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Deep Dive With Radix
Recorded: May 11, 2023
- Hey, guys, thanks everyone for tuning in. Let's just wait for our guests to join before we get started.
Alright, so I believe Adams here are our guests for today's QCoin 5 side chat deep dive with radix Adam could you
Awesome. And yeah, so while we get that sorted, I'd just like to introduce you guys again as well as myself. My name is Tim, Head of Social Action.
Kukoin and the host for today's deep dive. Adam here with us is CSO. Adam do you want to give a high level background over yourself as well as the project?
Yeah, I'd love to. So as you've already introduced my name is Adam Simmons. I'm the Chief Strategy Officer at RDX Works, which is one of the core developers behind the Radix Network. So Radix is a layer one smart contract platform. We've been going for quite a long time. Radix originally started
journey all the way back in 2013 when our founder Dan got bitten by the Bitcoin bug and then spent eight years along with the team doing R&D into how to solve problems such as scalability, the developer experience and the user experience in a way that would actually make Web 3 and DeFi usable, not just for enthusiasts.
like us here, but also for our friends, our family and our colleagues, and really solve the challenges that are needed to make this incredible technology reach massive option. Awesome. So I'd like to start off with a very macro picture. So could you go over your view of the current state of Web 3D?
deep fires of now. And what opportunities do you see, uh, uh, Rattles having to contribute to the space? Yeah. So the current state of Web 3 is exciting to be honest, it's really on the precipice of solving a lot of issues, not only from a technology standpoint, but also from a an overall global
financial standpoint to really usher in this entire new era of how people all across the world interact with and utilize financial products, assets within their lives. Now, the challenge with that is that that promise is something that's been spoken about really for quite a long time, but it has yet to materialize.
like we look at all of the success that the spaces had over the last couple of years. But when you put it in the perspective of global finance, it's still a drop in the ocean. Like if you look at today, the total value locked in D5, for example, is only about 50 billion dollars. Now 50 billion dollars is obviously a huge amount of money.
until you compare it with the $400 trillion global financial system. Now, when you see this and when you see all the promises we inside the space see, it makes you wonder why is this not reaching far greater heights being adopted by far more people? And in my opinion, it's because some of the fundamentals
really on there. For a start, the user experience. Now, I don't know about you, but if you've ever tried to onboard a non-cryptoperson into a webflin and crypto, it's a painful experience. Your first step is like going down low, meta-mask or something. Oh, here's this seed phrase. You've got to keep it completely safe. If you ever lose it, you lose access to all your money#
out on Arve and they get presented with this random string of letters and numbers to approve. And that in itself, again, it's not confidence inspiring. So one of the biggest problems we're seeing in the space today is that while it's technically possible to do a lot of these things, your average person, even technical
people can't confidently engage with this technology because of some of the big user experience problems. And those user experience problems are really hard to solve because it's not just a case of making a prettier UI. Metamask and the team there, I'm sure don't look at the current way you approve transactions and go, this is a fantastically brilliant
And they know that it's not great. The problem is that's all they have to work with from information provided from the rest of the Ethereum stack, for example. And that's something that's the same with all Ethereum virtual machine compatible chains. On top of the user experience, you also have some major issues with the development of the user experience.
experience. So anyone who has ever worked with salinity or if you know anyone who's ever worked with salinity, just ask them what it's like developing it in. I can assure you I've asked that question to many, many developers and it's very rarely a smiling face saying they love it. And again, this is not the fault of salinity necessarily.
because solidity was created and unlocked a huge amount of potential which it didn't know what that would look like or what would be needed for that when it was created. As a result, we have only a fraction of the global developer workforce engaging in Web 3 despite the huge amount of excitement and opportunity here because most developers and most companies
are confident in engaging in a system and building a system where user funds are controlled, but we see billions of dollars of hacks and exploits every single year. There's also a really hard path for developers to get into the space because currently building has a multi-year time to talent until you're able to actually make production great
And so that user and developer experience combined or lack of combined is really a massive barrier to adoption. And that's still not even touching some of the the hair on fire problems of things like scalability that have still yet to be solved despite many years then being at the forefront of the space.
Yeah, why don't Adam, why don't you go go over some of the problems with scalability as well before we dive deeper into some of the other issues? Yeah, so scalability was actually where Radik started. So back in 2013, like I said, I found a Dan, he'd had a successful exit from another tech business.
business and had really got caught by the Bitcoin bug and was like, this makes a lot of sense. Ideologically, the vision of it is fantastic. And as all good tech people do, he started digging, really, so I'd looking at how Bitcoin works and the technology behind it. And suddenly, very quickly realized, well, hang on, if this is meant to be global decentralized money,
or an asset class, then how is that going to work for billions of people on the planet when it only scales to a handful of transactions per second? And so down in the team then spend the next 80 years in R&D really looking at how do you solve scalability, but solving it in a way that doesn't create new problems. And this is something we've seen quite a lot in the
the space recently. So while there has been some great progress made in how networks can scale to have more throughput, they usually come as a compromise. So one of those could be, for example, you get a lot more throughput, but the nodes required to run the network need astronomical amounts of compute power, which makes it very centralized or only a handful
nodes able to operate on it. That leads to less decentralization. You can run into other problems where actually you start trying to sharp the network which again makes total sense. You want to paralyze transactions but then you break something called atomic composability which is the ability for multiple applications or assets to be combined together.
the other in a single transaction that is either all complete or none of it's complete. So a really good example of that is say for example you want to do an arbitrage swap between two different decentralized exchanges. If there are two different shards, typically what happens is that you can't buy on one and sell on the other in the same transaction to make that
arbitrage opportunity. That introduces some time of delay and now that delay may be really small, but any delay means that there will be less arbitrage because it increases the amount of risk exposed and as a result you get less sufficient capital markets. If you compare that to say Ethereum today, you do have atomic composability because it's only
a single chart and therefore you can buy and sell in a single transaction, you have a more efficient capital market, you have better prices for retail users and arbitrage opportunities are instantaneous with very very little risk if any at all. And so solving all of these problems without creating new ones is incredibly difficult and why it took down on the team
A plus years of R&D to get to the solution we have at Radix, which is Cerberus. And we can touch on this later if you wish to, but essentially Cerberus is our own unique consensus algorithm. Cerberus is not a DAG, it's not a hash graph, it's not even a blockchain technically, it's its own unique class of distributed ledger technology that's still
maintains high levels of decentralization security across the entire network and is able to scale because in its final state it's heavily shoted. It's got two to the power of 256 shots and that means that you can split up pretty much everything into its own shot. Not just some daps on some shots, some on the other
you could have every liquidity pool, every token, every wallet, every fraction of a token on its own shard, and still essentially have infinite left. The really cool thing though is it is able to do that while still maintaining that atomic composability. And it does that by braiding the different shards together. And braiding is consensually simple. It's like folding them together so they behave
a single shard when they're both needed in a single transaction and then they split apart again when they're not. And by having so many shards, the mathematical likelihood of shards bottlenecking or needing to be combined together and bottlenecking each other basically becomes zero. And then you just add more nodes to the network to get a linear
increase in the amount of throughput, basically forever. So that took a lot of time. The first version of Cerberus has been live on our main net since would have been the summer of 2021. Since then it's done over two million transactions, had a hundred percent uptime running on a fully permissionless decentralized validator set.
So can you also let us let us know about your upcoming main upgrade? How does it solve the challenges that you've mentioned previously? Yes, so on July 31st, we've got our biggest update to the Radix mainnet to date the Babylon upgrade. So Babylon is bringing up own programming language
have on radix script, our virtual machine, the radix engine, and bring it on to our current mainnet. What that means in simple terms is that smart contracts become available on the network. So since we went into early access with our programming language and execution environment about 18 months ago, we've had over 10,000 developers
try the language we've got 50 plus projects already announced to be going live on the radix mainnet after July 31st and we've just seen great adoption there. The other side of that though is the Babylon also brings the first version of the new radix wallet. So this is something we showed off at our rad fi keynote event back in December which is a mobile
first wallet experience that is built from the ground up to leverage the entire technology stack of radix to provide a radically better user experience. Some of the headline features and what that does is it actually gives you truly human readable transactions. So when you approve a transaction in the radix wallet, you can see exactly what assets will be leaving your account, what apps will be being
with and what assets will come back into your accounts at the end of that. You can even set up a network level guarantees that if you don't get a certain amount of assets back, for example, the transactions invalid. Now, not only does that give you way more confidence of the user of knowing what you're actually approving, but it also means from developer side features such as slippage protection and things like that.
don't have to be built into the application level, it's secured by the network itself. Other features are things like the multifactual recovery that we have with the new Radix wallet. So multifactor recovery is a truly decentralized way of being able to recover your account if you lose your device or need to change device without needing to trust the centralized
service without needing to be 100% reliant on a seed phrase unless you wish to be. You can have recovery factors like hardware wallets like other phones, social recovery and again that's all powered by the network rather than a centralized entity. So those are just two of the kind of headline features that I'm really excited about with the Radix wallet coming but already just those
to alone, no more blindsiding, no more reliance on a single seed phrase to unlock everything. It already becomes really clear that this is something that actually far more people like our friends, like our families, will be confident using because it has the same level of experience that they're used to, while also giving the benefits of Web 3 where
is today and with other solutions, we currently have the problem that yet we can preach or we want that self-custody is really important. Control of your assets is really important, but most people don't feel confident or comfortable securing all of their assets with something like a seed phrase or blind signing transactions where they potentially get exposed to spend approval attacks or
or exploits where they could lose all of their money by clicking the wrong button. - So you mentioned some of the issues and the solutions that Radix brings to the user experience. I'd like to double click on the developer experience. How does Radix improve that side of things?
Yeah, that's a really good question. So the developer experience on Radx is radically different to building on salinity. So we made the choice very early on on Radx that we were going to be EVM compatible. And the reason for that is that while the EVM allowed a huge amount of innovation to come out, it's really limiting in
the way things operate. So Radix has its own programming language called scripto. Scripto is a rust-based language that has been in early access for about 18 months. It really allows developers to harness the power of our execution environment, the Radix engine, in some pretty novel ways. Now one of the big things about Radix engine and scripto
together is you can conceptually think of them as being quite similar to a game engine for DeFi. And for those of you not familiar with game engines, if you go back to the early 90s, if you wanted to build a video game, your first step was to program how physics works, how gravity works, how rendering engines work, how
shadows and lighting work. And those are incredibly complex things to build that took huge amounts of time and experts in the field. And even still, you then end up with games where you clip through walls or fall through the floor and it wasn't a great user experience. Now, that's very similar to what it's like building in DeFi today. You have to build everything from scratch.
you have to use things like ERC 20 standards to define what an asset is to make it work. And they naturally are exposed to more bugs and more exploits than if it's created from the start point with the right tooling that you can actually build what you're intuitively thinking. Now what game engines did when they came along in the late 90s?
is they created a framework where things like the physics engine, things like shadows and lighting were all there available to game developers from default. They weren't restrictive though, so it's not like a drag and drop website builder or something like that where you've only got the ready made pieces you want. You could customize it however you wanted.
But you have those things built in. So if your game, for example, was in space, you could go into the game engine and turn the slider for gravity down to zero, but still leverage all the power of the shadows and the physics outside of gravity. What that did, as we know from history, is made the video game industry explode suddenly that both the quality of video games created and also
So the number and the amount of interest in that space skyrocketed. The radix engine and scripto basically do that for DeFi as well. And one of the big ways they do that is by making assets a native function of the language. So what that means is that when you want to create a token or an NFT or a badge or any kind of asset on radix, you don't need
go and copy and paste semi-RC20 code that everyone agrees that's the standard they're going to use so different apps can work together. Assets themselves are actually built into the engine and built into the language so it's defined very very simply creating tokens when fts is incredibly simple to do but also the behavior of those assets is controlled by the engine.
And it does that by making asset logic and actually finite state machines, which have very, very predictable outcomes, which of course is what you want when you're dealing with financial transactions on a distributed ledger, you want predictable outcomes. Now, the end result of this is other than it being far more intuitive to build with scripto compared to
something like solidity is you also have way more inherent security, about 80% of the hacks and exploits we've seen in DeFi over the last couple of years, we think are pretty much impossible on the rad extension due to the way that it's handling asset behavior. You also are able to weigh more powerful applications more intuitively.
even simple things like an automated market maker behave on radix the way a developer would intuitively think they worked, whereas on solidity and in the VM what you actually see is that an AMM is actually a private key giving permission to a LP token contracts to update your balance and two other
ERC20 contracts, all by messages. Obviously, once you get your head around that, you can start working with it, but it's far more fragmented, it's far more complicated than what it conceptually seems obvious that, hey, a user has token A, they send it into a app that has token A and B, it's swap set and sends token B out. And that's exactly how it works on Radix.
Got it. Got it. And in terms of the ecosystem, right? So does this lead to a lot of a lot more developers building new web 3 and defi apps on on red X? How do you plan to grow this ecosystem and what kind of traction do you guys have so far? Yeah, so it definitely can lead to a far bigger ecosystem.
system because ultimately if you're making it far more intuitive and secure to build powerful DApps, more developers can enter the space. They can build more either general apps that have more features and more services that end users want or you can even get more specific apps that are tailored to specific use cases for individuals. A really good example of
this is if you think of something like a mobile phone, a smartphone's app store. Obviously, I'd assume that the vast number of people in the UK like me probably have a same heavy overlap of some of the top apps that we use, but I guarantee there's some apps on my phone that I absolutely love and use frequently for very specific purposes.
that if I walk down the street in London and ask a hundred people did they have that same app, they probably wouldn't. And this was all empowered by making building and the developer experience really, really strong. In terms of how that ecosystem is growing, so as I said, scripto went into early access about 18 months ago, in December 2020.
And the reason we put it into early access is that at Radik, we're firm believers of getting feedback from the people who are going to use these tools as soon as possible. So we wanted builders to start using script to start giving us feedback for us to iterate on. Since then, script O has gone from a local only environment into a public test environment onto our Alphenet onto our
internet and it's currently on our release candidate network, ready to go on to the main net at the end of July. And we've seen just an overwhelmingly positive response from projects and developers trying scripto. One of the things we measure is the number of unique GitHub clones of the scripto repo and there's been over 10,000 of those cumulatively
in these 18 months. We've had great projects already become public that they're going to be launching on Babylon. There's over 50 already announced and we're still months away. Some of them are even actually joining the space here. So for example, I can see on the list here we've got Wiley who's from XRD Domains, which is similar to the Ethereum
same service, we've got Aussie swap, which is a decentralized exchange. They're building and they're building because scriptJ makes building incredibly powerful and secure dApps so intuitive. And the way we're continuing to grow this is by really supporting that builder community. Our strong view as a team is that we're not the hero
of this story. The heroes who are going to make web3a reality for everyone and really achieve mass adoption are the builders. Our job is just to provide them the tools they need to create their vision and create the products that their users are going to love. And our job is to make that as easy and as simple for them to do that as possible. We invite
So we've run a whole series of different scripto challenges for online kind of coding challenges. They've been highly successful with people picking up the language very, very quickly and placing highly in there, being able to be complicated, defy applications very, very quickly.
We've run a range of developer workshops where we've had hundreds of developers in person turn up to these to learn how to build in Web 3 because ultimately it's a super exciting space. Developers want to come into there. They want to create these incredible things that they're imagining and picturing these products. They just need the right tools to do it and Radix is providing that.
And then most recently we've also just concluded our first grants cohort where we ran it different to most grants where we run a very small group of people and it was six projects that we picked out the ecosystem and work with them in a similar route to how like Y-combinator works by coaching them over a 12 week period and we actually brought all of those projects that were involved
in that grants program to consensus last month where they were on our booth with us and every single one of them absolutely smashed it. So Aussie Swap XRD domains, Kavias Swap, Hermes Protocol, Photon and Alphidex. All did a spectacular job of really presenting why their products not only are way more powerful, way more secure and rad-ex
but also why they love building here and why they've chosen Radix as the place they want to build. I'd like to shift the focus Adam to the XRD token. I understand that it's one of the most popular tokens available in Kucoin. Can you tell the audience more about this token if utility and anything else you'd like to share?
So XOD is the native token of Radix. It is similar in some ways to like Ethereum in terms of its use. So XOD is primarily used to secure the network so you can stake XOD. Radix is a delegated proof of stake network. We've got about 3.4%
5 billion xrd currently staked to the network so you get emissions from the network by staking and you also delegate your stake to validate nodes that participating consensus. You also use xrd to pay transaction fees on radix. So transaction fees on radix are very low but they are still there to obviously
the make sure that there's dedos protection and anti spam protection as well as paying nodes for being able to compute complex transactions when Babylon goes live. So those are the two main use of it. It's also likely to be used as collateral within a defy ecosystem on Radix as well. And we've been seeing
Great adoption of token holders wanting to get involved with the network. As you say, it's been getting a lot more attention recently and we've got some really exciting stuff coming up with Babylon at the end of July. Awesome. We have time for maybe two questions from the audience. So let's move on to this section first.
green I think you're up. Yeah so I see that to help ensure the network security like every year 300 million it's already generated by the protocol so how you maintain the value of the token by generating every year this huge amount of token
So I believe the question was how how is the health of the token through emissions? So this is very, very common in delegated proof of stake and proof of stake networks. So there is a total of also the current max supply of radic
So, at Genesis, there were 12 billion tokens created. The max applies to 24 billion that will be reached after 40 years of those 200 million tokens being released each year via remissions on the network. Those emissions go directly back to the
to the people and the validators who are staking or people who are staking to validators and the validators themselves. And that is a key part of the network because that is ultimately what keeps the security of the network and also allows the network to progress. So this is a vital function. Anyone is able to state
the minimum amount of stake is incredibly small. Of the top of my head I believe it's only a couple of dollars worth of XRD to be able to stake to a node. And so everyone can participate in that and it's a really important part of the ecosystem and the network to be able to incentivise that behaviour.
