Conversations with a Junior Blockchain Developer Part I

A: Hello Sir B, short interview please?

B: Sure

A: What is you position?

B: I am a Junior Blockchain Developer

A: What’s that

B: I know some aspects of blockchain but learning

A: Ok tell us, from smart contracts platforms what is interesting…

B: Depends what you want really...

A: Ultimate truth :)

B: That would have to be Cardano and Ethereum

A: Why is that, why not AVAX, ALGO, SOL, etc

B: Only those blockchains aspire at the moment to scale to millions TPS with L1 security guarantees (!), they just choose completely different path to the same goal.

A: Why is that?

B: Ethereum rushed developed an account model and rushed a few things to solve ultimately scalability issue (L2 layer using validators from L1). They want to do this via Optimistic and zkRollups. Cardano on another hand wants to do the same pretty much (Rollup) but with isomorphic state channels.

A: What is this?

B: It is a way to load data to L2 by using same stake pool operators (albeit hydra node can be own instance) with security guarantees of L1 and with ability to use the same ledger rules and *compiler*.

A: And compiler, what is special about this?

B: In case of Ethereum, you actually have to write a new compiler for every new L2 Rollup language

A: Doesn’t seem like a big deal to me

B: Well it is because they can have bugs

A: So Isomorphic means that the same compiler can be used?

B: Yes!

A: Sounds all to rosy, what are drawbacks of this approach and why ETH community hates Cardano so much?

A: Ethereum community is deeply convinced that state channels is not a way to scale L2s for smart contracts

A: Why is this?

B: ETH has accounting model and Cardano has eUTxO model, so this is a bit apples and oranges but state channels have limitations

A: Like what?

B: For the moment parties need to be known ahead of time, which limits use cases

A: There is no way to combat this?

B: There is, there are protocol extensions possible, in some cases maybe new cryptography will have to be tried out.

A: Like?

B: Like threshold signatures.

A: Sounds like Chinese to me

B: Basically ability for hydra nodes to come on and off

A: What about Optimistic Rollups and zKSnarks which Ethereum is trying out?

B: This makes perfect sense what they are doing considering Ethereum is account model based but for eUTxO this is not at the moment so burning. Optimistic Rollups are live but there are issues

A: Like what?

B: Well, in some cases it can take long time to deposit to the main chain but this is complex I recommend reading:…

A: Why Ethereum folks hate Cardano so much?

B: Ethereum roadmap is in a totally different place then Cardano is. Ethereum wants to solve L2 scaling dilemma with Optimistic / ZkRollups but other things are considered kinda done (I mean ETH 1.0), ETH 2.0 is a separate story, it is like a new chain with the same token.

A: But ETH suffers from many issues right?

B: Yes, some parts of their roadmap were quite rushed and there is no way to fix them (sadly)

A: Like what?

B: They choose PoW instead of working out PoS, account model suffers from issue that cannot be fixed — you will always be charged for a failed transaction because state is global, not local, Solidity is far from perfect, it looks like a language cooked in a week

A: And Cardano?

B: Slow but they are taking their time to figure it out.

A: But maybe too slow?

B: Depends who you ask, for some yes, for others no

A: They will never catch up

B: Maybe or maybe not, how many ActiveX developers for Flash for you know?

A: None

B: Well I know one and he is making now @ccwalletio

A: No kidding

B: Seriously, technologies pass, what has network effect today may not have tomorrow

A: Ok but come on! Cardano doesn’t even have fee market, developers joke about Cardano

B: Well actually it has a fee market as of 12 September but wallets do not support this yet. It is however unclear if fee market will be used for L1 pricing or only as collateral for SMs

A: L1 is a scarce resource, how on earth can you not have a fee market, ETH devs cannot get it

B: Well either you scale via Rollup (Hydra L2) or sidechain, you increase blocksize, decrease blocktime or increase static transaction fee, yes there is no magic.

A: Sidechains? Oh please, they don’t have guarantees of L1… this is a joke right?

B: Joke not joke, if you use the same established validators as on L1 as trusted parties you can actually have pretty good security guarantees in practical terms. This is what Milkomedia M1 EVM sidechain in Cardano will have with wrapped smart contracts and no extra token!

A: But what if malicious actor is detected?

B: He will loose reputation and credibility in Cardano community and on top of that his pledge will be slashed by Milkomeda DAO!

A: WOW, when is this thingy coming out?

B: Testnet until end of the year but these are only estimates.

A: So Cardano community will be able to enjoy the same dapps that ETH community has and no extra wrapped token???

B: Pretty much but of course we don’t know who will deploy on M1 EVM Sidechain yet

A: What about DEXes liquidity, etc?

B: We don’t know, we will see

A: Sounds like a good sidechain for gaming

B: oh year, big time, devs don’t need to dive into Plutus and a lot of cool games can happen on this M1 sidechain

A: What about performance?

B: Well as fast as BSC, so about 50–100 max TPS, EVM is slow you know

A: Thank you for much, what do keeps you busy now?

B: Diving into @CardanoMaladex whitepaper these guys are next level, they may have found a way to run DeFi in a scalable and secure way on eUTxO with Hydra tech. Reading paper:

A: Wait, what? State channels don’t work for DeFi!

B: :) Well did you know you can simulate an account model via eUTxO? @InputOutputHK actually wrote a paper on it:…

A: Holy f..

B: I know but be patient, things take time in terms of implementation. @MutualKnowledge actually are developing an account view based on eUTxO.

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