Charles Hoskinson’s Cardano Update 17-1-2020
(Written by @Eric_Czuleger)
On Friday the 17th of January Charles Hoskinson sat down for an update on the development of the Incentivized Testnet. He also touched on the emerging strategy for Cardano in 2020 and his upcoming trip to the World Economic Forum at Davos.
-The Incentivized Testnet, Addrestia, and Daedalus are now on regular release cadences.
-Launch requirements are being discussed for Goguen.
-The OBFT hard fork will likely occur in February along with the release of the Ouroboros Hydra paper.
-Monthly updates from product managers will soon begin through Youtube videos.
-A conversation has begun about the inclusion of punitive measures to reduce bad behavior on the incentivized testnet.
Cardano is looking good. The last six weeks have been illuminating because we have changed our product, project, and management estimations. We are now seeing some great output from that. We have a beautiful Gantt chart which shows how everything is coming together. We’re looking at the future of the Shelley release as well as derisking Goguen and Basho. Meanwhile, we’re gathering requirements for Voltaire and having great conversations with key stakeholders like the Cardano Foundation, Emurgo and the community at large.
We‘re onto a new release cadence. Every week we are releasing a new version of the Haskell wallet backend, known as the Adrestia project. This includes core libraries, the wallet backend, the explorer infrastructure, and development kits. We have had many good conversations with our exchange partners about making it more portable and packageable for them. We are also discussing staking as a service alongside easing Cardano’s release into more exchanges. It’s nice to see software evolving every week
Haskell is on a two week release cycle. This is working us slowly to the Haskell Shelley testnet. As far as the current ITN, we’re still developing it. The Incentivized Testnet just received its first update of the new year. If you want to know more, Dimitris Poulopoulos made a video update which you can see here. For the next few weeks we will be systematically working through issues the community has reported. This includes connectivity issues, user experience, and stability. The team is excited to continue tuning the system.
Daedalus is now on a weekly release cycle and we’re on the last mile for hardware support. This will allow you to restore your ledger devices to Daedalus. We’re also developing features allowing users to manage ledger accounts, while letting them keep private keys on a ledger device. We’re also specing our hardware multi-sig and hardware coldstaking, so that we can hand this to our partners for a firmware update.This is all in anticipation for a Shelley release.
Goguen and beyond
We are now preparing launch requirements for Goguen. This also includes discussions of various applications. We’re thrilled to see the company moving so quickly in a unified manner. Meanwhile we’re conversing with our partners regarding events.
Charles Hoskinson will be attending the World Economic Forum in Davos.This will be a networking opportunity with thought leaders in the blockchain and traditional finance industry. We have also begun setting up a relationship with PWC. They will be holding a workshop with us in February. This means that output from the workshop should be available in March.
Furthermore we should expect output from McCann regarding the brand refresh in March. This will allow us to talk about the USPs of Cardano to a wider audience. Meanwhile, discussions with chief scientist Aggelos Kiayias are underway to finish up Ouroboros research. We are still on target for a February launch of the Ouroboros Hydra paper.
Moving towards Voltaire
In other news, our work with the European Union for the decentralized software update program is going quite well. We are working alongside IBM research and the Horizons 2020 project. The result has been a 39 page paper about decentralized software updates. This is also a component of Voltaire. We will go through a final revision of this paper before publishing it publically. Along with this, we have been working on voting and the Cardano Improvement Proposal (CIP) process.
Voting, decentralized updates, and the CIP process together form the bedrock of Voltaire. In February, the OBFT hard fork is likely to occur. At the moment we are interfacing with our exchange partners about it. We’re doing this to make sure that infrastructure is lined up. We anticipate that the hard fork will occur mid-February. The Haskell wallet backend is being integrated with the Haskell node for the Byron reboot. We are looking to get this out to users in February as well.
Soon we will be set up for regular communications regarding the incentivized testnet. We are looking for Dimitris to make announcements every week until the ITN is shut down and we move to mainnet. These regular updates won’t stop at the incentivized testnet. We will also have product managers begin to give updates on their area of expertise. The ultimate goal is to hit a monthly cadence for product updates while the ITN will see weekly updates. Biweekly updates will occur for other components.
Advancing the community
The Cardano Foundation will soon announce its grant program. The CF will be giving grants to people in order to keep them working in the ecosystem. We have also been aggressively negotiating with certain (nameless) exchanges. We are hoping to get a solid listing and custody solution nailed down with said exchanges. We are also looking to continually build our relationship with Bitfinex in order to get ada listed. The Cardano Foundation has been doing a good job of negotiating this progress.
