Ergo — Telegram QUIZ & AMA — June 13

GAINS Associates
Jul 11, 2020 · 13 min read

On Saturday, June 13, we had the pleasure to welcome to our Telegram chat:

Kushti, Core Developer of Ergo
and “MX”, Community Manager of Ergo.

We asked them questions about the development of Ergo, currently ranked 363 at Coingecko.

Some sentences have been slightly edited for readability but the meaning has been conserved.

Summary

In this AMA, Kushti, Core Developer of Ergo, and MX, Community Manager of Ergo, joined the GAINS community to tell their about his project.

Ergo Platform is inspired from Bitcoin with added years of research to improve on its design. There are more advanced and more powerful scripting tools with privacy in mind, advanced proof-of-work, support for tokens, more advanced fees and soft forking approach. Miners can change parameters like block size, etc. on their own. It is also a self-amendable protocol built with survivability in mind.

The Ergo Foundation promotes blockchain technology for social good and privacy as a basic human right among other things.

Kushti, the lead developer from Ergo got into crypto in early 2011. He used to be an Nxt core dev back in 2014 (it was #3 on CMC back in June 2014), Co-Founder of smartcontract.com (now known as ChainLink), also helped with Waves and Cardano development bootstrapping.

Introduction

Q — Alexandre R from GAINS: Kushti and MX, it’s a pleasure to have you here.

Can you tell us what you did before crypto, how you got into crypto, and if you’ve had any other venture in crypto previous to being involved with Ergo?

A — Kushti from Ergo: I used to be a distributed systems developer before getting into cryptocurrencies. Also, I was interested in different peer-to-peer projects, that’s how I got into Bitcoin in early 2011. However, most of the peer-to-peer projects are failing, and my initial thought was that Bitcoin is awesome but for the next like 20 years, it will be known only by a few thousand fans around the globe. Thankfully, I was wrong about that! I started to develop different projects around Bitcoin from early 2013.

Then I used to be Nxt core dev back in 2014 (it was #3 on CMC back in June 14), co-founder of smartcontract.com (now known as ChainLink), also helped with Waves and Cardano development bootstrapping.

From late 2016, I am focusing on designing and implementing the Ergo Platform and the corresponding infrastructure.

Kushti, Core Developer of Ergo

A — MX from Ergo: I was always a fan of the separation between money and state. I studied automatics and robotics, joined the cryptocurrency world in 2014, following pretty much Alex with his developments from the start through NXT, from bigger ventures I was part of the Waves founding process, next community manager there. Now, a fan of Ergo since the announcement of its existence, focused mostly on truly innovative and decentralized solutions appearing in times confirming that cryptocurrency can’t be regulated.

MX, Community Manager of Ergo

Q — Alexandre R from GAINS: Okay, can you tell us what your role is at Ergo and what the project is about in a few simple sentences?

A — Kushti from Ergo: I am a core developer in the Ergo Platform. The Ergo Platform is a multi-asset Proof-of-Work cryptocurrency with powerful financial contracts in the extended UTXO model, unique flexible crypto-contracts based on sigma-protocols, storage rent, stateless and ultra-efficient SPV (Simplified Payment Verification), clients support and focus on long-term survivability. Based on a scientific approach, but also very practical in any aspect.

A — MX from Ergo: Above being community manager, I’m also part of The Ergo Foundation (https://ergoplatform.org/en/foundation/), a community-driven entity focused on promoting non-breaking development of the Ergo Platform protocol, promoting the widespread adoption and use of Ergo Platform and its native token (ERG), developing the ecosystem around the Ergo Platform, promoting the use of Ergo Platform and blockchain technology for social good, supporting truly decentralized infrastructure, and supporting privacy as a basic human right.

Product

Q — Twitter user @Crypto_Isaac: I am a talented developer with knowledge of Solidity, SQL, and other programming languages.

How do you support your developers?

Are there available grant programs?

Any upcoming developer workshops I should know of?

A — Kushti from Ergo: The Ergo Foundation is providing grants and bounties to developers! Also, we have different libraries, tools, and playgrounds to play with!

If you’re willing to play with Ergo contracts, please start with this tutorial: https://ergoplatform.org/docs/ErgoScript.pdf and maybe this simple playground: https://www.ergoforum.org/t/ergo-p2s-playground/77.

If you’re willing to build applications or contribute to the core, please come to the development channel of the discord, we have developer chats there bi-weekly on Wednesdays.

Attracting developers becomes our top 1 priority now!

There will be some new introductions released next week, even videos!

A — MX from Ergo: The Ergo Foundation supports a grant program. For now, please send an email to ergoplatform@protonmail.com or message any board member if you would like to apply for a grant. Proposals, at the moment, need to be approved by four of six votes of Ergo Development Fund Board Members.

Q — Twitter user @DustyLoooza: Ergo is Proof of Work like Bitcoin.

What makes you decide to be a Proof of Work while Most of the Blockchain companies these days are PoS?

