Hashing it Out: Highlights


In the 3rd ”Hashing it Out” episode, in the month of June, Jordan, one of our Senior Software Developers, and Matt, our Ecosystem Development Manager spoke about the latest news surrounding Nervos Network and the crypto space as a whole. 

Without further ado, let’s jump right into it!

Godwoken v1 updates: 

Godwoken v1 Layer 2 Mainnet launched on June 29th, which comes with major benefits including:

  • 100% EVM compatibility, unlike the previous version which was about 95% 
  • Faster and cheaper transactions built on top of Layer 1 which makes it very secure
  • No whitelisting process for new projects deploying on Godwoken v1. Unlike the v0, the Godwoken v1 will be completely open for the public 
  • Many partners agreed to launch after the Mainnet goes live including: XP Network, Celer Network, Multichain, PulsarSwap, Kollect, Candy Chain, Oblivion, Pools
  • XP Network: Cross chain NFT bridge (connecting about 10 chains) 
  • Celler Network: Bridge used to move tokens across chains
  • Kollect: NFT marketplace
  • PulsarSwap: A more advanced version of UniSwap that have a different way to calculate trades on AMMs
  • CandyChain: NFT minting related project
  • Oblivion: NFT marketplace

Nervos Network @ Crypto Conferences:

The crypto community is spread throughout our world, and even as virtual events taking place online are more common, face to face events are still an important part of connecting with people in this industry. For this reason Nervos sent representative teams to crypto conferences indlucing: 

  • Permissionless (West Palm Beach, Florida) – A major DeFi focused conference
  • Consensus (Austin, Texas) – One of the largest crypto conferences in North America put on by CoinDesk  
  • NFT NYC (New York City) – The leading Non-Fungible Token focused conference

BlockJam 2022 – GameJam 

The GameJam virtual conference commenced on June 17th and is continuing through July with the GameJam hackathon currently running.

  • The GameJam hackathon was extended for 1 week until July 11th 
  • The judging will take place for about 1 week following the hackathon 
  • The prize bounties are valued at a total of $50k

Community Q&As

Have there been any PoW projects that wanted to deploy on Layer 2?

I (Matt) have thrown this idea in the Telegram chat. The main point is that Layer 2 does not need PoW for security and consensus, so it could be used for other things, like the leader rotation on the roll-up. Godwoken has only 1 centralized sequencer (operator), there are various schemes for block production in optimistic rollups, however PoW is very easy to implement,  people would have to mine in order to add blocks. I haven’t heard anyone else throw around this idea, maybe there are reasons other approaches are better.

(Jordan) Another possibility that could be viable is the use of PoW on a sidechain, which is technically different from a Layer 2. The main problem with the Layer 2 PoW on top of Layer 1 PoW is that there is no security benefit added to the L2, we can compare this to PoS on top of PoW, where attacks against PoS are mitigated by L1’s PoW. There is also the  potential for the application layer to use PoW, especially for projects that are looking for a fair launch. PoW could be gamified in this way, to distribute assets to participants using computing power. 

Has Nervos Network ever thought about a Layer 3 or Layer 4 chain, and what would it look like on top of Mirana? 

Layer 4s are not a thing yet, but it would be just another level of abstraction. Layer 3’s however have started to appear in the industry. The CKB-VM’s flexibility would make it more conducive to the implementation of new ideas compared to EVM when thinking about the Layer 3 implementation. 

Layer 3s and Layer 4s could be a reality in the future, but there has to be a reason for them, a problem to be solved by these Layers. A general composable solution is the target, so more Layer 2s can be added in the future with ease. Most probably, a Layer 3 will be built on a Layer 2 that is built on a Cell Model. At the moment, you could put another Layer 2 such as a payment channel network on top of Godwoken to create a Layer 3.

Axon is the sidechain framework that will be released by Nervos. It can be used in 2 ways: a public network similar to how Godwoken functions now, or use it like in Axie Infinity’s case, and create your own framework out of the box (basically create your own blockchain) that will connect to Nervos Layer 1. 

A great use for Layer 3s and 4s in the future is the storage of huge amounts of very important data, for highly specialized applications, in a more centralized manner, given the very expensive price of data storage on a decentralized Layer 1. 

