ETC Cooperative AMA — Recap

On February 4th, Bob Summerwill, Anthony Lusardi and Yaz Khoury of the ETC Cooperative hosted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Twitter. We had a lot of engagement and the discussion rolled into the next day as well. We will have to do this again!

Here is a recap:

Bob: I am Bob Summerwill, Executive Director of the ETC Cooperative. Ask Me Anything! (@Yazanator and @pyskell will also be participating) #ETCCooperativeAMA

Bob: We have a few questions which were submitted in advance, so I will start with those, but interactive is obviously more fun. Just use the #ETCCooperativeAMA hashtag for your questions. Or just reply on this thread.

Barry Silbert: Would you like to see the Ethereum Foundation more active with ETC, or should ETC have its own foundation? Or are you not a fan of foundations?

Bob: I would love the Ethereum Foundation to give more grants to ETC projects. @virgilgr has been bridge-building already, and I would love to see that continue. But it is quite clear to me that the ETC community would be very hostile to the creation of an ETC Foundation.

Steven McKie: You are better off with a string of cooperatives that work interoperable at this phase of maturity.

Saturn Network: A string of coorperatives is a great idea! Each new cooperative must include the hash of the previous one and have valid proof of work attached. we could call it a coopchain

Eric Conner: What do you see as the future value prop of ETC? Or, how would you pitch it to investors?

Sunny Aggarwal: Ethereum with more Szabo-esque approach to governance. If I were going to create a darknet market or something similar, Ethereum Classic would probably be safer than Ethereum.

Evan Van Ness: given that ETC’s selfish mining vulnerability is 10%, do you think that’s true?

Anthony: PoW is probabilistic security and the more blocks you add the more security. Unfortunately blocks are very cheap right now so exchanges need to increase their confirmation times. 70–100 blocks (~20 mins) is not enough. Here’s more thoughts on this issue: https://link.medium.com/jJIbtFCT2T

Evan Van Ness: I’m much more persuaded by @DavidVorick that it’s much much worse than that. https://t.co/5NoIdcuiQF

Anthony: Yeah I disagree. The ultimate conclusion of his argument is that PoW only works if you have tight control over ASICs so only “good” actors can use them. It’s quite centralizing. The whole PoW racing thing assumes infinite capital, time, and resources. If someone sends you n and it is going to cost them more than n*2 to reverse it then they’re not going to. Even if it costs them n there’s diminishing returns.

Afri: Will Ethereum Classic scale? How?

Yaz: Sidechains. ETCDEV’s original solution was a sidechain called Orbita, but it folded. I think @etclabscore wants to partner instead with existing sidechain solutions instead of building its own, but they need to clarify.

Steven McKie: Just follow ETHs scaling roadmap, minus the PoS. Why do more hard work when your community doesn’t have the financial resources? We can all work together.

Bob: Well, I think the issue is that sharding and POS are pretty tightly bound. Sharding is not universally loved either. Cross-shard communication has a lot of uncertainty. I don’t know that “Serenity, but with POW” really makes a lot of sense.

Saturn Network: I don’t think sharding makes sense for $ETC, but reusing Plasma implementations like @loomnetwork or @thematter_io’s #ignis is more prudent than rolling your own sidechain solution.

Steven McKie: don’t forget @ConnextNetwork @PerunNetwork and Counterfactual

Saturn Network: we can throw @raiden_network in the mix as well. The point is that there’s plenty of projects that can and should cross-deploy to $ETC. State channels are already compatible. As far as plasma goes I think it requires EVM changes — so make them compatible with what $ETH does

Saturn Network: How does #ETCCoop plan to support #dapp developers? And what’s your personal stance on token economies being developed on $ETC?

Bob: It is a tough time in the lifecycle of blockchain as a whole. We are so early that very few projects are viable businesses. That was maybe covered up during the ICO mania, but is very evident now. There is no easy answer to that funding issue right now.

Bob: I think the best we can do is to support infrastructure and tooling. That won’t necessarily be enough in itself to make dapp development a viable economic choice. VC funding? Finding a rich benefactor? Token economies on ETC? For sure. Probably not ICO funded, though.

Saturn Network: disclaimer: I’ll use an example that may come off as shilling, but what I’m asking is a broader question. Would you say that a decentralized exchange is an infrastructure project for $ETC? If so, would you consider financially supporting an exchange with a token model?

Saturn Network: Or for example, @raiden_network may port their scaling w/ token economics to $ETC — would you consider buying their tokens? This would arguably transform #ETCCoop from charity into a VC with a defined mission and would financially align the coop and the projects it supports

Saturn Network: I see where the ICO hatred is coming from, but not every project is a scam. As we are on a mission to build #DAO-controlled decentralized financial systems (what $ETH crowd now calls #DeFi) we would love for ETC Coop to have representation in the DAO on $ETC chain.

