We’ve recently conducted an AMA in Game of Bitcoin’s Telegram Community. The AMA was held with Erick De Moura (CEO of Cartesi) and Augusto Teixeira (CSO of Cartesi). Some of the text may have been edited for clarity and grammar.
We have with us Erick de Moura (CEO) and Augusto Teixeira (CSO)
Erick — I’m Founder and CEO of Cartesi. I’m a software architect and technical leader with 20 years of experience. I led development and offered consulting services to tech companies in different verticals. Before getting into blockchain in 2017 I was building production-ready systems for telecom companies, involving big data and analytics.
Throughout my career, I gathered extensive experience in software best practices and development processes. Very excited to be here for the AMA.
Augusto — I am Augusto and I work as the CSO of Cartesi. I am responsible for the design of the architecture and the algorithms behind our software.
Q1. What are the major milestones you have achieved so far? Are there any new partnerships and interesting upcoming use-cases?
Q4/2018 Prototype for Reproducibility of Computation (partial Cartesi Core)
Q2/2019 Prototype for Verifiability (entire Cartesi Core implemented, except for the DAG)
Q3/2019 Cartesi Core released as open-source
Q1/2020 We have just released Cartesi’s first DApp and the decentralized tournament infrastructure.
We have our SDK coming up soon within Q1, which will allow developers to create a wide range of Dapps requiring massive computation.
Finally, we are currently working to establish important partnerships. To be announced later.
Q2. How easy will it be for current Blockchain Developers with knowledge of Solidity to develop DApps on Cartesi? How flexible and compatible is the coding structure in Cartesi?
To use Cartesi Core for generic computation scalability, developers currently need some basic skills in compiling code for Linux and to code on Solidity.
Our long-term goal is to make it possible to develop DApps without touching Solidity at all.
So, for example, if a developer wants to write a tournament-based game like Creepts, they won’t need to touch smart contracts as everything can be done in Linux.
But more complex DApps will need some Solidity coding still.
We plan to make it less and less necessary to write code that is “blockchain specific”.
Q3. What kind of new tools would this bring to developers from Linux? Do you think it will be easier to create a certain style of game or that all games will have an easier time with Cartesi tools? I enjoyed the Tower Defense game but was curious how large player filled lobbies would do.
Our long-term goal is for the whole DApp logic to be written as a generic program compiled for Linux on a RISC-V architecture. That covers a vast domain of possibilities.
We started to showcase what can be done with Cartesi by developing Creepts. This was easier because players are not interacting with each other directly, so this makes it easier for us to connect Linux with the blockchain.
Next, we will make it easy to develop turn-based multiplayer games.
As the project evolves, real-time interactions will also be possible.
Q4. Will you be adding more weapons and other features in Creepts? Like story mode or maybe $CTSI rewards for top players and daily attendance in-game?
Creepts is a tech demo that showcases the power of Cartesi. As we deploy the decentralized tournaments in the next days, we will start a bug bounty campaign.
For developers to download the Creepts Client, play from their own computers and report any problems they may find.
That will help us a lot to stabilize and fine-tune Cartesi Core and the Tournament Infrastructure.
After that, we are going to reintroduce gameplay rewards and some other cool features we are currently discussing.
We want to keep Creepts fun, and your suggestions are more than welcome.
Q5. How do developers & technical people contribute and how does Cartesi plan to involve them?
Developers are more than welcome to contribute to Cartesi and we will provide support to all those that contribute or decide to build their DApp with Cartesi. In the meantime, we only have technical readmes on each open-source repository but will be releasing a more complete documentation and tutorials later in Q1 along with our SDK.
If you’re interested in getting a head start in contributing to our project (or starting your own on our infrastructure), head over to our GitHub at https://github.com/cartesi.
We also have a technical community in Discord where developers are free to discuss ideas, use cases, and development questions with Cartesi (I will post the link below).
Our founding and development teams are present in this channel and paying close attention to any technical questions! Hope to see you there!
Discord link: https://discord.gg/Pt2NrnS
Q6. What is Cartesi’s verifiability? Is it really secure and trustworthy? How are you achieving it?
Cartesi’s verifiability uses a classical algorithm from the 90’s, sometimes called “verification game” or “interactive verification”. This is a well-known algorithm in crypto used by other projects, such as Truebit or Arbitrum.
This method is pretty safe and scales computations extremely well. In the rare cases of disputes, it can be resolved in a few hours on the main-chain at negligible cost. Kind of like an exit on Plasma.
Q7. It’s very important to provide an easy environment for play. This is especially true for cryptocurrency casino games; I think it has to be easy to buy cryptocurrency to play games. But it doesn’t seem to be easy. Does Cartesi have any solution to figure it out?
Cartesi is still having the same usability problems as other crypto projects. But soon we plan to make important integrations to make it easier for users to jump into the technology.
Some examples are wallet integrations and conveniences for users who do not want to run everything in their machines and prefer to outsource their nodes to a third-party.
Q8. Guys, can you say a few words about your team. Where are you located? How many team members and devs? Previous experience?
Sure, the team is composed of people with very strong academic, engineering and entrepreneurship backgrounds. We are 11 people now in the core team. 5 in Brazil, 2 in the US, 4 in Taiwan. We also have a network of advisors and mentors around the world.
Q9. How can Cartesi technology achieve consensus over real world computations running off-chain?
The Real-World computations that we mention all happen inside a Virtual Machine that we have written from the ground up to be at the same time:
- powerful (we use a very well-known architecture able to boot Linux)
- and reproducible (any person who runs a computation using our VM will arrive in the exact same results).
This combination allows us to employ an Interactive Verification algorithm (as I’ve described in an earlier question) to achieve consensus.
Q10. What features of Cartesi do you think make you a GAME CHANGER in the gaming industry?
