Cartesi— Telegram AMA — April 13
On Tuesday, April 13, we had the pleasure to welcome to our Telegram chat:
Erick de Moura, CEO of Cartesi,
We asked him questions about the development of Cartesi.
Some sentences have been slightly edited for readability but the meaning has been conserved.
Cartesi is a decentralized and scalable Linux infrastructure that solves the problems of computational scalability and development infrastructure for the decentralized web. With Cartesi, blockchain applications can be coded with the vast domain of mainstream software stacks available today.
Cartesi aims to bring mainstream scalability and power to decentralized applications through a network of nodes. The CTSI token has been designed to incentivize Cartesi Node operators to engage with the system honestly and in an efficient way.
Noether is a sidechain developed for short-term data storage, specifically for the Cartesi dApps that are meant to run on Ethereum. With Noether, developers will have access to inexpensive storage with high throughput on demand.
Cartesi Machines run off-chain and are not subject to the consensus mechanisms of their underlying blockchain layers. The use of off-chain computation allows Cartesi to process and store information at a lower rate compared to solutions that are fully reliant on on-chain computation
Q — Ayeley Commodore-Mensah from GAINS: Tell us a bit about you. What did you do before crypto and did you have any other previous venture in crypto?
A — Erick from Cartesi: Before venturing into crypto, I was a software engineer veteran who worked for different industries as an architect and leader in the development of several production-ready systems.
That was a professional path of 20 years which gave me a mature understanding of the software business, system design, and development processes.
I am the founder and CEO of Cartesi.
Q — Ayeley Commodore-Mensah from GAINS: Let’s talk about Cartesi. What is the project about in a few simple sentences? For how long have you been working on Cartesi? And how many people are on the team?
A — Erick from Cartesi: Blockchains and DApps can only realize their full potential once we bridge the gap between layer-1 protocols and mainstream software.
This gap has not been bridged yet.
Cartesi is taking smart contracts to the next level. It is solving the crucial problem of scalability and high fees on blockchains by implementing a new VM, roll-ups, and a side-chain. Most notably, Cartesi is revolutionizing smart contract programming by allowing developers to code with mainstream software stacks.
I am one of the founders and Cartesi was incorporated in early 2018. Internally, we have a team of 23 people and we are growing fast.
By the way, we have open positions for exceptional software developers 😉
Q — Ayeley Commodore-Mensah from GAINS: How has adoption for Cartesi been so far since you launched in 2020?
A — Erick from Cartesi: Right after we launched the Descartes SDK we ran the Cartesi DApp Incubation program, incentivizing outstanding teams to develop applications with Cartesi.
These 3 teams have made very good progress as we have been announcing recently.
Other teams are starting to engage with us to implement their applications with Cartesi’s computational oracle.
In December 2020 we also released the PoS system on the mainnet.
And there are hundreds of node runners and stakers already participating in the system.
Very soon we will have Cartesi Rollups implemented and we expect to have a lot of adoption for this product.
We can talk more about it later here.
Q — Twitter user @TheShadowJK_1: How can I create smart contracts with the Linux-compatible software components offered by Cartesi? What improvements does this protocol offer over Solidity? Is it easier and more intuitive to make a smart contract using Linux?
A — Erick from Cartesi: Yes, the goal is to make it convenient, intuitive, and very familiar to mainstream (non-blockchain) developers.
The core component of Cartesi’s technology is its virtual machine, the Cartesi Machine. Just like the EVM and other blockchains VM’s, the Cartesi Machine is deterministic and reproducible. But, unlike Cartesi, blockchains VM’s don’t support an operating system, which also happens to be related to the poor scalability of blockchains…Imagine booting Linux on Ethereum? 🙂 …
Because Cartesi allows for tens of thousands more computational throughput than the underlying blockchain, it can afford to have a VM that boots an OS like Linux.
So we went about developing a nice VM (Cartesi Machine) that’s based on the RISC-V ISA.
Then, with the optimistic rollups system, we will soon release, developers can create the logic of their smart contracts as a program that compiles for Linux and uses mainstream software components.
Our infrastructure is non-opinionated and people can use protocols and services they prefer. But imagine, for instance, instead of being extremely limited with Solidity, you could decentralize a web server and develop a DApp that uses HTTP/REST. You could run a webserver on Cartesi’s VM, or a relational DB if you like.
The possibilities are endless.
We will give developers their familiar environments to build DApps.
Q — Twitter user @dani_dani23: Noether is Cartesi’s sidechain designed for temporary data availability. How does Noether enable Dapps to increase performance? What tools does Cartesi provide for DApps to improve their large file storage at reduced rates?
A — Erick from Cartesi: Applications are resource hungry and they tend to expand. As applications need more data, they will benefit from Noether, our side-chain. As soon as we provide more resources to DApp developers, like more storage through Noether, more complex and interesting applications will come up.
Storing large amounts of data on blockchains is not feasible or way too expensive. That’s why we are creating Noether as a data ledger equipped with temporary storage, built in a way to support large files.
