The CEO of Radix DLT, Piers Ridyard, recently conducted a Q&A session with the 83,000 strong Satoshi Club Telegram community. The Satoshi Club members asked some excellent questions, covering everything from the inner working of the Blueprint Catalogue, the Radix consensus protocol Cerberus, GoodFi.com, and how Radix can reduce hacks and Exploits in DeFi.
The full transcript of the Q&A session is below.
Q. So, please tell us more about yourself - your past experiences/background and how Radix came to life.
I'm Piers Ridyard. I've been CEO of Radix for almost four years now. Before that, I founded a decentralized insurance startup called Surematics that went through YCombinator. I'm also the host of The DeFi Download, a podcast on all major podcast platforms (defidownload.com). If you're interested in DeFi, please do check it out; we’ve had Aave, Ren, mStable, and many others on.
Radix came to life before me - I joined the project in 2017, but Dan started working on the technology behind it way back in 2013, a year after he got into the Bitcoin community. I've been in crypto since 2015, but I'm a baby next to Dan.
Radix came about because Dan realized that while the promise of blockchain was revolutionary, the technology did not live up to the hype. Fast forward eight years, and this is where Radix is today!
Q. I think that reading through all the various Radix whitepapers, I've only managed to scratch the surface of what Radix is about and how revolutionary it will be in the cryptoverse!
What does Radix aim to bring to crypto?
Haha, it's all about those papers! Have you seen our new blog explainer series with infographics? It's pretty awesome and very readable. https://www.radixdlt.com/post/cerberus-infographic-series-chapter-i
Radix is a layer one protocol. That means it’s the base layer where data, tokens, and smart contracts live. Decentralized applications (or dApps) such as Uniswap can then be built out of those components. Ethereum, for example, is a layer one protocol.
Unlike Ethereum, Radix is a layer one protocol built specifically to serve DeFi; we like to say layer 1 DeFi done right. This is because Radix is the only decentralized network where developers will be able to build quickly without the constant threat of exploits and hacks, where every improvement will get rewarded, and where scale will never be a bottleneck.
Q. You want to tell me that it won't be possible to hack projects?
Hahaha - I won't go that far, but we make it MUCH easier to build and deploy secure code. We have created our own smart contract language called Scrypto. It has been developed as a result of spending a lot of time with DeFi developers, both from leading projects and from people just getting started.
The second massive issue in DeFi right now is a hidden one - the DeFi ecosystem is built on open-source code. Still, many open-source developers don't benefit from contributing to the community unless they build their own projects. This slows innovation and collaboration and means the space doesn't move as fast as it should or have as much talent as it should.
From interviews with leading projects, one of the biggest problems in Ethereum right now is Solidity talent. That is partially related to Solidity just being TERRIBLE, but also to this issue as well.
Q. I understand that Radix is a project that wants to solve problems worldwide using DeFi as a primary method. What methods do you plan to use to bring DeFi to all possible users and thus provide a fairer economy for all?
Oooooohhhh ok. I could talk for hours about many aspects of this, so I will try and keep this nice and tight! Our philosophy on this is actually pretty simple to explain. The internet changed the game for the competition for attention. Suddenly anyone could start a website and compete for the attention of anyone in the world. This lowered the barrier to entry and massively increased consumer choice and consumer utility. It ended up creating companies like Facebook and Google and Instagram, and Whatsapp; right now, we stand at the cusp of a new era of competition - the competition for capital.
What Radix does is lowers the barrier to entry for anyone in the world to compete for anyone's capital. This competition for global capital is going to RADICALLY reshape global finance. It will make it better, more accessible. That is how DeFi will eat the world of finance. That is what we built Radix to do.
Q. I read that Radix has its token, XRD, but also has another version of its token called eXRD, which it’s the main function is to allow users to move quickly between Ethereum and Radix. But is this the only use case for eXRD, or are there any other use cases for it?
Why didn’t you have one token capable of providing this quickness for users?
Also, it made me curious, if you have this token for a quick-moving between ETH and Radix, if later on Radix’s services are available on other blockchains, will you have other variants of XRD, such as a BEP-2O for BSC, for example?
Ha! Great question. So, we launched the eXRD back in November of 2020. This was launched to make sure that we had an excellent distribution of decentralized stakers for when the mainnet went live – so the first purpose was that of building decentralization of the network before it went live.
