Zoracles AMA Recap -26th November with Crypto Society
I’m sure everyone here is excited to hear all about Zoracles so let’s get started.
Zoracles is here and happy to participate in this AMA with Crypto Society
It’s our pleasure to have you with us today and I would like to offer a warm welcome on behalf of our entire team & community. We know that the primary focus of the project is to deliver the technology so we really appreciate you taking the time today.
We have been working extremely hard on Zora 2.0 and will publish a medium article in the next 24–36 hours
Could we begin with a brief history of the Zoracles team, your roles and how you came together from previous endeavours?
Thanks for having us
We came together in crypto in 2017 and gravitated towards privacy
After Nakomotu Consensus, we believe privacy is the next best use case along with smart contracts
Combing the two was a powerful motive and incentive for founding team given our backgrounds and contributions in Cryptonote and later Mimblewimble
We are primarily software engineers and one of the founders is a mathematician
When evaluating privacy technologies, we always saw zero-knowledge proofs are the pinnacle of privacy technology
Needless to say, we were very eager to apply ZKPs as the oracle market really found a use case with price feeds in 2019 with DeFi
Thank you for the insight into how you came together… Can you tell us about why you thought Zoracles needed to be built and what problem it solves?
That is when we seriously considered putting together a project and the following spring we launched Zoracles
Zoracles is a protocol that delivers confidential data to smart contracts
This is an important functionality when dealing with enterprises or dAPPs that require financial privacy to conduct business on the blockchain
Current oracle products were focused on connectivity when we launched earlier this year and we felt the natural next extension would be privacy and anonymity
Because let’s be honest
Blockchains are like Twitter for your bank account
Everything is published and recorded
So why do you think that privacy is almost an afterthought?
This isn’t a feasible way of conducting business for enterprises who customers expect confidential transactions
Privacy is mainly a layer 2 not really engineers into layer 1 for a numbers of reasons
1) Complexity- ZKPs are some of the most complicated technology to implement
2) Scalability- Once we include privacy features, your transaction size can increase 2–3x
3) Auditability — When dealing with money, privacy typically prevents ability to successfully account for all transactions
Ok, that makes sense — I suppose most projects are in a rush to release, particularly as adoption accelerates
Can you please explain the use and relationship with the Zokrates toolbox and Zero Knowledge Proofs? Please explain what ZKP is for someone unfamiliar with digital assets
Correct, this is often the case and they put privacy on the back burner
A great way to implement Zero-knowledge proofs in smart contracts was brought to our attention by an Avalanche engineer
We initially were exploring writing custom circuits and gates for ZKPs which would take a few years to develop
Once Zokrates was recommended, we evaluated it would reduce development time by 50% — 75% while still providing confidential data to smart contracts
Zokrates is great because it is a toolbox to develop Snarks on Ethereum using a high level language to generate proofs
Out of interest, why did you choose to build on Ethereum?
This circumvents the gate & low level circuit building required
Also, it saves on development resources. That decision was critical given our small team in the beginning
As DeFi emerged, most of the activity and protocols were being built on Ethereum
This included, but not limited to AAVE, Compound, etc
We initially wanted to compete with price feeds by obscuring the data and sources but recently have pivoted to a tighter integration with a few other verticals we would be happy to discuss
Also, Ethereum had the largest development community and support
Yes, the development from the team has been very impressive considering the limited seed funding
On the subject of privacy, can you please explain why the team decided to remain anonymous and how you have factored this in to how investors and users of the protocol may perceive this?
Absolutely, this came up quite often in the beginning
Other protocols launch with a splashy website full of LinkedIn & Bios
They then raise a ton of money based off their backgrounds and set ambitious roadmaps that often time are never completed
We wanted to take an opposite approach
And having worked some with Grin and Mimblewimble’s anonymous founder
That is the ethos we wanted for our project
Something that felt more organic and emergent vs corporate and polished
We never intended to raise funds and were satisfied just bootstrapping development at our own pace
The community really rallied around what we put together early on and wanted to contribute
It felt a lot more organic than a presale or ICO and we knew we would need more developer resources to really ramp up
Are there any plans to one day remove the veil and if so when or after what criteria have been attained? We’ve heard that a Fluffy Pony esque frontman could be considered?
Bottom line, we want Zoracles to be about the protocol and not an individual or team
We have discussed and explored bringing a project leader like Fuffy Pony for 2021
The approach is very admirable however, with a focus purely on technology and product development
I think once the protocol is a bit more mature and adopted, it would be a great opportunity for someone to be public facing and lead Zoracles in the next phase of growth
Yes, we have always tried to emphasize we are a product-focused protocol
Building the core product is what our mission is about
Moving onto the Zora token, please explain what the Zora token will be used for in terms of governance?
