Best General RenVM Questions of April 2020 \ submitted by
These questions are sourced directly from Telegram* Q: Quick question here, but any plan to bridge as well with the Tezos protocol? Using soon to be released Ren network could be a key advantage to be the first with a viable solution on their protocol. Plus Ren is indépendant of ETH (collateral speaking) making it interesting for other protocols. A:
Yes, this is very much possible. RenVM can work with any ‘destination chain’ that has smart contract functionality. We’ll be exploring others like Polkadot, Tezos, etc.. once it makes sense and we are happy with the Ethereum side of things. Q: How many physical Darknodes will be in Greycore? A:
It depends on the final cohort, but it’ll be 15+ as each team will run a few Darknodes. Even the Greycore, our most “centralized” part of RenVM (at first) will be more decentralized than all competitors. Also, it is not so important the number of nodes as it is the number of members. More nodes = more architectural decentralization, but not more political decentralization. That is, more fault tolerance, but not more Byzantine fault tolerance. Q: Once RenVM gets going, is there a way to measure cross-(on)chain volume? A:
We’ll be measuring any/all volume that flows through RenVM. This info will be available in the new Command Center (CC), GraphProtocol, etc. Q: What is the reasoning for disabling auto-updates for Darknodes? Will operators get to choose if auto updates are allowed or not? A:
Auto updates of things that control funds is generally a bad idea. Someone could poison the repo you’re using for updates and you’d have no control. Further, disabling auto-updating means that governance is in the hands of the Darknodes, albeit in a very ad hoc way (excluding the smart contracts on Ethereum). Q: I know you have addressed this before, but here’s a discussion about ren’s ability to mint renBTC being limited by its public market cap. I think the team is coming up with a way to have the Darknode capacity determined by Darknodes based on revenue rather than the price of ren right? A:
This design is one of RenVM's biggest comparative advantages over other designs. The value of REN (as calculated by Darknodes) and thus RenVM's capacity are directly tied to usage of RenVM. The more renBTC minted/burned, the greater Darknodes' revenues, the higher value of REN, the greater capacity to mint more. It's a positive feedback loop where increased usage increases capacity. To your question, the "3" in L<3 will be calculated by Darknodes strictly by revenues, not by a potentially manipulable oracle. Although this may be a soft cap in Zero and One with Greycore secondary sigs and continuous fees.
Conversely, tBTC's bond is overcollateralized by ETH, which is uncorrelated to usage of tBTC. Because the price of ETH does not increase with usage of tBTC, increased usage of tBTC will require more and more ETH to stay overcollateralized. As the article says, just 1% ($1.34B) of BTC's market cap ($134B) in tBTC would require $2.01B in bonded ETH, which is 10% of all ETH. 5% of BTC in tBTC, 56% of ETH.
A bond whose value is tied to usage of its own network allows capacity to scale linearly. Further:
Collateral is not the problem. Any technique that anyone uses to reduce collateral should be usable by any system doing interop. The real difference is that RenVM using its own token, so it is able to adjust its own economic parameters, and it does not need liquidation which we have seen fail as recently as last month.
-Use RenVM => REN worth more => higher cap => can use RenVM even more
-Use tBTC => ETH fluctuates independently => liquidations can occur => node operators get liquidated => can use tBTC less
RenVM is much more capital efficient in the long-term, regardless of the specific collateral ratios required. It also doesn’t expose Darknodes to ETH risk (and even renBTC holders, if renBTC could sometimes only be reclaimed for ETH not actual BTC, like it systems with liquidation).
Lastly, it has a bunch of practical defenses, like constantly shuffling its Darknode shards (instead of them sticking around for up to 6 months). And we have some nice UX features, like being able to move any amount of BTC at any time, straight into a smart contract call. Q: https://preview.tbtc.network/cms/resource/tbtc-security-model/developers/tbtc-security-model/. At the end of the article Ren's security model is briefly discussed, is this correct? A:
For the record, that is an incorrect summary (either through not being sure how things works, or in an attempt to discredit our security model). RenVM is not a federated peg. Our shards are designed to have up to ~200 nodes in them. tBTC has three (3). Seems the latter is a lot closer to a federation than the former. Q: So RenVM can run on Binance chain instead of Ethereum? Or what would be the advantage (or goal)? Pls eli5. A:
RenVM doesn’t run on any chain; it is its own network. However, it has host chains which are chains to which it can send assets. For example, you can send BTC to Ethereum, and in this scenario Ethereum is the host chain (it is hosting a non-native asset). Supporting Binance Chain would imply that RenVM can use it as another host chain. Q: If another host chain is implemented, would cross-host chain transactions be possible without doing any transactions with the token. Like: Bitcoin -> renBTC_ETH -> renBTC_BNB Without an intermediate step, and without paying Bitcoin transactions on the Bitcoin network. Unlike: Bitcoin -> renBTC_ETH -> Bitcoin -> renBTC_BNB A:
Yep. A burn event would be generated on one host chain, and RenVM would produce a minting signature for the other host chain. No BTC moves on the Bitcoin chain, so no Bitcoin fees would be required. RenVM would still take a fee though. Q: Reading about sharding in the docs: it mentions load balancing. Would that be done on a monthly basis as the changeover in keys is done? A:
At minimum, once per epoch. Q: I'm sure there were discussions about this before but I can't find anything on it. Is there a possibility where assets in custody in REN network could be greater than 1/3 of value of REN tokens and have the network still be secure? Or is this a big no no that the network will have to do everything for the 1/3 threshold not be crossed ? A:
It’s not a big no no, it is still well collateralized at that point. However, it is a no no. 1/3rd is the limit above which an attack becomes theoretically profitable. It is still not practically profitable at that stage, and is also very difficult to actually pull off such an attack. So RenVM must aim to keep under 1/3rd, but if that threshold is crossed nothing bad happens immediately (this gives some time for fee adjustments that should have already been put in place by this point to kick in).
We’re also looking at some proposals internally around how to recover the peg even if an attack does succeed (because 1/3rd is crossed by enough, and for long enough, that a profitable attack succeeds, or because an irrational attacker has decided to attack without the want for profit).
That’s correct. We class these actors as “irrational adversaries”. This is an attacker that doesn’t care about the profitability as modelled by the protocol. It’s important to be able to resist such adversaries because, as you point out, there are adversaries that can achieve be profit from RenVM in a way that cannot be feasibly modelled. Q: How many hours can my VPS be down before it's Deregistered (not shalshed)? A:
12 hours. We’ll use Mainnet Subzero to establish parameters and change the thresholds if needed. Q: Which VPS provider (for Darknodes) is next? A:
Azure is the next one on our list of VPS’s to support.
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