邀请嘉宾：Lucius Gregory (Greg) Meredith
Introduction to the Beliefs of RChain
Based on the revolutionary Rho calculus, RChain solves a series of problems preventing blockchain platforms from mainstream adoption. Its fast and scalable conflict detection algorithm accompanied with Casper CBC consensus allows: – all nodes to produce and verify blocks concurrently without global epochs so it becomes the first smart contract platform to achieve single-shard scalability; and – large data to be stored directly on chain, removing the dependency on other data storage solutions such as IPFS. Built on Rho calculus, RChain is the first chain to allow any complicated cross-shard transactions to be verified and finalized atomically and concurrently by all involved shards. This means the cross shard transactions can be done seamlessly and safely just as within a single shard. It will also be equipped with a Rho calculus based behavioural type system. This allows smart contracts to be formally verified quickly in a concurrent and sharded setting, which makes possible the orchestration of large quantities of smart contracts. Its unique reactive smart contract system is more suitable than other chains’ active systems for time sensitive applications such as DeFi. RChain’s unique technology makes it the best candidate to build a functional world computer.
RChain通过革命性的Rho演算解决了困扰公链发展的诸多难题，使得让通用计算上链第一次成为可能。基于Rho演算的快速冲突检测配合 Casper CBC共识，所有节点可以并发出块达成共识，首次做到了单分片可扩展性，使得大数据可以直接上链不需要借助IPFS。基于Rho演算的分片间同步共识，保证了跨分片合约调用的原子性，让分片间的交互和协作第一次可以无缝进行。基于Rho演算理论的行为类型系统可以完成并发和分片下的快速形式化验证，完成大量链上合约的安全有序编排。其独特的反应式合约比传统的主动式合约更适合高频应用场景如DeFi。RChain的独特技术路线使它成为构建世界电脑的不二之选。
Shixi: Let me introduce myself briefly first. I am 光之十一，you can call me Shixi. I am an early investor in RChain, participated in RChain in September 2017 and have stayed with it until now, and am currently one of the official operation leaders. Tonight our founder Greg and community celebrity Atticbee will be guesting in your community, and I’ll be the host here tonight, and it’s an honor to join you guys in the AMA.
Atticbee: I am a member of the China community of RChain Cooperative, graduated from Zhejiang University and Carnegie Mellon University with a major in computer science, and later settled in the United States and worked in the IT industry for a long time. As a blockchain technology enthusiast, I began to pay attention to RChain’s technology in 2017, had a lot of communications with members of the RChain cooperative, and have been promoting the awareness of RChain’s unique technology in the Chinese community.
Shixi：Hi~Good evening my friends. I am the host of today’s AMA, call me Shixi. I am honored to meet with 飞机哥 to hold this AMA in the 星际之门 community, and I am very grateful to the sunflowers of the RChain community who spontaneously sponsored the REV for the community red packet grabbing event! I have heard that this is a high quality, humane, visionary, technically oriented place, and I think that people by groups and I believe that the group is dominated by rational high-end investors like 飞机哥. We have prepared some REVs red packets, which will be interspersed with questions and interactive sessions, please prepare your own REV address to participate in the event.
Shixi：Hi, Greg! Welcome to 飞机哥`s 星际之门 community. As we all know, 飞机哥’s community has been around for two years, through bull and bear markets and has recommended several 100x Tokens, it is one of the best even among quality communities. And our RChain has spanned five years of memorable years, with 13000+ code submittimes, surpassing ETH. Last year we released the mainnet and this year’s block merge and sharding are ready to be launched, after that there is the important content of OSLF algorithm and Rho chip, etc., and no shortage of quality dApps such as Dappy and Wanna to continue with the past and open up the future.
光之十一：您好 ，Greg! 欢迎来到飞机哥的星际之门社区。我们都知道，飞机哥的社区已经有两年的历史，穿越牛熊，且诞生过好几个百倍币，即便是在优质社区中也属于佼佼者。而我们的RChain跨越了五年的峥嵘岁月，代码提交数量13000+，超越了以太坊。去年我们发布了主网，今年的块合并和分片更是蓄势待发，后面还有OSLF算法和Rho芯片等等的重磅铺垫和加持，以及不乏Dappy和Wanna等等这样优质的dApps继往开来。
Greg: Thanks very much for inviting me to talk with your community! It’s an honor and a privilege.