There is a lot more administrative work than expected but it is good work meaning our project is in demand
We are super excited to introduce Zora 2.0 in a day or so
There have been significant upgrades in terms of governance & community inclusiveness
A few highlights include:
1) 10K Token supply — This will allow more participate through more holders
2) Governance — We are implementing a system when you can propose changes and it will be voted upon
There is a 5 day window before if accepted
The proposal can clear
3) Timelocks — Once approved, the changes are locked before moving into production
Also, we will add a vesting schedule for founding team. In the meantime, those tokens will not be in circulation
With aggressive timelines, we just have to prioritize what is immediately needed vs wanted
But we expect constant improvements to Zora 2.0 through ongoing development in phase 3
Phase 1 was development. Phase 2 will be a migration happening over the next 24–36 hours
Where Zora token holders will receive 100:1 Zora
We will announce freeze and snapshot to community after this AMA
That all sounds fantastic in terms of adding value to those adopting the technology (governance), along with other speculative investors (vesting, etc)
Is there any action that needs to be taken by current Zora token holders before the migration from 100 to 10,000 tokens?
Absolutely, we are thrilled and excited to move forward in this next chapter of Zora
Not at the moment
The only thing that is actually required is inaction
Perfect, that makes life easier :)
Are there any other incentives planned for ZORA token holders in the future such as staking?
That means if you were doing any OTC or transfers, we ask you hold off until new contract has migrated over
There were early discussions around staking
When the yield farming boom was happening
As that subsided, we think the oversight committee was able to get a closer look at the pros and cons of yield farming, staking etc
So at the moment, no plan for anything beyond vesting schedules and a front end voting system
Yes, the tokenomics don’t really lend themselves to farming / staking
We’ll debut a screen grab from that project in the medium article
Regarding the Uniswap listing is that still planned for the end of this month?
That will be Nov. 30th
It is still on schedule and after migration, community will be all set
ooooh I bet there’s a lot of people waiting impatiently for Monday!
We are excited to introduce Zora to Uniswap community
We sure hope so
Can you explain why you chose Uniswap directly?
Have you approached or have you been approached by any Centralized exchanges for listing? If so which ones and what have you decided?
Ideally we have a robust governance system with an engaged community
Given our founding and project ethos, it just felt like a natural fit
We intended the project to be as grassroots as possible
And Uniswap lined up with that vision as it is also decentralized, unstoppable and really enables the average person to participate in the trading ecosystem
A lot of exchanges may view Uniswap as a thread, but we view it as complementary to centralized services
They both have their distinct advantages and disadvantages
Early on we were approached by a few centralized exchanges
The oversight committee steered us away from a few contracts that were offered and considered
Can’t overstate enough how incredibly fortunate we have been with our oversight committee
Are you expecting centralised exchange interest, on better terms, once adoption is evident?
We have a lot experienced crypto people that have helped us go in the right direction since the beginning
Yes, that looks to be a very strong point for strategic organic growth
Probably a safe bet to expect Zora trading on some of your favorite exchanges in 2021
Once we launch on Uniswap, our entire team focus will be core product development
As I mentioned earlier, we may have underestimated the administrative work required to build a successful protocol
That is in reality the most important part
But will be happy to be almost 100% building the core product again
I’m sure it’s the first of many but you have announced one partnership so far. Why did you enter a strategic partnership with DEUS? Can you explain the strategy and the synergy this partnership seeks to fulfill?
Yes, building token contracts and migration scripts is timing consuming but necessary
Building “Snarks as a Service” is where we want to be positioned longer term
DEUS was great! A Crypto Society member introduced us to the CEO
Not sure if we wants to remain anonymous, but he was instrumental in bringing this partnership to the community
yes, our very own @LBecks :grin:
DEUS is working on some very interesting technology with registrars
Where you can trade Telsa stock on their platform and naturally they would need price feeds for this
I believe the CEO was evaluating Chainlink but wasn’t satisfied with their product or pricing
Our team was just drafting our position paper outlining the benefits of Open Oracle and he loved that direction
I believe they will use Open Oracle until Zoracles protocol is fully operational and then it will be as easy as upgrading 2 contracts
We will be extremely excited to see Zoracles Protocol in production and hopefully DEUS will be the first of many implementations
And thanks again to @LBecks this partnership came together nicely
We still have an active dialogue with the team
And thanks again to @LBecks this partnership came together nicely
And they have shared advice for our launch
In terms of project development I understand that there is a big push to have the fully operational ZKP Oracle available in Q1 2021. What are you currently working on and can you describe your future roadmap? Can you also please explain what a snark is to those that are not in the know?
