AMA Recap NanoNews with Nervos Network


Thank you to the NanoNews Community for participating in Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Nervos Network on September 3, 2020. This guest star Matt Quinn, Community Relations. If you were unable to join the live AMA, no worries, here comes our 56th AMA recap!

We are glad to meet here:
Matt Quinn, Community Relations at Nervos Network
For taking your time out from busy schedule for the AMA!

Introduction Session

Q1: Can you introduce yourself to the community? What is your background and how did you join Nervos Network?

sure thing! I was a financial systems consultant for a long time and noticed that Bitcoin seemed like a really good system for managing money, kind of a vision of the future. I co-founded a blockchain focused coworking space in San Francisco and met a couple members of the Nervos team there

they needed some help with some articles and I became really interested in what they were building so I started helping out and have just continued to get more involved in the project since then

Q2: Can you briefly describe what is Nervos Network?

Nervos is a layered blockchain network that can do smart contracts, tokens, etc. that we are used to seeing nowadays. It makes the decision to stick with some important principles that have supported the blockchain’s growth, proof of work, a single chain, anyone can run a node, etc.

This means we have to scale using Layer 2 solutions, similar to how BTC will scale, but Nervos can support any kind of computation, so this opens up a lot more possibilities for these solutions

Q3: What companies/projects do you see as competitors, and how does Nervos Network stand out compared to them?

I think all of the blockchain’s today are competing for liquidity and developer attention, so in this sense any popular smart contract platform is a competitor.

However Nervos is designed to scale at Layer 2, so a developer who wants to build on TRON/EOS/Solana or any other project that maximizes for TPS at Layer 1 is not a great fit for building on Nervos, there is just some additional work to be done today.

Nervos will stand out because of the user experience in Layer 2 solutions and focus on developer experience. We also believe that the focus of Nervos on creating a sustainable blockchain will be a big differentiator, a developer can build something and know that it will run for a long time without requiring changes because the underlying blockchain is having scaling problems

Q4. What is the use-case of the The Nervos Network?

Nervos is very general, so it can cover a wide variety of use cases which we don’t really know at this point.

I can share some things that we see right now- it will provide for safer DeFI due to the programming model, it can do any kind of cryptography so moving standard internet authorization methods on to Nervos will be possible in a way that we don’t see with other blockchains, so we will likely see decentralized identity use cases come from this.

Also for users that prioritize verification, like Bitcoin’s “don’t trust, verify” will like Nervos, which is a very different kind of situation compared to Ethereum and the other smart contract platforms that require users to trust information that they are provided from a full node run by someone else or internet gateway to a full node

Q5. What are the major milestones Nervod Network achieved so far & what are in future pipeline?

in 2018 and 2019 the focus was on delivering the Layer 1 blockchain, which is called CKB or ‘common knowledge base’, from there the focus has been on Layer 2 solutions and developer tooling

Recently we delivered 3 key pieces of tooling for developers, Capsule which allows for contract development in Rust, Lumos which is for building a website that interacts with Nervos and Polyjuice, which allows for Ethereum smart contracts (written in Solidity, Vyper, etc) to run on Nervos

We are looking forward to delivering light client functionality which will allow for verification of the blockchain in a web browser or mobile app etc, a programming language that priotizes safety, a sidechain framework Muta and cross-chain communication framework Axon, a framework for bridging to other blockchains (like Bitcoin or Ethereum) called toCKB and some research on payment channel networks and optimizations to the CKB virtual machine that will increase the throughput of the blockchain

Twitter Session

Q1: Does Layer 1 Really Fix Layer 2 Problems? how will do? don’t each layer work separately? Could nerves really beat Bitcoin and Etherium? What do you think it takes to achieve this and how long?

I do have some confidence that changing the Layer 1 can fix the Layer 2 problems. With Bitcoin’s Layer 2 problems, it is clear that Bitcoin is very constrained and this limits the amount of innovation that can be carried out. For example, there is the “eltoo” proposal for a better Lightning network on Bitcoin, which will likely take years to implement, we are working on this on Nervos today

Ethereum supports any kind of computation which creates alot of opportunity for innovation but we have not seen very much adoption of Layer 2 in Ethereum, this could be due to prioritization from developers or the architecture of Ethereum. It is not clear where the issue comes from but with Nervos we are prioritizing application development at Layer 2, building those frameworks and have created a new architecture that we feel is better for Layer 2

I don’t think Nervos has to beat Bitcoin or Ethereum, but I do believe it has the potential to rise to the top of the blockchain ecosystem because of it’s unique design and the new things it enables for users and developers. Ethereum didn’t set out to beat Bitcoin, but it was still able to create it’s own ecosystem and industry, I think Nervos has a similar opportunity

Q2: No Doubt, the development of DApps is KEY to mass adoption of blockchain. Can you tell us how does Keyper simplifies application development and improves the user-friendliness of Nervos applications?

this is a great question, I am glad people are noticing Keyper! Keyper is to address a challenge that is created from the flexibility enabled by Nervos.

For example, if you check out the with a Web3 enabled browser, you can see that you can use an Ethereum wallet to interact with Nervos. The team is now working on a similar offering that uses TRON wallets.

These different blockchains use different cryptographic standards, so on Nervos a particular wallet may use a particular cryptographic standard and we need a way to users to easily manage this. Supporting widely accepted standards is really the first step, because these things are programmable we will see more innovation in the logic that is used to hold the funds.

Keyper allows for a user to manage different wallets that are using different methods of authentication and abstracts this complexity away from the user having to think about it.