Shixi：So next, let’s enter the world of blockchain next generation together and feel the charm of technology synergizing everything.
Shixi：Greg, can you start by giving us a brief overview of what RChain is? What is the biggest difference between it and other public chains?
Greg: RChain is designed from inception to be a world computer and database, not merely a payments network. It is designed to run everywhere and nowhere — in the sense that if any one of the nodes in the global computer is shut down anywhere in the world, two more can take its place somewhere else in the world. This kind of platform will enable grassroots self-organization of communities all over the planet, and is essential to the kind of global coordination that will be necessary in the face of climate change.
RChain makes it possible for blockchain to scale from a payments network to a global computer by two improvements on existing blockchain designs: 1) improving the consensus mechanism (in this case from proof-of-work to pure, correct-by-construction proof-of-stake); and 2) improvement in what the consensus is used to store. Ethereum improves on Bitcoin by storing the state of a virtual machine instead of just storing a ledger. RChain improves on Ethereum by storing the state of a concurrentvirtual machine.
Critically, that concurrent virtual machine is correct-by-construction and based on our best model of concurrent computation. Likewise, RChain’s smart contracting language, Rholang, the language used to program the world computer and query and update the world database, is derived from that same model of concurrent computation. Thus, the virtual machine and the programming language are in perfect alignment and compilation or interpretation from one to the other is free from byte code injection attacks.
RChain让区块链从支付网络变成一个真正的全球电脑变成可能，是因为它对现有的区块链设计做了两个至关重要的改进： 1. 改进共识协议，从工作量证明（Proof-of-work）改进到纯粹的，基于建造的正确的权益证明(proof-of-stake)， 2. 改进共识协议存储的对象：以太坊改进了比特币，把共识到账本进化到共识到虚拟机的状态。RChain进一步进化到共识到某个“并发虚拟机”的状态。
Shixi: It is worth mentioning that we have joined the Climate Chain Coalition by the United Nations.
光之十一：值得一提的是，我们加入了联合国宣布成立的“气候链联盟”（Climate Chain Coalition）。
莫给机狂：我想补充几点。我喜欢用这个简单的给区块链分代的方式：比特币——区块链1.0 ： 共识到某个账本；以太坊——区块链2.0：共识到某个虚拟机的状态；波卡、Near，以太2.0 —— 区块链2.5：共识到一堆无法协作的虚拟机的状态；RChain —— 区块链3.0：共识到计算本身，可无缝组合，可无限扩展。币圈传奇毛路路，也完全同意我的这个给区块链分代的方式。毛总还说，2.5的最尴尬，因为到了3.0， 2.5就没啥事情了。
Atticbee: I want to add a few points. I like to divide the blockchain evolution into several generations:
Bitcoin – Blockchain 1.0: Consensus to a ledger;
Ethereum – Blockchain 2.0: Consensus to the state of a virtual machine;
Polkadot , Near, Ether 2.0, etc – Blockchain 2.5: Consensus to the state of a bunch of isolated virtual machines that cannot collaborate;
RChain – Blockchain 3.0: Consensus to the calculation itself, can be seamlessly interoperate, and can be scaled infinitely.
Mao Lulu, a legend in the crypto world, also completely agrees with my view of blockchain generations. Mr. Mao also said that generation 2.5 is in the most embarrassing position, because when blockchain 3.0 arrives, 2.5 will suddenly become irrelevant.
Screenshots of Mao Lulu:
I’m a legend because of my performance, not because of my shilling:
I made tens of millions of dollars on gen 2 – ETH
I made hundrends of millions of dollars on gen 2.5 – PolkaDot
Now I’m investing in gen 3 – REV, I have my patience.
Screenshots of Mao Lulu:
There is an embarrrasing situation here, that is gen 1.5 & gen 2.5. They are actually not as vital as gen 1 or gen 2.