Root9B’s security audit looks promising and we hope to have something to publish about this soon. Software velocity is going well. Currently, we are number one for GitHub commits. This is due in part to our singular focus on Cardano.
We are now looking at moving certain aspects of Atala into Cardano. In particular we are considering moving the identity aspect of Atala into Cardano. This is called Prism. It involves using components of Hyperledger Indy and DIDs. We will make an announcement at a later date as to what this means exactly. The reason that we are doing this is because we need to have a first-class identity solution integrated into Cardano.
Strategy for 2020
We are looking forward to making statements about Oracles and multi-asset standards as we get closer to the release of Goguen. The Cardano Foundation is beginning to work with us to plan hackathons. Collaboratively we are looking at master plans for the entire year and ensuring that the mockchain is going where it needs to go. We looking forward to having a hackathon or event every month in each major development area. The reason for this is that we have to let people know that this is a great platform to build applications on. We are also talking a great deal about interoperability and we have continued conversations on how that will be achieved.
At the moment, it seems that the space is beginning to wake up and mature. There is a bull trend which we feel is not an anomaly. This could be a representative sample of the rest of the year. While we were in crypto winter for a long time it looks like the thaw might be coming. This will be easier to confirm during interactions at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Bringing crypto mainstream
We hope that key individuals in traditional finance and technology are beginning to wake up to the utility of cryptocurrencies for solving global problems. At that point, we believe the markets will reflect this. We are also seeing market infrastructure being built up in the form of options and futures trading. It appears that there are projections for a bullish future.
We will also be talking to a great deal of individuals who do reports and research in the industry. This is important because we want to ensure that IOHK and Cardano are always mentioned as a viable competitor and market leader in the cryptocurrency space. There is a tendency to think that because we have done great science and engineering that our work is self evident. However, it is incredibly important to reach out proactively so that the public knows about our work. To that end we are collaborating closely with the CF to propagate that message. We will also have to answer a great deal of technical and due diligence questions.
Focus on Cardano
Right now all of IOHK is focused on the success of Cardno. This is our first priority. We believe that this is the best investment of our time, money, and expertise that we can make. We are now seeing tangible, meaningful results from this work. Of course, there is always more to do and a long way to go. Ultimately, we’re here to win. As usual, we thank our supporters for their help in doing this. We also thank them for their patience.
In the near future, you will be seeing more updates from the product team alongside news, blogs, and videos. We impolore our users to keep testing the software. Our incentivized testnet KPIs look great at the moment. Currently, we have around 900 registered pools and metrics are getting better every week. As we ship updates, those metrics will continue to improve. This is all largely due to the time and effort put in by the community. We believe that it will be possible to have 1000 stake pools at launch, but there is a lot of work to do in order to make this happen.
We need to ensure a clear migration from the Rust testnet to the Haskell Shelley testnet. We want to make sure that on day one on the launch of Shelley, we have made a strong showing.
We have been discussing the introduction of punitive measures around the pledging mechanism. At the moment there is a desirability metric when you perform a pledge. It states that certain ada is connected to a certain pool. At the moment it is unlocked. We could setup a locking mechanism and use cryptographic proofs which demonstrate that users aren’t behaving properly. This would lower their metrics and make their pools less desirable. It could also freeze the ada that they have for a brief period of time.
This is a different type of game theory. Previously, we were looking only at social pressure to increase good behavior. Now we are looking at using punishment to reduce bad behavior. This could be as simple as using cryptographic proof which a user could send as a transaction. This would be able to freeze funds and any time bad behavior occurred there would be an exponential increase in freeze time. But, this could also result in downstream effects of non-desirable behaviors.
We’re glad that the ITN is serving its purpose of allowing us to have these discussions. For instance, we are currently looking at pools which are creating blocks on divergent chains. We have noticed that many of them are not doing this maliciously. Instead, they are doing it because the network quality is not up to their standards. They are trying to maximize their rewards by making sure that their blocks are included. We will continue to iterate the network stack over the next 3 to 5 weeks on the ITN. We hope that improved network conditions and social pressure will put a stop to this behavior. If it does not we can begin to look at punitive measures.
We have also been discussing our donation of the University of Wyoming using ada. IOHK is also considering doing payroll using ada. Announcements about this will be made at a later date. We believe that the donation to the University of Wyoming will go through at some point in February.
2020 is already shaping up to be one of the busiest and most impactful years for IOHK and Cardano. As usual, we thank all of our supporters for their time, enthusiasm, and patience.