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Kadena Eco & Core Telegram AMA, August 11, 2022 Transcript


Jeffrey Ou: Welcome everyone, to the return of Kadena’s Telegram AMA! Compared to last year, we have a full suite of amazing team members joining us today for this special AMA session! Without further ado, I’ll let the team introduce themselves to the existing community members and anyone new tuning in!

Stuart Popejoy: Hey y’all! great to be back with the original crew doing an AMA, looking forward to everyone’s questions!

Emily Pillmore: Hi Everyone! glad to be here!

Francesco Melpignano: Hi everyone! Great to be here for a live AMA and looking forward to everyone’s questions!

Doug Beardsley: Hi everyone, I’m Doug, Kadena’s Director of Engineering. Lately, I’ve been focusing on growing the team and onboarding the phenomenal engineers who have recently joined.

Will Martino: Jeff says we should intro ourselves! Hi I’m Will Martino, Co-Founder and President of Kadena. Before Kadena I was lead eng for Juno, JPM’s first blockchain and what became JPMCoin v0. Before that I was at the SEC as the lead eng for a quant group that was building forensic tools that are now deployed nationwide. When I was at the SEC I also was the founding tech lead of the SEC’s Crypto Working Group. My co-founder Stuart Popejoy and I met at JPM and founded Kadena to address the shortcomings we found when we tried to get the EVM/ETH to do more than simple tokens/debt at an industrial scale. This required substantial innovations in both smart contract and base layer technology, which we’ve spent the last 6 years shipping (gosh it’s been 6+ years).

Emily Pillmore: I’ll intro too: Hi! I’m Emily Pillmore, Team Lead for Pact. Before, I was CTO of the Haskell Foundation, Advisor for SundaeSwap, Senior at Disney/ESPN/Bamtech, and hired gun CCAR auditor on Wall St. I’m a published math nerd, programming language buff, and I ride a motorcycle with cat ears on my helmet.

Doug Beardsley: I’ve been in the software business for close to 19 years. Over that time I’ve worked in defense, security, finance, and in a few startups building frontend and backend web apps. I’ve been programming Haskell professionally for 12 years which is what led me to meet the Kadena team. Now I’m Kadena’s Director of Engineering and love working with the talented team of engineers we have.

Stuart Popejoy: Hey everyone, Stuart here — I’m the CEO of Kadena and author of the Pact smart contract language. Before that, I built the blockchain team at JP Morgan, been in tech for 25 years, and trading tech for 15. Now I’m pumped to be working with the best technologists and product thinkers in blockchain: Kadena Core & Kadena Eco!!

Francesco Melpignano: Intro as well, CEO of Kadena Eco and leading the ecosystem growth of Kadena through grants, investments, R&D, and incubation/acceleration. Lots of exciting stuff coming from our end in the coming months. Happy to leak some alpha here today

Jeffrey Ou: Awesome, great to have the core team from Kadena Eco and Core joining in on this AMA! With the introductions out of the way, let’s jump into the pre-asked questions from Twitter, Telegram, Discord, and Reddit!

Community Pre-Asked Questions

Jeffrey Ou: The first question we have from the community is from

Frag (@Frag6534) on Telegram: “What is the status of these collaborations [such as Chainlink, API3, and USCF]?”

Francesco Melpignano: After a very successful cohort set of grants going out, oracles will be a big focus for the next cohort. We are working with API3 and Chainlink to be on their integration pipelines, although they are focusing more heavily on EVM-based chains. There are many other companies we are also talking to at the moment to natively support Kadena oracles and also several other intermediate steps to give builders all the necessary infrastructure to build all possible use-cases on Kadena. With Kaddex coming to life with a successful launch, their price feed can work as an intermediary step for oracles

We are also working closely with Kalend to help them figure out the most reasonable solution. We are drawing a lot of parallels from AAVE who also run their own internal oracle as a sanity check for the integrity of their data.

Will Martino: My fav collab (sorta pet project) at the moment is Electron Labs. We’ve been wanting to do ZK on KDA for a while. About a year ago we started working on bridges and found the existing tech pretty for decentralized bridges pretty rickety… and in the intervening year, that opinion has been pretty validated. Then we got in touch with Electron, and I’m really digging their ZK bridge approach. The first step is to bring Electrons ZK onto testnet, which we’re aiming for October. After that, mainnet. This will support rollups/privacy. After that, we can dig into the decentralized bridging tech.

Jeffrey Ou: Thanks for the updates. Speaking about grantee cohorts, this is a great segway to another community question for Kadena Eco’s CEO @fmelp.

Hereby (@herebycm) on Telegram asked “What about the Kadena Green mining incentive?”

Francesco Melpignano: Awesome question, thanks @herebycm. We are also focusing on decentralizing and providing more green mining to the Kadena network with the next cohort of grants. We have almost finalized a grant to a project that has already implemented the tech for a decentralized mining pool. We exposed that API to the community some time back and we are glad to see a company with great founders and serious backing turn it into a self-sustainable project. The project will empower our community to choose a pool that does not centralize hashpower and payouts.

RE the green mining initiative, we are looking for companies and applications that can facilitate green initiatives and reward miners using actually renewable energies.

Jeffrey Ou: Thanks for the sneak preview on the next cohort @fmelp!

Doug Beardsley: While we’re talking about mining, I’ll just remind the Kadena mining community that spreading hash power around among the different pools always helps improve things in a variety of ways. Some new pools have come online recently. Definitely worth checking them out.

Jeffrey Ou: Moving onto Marmalade, Kadena’s NFT standard.

@cryptometcalfe on Twitter had asked: “It seems there’s a number of different approaches with Marmalade leading to potential NFT fragmentation. How do you plan to bring it all together into a unified standard to ensure interoperability through the ecosystem?”

Stuart Popejoy: Great question! Kadena’s always been at the forefront of standards technology, but it’s nothing if the community is not involved every step of the way, and recently this has taken a step up with great community involvement surrounding things like managing and interoperating with NFT collections, wallet interactions, cross-chain, DIDs and other exciting topics. While you’re right there has been some fragmentation, I see this as a natural outcome of an open process/open-source code that only helps the final standard, as builders simply deploy with their own ideas and then coalesce around better ways to do things. The upcoming weeks will have some great new work coming on line in all of these areas and even v2 of some of the standards!

Jeffrey Ou: Awesome to hear that we’re involving our community of builders in the decision-making with regards to the development of Marmalade! Speaking of community builders,

MarcoMrm (@Marco_o_O) on Telegram asked: “When Pact with python-like syntax? Will Pact support other syntaxes?”

Doug Beardsley: Oooh, been a while since we got this one…

Emily Pillmore: Another good question! So we’ve been discussing this for the past few months and Jose has released some preliminary syntactic snippets to gauge interest in whether or not Pythonic syntax would be a good idea for Pact. Since we’re going all in on Pact Core over the next 6 months for improved performance, tooling, and community involvement, we decided that yes: pythonic syntax would be good to have and we’re going to follow through with it. However, it will not be the first syntax released for the new Pact, since it would require an ecosystem-wide migration effort in terms of docs, tutorials and tooling support to do it. So, we’ll be rolling out with the classic lisp-like syntax at first, and enlisting tons of your help in order to help us migrate.

Jeffrey Ou: Thanks for the alpha on Pact’s roadmap @emilypi! Can’t wait for the new and improved Pact! Before we move onto more builder questions, we have a specific question for @wjmartino!

R0nnybums on Reddit asked: “Did you have programming experience before you went to ‘Hacker School’ to learn Haskell? Seems quite an impressive jump to learn Haskell for 3 months before getting a job at JP Morgan as a Haskell dev then creating a blockchain in Haskell a year or so after that. Thanks!”

Will Martino: Yeah… well I kinda burnt out at the SEC and needed a break. Hacker School (Recurse now) was/is a great way to fall back in love with programming, it’s like a writers retreat for programmers. Anyway, I had a blast and focused on actually learning Haskell which I’d wanted to do for years. Interesting side note, the write you a scheme that I did when I was there was one of the first 2 languages to run on JPM Coin v0. I got really lucky in landing a gig at JPM and meeting @Stuart Popejoy after Hacker School and I guess the rest is history.

Jeffrey Ou: Always great to hear more about your impressive background and Kadena’s founding! Going back to builder-related questions, this next question is very much in line with the discussion held during @mightybyte’s office hours (Wednesdays at 9 AM ET on Twitter).

@cryptometcalfe on Twitter had asked: “I’d like to understand the roadmap to better interoperability between chains. Doug seems to be working on IntelliSend, is there any other infrastructural tools that will help retail users operate with less chain friction?”

Doug Beardsley: The key piece of infrastructure that will reduce chain friction is what we call QuickSign, a signing API that allows multiple transactions to be signed in a single signing request to the wallet. That interface is simple and already defined. We are currently working on WalletConnect infrastructure which will allow this QuickSign API to be used in many more dAPPs and wallets. I dropped a teaser video of something I’ve been working on that I’m tentatively calling IntelliSend that shows how this kind of signing infrastructure can be used to make chains completely disappear. You can see it at:

There are a couple of significant things about that video. First, the signing is being done by a web wallet (not a desktop wallet or browser extension). This is something that wasn’t possible before WalletConnect. Second, handling chains transparently opens up a whole new set of possibilities for optimization. A sophisticated transfer tool could automatically load balance across chains, choosing chains that are less congested and have lower gas fees. Huge possibilities for improvement here.

Jeffrey Ou: Thanks for the update @mightybyte! After this [next] question, we’ll open the floor up for live questions so be sure to paste in your questions soon! In terms of accessibility, wallets are one of the most essential tools needed for interacting with the blockchain.

@AlterVibeEgo on Twitter had asked: “Is it possible to integrate a hardware authentication device like a YubiKey onto Chainweaver or Chainweaver web?”