Q — Telegram user tehMoonHunter 🤖⚡️: Can you tell me a little more about what the Cartesi Foundation is about and what it seeks in terms of transparency and security within it, with what purpose was this foundation created, and what contribution or power does the community have in it?
A — Erick from Cartesi: That’s a good and important question. Cartesi Foundation’s objective is to give a sound and necessary contribution to the nascend world of Decentralized Systems. It has been keeping full transparency with periodic reports we provide on our Medium blogs. Our mission and vision are clear.
The foundation is developing decentralized infrastructure that will allow the best blockchains supporting smart contracts to develop a rich ecosystem of DApps, by allowing mainstream software developers to create smart contracts and blockchains applications.
The Cartesi Foundation will also install progressively decentralized governance. We want to leave a tech for people that aims to have a very positive global impact.
Q — Ayeley Commodore-Mensah from GAINS: Alright. What is the token use case and how does it capture the value of the ecosystem you’re building?
A — Erick from Cartesi: CTSI’s fundamental use case is to work as a crypto-fuel for Noether (Cartesi’s side-chain). It is akin to the function of base-layer coins, like ETH. Node runners get rewarded in CTSI for generating well-formed blocks, and users pay CTSI to insert data into the side-chain.
In the context of Cartesi Rollups, Cartesi will create a marketplace for node runner institutions. DApps (or their users) pay CTSI to these node runners for them to run heavy computations, verify, propose and enforce state transitions of smart contracts running on Cartesi’s second layer.
In other words, the set of nodes running a DApp get compensated in CTSI for running them in a secure and verifiable way.
$CTSI is a utility token playing a fundamental role in the network.
But there is more…
We are constantly looking for new ways to capture value for CTSI. For instance, as a means of payment, starting with our recent partnership with Travala.com. We also plan to integrate CTSI with future applications developed by Cartesi.
Q — Telegram user Alena Force: What can you say about why Cartesi is better than one of the main competitors such as TrueBit?
A — Erick from Cartesi: TrueBit came up with a very interesting proposition indeed. We identified a few problems with it, especially one related to the game-theoretical complications in their design. Although Cartesi has some similarities to TrueBit, I wouldn’t place the 2 as competitors.
Truebit wanted to create a computational marketplace for smart contracts on Ethererum.
Cartesi instead aims at allowing people to develop DApps entirely on Linux, without the need to touch Solidity or any programming on layer-1. Cartesi is closer to decentralizing Linux servers.
And for that, besides using the verification game (which Truebit also uses in their protocol), we are implementing optimistic rollups and a side-chain.
Moreover, Cartesi is blockchain-agnostic.
Q — Telegram user tanmay Sharma: How many partners currently have trusted Cartesi. technology and what benefits do these partners bring to Cartesi. and vice versa?
A — Erick from Cartesi: We foresee great partnerships inside and outside crypto. In crypto we have Polygon, Injective Protocol, IOTA, Avalanche, Elrond, and others coming. We are also starting to work with mainstream industries. For example, Cartesi turns out to be very powerful for IoT, smart cities, and carbon credit. Partnering with IOTA and Incubating projects like Creol is the beginning of the vast possibilities we see ahead of us. By the way, we published an article about it today.
There are also partnerships with world-renowned academic institutions like IMPA. Then there will be partnerships with gaming companies. We are very bullish on that front too. This is a non-exhaustive list, as we are working to extend partnerships through industries, universities, and governments.
Q — Telegram user ꧁ ᒍᑌᗩᑎ ᔕᗩᑎᗪOᐯᗩᒪ ꧂: Actually what is the main reason why you decided to build CARTESI on Ethereum? Why not build it with other ecosystems that are a trend in BSC or Polkadot? Do you plan to integrate more ecosystems in the future?
A — Erick from Cartesi: Cartesi is actually BSC compatible. Descartes already runs on BSC.
We only started from Ethereum, but Cartesi will be integrated with all important blockchains that support smart contracts. See our recent collaboration announcements with IOTA, Avalanche, Elrond, etc.
Q — Telegram user Moonlight©: Tell us the reason Cartesi chose Linux to develop your project. Also, is it possible to develop DApps with other operating systems?
A — Erick from Cartesi: Software has eaten the world. But if you look closely you see Linux behind almost everything.
More than 90% of the top 1M web services run on Linux, Android is fundamentally Linux. It is everywhere.
That being said, Cartesi’s VM can boot whatever OS, as long as it is compiled for RISC-V. We actually think it could be a good idea for some mission-critical systems to be developed with some real-time OS, for even greater security.
We are going to support Linux our-of-the-box, and that will allow for a plethora of new possibilities.
Remember we are going from the absolute non-existence of an operating system (if you develop on Ethereum or Polkadot), to actually having one. This is a huge leap.
Q — Ayeley Commodore-Mensah from GAINS: Did you raise funds so far? If so, how did you handle them? Are you planning to do any future raises?
