Radix DLT CEO Piers Ridyard Q&A with Crypto Bureau

Radix DLT
22nd March 2021

The CEO of Radix DLT, Piers Ridyard, recently conducted a Q&A with one of the leading Chinese crypto communities, Crypto Bureau. Piers covered a range of topics including; how Radix will solve recent security issues in DeFi protocols, the difference between Layer 1 Protocols, the differences between Cerberus and other consensus algorithms, and the Radix Developer royalty system.

This interview was coordinated by the Radix community and conducted in Mandarin, as such we have included the Mandarin and English versions.

For those new to Radix DLT, can you give us a brief introduction?

Radix is the Smart Money Protocol, a next-generation layer 1 platform that does not have the limitations of current layer 1 platforms. Radix has demonstrated 1.4 million TPS in 2018. This is the world record still today. Our new consensus algorithm ‘Cerberus’ is able to theoretically scale infinitely. We will deliver this capability in 3 steps: from 50 TPS to thousands of TPS, to unlimited TPS. We have a strong team with backgrounds at ConsenSys, Microsoft, Nvidia and Y-Combinator who are experienced in delivering complex products. All of our last milestones were delivered ahead of time. 

A big focus for us is developers. With Radix, developers can build fast without the massive security and exploit risks on Ethereum. Some information around this is already public, such as the Component Catalogue and Blueprints. We are excited to share more information soon. Also, we think that we are incentivizing the right people in our network, the developers for creating valuable components and the validators for securing the network. Scalability is important of course, on Radix dApps can scale to millions of users without friction because we don’t have a built-in TPS limit thanks to our innovative technology. 

At Radix we have big goals, we want to fundamentally change the current financial system because we think it is not a fair system. It is time to build a new financial system and Radix wants to be the platform on which the new decentralized financial system is built. To help with this, Radix has founded the GoodFi Alliance (GoodFi.com). The goal is to bundle the industry’s resources to educate and onboard the next 100 million people from the traditional financial system to DeFi. Many big players have joined us, like Aave, Chainlink, mStable and dozens of others. We are very thankful and are confidently looking into the future. We have 3 major milestones coming up with our Cassandra research network, our Betanet at the end of April and our mainnet by end of Q2. Exciting times at Radix!

Achieving global scalability while maintaining security and decentralisation is known as the “impossible triangle of the blockchain”.

Radix claims to have solved this problem while maintaining the composability of the entire platform.

How have you done it?

To achieve (practically) unlimited scalability Radix employs sharding of their network with 2^256 shards, which is roughly comparable to the total number of atoms in the known universe. Each of these 2^256 shards can process around 3000 TPS independently.

Due to the large number of shards nearly all transactions are cross-shard transactions by default.

Radix’s cross-shard consensus algorithm Cerberus ensures atomic composability for these transactions across the entire platform. Cerberus is highly parallelized, atomic and asynchronous which enables fast and atomic cross-shard transactions at a global scale.

Cerberus dynamically braids the involved shards of a cross-shard transaction together and the whole transaction either succeeds or fails together in an atomic way.

Radix is positioned to build a Layer 1 platform for decentralised finance. Compared with other Layer 1 platforms on the market such as Near, what are some of the differences and advantages of the Radix method of sharding?

The unique advantage of Radix’s sharding approach is that it is the only one that does not break atomic composability while achieving linear scalability. All other competing sharded layer 1 platforms sacrifice composability to get some scalability via sharding, which is not sustainable.

Near’s scalability is limited because it requires too many nodes (1 million nodes are needed for only a total of 10K TPS) and also breaks atomic composability.

Polkadot introduces sharding with parachains, but breaks atomic composability between parachains/shards, because a smart contract can only send messages to another parachain and Polkadot doesn’t support the concept of atomic cross-shard transactions.

Elrond has shards, but their metachain will become a bottleneck in the future because every cross-shard transaction needs to be initialised and finalised on their metachain and also Elrond does not support atomic composability across shards.

Cosmos has shards, but dapps are separated on side-chains which breaks atomic composability between them.

Ethereum 2.0 cancelled their layer 1 sharding efforts (or delayed it far away in the future) and are going for layer 2 scaling now. This means smart contracts will not be able to be executed in their layer 1 and their layer 2 scaling approach sacrifices atomic composability.

Avalanche, Cardano, Fantom, Solana, Algorand and Ethereum 2.0 are not sharded in the first place and therefore will run into bottlenecks sooner or later.

