The Goodfellas (GF): Welcome To another GoodFellas AMA. Today, we are joined today by the team of Kadena: Jeffrey, Francesco, Stuart, and Doug. Can we start with intros? What are your backgrounds/experiences both in the traditional and crypto spaces?
Francesco Melpignano (Kadena): Hey all! I am running business development and was previously an engineer at Kadena. Before Kadena, I founded and sold a startup in the robotics space. Here today to support DA UPSETTAAA Stuart Popejoy 😎.
The Goodfellas (GF): A pleasure to have you here Francesco!
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): My name is Stuart Popejoy and I’m the CEO of Kadena! My background is coming from 25 years in software and 15 years in financial building exchanges and trading systems, before switching to blockchain in 2014 when I led the JP Morgan blockchain team. That’s where I met my co-founder Will Martino who was tech lead of the project, and we created Kadena in 2016 to bring industrial-strength software to blockchain — stuff powerful enough to clear all the world’s assets, but safe and easy enough that non-programmers could write and understand smart contracts without being terrified of mysterious bugs and exploits. At Kadena, we built an incredible team that launched the world’s only Scalable Proof-of-Work blockchain, and now we’re helping launch game-changing apps like Kaddex, the multi-protocol, multi-chain DEX.
The Goodfellas (GF): Wow you guys are rockstars in crypto. We’re pumped to be here! For those of our members that may be unfamiliar, can you please give a brief overview of what Kadena is all about?
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): Kadena is all about bringing real-world scalability to blockchain, DeFi, NFTs, and smart contracts, by leveraging the proven unbeatable security and reliability of Proof-of-Work with real scalability as the only sharded PoW blockchain, and offering a full solution for industrial-scale apps: fast finality via our Kuro permissioned blockchain, and safe and secure apps with Pact, our smart contract language. This has allowed developers to build in record time, which is why we have launched DEXes, tokens and NFT exchanges since going live in January 2020. Our team is unmatched, including luminaries like Stuart Haber who provided critical skills in developing the multi-chain security model and who now advises on crypto interaction protocols in Pact. Kadena is the only blockchain that can settle all the world’s assets and is the future of digital value.
The Goodfellas (GF): Wow that’s a lot to take in. As a crypto nerd, I’m totally star-struck by the reference of Stuart Haber. In our world…that’s celebrity status.
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): He’s the real deal. In addition to the namechecks in the Satoshi paper he built the first blockchain in 1996 … using the NY times classifieds to record hashes of documents. So when Satoshi says “we need a source of truth like the NY Times Classifieds” that wasn’t just a metaphor 😂.
The Goodfellas (GF): Truly amazing….and to think you guys have access to such a brilliant mind.
The Goodfellas (GF): There’s been so much focus on moving away from POW but yet that’s where your focus is? Can you explain why POW over others? Also, what exactly does “scalable POW” mean?
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): Scalable POW means a Proof-of-Work blockchain like Bitcoin or Ethereum that ALWAYS can handle an ever-increasing transaction load by increasing capacity. We launched with 10 “braided chains” and in August 2020 scaled to 20, doubling throughput without using any additional hash power. We can scale without limit, bounded only by bandwidth: 100, 1000, or 100,000 chains. So for your hashrate, you’re getting ever-increased efficiency as utilization grows.
All this, while increasing the proven security of single-chain Proof of Work blockchains. This is why we worked with folks like Stuart Haber and Tarun Chitra to ensure the security was rock solid.
The Goodfellas (GF): Ok so if no additional hash power is needed, then am I correct in assuming that the energy consumption doesn’t increase? And if it doesn’t…..then have you guys been in touch with some of the newsmakers in crypto (i.e. Elon)?
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): This is also how we can make PoW green too, expanding on the model from the Square whitepaper. By keeping PoW efficient, we encourage more sustainable models for mining and utilizing excess grid energy efficiently. Who is this … “Elon” you speak of?
The Goodfellas (GF): Ok, I think I asked before you were finished responding..sorry for that. But this is great info!
Oh just this guy who’s been making waves in Crypto. But joking aside, you’re solving a huge problem.
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): Hehe. Oh, he’s the doge guy? OK, I’ll stop. I actually appreciate his focus on crypto, between that and NFTs 2021 has been a great year for crypto.
The Goodfellas (GF): I was just listening to Elizabeth Warren talking about turning away from digital currencies that are not eco-friendly so it is a real-world adoption concern.
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): What’s important to realize is, if Bitcoin was scalable, we’d be settling the stock market on it and arguing about supercharging renewable mining. The real problem is that Bitcoin and Ethereum are inefficient so increased hashrate accomplishes nothing but waste (past a minimum security level).
With Kadena, increasing utilization => more efficiency => more value to society, encouraging productive engagement with mining, which, unlike traditional mining, benefits from grid excess and renewables. Power companies could be green mining their spare energy and passing savings to consumers.
The Goodfellas (GF): I can see that and with your solution, this can really be a game-changer. Especially for politicians who want to support crypto but can’t because of energy consumption concerns. The more value to society would encourage more adoption…brilliant!
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): The thing is, mining gives real fundamentals to the currency and this allows for economic security. Whereas Proof-of-Stake systems encourage insecurity, especially when there is a lot of leverage or competing demand from yield. Proof-of-Work tokens are the best coins for financial engineering because you’ll never upset the liquidity regime of the mining token.
The Goodfellas (GF): I was unaware of this. So this would mean they’re ideal for DeFi. Who are some of the key new partnerships that you’ve had and how will they help Kadena?
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): We’ll hear from our head of BD, Francesco, for that one 🙂
Francesco Melpignano (Kadena): Yesterday we had our first 3rd party DeFi protocol, KADDEX, launch a token sale on Kadena, which has been a huge success thus far. We also recently partnered with API3, an awesome decentralized oracle data provider. We actually had an ama with their community yesterday that you can check out here.
The Goodfellas (GF): Sweet! I’m all about DeFi and passive income. Will definitely check this out! Thanks for sharing.
Francesco Melpignano (Kadena): We are looking to expand our wallet ecosystem to make things as easy as possible for users to interact with dApps. On that front, we recently announced a partnership with Torus, a wallet that lets you sign Kadena transactions with a simple social single sign-on. Similar to ‘login with google’ authentication that people are accustomed to everywhere in the web2 world.
The Goodfellas (GF): Interesting…and anything that makes the user experience easier is better for mainstream adoption.
Francesco Melpignano (Kadena): We are planning on making the user experience as seamless as using any web2 application, and this is only possible because of Kadena’s gas stations (Read here), where a contract can pay for a user’s gas. This means that a user interacting with blockchain doesn’t even necessarily need to know he is doing so, and thus not have to go through the annoyance of buying eth from an exchange and passing KYC etc etc.
The Goodfellas (GF): Ahh, that was going to be my next question. I didn’t quite understand what the “gas station” reference was. So then this solves the gas problem?
Francesco Melpignano (Kadena): We need to understand that it is quite a steep learning curve for your average user to even use Metamask, so it’s not enough to make fancier UI’s to attract users. The blockchain that the smart contract code lives on needs to inherently scale. There is only so much a frontend dev can do.
The Goodfellas (GF): 100% agree with this statement.
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): Kadena solves the gas problem in its entirety. First, apps can subsidize user gas. This is critical for UX, the user should never even know what gas is. Second, apps can do so in a way that e.g. involves a gas token, allowing for risk management and financial engineering so that companies can plan for utilization costs. But the final and most important thing is, being a scalable platform so that gas fees NEVER get out of control in the first place.
The Goodfellas (GF): This is such an important point. I hold $ETH but sometimes I wonder how much I want it to rise because if it rises, then gas prices always seem to get worse.
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): Because Ethereum isn’t the only chain with a gas problem. Binance Smart Chain is way faster but still not scalable, so now Pancake Swap is contending with rising gas prices with no limit.
The Goodfellas (GF): Yeah I noticed that as well. So scalability does seem to be the key driver in addressing a lot of concerns
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): Scalability means “increase capacity along with load”. Not “start with a bunch and hope it doesn’t run out”.
The Goodfellas (GF): Wow, you can make a T-shirt with that slogan. It hits home.
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): This applies to Solana and Ava, and even though Cosmos and Polkadot are “sharded” they aren’t actually scaled — each chain is more or less independent.
Francesco Melpignano (Kadena): To me all these EVM clone chains that just came into the world suspiciously remind me of the many bitcoin ‘improved forks’ of the past bull run. All those chains inevitably are fizzling away since they did not really innovate or solve any problems. It’s easy enough to change 3 lines of code and spend millions on marketing, not so easy to redesign a blockchain system from the ground up to fundamentally solve all the problems that are emerging today and will only get worse as adoption goes up.
But this is inevitable as actually reading the whitepaper is an extremely complicated affair. I’ll bet you even employees at some of these new proof of stake blockchains do not understand how their consensus algorithm works. There is one key takeaway from all proof-of-stake whitepapers though, there is a HUGE assumption, that 2/3 + 1 of the network needs to be honest actors. Good luck with that in the long run. proof of work is maths, proof of stake is behavioral economics. What would you trust to settle all of the world’s digital value?
The Goodfellas (GF): That’s a possibility 🤷🏻♀️. I didn’t realize the security aspects of POS. This is a very good point and one that the common user doesn’t think of. Right now people see the hype and ‘assume’ that it must be the right answer because everyone is talking about it.
