Ergo AMA Wrap-Up, March 11, 2022

Ergo Platform

March 15, 2022

Dan began last week’s AMA with an update on the work he has been doing for the Ergo Foundation. He noted that it had been a very productive week and that the team had held a very exciting meeting with their education partner (a prominent accredited university). There has been a lot of progress made on this project and Dan is looking forward to revealing more as soon as there is a formal agreement in place. That being said, he was able to divulge some of the details of the education program. There will be two different education programs: one that is directed towards a beginner level and the other designated for those who are ready for a more advanced curriculum. Dan firmly believes that this kind of endeavor will help bring more people to the Ergo ecosystem. He understands the community is anxious to know as many details as possible, but he prefers to have paperwork signed before making public statements on the specifics. 

For the next piece of news, Dan revealed that they are extremely close to announcing new exchange listings for Ergo. Several exchanges are in the process of completing their wallet integration, and once testing is completed they will be able to announce all the specifics. 

Continuing with business developments, Dan reminded the community about his work to bring more commercial adoption and integration to the Ergo Platform. He has been talking to several partners and aggregators to bring them into the ecosystem and is hopeful to see more traction with these large projects in the near future.

Concluding his opening remarks, Dan revealed that he will be traveling to Dubai to participate in two conferences. The first one is Sigma Asia where he is presenting on the possible commercial applications of the metaverse. His activities will include serving on a panel as well as participating in several private meetings that he hopes will foster new opportunities. The second conference is ETHDubai where he said he is expecting some “fun things” to come out of that event. There may be an opportunity to have some fun guests on the AMA while at the conference, and the event should be a good opportunity for the Ergo ecosystem to get some exposure and attract new people.

Joseph Armeanio began his introductory remarks by informing the community that DeCo is now accepting new students. He informed the audience that Kushti has begun implementing EIP-27 on testnet, and they have been very active on the community Telegram channel discussing this process. In the next week, they expect to continue community discussions, this time focusing on the state of DeFi on top of Ergo. 

Before fielding questions, Armeanio also informed the community about some important internal changes at the Ergo Foundation. They have relinquished the Ergo Platform Twitter account to Sigmanaut community members. They consist of prominent miners, developers, and other Ergonauts who are passionate about participating in the promotion and adoption of Ergo. As a result, the Ergo Foundation has shifted their marketing resources solely to work for the Foundation. Ergonauts can expect to see more community content from the Ergo Platform Twitter Account while the Ergo Foundation Twitter will focus more on the company’s work and development. In addition to this shift towards community involvement, Armeanio also indicated his weekly developer updates will start to focus more on the core overviews while giving application developers the opportunity to more directly highlight the work they are doing.

AMA Questions and Summary

The following is a summary of questions posed by the audience during this AMA. Last week Dan and Armeanio answered questions on quantum computing, Layer 1 upgrades and Layer 2 solutions, the financial status of the Ergo Foundation, APY’s, oracle pool usage, development of commercial projects, and much more. Dan and Joseph's discussion on APY also led to a humorous and lengthy talk on how some APY’s are comparable to the risks of the drug trade.  To view the full AMA, please head over to Ergo’s Youtube channel: 

Have the Ergo Dev team ever discussed quantum computing and planning resistance against it?

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • Sure, it’s been in discussion

  • It’s one of those things that if you’re planning quantum computing and resistance to it, you’re fighting ghosts

    • Those adversaries aren’t here yet
    • The difficulty with ghost fighting is you are going to struggle to know what you are going against
  • Luckily, there are “theoretical” ways to resist a quantum adversary - it could be a long time away

  • Hard to predict evolution of technology

  • We may see quantum cryptography

  • Have to wait and watch it develop

  • Need to track, watch and follow academic research

Answered by Dan Friedman

  • From the Cardano side, have been discussing this on the research level

    • About quantum computing and quantum resistance
  • 2018 was supposed to be the year

  • 2022, still thinking about it; it’s not mainstream

  • Needs to be monitored but doesn’t see it happening tomorrow

  • Need to make sure we are on top of it

A lot of DeFi projects on Cardano are waiting for Layer 1 updates and Layer 2 solutions coming this summer. How ready is Ergo for similar types of projects?

