Sperax AMA Recap with Avalanche at CryptoDiffer

Sperax Team
Aug 11 · 17 min read
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CryptoDiffer team: Hello, everyone!

We are glad to meet here.

Frida Cai (Sperax Global Strategic Partner) @FridaCai_Sperax

Joe Yu (Sperax Senior Researcher) @yuzhou87

Stephen Buttolph (Avalanche Software Engineer) @StephenTechSupport

Collin Cusce (Avalanche Senior Software Engineer) @hellmichigan

Jay Karahashi-Sofue (Avalanche VP of Marketing) @jayksofue.


Let’s start with introduction questions.

Q1: Could you please tell us a little bit of yourself? What is Sperax?

Frida Cai, Sperax:

Sperax project originates from a blockchain proposal by world-leading cryptographer, Professor Yongge Wang from the University of North Carolina.

Funded by the internationally-renowned blockchain venture capitals like Outlier Ventures, Sperax is a new-generation financial public blockchain.

Founded at Menlo Park in Silicon Valley, California in 2018, Sperax team now spreads across the U.S., Singapore and China.

Q2: It is known that your team’s latest paper, Sperax: An Approach To Defeat Long Range Attacks In Blockchains, was accepted to the top-ranking computer science conference IEEE INFOCOM Edgeblock. Sperax researcher Joe Yu was invited to deliver a keynote speech at the conference. Mind disclosing some details on this achievement?

Frida Cai, Sperax:

IEEE INFOCOM is one of the top-ranking academic conferences in the field of computer science. Aka International Conference on Computer Communications, it covers both theoretical and systems research.

For INFOCOM 2020, the conference includes a legion of paper from internationally renowned academic institutions (e.g. MIT and Princeton) and global technology enterprises (e.g. Microsoft and Amazon).

The Technical Program Committee consists of worldwide academic experts. Due to its strict peer review process, the widely-recognized conference maintains a high standard.

Sperax team was informed that our paper got accepted by IEEE INFOCOM at the beginning of this year.

IEEE INFOCOM has a rather rigorously-high bar of admitting blockchain-related studies. Only a handful of blockchain enterprises have been able to publish their academic papers. For example, Ethereum foundation ConsenSys and ZCASH.

Because it has always been a core value to Sperax that research is the foundation of blockchain projects, this academic achievement on IEEE INFOCOM indicates an acknowledgement of our technology, furthering our dedication in blockchain research.

Q3: Last question is to Avalanche team:Can you introduce yourself to the community?

Jay Karahashi-Sofue, Avalanche:

Avalanche is a highly-scalable, open-source platform for launching decentralized applications. Developers who build on Avalanche can easily create powerful, reliable, and secure applications and custom blockchain networks with complex rulesets or build on existing private or public subnets. Ava Labs is the company building Avalanche.

Ok, thanks for such detailed and interesting answers! Let’s move to the Telegram community questions part.


Cryptodiffer Community

Sperax ecosystem issues two tokens which are SPA and sCOIN. Why creating two different tokens in a single ecosystem and what’s the difference between the two?

Frida Cai, Sperax:

SPA is the network token on BDLS and sCOIN the native stablecoin. Sperax is the first decentralised system with a native stablecoin.

SPA is the utility token in the Sperax blockchain just like ETH in the Ethereum blockchain. It ensures the economic incentives for participants in the BDLS consensus. It also reflects the network value for Sperax.
As users join the Sperax network, they could earn SPA as they run nodes and validate transactions. Similar to other public blockchain, gas fees are collected in SPA as transactions happen on the Sperax blockchain. Moreover, SPA is also the governance token for the protocol.

sCOIN is fiat-pegged stablecoin issued on the Sperax blockchain. Moreover, it is the native stablecoin of Sperax blockchain. It is minted through depositing fiat currencies by users and is issued by financial nodes (regulated financial institutions with fiat custody) in the network.