Why are EVM bridges not being rolled out and put on the roadmap when they should be more interoperable and compatible?

We currently have bridges to BSC and ETH, and as we speak they are 1 way bridges. This means that you can wrap assets from BSC/ETH and transfer them to CKB, but not the other way around. The ”Force Bridge” team is now working on activating the second way of the bridge, which will enable the users to wrap CKB/Nervos assets on ETH and BSC.

The main question is ”why can’t we extend this bridge to other EVM-based chains (like Avalanche, Cosmos etc)”, and the answer is that while much of the code is a   copy-paste, this is an oversimplification of the process. The operating and management of bridges is a significant responsibility, we’ve seen billions of dollars lost in bridge hacks, and is the reason it takes a lot of careful work to bring out more bridges.

A hacked bridge is catastrophic for a project because of the loss of confidence and the negativity that comes along, so a slower and safer approach to development is the way to go. 

What does the team see as the most pressing issues/challenges moving forward?

The biggest problem, which is also an industry wide problem, is the shortage of developer manpower. Every ecosystem is actively hiring, and Nervos is doing the same. We need the developers to come to us, who are capable of scaling the learning curve, and then they can decide to work on a specific needed task. 

There are many strategies used to solve this problem. Most chains out there just throw money, and it could bring results in a short timeframe, but in a longer timeframe, you need to sell a vision and the developers must be attracted and believe in the project that they are building. 

The whole industry is low on manpower, but this is also true for every individual chain. The learning curve is a steep process, and even Bitcoin core developers that have been working on the project for years have stated that they do not fully understand how Layer 2 works.

Of course, nobody can be an expert at everything. With the rise of EVM developers came many EVM compatible platforms, transforming the EVM experts into multi-platform experts. This is also one of the reasons we implemented an EVM chain, so Nervos will be able to tap into this big pool of developer manpower, in order to get enough critical mass of interest, to really explore the chain’s potential.

Even though EVM was considered to be something absolutely essential, it does not necessarily mean that it will be a viable option in the long term. We strongly believe in the Cell Model, and we know that EVM will never scale as well as the Cell Model, but the majority of developers are in the EVM industry and will take some time to turn them to our vision. It has taken more time than we first anticipated to actually scale up the eUTXO model, because of the unknown challenges we actively face, but we have been solving them and working through them. 

The Cell Model is the only solution that can use any blockchain scaling method. If you look at moving the Lightning Network to Ethereum you can see that it does not translate because you do not have UTXOs, but if you bring optimistic roll-ups to Nervos it works. When you put the Cell Model, the RISC-V VM (an emulation of physical hardware) against a software environment like EVM or Webassembly, we can clearly see a winner. 

Jordan & Matt’s Personal opinions on the general market sentiment

Matt: We are in a bear market, a washout time, and it is just the beginning. One takeaway I had from the Consensus Conference and the NFT NYC Conference is that there is still a lot of capital to be deployed to promote projects that over a 5 year timeframe will probably not be around. 

Many of the things that were relevant for the last 24 months will probably just fade away. From my perspective we have to work, grow, push the ecosystem and survive by strengthening our base, so when the world gets excited about crypto again they will know exactly why they should be excited about Nervos. 

Jordan: I am pretty convinced that this is going to be a bear market for the foreseeable future. There are many policies coming from the White House and other organizations, and they are not really good. There will probably be a global recession, which means that people will not have extra money for investing in crypto, because everything is priced in fiat. It is a pessimistic feeling, but the truth is that we were in a bubble and it popped, but I also can say that it is not the first bear market and it eventually it will recover with a high level of reassurance. 

I have been in this industry for quite some time, from 2011, and I do not even look at the value of my portfolio because my timeline is not few months, not even few years, but decades. There have been so many ups and downs in the market over the years, and until we get the mass adoption, they will still exist. To get mass adoption we need viable technologies. 

We thank both Jordan and Matt for making the 3rd ”Hashing it Out” episode a reality, and we will see you next month with the 4th episode. If you want to check the entire episode, simply click here

Make sure to be on the lookout for our next episode coming in at the end of July. 

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