Agoric AMA Summary Recap with Shin Chan Community
We held a live AMA with Dean Tribble, CEO at Agoric on 28th September 12:00 PM (UTC+8). Here’s the recap for those who missed it.
Serene: can you introduce yourselves and the team background?
Dean | Agoric: Sure. I’m Dean Tribble. Agoric was founded in 2018 by pioneers in the smart contracting. Myself and several of the founders were early cypherpunks, worked on early distributed systems, and worked on the first production smart contract back in 1989.
We’ve been bringing disruptive tech to main stream markets for literally decades, but blockchain and DeFi will show them all up :)
Serene: Any latest/ update news about Agoric you would like to share with our community?
Dean | Agoric: We just completed our incentivized testnet, a private fund-raise, and are headed towards a phased rollout of mainnet.
We are also starting developer programs, already working with several developers on bounties we posted.
We are excited to get developers across the globe excited about building in JS on the Agoric chain!
AMA Twitter Section Begins:
Q1. “Agoric was founded on open source principles optimized for a collaborative and booming public economy. How has your platform and developers removed barriers to entry into the DeFi world and ensured security in the process? Can any project make use of your interface?”
In addition to our smart contract chain, it’s also being used in other systems like MetaMask, who is using if for their next generation extensible wallet. So it’s definitely a contribution to both Web2 and Web3. Check out the core JS in
The other contribution is IBC — Inter Blockchain Communication protocol. It rolled out last spring, and enables interoperability among numerous blockchains, starting with the Cosmos ecosystem. It will enable out chain to launch and immediately connect to 10s of billions of dollars in assets across the Cosmos ecosystem (e.g. cosmos, terra, crypto.com, osmosis, akash, secret…) and with several bridges get to the even deeper pools on eth.
Q2. It caught my eye that Agoric has a dual-token system implemented on the platform with the tokens: RUN and BLD. Please tell us more about them and their tokenomics? Why are two tokens needed on Agoric? What function each token has? What benefits do they provide to users?
Dean | Agoric: Oh I have a pretty picture for that.
BLD is the staking token (e.g., like ATOM or DOT) that provides proof of stake security and governance.
RUN is the local stable currency.
Several of our team have an economics background, and we work closely with economists at RMIT university. Having a stable local currency is grease for the wheels of commerce.
Having to pay for things with a speculative token (e.g., like Eth) means you can’t really compare the prices of things from day to day because your currency could have a completely different value. If you think of gas fees as like rent of postage, paying gas with Eth is like paying your rent with Apple or Google shares.
Using a volatile asset can obviously work, but it’s not very practical. It’s sand in the gears of commerce. So having a default, well-supported local currency that is used to pay for system services means that you can compare the cost of execution today vs. yesterday. You can compare the price of one loan product vs. another. You can compare using a portfolio manager vs. doing it yourself. You can write long-term contracts like mortgages and subscriptions that have a consistent cost each month. RUN is that basic stable currency that helps the economy grow and flourish.
Q3. “Which area are you focusing on at the moment? (DeFi, Staking,Dapps,Yield Farming,NFTs, Gaming?) and what are your goals for the coming year?”
Dean | Agoric: The shortest answer is: DeFi and NFTs.
The medium answer is: Our mantra is to enable developers to Build Fast, Earn Fast.
So we produce the chain, framework, and initial components. We use those to build essential market services like stable local currency (RUN, produces by the Treasury) and AMM. And we build those so that the components in them are easily reusable by other developers. What React and Vue did for uer interface components like nav and image slide shows, we do for DeFi components like auctions swaps and escrows. Those enable devs to quickly put together new DeFi components and services, so *they* can build and deploy e.g., yield farms.
Dean | Agoric: Great question. We actually just gave a demo at Messari Mainnet that included both the DeFi example above and a simple NFT application. It shoudl be published soon.
That demo included a simple NFT application where the smart contract is literally 35 lines of simple JS code.
It’s a single JS statement to define a new kind of NFT, and another to mint them.
ERTP ties it together: Electronic Rights Transfer Protocol. That’s fancy-speak for a JS API to implement and manage digital assets. They key is that it abstracts across all types of digital assets.
I can have a Purse (similar to an account/wallet) that contains Eth, one that contains RUN, and one that contains an NFT art collection.
So components our developers build will work the same. This is key to making the components reusable, and thus accelerating development. And making each component more powerful.
Q5. It appears that Agoric will be a sponsor of the hackathon (Hack This Fall) on October 23rd. Could you give us more details about this? How could we also be part of this hackathon? What will Agoric bring to this incredible event?
