CoinAcademy AMA: Massa, the ultra-decentralized blockchain


Interview with Damir Vodenicarevic, CTO of Massa Labs

Original video (french)

“To become viable alternatives to traditional financial solutions, blockchains should be able to handle a similar number of transactions as traditional systems”
To achieve this level of scalability, it is necessary to implement an ecosystem robust enough to guarantee not only a considerable number of transactions, but also the decentralization and security of the network.

What is the implementation that Massa has regarding sharding

We are in a model where everyone, all validators validate all blocks, all transactions, so there is no sharding. We do it differently, allowing all transactions to be distributed fairly in a data structure that is much more parallel than what we normally see in Bitcoin, which is a linear chain where you have to wait for the chain to produce a block. above to reproduce it, and it takes an average of about 10 minutes for each block.

In our case, we do parallel block production to speed up all of this and we’ve noticed problems starting to appear, for example what happens if the same transaction is included in two blocks in parallel at the same time, and vice versa. , what happens if an amount is spent in one transaction and that same amount is spent in another parallel transaction. Therefore, it is necessary to have a reconciliation scenario, where when a double expense is detected or the double inclusion of these transactions, the one that should actually be taken into account is automatically corrected.

As we can see, the Massa blockchain is made up of 32 parallel chains. In the image the gray horizontal line shows the chain. After simulations in which we tested computational power and network capacity, we calculated the number of exchanges we wanted with the maximum safe performance.

Analyzing the current blockchain consensus starting with proof of work, which uses the expenditure of limited resources to restrict access to the production of blocks in the network. The problem with this type of consensus is that it tends towards centralization, so that if I buy the resources necessary for production, such as graphics cards, on a large scale, these decrease in price per unit, it is the economy of scale (reduction of production costs following the increase in production).

Suddenly I invested 10 times more but I don’t have 10 times more chances of being selected in the network but many more, this investment being exponential. Another problem is the creation of specialized monopoly hardware, because those components can mine Bitcoin faster and it is not allowed to be sold to the public.

In short, what happens is that the expenditure of resources is not proportional to the benefits of access to the production of the network. In the case of proof of stake, the idea is that if I want to participate in the creation of blocks, I will launch a node and I will be selected randomly but in proportion to the amount of tokens that I have in the stake, so we will define it as pseudo-random, for what if I have 10 times more tokens, I will have 10 times more chances of being selected, there is no economy of scale, it is a fundamental difference with proof of work, in terms of centralization.

You want the most decentralized blockchain in the world. Why decentralization?

Analyzing the main blockchains of the moment, the number of nodes in absolute terms of a blockchain does not mean much if a small number of them contains most of the resources, be it computing power or the number of staked tokens. In these terms, the so-called Nakamoto factor is interesting, that is, the minimum number of people that is necessary to corrupt the system or part of the system.

For example, in Bitcoin it’s around 50%, if that computing power were to agree it could cancel Bitcoin transactions.

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About the implementation of smart contracts

We are in the stage of adding the smart contract layer, and there we have had the question of which is the best virtual machine interpreter, whether to use the EMV and whether it is compatible with MetaMask and with Ethereum systems. Studying other options such as web3, to which we are orienting ourselves more, which does not mean that we are absolutely incompatible with EMV, we will try to achieve compatibility but in the first versions we will be more web3 than compatible with EMV.
The adaptation towards web3 is an effort that is being made around standardization, interoperability and creating transaction bridges, which will facilitate mass adoption.

The issue of decentralization

Why have you focused on the aspect of decentralization as the main objective? Are you looking for security or what is the principle that has driven you? Is decentralization the main purpose or security?

For me that is a bit of mixing concepts, we can have strong security but not decentralization, which we frequently see in other projects, finally it is enough that a small group of people is vulnerable for the entire system to fail. That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to anchor the goal of high decentralization leading to high security and increase performance from here as much as possible.

Perhaps not to the level of Solana or Avalanche, but to increase as much as possible given our network. And Massa’s commitment doesn’t stop there, that is the commitment at the blockchain level, but decentralization is also attending to the token distribution process, which goes through the fact that we, the team, cannot maintain control, because then centralized again, it goes through a lot of details like the accessibility of running a node on the network.

Once the blockchain is launched, how will we prevent it from being controlled by whales?

There are mechanisms, classic mechanisms such as vesting in the distribution, we have control over the initial distribution, limit the number of tokens per person, when we are in the open market from there we will not have control, from there a revision will take place about the topic.