Without sharding, there is an upper limit for the transactions per second, because every single node needs to process every transaction at least once and additionally there are storage issues since the ledger state grows over time to a point where you either can’t handle it anymore on a single node or you need a supercomputer which leads to centralisation.

Even if Radix’s network can support dapp operations effectively, why would dapps on other chains (such as Ethereum) migrate to Radix?

Radix believes in enabling developers to build fast without breaking things. This is not what is happening today. Every month millions of dollars of user funds are being stolen/hacked/lost, and developers are spending 90% of their time debugging and security testing rather than building. This is the legacy of Solidity based development

Fundamentally decentralized finance is dealing with people’s money. When you are dealing with people’s money it is really important that the system is secure. The Radix development environment, Scrypto, allows the developer to create programmable state machines (the same secure systems that are used in traffic light controls or nuclear power stations) that are much safer and faster than Turing based solidity smart contracts.

These finite state machines are pushed onto the Radix ledger as “Components” and can be used to create anything from simple tokens to full decentralized autonomous lending markets like Aave or Compound.

Once a component has been created, it can be re-used by any developer, shortcutting development time from weeks to hours, and creating an ever-growing library of secure financial building blocks. This moves from every developer needing to deploy huge smart contracts, to developers only needing to develop the small pieces of extra functionality that make their project special. This is already how most professional software development is done – open-source libraries form the bedrock of most commercial applications today!

Lastly, we firmly believe that the financial system of the future should reward those that make it better. Every time a component is re-used by a developer, the Radix component system allows a royalty to flow to the developer that originally created that component, making sure that components are more than just a great system for building dApps quickly: it is also an entire system of royalties that rewards great developers for their hard work in improving an ecosystem.

 How does Radix make the defi dapp on Ethereum migrate to the Radix network?

Gas costs are killing the usability of the Ethereum ledger. Solidity is a nightmare for DeFi developers. Right now, most of the Ethereum ecosystem is actively looking for ways to mitigate the scalability issues, and every single project is constantly trying to mitigate the security issues of solidity. Layer 2s break the composability that is so critical to DeFi, and projects like Polkadot, Avalanche and Ethereum 2.0 do no better on this front.

To ease the transition from Solidity to Scrypto, one of our partners, Noether, is creating a system that allows people to migrate their Solidity code across to the Radix network: https://www.radixdlt.com/post/object-computing-and-noether-dlt-develop-ethereum-based-smart-contract-platform-for-the-radix-ledger/

In addition to this, Radix recently launched the GoodFi initiative with some of the leaders in the DeFi space to help bring 100m users into DeFi by 2025: https://www.radixdlt.com/post/radix-launches-goodfi-alliance-with-chainlink-aave-messari-mstable-more/

Will the Ethereum node be built to be compatible with EVM, solidity, ERC20 asset cross-chain operations?

We are building a number of bridges between the Ethereum and Radix ecosystem, including supporting the renVM for decentralized bridging services, and services such as Copper to bring many more assets across to the Radix ecosystem from Ethereum ERC20s and beyond.

Radix mentioned in the white paper that Radix proposed a new consensus mechanism Cerberus. Can you explain to you what is the difference between Radix’s “Cerberus” and others?

Cerberus, the Radix consensus algorithm, is a cross-shard consensus algorithm. This means that inherently to how it functions it is working across multiple shards, rather than inside a single shard only. Non-cross shard consensus algorithms on the other hand process the transaction in one shard first then packages and broadcasts it. All implemented as different steps.

To explain – let’s say that there is a transaction that touches three shards in the network (as the shard space is SO large, all transactions will always touch at least two shards). Because all transactions are deterministic, the submitting node can see which three shards the transaction is touching. Because validators are deterministically mapped to the shard space and must report what shards they are servicing as part of their staking process, the submitting node also knows ALL the validators that are involved for the transaction to be confirmed.

Note: a submitting node is just a full node that the user happened to have connected to as the entry point into the ledger to submit a transaction. Submitting nodes are not a special node type in the network, and any full node can be selected as a submitting node by the user.

The submitting node broadcasts the transaction to the relevant validator nodes for those three shards. Next Cerberus consensus is applied to the transaction. This consensus operation checks that the relevant transaction is valid across all three shards before all nodes in the validator set commit the transaction. If the transaction fails on one shard, then it fails on all shards.

This is how Cerberus ensures atomicity between shards for complex transactions like flash loans or other DeFi native operations.