ArtCard: Very interesting question, as any project need some form of funding (and “donations” or funding only from founders pockets are no real solution)

Bob: I think that @etclabs is probably better positioned to meet this need. I hope that we will see more incubators and VCs in ETC.

Saturn Network: What do you see as the mission of #ETCCoop then? @etclabs are only investing in wannabe corporations (they buy startup’s stock), while protocol tokens are more akin to a co-op. Maybe guidance, reviews of token models and public education could fall on your shoulders.

Saturn Network: You command not only DCG’s funding, but also considerable social capital. It would be a waste to not direct it properly towards projects that are building on $ETC and advancing the whole economy.

Saturn Network: “Probably not ICO funded, though” is intellectually lazy. You are right in 99% cases, but you are missing the 1% grains of pure gold. Perhaps changing this stance and being agents of change with respect to project funding would be a worthy mission.

Saturn Network: Toxic attitude towards makers and entrepreneurs is one of the reasons why #DeFi is being built on $ETH and not on immutable and lower-fee $ETC

antiprosynthesis: ETC is only immutable and lower fee because it’s not used though.

Donald McIntyre: Shut the fuck up, Vitalik.

Joseph Delong: Will ETC be moving to Ethereum 2.0/ helping with client implementation of Ethereum 2.0?

Mihailo Bjelic: Seems like they won’t.

Joseph Delong: Thanks for the reply. I think it is still possible. They just need to deploy an ETC bridge to Ethereum mainnet and their own validator registration contract.

Mihailo Bjelic: Totally agree, but I think they’re generally not interested in Eth 2.0, if I got it right..

Bob: That would be my assumption, given the conservatism within the ETC community, but I may be wrong.

Mihailo Bjelic: Those were my thoughts, too, thanks!

Lucas Pinelli: Does ETC plan to implement the Serenity upgrades as they come online? If so, are they contributing to the research, specs, or implementation?

Bob: No. It looks likely that the opcodes updates from ETH 1.x forks will be implemented on ETC, so that we can share compilers and other tooling, but Serenity is essentially an entirely new project.

Bryant Eisenbach: State rent? That’s like 4 opcodes lol

Barry Silbert: should somebody within the ETC community try to replicate the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance? or should ETC try to partner?

Bob: Partnering would make a lot of sense. The @EntEthAlliance can really be seen more as an EVM Alliance. Most enterprise deployments will use private chains, not the ETH mainnet. Same with Hyperledger

Bryant Eisenbach: How does ETC optimize for IoT? What sort of research is underway?

Bob: I don’t have any great answer to this, I am afraid, Bryant. I know that IoT was one angle being used to pitch ETC last year, but that didn’t make a great deal of sense to me. Maybe Yaz or Anthony will have something to add?

Bryant Eisenbach: IoT and Blockchain just never really made sense to me in general. Too many problems, too many potentially unsolvable issues. There are things that I could see *eventually* getting tied to blockchains (like maybe cars, to secure updates or something), but I don’t think that’s soon

Yaz: I just think blockchains essentially solve the issue of trust. Issue of IoT is lack of security standards across all different vendors. Running on a network with an extra social layer of security like ETC would work.

Bryant Eisenbach: I usually don’t say “it *solves* trust” any more, it’s more of a social layer of coordination, enforcing economic guarentees that *increase* trust.

Yaz: I just mean, at the technical side, blockchains are just a tiny gear that make it incredibly hard to fake trust data. Social layers are features: ETH about new features and more HF, ETC about more security and less HF.

Kristy-Leigh Minehan: What solutions will you build for preventing or detecting 51% attacks?

Bob: Well, as you know, I think that exchanges having a credible defensive mining strategy could be a good approach.

Texture: What does it feel like to be a traitor?

Bob: Love you,Texture. Do not ever change.

Barry Silbert: What are some ways ETC protocol development can get funded in the future? what role will the ETC Coop play?

Bob: There is obviously little appetite for in-protocol funding mechanisms within the ETC community. My suggestion is that we just look to broader open source funding models (ie. Linux, web), which have been well established. “Magic internet money” perhaps distracted us all.

Bob: In general, if protocols are useful then products will be built on top of them, and those products need the underlying infrastructure, and so fund its development. I see the @ETCCooperative having a key role in clearly expressing that value proposition.

Alexander Tsankov: One of the biggest bottlenecks to ETC adoption is lack of an Infura alternative (this affects wallets, mobile phone access, development ease). Does the Coop have a strategy to address this in a decentralized way?