We don’t want to leave everything in the hands of the free market, so we’re looking at mechanisms like limiting staking, to prevent a high concentration of staking from taking over and centralizing the system, so we’re working on legal aspects, looking at how we could frame this to prevent centralization, legally protect decentralization

We have the Bitcoin maximalists who claim that proof of stake is itself a centralizing process.

This is so, because we have no control over the free market, this will also depend on our users, it will depend on them if they decide to maintain a Massa mentality through decentralized governance.

Regarding the aspect of the public sale and launch of the network

The objective is an external security audit to know the stability of the network, and there we will launch a sale that will immediately precede the launch of the network. We would also like to have the smart contract engine finished, with innovations not seen in other projects until now, such as the decentralized web3, the idea is that the websites that operate with smart contract are hosted in the smart contract itself and develop a plugin for browser with a domain name resolution system that accesses the address of the smart contract by collecting the web page from the blockchain and displays it in the browser.

Regarding the supply and the launch of tokens

We have not yet fully defined the supply, but we have decided on some key points, such as that in the public sale it will not be possible to buy a significant part of the total number of tokens, and we ourselves will not finally end up having a significant amount of the supply either, and this We are going to do it to also prove our commitment and good faith with the community.

In the aspect of inflation we are analyzing the possibilities, if it will be inflationary, deflationary, or we will burn part of the fees, and for this we are finalizing a White paper that we will publish as soon as possible in the coming months.

How are you going to attract users and developers to the project through marketing?

What we are looking for, in addition to the classic strategies, is to seek to attract the curiosity of developers, through these decentralized web3 concepts. We want to make it accessible, so that students or developers who have never used smart contracts can use smart contracts in Massa.

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We also have to build alliances, and collaborate with projects that want to settle in Massa, so it is necessary to create a project incubator around decentralization. We will precisely do an online hackathon to expose Massa’s project to many students, to have the opportunity to plant a seed. The idea is to launch a series of small pilot projects, and see how we can help them, how we can finance them, get their feedback and improve Massa.

As for the Massa team

We are currently 10 people, mainly developers, but also from the marketing and communications team, and our intention is to increase to 20 people, where the group of developers is the core of the team.

He also launched a proposal to all those who want to join the team, both in terms of development and business, and we are also looking to increase the human team in the security aspect, we are looking for people to analyze security performance and also the analysis of the performance of the system, people to help us in the incubator system that we are going to develop.

On the development of NFT and smart contracts

We are orienting the development of NFTs towards games, and in contact with several potential partners about the use of NFTs in the field of video games, and also studying how we can go further in NFTs, how we can make them a little smarter.

The interest in the Cosmos network

There are some aspects that we share with Cosmos and that interest us, such as the standardization of its SDK, and we think about the possibility of internal communication between chains. We have studied the implementation with traditional systems such as banking, and we are interested in standardization with Cosmos, which allows transparent communication between networks, with all the possibilities of interoperability between chains.

A brief summary of what the Massa project entails

In addition to the main objective of security and decentralization, which are the fundamental axis, the idea revolves around aspects such as standardization, which implies a longer-term journey in a process that will facilitate the adoption and implementation of new technologies and compatibility with other networks.

The idea also revolves around innovation, leaving aside everything that has been built so far and thinking if we had to build a new standard without restrictions now, what would we do?

And summarizing this idea, what is Blockchain? Blockchain is a bad database, which works expensively and slowly, but it has a unique aspect that differentiates it, which is low centralization or decentralization, which resists to corruption due to the constant verification of transactions, and resistance to attacks that makes the uniqueness of the blockchain compared to classic databases. If we lose that decentralization, we lose a bit of the original idea of ​​the blockchain, and we must not lose sight of innovation either, we really want to create, innovate and give back to the community, for example we are going to work a lot on code libraries open, and to try to collaborate with other channels with which we are in contact and we think that interoperability is going to make the whole system grow.

Regarding the launch of the mainnet with the smart contract engine implemented

If we manage to have the smart contract system audited and stable for the launch of the mainnet, we will implement it at launch. If we don’t have it ready, we see that there is a bug or we need more development time, there is always the option to launch the mainnet and implement the smart contract later as an update.

One last message you want to give us?

First of all I wanted to send a big hello to the community, because we did not expect this, this started as a fairly humble project at the beginning, it was a scientific research project and in a very short time we have a community that has grown very quickly with a number of people in different countries, the conversations in the community chats are always very cordial and of quality, and with people really interested in the project and building, and I have to congratulate all those people.

Made by Cumulo para Massa Labs

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