SYRE is an innovative and easy-to-use blockchain tool for all cryptocurrency users that immensely enhances user experience and provides real utility. It is designed and developed by Robert Kornacki, one of the first Cardano fellows in the dLab/EMURGO accelerator program, with an aim to solve an important problem: making sure than users are sending funds to the correct intended wallet addresses. EMURGO - the official commercial arm of Cardano, interviewed Robert Kornacki for a better understanding of his concept for SYRE, the day-to-day application of SYRE and more.
1. When and why did you have the initial idea for SYRE?
Initially when I applied to become a dLab/EMURGO Cardano Fellow, both dLab and EMURGO came to me and showed me a variety of big issues they wanted to tackle in the blockchain space. One of these problems was that people have no surety whenever they send transactions. A recent study by Fio showed that 75% of crypto users are afraid to send transactions. This is a big problem that they were looking to solve. Originally, they wanted a Cardano name service but they were open to other ideas. So, I got to thinking for a couple weeks leading up to becoming a Fellow. I had the idea of finding ways to guarantee that when you confirm a transaction, the transaction goes to the right place. At the same time that I was thinking about how to solve this, I was also doing other work in the Cardano ecosystem. As I was looking through the Haskell code, I realized you can append data to transactions in Cardano. I came up with an idea: what if we send payment requests or invoices on-chain as a way of guaranteeing that the wallet address a person is sending money to is correct? Then it evolved from there, and I started looking at different attack vectors. Over time the project improved and improved until SYRE came to be.
2. What is SYRE? Why is it called SYRE?
SYRE is a blockchain agnostic, tokenless, invoice-based protocol that aims to solve transaction surety. It is a way of sending invoices both on-chain and off-chain. These invoices have guarantees to ensure that the money you send goes to the right place. This means you don’t lose funds, and you have guarantees that you never had before with existing cryptocurrency payment systems. Cryptocurrencies expect senders to take all the responsibility without providing any of the safety. SYRE makes the whole experience more enjoyable and safer for the user rather than scary every time they are needed to send transactions.
The voice box of a bird is a syrinx . Originally, the idea was to use this name as this voice box relates to signalling theory. Birds signal to each other using their voice. They request things from each other using signals. The idea of an invoice being signalled over a blockchain related to syrinx quite well. I was happy to shorten syrinx down to a simple four-letter word, SYRE. I was very surprised the domain was still available, so I took it.
3. Is it safe to use? Why?
Invoices just thrown on a blockchain are not safe to use. That’s why SYRE isn’t just a two-line protocol. It’s actually a bit more complicated and the reason for that is because with blockchain, there are a lot of attack vectors. Everyone wants to steal your money, so you have to use cryptography and good systems design to prevent them from doing so. SYRE’s use of public key cryptography in the design gives users the benefits of preventing replay attacks on-chain and man-in-the-middle attacks off-chain. SYRE isn’t guaranteed to prevent all loss of money, since there’s no guarantee every developer will code everything perfectly into wallets. There are always potential holes and bugs. However, once developers implement SYRE correctly and as intended, there should not be any issues.