Community call

Community Call Recap - October 27th

Monday, Oct 31, 2022

Our latest Community Call took place on the 27th of October. Michael Bille joined Ben Marsh (CTO) 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.

Michael Bille: Hi everybody and welcome to the Mintlayer Community call. My name is Michael Bille and I work on the business development side at Mintlayer. I’m here today with our CTO, Ben Marsh, to take you through the latest of what we have been working on. Welcome to the call, Ben. Glad you can join. 

Ben Marsh: Thank you very much, great to be here. 

Michael Bille: Well we have a bunch of things to cover today, so here is a brief of what’s on the agenda. First, we are going to do a recap of our latest progress report and what we have been working on. The report is available on our website already and this will include the Mojito update and also some core developments, wallet preparation, storage backend and a mempool update. We will also discuss what is coming next in this quarter that you can look forward to.

And at the end of the call I will also like to update you on the business development side of Mintlayer and what we have been focusing on. Lately we have been participating in conferences and we are going to focus on partnerships, So those are the key points for the agenda today. 

Ben, how are you feeling today?

Ben Marsh: I’m very well, thank you. How are you? 

Michael Bille: I’m doing good as well. I’m based in Lisbon, and it is a sunny morning here.

And how are all the developers, I know everybody’s working full steam ahead right now - so how is the team doing? 

Ben Marsh: They are doing well. So we’ve just finished the stand up in the core team for today. So everything is moving forward well and we have some interesting things going on at the moment.

So hopefully in the next call in particular, we’ll have some really exciting things to talk about. 

Michael Bille: That’s great to hear. Thank you. 

Now let’s dive into the development update for now. Let’s start with the Mojito mobile wallet. I understand that you have fixed some bugs in the wallet since last time, but you guys have also created a testing framework.

Can you tell us more about that? 

Ben Marsh: Sure, so one of the things that we’ve been focusing on heavily over the last six weeks or so, but particularly over the last month, has been building an end-to-end test framework for the mobile apps. So the idea is that every time new code is added, we will run these tests in a framework and it will ensure that the app is still working the way it should. So we will test the sort of all the key functionality, but not in isolation, but sort of everything together. So everything from creating a wallet to restoring a wallet, to receiving a transaction, sending a transaction, all of these things that, you know, that sort of make up the core functionality.

We’re, we’re trying to test them sort of all together rather than in isolation. So they might work perfectly fine when you’re just testing the one thing, but do they still work fine as a user would actually use the wallet? We’ve been working quite heavily on this. Essentially, it gives us peace of mind as we move forward, and when we make future changes that we won’t have broken anything in the past, and it means.

We can add more and more of these over time. So as we add new features, we will always add them to this end to end test framework and we will eventually get to the point where we hopefully have colored a hundred percent of the existing code and features and we can just be completely comfortable that everything works. Exactly, as it should.

And yeah, there have been a few small bugs the detectors have been getting. And one other thing we started working on, in fact we started for planning last month. But we’ve been going a little bit more into the development side this month is the entropy generation feature. So as soon as the sort of basics of the test framework are ironed out and finished, which should be incredibly soon we will get started on that and they will be released relatively shortly afterwards with that feature.

Michael Bille: Interesting. It sounds like the testing framework is going to make all the work much more efficient in the future. So that’s, a helpful feature to be working on. 

Ben Marsh: Yes, it just makes life easier for everyone. So it means particularly when we add new things, we don’t have to sit and worry about have we affected anything else. We can just sit there and go, Oh yeah, everything still works exactly as it did before we know we haven’t broken anything. It just makes. My life easier and happier. 

Michael Bille: And that’s good for all parties. Now lets transition and talk about Mojito Wallet we also been working hard on the browser extension for the mojito web wallet and currently running tests with the help of our community as well. Can you please share an update about this browser extension and the tests? 

Ben Marsh: Yes, so we released an Alpha with essentially the option for people to, to come and join us and help us test the extension. We’ve had quite a lot of feedback already, so I think we’re up to 30 or 40 people now who have already submitted some feedback on it.

Some of these feedback reports we’ve actually received, the feedback we were given has already been fixed in the extension. This is because after the release that we gave to the public, but before we received the feedback. So some of these things were already fixed by developers but some of the feedback we received has given us some ideas, particularly on where to head in the future.

So lots of people talking about sort of color schemes and maybe adding a dark mode, things like this. So there’s lots of ideas that we will work on in the future. So we’re going to take all of this feedback sort of into account and we will plan it into future updates. 

Michael Bille: That is awesome. And, and we of course, we appreciate the kind help from our great community. And again, all feedback and ideas are always welcome from you guys out there. As you can hear, our, even our CTO are taking everything into consideration for future development. So we appreciate it.

Now let’s move on to the core development. Let’s start with the Mintlayer token standard. I believe you have an update on this for us? 

Ben Marsh: Yes, so we have merged the first version of MLS-03. So these are NFTs in the Mintlayer world. So we have an initial version now which has been tested, and it’s now part of the actual codebase. However, there are still some updates to come on that code.

For instance, there are few things which haven’t been implemented yet. Things like royalties, and other things like this. However, the sort of core functionality is there. So we now have, at the very least, the very basic version of MLS-03 and MLS-01. So the sort of core token standards that we’re going to launch with are done, they’re finished.

So we will update both of them as time goes on. Of course we have some plans on how to improve both and with some extra features to add both, which perhaps I think might not exist in other blockchains at the moment. But we have the starting point done. 

Michael Bille: That’s, that’s good news. So we have the native token standard (MLS-01) and also the NFT token standard (MLS-03) almost ready for now and then testnet soon at some point.

What a fantastic update. And we also have the MLS-02, which is kind of the privacy token, but I understand it’s gonna be later in the roadmap for this one? 

Ben Marsh: Yes, that’s way down the line. We have lots of other slightly more important things to work on first. So we’ve essentially designed the roadmap. So that we launch for most useful features first. Features that really align us with Bitcoin and make Mintlayer a good DeFi side-chain for Bitcoin. So those are the things we’re going to work on first. And then these sort of shinier slightly more exciting to me as a cryptographer. Those sorts of things that are coming in future we pushed those to the back as there perhaps not as useful for a DeFi side-chain, although we will add them in the future.

We’ve done some basic sort of planning on how we’re going to implement these things. But it’s going to come further down the line. 

Michael Bille: Thank you for the, for the update. And, of course, it’s always the cool features that are always the most fun to work with. But of course MLS-02 will be further down the line in the roadmap.

Great let’s move on next to the hardware wallet. I see you also made an update in regards to the node wallet. What changes have you made there and the reasons behind this? 

Ben Marsh: So essentially we started building the node wallet. So this is the wallet that we run on the node to allow staking and these sorts of things.

We have rewritten a part of the cryptography subsystem in order to make this more compatible when it comes to things like hardware wallet integration. We are essentially working towards this sort of stuff now. So things like handling seed phrases the communication between the wallets and the node software itself and all that signing stuff and the staking and all these sorts of things is what we’re currently working on there.

That is going on and is going pretty well at the moment. Things are moving relatively rapidly there. So I imagine that would be finished fairly shortly, actually. 

Michael Bille: Perfect. That’s important features for, for Mintlayer. So that’s a great update for the progress on the hardware wallet. Moving on, let’s talk about the database backend. What news do you have to share with us? 

Ben Marsh: There is one really big thing here, which is we have forked a Mozilla crate. So a crate in this context is essentially a library in the, in the RUST (RUST is a program that is commonly used in blockchain projects) world. And we have, we’ve forked one, meaning we’ve kind of taken control of it and made it our own because there are a few bugs in there we needed to fix.