There are multiple benefits introducing a native stablecoin. By providing a digital token with a price pegged to fiat currency, sCOIN could lower the barrier for users to adopt the usage of blockchain.

Moreover, by partnering with licensed financial service providers in different countries, sCOIN network is able to serve a global user base. At launch, payment, global transfer and remittance would be supported for stablecoin users; however, the network will be an open platform for developers and liquidity providers to launch innovative products based on the blockchain and financial infrastructure.

Cryptodiffer Community

Many blockchain projects often build on their own chain and attract users, so why should people choose Avalanche be their platform?

Jay Karahashi-Sofue, Avalanche:

Avalanche will provide developers/projects looking to build decentralized applications with better performance and scalability; in the early stages of Avalanche, we’re engaging with mature ecosystem partners (e.g., dev tooling, dapps, etc.) to make our ecosystem more appealing to new devs in the future. Our immediate focus is decentralized finance. We’re also minimizing friction for devs who are already in the decentralized space with our C-Chain. Currently, the C-Chain runs the Ethereum Virtual Machine so any dev who is comfortable with Ethereum (or Solidity, more specifically) can come over to Avalanche to try out the platform with minimal barriers to entry.

Cryptodiffer Community

I participated in many Defi project recently and realized that the gas fees are significantly increased and the transaction usually is congested just now due to high demand of crypto enthusiast. Do you think that it is also a barrier for mass adoption of Defi, especially towards investors with low capital? The reason I ask is because Sperax is also running on ERC-20 as I known!

Frida Cai, Sperax:

This is in fact a fantastic window for new public blockchains. As DeFi projects skyrocket and the dramatically rising traffic of Ethereum, I have to spend 5 USD for just one single transaction on uniswap. This is definitely not user-friendly, especially to ordinary users.

Nonetheless, it is the exact reason that many people begin to choose usdt on tron and Solana listed on FTX. We can see more trouble-free integration of DeFi applications to Sperax ecosystem.

Cryptodiffer Community

How does Avalanche Consensus work and its advantages compare to Classical and Nakamoto Consensus?

Stephen Buttolph, Avalanche:

Collin Recently posted a nice article about this on medium (https://medium.com/avalabs/avalanche-consensus-101-99c68a3e3159). However, the main idea is to utilize sampling to get statistical approximations of the preferences of the network. By performing repeated network polls, the nodes can adjust their preferences to be in line with the rest of the network. This process is extremely powerful, because after just a handful of rounds, the network will have converged to a unanimous preference. Because Avalanche also has a way of tracking when this unanimous preference is established (through the same polling mechanism), Avalanche can be used to achieve consensus with an extremely small number of messages.

Cryptodiffer Community

DeFI got atTention in Crypto now. How do you see Defi potential for Sperax right now!? What role do you think Sperax will takes to makes defi better in global usage!?

Frida Cai, Sperax:

Ever since this June, DeFi has been in the spotlight. The total value locked in DeFi surged from 1 billion USD to 4.5 billion USD. That is more than two-fold. Project-wise, Compound, Balancer, Synthetix are all very exciting experiments.

We Sperax designs a unique financial layer in our blockchain system to further the development and mass adoption of DeFi. We invite every DeFi projects to try on our Sperax blockchain and I am sure they will not regret haha

Our new-generation BDLS consensus will ensure that our blockchain and the DeFi projects on it will be truly secure in any partially asynchoronous network like our internet while maintaining high efficiency.

Cryptodiffer Community

Many blockchain projects often build on their own chain and attract users, so why should people choose Avalanche be their platform

Collin Cusce, Avalanche:

We are fully decentralized with the potential to achieve millions of participants, just like Nakamoto, but at TPS not-yet-seen in open permissionless consensus networks. In Nakamoto there’s a long wait for confirmations with Bitcoin taking up to an hour to receive enough confirmations to feel confident your transaction has made it to the cannonical chain. With Avalanche it’s immediate, requiring no confirmations. In fact, transaction average a finalization time in under 1 second. We had 4500+ TPS and in our earlier, lighter-weight implementations, we reached nearly 8k TPS without any hokey tricks to boost those numbers. Avalanche consensus is fully-decentralized consensus which runs at twice the transaction processing speed that Visa does on an average day. In one day, we can do 2x the transaction Bitcoin does in a year.

And we’re backed with the scientific rigor to prove it. Heck the fastest consensus Classical consensus protocol, Hotstuff, was what Facebook’s Libra was going to us… yea that was authored by Ted Yin, co-founder of Ava Labs.

You can create your own VMs, so you’re not bound to just the EVM or just Move or just Pact. You’re able to create entirely new VMs of your own design, tailored to your needs. The consensus is completely divorced from the state machine!

We’re in an entirely other category and operate at an entirely new level. We’re not simply 10x over the previous work, we’re 100x.

That’s why people will choose Avalanche.

Cryptodiffer Community

Sperax builds trusted infrastructure for decentralized economy, now I already build with ETH solidity and Cosmos SDK, Why should I switch to Sperax, what’s your competitive advantage for Developers?

Frida Cai, Sperax:

Our consensus protocol is called Sperax BDLS. The original DLS protocol was designed by Dwork, Lynch, and Stockmeyer. Two of them received the Knuth award, the most prestigious for researchers focusing on the foundations of computer science. In 2007, the DLS paper received the Dijkstra award for its pioneering contributions to distributed computation.

Our chief scientist Professor Yongge Wang carried a careful analysis of all these BFT protocols for Type II networks and designed the BDLS BFT protocol (B stands for blockchain) with both reduced round complexity and reduced communication complexity.

BDLS has two main features: Security and Efficiency

Security:

Our Internet is an open network which is best modelled by what we call a partially synchronous network model. Previous BFT consensus are designed based on a simpler model, synchronous network model. Although it is more intuitive and easier to design blockchain consensus protocols in the synchronous network model, designs under this model can oversee some significant security vulnerabilities since this simple model cannot reflect the reality of our internet. In contrast, Sperax BDLS chooses the more complex and more realistic model when designing and takes into account all potential security vulnerabilities.

Efficiency:

The most common angle to measure efficiency is “scalability.” However, there is another important angle from which to evaluate the efficiency of any blockchain system — communication complexity. Most current BFT consensus blockchains need O(n²) communication complexity. Since it is a “square,” it requires plenty of efforts to accomplish the communication task before reaching consensus. Even the fastest current BFT consensus needs O(7n) communication complexity, which means multiplying 7 to the input task. By comparison, BDLS consensus only needs O(4n). This means that BDLS nearly has double the speed of the current fastest BFT consensus in terms of communication complexity.

Cryptodiffer Community

In real life, crypto is difficult to integrate with the real economy because of hard to approach users, fluctuated price of tokens or some cryptocurrencies without currency features…, so how could Sperax overcome these barriers to build “TRUSTED infrastructure for decentralized economy”?

Frida Cai, Sperax:

We noticed that the current blockchain industry is not for the mass consumer groups: the complexity in setting up wallets and accounts, the chronically fluctuating market and cryptos with no currency features.

Due to the lack of financial infrastructure, the current design principle of public blockchains is to create a prepaid SaaS model rather than an economy that runs on smart contracts.

More specifically, crypto is difficult to integrate with the real economy: It is difficult to onboard users; the token price is chronically fluctuating; and a majority of these cryptocurrencies are currencies without currency features

Our project is designed under one single principle, which is to bridge the gap between crypto and real world users. This is our ultimate goal, our dream.

Sperax team vision a blockchain infrastructure without “blockchain”. We believe that the best blockchain applications are the ones that do not require users to interact with the blockchain itself. With our technology, Sperax guarantees security and efficiency at the same time. Holding in mind that security is the most important feature of a public blockchain compared to a centralized solution, we continue to improve the performance of our protocol; algorithmically, the current consensus that we are using is the most efficient among BFT-based consensus.

With this vision, we ultimately hope to connect a decentralized economy with real world finance. Through partnership with regulated financial service operators and payment integrators, applications built on Sperax could be offered to end users without interacting with the blockchain directly. That would bring more possibilities for application developers to offer the best use cases to consumers.

Cryptodiffer Community

In some leader-ful protocols such as Tendermint or HyperLedger Fabric, there is single choke-point through which all transactions have to flow. But AVA doesn’t have this, so could you explain to me why Avalanche protocol is absolutely leaderless?

Stephen Buttolph, Avalanche:

For the Avalanche question: This raises an interesting point. In a non-sharded consensus system, all nodes will need to receive all transactions. However, the process that must be performed to finalize the transactions is a little more complex. Protocols like Tendermint and Hotstuff introduce a choke point for every block. So, the leader will need to receive a message from every other node in the network for every block. In Avalanche, there are no special roles between nodes. Every node only performs a small sample of the network. It is possible to introduce block producers into Avalanche, and still maintain this property. But right now there are no special roles in the Avalanche network. That’s why Avalanche is leaderless.

Cryptodiffer Community

1. Sperax token holders have the right to governance by contributing to the design & upgrade of the ecosystem. How many tokens do I have to hold to participate in the decisions, and what is the structure of this, wpuld this system be corrupted if someone holds +50% of the tokens?

2. The Sperax Foundation developed a native multi-currency stablecoin, wich is the first of its kind in the public blockchain ecosystem. How can one asset be stable to multiple currencies, is that the meaning of multi-currency stablecoin?

Frida Cai, Sperax:

  1. You can find the detailed distribution here:

https://spa.sperax.io/4.-distribution-and-unlocking-schedule.

There are 5 billion fixed supply of SPA in the system and there will not be inflation in the future. Out of the total supply of 5 billion tokens, 25% is reserved for block rewards after the mainnet is launched, it will be distributed to node operators that participate in staking. 20% are distributed to the partners of the network such as financial service providers, payment gateways, enterprise clients and academic institutions. These token holders will be able to participate in staking and ensure the network security; however, the tokens will not be transferrable or tradable. It will not be part of the circulating supply.

Sperax’s regular SPA tokens will be distributed through private sales, public sales, marketing, ecosystem, reserve, team & advisor and partner. SPA is not only free to be transacted on Sperax blockchain, but could also be used to customize DeFi services on blockchain by third parties. This category of SPA has a fixed supply of five billion.

The second type of SPA tokens are the partnership token built by Sperax foundation. These tokens, with a fixed one billion supply, will be distributed to the partners of the network, such as financial service providers, payment gateways, enterprise clients and academic institutions. However, the tokens will not be transferrable or tradable.

2. We have two main achievements. The first one is the completion of our BDLS consensus protocol. We are so happy to see it go through rigorous peer-reviewed and got into IEEE INFOCOM 2020. That was definitely a memorable moment! Second is supports from our Sperax community. We have built up communities in US, South Korea and China with over thousands members in each. Moreover, everyday there are heated discussions about Sperax in these communities and we often find very insightful and helpful ideas.

Cryptodiffer Community

1-Are digital coins or stable coins safer for DeFi transactions?

2-While testing digital currencies in sandbox environments is extremely insufficient, what do you attribute the incredible increase of the DeFi market?

Jay Karahashi-Sofue, Avalanche

Not sure about what your first question is trying to convey but for the second one; I think both approaches are reasonable. A sandbox environment can ensure steady success without getting in too much of a clash with regulators, while an open one without a sandbox can lead to incredible growth but also could lead to cases (in regards to DeFi) where retail gets burned due to lack of knowledge of the technology

Cryptodiffer Community

DeFi is a Trend 2020, Why should developers choose Sperax over platforms to develop their projects? What do you think about competitors in the same industry in the current market?

Frida Cai, Sperax:

I totally agree. DeFi is THE trend of 2020 and is also a big focus of Sperax. Ever since June, DeFi has been in the spotlight. The total value locked in DeFi has surged from 1 billion to 4.5 billion USD in just two months.

For DeFi, We Sperax have two major advantages: first is our security and efficiency. Our BDLS consensus can ensure that there wont be traffic problem on our platform while maintaining high security in the real internet environment.

Second is our unique token economics design. We have a special financial layer consisting of a native stablecoin sCOIN and a group of authorized financial institution nodes. We invite all DeFi projects to try out on Sperax platform and I am sure they wont regret haha

Cryptodiffer Community

Looks like soerax is working on Blockchain security by reducing attack vectors, that’s a great thing to solve considering so many hacks ? What protocols are used to secure the Blockchain and are they derived from available protocols or completely new protocols have been implemented?

Frida Cai, Sperax:

BDLS protocol belongs to the family of BFT consensus protocol just like Ethereum 2.0 Casper FFG. Our protocol is a brand new design since it is the first one designed under the partially asynchronous network model which is the best model to simulate our real internet. This new design greatly enhances the consensus security.

Collin Cusce, Avalanche

Casper is partially asynchronous. Partially asynchronous is the most practical and the most analyzed model in academia. HotStuff? Tendermint? PBFT? All partially asynchronous.

Cryptodiffer Community

You recently announced an integration with Chainlink. What benefits does this integration offer developers?

Jay Karahashi-Sofue, Avalanche:

This integration allows for developers building on Avalanche to leverage the benefits of oracles; if you don’t know what oracles are, they enable real-time, outside data to interact with blockchain. Avalanche is continuously trying to grow its ecosystem to provide devs more tools and apps to use within their own projects.

Cryptodiffer Community

Is Avalanche will HELP Sperax in its exploration to DeFi? simply by using also its Dapps

Jay Karahashi-Sofue, Avalanche:

We’re always open to collaborating with projects within the decentralized ecosystem and outside as well; in addition to building out our ecosystem with leading decentralized finance projects, we’re also engaging companies and institutions from the traditional finance and enterprise world.

Cryptodiffer Community

As we know, ETC was attacked 51% yesterday and many other DoS attacks in past, so how could Sperax solve these matters and which core technology that Sperax using for security?

Frida Cai, Sperax:

Sperax BDLS Eliminates the DoS Threat. Sperax protocol, similarly to Libra, handles this in waves of synchronous and asynchronous stages. Our consensus algorithm designer, who is also our Chief Scientist, Professor Yongge Wang, has published over a hundred peer-reviewed scientific papers on cryptography, pseudorandomness, fault-tolerant computation, dependable distributed computation and secure communications. Most recently, Professor Wang implemented the post-quantum cryptography encryption technique RLCE which was included in NIST for post-quantum cryptographic standards round 1 competition.

Sperax BDLS features:

1. Secure and Unpredictable random beacon or RANDAO

RANDAO not only has the characteristics of unpredictability which it inherits from the common random number generator, but it is also more accessible and provably fair. RANDAO’s protocol adopts a commit-reveal process that presents a joint random number, generated from the random strings committed by various participants in a given window of time. After a user gets this shared random number via RANDAO, he/she can then generate his/her own random number via some hash function.

One possible drawback of RANDAO is that the last user may influence the ending output RANDAO might present, because one can base his/her decision to reveal one’s number on the numbers others have revealed. However, threshold digital signature schemes solves this problem perfectly. BLS is one of the threshold digital signature schemes that can be used to generate random numbers with multiple participants, where the goal is to provide users with random numbers in a more efficient way on the premise of verifiable fairness. For further information, please refer to the whitepaper: https://github.com/Sperax/docs/blob/master/Paper/BFT%20in%20Partial%20Synchronous%20Networks%20-%20Yongge%20Wang.pdf

2. Security design in the type II partial synchronous network

Between asynchronous and synchronous networks, there also exists the concept of partially synchronous networks. Among these partially synchronous networks, there are two widely accepted main types of partially synchronous networks, illustrated in the paper. In particular, in the type II network which is a realistic representation of the Internet, Denial of Service (DoS) attacks are allowed and no reliable broadcast channels are assumed before GST. Furthermore, we may assume that the network alternates between good synchronous period and bad period. In designing Sperax BDLS, we adopt block-lock mechanisms and block self-proof mechanisms to ensure security against such potential forks. Most importantly, the liveness and safety properties of Sperax BDLS protocol has been proved here.