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • The first advantage is that ErgoScript is a bit easier to compile than Plutus

  • eUTXO is young

  • We often get a side by side comparison with ETH

  • Ergo is in the early stage of rolling out toolkit and documentation

  • Same is true in terms of Cardano

  • Goguen rolled out last fall

    • 3-4 months in
  • Need to start with a solid foundation and lots of documentation

  • Once that happens, then people use the composability of UTXO and start to build

  • It’s advancing pretty quickly on both Ergo and Cardano

  • Still important to recognize the age of these projects

  • DeFi, as a whole, needs more development across the entire space

  • Real world use is still needed 

  • DeFi as a whole has a ton of potential

  • It will come with time

Answered by Dan Friedman

  • On the Ergo side, we really haven’t had something with as many transactions as something like Sundaeswap
  • Maybe it will be ErgoDEX eventually
  • Could Ergo handle the throughput that Cardano is handling with all the DEX’s
  • We’re going to have to wait and see what real time scaling looks like for Ergo
  • So early
  • A lot of questions that haven’t been tested out yet
  • From the business side, it’s important to manage expectations properly
  • If we get as many dApps running as Etheruem, what’s going to happen?

What’s the status with the Ergo Foundation bank account? Curious because of the iOS wallet launch on AppStore.

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • That’s still in motion
  • Looked like it was the finish line and then we got some geopolitical turmoil and we got put into an extra period of review
  • Most of the documentation has been completed
  • Consisted of extra checks on the bank side to mitigate any liability
  • We are a corporation in Singapore
  • Singapore is separate from having a Russian citizen involved
  • It looks like things are going well
  • When you have geopolitical issues, it creates extra roadblocks
  • Don’t see it as a long term issue or problem
  • Hopefully, by the end of the next week we pass the extra check and we can get the iOS on the app store
  • The larger an organization gets, the slower things sometimes move

Any thoughts on how we can create sustainable APY’s?

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • You have two things you can consider

    • 1st - inflation of tokenomics

      • Every project has some inflation or emission schedule
      • Every project has a certain element of inflation
      • How much is too much?
      • How much is way too much?
      • How much is insane?
      • This is something we are kind of seeing tested in real time
    • Looking at it in a more practical sense it has to do with use and utility

      • Beyond the emission of the cryptocurrency

        • You have the ability to borrow
        • Have the certain interest rate or yield on top of the cost of borrowing - often based on demand
    • Look at it from a demand and use case side (can see with some stablecoins on larger exchanges that are actually viable)

      • The result of economic activity vs just a programmed inflation rate
      • Doesn’t think that people in the industry necessarily look at those things as separate - they just see a percentage
      • What is the energy or economic activity behind that particular percentage?
      • If it’s based on use, he believes it’s more sustainable
    • Ergo has a certain inflation rate - it’s in the downtrend but the number of tokens in the market is expanding

    • Seeing this tested across thousands of projects at the same time

    • If it’s based on economic use, utility and demand, it’s growing in the right direction

Answered by Dan Friedman

  • Demand and sustainability are the important factors
  • Use case is important
  • Demand and utility follow sustainability
  • It’s all about sustainability and underlying utility of what people are putting money into

How will the increased use of Ergo Oracle pools affect the circulating supply of ERG?

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • It might take a very small amount and lock it into the oracle pools

  • The most interesting thing will not necessarily be how it locks ERG to that framework, it’s rather the complexity and variety of DeFi that can be built on top of Ergo

  • Ergo has a unique approach to oracles 

    • Traditionally it’s more point to point data
    • With Ergo, trying to disrupt that model by securing it by having many points to many points that’s aggregated to a single point which gives some additional assurances
  • That can be plugged in on top of Ergo

  • Can be bridged to other chains through a gateway or API

  • Something that will develop based on demand

  • Does think we will see oracle data on top of Cardano

    • Right now the use case for oracle data on both is still something that is growing

Who are you ErgoHack 3 winners, Dan?