However, because they were developed later, they don’t belong to them (gen 1&2) either.
Therefore, they generally surves as intermediate solutions.
As long as new generation arrives, those intermedidate solutions will be obsolete.
Screenshots of Mao Lulu:
NXT/XEM are gen 1.5
BTC/LTC are gen 1
NXT/XEM are gen 1.5
ETH/XTZ are gen 2
DOT/NEAR are gen 2.5
Gen 3 – I only see REV so far
Greg: Yes, that’s a very good way to describe it. One important point: coordination amongst chains is as computationally complex as any chain. It’s Turing complete.
Shixi: As the inventor of the Rho calculus and the Rholang language, how do you think they are related to the blockchain and what absolute advantages do they hold?
Greg: Great question! The Rho-calculus makes a small but vital improvement on the pi-calculus. The pi-calculus was our best model of concurrent computation and Robin Milner won the Turing award for its invention. By adding reflection, the Rho-calculus both simplifies the pi-calculus, and at the same time makes the resulting calculus more expressive computationally. This provides the foundation for a model of computation that allows for scaling inside a shard as well as scaling through sharding. Both forms of scaling are facilitated by the same underlying mechanism, namely that all computation occurs through communication over channels (aka names) and conflicts, such as double spend, can be detected as specific patterns of channel use.
The Rho-calculus makes a small but vital improvement on the pi-calculus. The pi-calculus was our best model of concurrent computation and Robin Milner won the Turing award for its invention. By adding reflection, the Rho-calculus both simplifies the pi-calculus, and at the same time makes the resulting calculus more expressive computationally. This provides the foundation for a model of computation that allows for scaling inside a shard as well as scaling through sharding. Both forms of scaling are facilitated by the same underlying mechanism, namely that all computation occurs through communication over channels (aka names) and conflicts, such as double spend, can be detected as specific patterns of channel use.
Essentially, Robin’s insight is that all computation is interaction. Coordination. This relates back to the point about coordination being Turing complete.
Atticbee: Let me add a few more points. At this stage, almost all public chain projects use Turing machines as their computational models. Under the Turing machine system, contract execution is through a bunch of instructions. The execution of the instructions are determined by the initial state of the virtual machine, and after the execution, the state of the virtual machine will be further changed. The instructions and the states are thus tightly coupled. Therefore it is very difficult to analyze, especially when you try to excucte them concurrently and put organize them into shards.
RChain chooses process calculus instead. All data and states only exist inside their corresponding channels and are isolated from each other. Because Rho calculus adds reflection, channels can be further tagged by names and organized into namespace. This a beautiful solution, and quickly clears the mess and solves the three challenges that all public blockchain platforms face once for all:
1. Can not execute concurrently, thus can not scale;
2. Even if you try to use sharding and multi-chain as to scale, you only get a bunch of isolated shards / side-chains that are doing their own stuff. They can not seamlessly work together;
3. Even if the first two are solved, you still face an extremely difficult problem: fast and economical formal verifications to ensure the security of the contract.
Because RChain chose the right technology tree, the three problems can be solved rather easily. The recent block merge has basically solved 1.
2, 3 is still on the way.
After 1, 2, and 3 are resolved, the first real world computer will be ready to use, and all public chain projects as you see in the market will be outdated overnight. This is the reason why I wrote a poem with excitement:
Oh you can not see: that Greg from Seattle is originally known to nobody.
But he’s spent long time to bring concurrence to block chain.
Ethereum does not adopt Rho calculus, thus RChain started to build its own.
Tens of thousands blocks are being produced concurrently, like a beautiful waterful.
Shards of shards are organized into a single piece, like a whirlpool.
The breakthrough from theoritic side is so remarkable,
That the crypto world will eventually be unified into one.
As the saying goes: men are afraid of getting into the wrong profession, women are afraid of marrying the wrong man, so the public chain projects are afraid of choosing the wrong technology route.
I chose RChain, and enjoy sitting on the right technology tree, and watch the other public chain projects keep banging their heads against the above 3 walls of tech obstacles, slowly bleeding to death.
