CasperLabs Goes Live with its Node Version 2.0 and Ghostbusters-Inspired Token, “Ectoplasm”
Making their first appearance on February 22, CasperLabs has officially launched its open source blockchain project along with its associated native token, Ectoplasm, reports Breaker Mag (https://breakermag.com/casperlabs-debuts-its-scalable-proof-of-stake-blockchain-on-testnet/).
CasperLabs is supposedly described as a “scalable, next-generation blockchain,” and its goal is to build a blockchain platform that revolves around the reliance of Proof-of-Stake (as opposed to Proof-of-Work).
According to the cofounders of CasperLabs, Mrinal Manohar and Steven Nerayoff, inclusivity is emphasized because of the lack of understandable languages, and hence picking WebAssembly. WebAssembly is a coding language that can be used on modern web browsers and carries a binary format – providing existing languages with a
“compilation target (https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/WebAssembly).”
When it comes to the team at CasperLabs, Nerayoff has since shared that, “This is the highest caliber pound-for-pound team I’ve ever come across,” adding that engineers have been handpicked such that they carry “double PhDs”. This is in reference to the fact that 21 engineers have since been hired, from all parts of the world.
As for the reason CasperLabs exists, most of the funding has come from its parent company, Adaptive Holdings. Another aim is to raise funds externally, with a possibility of offering initial exchange offerings reports Nerayoff.
What To Expect From CasperLabs’ Blockchain Platform
On February 22, Manohar shared that the issue of scaling has become widely known that a solution is required. He notes that Bitcoin and Ethereum are the, “only two fully decentralized [blockchain] systems out there,” adding that while decentralization holds, they cannot be proficiently scaled.
According to CasperLabs lead developer, Michael Birch, focusing on all aspects of transactions is not necessary. This is where sharding takes into effect. As per Birch, “at a higher level, sharding is about taking some composite thing and breaking it down into smaller pieces such that you only have to care about the pieces you’re interested in.”
Birch also shared its disadvantage, which seems to relate to the overall communication. In particular, “if one shard makes a decision that affects another shard, they have to stay consistent with each other,” adding that
“one shard can hijack the fork chain rule of another.”
The fork choice rule for CasperLabs is the Greedy Heaviest Observed Subtree (GHOST). Here’s an overview of what GHOST stands for (https://breakermag.com/casperlabs-debuts-its-scalable-proof-of-stake-blockchain-on-testnet/):
- Each validator carries a weight relative to staking numbers in comparison to the network (i.e. which determines the overall security of the network)
- Validators that agree to build blocks on top of each other increase in weight, i.e. H in Ghost
- The heaviest chain is always chosen (i.e. O in GHOST)
- Following by #3 reduces “greed” (i.e. G in GHOST)
- As per Breaker Mag, “instead of a fork, you can envision this like branches on a tree (or Subtrees).”
Birch reasons that the key in understanding how weights play and what it means for validators to have too much or too little weight is crucial for the creation of
which has been deemed Economist, Onur Solmaz’s job.
Nerayoff has also expressed the current stance on the testing phases. Here’s as per their words:
“We have the ability now to actually start spinning up live nodes and stress test the system […] While we are launching our own chain, we see our work on CBC Casper as the incubator work that Ethereum could also use in the future if it chooses to do so.”
To learn more about CasperLabs, go to: https://casperlabs.io/.