Doug Beardsley: Yes. In fact, I happen to know that someone has already integrated a credit-card-sized hardware wallet and is actually using it to sign Kadena transactions. YubiKey I’m not 100% sure about. That will need more investigation. But the more general question of arbitrary hardware signing devices is a definite yes.

Francesco Melpignano: There’s definitely been testing and exploration of several hardware wallet solutions and once again thanks for the question as this is another focus of the next cohort of grants. To support wallet infrastructure and extend the wallet ecosystem to hardware solutions and tools to make mobile dAPP interaction easy and seamless. For those that caught it, the Lago team a while back teased out signing a tx with an existing hardware wallet solution

Doug Beardsley: Note that my IntelliSend teaser was intentionally vague. There’s more to come there.

Jeffrey Ou: Sweet! Great to see progress with the hardware wallet and making it easier for users to access KDA and any other tokens on Kadena!

Live Community Questions

Jeffrey Ou: Great! Let’s open up the floor for community questions :)!

Ra: What are possible catalysts this year?

Doug Beardsley: I actually think the current crypto bear market is a great catalyst. I think the weak projects will get shaken out. While this will inevitably involve some short-term pain I think that this will ultimately be good for solid projects.

k: Mr Metcalfe (@whippersnapperUK): Any news on Kuro updates to work alongside mainnet? It seems some projects are keen to use it?

Emily Pillmore: While Kuro is a very capable L2, the reason we’re doing ZK rollups with Electron is so that we can provide a more modern optimistic rollup solution first, as we gauge what the workload is going to look like for Kuro.

Charlie (@Charliesmith1): Any ideas for devs on key infrastructure that isn’t already being built that Kadena needs to bring widespread adoption?

Francesco Melpignano: Infra is a big focus to give builders what they need to come to develop the next gens of dAPPs on Kadena. Now that a bridge is live, we are focusing on getting more tokens over (with and without tokensoft), oracles, node hosting solutions (think infura/alchemy), wallets that make Kadena chain and apps ready for mainstream users (beyond seed phrases and conventional wallets today), more example policies and documentation for Marmalade to power the next-gen of NFTs.

hereby (@herebycm): What makes Kadena better than Ethereum for Zk rollups (referring to what Emily said in KDLounge)?

Will Martino: The main thing is base-layer scaling + readable on-chain code, but that’s what makes KDA better for crypto development generally. If you don’t have a scalable base layer, you can’t handle adoption long term… as there’s no way to handle gas price increases. ZK helps via rollups, but still settling to mainnet costs a lot of gas on a normal single chain (or even DAG) chain. Add to that that the code that executes is the code that you write, and it’s just safer. That said, one cool benefit is that you can have parallel ZK kernels for the same token running on different chains, so a properly scalable ZK token becomes a reality.

tesco value: Is there a minimum hash power or # of miners needed for XXX… Number of chains? If there were rolling blackouts around the world, how many miners would be needed to keep all chains producing blocks?

Will Martino: No, there’s not. That’s the cool part of POW. Once the hashrate is **sufficiently **strong (which we already are) then the number of chains run vs hashrate are truly unrelated.

G P Popejoy (@ALkaLineNumber9): Is there a plan for the next Kadena conference?

Doug Beardsley: Yes, a Kadena conference is in the works. Not sure on timing yet but we definitely know that in-person events, meetups, hackathons, conferences, etc are things that we will want to do in the future.

Closing Remarks

Jeffrey Ou: Thanks for the questions everyone, going to mute the channel for closing remarks! As we wrap up today’s AMA session, I just wanted to go around the room and ask what each team member is currently working on and the exciting project/roadmap item they’re most excited about!

Will Martino: I already talked about mine… making scalable ZK a reality!

Emily Pillmore: Thanks everybody! I’m most excited about delivering Pact Core in the next 6 months and I’m hyped AF that it’s going to be reality. 2 years from inception to release!!! WAGMI.

Francesco Melpignano: Thanks everyone! Can’t wait to reveal the next cohort of grants and the progress of the previous cohort that’s already shipping fundamental infra for Kadena and all the builders coming our way.

Stuart Popejoy: Between work on refining Marmalade standards, the great work Emily and the pact team are doing, and the incredible cohorts coming out of Kadena Eco, 2022 is heading toward an exciting Q4 with incredible projects and builders coming on line and new technologies hitting the ground! Kadena is the future of digital value and we’re not slowing down. Stay tuned and keep building! This community is the best and we couldn’t be prouder to be part of making blockchain work for everybody!

Doug Beardsley: I’m most excited about this in-progress WalletConnect infrastructure because it will totally change the game with respect to how people think about wallets. Features that used to be considered wallets will be able to be moved to dAPPs. I think we’ve only started to scratch the surface of the possibilities.

Jeffrey Ou: Thanks for the update!! And thank YOU to the community for the awesome questions!!

That concludes the first Kadena Telegram AMA for this year. If you are interested in reading the AMA directly from Telegram, join our Telegram and view the discussion starting here. To get the latest announcements about Kadena’s progress follow us on Twitter, Discord, Reddit, LinkedIn, and YouTube.