Saturn Network: run your own @ParityTech or @IOHK_Charles’s mantis or @Ethernode_io. Don’t cave in to a centralized node hoster like @infura_io, no matter how convenient it might be

Alexander Tsankov: Yes. Ok, I am already doing that. How do we provide ETC to people who may not have the technical experience or financial resources to run a node? Most people around the world ONLY have mobile phones.

Saturn Network: Only businesses / devs / service providers need to run web3 nodes. If you are a consumer who only has a smartphone you will just use a node someone else provides. There is a whole large battle of figuring out how to enable people to create on phones before we tackle node hosting.

Ethernode.io: If only businesses/devs/service providers run nodes then the core value proposition of public blockchain will be nullified by this tier of trusted 3rd parties.

Saturn Network: I don’t think we are in disagreement. I’m pointing out that using @Ethernode_io is better than using @infura_io, and if you only have an android phone and no desire to learn how to set up a full node then use lite wallets, no harm in that.

Saturn Network: Also, the way lite clients are implemented, they do not have to “trust” the node provider. https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/Light-client-protocol … hope to see that work finalized and be deployed in the wild!

Evan Van Ness: i remember you arguing quite ardently for the DAO fork in the summer of 2016. have you changed your mind?

Bob: No. I didn’t really argue strongly on either side. To me the best thing we learnt during the fork was that both sides of a hard fork can survive. Nobody needs to be coerced into staying “with the herd” when there are contentious decisions points.

Bryant Eisenbach: Will you invest resources into alternative languages targeting the EVM? Will research work be done exploring opcode interoperability between higher-level languages? Will WASM or IELE come to ETC?

Bob: I think there is opportunity for collaboration in this area for sure. @InputOutputHK have done great work with IELE. SputnikVM gets lots of good feedback. Lots interesting happening with eWasm. Subject to funding, this area makes sense to me, yes.

Bryant Eisenbach: Keeping it one-hundo, @BobSummerwill! Collaboration on EVM 1x updates and other technical changes is the possibilities for the most synergy that I am excited about!

Lewis Rockliffe: Do you think Eth1.x will live on after Eth2.0 is proven to work? How would that fit in with ETCs offering?

Bob: I think that depends what the ETH community chooses to do about the migration strategy in the long-term. It is not inconceivable that the ETH 1.0 chain gets difficulty bombed. If ETH 2.0 is working then I think there will be little interest remaining in the vestigial chain.

Kristy-Leigh Minehan: What is ETC’s next killer application?

Bob: No idea! Very few killer apps are foreseen.

Ethereum Classic Philippines: With the loss of ETCDEV core team, do ETCcoop have any plans on putting its own CORE dev team that supports mainly ETC?

Classic is Coming: That’s what Labs Core is for

Spencer Applebaum: Some people care about immutability, but it’s clear that a majority don’t. With that in mind, how does Ethereum Classic plan on attracting devs away from Ethereum and other smart contract platforms (beyond just ideology)?

Bob: I think the key is making it easy to use ETC for existing ETH developers. It is quite evident to me that the future will be multi-chain. No monolithic single chain will “win”. Ethereum and Ethereum Classic are siblings, not mortal enemies.

Antoine Toulme: Can you expand on what you mean by multi-chain and how ETC participates to that future?

Bob: I think that we will have both multiple public/private and permissioned/permissionless chain instances and multiple protocols. I see some people chosing to anchor on ETH and some on ETC and some on other chains.

Bob: In essence, I see ETC as part of the broader Ethereum-and-friends technologies. There will be many deployments. I don’t find ETC vs ETH a useful lens for viewing the world, any more than “Ethereum ecosystem” is a singular thing.

Tommy Shen: Why did you leave the Ethereum and go to ETC?

Bob: I didn’t “leave” Ethereum. This isn’t a zero sum game. It is only possible to like XBOX or PlayStation?

Tommy Shen: Sorry, PC gaming purist here. Let me rephrase, are you still part of any projects that uses the ETH (not ETC) mainnet?

Bob: Yes, I am part of the broader Ethereum and blockchain community, and am also a friend of the EEA and Hyperledger and many other projects. That hasn’t changed. I have not “left” the ETH community. I was not required to pledge allegiance to the death to ETC to take this role :-)

Anthony: You simply haven’t gone through *that* part of the on boarding process yet.

Bob: :-)

Ethereum Classic Philippines: What’s the plan of $ETC to protect/secure its investors from 51% attack or other attacks in the future? We all know that our Hashrate is far lower compare to ETH, so these attacks are still possible So what’s our resolution to this important matter? #ETCCooperativeAMA

Bob: Defensive mining. Also, encouraging exchanges to use an appropriate number of confirmations for matching security, as Anthony has suggested.