A — Erick from Cartesi: Cartesi’s first investor was Serguei Popov, IOTA’s founder who is also an academic co-author with Augusto Teixeira, Cartesi’s Chief Scientist.
From that point on, since 2018, Cartesi received funds from several VCs and funds until our IEO on Binance Launchpad in 2020.
The Cartesi Foundation maintains a healthy treasury consisting of the initial funds received and of its own supply of CTSI, which gives it enough resources to fulfill its mission.
The Cartesi Foundation doesn’t plan to have future raises.
Q — Ayeley Commodore-Mensah from GAINS: What stage is the project at? And what should we look forward to in the coming months?
A — Erick from Cartesi: Cartesi’s PoS system: the network includes over 200 node runners and more than 50 million CTSI staked. Cartesi’s explorer can be accessed here.
The PoS system is the basis for Cartesi’s side-chain (Noether), which will be released in 2022.
2021 is a very important year, in which Cartesi will deliver its Optimistic Rollups solution. This is our game-changing tech, that will give developers the ability to build smart contracts using mainstream software components.
Also in Q2/2021, we are releasing delegation support for our PoS system, something lots of people in our community have been longing for!
Q — Twitter user @g76974594L: My question is about your long-term marketing plans. How, or through which big partnerships do you plan on utilizing to pass your product onto the normal consumer — especially non-crypto people?
A — Erick from Cartesi: Partnerships are vital. First of all, we are making sure Cartesi works on top of the most important blockchains, leveraging collaborations like the ones with Elrond, Avalanche, Polygon, and IOTA. These collaborations will cross-pollinate development communities, helping us to make sure Cartesi’s tech evolves in a very useful way over most of the blockchain/DLT ecosystem.
We are soon investing in educational content, specially dedicated to mainstream software developers. For that, we are partnering with entities outside of crypto to make Cartesi tech as pervasive as we can.
Also, very soon we will start an exciting new grant program that will involve the collaboration of multiple parties, to bring Cartesi’s ecosystem to the next level. The full announcement should come within the next couple of weeks.
Our marketing and BD team are only getting better. We have a lot of work ahead. We’re working hard and passionately toward the vision of onboarding the next million developers to blockchain tech.
These million developers will be mostly non-crypto developers, who will create applications for non-crypto people.
Q — Telegram user om jawo: Does your project take advantage of trends to create opportunities for your project? , if so, do you follow the trend, because other projects are following it, and what is the advantage of the trend for your project?
A — Erick from Cartesi: The trend sometimes is our friend, indeed! If we capture the trend that facilitates the adoption and the awareness of the infrastructure we are building. There are many trends now, on NFT’s, DeFi, IoT, Gaming, etc.
We clearly see ways of helping all of these and some projects are already doing so with Cartesi, like SimRacerCoin (NFT’s), Creol (IoT), and other projects that are coming to us for our support to implement their projects.
I am particularly excited about the power Cartesi can give to decentralized games, DeFi and industrial IoT!
Q — Telegram user Mark Antonych: What is Cartesi doing to conquer the dApps market? When is the next game like Creepts?
A — Erick from Cartesi: Creepts was indeed fun! We are quite advanced in the implementation of a fully decentralized poker game. We are going to launch it soon, together with Polygon!
To conquer the DApp market we need 2 things:
1) Give to developers a very friendly/convenient/productive environment to code smart contracts. Cartesi’s unique ability to run Linux on its VM will provide a huge advantage to devs
2) A lot of marketing and BD, partnerships with several institutions, academia, educators, start-ups, accelerators, enterprise and so on. We are exploring everything.
Q — Telegram user Priyanshu Sharma: The roadmap tells us what you have planned until 2021, with this being crypto that’s a very short roadmap! What are the plans for the future, and do you hope to do
A — Erick from Cartesi: I assure you we have a lot to do for several years ahead. We will make Descartes and Noether more convenient, more efficient, faster, learner, develop a rich toolset and so on. In 2022 we will release Noether. We will also implement our macroeconomic system.
We are already planning a few steps ahead. We are very excited to present soon new breakthrough research and developments that we will bring to the ecosystem. We expect that to be very important for second-layer systems, even beyond Cartesi itself.
Cartesi is not only about developing Descartes and Noether. We are here to solve fundamental problems of the space and several new ideas to put into practice. We are sure that If a company like ours don’t keep innovating, they die, fast.
More than one idea, we have a great team of passionate researchers and engineers that don’t stop creating new things. We will announce and present them in the near future 🙂.
Thank you for taking your time to go through these questions, Erick. It was a pleasure having you in our group. Anything else you’d like to say? Where can we follow you to stay updated? — Ayeley Commodore-Mensah from GAINS Associates
Thanks to everyone here. The questions were really good. Please, come to our channels to keep interacting with us. If what I said resonates with you guys, help to spread the word. I appreciate your support!
Cartesi’s Ecosystem Links: