Community call

Community Call Recap - September 30th

2022-10-04

Our latest Community Call took place on the 30th of September. Sam Patton joined Ben Marsh (CTO) and Enrico Ruboli (CEO) remotely to discuss the latest developments here at Mintlayer.

If you missed the video, you can check it out below.

Read on for the full transcript of the community call.


Community Call Transcript

Sam Patton: Good afternoon everybody, and welcome to the latest Mintlayer community call. My name is Sam Patton and I am in charge of the marketing team here at Mintlayer. Today I’m joined by our CEO, Enrico Rubboli and Chief Technical Officer, Ben Marsh. Good afternoon, guys. How are we today?

Enrico Rubboli: Hi. Actually we are together here in Abu Dhabi.

Sam Patton: What are you doing in Abu Dhabi today?

Ben Marsh: We decided to meet up to work on a few different things. We’re looking at a roadmap and what we’re gonna be doing in the future, and we’re discussing a few of the more technical things. So we’ve been spending some time together in a room looking at the consensus and things like this.

The in depth problems that we have to solve. It’s just easier if we’re together, the conversation flows more easily and it just makes life a little bit easier. We are here for most of the week to just sit and try to go over as many things as possible.

Sam Patton: Fantastic. Well that’s great to hear.

Alright, thanks for taking the time out. Now, I know you guys have a busy week ahead of you. You’re tackling some quite in depth topics there. I do thank you for jumping on today. The purpose of this call for those of you who are listening at home is to just do a bit of an update about the things that have been happening this month at Mintlayer.

We’ve had yet again another busy month and so what I would like to do is just go through everything that’s been happening. We will go through some announcements, and a recap of the last development update because it has been some time since we all got together for a call.

Let’s talk about what we’ve been working on. For the last month there’s a few tasks that have sort of carried through into this month as well. What’s coming next, and of course at the end we will have opportunities to take your questions.

So let’s dive into the announcements. As I said, it has been a busy month since the last time that we all got on a call. There have been some noteworthy announcements that have happened within the last 30 days or so. The big one has been the Lightning Network integration with Mojito which is now live on Android.

And after a slight delay, the Lightning Network is also live on iOS as well.

Did you want to add anything about Lightning Network guys? Enrico, you and I had a call about that. For those of you who missed the call, do you want to just give us a little bit of an update about what that’s all about?

Enrico Rubboli: So basically our Bitcoin wallet, the Mojito Wallet, is now capable of handling transactions that are not broadcasted to the Bitcoin blockchain. This is the whole point of Lightning Network. This allows users to basically send Bitcoin through a peer-to-peer network, the Lightning Network, without a settlement on the blockchain.

That means that transactions are instant and extremely cheap. So fees are extremely low. Transactions are very fast, and this is what we think that Mintlayer will be all about. So, the focus on the Lightning Network, it’s very important for us because we think that the Lightning Network will be the future for a lot of things.

From your exchanges to, you know even more complicated applications. The problem with the Lightning Network today is that it is basically only on Bitcoin. What we are trying to do is to bring the Lightning Network to different tokens.

Sam Patton: Right, I think that there are obviously a lot of similarities between what we are actually doing here at Mintlayer and how things operate on the Lightning Network. It’s an exciting technology and one that’s great to be able to have directly in Mojito. For me personally, I think it’s one of these things that Lightning really does sort of seem to unlock a lot of benefits. It can be utilized in a day to day sort of fashion. We always come back to the idea that you could buy a cup of coffee with it and it would make sense without huge fees. So that really brings it home and it’s quite a big thing.

If you already have Mojito installed, all you need to do is make sure you download or update to the latest version. Then you’ll have the opportunity to create a Lightning Network wallet.

That is live and ready to go now. And if you don’t have our Mojito wallet we will pop a link in Telegram. If you’re watching this on YouTube we will pop a link in the description for you to jump in and download.

Okay moving on, this is a little premature, but I’m gonna announce it anyway. Within the next few weeks, fingers crossed, the Mojito wallet browser extension will be live.

So if you’ve been on the last couple of our community calls, you will have been aware that we’ve been working on a browser extension version of Mojito, and I’m happy to announce that we are in the final stages of actually having that ready to go live. So what that means is that you can have Mojito directly in your web browser.

We will be having that available on a couple of different browsers. Ben, off the top of your head, which browsers are we having Mojito coming live to?

Ben Marsh: It will be released on Firefox Chrome, Brave and Edge to start with.

