The Ergo Vision

Beginning more than ten years ago with Bitcoin, blockchain technology has so far proved to be a secure way of maintaining a public transaction ledger and disintermediating trusted third parties such as traditional financial institutions to some degree. However, whereas many teams have claimed to implement the next revolutionary blockchain, they also typically break at least one of the fundamental properties of blockchain technology that make it so powerful.

In contrast, Ergo platform absorbs ready-to-use ideas, that are well-tested and formalized in scientific papers. Its primary focus is to provide an efficient, secure and easy way to implement financial contracts that will be useful and survivable in the long term. Finally, Ergo is a self-amendable protocol, that allows it to absorb new ideas and improve itself in the future in a decentralized manner.

True Decentralization

The potentially outstanding resilience of a blockchain system is achieved by a combination of modern cryptographic algorithms and decentralized architecture. While cryptography is widely used outside of cryptocurrencies, decentralized architecture forms a unique property of blockchain systems making them even more secure due to a lack of single point of failure.

Ergo is built from the ground‐up to resist centralization at all levels. Ergo has both an ASIC and pool resistant Proof-of-Work algorithm, preventing blockchain centralization in the hands of miners and pool operators. Its treasury system prevents governance and development centralization, while light nodes with high-security guaranties prevent services centralization.

A New Economy Model

To achieve survivability, Ergo provides economic improvements in addition to the technical ones, including an original economy model for a more secure and survivable network. A storage rent component makes Ergo similar to regular cloud storage services. However it has several significant consequences: it makes Ergo mining stable after the initial emission, prevents state size growth and provides a way to return lost coins to circulation.

Blockchain participants have to keep a significant amount of data in their local storages and the storage requirements are growing fast. Of this, certain data must be maintained in memory such as the entire state of the blockchain represented as the UTXO set in UTXO‐based protocols such as Bitcoin and Ergo. In platforms such as Bitcoin, miners receive no compensation for keeping this state and the network is subject to “state bloat” over time. However, Ergo miners will be compensated for state through the storage‐rent fee component to prevent bloating of full‐nodes. Moreover, the storage‐rent fee will provide an ongoing stable source of miner revenue, helping to insure a secure network even after the block reward subsidy runs out (after 8 years in Ergo).

Contractual Money

The overwhelming majority of successful public blockchain use-cases are about financial applications, even in platforms that claim to be general-purpose decentralized world computers. For example, if an oracle is writing non-financial data into a blockchain, this data is usually written to be used in a financial contract.

Ergo offers a powerful and protocol‐friendly scripting language based on Σ‐protocols (referred to as “Sigma Protocols”), that enables specifying conditions under which a coin can be used. In the simple case, a coin can be spent at any time by an owner of a secret key, but more complex spending conditions may specify multiple coin holders, the time of spending, to whom or what group the coins can be spent and so on, enabling the implementation of contracts of complexity far in excess of those of other secure distributed blockchains currently in existence.

Light Clients

One of the key aspects of Ergo is that it is created for regular people. In particular, that means that they should be able to participate in the protocol by running a full node, mining or creating transactions and not have to rely on any trusted parties.

Ergo protocol is friendly to Light clients, allowing users to use it in a decentralized manner with full node security guarantees. The same properties of Ergo make it easier to implement sidechains, providing additional benefits in terms of throughput.

Survivability

Being a platform for contractual money, Ergo should also support long‐term contracts for a period of at least an average person’s lifetime. Ergo’s general approach is to use well-tested solutions proven to be secure in the long‐term.

A combination of PoW consensus protocol and authenticated state prevents performance degradation over time, allowing anyone to join the network and use it with commodity hardware. Ergo’s economy model makes the system more secure and reliable, while on‐chain governance allows gradual changes in the network parameters, a simple example being block size which will start at 524kb but miners can vote to increase it gradually over time in 1% increments.

Development history

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015

14 March

Fully functional Testnet 2.0 release

1 July

Ergo mainnet is launched

1 June

Testnet 1.0 with smart contracts release

26 June

Formal proof of ErgoScript Turing-completeness

6 December

Testnet 1.8 with new PoW release

13 June

Ergo implementation started

28 July

Difficulty adjustment research completed

5 December

Testnet 0 release

12 March

Scorex-Lagonaki testnet release

4 April

Waves launch based on Scorex

14 October

Authenticated Dynamic Dictionaries research completed

23 January

Scorex framework implementation started

7 November

Collaboration with IOHK research began

17 November

Scorex team won Moscow blockchain hackathon

Ergo and crowdfunding

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Robert Wolf

6 September, 2019

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Mining ERGO on AMD Cards

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Robert Wolf

7 August, 2019

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Ergo platform community

Ergo is the open protocol that implements modern scientific ideas in the blockchain area. Ergo operates an open contributor model where anyone is welcome to contribute.

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