We expect to have a reference implementation/proof of concept by end of this year or Q1 2021 at the latest
This will include a use case with our ZK-Snarks powering the privacy component
We’ve have a few promising candidates in development for deployed
The first has always been price feeds which we should see with Deus sometime soon
The second was a general Snarks we developed for a derivatives platform
And for those that may not be familiar with “Snarks” we encourage you to read our position and whitepaper
But the quick summary of Snarks = Succinet Non-Interactive Arguments of Knowledge
Basically you can prove a value without revealing it
As you can imagine, given the transparency of blockchains, this is a very important and critical technology to add more robust applications
Sounds like you have a huge amount of work ahead and we can’t wait to follow the development
Our roadmap includes further refining our general Snarks and partnership with clients to custom for their business
We have a TON of work ahead
The recent Bloomberg article showcased a potentially huge use case for snarks as a service with confidential credit checks, what other areas are you exploring where the technology could be applied so well?
But we are energized and eager to tackle
Yes, the credit reporting marketing is $7.1B
It would be really important to provide this service to a company like Credit Karma
They are are centralized service but could effectively transform their business with our Snark technology by providing scores on-chain
Other potential applications are decentralized identity
Zoracles launches ‘Snarks as a Service’ for Confidential Credit Checks
We are just scratching the surface with what is possible with on-chain identity
But needless to say, privacy will be a pivotal part of it
And will be positioned to provide our Snarks to enable it
This would be huge
Very blue ocean type of opportunity that excites us
Fundamentally, we need to get a few uses in production and then we can explore other applications
2021 will be a big year for Zoracles given our stage of development and the growth of the blockchain industry
We are really looking forward to making our mark in crypto
The world is your Zoracle I guess
And try to reiterate to our community, that we are just really getting started
What were the biggest challenges you faced in finalizing your white paper which has been released recently?
We initially released a position paper and received feedback that it should be followed up by a technical whitepaper
The biggest challenge was actually in the final section of the paper
We covered our upcoming VRF (verifiable random function) for data sources
Since we are still exploring our exact implementation details, it was a challenge forecasting exactly how we are going to address it
Hopefully we were able to shed a bit of light on our thinking around VRFs and how randomizing data sources reduces an important attack vector for oracle DeFi data
That is manipulating exchanges to force a smart contract execution
Our solution will mitigate and reduce that expose
Can you please explain how you can intercept and flush out data from bad actors (as an example, those who would list a fake coin on Uniswap) that we are seeing more of in the space as it pertains to ease of listing in DEX?
Also, graphics was a big challenge since most of the team is highly technical
We have a feature called Time Weighted Average Price
It derives from Uniswap V2
And provides a “sanity check” for prices before posting on-chain
Often times this is a weakness for oracles because anyone can try to force a smart contract to execute by manipulating exchange data especially for illiquid assets
Open Oracle performs this check and prices need to be within a standard deviation or they will be rejected forcing bad actors back to the drawing board
As more exchanges offer price feed data like Coinbase Pro & OKex this will strengthen our solution
Thank you for helping us understand that. I’m conscious of time here so we have one more question in terms of how Zoracles fits into the marketplace
Sure, glad to be here with everyone
In the Whitepaper it is mentioned that unlike other oracle solution cost structures, Zoracles data feeds will be free. How is this achieved and could you please compare the cost structure between Zoracles and one of the following: Chainlink, Band Protocol, Tellor?
Great last question
Chainlink and Band charge per API request
Tellor uses miners that solve a proof of work challenge to submit values on chain
Zoracles protocol will not use miners or charge users per API request
We are building a framework that any project can leverage for confidential DeFi data to their smart contracts
Our unique value proposition will be in customizing Snarks for enterprises or dApps that select our service
There won’t be any node infrastructure like LINK or BAND and we feel this is competitive advantage along with providing signed data which no other oracle provides at the moment
Also, as we mentioned a bit earlier, it is important to distinguish between first party oracles that Zoracles is using and aggregators like LINK & BAND
It’s certainly an exciting time for oracles and particular one with ground breaking technology such as Zoracles. It is clears that you have a number of USP’s
Long-term we feel API request charges are going to be very expensive and our framework will be the most flexible, robust and confidential on the market
We know you have a lot to get on with so won’t keep you any longer!
Thank you for your time in answering our questions here today. We are all very appreciative of your time and of the answers you have provided and are looking forward to seeing the Zoracles vision come to its fruition in the very near future!
Well I would like to thank you for having us and being valued members of our community
We are extremely excited about what the future holds and appreciate the support from Crypto Society
Zoracles TG: https://t.me/zoracles
Crypto Society TG: https://t.me/cryptosocietyy