3. High efficiency consensus algorithm design

Scalability is another angle from which to evaluate any blockchain system. All of today’s projects spare nothing to present their users with high performance. In PoS algorithm design, this desire for efficient consensus highlights the bottleneck of multiple communication processes. Another way to evaluate efficient consensus is to understand the complexity of the messages passed. Although in general the performance of PoS consensus varies with the implementation, it can also be evaluated on the order of O(n2). In terms of the communication processes in Sperax BDLS however, there are only two unicast and two broadcast processes, with a O(4n) message complexity, which contributes to a linear consensus efficiency.

Cryptodiffer Community

What is the position of Sperax in terms of Staking? It’s a viable option? Or you Will adopt other methods?

Frida Cai, Sperax:

Yes. We adopts staking. In a very simplified way, you can view us as a PoS blockchain with a new consensus module and a new token economics design

Cryptodiffer Community

Could you please explain efficiency of Avalanche consensus protocol? We know, classical requires every node to talk every other node, Nakamoto requires running giant lotteries. How about Avalanche? What it does exactly? Thanks.

Jay Karahashi-Sofue, Avalanche:

Collin (@hellmichigan) wrote a really great post that covers exactly this: https://medium.com/avalabs/avalanche-consensus-101-99c68a3e3159

Cryptodiffer Community

Many projects lie or do some really dumb tricks to report for high TPS, so what are your target for TPS that Avalanche expect?

Stephen Buttolph, Avalanche:

On the Avalanche platform we’ve been focusing on implementing additional features lately. So I don’t really have a recent benchmark number to give you. Once things have stabilized we’ll focus back on TPS benchmarks. Our last benchmark on a large deployment (~1k nodes) was around 4500 TPS using single input two output transactions.

Cryptodiffer Community

Is Sperax planning to develop an investment fund to encourage developers and projects to use its platform? Or even organize bug fixes, contribute ideas to receive SCoin?

Frida Cai, Sperax:

OF COURSE you bet. That would be our main focus in the next coming months. Our ultimate goal is to construct a sustainable and robust ecosystem with the contribution from all developers.

Cryptodiffer Community

Avalanche is the 3rd generation of the main protocol. It will improve sideways by removing the missing aspects Classical and Nakamoto Consensus protocol, so do cryptocurrency ecosystem and Avalanche blockchain really change radically?

Collin Cusce, Avalanche:

Ya I think it drastically will. Things like a decentralized Venmo were relegated to risky and often-broken Layer 2 solutions. No longer the case thanks to Avalanche and this can occur on Layer 1. Three’s also the ad hoc creation of assets that Avalanche offers on a base transaction level which should be a huge improvement over ERC 20s. In addition, you can deal with these assets in any way you please. Thanks to custom VMs, you’re no longer stuck to one of doing things like with Ethereum. You can use any VMs you want, and they all can pull from the same validator set that is used in the default network. The ability to float assets between chains and subnets is also going to change the way the world treats crypto. Ok guys. I gotta run to another meeting, thanks for the questions! It was a blast!

Frida Cai, Sperax:

Thank you guys!


Cryptodiffer TEAM

Thanks for your time @FridaCai_Sperax @yuzhou87 @StephenTechSupport @hellmichigan @jayksofue

Thank for all your questions!!!!!

It was a pleasure to conduct an AMA with Sperax!!!

Let’s finish the AMA.

Sperax

Trusted Infrastructure for Decentralised Economy.

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