All we need to wait for the team to gradually deliver the deliverable tech fruites from the technology tree one by one. As Mao Lulu said, investment is actually very simple. He already locked up his position and is holding RChain for the next 3 years, he doesn’t need to worry about it all day.
This tech part is more technical, and time is limited. If you are interested, you can look at the record of the last AMA done by our community with Citrex: https://www.yuque.com/guangzhishiyi/kgtnbb/pwqr2g
Group members: I would like to know how the underlying technology of your blockchain is extended and how does it carry out distributed storage? And what does your application layer do?
Greg: The main way to extend it is to write smart contracts in Rholang. If you want to add pre-existing libraries to Rholang, you can do that through SCala. Distributed storage is a great question! First, each node has a local copy of RSpace. This is a variant of Gelernter’s Linda Tuplespace. The consensus mechanism ensures that all local copies of RSpace are in agreement. Rholang offers transactional query. That is, you can search RSpace for data that matches a pattern, and you can lock data, and you can update data. The transactional model using channels is consistent with object capabilities and so provides a security model not easily found in either SQL or NoSQL.
Shixi: Many people in the community have heard about RChain for a long time, and during the five years we have experienced black swans, betrayal and slander. We’ve seen many of the founders of the project start their other businesses or run off without a trace. What has kept you going so far, without fear of the speech of man or hardship?
Greg: Excellent question! My persistence and the persistence of the team that is actually responsible for delivering the technology comes from our shared understanding that this project is focused on delivering vital coordination technology that will be essential to the survival of humanity. Climate change is an existential threat. As Bill Gates recently pointed out, addressing it will require a higher level of global coordination than was seen during the world wars. We cannot achieve that kind of coordination without fundamental improvements in our telecommunications infrastructure. In particular, that infrastructure has to be decentralized to be robust against a number of physical infrastructure interruptions. Blockchain is essential to the decentralization of our global telecommunications infrastructure. Currently, i have seen no other designs for blockchain that scales both vertically and horizontally. If i had, i might have been working to support those projects instead of working on RChain. RChain fills a critical gap in a desperate race against time. The team that has persisted has persisted because we are awake to this and are not distracted by common distractions like accumulating capital or lambos and cigars! 🙂
Shixi: What is the focus and roadmap of the current RChain development mission?
Greg: Also an important question! We are focused on getting to a robust community of external Validators. This means making sure block merge is complete and we have addressed any issues in the PoS contract. Additionally, we are pursuing cost effective hardware acceleration paths that will make it possible for ordinary folks to purchase hardware solutions they can run under their desk that give massive performance acceleration. This will not only aid in creating a healthy Validator community, but also foster decentralization as it will mean that it’s not necessary to provision nodes on cloud providers like AWS, or Alicloud.
Shixi: Operational Semantics in Logical Form(Click to Jump) I heard you say that OSLF is one of the most important algorithms in 400 years and many people are interested in it. Can you tell us more about the innovation of the OSLF algorithm you pioneered?
光之十一：OSLF (Operational Semantics in Logical Form)证明理论的算法草案点击跳转，听闻您说过OSLF是四百年来最重要的算法之一，很多人都对此感兴趣，可以具体聊聊您开创的OSLF算法有什么样的革新吗？
Greg: Thanks for this question! I appreciate the opportunity to talk about this line of work. I just want to say that OSLF is a product of a community of mathematicians and computer scientists going all the way back to Samson Abramsky’s Domain Theory in Logical Form. It’s not the product of any one person. That said, OSLF enables searching existing databases with new kinds of queries that probe the information already stored, but probe it on the basis of structure and behavior. Thus, existing biological databases containing information about cell signaling pathways can be searched with queries like: find all the small molecules in this repository of small molecules such that when added to this cell pathway in concentrations no greater than K will prevent the pathway from reaching some designated state. The English translation of that query is: find a cure. There are similar queries for protein folding and airplane manufacturing and code repositories as well as self-driving automotives. The algorithm changes every aspect of the built environment and gives machine learning a serious competitor because it comes with explanations for its conclusions, which ML lacks.
Group members：The algorithm design model is good. So how is your algorithm optimized? About OSLF.
