Video|"8" Turing Award winner, AIgorand founder Silvio: Solving new problems is more important than solving historical problems

On June 12, 2019, the founder of Algorand, Professor of MIT, Professor of the National Academy of Sciences and Turing Prize winner Silvio Micali, accepted an interview with Babbitt's "8 Questions" before the Beijing meeting. Silvio talks about Algorand's next development plan, including the Vault technology that will be used to solve blockchain storage problems, the atomic exchange that can be done with only one transaction, and the future of smart contracts. Silvio also introduced Algorand's current user rewards program and the incentives that may increase in the future. Silvio said that the biggest attraction of the blockchain is that it allows two people who are completely unaware to establish mutual trust and trade through the blockchain system.

On June 19, 2019, Algorand's main online line, Algorand completed the first batch of 25 million ALGO Dutch auctions in 4 hours, auctioned AlGO for US$2.4, and shot a total of 60.4 million US dollars. The market value of circulation reached the top eight in the world. After the 22nd, ALGO began to take the road of three consecutive days on the daily line. "The 22nd plunged 26.96%, fell 9.78% on the 23rd, and fell 21.88% on the 24th. On the 25th, it fell to 1.31 US dollars, from the highest point to the lowest point, the decline reached 60%… ( Roller coaster market, Algorand really played "funds" )." Even so, it is still undeniable that AlGO is one of the interesting Token sales and distribution mechanisms in the industry.


8Q: Why does the Algorand Foundation use Dutch auctions to determine prices?

Silvio: Other projects determine a fixed price for their tokens, such as asking users to buy $2 for a token from them. This seems simple and everyone can understand. But is this really fair and reasonable price?

In fact, the price should not be determined by how to organize, the market should not be controlled by someone. So the way the community decides value is more fair. When you auction the price of the token every time and the price that everyone buys the token, it is essentially fair, it is also in line with the investment rules, and it is very transparent. You can see your auction information online, and you can also see the auction opponent's information. You will find that in this transparent way, you can get a reasonable price. I think this can be a better way to build community trust. When you trust this community ecology, you start to be part of this system, starting with the first token you start.


8 Q: Algorand has no incentive mechanism, but there is a reward plan. Where does the Algorand reward come from?

Silvio: Suppose we have reached a level that does not require tokens. Who should be the least rewarded? It is a miner. Miners are only a small part of the community, but they monopolize mining. In many chains, only a small percentage is eligible for rewards.

But on Algorand, everyone will be rewarded. There are two ways to participate in mining. One is to send it to the chain to indicate that you want to participate online. For example, you can post a transaction on the chain and then not create a new legal block. Second, you can also participate online and get the same proportion and amount of rewards as your share.

In this system, offline participation and online participation can receive the same percentage of rewards. This is not determined by an organization, but by the enthusiasm of participation. People who actively participate can get a little more reward. Because participation in Algorand does not require a lot of computing power, there is not much cost to people, and now online and offline participation are equally rewarded.

There may be some controversy about this, and online participants should get more rewards than offline participants. But I think everyone should be rewarded as part of this ecology. Everyone is rewarded for their contribution, and even if they are offline, they should be rewarded. I think this is very important and any contribution should be rewarded.


8 Q: Algorand's Vault light nodes and full account nodes help decentralize, but over time, will saving all of the book information become a problem for a single full account node? How can this problem be solved?

Silvio: This is also a good question. As the blockchain develops, their state on the chain will be fully remembered. Many people's situation is: they often confuse the light node with the whole node. What is the light node responsible for? They actually do very little. We designed the Vault system to allow newcomers to join our community, and each participant is important. Light nodes are like chains that can be carried, loaded with very compact information, without having to download the entire chain like any other system. We will give you a compact message and a compact verification, and this information is correct. All you need to do is use this information to make the chain move. The light node will go forward at the beginning and store all the information at the beginning. What are the advantages of a full node relative to a light node? For example, if you ask the content above the block three years ago, the light node does not know because the entire chain is not downloaded. But the whole node knows that all nodes will store everything.

Algorand's Vault system allows you to query information about previous blocks, and you can be confident in any answer, you don't have to trust anyone in Algorand. For those who have to keep a chain to answer the questions, they answer your question and need to verify that the answer is correct, so some expenses are incurred. But soon the light node will be as good as the whole node, there is no doubt about it.


8Q: Algorand's VRF+BLS combined consensus algorithm improves its outbound TPS. This Scale-in method can greatly improve the efficiency of blockchain single node operation. But it can't support parallel computing or large-scale commercial applications. How did Algorand plan to solve this problem?

Silvio: First of all, the Algorand blockchain is a perfect technology that can quickly generate new blocks and broadcast them throughout the network.

Think about it, if you want a decentralized system, not every transaction has to be chained. And the transactions on the chain are very fast, and many transactions do not need to be seen by anyone. So we've been researching how to become more efficient, including all offline transactions, and we're also developing virtual blockchains, which allows you to trade on the chain at almost any time. Except for some cases of cheating, cheating includes few people cheating, and few trades are on the chain.

We also have other technologies and we want to be more efficient and safer. Because it's too easy to share, when you broadcast it, it only reminds some people that those you share always exclude some people. Of course this makes the transaction simple, but it is not safe. Because you refused to serve and turned it to the person you want to indicate, I used to have some information, but it was broken. You don't know who to ask, these are always accompanied by a special virtual blockchain, which becomes more and more important as more and more transactions are generated in the chain. Soon, we can put everything on the chain for everyone to see, but it is not necessary for everyone to see every transaction.


8Q: What is Algorand's guarantee of safety and activity?

Silvio: Security is guaranteed. I randomly selected a committee from a thousand users and randomly broadcast who posted a short message. Currently some users have been selected, they release messages, and different users are selected. Then they repeat the operation, so the reason is because some users use michael saigon.