Dean | Agoric: Hack This Fall is an awesome hackthon that includes blockchain, but has larger scope outside it. We are excited to sponsor it with a challenge to (re)use or modify one of our NFT contracts to achieve some cool new use case. What’s most exciting to me is that we are exposing our blockchain to developers outside the crypto space. The biggest promise of Agoric’s programmability is that 10M+ JS devs can understand it and dig in. Well this hackathon is a first step on that journey! Of course, blockchain developers welcome! Check it out: https://hackthisfall.tech/
Telegram Live AMA Begins:
Q6. What makes Agoric standout in comparison to other bIockchain projects?
Dean | Agoric: The hardest thing to scale is *programmability*. Scaling that (via Zoe contract framework and hardened JS) is the biggest standout feature of Agoric.
That also is the basis for Agoric’s long-term growth: we are the bridge to the mainstream developer pool and mainstream usage.
BLD supports staking and governance. It may also be useful capital for getting access to RUN, which you can spend in the agoric markets (and perhaps other AMMs on other chains).
Q7. Is community an important part of the project’s deveIopment? Do you have any pIans for community deveIopment in the future? Do Agoric have IocaI groups for countries that are not good at EngIish?
Dean | Agoric: community is a huge part of the project. We have benefited very much from the extended cosmos and other crypto communities, and have been giving steadily back. We have a great community of validators that we have put together from the incentivized testnet for the mainnet0 launch. And now we are building the developer community. We have language-specific TG and discord channels, and have community advocates already identified for Russia, India, Singapore, and Turkey.
Q8. The Internet of Things requires advanced technicaI support of bIockchain: and no project has been found to meet the requirement yet: so how can AGORIC make it?
Dean | Agoric: JS is the way to go for the Internet of Things. We use (and enhance) the open source embedded systems JS implementation by Moddable, and our hardened JS is the basis for the embedded systems JS standard. However someone in the community needs to build on our platform to make that happen!
Q9. How is the safety and security of the Agoric better than other projects? What attracts users and investors to Agoric in the Iong term?
Dean | Agoric: re safety/security. We first started Agoric to address security hazards that are endemic in Eth. These are things like msg.sender and reenetrancy that cannot be papered over by changes to the surface tools. The architecture of hardened JS, our model of async communication among contracts, the”offer safety” of the Zoe contract framework are all elements that prevent classes of bugs that have cost other ecosystems billions of dollars.
Q10. Can you talk about your Upcoming FIAT-ON-RAMP partnerships , What benifits It will Provide to the Agoric Users , Is Non — Blockchain Users Can easily adpot this feature ?
Dean | Agoric: sorry I can’t talk about fiat onramp plans yet :)
Q11. In the RoadMap Section , I found that in Q4 2021 , You have Planned to Launch the “MAINNET PHASE 1- TREASURY LAUNCH” , Can you tell me What new and Unique Features User Can experience in this Version ?How it will be different from Mainnet Phase Zero ?
Dean | Agoric: mainnet phase 0 is essentially “cosmos layer only” so it enables us to get the validator set launches and stable. It does not include the Agoric VM and JS layers. mainnet phase 1 rolls out the JS engine (agoric VM), and key contracts for RUN and other elements of the economy.
Mainnet phase 1 and phase 2 are permissioned — i9t will require a governance vote to deploy new contracts. Mainnet phase 3 is when it’s permissionless and anyone can deploy any contract code.
Q10. You said That You eliminate Categories of Complex Security Bugs, Can You tell how actually Are You doing it?
What steps are you taking?
Dean | Agoric: reentrancy is an example class of security bug that we help prevent. See:
We also provide offer-safety. There’s probably better later [presentations, but this early blog post provides a good starting point:
How Zoe Ensures You Won’t Leave Empty-Handed
Zoe is our new platform that provides an innovative, much safer approach for building and interacting with smart…
Q11. I was surprised that the Agoric team started to develop and deploy smart contracts and apps the runs under smart contracts before blockchain hit mainstream. How is it possible that Agoric have already be working on smart contract developments prior to blockchain integrations?
Dean | Agoric: you asked how we coudl do smart contracts before blockchain. That’s a pretty good last point to make here:
Our definition since the early 90s:
A smart contract is a contract-like arrangement between multiple parties, implemented in software, where the execution of the software enforces the terms of the contract.
So eBay, PayPal, AirBnB, Lyft, etc. are ALL smart contracts. They are just smart contracts that are operated by a “trusted 3rd party”. So smart contracts were $1T+ market cap *before* blockchain.
And indeed bitcoin is itself a smart contract; the first one that didn’t need a trusted 3rd party. It didn’t need it because the replicated consensus execution of blockchain directly provides high integrity execution, so the smart contract execution cannot be compromised by anyone or any machine.
Eth and later blockchains enabled running 3rd party code with that same integrity. We bring that integrity to the execution of contracts written in JS so that many more devs worldwide and access the high integrity execution environment of blockchain :).