When the network goes live on the 28th of July, it will pass into its second purpose: a bridge between Ethereum and Radix. This means you can think of eXRD like wBTC on Ethereum. It is wrapped XRD on Ethereum, letting anyone who owns Radix tokens use both DeFi on Ethereum and DeFi on Radix when people start building DeFi applications in the Radix Ecosystem.
Yes, we expect that the XRD will end up appearing on a lot of networks, BSC, and others. We also have built Instabridge to make sure that all tokens on other networks can also be brought onto the Radix network.
Instabridge is our cross-ledger bridging service, and it goes live with eXRD -> XRD when the network goes live (or shortly after). We will be adding more tokens and more networks over the next few months after that.
Q. Did you have an IDO, or in which way distribution was done?
We did a straight token sale, Lots of reasons for that, most of them boring and legal in nature.
Q. What will be XRD's main features, and where is it possible to buy eXRD currently?
Basic features of the XRD:
- Used to pay for transactions, operations, deployments, and DeFi on Radix
- Used to stake on Radix to earn staking rewards (300m XRD per year available to stakers)
- 100% of fees are burnt
The main places to buy right now are Kucoin, Bitfinex, Gate.io, MXC, and Uniswap.
For the full list, go here: go.radixdlt.com/RadixWebsite and click “buy tokens” at the top.
Q. How will the token bridge work? And of course how fast it will be?
Our first bridge is a centralized service, with trustless bridging coming later (as that takes more development and testing, and adding new ledgers and tokens quickly is much harder). It will take about 10 minutes to get between Ethereum and Radix, depending on Ethereum congestion.
Q. Good speed! Which assets will we be able to bridge? Only XRD?
The bridge starts with eXRD -> XRD. We'll be looking to add all ERC20 tokens and BTC as soon as we can after that. We'll then start looking at other chains like BSC as well. It would also then allow you to move between each of those chains directly. Also considering making a faster Polygon bridge, but that will take a bit more time to sort out.
Q. How will “Scrypto” be better than Solidity? How will you achieve all these without breaking composability which is often the case with solutions built to tackle scalability?
This person has done their research!
Radix solves these three issues by delivering:
- A purpose-built DeFi programming environment that will enable fast AND secure development. This makes sure Developers on Radix can build fast & don’t break things.
- A system of on-ledger royalties that will reward those that contribute dApp code to the ecosystem. This rewards everyone that makes the ecosystem better, even if they don't build entire dApps.
- A consensus algorithm that will provide unlimited scalability without breaking DeFi composability. Enabling scalability without friction.
This makes Radix the only decentralized network where developers will build quickly without the constant threat of exploits and hacks. Every improvement will get rewarded, and where scale will never be a bottleneck.
Regarding Scrypto, We haven't released that much information about Scrypto yet - it has merely been teased a lot. That will be released towards the end of this year, and the full details will be out then. However! I will say this. That will be released towards the end of this year, and the full details will be out then. However! I will say this.
Q. Does the fact that you will have your own language mean that developers will need to undergo some retraining? How easy will it be?
Yes, it does. We use the Rust methodology of language design and delivery. Rust is pretty easy to pick up, but it has a very VERY picky compiler. If you do anything the language thinks is stupid, it will throw an error, the language won't even compile. This means that loads of issues are picked up in what is called “compile-time.”
On Scrypto, we applied the same principles but to DeFi development. This means that if your code has some sort of error or common mistake (like recursion errors), it won't even compile. This is like a guardian angel looking over your shoulder.
So, yes, you have to learn a new language. But I promise any developer that after they have built with Scrypto, they would NEVER want to go back to Solidity.
The last part of this question - not breaking composability, Im going to say that this is a VERY long and pretty complex answer. At a high level, it is essential to DeFi. If anyone wants to go deeper, then this is the starting point to understand how we achieve this in depth: http://go.radixdlt.com/Satoshi.
Q. Olympia Mainnet Launching is on 28th of July. In your blog, you have indicated that the Radix Desktop Wallet will be included in this release.
Do you take responsibility for the funds we keep in Radix Desktop Wallets? Why did you choose this particular wallet?
Why did we choose this particular wallet? I mean, we built it! Haha.