A — Kushti from Ergo: Proof-of-Work allows for efficient mobile light clients by using NiPoPoW (Non-Interactive Proofs of Proof-of-Work) tech, also, it seems there will be problems for PoS blockchains with developed DeFi, as DeFi applications are clashing with staking. Also, PoW is much better studied, simple, and solves distribution problems in a more or less decentralized way.

A — MX from Ergo: PoW was chosen for several reasons including that PoW protocols are widely studied, have high-security guarantees, and are friendly to light clients. PoW has issues, but they are well-known at least.

Q — Twitter user @dani_unss: 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 privacy?

A — Kushti from Ergo: Ergo is not a privacy coin in the core but has unique support for a variety of efficient and composable zero-knowledge proofs (sigma protocols). As immediate application discovered back in 2018 and now explained in a formal paper (https://eprint.iacr.org/2020/044) is ZeroJoin, a non-interactive mixer which can provide (with enough userbase) privacy of early Monero in non-privacy cryptocurrency. More mixing schemes will be discovered in the future I believe. Ergo also allows for more privacy-preserving applications, such as privacy-preserving auctions or privacy-preserving DAOs.

A mixer is already working in the mainnet!

Ergo is a serious cryptocurrency, not hype-oriented “blockchain project”

So there’re papers, focus on security, scalability, and also this is community-driven smart-money cryptocurrency.

So please join the community!

Q — Telegram user Zara: What role is your partnership with Emurgo going to play in ensuring Ergo becomes widely used by users across the globe?

What are the benefits of Ergo smart contracts over waves ride?

A — MX from Ergo: Cryptographic statements (via sigma-protocols) are truly a unique Ergo advantage. Waves just has Bitcoin-like multi-sig.

Ergo is about UTXO also. It is harder to do contracts in the UTXO model, but UTXOs are more friendly to off-chain and privacy protocols (also fewer safety issues). Emurgo and Ergo will develop the new stable coin and probably lots of different new privacy-preserving dapps, should also be great showcase of its capabilities, Ergo will be also integrated into the Yoroi wallet.

Ergo will be also integrated into the Yoroi wallet

Q — Telegram user Alice: Ergo has different wallets, why is it necessary to have more than one? What are the characteristic features of each?

A — Kushti from Ergo: It seems wallets will have different capabilities:

  • Cypra will be focused on privacy.
  • Yoroi will be kind of Metamask of Ergo, with support for external dapps sending transaction signing requests.
  • there will be another wallet with a built-in decentralized exchange.

Currently, CoinBarn is the wallet to issue a token on Ergo.

Cypra will be one wallet featuring Ergo

Maybe in the future, one wallet will have all these functions so it will be superior to others, but, observing Ethereum and Bitcoin wallets, there’s always enough space for different wallets, it seems.

A — MX from Ergo: Ergo has its own built-in wallet in a full node.

https://github.com/ergoplatform/ergo/wiki/Set-up-a-full-node

Contributors are delivering lite wallets mainly, probably because they are more user friendly, Coinbarn, Magnum both local wallets easy to use, Cypra and Yoroi looks like will have much more advanced features.

Magnum, another wallet that features Ergo

Q — Telegram user Isabella Salazar: Ergo supports so many services throughout its platform, What kind of services that could help us Crypto Enthusiast in terms of Cryptocurrency?

A — MX from Ergo: Pretty much each service on Ergo is one big dApp, contribution to non-interactive and non-custodial DeFi I think is the top advantage of Ergo above language itself. Some limited roadmap: https://ergoplatform.org/en/blog/2020_02_02/

The problems with current DeFi solutions are admin keys, centralized UI, control from certain parties over protocols, etc.

Q — Telegram user Ross: ICO is each timeless used, why is it part of the Ergo token plan and how is it better than the newest alternatives?

A — MX from Ergo: ERG is working as the transaction fees and storage fees to miners, providing the same incentive for miners even after emission ends, thanks to our own economic model, 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. It is also a self-amendable protocol at the same time built with survivability in mind, which is important for digital commodity and cash guarantees.

Looks like with tokens mixing incoming there will be some first used ones.

https://www.ergoforum.org/t/tokens-mixer-is-done/219/6

Q — Telegram user Sergey: Ergo is similar to projects like RavenCoin or Bitcoin Cash. What are the 3 advantages of Ergo over its competitors? What are the benefits of the ErgoScript programming language over Solidity or Java? What is your strategy for bringing developers to the project?

A — Kushti from Ergo: Contracts in Ergo are much more powerful than in RVN/BCH. also, superior privacy tech. So I guess Ergo will inevitably overtake both RVN and BCH.

ErgoScript is a very simple language with syntax similar to Java. Also, it is possible already to write contracts in a subset of the Scala language.

Q — Telegram user Andrey: Is it possible to build cross-chain DEX in Ergo using Atomic Swaps? If so, what stage of development are you at? What new cryptographic business models can be created in Ergo? What opportunities will appear for ERG coin holders?

A — Kushti from Ergo: Yes, DEX contracts in Ergo are based on atomic swaps. Contracts and matchers are mostly ready, UI is needed! Please come and build a DEX if you want!

In regards to new business models, Ergo mixers, for example, are using fee tokens to solve privacy issues caused by the need to pay a fee. Also, you can do a whole new classes of applications on top of Ergo, e.g. privacy-preserving auctions, shareholder votings, and DAOs.

