Reserve Protocol Tech Update: August

Sep 9, 2019 · 5 min read

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first Reserve Protocol Tech Update. From now on we will be releasing monthly updates on our technical progress to keep everyone informed. If there is anything you would like us to cover in the next Tech Update, please let us know by tagging @reserveprotocol in Twitter with #AskReserveTech and your suggestion. Also, feel free to discuss this Tech Update in our official and unofficial communities on Telegram! Let’s get to the tech, shall we?

  • Here we have Taylor Brent, the Lead Protocol Developer for Reserve Protocol. So, the first question is: what did the tech team work on during the last month?

Last month we’ve mainly worked on two things: 1. Iterating on the app for Venezuela, and 2. Finalizing the RSV smart contract.

On the Venezuela app side, we’ve been working in react-native on the frontend and rust on the backend. We’ve basically solidified the state of the codebase for our closed beta testing, which is currently ongoing.

On the RSV side, we’ve confirmed the smart contract looks pretty robust and don’t believe it will change substantially. Not much more work remaining here on the RSV token contract itself.

  • If you had to give a percentage where 100% is fully done and ready, how would you rate your current app progress? Two separate numbers for front-end and back-end please.

I’d say it is 80% for front-end and 90% for back-end.

  • Did you have any major roadblocks last month? Or what was the main challenge that you and your team had?

I wouldn’t say it’s been a major challenge, but we’ve had to learn a lot about mobile development, an area we were previously non-expert in. This is typically something that uniquely happens in startup. Relative to more mature companies, startups benefit much more from generalists than specialists, and this is reflected in the makeup of our engineering team. Everyone has to be down to depart from what they know best and venture into unknown territory based on what the needs of the company are. So while all members of the team were excited about developing expertise in a new area, mobile development is particularly idiosyncratic. There is lots of specific domain-knowledge, and there isn’t any single place that has it all. This is exacerbated by the fact that many of the things you would normally consider part of the core of the ecosystem are typically supported by enthusiastic community members. Don’t misunderstand: we think this is one of the wonderful things about software and open-source more generally. But at scale, this kind of prolific dependency makes development difficult and treacherous. We definitely had a few moments characterized by frustration.

  • What are the tech team’s plans for the upcoming month? What are you going to be working on mostly?

Next month we’ll be transitioning our efforts to focusing on the protocol itself. The Venezuela app is in a good state and we expect to only have to make small changes from time to time. We’ll be splitting our time between addressing issues with the app as they pop up and writing/testing the on-chain components needed for a basic version of the Reserve ecosystem to function. As I mentioned before, RSV itself is pretty solid already. But this is still remaining smart contracts to write: mainly The Manager and The Vault. You can think of these components as being the parts of the ecosystem responsible for minting/burning RSV and guarding the collateral, respectively. For all the smart contracts I’ve mentioned here, we’ll also need to write extensive tests and get our contracts audited by a reputable firm.

  • Community wants to know the date of a release of an app. Any approximations?

I can’t give a precise release date, but I can talk about the current state of things. We’re currently doing closed beta testing with users in Venezuela. It’s been great to gather real user feedback, and in many instances has highly informed what we’ve built. We’ll likely open up testing to the public sometime in the near future, but again I can’t give any dates.

  • Will this be a worldwide app or Venezuela-only?

This will be a Venezuela-only release. Of course, we are interested in Reserve being freely available world-wide and the core team and involved community members are already working on making that the case. More news to come on Reserve powered products outside of Venezuela!

  • Will the release be a full release or an alpha/beta?

It will be a beta.

  • Where are we standing in terms of RSV? Does finishing The Manager and The Vault mean that RSV is fully ready, or is there something else?

As I mentioned previously, RSV the token smart contract is mostly already done. We think we want to add in some functionality before release to enable upgradability into the future, but the core functionality itself as it stands is already complete and tested. As for the surrounding pieces such as The Manager and The Vault, we’ve mocked out designs and completed first-pass implementations, but these were mostly for our own internal sharing. We’ll almost certainly revise the implementation we have until we get it to a point we’re happy with, and then testing/auditing needs to occur. It seems like this work should be wrapping up as Q3 ends and Q4 begins. We’ll keep the community updated if anything unexpected pops up, but for the most part it feels like it’s a pretty straight shot from here on out. We’re excited to share what we’ve been working on!

  • Great, thanks for your time Taylor!

Happy to help!

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