Awesome. Okay, so next up we have Louis. Go ahead, Europe.
I think you're muted.
Alright, if not, let me get our next speaker.
Give me one second.
Hey Jack, can you rest?
Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead. Okay. Yeah. So my question is I just want to know, can you tell me if you have like an ambassador program currently on the on the reddix platform and what are your requirements to actually apply for this?
Yeah, so there is a bad exam bastard program both in the main community and also within the developer community. It's a very selective program, so we don't open it up to general applications because we've got a very strong community of people doing a wide range of things. If you're interested in being involved as an
ambassador. What I'd suggest is get involved in the Radix community. Start doing some things, start really showing how you can add value to the community and that will get noticed in the community and then people like Jacob who's our community lead, he's on this space here today, reach out to him and he'll be able to give you more details of that.
Awesome. Adam, before we wrap things up, can you let the audience know where they can find out more information about you guys as well as what's coming up in the roadmap, anything you'd like to announce to the audience here? Yeah, I'd love to. So in terms of next things coming up, obviously we've got our Babylon
mainnet upgrade happening at the end of July. That's when smart contracts go live on the Radix mainnet. It's when the new Radix better user interface with the new Radix wallet. The first version comes out and it's really the start of a thriving web 3 and DeFi ecosystem on Radix. We've already got 50 plus projects announced ready to go live on that.
And we're all super excited about what's coming. If you'd like to get a preview of what's coming with Babylon and kind of the vision of some of the things we're doing with both user experience and the developer experience as well as scalability with radix, I cannot recommend Arquino. We didn't December enough. It was called rad fi. So if you just go to radix dlt.com
forward slash rad fire you'll find all the clips from there as well as the full video. It's about an hour and the challenge I said to absolutely everyone is if you're interested at all in radics and would like to know watch at least the first 10 minutes of rad fire. If you aren't convinced to keep watching the rest of it, because you think it's rubbish, send me a tweet telling me I'm in it in
So far no one's done that but they've watched through and loved it. So I really recommend Radvier's the best place to learn more information. I'd also highly recommend diving into our community. So if you go to our Twitter account, RadxDLT or just to RadxDLT.com, you can find all the links there to our
to our Discord, you can join our developer community at developers.radixdlt.com. There's some incredibly exciting things being built in the ecosystem, ready to go live with Babylon at the end of July this year. So now is the perfect time to dive in as we're about to kick off one of the most exciting periods on Radix's history.
Alright, Adam, I really appreciate you coming on again. And for everyone listening as always, this is only informational and entertainment purposes and not financial advice. And Adam, wishing you guys all the best and hope to see you next time.
Yeah, thank you very much for having me and thank you everyone for tuning in and listening.
FAQ on Deep Dive With Radix | Twitter Space Recording
Who is the host of the podcast?
The host of the podcast is Tim, head of social action at KuCoin.
Who is the guest for the podcast?
The guest for the podcast is Adam Simmons, Chief Strategy Officer at RDX Works.
What is Radix?
Radix is a layer one smart contract platform that started development in 2013 to solve problems such as scalability, the developer experience, and user experience in web 3 and DeFi.
What is the state of web 3 and DeFi currently?
The state of web 3 and DeFi is promising, but there are still major issues with user experience, development experience, scalability, and adoption.
What are some of the user experience problems in web 3 and DeFi?
Some of the user experience problems in web 3 and DeFi include difficulty onboarding non-crypto users, complicated and unsafe seed phrases, and random strings of letters and numbers to approve transactions.
What are some of the challenges with development experience in web 3 and DeFi?
Some of the challenges with development experience in web 3 and DeFi include the limited engagement of the global developer workforce, the complexity of programming languages like Solidity, and the multi-year time to talent needed to make production-grade development.
What is the main problem with scalability in web 3 and DeFi?
The main problem with scalability in web 3 and DeFi is finding ways to increase throughput without compromising decentralization or breaking atomic composability, which is the ability for multiple applications or assets to be combined together in a single transaction that is all complete or none complete.
What did the founder of Radix realize about Bitcoin?
The founder of Radix realized that if Bitcoin was meant to be global decentralized money, its scalability would not work for billions of people on the planet when it only scales to a handful of transactions per second.
How long did it take Radix to develop its solution to scalability?
It took Radix and its team over eight years of research and development to get to its solution to scalability, which is Cerberus.
What is Cerberus?
Cerberus is Radix's solution to scalability, which increases throughput without compromising decentralization or breaking atomic composability.