Greg: Remember, this phase of the work is to make sure that the math checks out and the mathematical community agrees. Once that is at a certain level of completion, then we begin the implementation. Currently, our sense is to implement from the ground up, instead of reusing an existing framework like K-framework. Optimization comes from two sources: the maths and information about the hardware targets. We won’t be really ready to optimize for at least several months. However, in many cases optimization can occur by mapping our query model to the local query model in the repository we are absorbing.
Shixi: How is the OSLF progressing at the moment? When will you probably be able to finish it?
Greg: Very well! Mike and Christian have a categorical model of a significant portion of it and we have a naive model of the rest of it. Please watch the Casper Standup session for 12 April to see the most recent progress.
Shixi: NFT is a hot concept right now, and many people want to know, do we have plans in this area?
Greg: Yes! We are already working with musicians who want to develop NFT offerings on RChain+Dappy. i can’t say more until these musicians launch. i can say there is a startup that is also focused on using RChain to develop an NFT solution for artists in general.
Shixi: As one of the most compliant projects in the cryptocurrency scene, what can compliance bring to RChain’s prospects? Do you think it’s worth it?
Greg: Ultimately, we must create real bridges between blockchain and the existing legal and sociopolitical infrastructure. The least costly way to do this is to be compliant from inception. If you compare our legal bills to say Telegram’s i think you will see what i mean. It is always important to be ready and willing to ask for forgiveness instead of permission but it’s equally important know the path of least resistance. Being compliant sets us up for accelerated engagement with legislators and regulators when it comes to the next scaling phase.
Shixi: Will you guard RChain forever?
Greg: In spirit, yes. But, eventually my body will die. Before that time i expect many younger people will have developed a much better and clearer picture of the vision we can only see dimly right now and they will as a community do a much better job than i have. It will be my honor and privilege to help this new generation learn what i have learned. In this way it is possible for RChain to persist across the generations.
Shixi: Next, we have some time left for the free question session, welcome friends to ask questions now, we will randomly selected questions to answer, thank you!
Group Members: I heard msak is also (blockchain) 3.0.
Atticbee: 3.0 has several prerequisites: infinitely scalable; seamless cooperation among shards; cheap and fast formal verification.
Group Members: The ecosystem is the most important to a public chain. How is RChain in this front?
Atticbee: RChain is the best choice for DeFi – seamless interoperation, fast formal verification is a killer, also a reactive smart contract system.
Group Members: What’s the biggest difference between RChain and Dfinity?
Atticbee: Dfinity claims they are a world computer, but actually not. They cannot do concurrency, and their cross-shard TXs are not atomic.
Group Members: 2pc (2 stage commit?) can do atomic TXs.
Atticbee: Atomic (cross shard) TXs requires coordinations between two shards’ block producers – either approve these TXs all together all disapprove. Under VRF consensus, block producers from two shards find no ways to coordinate together, so they have to approve (cross shard) TXs in multi-stages. As long as you do TXs in multi stages, you compromised the atomicity. Your protocol will be super complicated. Ethereum is facing the same challenge.
Group members: Is there any capital support behind the project?
Greg: The project has excellent financial support from the community.
Greg: We will pursue listing on exchanges after we have a healthy external Validator community.
Shixi: Our external node opening is expected in Q2~Q3 of this year.
Group Members: Are there any dApp projects on testing now? Can we try them?
Shixi: Yes we have a bunch of excellent dApps either developed or is being developed. For example, COVID passport, storage on RChain, Wanna, and also Dappy. Dappy + RChain testnet session, FT, NFT, dappy name system etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFJVZGbTl2w&t=2s
Greg: Here is one climate application: decentralized smart power grid. Note that we have the technology with solar, battery, and blockchain to make this happen. However, in almost every jurisdiction there is a regulatory hurdle to overcome. Cooperative power companies have regulatory advantages that let us get over the hurdles to building smart power grids. This will be important as much of the power infrastructure is going to be impacted by climate change. Decentralizing it makes it reconfigurable.
