Ergo AMA Wrap-Up, February 18, 2022

Ergo Platform

February 24, 2022

Last week’s AMA featured Dan Friedman, Alex Chepurnoy and Joe Armeanio answering questions and updating the community on work behind the scenes. They started their discussion with an overview of ErgoHack III and agreed that this hackathon’s submissions were of the highest quality. The jury is still attempting to decide on the winners but in the meantime Dan talked about how difficult it is for him to choose a project for the prize he is offering. Since there were so many great submissions, Dan decided on air to increase his prize offerings, giving $1000 of ERG to his top pick and adding two additional prizes of $100 of ERG to two other projects. Inspired by Dan, Armeanio also decided to match that prize pool contribution for three of the projects that participated in the hackathon. Armeanio mentioned that he is waiting for the jury to publish their results before choosing winners for his prizes. Since there are so many great submissions, he wanted to make sure to award projects outside of the jury’s choices. 

Dan continued the AMA with updates on exchanges, tech partnerships and the development of an ecosystem fund. He and Armeanio have made a lot of progress with exchanges and there will be opportunities to get Ergo listed in several different places. Work on DEX listings is continuing and updates will be provided as soon as they are available. Dan reminded the audience about Ergo’s partnership with Kairon Labs and revealed that a representative from Kairon Labs will participate in the next AMA.

In terms of tech partnerships, Dan informed the audience that the team has been working on several different projects involving side chains and layer 2 solutions. They are currently working on securing a workflow that will be mutually beneficial for Ergo and potential tech partners. On this topic, Dan said: “We want the project to add value to our ecosystem as well as the partnering ecosystem.”

Concluding his updates, Dan said work is continuing on the development of an ecosystem fund. It is shaping up to look like a combination of an investment fund mixed with a treasury model. More information will be available as soon as paperwork has been signed.

Alex provided news on node updates and developing infrastructure. He talked about the addition of more wallets that offer dApp connector support and how that adds a lot resiliency to the infrastructure. On the topic of EIP27, Alex revealed that the wallet support is complete and that he will be testing the activation on the testnet in the next week. He also revealed that he will be testing implementation of the just-in-time costing improvements that will bring 5-6x faster transaction execution times.

AMA Questions and Summary

The following is a summary of questions posed by the audience during this AMA. Last week Dan, Alex, and Armeanio answered several questions on 51% attack network resistance, sharding, Ergo’s dev team, privacy concerns, blockchain as a service, and much more. There was also an in-depth and stimulating conversation about mainstream adoption, fiat, and how crypto is still generally misunderstood. To view the full AMA, please head over to Ergo’s Youtube channel: 

Why Ergo? 

Answered by Dan Friedman

  • It’s simple
  • Low barrier of entry
    • can get into the ecosystem at minimal cost
    • Can repurpose equipment - can use an old laptop to mine Ergo
    • The dynamic toolbox that Ergo has to offer to the community
  • Ease of use to do business
  • Looks at things from the average user and business perspective
  • So many ways you can look at it
  • Feels like we are on the verge of a major ecosystem explosion

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • It’s a principles first based project
  • It’s focused on being open source, resilient and having privacy tools
  • Have respect for the PoW system that gives voting powers to miners
    • A lot of value that is offered to miners

Answered by Alex Chepurnoy

  • It is completing the original vision of crypto
  • Usually it’s about redefining financial applications in a decentralized way
  • Need solid foundations for research driven approach
  • A balance of security and decentralization
  • It’s meant to be a global system
  • Providing grassroots based economic tools

Does Ergo have some protection mechanism against 51% attacks that should be seriously considered now that ETH is moving to PoS?

