October Newsletter

Greetings from the Agoric crew, normally centered at Palm House in Belmont, California, but geographically decentralized throughout the duration of the ongoing pandemic — and, yes, the regional fires, as well. Thanks for asking. We’re all OK.

Be sure to join in the first of our monthly Agoric Community Calls tomorrow, April 7, at 9am Pacific time on YouTube. Set a reminder with one click here.

It’s been a big month, our biggest yet. Agoric alpha has been released. Now developers can build, deploy, and operate sophisticated dApps and DeFi markets. So, get started!

To celebrate, this past Friday we held a socially distanced party, a screenshot of which appears above. We gathered via Zoom with newly arrived 900-piece boxes of Legos, and proceeded to engage in a series of building competitions. Some participants even thought to reuse segments produced for an earlier contest, true to the Agoric platform. In attendance were our two newest additions: Santiago Semino, who is heading up marketing, and Rowland Graus, who is heading up product management. Also in the virtual house: special guest Zaki Manian (Iqlusion, Cosmos). We had a blast. And now, it’s back to the real work of coding defi legos.

We hope this note finds you and yours well.

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Updates: What’s Happening at Agoric

Engineering News

  • We put the ribbon on the package that is platform alpha, which launched last month, enabling JavaScript developers to start working on DeFi quickly and easily. Try alpha.

  • VatTP over IBC: VatTP is our protocol for distributed systems. This wasn’t part of alpha, but when used in coordination with alpha, it lets us stand up a side chain with the same infrastructure. The result is that clients of the public chain can use the assets on the private or side chain. At some point down the road, as the system matures, this will become push-of-a-button easy.

  • We released the first version of the SES Compartment Mapper for loading Node.js packages (ESM and CJS) as separate compartments.

  • We built an OTC desk contract to show how a new contract can be built reusing existing contracts unchanged. The OTC desk provides its quote objects on the public chain by making new instances of a pre-existing covered-call contract. This kind of composition will accelerate development of DeFi as the set of reusable components grows.

  • We completed an initial integration with ChainLink oracles. Having rich data sources as a convenient component to build new contracts with will similarly simplify and accelerate DeFi development.

Follow our engineering news at https://agoric.com/weekly-updates/

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Agoric Alpha: The Future of DeFi Starts with Composable Building Blocks

Decentralized finance is the new frontier of financial services. Like many frontiers, it’s exciting but dangerous. Agoric is building a public blockchain to make it more exciting and less dangerous. Welcome to the first step: the Agoric alpha release. https://agoric.com/alpha-announcement/

Launching Agoric Community Calls

Agoric is pleased to introduce monthly Community Calls for developers, builders, and other interested parties, Wednesdays at 9am Pacific on YouTube. https://agoric.com/community-call-announcement/

Agoric’s CEO and co-founder explains how our safer smart contracts secure more value for blockchain and DeFi for the long term. https://youtu.be/m24D0QpvDi0

ICF Collaborates with Agoric

The Interchain Foundation (ICF) is proud to collaborate with Agoric to build and support the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol. https://medium.com/@interchain_io/icf-spotlight-agoric-9e7e19a2c5d0/

Cosmos Code With Us: Building a Composable DeFi Contract

Agoric engineer Kate Sills was a guest of the Cosmos video podcast to walk through building an “over-the-counter” market maker. https://youtu.be/faxrecQgEio

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Events in Which We’re Participating

All scheduled events are, for the time being, taking place remotely.

HackAtom V: October 16 - 30

Dystopia Labs: October 16, 8:30pm Pacific

Agoric Community Call: November 4, 9am Pacific

TC39: November 16 - 19

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Bookmarks: What We’re Reading

The Infinite Machine

A modern history of the genesis of Ethereum, told by a journalist, primarily through the lens of the people involved early on. The book provides a good sense of perspective and explains, for those who arrived later to the party, what those first few years were like. This book is bound to be popular with anyone in the crypto space to see if they are mentioned, or know someone that is. (Mike Jablon) https://www.amazon.com/Infinite-Machine-Crypto-hackers-Building-Internet/dp/0062886142

Bitcoin’s Academic Pedigree

Arvind Narayanan and Jeremy Clark, in CACM (Communications of the ACM), describe the history of the key technical ideas that went into the development of bitcoin, which ones Nakamoto gave explicit credit to, and which ones he incorporated without seeming to be aware of their history as subfields in CS. Gives Nakamoto full credit for a brilliant new combination of many existing ideas. (Chris Hibbert) https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2017/12/223058-bitcoins-academic-pedigree/fulltext/

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Thanks for Reading and Sharing

Please feel free to forward. You can join the Agoric community on Twitter, Telegram, Discord and LinkedIn, subscribe to this monthly newsletter, and catch us at upcoming events.