BlockTalks x Agoric AMA Transcript!

We recently hosted an AMA with Agoric, on September 13th at 7.00 PM UTC. Many of you might have participated or many of not. But we make sure no one missed out from the knowledge shared by Dean Tribble, CEO at Agoric So here we are up with the AMA transcript, for those who missed the live session, this blog post will be a saver & feeder of knowledge for them.

Introduction Questions Asked By Team BlockTalks!

Q1. Could you please introduce Agoric to our community in layman’s term?

Ans — In a word, “programmability”.

Imagine 10M+ JavaScript developers able to innovate in DeFi, using the same tools they are already experts with.

There’s lots of entrepreneurial, financially motivated, experienced fintech developers out there. Many have checked out current blockchains and backed off because of how hard and how unsafe programming them is. We enable them to join other crypto …

Q2. What are the advantages of Agoric to other alternatives in the Blockchain field?

Ans — In a word, “programmability” :D. But yes let me expand on that:

So #1, hardened JavaScript. You have to meet programmers where they are at to get broad adoption. Asking people to learn a new language is fine to start with, but limits how many developers can participate.

#2 a real framework: I’ve seen numerous systems talk about “we support <language X>”. That’s not enough. I’ll use ReactJS — a JS framework for user interfaces — as an example. With ReactJS, beginning programmers could quickly create a better, faster, more interactive application than experts could before it in the same JS language because they had a framework that helped support building user interfaces. We provide the same kind of framework in JS for building and working with digital assets. That makes it faster and safer to produce new DeFi dapps.

A a final #3: A thriving economy — The Agoric chain is launching along with core economic institutions that enable our collateral-backed stable local currency (RUN) and native AMM. Those are built with the same framework, tools, and components that we make available to 3rd party devs to build their own dapps in that environment.

Lots more I could dive into as we get later questions :)

Q3. What are the major milestones Agoric achieved so far & what are in the future pipeline?

Ans — Our roadmap to date has been filled with milestones we’re proud of, most notably:

Agoric Beta — This gave developers the opportunity to play with our AMM and local stable currency, program and test smart contracts with them, build NFTs using our framework, etc., all in our ongoing testnet.

Incentivized Testnet — with 150+ participants (selected from 6,000 applicants). They completed 4,000+ tasks and we learned an enormous amount.

Developer Bounties — We’ve posted $30,000 in bounties to date with many more coming! Several in progress and a few completed.

Keplr integration — so people can start generating their addresses for our upcoming mainnet0

I’ll stop here unless I should start posting more numbers :)

Questions Asked on Twitter For Agoric Team!

Q1. Use technology to give humanity an advantage to achieve our goals and create a more cooperative world. How does Agoric offer developers and companies a useful ecosystem to solve or contribute to the greater problems of humanity?

Ans — That goes back to our mission:

More cooperation leads to a more cooperative world! We have a big hammer to help with that:

Smart contracts! I like to start with our definition. “A smart contract is software that enforces the terms of a contract-like arrangement between multiple parties. “

The key there, is that smart contracts enable more strangers to cooperate with each other safely. That leads to more cooperation and thus a more cooperative world

That’s why it’s so important to make it easy for millions of developers to build their own smart contracts. We don’t want to trade “make a contract using lawyers” for “make a contract using a few, scarce, expensive developers”.

Q2. I’m told that most web apps are developed in Javascript — but it’s not necessarily secure. How do these intersect in Agoric? How can a dev be using Javascript to make their apps on Agoric securely?

Ans — Great question! We get asked this question quite often so it’s important to us.

There’s a wide perception in the market that JavaScript is insecure. That’s mostly because, like many programming languages, it starts out very malleable. Any library can change what, for example, reading a string does to make it “read the string and send a copy to another country” or even “and also find their private key and send that too”. That’s bad. And clearly insecure.

However, the Agoric team — along with others — have been successfully pushing to improve the security of the JavaScript standard for decades, and specifically to add to standard JavaScript the ability to lock down, or HARDEN, the malleable core. The result is that instead of building on quicksand, we are building on concrete. So hardened JavaScript is JavaScript that is suited to financial application, wallets, dapps, etc.

It’s used in Salesforce AppExchange, it will be used for the next gen of extensible wallet from MetaMask, it’s used for Cosmos access in cosmjs, in Web2 brokerage terminals, etc.

Q3. You comment that the Agoric team has been working on smart contracts for decades, since long before it was called blockchain. Can you tell us a bit about those early days and how you have used that experience to build Agoric?

Ans — Sure. My definition of smart contract above predates blockchain. Before blockchain that software had to be run by a third party; e.g., EBay, PayPal, Lyft, etc. So the market cap of smart contracts is measured in the Trillions even before blockchain. Nick Szabo had been thinking about the core ideas at the time. He basically pointed and said: “that thing you are doing. Here’s why it’s a general idea and why it’s so awesome.” :)

Blockchain adds high integrity execution so that noone can corrupt what the smart contract is doing. That let’s us not need the trusted third party, and just rely on the contract directly. That makes it much easier to coordinate directly with strangers, knowing that some 3rd party can’t step in an change things on you.

Q4. A strong community not only brings interesting ideas to the project but also attracts larger partners. So how agoric planning to build its community? And is there a plan to recruit people with Blockchain experience to the agoric team?