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • 51% attacks - best path forward is to encourage adoption of the smart pool model
  • Based on the smart pools paper from first hackathon
  • In a smart pool, you theoretically have the ability to split the smart pool as it approaches the 51% threshold
  • Smart pool framework opens up the potential to launch new projects in a way that is distributed to miners
  • Gives an economic advantage to those pools because miners will have the ability to mine multiple assets
  • Believes that smart pool offers the most benefit

Answered by Alex Chepurnoy

  • It’s hard to say when ETH will go PoS
  • Public has been waiting for years for ETH to switch
  • still thinks it could be years away
  • Preventing 51% - different solutions we can consider
  • Dynamics could be very different for Ergo because of token distribution
  • It’s hard to say at the moment how it will play out

Can you talk about your opinion on sharding solutions generally and if one in particular is a good fit for Ergo? Could ALPH’s solution be applied to Ergo?

Answered by Alex Chepurnoy

  • it’s hard to say; do we need sharding?
  • Maybe other solutions would work better: side chains, layer 2 solutions
  • Sharding is least elegant solution
  • Other solutions may be more preferable

Compared to projects BTC, ETH, and ADA, how big is Ergo’s team? Number of full-time devs, companies or any metrics that you find relevant? How do you see it evolving for Ergo?

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • Something that a small team benefits from is the ability for devs to have flexibility in terms of the space they work
  • In large companies, people can often get pigeon-holed into one role
  • A lot of our devs have a wide range of things they dive into
  • That can make us more nimble and faster
  • IOG is a big company - research and development arms
  • Comparatively, we are light-weight and kind of like a startup
  • Have a lot of talent in the dev team
  • We have a lot community contributors 

Answered by Dan Friedman

  • It’s funny to hear someone talk about IOG being a big company
  • Remembers when it was about a half dozen people back in 2016
  • It’s fun to hear that

Answered by Alex Chepurnoy

  • We have lots in the ecosystem
  • For example: ErgoDEX
    • They are working on the Cardano side
    • Don’t even know how many devs there - maybe 5 or 6
  • ErgoPad - don’t know how many devs are there
  • There are a lot of projects starting to build on Ergo
  • Hard to know how many people are building
  • Core team - intersecting with the ecosystem projects

I would not like to see Ergo as just a privacy coin with the label “privacy coin.” You can say it has privacy features. I would love to see more people using Ergo!

Dan: How do you see Ergo evolving? Do you see it as a privacy coin? Or as a blockchain with privacy features that are only a part of the toolbox?

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • To be a full privacy coin, you need privacy features enforced by the protocol
  • Is Ergo a privacy coin? No
  • Does Ergo have the ability to use cryptography on an application level? Yes
    • Alex is making a video about that for the privacy and security summit
  • It makes little sense to not have that feature as part of the functionality - that’s a part of decentralization
  • ErgoMixer breaks the linkability between a user and their address
  • For those who live in oppressive situations, this tech needs to have privacy features
  • The rhetoric that blockchain lets criminals carry out nefarious activities is mostly propaganda

Answered by Alex Chepurnoy

  • Privacy is not mandatory in Ergo
  • Can basically think of it as a better version of Bitcoin
  • Privacy is optional
  • ErgoMixer is superior to Bitcoin mixers
  • Support for stealth addresses - also superior to Bitcoin
  • There will be a talk released during Ergo Summit - Alex will compare in detail during that discussion
  • In the future, it depends on the demand for privacy tools

What does blockchain as a service mean and can Ergo be a provider of this service? Would this benefit Ergo and how will Ergo attract devs to use the blockchain as a service from Ergo?

Answered by Alex Chepurnoy

  • The blockchain is an ideal timestamping solution
  • Everything on the blockchain is irreversible
  • Information that is recorded can be considered secure
  • Use blockchain as self-enforcing agreements
  • Ergo can be superior in many aspects
    • PoW
    • Support for off-chain data structures
  • With Ergo, the security can be measured simply in regards with timestamping apps as work done on top of your record
  • We are already publishing a wealth of materials that shows Ergo’s superiority

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • Definitely emerging field
  • In future, would be nice to have self-executing contracts that have verifiably secure data
    • That alone would a massive disruptor
  • At this point, smart contracts in general mainly seem to be based on on-chain coin chasing, rather than real-life operations/business

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