Answered by Dan Friedman

  • Has not picked them yet
  • Was under the weather for a little while
  • He promised to pick the winners over the weekend and announce on Monday

How does Ergo avoid centralization of mining and devices like ASICs?

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • Ergo goes through periodic memory table adjustments

  • Part of understanding an integrated circuit is it’s basically a specialty circuit - once built, it mines a particular algorithm

  • Seeing this play out in Ethereum

  • Changing their consensus mechanism and ASICs will start to become unprofitable

  • It’s a question of having specialty circuits and where are they going to go?

  • Ergo adjusts the memory table so if someone built an integrated circuit for the memory table today, they may run into issues when the memory table is adjusted 

  • Centralization of mining will probably occur to some degree

    • Imagines that as demand increases

      • Have people try to arbitrage the profitability of mining by finding cheaper energy
      • Will probably see people start to create block streams for field programmable gate arrays (like a hybrid GPU ASIC - can be reprogrammed)
      • They are more efficient than GPU’s
      • Have a community member that’s been working on creating FPGA for Ergo
      • In terms of his efficiency, he’s tripled the average GPU’s miners ability but there is also a chip shortage
  • Long-term, will probably see some centralization

  • That’s not a big negative

  • It creates competition

  • Hopefully between larger miners

  • As ETH goes to PoS - there will be a ton of GPU miners who will repurpose their rigs or will sell their rigs on the market

  • Big opportunity coming up to further decentralize mining after ETH switches

What would be the next high impact change that will grow the Ergo network?

Answered by Dan Friedman

  • The switch for miners off of ETH could be a high impact change
  • Thinks that the next high impact change is an influx of commercial business
  • For ETH, why does it have so much use? Because there is business on it.
  • Large projects that go and test the ecosystem so that the ecosystem evolves and has to scale beyond the comfort zone of the ecosystem
  • Sees larger projects coming to the Ergo Platform and testing the strengths of Ergo

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • Three things

    • Commercial adoption

    • A framework for additional miner rewards

      • Exploring PoW performed - tracks the work that miners have done
    • Bridges - having viable bridges and creating more liquidity between networks

Could Ergo and Cardano have a hybrid PoW-PoS protocol? Or does that compromise security?

Answered by Dan Friedman

  • Believes it is possible to develop a hybrid
  • As far as compromising security, that usually happens from lack of proper work being done
  • You can guess and mitigate but there is no real way of being 100% until it’s out there and being tested

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • There is research released on this
  • Need to look at research in terms of how many research papers get implemented?
  • Will it happen? He doesn’t know.
  • Too far in the future to speculate on
  • Would require miners to vote on consensus changes

How would Ergo attract more commercial interest? Is there a current plan?

Answered by Dan Friedman

  • As far as commercial interest is concerned

    • Been having meetings with several prospects
    • Ironing out strengths and weaknesses
  • Strengths

    • The level of development of the protocol
    • The tooling/toolset/toolbox
  • Weaknesses

    • Size of the network
    • The size has been criticized in discussions
    • It’s a young project and Dan thinks it’s a fair assessment 
  • How do we attract more commercial interest?

    • Thinks it will come from more cooperation with other UTXO alliance partners
    • What is the strength we can sell? What’s the solution to the weakness criticisms?
  • Believes Ergo would be great for traceability and identity solutions

  • Current plans are being developed

  • Have been approached by several commercial projects

  • We’re pushing through

  • Evolving the commercial plan

Answered by Joe Armeanio

  • Thinks that if he was going to build commercially, the first question would be: “What is it going to cost?”

    • Ergo is highly competitive as an answer to that question.
  • Second question: “What are my risks?”

    • It is true that it is a smaller project
    • Hashrate is not as high compared to other GPU-mineable coins
    • The hardware security of miners is important
    • Having a robust security layer/hashrate will probably attract more commercial projects
    • The network is still growing
  • Thinks Ergo has a big opportunity to cause disruption relative to existing PoW chains

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