Q — Telegram user Mr. Kingsman: How can the Community participate in the Ergo project?

As a miner? Validator? Please explain.

Also, what is the importance of a community for the Ergo project?

A — Kushti from Ergo: The Ergo Platform needs community efforts regarding:

  • mining.
  • promotion (e.g. Ergo just won the voting competition on Sistemkoin exchange, thanks to the community!).
  • development (and the number of devs is increasing!).
  • running the nodes.
  • writing the docs and articles.
  • just asking good questions.

So please come to our telegram (@ergoplatform) and discord!

Also, twitter https://twitter.com/ergoplatformorg.

Business development

Q — Telegram user Ivan Letov: What protection does Ergo have against spam contracts causing the “verifier dilemma”? How can miners increase the block size in the Ergo blockchain?

Tell us about your partnership with Emurgo. How has this affected the development of Ergo and what joint projects will be implemented in the near future?

A — Kushti from Ergo: The verifier dilemma is very fundamental, I dunno how to bypass it without losing the good things smart contracts bring to the world. Ergo’s approach is to motivate people to move off-chain where it makes sense via specific contractual layer design.

Also, hardware and networks are improving with time, as well as Ergo clients. Thus, the miners in Ergo can vote for increasing block size and some other parameters, then TPS in Ergo is flexible.

In regards to Emurgo partnership, aside from the Yoroi integration, we’ll jointly work on oracles framework, an algorithmic stable coin as well as design patterns in the extended UTXO model (Ergo is supporting, and Cardano will support as well).

Emurgo Oracle Model

Q — Telegram user Isam Mery: Why maintain the UTXO structure, what real advantage can this give over the account balance model?

A — Kushti from Ergo: UTXO is much more friendly to light clients, off-chain protocols (such as Lightning network), also, it provides possibilities for parallelizing transaction processing, which will be important with time as the number of cores in CPUs is increasing over time.

Q — Telegram user Lun Mei (Invt. in lowcap cryptos): Can you explain the reason for the Ergo logo? Since it is a mathematical symbol that means summation.

Any progress on cross-chain, DEX, etc,?

A — Kushti from Ergo: It is a capital Sigma letter also in the Greek alphabet, and Sigma-protocols is one of the unique features of Ergo. DEX contracts and matches are mostly done, then UI development will happen. Cross-chain solutions and sidechains will be 2021 topics likely.

Ergo has a scalability plan for the long-term! https://www.ergoforum.org/t/a-scalability-plan-for-ergo/226

Q — Telegram user Joxes: You have a treasury, in this case, I would like to ask everything about how this capital is managed, does the community have the possibility to participate in the decisions? What things have you done with what has been collected so far?

A — Kushti from Ergo: Dev Fund currently is controlled by 6 Board members (majority voting is needed to approve spending), funds currently protected by 2-out-3 threshold signature (so no loss like in VeChain could happen), in future the protection will be updated likely. Anyone can apply to be a member of the Ergo Foundation or Dev Fund Board!

Q — Telegram user Dr Monica: What is the biggest achievement you have achieved this year for ergo outside the roadmap?

What is the next future goal of the Ergo team for the project?

A — Kushti from Ergo: The roadmap is what’s supported by the Ergo Foundation (via grants, etc.). In addition to the original 2020 roadmap, the community is now waiting for the Cypra wallet, Ledger support, and thanks to the partnership with Emurgo, a stable coin!

A — MX from Ergo: A growing number of contributors and partners. looks like the roadmap needs to be updated for this and next year.

Q — Telegram user Gromov: What are your plans to increase the quantity and quality of Dapps on the Ergo platform by the end of 2020? What is the advantage of Ergo for Dapps developers? How is the crowdfunding platform developing? How do you see the future and benefits of crowdfunding campaigns?

A — Kushti from Ergo: In regards to crowdfunding, there are contracts (formally verified even), and there was a testing campaign, also, a command-line tool to make such campaigns! Web UI is coming!

In regards to dApps, I guess, signing protocol which will be done in Yoroi (making it kinda Metamask of Ergo) will be a breakthrough. Also, some better tooling for developers is coming, as well as the promotion of Ergo among developers communities!

Q — Telegram user KaiOKen: Is ERGO having any Coin Burn / Buy Back system or any plans for Token Burn to increase the value of Tokens and attract Investors?

A — MX from Ergo: You can’t burn the main token in Ergo, you can burn tokens on top, miners can bring coins to circulation if they are not used for a long time, it is part of the built-in economy model.

Kushti and MX, thanks a lot for coming in today and telling us more about Ergo and its great tech. Inspired from Bitcoin but with many innovations and features.

I’m looking forward to more updates and partnerships.

Anything else you’d like to say?

Alexandre R from GAINS

Thanks a lot, GAINS community! You’re so awesome!

Please come to our telegram (@ergoplatform) and discord!

Also, twitter https://twitter.com/ergoplatformorg.

Kushti from Ergo

Thanks a lot, guys, great AMA, very friendly community here!

MX from Ergo

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