Horizen is designing Sidechains and a Sidechain SDK to allow developers and enterprises to quickly and affordably spin up their own blockchains. Our next sidechain engineering milestone is just days away!
About this Sidechain Q&A
The Q&A you are reading today was sparked by Telegram community member Joker. Horizen co-founders, Rob and Rolf, and Rowan our Director of Business Development took turns answering his questions.
The questions and answers were so interesting, we wanted the entire community to be able to read them! This is the 2nd part of the conversation. Read the 1st part here
QRegarding sidechains, I think it’s a matter of achieving sufficient decentralization for each sidechain depending on each use case. How many nodes on average will do consensus for a sidechain? Or is that sidechain specific?A
Part of what goes into the design of the different aspects of the platform is to work to achieve an economic incentive. For the two main Horizen system sidechain applications that are designed to run on the supernodes, which are compensated to operate. This is not happening yet, but the expectation has always been there. Supernode operators will not be surprised if that becomes a requirement.
For third party sidechains, there will be a payment to the node operators who choose to run the third-party application designed into the system. It is with ZEN whenever a transfer to/from the mainchain to sidechain takes place.
QWhat smart contract languages will be supported on the sidechains? Will they be Turing complete?AThe great thing is that we can build any and all smart contracting languages because there’s no constraint; the system is fully generalizable.
from a second perspective, a great characteristic of doing the system architecture this way is that each sidechain is its own container and we can have Turing complete systems behind their own firewalls… if something breaks, it’s contained to its own system. The same is true of ZK or other crypto systems we deploy via sidechain.
QWhat’s on the mainchain?AThe main chain is a ledger for ZEN, a currency that can be sent either transparently or privately, as well as a source of truth for whatever users use it for.
QWhat is included in the SDK?AThe first version of the SDK will have basic tools to initialize a blockchain that communicates with the mainchain, such that ZEN can go forward/backward, and sidechain blocks are validated/secured by the mainchain. The next version (what we’ll call beta) will have tools that allow devs to build app-specific functionality on sidechain consensus. First blockchain consensus will be an IOHK R&D framework we’ve beefed up to work in production called Scorex.
QDoesn’t your sidechain SDK standardize the framework of the sidechain? This would include the consensus mechanism.ANo, the SDK will allow you to use whatever programming language and consensus mechanism best suits your application.
QAny timeline for a functioning DAO?A
No definitive timeline yet as the entire engineering team is currently laser-focused on the SDK release which is the culmination of well over a year’s work. The sidechain SDK makes a scalable DAO possible so we’re one step closer.
Seems to me a well-working DAO really ignites a community around a project. A working DAO essentially decentralizing ZEN will be a large evolution for the project and will be a game changer.
QSo, secure nodes are like the gateways between the mainchain and sidechains? Do secure nodes get to participate in governance?A
Secure nodes would be the ones running the sidechain node applications, as well as the mainchain node application. So in a manner, yes, they would be gateways between the two.
The governance model as designed originally would have people buy voting tickets with ZEN, it would get locked up during the voting period (1-2 months), then the ZEN would be returned at the end of the voting period. This part is not yet fleshed out and is subject to change.
Learn more about Horizen Sidechains
This blog is part of our Horizen Sidechains Series. To learn more about our sidechains, please read:
- Horizen Sidechain SDK demo (video)
- Horizen Sidechain Node Synchronization Between Mainchain and Sidechains