Ans — We recently hired several new team members who are bringing tremendous expertise to our team. We’re very much believers of growing our team of talented professionals. We are definitely growing.

We also have started several programs such as the developer bounty program and incentivized testnet to get the technical community involved.

And we have started an “community advocates” program. So far we are covering 4 regions: Turkey, Russia, India and Singapore. We are happy to see pro-active community members and are open for cooperation suggestions from them.

Finally, we have several more programs in the pipeline, especially for kicking off developer communities on the platform.

Q5. I tried Agoric Beta version & I’m curious to know about Earn Bounty segment. Will it be for the finding out of bugs in Smart Contracts developed by you? What are the offerings on behalf of catching bugs?

Ans —As we head toward our Mainnet Phase 1 launch we will have an Adversarial phase of our incentivized testnet, which will serve to provide bug bounties in the Agoric-specific contracts.

We’ve actually paid bounties for early hardened JavaScript issues.

This bug bounty program will likely expand as we approach our Mainnet Phase 3, in which permissionless code can be deployed.

Questions Asked by our BlockTalks Community Members during live Session to Agoric Team!!

Q1. Agoric seems kinda complex especially for average crypto users who are not into smart contract/ blockchain development and other complicated fields. Could you tell us how an average investor could benefit from Agoric or the project is targeting solely developers?

Ans — Our focus right now is on developers so that they can rapidly make usable apps for their customers. Check out my demo next week at Messari for an idea of how easy that makes apps.

BTW I’ve asked Rowland our product manager to help answer some of these while I work from the top :)

Q2. It caught my attention that they have a consistent unit that allows the dApps to work together, but really then all the dApps that are developed on the same Agoric Blockchain can be linked and work together? but how will that “consistent unit of account” really work?

Ans — Having RUN — a stable local currency — available, used for all the services a contract needs (e.g., gas for execution), easy to get, easy to price in, etc. will speed up development becaues each contract doesn’t need to sort that. It makes it easier to reuse components because they are all already in terms of RUN, etc.

Q3. I understand that we can choose the components that best suit the dApps to be developed, but is there really a limit of components that I can choose? if not, then we can develop dApps that have all its components and can work without problems?

Ans — Each “component” is just a JavaScript module, as are the contracts. So you can absolutely build your own. That enabels the same kind of exponential composability that ReactsJS and Vue give to UI developers: you get to build on the components that other developers produces, and add your own to the community.

Q4. Some teams try very hard until the tokens are listed, but then they fall into silence and the project becomes unclaimed. How can we be sure that Agoric team will move forward in line with your Roadmap and your sincerity?

Ans — The Agoric chain is essentially the life’s work of a bunch of the founding team. Take a look at some old Youtube videos by Mark Miller our chief scientist to get a sense of both the depth of care that we take in our development and the ethics and dedication of the team.

Q5. I read that all kinds of digital assets can be easily created, but importantly, they can be transferred in exactly the same ways, with exactly the same security properties. This sounds like a magic to me, how were you guys able to do it? What’s the secret behind this?

Ans — In terrible pseudocode: kun.enjoy(concertTicket);

dean.payment(kunPurse.withdraw(“30 RUN”))

Check out https://agoric.com/documentation/getting-started/beta.html

Q6. If there really are other networks that are much faster and easier to use, why should we really prefer to develop our dApps with Agoric? simply because they have a library of components that will facilitate development? or do they have many other reasons?

Ans — Developer experience will drive how quickly new things become possible on any chain. We’ll have the best developer experience :). Our chain itself will also have the fast finality of Tendermint chains. User UX will feel very similar on Agoric vs. other chains as well.

Q7. Speaking of your compatible library, do the options you offer us have an additional cost or are they totally free for the entire community?

Ans — Dean Tribble | Agoric, [14-Sep-2021 at 1:48:22 AM]:

Pretty much everything is open source of Github! Our goal is to enable developers to build amazing dapps so we want to provide things they will build from!

Jose: ocap is a little too deep to get into here. Check out our technical talks on YouTube.

Q8. Staking program is essential for any project, Can I stake AGORIC tokens? Do you have plans to start a staking program?

Ans — Agoric is a proof of stake chain. BLD holders will stake to secure the system

Q9. Can you explain what measures you have taken to ensure the security of the Agoric ecosystem and to ensure the security of all your stakeholders at the maximum level? Are there any chances of security issues arising from your smart contract?

Ans — There are always chances of bugs with any contract and anyone who says differently is being dishonest. That said, our contracts will go through thorough security review and red team attacks (not to mention having bug bounties out) to ensure they’re hardened before launch. For third parties developing permissionlessly on our chain, the framework itself will help prevent common issues.

Q10. You say that Agoric provides a safer environment, but how do you really achieve that environment? Could it be that they are made up of specific mechanisms and technologies that provide this security? If so, what would these mechanisms be used?

Ans — Offer safety is a good example: https://agoric.com/blog/technology/offer-safety-partitioning-risk-in-smart-contracts/ . It systematically makes all client interactions with contracts safer across the board, eliminating a class of bugs that ha cost Eth clients billions. Non-rentrancy is another. All these make programming in Agoric much safer.

Here are some important links of Agoric 👇

⦿ Website ⦿ Twitter ⦿ Telegram ⦿ YouTube

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