Q3: What has been the most challenging part of developing the NervosNetwork? What’s the biggest challenge you currently face in order to get this project finalized?

I think there is the challenge of standing out from the crowd, we are working very hard on communicating the opportunity for developers and users that Nervos presents and over time I believe the innovation behind the project and long-term mindset will set the project apart.

A very important part of this is building a community of developers and enthusiasts that love Nervos. We have various programs for bringing on community leaders and innovators and are getting ready to kick off regular public hackathons to really showcase the possibilities.

A big long term challenge is in the Layer 2 innovation area. There has been much research on this topic and plenty of theoretical knowledge but we are at the forefront of implementing these solutions and stepping through the issues that will arise as they get adopted. It will be a area of research, development and implementation for the project for a long time as we scale to supporting an internet scale user base

Q4: In the Nervos network, is it possible to save only crypto-currencies or also data? For the storage of these assets is it necessary to pay a monthly fee or subscription?

Yes you can store cryptocurrencies or any kind of data on Nervos. The storage part is really just a binary field of data, so anything can be placed there.

Users indirectly pay for storing data on the blockchain through inflation. To store data on-chain, you need CKB tokens. 1 CKB = 1 byte of on-chain storage.

While data is being stored the holder is losing a small amount of value over time to inflation. When the user releases that data, they still own the underlying CKB and can lock that CKB in the Nervos DAO to no longer be losing that value to inflation.

The inflation generated from users storing data goes to miners securing the blockchain, ensuring they always have an incentive to mine.

Q5: Im still trying to get my head around how Nervos scripts work. Let say a UDT is created and dev locks up CKB, does every user that wants to acquire that UDT have to lock up CKB as well? Can they pull the plug on a token if they unlock their CKB?

Great question! Yes, all data that is stored on-chain needs CKB.

So a developer would create their UDT definition using their CKB, and then holders would have tokens in cells that were created using their CKB.

A developer could remove the UDT definition if the UDT script allowed them to do so (the definition could also be deployed in a way that it is clear to everyone that it could never be removed, by just not encoding the capability for the cell to ever be removed or changed)

Live AMA

Q1. Nervos being a variant of Bitcoin but improved, is this CKB consensus completely complete and perfect? or would I still need improvement? which would be?

NC-Max does build on alot of insights from examining the different variants of PoW that have been proposed and used, there is ongoing analysis and formalization of it

What is RISC-V technology and how important is this technology in the Nervos Network & please explain in short how it works.

RISC-V is a computing instruction set, it is the lowest level that your hardware understands. This allows for the virtual machine of CKB to do any kind of computation and for very accurate estimations of the time it will take for a computer to verify a transaction or block

Q2. What is the Eaglesong hash function? Why is it important in safety?

Eaglesong is a new hash function that was designed by a researcher for Nervos. It was designed to be quickly verifiable, this is great for light clients that need to know the longest chain with very little computation power.

Because of its simplicity, it lowers the barrier to entry for ASIC manufacturers and is intended to produce a decentralized ecosystem for hardware manufacturers, so mining equipment is not dominated by any big player

Q3. What are Nervos plans to educate and raise awareness and adoption among the community to make more people understand Nervos its technology?

We want to empower community leaders that feel strongly about the prospects for Nervos through our Regional Community leads program and offering grants.

We also want to support developers that are coming in early, through hackathons and the CK Labs incubator

Q4. Is NERVOS portal wallet available for both ANDROID and IOS users?

Yes, you can use it on any Web3 enabled browser, like Opera, imToken, etc.

Q5. You say that even a smart contract does not have permission for the asset. What mechanisms work in this case?

Each user holds the tokens in a “cell” that their key controls, any transactions need to conform to the rules that are defined in the “cell” that contains the token definition, however the tokens can only move if the owner’s key signs the transaction.

On other smart contract platforms, a contract has control of the tokens and if someone can create a transaction that moves tokens that “belong” to someone else, it is ok

Using the PoW model consumes a lot of energy and wastes, and sometimes slows down the network.

Q6. Why did Nervos choose a PoW model to function (decentralized) and not another one like PoS?

PoW has been in operating for over a decade and we have a good idea of the security model of PoW, PoS is much more experimental and there are still many open research issues.

PoW is permissionless consensus, if a user has the hardware, they can mine the chain. PoS has a permission element, the user needs to receive the cryptocurrency on-chain in order to become a validator, and the existing validator set can censor this transaction.

PoW is the right fit for infrastructure, PoS is the right fit for application-level functionality.

Q7. Regarding CKbyte, I read that it represents the property of the block chain and is designed to be used as a value store, that is, does it have a purely symbolic value? What would be the most significant uses of CKbyte?

the CKByte connects the adoption of the blockchain to security of it.

CKBytes are scarce (similar to Bitcoin), as demand rises relative to supply (which comes with adoption) the CKByte will appreciate. Block rewards to miners securing the chain are denominated in CKBytes, so as adoption rises (and value transacted on-chain rises), the security (hashpower) of the network is incentivized to increase

Q8. Where does the project name come from? What does it mean for you and why did you choose that name for your project?

Nervos is short for “nerves of society”. We already know that blockchains are massive engines for coordinating the actions of individuals and businesses, additionally we know that our entire world is organized through transactional relationships and financial and other computer systems.

Nervos is a network that is designed to serve as the nervous system of our society, creating secure and permissionless technical infrastructure as the foundation of a digital economy.

Nervos talk:

Thank you for trusting NanoNews as the organizer of the event today, hopefully everyone can understand about Nervos Network

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