Ross Galloway: Do you think that many current Ethereum miners will come to ETC once serenity is implemented?

Bob: Yes

Paul: Glad to have you aboard and thankful for your input to the system. Good luck in your new position Bob!!

Bob: Thank you!

Stuart Trusty: What has been done to prevent future 51% attacks?

Bob: You cannot prevent 51% attacks in POW chains, but there are things which can be done (especially by exchanges) to mitigate the potential damage. More confirmations is the simplest.

Stuart Trusty: Disappointing answer. Sorry but this only insures that this chain will be a constant open wound and shows zero diligence or intetest in protecting the project’s future. Why not switch to Komodo’s delayed PoW? @el33th4xor

Jon Amen: What is the value prop of ETC to current ETH developers? E.g for EOS and Tezos, the value prop is much higher throughput in exchange for security

Bob: A very short-term one is lower gas costs for getting their dapp live.

Ethereum Classic Philippines: What’s the plan of $ETC on advertising the ETC blockchain to a more broader market(non techie people)? Do ETC have any plans to advertise it or not a priority?

Bob: @ETCCooperative is planning some awareness campaigns this year, yes.

NotACryptoTweeterAccount: As we all know, the ETC Community is pretty set in their ways, talking immutability for example, and I‘d imagine the same goes for the consensus mechanism. Though, is the thought of ETC as a hybrid chain (PoW+PoS) something one could potentially implement?

Bob: I imagine all kinds of such experiments are possible, if there are people who see value in them.

NotACryptoTweeterAccount: I’d just thought that it would give Ethereum Classic a stronger overall network. Even if the blockreward would be split-up 95%PoW/5%PoS it wouldn’t set back miners a ton, and it’d give ETC a “second layer” of protection against malicious actors, although there are other solutions. So basically was just an idea thrown into the room. Thanks for responding so quickly.

Stev: #ETCCooperativeAMA 1PM EST 1. Shorts or pants? 2. Are you a maple syrup smuggler? 3. Do you think the industry wants node clients that support more than one #ethereum based network? E.g.: Clients having the choice of #etc, #eth, etc…

Bob: 1. Shorts for as much of the year as I can :-) 2. I have been known to travel with lots of maple syrup, but always legally! 3. Absolutely. @ParityTech has shown us how possible that is for years. Also POA and other consensus.

Vlad Costea: What happened to @etcdev, its roadmap, and its talented devs? #ETCCooperativeAMA

Bob: They ran out of funding, sadly. Many of the developers are still working on ETC, now employed at @etclabscore.

Classic is Coming: ETC is one of the most frequently attacked projects, as such morale tends to weaken at times… How would you counter this and how can community members to stay motivated?

Bob: Just remember why you are involved and what is most important to you. Most negative comments come from people with no skin in the game. Keep on trucking!

CryptoTweet: Just keep working….there will always be people in a community losing their interest or motivation, they leave no matter what….focus on the new people who will get interested, who bring in new motivation

Classic is Coming: What in this space keeps you up at night? What keeps Bob motivated? How does Bob stay motivated? #ETCCooperativeAMA

Bob: 1. Nothing in blockchain. It is my kids who keep me up at night! 2. The hope that we are building something which will be seriously impactful for human freedom. 3. The other people. There are such a great bunch of people involved in blockchain.

Classic Kevin: We saw an increase in real life meetups last year — Does the @ETCCooperative plan on hosting, sponsoring, or supporting future NYC-ETC (or any region) meetups? #ETCCooperativeAMA

Bob: Yes we do. @pyskell and @Yazanator are NYC local, so will likely cover that, but we would absolutely like to see more of that. Hackathons too.

OminEdge: #ETCCooperativeAMA 1PM EST 1. Any formal statement wrt the Krykoder/ETClabs taking over the community github repo? 2. With people joining/departing ETC, this results that core values & principles of ETC will change. Opinion? 3. Principles & security or innovation?

  1. We were obviously not at all happy with the Github community organization takeover by Krykoder/DFG. @pyskell helped with the org migration. 2. No, I don’t think it will make a difference. ETC community has shown huge resilience recently. 3. Principles and security first.

OmniEdge: Thanks for answering. 1) Confronting this issue is healthier. Agree, It’s awesome to have Anthony with us. 2) I think it does. The jury is still out. Make sure our social layer continues to know what ETC stands for & what they are joining! 3) No IFS ANDS or BUTS. & Welcome, Bob!