光之十一：Thank you soooo much! 让我们谢谢Greg，我们AMA开始的时间是他那边的凌晨六点，真的很不容易，每天从凌晨工作到半夜。
Atticbee: @Lucius Gregory Meredith Thank you for your excellent explainations!
Greg: Thank you and Atticbee and everyone for coming! Thank you all! i believe we can build a community that will be able to find right relationship to our Mother Earth.
Group Member: What’s the difference between RChain and Avalanche?
Atticbee: Avalanche has a major theoretical flaw : hostile attackers can easily freeze the whole network’s liveness (thanks Mao Lulu’s explaination on this matter).
Group Member: So RChain is really blockchain 3.0?
Atticbee: Well it depends how you define blockchain 3.0. Some even claim they are gen 4.0. In my view, gen 3.0 has to satisfy 3 prerequisites: infinitely scalable; seamless interoperability among shards & chains; fast formal verification. If you claim you are 3.0, check if you satisfy all of them.
Group Member: So RChain is not afraid of hostile attack?
Atticbee: The safety of Casper CBC has already been formally verified.
Group Member: Casper Labs, the project listed on coinlist, did it copy from RChain?
Shixi: Yes they forked from RChain’s code. But they dropped Rho calculus and Rholang. Because they can not handle them. Rho calculus is invented by our founder, and it is the best part.
Atticbee: Casper Labs only copied the consensus layer and dropped the best part – Rho calculus. Because they are not able to develop this part. Please read my novel: “Casper Labs only learned half of RChain’s Gong Fu”.
I have a joke – Greg’s martial art consists of 3 parts. Part 1 – the Qi : the execution sematics; Part 2 – the moves: the consensus protocol; and finally the Zen: formal verification.
Here Casper CBC is the moves, Rho calculus is the Qi and OSLF is the Zen.
莫给机狂：CasperLabs只抄了RChain的共识协议部分。精华的Rho演算没抄，也抄不了。请看小说：《笑看Casber Labs只练半本九阴真经的下场》（点击跳转）。Greg教神功，分为上册、下册、总诀。上册是内力（执行语义），下册是剑招(共识协议），总诀是佛法（形式验证）。剑招是Casper CBC，内力是Rho演算，佛法是OSLF。
Group Member: Haha, they didn’t copy the best part.
Atticbee: Yeah, because the Qi is more difficult to master than the moves.
Group Member: How does NDN’s content based addressing compare to RChain?
Atticbee: Not sure about this project. OSLF’s algorithm can potentially query by the codes’ behaviors, not by keywords. For example, if your function that does sort doesn’t have “sort” as key word, it cannot be found on Github. But OSLF can do that.
There are so many projects in the market and you can not cover all of them. But 99% of them have almost zero innovations. The rest, even though they have some innovations, they are not sounded under scrutiny.
Mao Lulu studied many of those projects, and he couldn’t find a competitor of RChain, so he returned to our community and continued to invest.
In Mao’s group, we have many blockchain enthusists dicussing blockchain projects every day.
Dimworm: The so called address by contents, is just a hash of the contents, there is no real tech breakthough.
Group Member: Every project has technology superior to BTC.
Shixi: Bitcoin only has the functionality of balances transfers, only that it has the strongest consensus. It is not comparable.
Atticbee: Bitcoin’s position is store of value. At this stage, it has already achieved this functionality.
However the public blockchains are in an awkward situation. Their position is to let the main street to use them. However the 3 tech obstacles – scalability, interoperability, formal verification, keeps them from mainstreet adoption.
Suppose one day, one project can solve all 3 obstacles, and let a world computer be available to billions of people, then Bitcoin’s store of value position will be seriously challenged. Since the “fuel” of the world computer has a natual store of value function; and since it has the anchor of value as “fuel of world computer”, it is more suitable to be used as a reserve currency.
The above is only my view. Disclaimer – I hold both BTC and REV. But I’m only bullish on BTC for the next 10 years. After 10 years I’ll gradually exchange my BTC into real gold, since gold has no competitors, but BTC has, and many. However I’ll keep the “fuel tokens for the world computer”, since this application has an extremely strong network effect. Just like internet, when the system is established, it can not be replaced easily.