Sam Patton: Excellent. Anything else guys? As far as announcements? I think that’s the biggest things that have happened this month.

Great, now before we jump into the stuff that we’ve been working on I want to take a moment now to give a quick recap of our last development update.

Particularly for those of you who haven’t seen the recap or read our post. Essentially in the last development update we had a couple of different things going on.

First on mobile we have been doing some investigation into integrating Mojito with hardware wallets.

Ben, do you want to just give a little bit of context on what the thinking is, and perhaps what the longer term vision is for integrating the mobile wallet with hardware wallets? What does that mean for the users at home?

Ben Marsh: Yes. So the idea is that hardware wallets are a more secure way to store your cryptocurrency. Adding hardware wallet support to Mojito wallets will allow users to move their tokens and coins onto a hardware wallet if they want. People who start using Mojito, if they decide they want to have a hardware wallet in the future, then it will be a possibility right off the bat.

This is an ongoing project and it’s going on in the background at the moment.

Sam Patton: Off the top of your head, which hardware wallets are we looking at integrating with to begin with?

Ben Marsh: The first one we’re going to aim for is Ledger.

Sam Patton: Perfect and I’m sure that there’ll be much more coming down the line in the future as well. Now also on the mobile front as is always the case this just been some general performance enhancements that have been applied as well which have rolled out during this latest update.

Moving on to the web version of Mojito. We are getting to the pointy end of that. But the first successful transactions for that have been sent from the test net already. I was on a call with the browser extension team last week.

It’s all very promising at this point, and we hope to make an announcement about the release of that within the next week. I’m optimistic that that’s going to happen at this point. We just need to basically get that package finalized and then set off into the relevant web stores and stuff like that.

The core development is on track. Also, there was an update to the genesis block and perhaps one of you two can just explain to the users who weren’t on our last call what that was and what that means as far as Mintlayer goes, and how it differs from other blockchains.

Ben Marsh: So the idea was we just separated out the Genesis block from a standard block so we have a separate type. It’s essentially just a security feature.

Sam Patton: This was because there’s only ever going to be one genesis block, right? That was the thinking behind it?

Ben Marsh: Yes. correct

Sam Patton: Cool and some updates to the token standards. MLS-1 specifically. Again, if you haven’t seen this or are reading a text recap, you can find it in the news section on the Mintlayer website where we’ve got a full recap of everything that’s going on.

The last thing that we had done was some updates to peer-to-peer inside of the consensus mechanism. But I don’t want to spend too much time on that because I want to get into the stuff that we’ve actually been working on at the moment. There has been a bunch of stuff happening as of late.

So let’s jump into that. I think what the easiest way to do this guys, I’ve got a list of topics here to run through. So I’ll rattle through them and if you can just explain to the listeners at home what we’re talking about here that’s probably the best way to get everything across.

So I know that there has been some further testing with the web wallet. It’s my understanding that the final features for the release are finished at this point.

I believe that the one thing that was causing a little more delay with the development here was there was a challenge with respect to getting feature parity with the BTC addresses. Is that right? Ben? Are you familiar with what the team was working on here?

Ben Marsh: Added to the web wallet was essentially matching the address types that we had in the mobile wallets.

Sam Patton: That’s correct.

Ben Marsh: Sharing would be available in the web wallet as well, so that code is essentially being tested at the moment. This is the last thing we’re doing. So when we say further testing, we’re doing two things realistically.

One is testing these last few features we’ve added to ensure they work properly before we release the code. We are also adding more functional tests to this thing so we can ensure that everything, and not just those addresses, but the entire product is doing exactly what we’re expecting it to do.

So they’re sort of a long term goal, but short term testing things that we’re doing at the moment.

Enrico Rubboli: So that you can share your seed phrases between your wallet and your browser extension. So from the mobile wallet and web/browser extension, you can expect everything to be the same.

Ben Marsh: Yeah, exactly.

Sam Patton: Excellent. Fantastic. And of course the last thing on my list here is preparing for the public release, which again, we have alluded to all going well.

Enrico Rubboli: [Extra] Stuff, you know like privacy policy, these kinds of things.

Sam Patton: There’s a few bits and pieces that we need to prepare in order to get them into the Mozilla store, Chrome Store and, and so forth.

But everything’s on track at this point, so I expect to have some good news for everybody next week. So keep an eye on Telegram and on Twitter for the announcements for that. We would love to share what we’ve been working on here with you all, and we really think you’re gonna enjoy what we’ve put together from the browser extension perspective.

Moving on now. We sort of touched on this but when it comes to mobile we mentioned at the start of the call Lightning Network is now stable in the mobile wallet. So that is a big win. Now I know there’s been a few small bug fixes that have been carried out in the mobile wallet that you guys started work on.

Enrico Rubboli: We found a lot of stuff that is not straightforward, and these updates will make the mobile wallet extremely reliable.

Sam Patton: Which of course, when it comes to any sort of wallet, any sort of crypto, we need to make sure that everything is reliable there.

So, and I know that he’s been doing some great work on that front. And you guys have started work on features for the next release. Care share a little bit about what that is encompassing?

Ben Marsh: Yeah, of course. So, we’ve been doing two things for the next release.

One is we’ve been doing some more testing. We’ve been writing some functional tests. When we start adding these new features, we can verify that we don’t change the behavior of anything that currently exists. And the sort of next big key feature we started working on is going to be user inputted entropy.

So when you are creating your wallet, you will be able to provide some of the randomness. So it gives people that sort of faith and security, I suppose that they’re involved in that process when you’re generating, right.

Enrico Rubboli: This is a more advanced feature, right?

Ben Marsh: Yeah, this will be an optional feature.

So when you generate a wallet in Mojito in the future, you will be able to do this in a standard way exactly as it works today. If you decide you want to use this user inputted entropy, you’ll be able to opt into that. So it’s not something I expect everyone to use, but it will be there for those who want to use it.

Sure. And now this is actually quite an interesting topic, and, and I would like to share a little bit about this perhaps for people who haven’t, you know, just haven’t experienced or have any kind of insight into what we’re talking about here. But in the context of user generated entropy, it is as you said, advanced, [and more exciting] in security circles and so forth.

Enrico Rubboli: I think that it’s a very delicate point, and it’s better you understand exactly what you’re doing.

If you try this feature, it’s very easy to hurt yourself here.

Ben Marsh: No, I’m gonna disagree.

It’s been designed, and created so that anyone can use it and there won’t be really a way to mess it up.

Enrico Rubboli: Ok.

Ben Marsh: Essentially the idea is to generate a private key that no one else can guess. I suppose, the best way to phrase this, is you need a random number to start with. Now, at the moment we are using a cryptographically secure pseudo random number generator, but of course this is a pseudo random number generator. So there could be a bug in this pseudo random number generator. It’s not ours and we’re using an existing library for this.

There could be a bug, there could be anything that’s going on, which means this isn’t as secure as some might hope. And also arguably, it can give you peace of mind that we are not tampering with this pseudo random number generator. So the idea is that people will be able to opt into this.

They will provide some user input. We will randomize that user input and we will then combine that with a cryptographically secure random number to generate a new seed phrase.

So the idea being you have not only this cryptographically secure random number, but also the user input. So you have randomness from two separate sources.

So if there’s bias in one of them, it’s canceled out.

Enrico Rubboli: Okay. That’s interesting.

Sam Patton: So overall, basically, Hedging against this, a potential [susceptibility], whatever it may be, in the pseudo random number generator. By adding something that the user themself inputs as well.

Ben Marsh: Exactly. It’s almost a backup. So by getting it from two sources. We minimize the chance of there being an issue.

Sam Patton: Okay. Excellent. So that’s the next big feature that’s coming and I’ve seen the internal roadmap when it comes to Mojito, where we’ve got a lot more interesting features coming as we lead up towards the launch of the Mainnet.

So that’s great to hear, and lots more, lots more happening with Mojito in the future.

Moving on. Let’s talk about the core development because I know that there’s been a lot of stuff going on there. Ben, do you have this list in front of you? I wonder whether it’s perhaps easier for you to sort of take us through.

So let’s start at the top. The work on the accounting system, for example.

Ben Marsh: Yes. So, I mean, you mentioned the accounting system. We introduced this in the last update, but there’s been a lot more work on this. So the accounting system is going to be quite a big part of the proof of stake.

The idea is we’re gonna place staking rewards into an accounting system. So we avoid UTXO pollution, so we don’t have all of these UTXOs appearing at once.

So one reason behind this is we have introduced the idea of staking pools so that people who don’t have the 50,000 MLT required to stake. Can still get involved in Staking.

Enrico Rubboli: So for example I only have like 100 mlt, but I have some friends with MLT as well. I can pool together with my friends and we can reach the threshold so that we actually can run a pool and stake our MLTs.

Ben Marsh: Yep. And I don’t even need to be friends.

Enrico Rubboli: This is exciting.

Sam Patton: Yep. Excellent. That’s fantastic.

Ben Marsh: So what this will mean though is that you might have thousands of people in a stake pool. So when the rewards are being paid out, we might suddenly have a thousand UTXOs to pay all these people at the staking rewards. And we don’t especially want thousands of UTXOs appearing in a block Just to pay the staking rewards when people are meant to be using this for normal transactions.

So the idea is we extract that away into the accounting system and then when people want to use those rewards, they can create a transaction to remove their reward from the accounting system into the normal UTXO system.

Sam Patton: Okay so basically lowering the traffic then on those blocks for people trying to claim that reward.

Ben Marsh: And we also spread it out a bit, so it means we don’t have them all coming at once. I think [this] is the key thing, but we’re trying to avoid it so we can handle it if it’s spread out over a period of time. But all at once is just a bit of a nightmare to handle.

Enrico Rubboli: And this is the first step toward the programmable pool.

Ben Marsh: Yeah, so the accounting system will be a fundamental part of programmable pools as well. So although we haven’t started work on the programmable pools yet, this accounting system will be used for that as well. So we have started the work on that sort of infrastructure as well.

Sam Patton: Excellent. So you mentioned the programmable pools here. So do you want to just give a little bit of a context of people who haven’t been through the roadmap for what they are and, and how they’re used within the framework of the project?

Enrico Rubboli: In our current roadmap they are pretty far away from this point and the idea of the programmable pool is to create an environment where you can deploy this smart contract the same way of other networks like Ethereum, for example. You can match the same functionality of the other network.

Something that at the moment if you only have script, Bitcoin script, you can not do everything right. And so basically it’s a way to be compatible with the other networks.

Sam Patton: Great. Ben, sorry for cutting you off. I’ll let you pick up the next point as well and take us through that.

Ben Marsh: Cool. So we’ve been doing lots of small things in the background, across lots of different subsystems that make up Mintlayer. Some of it is just cleaning up some codes. Some of it is introducing new tests and testing things more thoroughly. Some of it is doing some small optimizations to make things more secure and a bit quicker, these sorts of things.

These cover things like the storage backend, looking at the database side of things. Some of it’s on the chain state and how we handle UTXOs and these sorts of things. There’s also been a lot of work in the mempool recently, and this is going to be one of the big things over the next couple of weeks, maybe a couple of months.

There’s going to be a lot of things going on in the mempool. Now that the rest of the blockchain is starting to mature a bit more, we can improve that and add the last remaining bits of functionality to it.

So lots of that work is abstracted away from new users. A lot of work is hidden in the background unless you go digging through the code, but not things that will be overly obvious to a user in the future.

A lot of gritty details in the background. I think the most exciting thing from a sort of user perspective that has happened in the last month is we’ve finally merged MLS-01. So these tokens fill the same niche as ERC-20 on Ethereum. These are the sort of standard tokens, normal tokens, whatever nomenclature you like. They’re finally merged, so we finished the testing of them, and they are done.

Sam Patton: Congratulations. Let’s say one of three. So, it’s a big deal. And what a monster effort to finally get those up and live. Well done guys.

Ben Marsh: Yeah so it means we can now start focusing on MLS-03 a bit more, which are the NFTs. So the planning work for those is finished at this point, and the development work is on the way. Over the next month or so, that will be the focus of the token work.

Enrico Rubboli: Easier, right? So part of the implementation is already there.

Ben Marsh: I mean, I suppose they are arguably a super set of standard tokens to some extent. So you could argue some work has already been done, but there are also some more messy details when it comes to NFTs and handling the database or any other sort of things. Calling the media is a question.

Enrico Rubboli: Easier. Easier,

Sam Patton: Cool. And of course we have as you know, and this is significantly further down the roadmap, but the MLS-02, which are the security tokens, are quite a ways off at this point.

But just for the sake of completeness, we jumped from one to three.

Enrico Rubboli: We can wait to start working on that actually.

Ben Marsh: So realistically, they’re a long way down the road at this point. The roadmap has essentially been laid out so that we can build the essential features from there first, and then these sort of nice, cool features like MLS-02 come a bit later.

We’ve got lots of the fundamental bits to build first, like the atomic swaps and integrating the Lighting Network and things like this.

Sam Patton: Fantastic. So on the core front there’s been lots going on. There’s nothing else that’s necessary to mention here, Ben, before we sort of jump into what’s next?

Ben Marsh: No, Let’s go on to what’s next.

Sam Patton: Okay, cool. So, as of tomorrow we’re moving into the next quarter. So that of course brings with it a whole bunch of new targets for the roadmap. So specifically the stuff on the roadmap we are looking to launch the Lovelace test net.

Any projections. That’s probably gonna take the whole quarter, I’m assuming, right?

Enrico Rubboli: Yeah, exactly. And this is a huge thing. It’s like actually setting up the system, making sure that everything is secure. There’s a lot of testing going on, there’s a lot of stuff to it. This is the biggest thing we’re working on.

Sam Patton: Quite exciting too, because once we have the test net, this is when people can begin building on Mintlayer effectively. So it’s a massive milestone.

Enrico Rubboli: Yes, also the full node release candidate is exactly at the same time. So when you launch the Testnet, obviously you have to define what is the version of the node that you want to run and we will obviously provide users the binaries. So Linux Windows is a Mac and we already have MLS-01 in, and obviously the testnet that we will have, MLS-03.

The biggest thing that is actually ongoing, other than testing and making sure everything is correct, is the proof of stake implementation,

Sam Patton: Great. So lots to do. It’s going to be yet another busy quarter here at Mintlayer. There’s some exciting stuff to look forward to.

And personally, I can’t wait to see what people are going to build once the testnet is live.

Enrico Rubboli: Cause a lot of people are reaching out and they want to build stuff. So we already have some ideas.

Sam Patton: We have some people who’ve already come to us with projects and so forth.

And for those of you who are listening, if you are interested in building on Mintlayer please get in touch with us. We’d love to have a chat and to see how you could build your next project on Mintlayer. Of course, you will be able to do that in most instances from the launch of the testnet.

So certainly get in touch with us. We’d love to see how we can help and bring your ideas to life on Mintlayer.

Enrico Rubboli: Also, if you’re a developer and you are a good Rust developer and you know about blockchain, we are hiring! We need people.

Sam Patton: You beat me to it. And I was just about to jump into that. So, yes, we are hiring. It’s kind of the worst kept secret here. We’ve got a bunch of open positions on the website and things that we are looking for. So Rust developers most importantly. What else from the technical perspective, guys, what are, who are we looking for? Who would be the great people to join us?

Enrico Rubboli: The most important figure that we need at the moment is help on the core team. We have three open positions for people that know Rust very well and also understand blockchain technology. So someone that already has experience with blockchain is ideal, obviously.

There are many things that we are working on, so we can move people around. But ideally, knowledge of what we are building is very helpful.

Sam Patton: In addition to that, we always have a number of different positions. You know, we never stop hiring here, so the best way to do that is jump onto the Mintlayer.org website. Up in the top menu, under the join section, there’s an open positions link. You see what we’re looking for and it gives you the ability to apply directly there.

We would love to hear from you. We’re always looking for A+ players to join the team here and to help us bring our vision to life here as well. Cool. All right. Anything else before we wrap up from you guys?

Enrico Rubboli: No, here in Abu Dhabi it is an awesome day. We are spending our day, unfortunately, inside an office, but it’s good to be here together and we hope to do it more frequently. If there’s any questions feel free to ask them on our Telegram channel.

Sam Patton: Copy your questions into Telegram and we’ll get them answered for you. I don’t want to keep you guys any longer. I know that you’ve got a stack of stuff to go through, but thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule. I’ll let you get back to working on the important stuff. To sort of round things out, for those of you who’ve joined us on the call today thank you again for being here and for your continued support and interest in Mintlayer.

Don’t forget to spread the word. Follow us on Twitter. Keep the conversation going on Telegram. Invite your friends and if you think that you would be a good person to join the team please do get in touch. Ben, Enrico, thank you so much for your time.

Enrico Rubboli: Thank you.

Sam Patton: and I thank you and look forward to catching up somewhere in the world with you again in the future.

For those of you at home, have a fantastic day. Have a great weekend, and we’ll look forward to chatting to you again soon. Bye for now.

Ben Marsh: Bye. Cheers.

That rounds up our community call recap for this September. Follow us on Twitter, and join us in our Telegram community to stay up to date with the latest from Mintlayer.