Haskell Blockchain Ecosystem Derived From Cardano
In late April 2021, twelve months after I began the DAFIDAO project as the sole founder, developer, and CEO — I finished development on the first version of the de-fi portal and DApp at https://da-fi.io. Reaching the milestone, especially as a sole developer, was an amazing feeling and achievement. I was responsible for end to end blockchain project management, development, and implementation including the website at https://da-fi.com, the now Etherscan approved DA-FI token, the yDAIv4 aggregator contract (now deprecated), all social media accounts, all website UI, hosting, DNS, ENS, Web3 Provider, and API administration, all smart contract and vault testing, verification, and more. I felt like I accomplished something special and at that point, it made me realize that I could more then likely program and or accomplish anything I set my mind on.
The one person who inspired me most was Andre Cronje of Yearn.Finance. After reading one of his Medium articles from February of 2020 where he explained how to create ‘your own version of Yearn’, I thought to myself — wow, with a little passion and determination — I can pull this off. Andre believed greatly in his abilities before anyone else did and in doing so has created his own legacy not to mention great software. In my opinion, he has been one of the most if not the most influential developers in the de-fi space. He’s taken the time to teach and inspire others and he’s taken the time to be humble and point out his own mistakes. If I knew he’d accept a donation of 3000 DA-FI tokens, I’d send them to him and or the Yearn Project. However, he would probably just send them back as usual and, in Andres words, “keep building until theres nothing left to build.” So I figured it was appropriate to at least publicly acknowledge and thank him — thank you Andre! Now, back to the story.
Shortly after live deployment the DApp at da-fi.io, I decided to start a more locally tilted blockchain development and consulting sole proprietorship simply named — The Blockchain Co. to create a door to other possibilities while retaining primary focus on DAFIDAO. A few weeks later, chance had it that I met someone in a local coffee shop who was looking for someone to fork the Cardano blockchain. I almost laughed and thought ‘is this guy serious’ and ‘does he realize how complex Haskell and thus Cardano can be’? He was serious alright but what began as a bare minimum fork for chain replication , morphed into modifying 70 repositories and close to 10 million lines of code of arguably the most complex blockchain ecosystem in existence — single handedly.
After building each repo then configuring, and running genesis nodes for 10 days, I knew I could take the next step in the process. Cardano, as with most ecosystems, has core names and conventions that, if changed en mass, must be carefully and completely mapped beforehand to capture the optimal percentage of required changes before compiling the code. This becomes especially apparent when considering the breadth of Cardano. Notice how I mentioned “optimal percentage” — it’s nearly impossible to capture every single possible core-name variable combination with 100% accuracy without compilation.
Once I captured what I figured to be an optimal level of changes, I then performed the most tedious part of the process — validating directory and file names by manually traversing the repos and sub-repos. Once complete, I began Cabal’s build compilation process. Errors thrown during this process pointed me toward the remaining names and variables I needed to modify to achieve a complete build. And once I had a complete build with the new-core names and ran the genesis nodes for a few days, I knew I was ready to move on to the next phase of development — reverse-engineering the Cardano ecosystem.
Travelling backward to the earliest days of my 20+ year professional career, I can still recall the first time I felt a strong desire to perform an in-depth analysis of computer systems and software. The desire is better described as a burning curiosity that ends only after understanding literally every system facet and nuance. In this case, the system we’re talking about is IBM’s HERA mainframe system circa 2001. Even though this was literally the very first time I experienced an enterprise level mainframe system, there was a certain congruency I noticed immediately. With my young mind and lack of perspective, the desire to reverse-engineer everything ultimately led to me to be quite overwhelmed during the first few months because I fed my mind more information then it could handle. However, this unconventional approach also led me to intuitively point my compass toward answers as opposed to employing more of a guess and check methodology. The thought of being overwhelmed was replaced with the desire to implement fresh and fluent ideas. At the time, I didn’t realize nor understand the importance of that desire and ability. Fast forward to today — after modifying the Cardano ecosystem, I can clearly see how important it was then and now.
Reverse engineering IOHK’S Cardano Haskell blockchain ecosystem was the 2nd most challenging yet rewarding experience in my professional career; eclipsed only by developing and integrating roughly 7,000 lines of new Haskell blockchain code with the entire Cardano ecosystem up to and including the Alonzo Era.
The only way developer can truly understand a piece of software is to read every single line of code within every single code file while repeatedly traversing the program(s) from initialization through shutdown. It’s that simple. No special programs, no tools, no BS. Just you, the repos, and of course, some great coffee. To do otherwise would only cheat oneself in my opinion.
After spending quite a few hours of my deep-dive in to the Cardano ecosystem and realizing the enormity of the project, I began formulating a strategy that focused on efficiency and precision AKA failing fast. I figured that if I begin the process by testing cryptography and key-role modifications, then I’d probably break a relatively large and very important portion of the ecosystem. And in doing so, I posited the failure context and rate will substantially increase my knowledge base and overall chances of success. In retrospect, this was a reasonable decision that lead to positive results.
Prior to beginning development on what became the Vested and Vested delegates key roles andoptional genesis parameters, I had visions of changing the cryptography in its entirety. After researching a few different and unmemorable algorithms, I realized the idea wasn’t viable due to time constraints. I also realized that Cardano’s cryptography is sourced from the same exact Libsodium commit utilized by Algorand. This was quite a revelation to me and one that eventually sparked the idea of developing a post quantum secure ecosystem. Although I do not agree nor disagree with Cardano’s decision to effectively utilize Algorand’s cryptography base because I don’t know the whole story, I find it interesting within the scope of the enormous amount of academic research and testing Cardano performed during 5 plus years of ongoing development.
Back to the story — after the initial cryptography idea, I, for a moment, started to believe the Haskell monad was not only the ultra efficient functional solution to the project requirements, but the answer to nearly all of life’s problems ;-). However, I quickly realized I was feeling the affects of Haskell kool-aid and went back to the simplicity of failing fast a module at a time beginning with IOHK’S “cardano-base” Git repo.
If you take the time to read through each line of code in the Cardano ecosystem, which is something you must do if you plan to truly understand any program let alone Cardano, you will be pleasantly surprised at the amazing level of detail within the code comments. IOHK also took the time to create an entire provenance ‘subsystem’ complete with an abstraction barrier data type IOHK calls ‘BlackBox’. BlackBox is essentially functional encryption that encases the provenance data and ensures there is no easy way to modify provenance data through the already secure Haskell computations. IOHK’s attention to detail and clarity affords an understanding of the environment and the ability to test conceptualizations quickly.
Concepts such optional tiers of delegates that may or may not be included at genesis that, for example, receive percentage increases or decreases of reward bonuses if and or when certain entropy-injected aka ‘entropified’ chain metrics are met, such as the number of registered stake pools. Taking it a step further, the alternate delegate reward structure can be further differentiated and augmented with new/additional metadata pointers tied to, for example, a “Vested multiple ’ protocol parameter. In the legacy world- SQL, for example SQL - the pointer would he considered a "key" that enables joins across one or more tables or databases. In the web3 world, the pointer can be utilized within reward provenance to a). ensure the account is in fact a Vested Delegate account, b.) ensure the Vested Delegate account is in fact associated with the current Vested Multiple and therefore a valid reward recipient for xyz reward period. c) The Vested Multiple can also be utilized in the final numerical reward calculation function as input that influences the final reward value. The reward distribution date can be entirely randomized and opaque or it could be specific and telegraphed. We could also pay relay nodes in addition to stake pools using a function of time spent on chain and correlated to resource contributions, such the square mileage of GPS coordinate and location data or perhaps the amount of a users carbon offset.
An example Vested Delegate use case could be situation where we have multiple angel investors and or seed funding groups who wish to receive a higher average rate of return for staking Quantum One Roton and or a weighted influence over the long term trajectory of the ecosystem. Vested Delegates could also create and operate as a sub DAO beneath the main Quantum One DAO framework. Quantum One DAO is incorporated in Sheridan, Wyoming as a DAO LLC, received an EIN from the US Treasury, SEC approval for EDGAR access, a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet, and a business checking and savings account at Mercury. We have the framework and now it's time to expand.
Think real-estate brokerage, energy transfer partnership, health insurer groups, condiminum associations, franchises, consumer groups, philanthropy, charity's, pensioners, and subcription rewards. And think private customized variations of Cardano and or any other blockchain ecosystem - in the confines of your SD WAN. Think about forgetting the term cross platform because cross platform is effectively obsolete. Think about actually trusting your email provider and their oh so convenient but terribly insecure forms. Think about actually trusting a professional network where you can not only network, you can hire, pay and fire your staff - automatically. Think about an encrypted messaenger service without millions of fake accounts, bots, and scams. Think about all of this near unlimited potential protected by the first AML/SEC compliant from genesis blockchain ecosystem with a 100% ID'd, 0 anonymity user base that also enables private accounts. And then think post quantum cryptographic standards. And now your thinking about half of the Quantum One DAO story.
The 7K lines of new Haskell code I personally develocped could relatively easily become 700K with a team great developers and a cap raise. At this moment in time, we have 4 Github organization members. I receive several LinkedIn messages each week from entrepreneurial developers looking for an opportunity to work for Quantum One DAO. And we haven't even started the recruitment process.
If we actually launch this Cardano derived ecosystem, will we be shunned by Charles Hoskinson et. al and the Cardano community regardless of whether we donate 10% of all tx fees to Cardano along with a % of equity? Maybe. Does the world really NEED a Cardano derived ecosystem? Not necessarily. Why not leave a chain of this caliber and complexity in the hands of the original creators? Good point. And the best question of all - why modify a peer reviewed, scientifically engineered, game theorized, provably secure and quantum resistant ecosystem that also has a great community of some of the hardest working and most intelligent people on this planet? If successful, it may make the world a better place. And it may not. CNBC’s Advancements TV invited me to an 8 minute episode appearance along with full content rights for a one time payment of $50K — does worldwide recognition ensure success? Not always.
With all of this being said, I am going to reach out to Charles Hoskinson and IOHK for their thoughts, opinions, concerns etc. Perhaps we build an initial product upon Cardano while developing an AML/SEC compliant post quantum secure, fully interoperable ecosystem from scratch.
The one thing I am sure of at this point after modifying the Cardano ecosystem is that my team and I at Quantum One DAO have near unlimited potential and can engineer just about anything.