Crucially – as this is NOT a blockchain, any other transactions that also touch these validators do not have to wait for this consensus operation to be finished. Validators can process hundreds or thousands of consensus events in parallel, meaning that these cross-shard operations do not intrinsically slow down the network as a whole.

We have seen the introduction of the developer royalty system function in the Radix network.

How does the system work? What problems does it solve?

On Ethereum there is no developer royalty system and also no catalogue for smart contracts. This means smart contract developers can only share the source code of their smart contracts and everyone can use that but the original developers are not paid for their efforts.

On Radix smart contract developers can develop components, publish them in the component catalogue and others can use these components in their smart contracts. If their components are used by others the original developers are paid by the users of their components and are therefore encouraged to develop and publish high-quality components others like to use.

After the explosion of DeFi, security vulnerabilities have attracted much attention.

Radix claims to reduce hacker attacks and vulnerabilities on DeFi. What technology is this based on?

Radix uses finite state machines instead as smart contracts which are much more secure by design than standard Turing complete smart contracts like on Ethereum. Finite state machines (FSM) are not new and already used in security-critical areas like traffic controls or nuclear power stations.

The main difference is that in a FSM you are explicitly defining states with transitions between them and most importantly these states are finite. On the other hand, Turing complete based smart contracts like Ethereum’s Solidity have an infinite amount of states which is obviously much more prone to errors and exploits.

The last question is believed to be of concern to the audience. As the platform token in the Radix project, eXRD, please introduce the economic model of the token. Where else can we obtain eXRD tokens?

The eXRD token will be swapped 1:1 for the Mainnet token XRD. XRD has a fixed supply, and thanks to Proof of Stake around 50% of the tokens are expected to be staked and out of circulation. While you stake XRD you will still be able to have the capital liquid and available for you, this is possible via Stakehound’s Liquid Staking. Stakehound is a very promising project incubated by Radix. Various DeFi use cases will also lock up some of the remaining circulating tokens.

Additionally, there are many on-ramps to EXRD, such a partnership with REN for wrapping tokens and a partnership with major custody player Copper. We have also decided that a percentage of each Tx fee will be burned. As you can see there are many dynamics in play to make XRD a valuable token.

For our Mandarin-speaking community!

对于一些Radix的新朋友,能否先请Piers简单介绍下Radix项目?

Radix是Smart Money协议,它是下一代layer-1,没有当前layer-1的限制。 Radix在2018年已展示了140万TPS,这仍是目前为止最高纪录。我们新的共识算法“ Cerberus”在理论上可以无限扩展。将分3个步骤提供此功能:从50 TPS到数千TPS,再到无限TPS。我们拥有一支由ConsenSys,Microsoft,Nvidia和Y-Combinator组成的强大团队,他们在实现复杂产品方面经验丰富,目前为止我们的计划都超前完成了。

Radix是Smart Money协议,它是下一代layer-1,没有当前layer-1的限制。 Radix在2018年已展示了140万TPS,这仍是目前为止最高纪录。我们新的共识算法“ Cerberus”在理论上可以无限扩展。将分3个步骤提供此功能:从50 TPS到数千TPS,再到无限TPS。我们拥有一支由ConsenSys,Microsoft,Nvidia和Y-Combinator组成的强大团队,他们在实现复杂产品方面经验丰富,目前为止我们的计划都超前完成了。

在Radix,我们有远大的目标,我们希望从根本上改变当前的金融系统,因为我们认为这不是一个公平的系统。现在是构建新的金融系统的时候了,Radix希望成为构建新的去中心化金融系统的平台。为了解决这个问题,Radix建立了GoodFi联盟(GoodFi.com)。目标是将行业资源捆绑在一起,以教育和培训从传统金融系统到DeFi的下1亿人。许多大公司加入了我们,例如Aave,Chainlink,mStable和其他数十家公司。我们非常感谢,并充满信心地展望未来。我们的Cassandra研究网络,4月底的Betanet和第二季度末的主网将为我们带来3个主要的里程碑。

在Radix,我们有远大的目标,我们希望从根本上改变当前的金融系统,因为我们认为这不是一个公平的系统。现在是构建新的金融系统的时候了,Radix希望成为构建新的去中心化金融系统的平台。为了解决这个问题,Radix建立了GoodFi联盟(GoodFi.com)。目标是将行业资源捆绑在一起,以教育和培训从传统金融系统到DeFi的下1亿人。许多大公司加入了我们,例如Aave,Chainlink,mStable和其他数十家公司。我们非常感谢,并充满信心地展望未来。我们的Cassandra研究网络,4月底的Betanet和第二季度末的主网将为我们带来3个主要的里程碑。 

实现全球可拓展性,同时保持安全性、去中心化”,被誉为区块链的不可能三角,Radix声称解决了这一难题,并且还可以维持整个平台的可组合性,请问Radix是如何做到?

