Interview with Uriel Peled, founder of Orbs— blockchain for scaling Ethereum to millions of users
Orbs is one of the hottest projects in the cryptocurrency space solving problems of compiance, scalability and usability, offering flexible fee model. Meanwhile, it uses the most advanced crypto infrustructure, that of Ethereum, to expand its own. Orbs releases its beta mainnet this month and plans to onboard working businesses on its infrustructure, with millions of users. South Korea province issuing 20 million dollar loyalty coin is a perfect use-case. One of such partners may also become Terra, new stablecoin, which will get outstanding userbase thanks to Korean e-commerce support.
How do you solve the problem of backdoors in the code, which are at the current state of Ethereum blockchain necessary to update the dApp and its smart contracts?
Orbs is built with upgradable smart contract in mind. Contracts for secondary tokens can elect to upgrade based on a stake-weighted vote of all holders of the token.
What gives ORBS token Store of Value? What incentives do projects, which you are working with, users and investors have to hold ORBS?
The ORBS token is the means of payment for the primary services provided by the platform. In Orbs, nodes collect fees in ORBS tokens for the services they provide. (Paradigm fund: Of course, to become a node and to collect fees, one has to hold ORBS token. The more you hold, the more fees you collect.)
Users (apps) are incentivized to hold ORBS tokens since its the only way they can pay for using the Orbs blockchain. Also, ORBS tokens are subject to the forces of supply and demand like everything else, so the more usage of the platform, the more demand for tokens and the more valuable the tokens become.
How do you solve double-spend problem with your consensus algorithm?
Orbs uses randomized proof-of-stake (RPoS) for its consensus. This means that in each round of transactions, a group of nodes are randomly chosen to join the committee to verify the transactions. This randomness makes it statistically impossible to attack with less than 2⁄3 byzantine nodes, e.g., if the Orbs network has 1000 nodes and committee size is 21, you need 667 byzantine nodes for attack to succeed. This also means that as the network grows, security increases & performance remains just as fast.
You mentioned cross-chain smart contracts, which are able to communicate with different chains during your keynote speech. What is the main purpose? Does that mean you can connect Orbs platform layer to other infrastructure if needed?
The main purpose is to allow apps to span multiple blockchains and choose the most appropriate one to hold every piece of its data.
This means that you can create an ERC-20 token on Ethereum in order to enjoy its large and integrated token ecosystem, while running your app on Orbs to enjoy its scale, predictable fees and flexibility.
It also makes migrating to Orbs much easier. With cross-chain smart contracts, apps can run on two chains side-by-side which is easier than migrating a token from one chain to another.
We have a built-in connection to Ethereum already, others can be added depending on demand.
When apps pay subscription fees, and users don’t pay for anything, who gets those fees?
The fees that apps pay go to the node operators running the network. The financial aspect of collecting fees is part of the incentive for maintaining a high-performing and updated node. If a node performs well and keeps its software update, it’s more likely to be used in consensus and collect a higher share of the fees.
Can you tell more about governance of Federation? Will it be off-chain or on-chain, what will be the main governance rules? What are the responsibilities of Federation members?
The voting and formalities of making decisions is done on-chain, but of course the real work of governance — in any blockchain — is all in the behind-the-scenes interpersonal relations and politics. The examples of such decisions are
1. Approval of a new protocol revision
2. Voting on a change in the federation governance rules
The main rules for governance are:
- Anyone can join the federation as long as other federation members sponsor them. By “sponsor” we mean — vote on the trust in a new member trust, as a consequence of the vote of trust, the voter reputation may be impacted by the new member behaviour.
- The federation is reputation-based, meaning the better you operate your node (such as keeping it updated to the latest protocol and maintaining a high level of service), the stronger your reputation and more likely you will be chosen to validate transactions.
Federation members are responsible for verifying transactions, running high-performance nodes and supporting the latest revisions of the protocol on their node.
If Orbs blockchain needs to handle a lot of data, where can it get resources from? In case it adds more nodes, will its capacity increase?
Orbs is designed to be horizontally scalable. To increase capacity, nodes simply have to add more computing power (hardware), similar to how centralized platforms increase capacity. As the number of nodes actively participating in an RPoS block consensus does not grow with the total number of nodes, as the total number of nodes increases the total resources that each node has to allocate decreases.