This is a summary doc of the call. Not that some dates and other information were accurate at the time but may have changed since the July 13, 2022, event.

Our 22nd Agoric Community Call found us recuperating from a highly active and fairly scorching group visit to Consensus 2022 in Austin. We covered a ton of information, including the first unlocked BLD, the latest security efforts, some concerted bug-squashing, and much more.

Consensus Results

Dean and Santi talked through the recent event.

We sent a solid crew to Consensus 2022 in Austin, which ran from June 9 – 12 with close to 25,000 in attendance. The main event for Agoric was a share-stage event in which Dean Tribble, along with thought leaders across the Cosmos ecosystem, discussed milestones and updates. Highlights:

  • DeFi and interchain activity
  • Making it easy to build new decentralized applications
  • Building on the energy from Gateway Prague

BLD Unlock, IBC, Staking Rewards

Dean talked about the impact the first unlocking of BLD and Proposal #6.

The Coinlist sale had two options. First, there was the 65-cent option, which was 15 cents above the previous private sale price for the same kind of terms: two-year unlocking timeframe. And then there was a second, premium option, which got people their tokens earlier, and got them unlocked earlier. That latter unlock started on July 1. From now on out, for those holders it will be a steady monthly unlock over time. The July 1 unlocking event meant that the first 15M BLD — or 1.5% of the Agoric Network — began unlocking. BLD Holders can now transfer tokens freely between Agoric accounts.

A few days prior, on June 29, there was what Dean refers to as an omnibus bill, also known as Proposal #6. This important change brought several elements of governance into something akin to the industry standard, or Cosmos standard, in terms of slashing rates and voting times. And more importantly, to the larger community that drove this, Proposal #6 turned on staking rewards. The proposal passed with 98.9% approval. Key additional aspects of Proposal #6:

  • Staked BLD grants permission to vote on governance proposals
  • Decentralize and secure the chain by supporting the validators
  • Prior to IST going live, rewards will be issued as BLD
  • Double-sign slashing penalty initialized at 5% (Cosmos Standard)
  • Unbonding time increased to 21 days (Cosmos Standard)
  • Inflation set at 5% with no dynamic adjustments (re-evaluate rate near mainnet-1 launch)
  • Also, parts of Proposal #6 that were not configured correctly, passed subsequently as part of Proposal #7:
    • Minimum BLD deposit for governance -> 500 BLD
    • Voting period increased from 24 hours to 72 hours

The next thing in progress is to get IBC turned on. There are several groups in the community, like Binary Holdings, that want to get Distributed Exchange (DEX) pools set up in places like Osmosis for trading BLD. This will allow those with liquid BLD to put it in pools as liquidity, which will enable trading in BLD. We are excited that people are pushing for that. Just to be clear, Agoric as a US company can’t and won’t do that. Our focus is on building the software. Other folks in the community will build that out.

The blocker on getting IBC turned on is a consensus bug in the Cosmos SDK, which Jessy will discuss next.

Security

Jessy and Dean walked through a successful audit and a persistent bug.

The last week of June was really busy for our mainnet. In the middle of the week, the community turned on staking rewards. The next day, Thursday, we started noticing that validators were having issues restarting nodes. Our team started digging into the issue and recognized we had a bug. We’re still sorting it out, digging deeply into the depths of Tendermint and Cosmos SDK. We’ve engaged several core developers, and in the process we’ve sort of gotten some of the old Tendermint and Cosmos band back together to figure out these finicky little things. Ultimately, what that means is that the internet of blockchains is probably on ice for a little bit further until we are certain that we can have a stable mainnet, because this one is a really gnarly, persistent bug. (Read more at commonwealth.im.)

Blockchain is a 24/7/365 thing, and we’re glad we recognized the bug when we did. This all led to the validators vetoing the proposal to turn on IBC until this bug was addressed. And there will be multiple levels of addressing it as soon as we know that it is mitigated enough for the chain to be safe.

Other security updates:

  • The latest audit, for Inter Protocol, had three issues (1 low, 2 informational)
  • Next up for review are the Agoric Smart Wallet and Cosmic Swingset
  • Security Office Hours were DCF-focused on key management and double sign protections. 
  • Working on a series of fireside chats on security topics for validators; stay tuned!
  • Econ Stress Test: getting ready for liquidation exercises
  • Kicked off a round of security reviews to evaluate ecosystem risk for orgs + entities eager to build in or support the Agoric ecosystem 

DCF

Ric brought us up to speed with validators, custody applications, and more.

A portion of validators we selected for delegation were done on a conditional basis. Among the conditions was a security office hours session, focused on improving security and hardening operations, particularly key management. We’re happy to say it looks like that all went really well. We’re not seeing any blockers that would keep us from proceeding at this point in that regard.

However, custody applications are taking longer than expected. It’s a question of when the custody providers are able to provide support for the BLD token. We’ve had some internal discussions about this and we’d really like to get staked sooner. We’re having some initial discussions about how we might make that happen. It may, unfortunately, mean that at some point in time when custody arrangements get in place we will have to unstake and then restake. So stay tuned. There will be more information on that coming out very soon. 

Other DCF updates:

  • An Agoric community fund process proposal is due to be posted to Commonwealth
  • The funding of the Community Fund is awaiting a fix on the bug mentioned earlier 
  • The DCF website is going to relaunch with a richer experience

Engineering

Dean walked through major engineering developments.

If you’re following our engineering progress on GitHub, you’ll see that our rate of checking off boxes went down. Thankfully, our rate of adding new tasks that had to be done before shipping also went down, and then went down even more, so we are converging and making progress. 

  • Semi-fungible token (SFT) support is now complete, including wallet UI support. SFTs can represent anything from voting power to duplicate limited-edition NFTs.
  • Off-chain READ API and lossless subscriptions enable apps to read contract data via individual nodes rather than on-chain transactions, enabling the construction of more responsive applications with lower Gas costs.
  • Economic data from the Inter Protocol contracts and the Smart Wallet are now available via off-chain subscriptions, supporting economic stress testing, and future economic analysis of on-chain activity 
  • Additional support for governance-controlled contract upgrades, system performance improvements, more efficient code installation, and general system hardening

Marketing

Santi talked about key activities.

  • Globe-trotting between now and our next Community Call
    • Nebular Summit (Paris) – July 22 – Zaki speaking on IST
    • HackAtom (Seoul) – July 29-31 – Dean speaking 
    • BUIDL Asia (Seoul) – Aug 4-5 – Dean speaking
  • Turkish Community launched a Turkish Agoric microsite
    • Includes community News
    • Getting Started with Agoric Guide
    • And Discord and Twitter Announcements
  • Hiring for 8 Open Positions: agoric.com/careers
    • Partner Advocate DeFi
    • Partner Manager, Mainnet
    • Product Security Engineer
    • Senior Software Engineer
    • Senior Technical Writer
    • Community Technical Support Manager
    • Developer Advocate
    • Product Manager
  • Community Roadmap
    • Consistently updated
    • Keep up to date there at agoric.com/roadmap
  • Future Community Calls
    • Inter Protocol Community Call, or colloquially Iced Tea Time #2 – Thursday, July 21 @ 9am PDT (1600 UTC)
    • Agoric Community Call #23 – Wednesday, Aug 10 @ 9am PDT (1600 UTC)