为了实现(实际上)无限的可扩展性,Radix使用2 ^ 256个分片对其网络进行分片,这与已知宇宙中的原子总数大致相当。 这些2 ^ 256个碎片中的每个碎片可以独立处理大约3000 TPS。

由于分片数量众多,默认情况下几乎所有事务都是跨分片事务。

Radix的跨分片共识算法Cerberus确保整个平台上这些交易的原子可组合性。 Cerberus是高度并行化的,原子的和异步的,可在全球范围内实现快速和原子的跨碎片事务。

Cerberus 动态地将交叉分片事务中涉及的分片编织在一起,并且整个事务以原子方式一起成功或失败。

Radix定位于构建去中心化金融的Layer 1平台,那么和市面上其他的Layer 1平台比如Near相比,同为主打分片扩容技术,Radix有什么区别、优势? 

Radix分片方法的独特优势在于,它是唯一在实现线性可扩展性的同时不会破坏原子可组合性的方法。所有其他竞争分片的Layer 1都牺牲了可组合性,以通过分片获得一些可扩展性,这是不可持续的。

Near的可扩展性受到限制,因为它需要太多的节点(总共10K TPS需要100万个节点),而且破坏了原子的可组合性。

Elrond有分片,但他们的metachain将成为未来的瓶颈,因为每个跨分片交易都需要在其metachain上初始化和完成,而且Elrond不支持跨分片的原子可组合性。

Cosmos有碎片,但是dapps在侧链上分开,这破坏了它们之间的原子可组合性。

以太坊2.0取消了他们的Layer 1分片工作(或将其推迟到很远的将来),现在打算进行第2层扩展。这意味着智能合约将无法在其第1层中执行,并且其第2层缩放方法会牺牲原子的可组合性。

Avalanche,Cardano,Fantom,Solana,Algorand和以太坊2.0最初并未被分片,因此迟早会遇到瓶颈。

如果不进行分片,则每秒的交易量会有上限,因为每个单独的节点都需要至少处理一次每个交易,此外还会存在存储问题,因为分类帐状态会随着时间增长到无法处理的程度不再需要在单个节点上运行,或者您需要一台可实现集中化的超级计算机。

即使Radix的网络,分片技术,“组件”等可以非常有效地支持dapp操作,为什么其他链(如以太坊)上的dapp也会迁移到Radix?

Radix致力于使开发人员能够快速构建而不会破坏事物。这不是今天发生的事情。每月都有数百万美元的用户资金被盗/窃取/丢失,开发人员花费了90%的时间进行调试和安全测试,而不是进行建设。这是基于Solidity的开发的留存。

根本上去中心化的金融正在处理人们的金钱。在处理人们的金钱时,确保系统安全非常重要。 Radix开发环境Scrypto允许开发人员创建可编程状态机(与基于图灵的固态智能合约相比,安全性和速度更快),可编程状态机(与交通信号灯控制或核电站中使用的安全系统相同。

一旦创建了组件,任何开发人员都可以重复使用它,将开发时间从几周缩短到几小时,并创建一个不断增长的安全金融构件库。这从需要部署大量智能合约的每个开发人员到只需要开发使他们的项目与众不同的额外功能的小部分的开发人员。这已经是完成专业软件开发的方式开源库构成了当今大多数商业应用程序的基础!

最后,我们坚信,未来的金融体系应奖励那些使其变得更好的金融体系。每次开发人员重复使用某个组件时,Radix组件系统都会使版税流向最初创建该组件的开发人员,从而确保这些组件不只是一个快速构建dApp的好系统:整个特许权使用费制度,奖励了伟大的开发人员在改善生态系统方面的辛勤工作。

Radix如何使以太坊上的defi dapp迁移到Radix网络?

  1. 交易成本正在扼杀以太坊账本的可用性。 SolidityDeFi开发人员的噩梦。 目前,大多数以太坊生态系统都在积极寻求缓解可扩展性问题的方法,并且每个项目都在不断地尝试缓解稳定性的安全性问题。 2层打破了对DeFi至关重要的可组合性,而PolkadotAvalancheEthereum 2.0等项目在这方面并没有做得更好。

为了简化从SolidityScrypto的过渡,我们的合作伙伴之一Noether正在创建一个系统,该系统使人们可以将其Solidity代码跨迁移到Radix网络

以太坊节点是否会与EVM,Solidity,ERC20资产跨链操作兼容?