From day 1 we have been working to design and create an infrastructure for DApps that bridge the gap between the reality of blockchain applications and traditional apps we use on mobile and desktop. That means (1) giving developers the same toolset they are already using outside of blockchain (i.e. a real OS). (2) giving DApps computational scalability — so they can have their performance comparable with mainstream applications. (3) Having an infrastructure that is portable across the most important blockchains, so people don’t need to worry about the longevity of specific blockchains. (4) Making it easier to develop, reducing the adoption barrier for new developers.
Q11. What’s your outlook on the future of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain? What is the role of tokens in the Cartesi Ecosystem & why do you need Blockchain? If yes you need Blockchain then why do you need Cartesi tokens?
We are strong believers that Blockchains will be an important part of everyone’s lives, just like smartphones or credit cards.
Concerning the other question, let me start with the current state of Cartesi tech.
Right now, we have already achieved virtually unlimited scalability of computations inside the blockchain. What this means is that you can run computations that are very heavy and could never run inside a traditional blockchain (not even DPoS) and reach consensus on the main chain at negligible cost.
This is great, but computational scalability is not everything. We need to scale transactions’ throughput and latency. This is what we are going to use our Cartesi Tokens for.
We will start to build next month a Data Ledger that is specially designed to feed our decentralized Linux machines with large amounts of data.
More information on this will be released soon.
Q12. How are the plans shaping up for marketing and building a strong, core community which is essential for any project in the crypto industry?
In the last few months, we came out of stealth mode and started to develop marketing and PR initiatives. That included several efforts, like a bounty campaign, the use of social media, several AMA’s, the gamification around Creepts, working closely with PR agencies in different countries. For any blockchain project, it’s fundamental to develop the community and we are striving to keep momentum and include more and more people interested in our tech.
We are planning to launch a bug bounty campaign soon and other initiatives later (e.g. ambassadorial program, meetups, and hackathons).
Q13. What are the main challenges Cartesi faced for building secure and scalable Linux infrastructure? What’s the inspiration behind Cartesi?
We have faced countless challenges to reach the verifiability of Linux computations on blockchains.
But if I had to point out to the major issue that both Cartesi and other projects face in developing DApps, I would have to pick the lack of tools in the ecosystem.
Of course, there are amazing tools out there, such as Ethereum, Solidity, web3 libraries, Truffle…
But all these tools are very immature when compared to more established ones, like C++, package managers, debuggers… that have been around for at least 50 years.
That is why we are working very hard to make sure that the next generation of DApp developers will be able to program for Linux, using the tools they prefer.
I want to tell my grandchildren when they write software for blockchains: “you are lucky you have all these tools, in my time we suffered with stack-too-deep errors in Solidity all the time.”
Q14. When you look back on your development days, what makes you feel proud? How has Cartesi evolved from the real first idea?
Many things come to mind. But the first time we saw a large computation being submitted, disputed and defended on the blockchain we almost had a tear in our eyes…
But I have to tell that, although we are still pursuing the core idea behind Cartesi, our vision and our plan to get there has been changing a lot over the last two years
Q15. What role does Cartesi play in Blockchain for high adoption? Can you explain your scalable structure?
We believe that for mass adoption to happen, developers need to have at their disposal all the software, tools and paradigms that evolved throughout the last 3 decades on top of operating systems (like Linux, Windows, Android etc.). DApps on blockchains today are developed with an extremely limited environment that is disconnected from all the legacy of the industry. So bridging Linux with blockchain will be fundamental to onboard mainstream and veteran developers. Besides, the portability of Cartesi DApps across different consensus layers will reduce the concerns of developers investing a lot of time creating a DApp that might die together with a specific blockchain project.
Q16. What do you think is the biggest problem Cartesi will solve which is not solved by other projects yet and why is the problem important to solve?
The biggest problem in blockchain right now is that it is so weird. Applications in the Appstore have already been proven (over and over) to be desired and useful).
But Decentralized Applications are still weird. Limited in terms of scalability, hard to use, hard to program… We plan to make an infrastructure that equates Dapps with Apps, so that they can fulfil their true potential.
Q17. Can you briefly describe what #Cartesi is in 3–5 sentences? What technology stands behind Cartesi and why is it better than the existing one?
Cartesi brings the infrastructure that powers computers and smartphones to the blockchain.
This is a mark that will change forever how Dapps are done.
Think back in the early days of the mobile phone industry, the devices had software inside them, but it was terrible software.
Then came the “smartphones”, which are nothing more than a computer with a modern operating system.
Cartesi brings “smart” to blockchains as well.
Q18. From technological and commercial perspectives, how can traditional companies be integrated into the blockchain? What are your plans for traditional companies that continue to exist with their own systems?
Because we are bridging a real OS with blockchain, technically speaking, we will make it possible for traditional companies to deploy decentralized logic with ease. It may be even possible in some cases to decentralize legacy software they already use. Of course, not everything needs to be decentralized in the world. But whenever decentralization is desired, traditional industries should use Cartesi to abide by industry standards of programmability. Besides, their developers will be able to express themselves with a vast domain of tools and software stacks they are already familiar with.
I think this will play out very similarly to how the companies “integrated” to the internet and “continued to exist with their own systems”.
Blockchain technology didn’t come to replace every industry. It may push some companies out of business. But the majority of them will use blockchains and be empowered by them. Just like it happened when the internet came.
Of course, what everyone is interested in is the companies that will provide the infrastructure. Like Google, Amazon, Facebook… did for the internet.
We are working hard to be one of these in the decentralized wave.
Telegram Community: https://t.me/cartesiproject
Telegram Announcements: https://t.me/cartesiannouncements
Discord Dev Community: https://discordapp.com/invite/Pt2NrnS