They operate in this way, so when you are chosen, you have a chance. You can immediately broadcast the message you have chosen. If you are chosen again, no one will notice you, you can only wait for your next selection. The process is very fast, because there is michael saigon to confirm if you are selected.

So why is this process safe? The process is safe, because if I am eager to correct, I don't know who is the person who saved the information, and I don't know who I am correcting. So I think the people I corrected were accurate, but when they showed their information, I realized that they were not the target, but it was already late.

Because they will say that their information has been broadcast on the whole network, no one can withdraw their own news. So this system is safe. At first you don't know who you are correcting, but knowing that it will be late, this is security.

About activity, it exists from the beginning. There are very few people responsible for generating blocks. If one, 20, 50… many people are in the block, these people may not like you, they will not put your transaction on the block, you will Being rejected and trading on the blockchain, you will be excluded by the community. In fact, this does not happen because the person who generated the block is always randomly selected. As long as someone generates a block, they will put all the trades on the block, including yours. Assuming that 10% of people in the blockchain don't like you, they will exclude you from the community at any time, and they will not put your transactions on the block. But the remaining 90% of the blocks will not reject you, as long as one of them chooses you, they will choose all transactions including yours. Although there is a delay when a malicious user generates a block, but the normal user is the majority, don't worry, your trade will be put on the blockchain fast enough.


8 Q: What part do you think is the most fascinating blockchain?

Silvio: This question is very broad, and the most fascinating thing is of course the decentralization of the blockchain. Blockchain can create trust between people who don't know each other, which can make people progress. In fact, one of our main goals is democratization. We can trust each other and feel safe. We can trade directly even if we don't know it at all. I think this is a non-intermediary transaction, we can no longer trade through expensive third parties, which is why we use the blockchain. Is this still not attractive?

Although we humans have a long history, we have always doubted each other. Although the blockchain is a brand new technology, it is a gift for humanity and can give people a great, formal sense of participation. This is unprecedented in human history, although the blockchain is not yet that level. But to achieve it, we need to continue to research and improve. If the research continues, I believe that the realization of the blockchain will bring dawn to mankind.

Think about global warming now, no one wants global warming, so everyone decided to take action together. But when people are really in action, they are shirking each other. For example, when I started to take action to stop global warming, you are indifferent. Then I can't understand your practice. You have turned away from the promise. If we want to reach a consensus faster, we need to integrate us into a borderless society in some way, and smart contracts can do it, so smart contracts are also an important part of this change.


8 Q: You and Professor Shafi Goldwasser are alumni at Berkeley, California, and together in 2012, received the Turing Award. How do you think about the blockchain like this?

Silvio: Actually, I have been working with Shafi for a short time. We are all Berkeley students. We have the Turing Award, which is our professional necessity. It also makes us know that it takes a long time to apply technology to the society. Since then we have been involved in different industries.

I told Shafi that the blockchain is a good industry and worth doing. She said "good" but she did not do it.

Later, I told Shafi that what I want to do most is to teach the blockchain course. So she asked me what the blockchain is, and I told her.

After a while, Shafi told me that she had a bad news and good news to tell me. "The bad news is that I didn't sleep all the time because I want to know how it works. The good news is that although I have endured it for a long time, I am very happy to understand the blockchain."


When Professor Silvio was asked about his daily situation, he said: "It's very simple, work, work, work, work, eat, sleep, work, work, work…" Although the daily routine is so simple and repetitive, Professor Micali still I feel very happy.

Silvio: I am most afraid of being bored, but fortunately I will not be touched by boredom. Because I have a good team, we have a good foundation. So when I was working, I was very happy to work with so many talented people.


8Q: What makes you do research work for decades? What is the biggest gain from scientific research?

Silvio: I have learned a lot from research work. First of all, I can do my best to solve many problems. The second point is to ask new questions and solve them, which is partly more important than solving historical problems. Sometimes I get bored with certain issues, especially those that are not in the same age as us. I think that you solve the problems that are closely related to our civilization, and you really solve the problem. Because this is a common problem for you and me, and it is a problem of our time. This is the driving force for me to keep moving forward.

The other is the ability to work with young people. My interest and motivation in scientific research comes from working with young people, which can stimulate my thinking. I have learned a lot from them. Without young people, there is no science. If there is, it will not last long. They know more about what is important than experienced experts and can judge our work well. So if you want to have new ideas, stay with young people.


What is the latest news and latest news from Algorand?

Silvio: We intend to establish an exchange. As an auction mechanism, the media role of the exchange is very important. Bitcoin has no value when Bitcoin cannot be used to buy pizza, so I think the auction is important.

The tokenization of assets is an important part of democratizing finance, a win-win situation. We are very proud and we have done a lot of research and experimentation to achieve it. We also have further plans. We will be very busy these few years, and we have more ideas to achieve.

For example, a complete atomic transaction, I heard that they think you have the answer I want, maybe what you have, then, should I put what you want on the blockchain first?

If I did, it was yours, not mine. Atomic trading means getting what we want, no one is going to do it is the hardest part, but now there are ways to solve these dilemmas. Some are not atomized at all, there are many steps, and these steps look awkward.

I took the first step and hoped someone would follow me. I should give you the opportunity to stop trading if I don't respond. So we use time locks, a variety of complex methods, and we have developed a technique to implement atomic transactions through a single transaction. But I didn't exchange it through a single transaction, because further research is needed, and that's what we're going to do next—to achieve complete intelligence. We need to continue our research and there is still much to be done. We've started to study the next feature to add to the blockchain, which will be interesting. I think people will like it, I will let all kinds of new deals come.

Text | Jia Xiaobe

Video|"8 Questions" section

Article tail map