我们正在以太坊和Radix生态系统之间架起许多桥梁,包括支持renVM进行分散式桥接服务,以及诸如Copper之类的服务,以将更多资产从以太坊ERC20甚至更多带入Radix生态系统:

Radix在白皮书中有提到Radix提出了一种新的共识机制Cerberus,能为大家讲解一下,Radix的“Cerberus”有何不同之处么?

Radix共识算法Cerberus是一种跨碎片共识算法。这意味着从本质上来说,它跨多个分片工作,而不是仅在单个分片内工作。另一方面,非交叉分片共识算法首先在一个分片中处理事务,然后打包并广播它。所有步骤均以不同的步骤实施。

解释一下-假设有一个交易触及网络中的三个分片(由于分片空间是如此之大,所以所有交易都将始终至少触及两个分片)。因为所有交易都是确定性的,所以提交节点可以查看该交易正在接触的三个分片。因为验证程序确定性地映射到了分片空间,并且必须在桩过程中报告他们正在维修的分片,所以提交节点还知道要确认交易的所有验证程序。

注意:提交节点只是用户碰巧已连接到的完整节点,作为进入账本以提交交易的入口点。提交节点不是网络中的特殊节点类型,用户可以选择任何完整的节点作为提交节点。

提交节点将交易同步到这三个分片的相关验证者节点。下一个Cerberus共识将应用于该交易。在验证程序集中的所有节点提交事务之前,此共识操作将检查相关交易在所有三个分片上是否有效。如果交易在一个分片上失败,那么它将在所有分片上失败。

这就是Cerberus如何确保碎片之间的原子性,以进行诸如闪电贷或其他DeFi本机操作之类的复杂交易。

至关重要的是-由于这不是区块链,因此也涉及这些验证器的任何其他交易都不必等待共识操作完成。验证程序可以并行处理数百或数千个共识事件,这意味着这些交叉分片操作不会本质上减慢整个网络的速度。

我们看到Radix网络中引入了开发者版税系统功能,该系统是如何运行的?解决什么问题?

在以太坊上,没有开发者使用系统,也没有智能合约的目录。 这意味着智能合约开发人员只能共享其智能合约的源代码,每个人都可以使用它,但是原始开发人员无需为此付出任何报酬。

在以太坊上,没有开发者使用系统,也没有智能合约的目录。 这意味着智能合约开发人员只能共享其智能合约的源代码,每个人都可以使用它,但是原始开发人员无需为此付出任何报酬。

在Radix智能合约上,开发人员可以开发组件,将其发布在组件目录中,其他人可以在其智能合约中使用这些组件。 如果其他人使用了他们的组件,则原始开发人员将由其组件的用户付费,因此鼓励他们开发和发布其他喜欢使用的高质量组件。

DeFi爆火之后,安全漏洞问题备受关注,Radix声称可以减少DeFi上的黑客攻击和漏洞,这是基于什么技术?

Radix使用有限状态机代替智能合约,这种合约在设计上比在以太坊上使用标准状态的完整智能合约要安全得多。 有限状态机(FSM)并不是新事物,已经在交通关键控制或核电站等安全关键领域中使用。

主要区别在于,在FSM中,您要显式定义状态,并在它们之间进行转换,最重要的是,这些状态是有限的。 另一方面,以太坊的Solidity之类的基于完整的智能合约的交易具有无限数量的状态,这显然更容易出错和利用。

最后一个问题相信也是观众们关心的问题, eXRD作为Radix项目中的平台通证,请介绍一下代币的经济模型,我们还能从哪些渠道获取eXRD代币?

eXRD代币将以1:1交换为Mainnet代币XRD。 XRD具有固定的供应,由于股权证明,预计约有50%的代币将被放样并退出流通。 当您质押XRD时,您仍然可以拥有资本流动性,并且可以通过Stakehound的Liquid Stakeing来使用。 Stakehound是Radix孵化的一个非常有前途的项目。 各种DeFi用例还将锁定一些剩余的流通通证。 此外,EXRD有很多上坡路,例如与REN进行代币包装的伙伴关系以及与主要保管机构Copper的伙伴关系。 我们还决定将每笔Tx费用的一部分烧掉。 如您所见,有许多动态因素使XRD成为有价值的通证。