Big news guys: OMG and Cosmos have decided to start f̵o̵r̵k̵i̵n̵g spooning…hard. That’s right, you get a token, you get a token, everybody gets two tokens!
What is a hard spoon?
A hard spoon, like spooning, is as fun as it sounds. Cosmos’ Jae Kwon, who coined :^) the term, defines it as being fundamentally consensual:
Hard spoon: a new chain that takes into account state from an existing chain; not to compete, but to provide broad access.
Or, put another way by Vitalik Buterin:
A hard spoon is a meta-protocol on top of a blockchain creating a token that inherits the blockchain’s underlying token’s balances. The idea of a soft spoon would be to create two competing *branches of a protocol* within *the same blockchain.*
Essentially, a hard spoon takes the balances of a given token on an existing chain and duplicates it onto another chain. In this case, OMG token balances will be replicated onto a Tendermint chain that gets connected to Cosmos.
Plasma is coming.
And unlike winter it won’t take 7 seasons. We have been working closely with the Tendermint team in developing our Honte milestone. Honte was meant to be a Tendermint chain with staking and sufficient transaction throughput to support the initial implementation of the OMG DEX. Once Plasma reached an equivalent stage of development, we would shift from Tendermint onto Plasma.
Nothing went wrong with Honte — quite the opposite. The Honte team delivered, consistently on schedule, a Tendermint-based PoS construction with many core features already built: a working staking contract; transaction encoding in RLP; some soft slashing conditions; and a pending merge where signatures and public/private key pairs are Ethereum compliant.
The problem, if you can call it that, is that work on Plasma has progressed much more quickly than anticipated. The whole reason we had planned on creating an interim solution was because we did not expect to be able to release anything related to Plasma for several more months at best.
Given how far Plasma has come in such a short time, it makes sense for us to direct our resources towards its development. Consequently, we have now begun working on the Tesuji milestone in our roadmap. Tesuji is an iterative step forward in developing the functionality specified in Plasma MVP. When the Tesuji milestone is reached, the Plasma chain will accept both deposits and withdrawals of ETH and ERC20 tokens, support swaps between multiple tokens, and generally be designed in a way that enables us to iteratively add features.
To limit complexity and increase security, the initial iteration of Plasma will not support staking. However, we have decided to release this iteration out of a desire to show to the world a working and ready-to-use implementation of a Plasma-based scaling solution (and deliver a functional product!) as quickly as possible.
That said, we have certainly heard the community voices calling for Plasma staking to be implemented soon and we are actively working on making it happen. At the same time, we want to take the time to do it right. Rushing this process would be a disservice to the architects of the protocol and the eventually users and stakers on the network.
We plan to unveil Tesuji incrementally over the coming two quarters. Further details about Tesuji and a more detailed roadmap update will be released in the coming weeks.
Ok, so what happens to Honte?
Honte will be spooned onto Cosmos. The Ethereum based Plasma chain will continue to use the existing OMG tokens we know, love, and HODL. The state of all OMG accounts will be replicated onto a new chain with a new token. The Cosmos spoon has yet to be named, but we have some ideas:
The Cosmos spoon builds on the significant progress made on Honte’s staking protocol. We will co-author a blog post with the Cosmos team about this shortly.
Will OMG and Cosmos become archenemies?
Do archenemies spoon?! As evidenced by our ongoing collaboration, there is a great deal of mutual respect and affection between Cosmos and OMG. The Plasma and Tendermint teams will continue to be mutually supportive, and are looking forward to a bit of healthy competition. Both implementations will have their strengths; we envision them as complementary, not adversarial.
Right! So how do I contribute?
The design for the Tesuji Plasma is comming later this week! Development has already started and we will open source the code shortly. We are open sourcing both to be transparent about our development progress, and to make it easier for people to collaborate on Plasma.
Firstly, decide at which phase you would like to contribute. We have split our work on Plasma into research, proof of concept and production:
- You can find the latest designs and thoughts on Plasma in the research repository. The research repository is an open space to contribute ideas.
- Plasma designs are built and tested in the Plasma MVP proof of concept repository to validate technical feasibility.
- Once we have sufficient confidence in the proof of concept, a design is written and development commences in the production repository (to be made public at a later date).
We will also be making the Honte repo public shortly. The work done on Honte represents tremendous progress in constructing a functional decentralized PoS network on Tendermint and Cosmos. We anticipate that these developments will be of great use to other projects in the blockchain ecosystem who are developing staking protocols of their own.
We don’t have a specific timeline in place yet for the hard spoon; however, we will announce it at least 2 weeks in advance, to give token holders time to prepare to hold their tokens in the wallets where they want to receive their spooned tokens.