilizing MST, developers could find that MST can be well integrated into all financial applications and Internet-based applications, and can even be embedded into micro embedded devices without complicated deployment of smart contracts on devices.

Therefore, compared with the code writing, parameter overriding, deployment of smart contracts, and announcement of smart contract addresses for smart contract-based ERC20 tokens, the learning and promotion costs of MST are relatively lower anyway.

It has been claimed that ERC20 tokens can be issued in 5 minutes, whereas MST can finish this process in 5 seconds.

Native Support for Multiple Financial Instruments

I think this is the biggest feature that distinguishes MST from other smart contract tokens, including the ERC20 and NEP‐5 standards.

We will provide at least 5 core functions for MST. With the focus on the MST usage specification of these five core functions, we can introduce the BaaS specification. These specifications include mainstream programming languages ​​such as Java, Javascript, Go, and PHP SDK. Developers can develop popular SDKs in accordance with these specifications and these SDK will be collected into official documents and will be rewarded with appropriate number of tokens.

The five functions are respectively: Issue, Transfer, Deposit, Swap, SecondaryIssue, and Trade.

For example, Bob has a demand for secondary issue and his company uses the Go language. After importing the Go language SDK, a secondary issue API could be called once according to business requirements.

If the user has the need of ICO, then ‘Swap’ function on Metaverse can be used.

We also plan to allow the user to specify an economic model for token issuance This model may be analogous to the linear decay model of Bitcoin, accelerated decay model, or even discrete ones, in order not to issue all the tokens at once.

Currently, ‘Issue’ and ‘Transfer’ functions are already available on our main network.

The functions of ‘Deposit’, ‘Swap’, and ‘SecondaryIssue’ would be launched in the SuperNova version in May. By the end of 2018, the ‘Trade’ function will go live.

Custom Investment Threshold

The custom investment threshold means that rational project parties often screen qualified investors, and ERC20 greatly reduced the threshold of ICO. Different from that of Vitalik’s idea of DAICO, I think we can try to increase the threshold, which can force investors to make changes themselves.

This type of setup will get high quality projects on the market to raise the bar, while the speculative projects will not raise the threshold. This differentiation will also provide investors with valuable judgments.

How is the investment threshold set? You can make it through the Metaverse digital identity ‘MID’. Due to space limitations, I will leave MID to the next post.

Finally some technical considerations:

The upgraded version ERC223 causes incompatibility with ERC20, which troubles users. MST can meet the requirements of controllable compatibility at the soft fork level.

MST may support PoW mining in the future, that is to say, users could add MST tokens in the Coinbase transaction that generates ETP.

MVS plans to support Segregated Witness in the second half of 2018. The upgraded network hopes to provide MFT with lightning network support for small and fast token transfers.

Details on MST will be described mip: https://github.com/mvs-org/mips/tree/master/mips.

Hao Chen

Written by

CTO of Metaverse

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