Also it didn’t seem to be particularly well maintained upstream, so it’s made the decision to fork it and fix it. So we’ve actually been fixing some issues in some open source software at the moment. So we have LMDB integrated now into Mintlayer and we have a database backend now.

Michael Bille: Okay, cool. I just have a general question here, because as Mintlayer is a blockchain, then maybe some people will ask why this storage backend is needed. Can you explain like the purpose of a database on a blockchain and the reasons? 

Ben Marsh: Sure. The database backend is needed because it is where blocks are stored on that node. So when you receive a block and you’ve decided that is a block that you’re going to use in your local chain, then it is written into the database. It’s essentially the way of organizing things.

Michael Bille: Perfect. Thank you for the explanation here. The mempool subsystem and the peer-to-peer block process you have also been working on these?

Ben Marsh: Yes, so there have been a few changes to the P2P subsystem. So, I say this every month. But it’s something we are making lots of small, incremental changes to. So there haven’t been any massive changes this month to the peer-to-peer stuff. But we’ve made a few small optimizations and made it a little bit cleaner. 

However, the mempool has undergone some heavy refactoring this month. So we’ve been redesigning the code to make it slightly neater and easier to maintain in the future. And we’ve also been working on the integration of the mempool with the rest of the blockchain. Because before it was a relatively standalone thing, whereas it’s now more or less integrated with the rest of the blockchain. 

Michael Bille: Understood, got you on that one. Thank you for the development update, Ben, and the rest of the core team are working super hard and efficiently, so well done. Can you maybe share what’s next on the road map? For example, what’s interesting for the next quarter to come on the development front. 

Ben Marsh: I think the most exciting thing, as per usual is going to be the consensus. So there are a couple of us who are still working very heavily on the consensus. It’s heading in the right direction, so, every day we seem to get a step closer to having something that’s finished.

In fact, I will be going out to Abu Dhabi very shortly to sit with some of the other developers and work again quite heavily on the consensus. We’re heading in the right direction now. That’s probably the most exciting thing. I mean, it’s the biggest thing. There’s lots of smaller things that will be coming.

So I mean, we’ve spoken about the wallets. So that will be coming up relatively soon at this point now, I mean there are lots sort of small things in the background. So the mempool will undergo a lot more restructuring. There are still some things to be done on the database backend. And then we will be looking at the multisig stuff.

Michael Bille: It’s going to be a very interesting quarter. Now I would like to give an update on the business development front. All focus is on developing and establishing strategic important partnerships to create a long term healthy ecosystem on Mintlayer.

So two weeks ago I participated in Bitcoin Amsterdam conference, and this weekend our CEO Enrico, and I will participate in the Plan B forum in Lugano. And next week I’ll also be in Web Summit in Lisbon in sunny Portugal. So if anyone is around these events and want to meet, feel free to reach out to me and also if you know any projects or people that would be interesting for us at Mintlayer to be involved with, then also please make an introduction or ask them to contact us.

Right now we are heavily focused on creating partnerships and I can always already now advise that we have a, a good pipeline of interesting partners for, for the near future. And I can also advise that in the near future we’ll set up some more partnership calls where we will discuss their project and Mintlayer and also what the partnerships is all about.

So I hope you’re going to like these calls in your future. Ben, anything we forgot to mention or something you want to add?

Ben Marsh: I don’t think so. The only thing we’re working hard towards the testnet and hopefully we should see it relatively soon. 

Michael Bille: That sounds good. So everything is still in order and we have the TGE (Token generation event) coming up in the first quarter next year. Well, that’s all we have time for today and all of you who joined us, thank you for your support.

We truly value this and please remember to join our official Telegram group. We are very active on Telegram and answer all questions there. Ben as always, appreciate your time and your hard work. Thank you for joining and sharing the current stages. 

Ben Marsh: Thank you for having me. 

Michael Bille: I’m Michael Bille. Thank you for joining us on this community call.

I will see you next time. 

Ben Marsh: Cheers.

Michael Bille: Bye-bye.

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