The wallet itself is built using headerless chromium - for anyone not familiar with it; it is the core of the Chrome web browser. That comes with a bunch of great tools around best security practices for storing private keys locally etc.
Then, in addition, we are working on the final stages of getting the Ledger Nano S integrated with the desktop wallet so that people can use an external hardware wallet if they wish to for extra security.
Q. What about a mobile wallet?
Not to start off with, all desktop while we test out things like mainnet staking. Launching too many wallets simultaneously is not a good idea for a bunch of reasons.
As is pretty normal for the space, we do not take responsibility for funds kept on third-party devices. All software is open source and provided “as is” under the normal set of open source licenses. We are doing everything we can to make sure that people can hold their own crypto securely, but crypto is still very much down to your own security at the end of the day.
Q. True, you're doing everything step-by-step.
We are looking at ways of substantially improving this in future iterations of the Radix Wallet and future functionality on the ledger itself to make things like wallet recovery easier and more intuitive.
Q. In your white paper, you state that “The Component Catalog and Developer Royalties provide the foundations of a fully decentralized marketplace for Component development.” Related to this I read that developers of Components may freely set their own per-transaction royalties and that they will be enforced by the Radix protocol.
What benefits for the users of your platform will be generated thanks to this feature that allows component developers to set their own per-transaction royalties?
How does Radix intend to enforce this per-transaction royalty system? How will it provide more benefits to the independent developers who participate in this magnificent project?
Great Question, As with all great questions, not a simple answer, but I will do my best
The basic principle of the on-ledger code library and the on-ledger royalty system is to create a marketplace between developers and DeFi project builders. Because Radix is a permissionless, open-source system, we have no way of granting any one piece of code a monopoly on any given function.
So if you created a great little Uniswap clone and I made a great little Uniswap clone, and we both put it into the Component Catalog, we may both get business, or neither of us might get business. This comes down to the market demand for what you have built and the prices you have set for the royalties. All of these are set by the developer when they add a Component to the Catalog.
The royalties themselves are enforced at the protocol level. This means that they actually become part of the transactional charging structure when calling a component as a user or instantiating it as a developer; it just looks like part of the transactional charge for use. This means that they cannot be got around once a component has been put up - if you want to use that component, you have to pay the fees. If you don't, the free market applies.
Q. Let's say I need a component for, hmmm, my bicycle, like the break. I decide to use a particular component, but can I adapt the component code for my purposes?
Yes, but not in the way you are thinking. The on-ledger library is very much like GitHub, meaning that if you push an update, that is an available merge. Still, each person that has integrated the component has the option to upgrade the component or not. You can change any component code for your purpose.
But you can never force a change on anyone else at any point. This prevents people from doing things like hiking fees or introducing back doors or anything like that.
Q. I love this modular design. I think it also leads to more standardized code that can reduce the risk of possible flaws.
Yea, that is the idea. Git is such an excellent tool for coding development and deployment; this takes all the great things about git and adds attribution and royalties.
Q. A part of the Radix ecosystem is an initiative called the “GoodFi Alliance”, which is a shared mission towards the target of 100 million DeFi users, founded by Radix and supported by notable projects like; Chainlink, Bepro, Oneiro, StakeHound, and many more.
What help and assistance would the GoodFi Alliance provide? How can users join or get involved?
Great question. We love GoodFi. We have many new parts to the website that we created over the last couple of months that will be going live soon, and we are hoping it will help newbies get started! The basic idea of this is to create a website with all of the resources you would want to give to your friend if they asked you, “what is this DeFi thing, and how do I get started”. We created it because the whole DeFi space is currently very geared to insiders. It is difficult to understand and VERY difficult not to end up making a mistake.
We created it because the whole DeFi space is currently very geared to insiders. It is difficult to understand and VERY difficult not to end up making a mistake. Long-term - we want to get into DeFi as quickly as opening an Instagram account. That's a long way off, but I think the entire industry is aligned with that goal. Only then does the industry start breaking into the mainstream!
Q. How long has your Betanet been going for? How has it been so far?
Two months. Betanet has been solid and we are delighted with the results of the testing.
The next network to come out is Stokenet, which is our persistent testnet, and that goes live this week! That is the full sandbox for any dev looking to test before they deploy against the mainnet.