The Goodfellas (GF): Can you elaborate on how you will be incorporating NFT’s into the Kadena ecosystem? I wasn’t clear on that.
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): NFTs on Kadena benefit from the most innovative thinking on NFTs reflected in our standard, the “poly fungible” token. This takes ERC-1155 and incorporates fractional ownership. Plus we’re working on an exchange standard, which is how things like royalties can be actually enforceable no matter what NFT exchange you’re on. We have a new NFT market launched by a developer from the KDA community using these great standards and are bringing other projects on as we speak.
The Goodfellas (GF): Wow you guys have literally thought of everything.
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): We’re excited about fractionals! This is how NFTs can really become equity for creators and even fans.
The Goodfellas (GF): I can see that! Ok, now let’s get into the use case for the $KDA token. Why would I need to buy $KDA?
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): Why do you use any crypto (beyond speculation)? Because you can access it readily because you can loan or borrow it easily because you can tap into new cash flows. KDA is the best protocol for DeFi because AMMs will always be able to provide liquidity (and be rewarded for it), borrowers can always find lenders, and other protocols can leverage it in sales and other fungible activity. As Kadena grows and brings more solutions to the market, KDA will provide essential utility to everybody using Kadena.
The Goodfellas (GF): I can see your use cases growing so getting in at these levels could be advantageous.
The Goodfellas (GF): Community is such a strong aspect of crypto now….How strong is the Kadena community?
Jeffrey Ou (Kadena): I think we have the best community out there. They really care about the tech and what we stand for and I think that speaks volumes. I think they truly understand that blockchain has a place in the world and we’re the only project that can fit the shoes of what the world needs.
Doug Beardsley (Kadena): Hi, Kadena’s Director of Engineering here…we’ve seen the community really step up in recent months with all kinds of initiatives that are making a really significant difference. They’re a great group of talented and knowledgeable people who appreciate the scope and significance of what we’ve built and the potential in the ecosystem
The Goodfellas (GF): What a great answer! With that said, Does the community have any kind of an impact or vote on Kadena’s direction?
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): The community has already stepped up in the form of actively engaging with projects like the Kadenaswap public beta. This month we’re launching a DAO for strategic projects and community members will be directly involved. Finally, things like our bridge are actually bonded by KDA holders taking risks to provide security, generating a return on that bond. Crypto is run by the community really, and Kadena tries to listen to its community at all times.
The Goodfellas (GF): Incredibly important to listen to the community. Glad you guys recognize that.
The Goodfellas (GF): What important milestones are coming up for Kadena that you would like to highlight and make our members aware of?
Francesco Melpignano (Kadena): The DAO will also give a great chance to our community to deploy some marketing funds on our behalf. Stay tuned!
Doug Beardsley (Kadena): One upcoming milestone that I’m excited about is that we’re working on upcoming integration with the Ledger hardware wallet. We know that having more secure wallet options is something that is important to a lot of users and it will be good to get familiar security devices working with Kadena.
The Goodfellas (GF): That’s great! Something I myself need to get more familiar with so I’ll be paying attention.
Francesco Melpignano (Kadena): Well we had our biggest 3rd party project launch on Kadena just yesterday!! This is super exciting for us to see that our technology is getting leveraged to its full potential
Stuart Popejoy (Kadena): The public beta of Kaddex is launching very soon, and full launch will bring Tokensoft kBTC and kETH tokens going live alongside KDA and native tokens, with massive participation from liquidity providers and innovative structures and solutions for impermanent loss, single-token provision, MEV, all leading to higher fees for AMMs and a better experience for the user.
The Goodfellas (GF): Wow this is huge! Please feel free to share links to your Announcements channel and other social links so we can stay up to date. I know our members would greatly appreciate that.
Jeffrey Ou (Kadena): Please be sure to follow us on:
You can also subscribe to our newsletter for in-depth updates on our project: https://upscri.be/9a9e56.
The Goodfellas (GF): Also, before we end today, can you please tell us where our members can purchase KDA if they are indeed interested?
Jeffrey Ou (Kadena): You can purchase KDA on Kucoin, Coinmetro, and Bittrex Global 🙂.
The Goodfellas (GF): Perfect. Well, this has been a very educational and informative AMA. I learned a lot about POW & even the weaknesses of POS that I really didn’t pay attention to. I will definitely keep this project on my radar and hopefully so will our members. Thank you for your time today and I wish you the best of luck. With that said, the AMA is now complete.
That concludes the AMA. If you are interested in reading the AMA, feel free to join our Telegram and view the discussion starting here. To get announcements about Kadena’s progress, follow us on Twitter, Discord, Reddit, and Telegram.