Q. Notoros is level 2 of Radix, right? What is the relationship between Notoros and Olympia launch mainnet?
Haha, they call themselves level 1.5– their Solidity environment will be live on Olympia and will let anyone who wants to test out the Radix network speed and security but use solidity to do so. We love what they are doing. They are not team members, just some super-smart peeps from the Radix community.
Q. How will Radix end the betanet and integrate it into the Olympic system? What will happen to the wallets and private information of the users in betanet? Will Olympia, Alexandria, Babylon, Xi’an be interconnected?
Betanet doesn’t integrate into the Mainnet, it is just a temporary test network that we have now taken down. Stokenet will be persistent, but we will periodically re-set it and wipe the state to keep it light and easy to test against.
Olympia, Alexandria, Babylon, and Xi’an will be state compatible with each other, meaning that anything you do on one network will always be carried through to the next.
Q. The smart contract audit is critical on DeFi projects, so with Radix, will there be no need for smart contract audit if the system is so secure?
Audits will always be necessary for any code that is expected to be dealing with large amounts of money. Scrypto does not remove the need to audit code, but it makes the audit process MUCH simpler and substantially reduces the cost of audits. This is quite technical, but an essential part of an audit is working out how a smart contract might get into an error state.
Since Scrypto compiles down and runs on the Radix Engine rather than the EVM, all code is run within a finite state machine. This is the same execution environment that is used within nuclear power station control systems. Essentially, it is MUCH more secure because it is much harder for the system to get into error states in the first place.
Because of this, auditing Scrypto code should be a lot cheaper and a lot faster than auditing Solidity code. We still advise auditing, though!
Q. Radix is the first layer-one protocol specifically built to serve DeFi. Radix introduces a scalable, “secure-by-design”, a composable platform with a DeFi centric development environment to make it easy to build and launch scalable DeFi products.
Could you explain the secure-by-design part, please?
The Radix consensus algorithm is called “Cerberus” – we have done a load of very deep theoretical work on proving that we can deliver atomic composability without breaking linear scalability – including doing a bunch of research work with the consensus and blockchain research team at the University of California Davis and Prof Mohammed Saddogi.
This ended up with writing the mathematical proofs behind our consensus model: Cerberus: Minimalistic Multi-shard Byzantine-resilient Transaction Processing, August 2020
This underpins our cross-shard consensus. On top of this, we use proof of stake to secure the network.
On Radix, anyone with XRD can stake (at least 100 XRD), even if they do not run a node. This is designed to make staking to secure the network as easy as possible. The combination of Cerberus and Proof of Stake keep our network both scalable and secure.
Q. Recently, Radix was listed on Kucoin. So, what is the future listing plan of Radix? Is there any plan to get listed on more CEX/DEX?
There is always more in the pipeline!
Q. What distinguishes the components developed by Radix Engine as Ethereum smart contract solution methods from the difficulties they are supposed to solve?
What role does this technology play in the construction of Ethereum chains, and how can it be used? Do you intend to integrate multi-chain in the future?
This has been covered a lot, but I wanted to answer the part about Ethereum chains – the short answer is no, our technology cannot really ever be applied to Ethereum chains.
This is good because it gives Radix a long-term advantage that any network that has adopted Ethereum technology (Polkadot, Avalanche, etc) will struggle to catch up with. We definitely intend to integrate with many chains though, that is what Instabridge and related services are ALL about!
Q. Please share a list of Tier 1 & Tier 2 exchanges on which eXRD is listed?
Bitfinex, Kucoin, Gate.io, AscendEX (Bitmax), MXC.
Q. Can you explain your Tokenomics Distribution? And How many tokens will be locked by the team?
12Bn XRD at go-live. The maximum supply of 24Bn. 300m emitted every year as proof of stake rewards. 2.4Bn locked for the team.
Q. How would you introduce Radix DLT to folks who are unfamiliar with cryptocurrency? Do you have any tutorial videos on your project that we could watch to understand more about it? Could you please provide the essential links so that we may learn more about your platform?
Absolutely! This is a GREAT starting point: http://go.radixdlt.com/Satoshi – I also recommend our youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/radixdlt plus if you want to dive deeper, come to join our community:
Or if you like a mailer, our newsletter comes out every two weeks and has lots of great information in it as well: http://go.radixdlt.com/RadixMailingList.