Transcript of the Ampleforth office hours on 13.01.2021

Brandon:
First thing, I know a lot of people have been asking about the sushi rewards for Pescadero. I got an update from Sushiswap about that this morning. They’re hoping to be able to distribute those to the geyser this week. After that, we’ll be able to send those to all the geyser participants using the normal process that’s already running for the other geysers. Thanks for everyone’s understanding here and sorry for the delay.

Question 1:
Has the team looked at Avalanche as Ampleforth expand to other chains? Avalanche consensus L1 can compete in speed with Ethereum L2. Any other chains/dlts up for consideration? I believe Hedera Hashgraph also runs an Ethereum vm and should be able to support solidity smart contracts

Brandon:Yes, I’m really curious to see how the Avalance ecosystem develops. We’ve been looking at lots of potential different chains. The more work we do here, the more it seems we’ll be able to reuse a lot of the components. I expect the marginal development cost for future EVM chains should be fairly small.

Question 2:
Is Ampleforth still considering changing the rebase curve from a linear function to a sigmoid function? https://aips.ampleforth.org/AIPs/aip-5

Brandon:
I think the best time to resolve that AIP is after we have more onchain governance in place. Any core change like should go through the proper channels.

Question 3:
For the cross-chain AMPL, who is writing the code? Are TRON / Polkadot people doing any integration work themselves? Or is it something that the ampl team will develop?

Brandon:
I’d say it’s a mix of both. For EVM based chains, there’s not much work for other parties to do. For others, there’s more. We heard of one platform that started completely independently before we even know about it.

Question 4:
Still can’t talk about any exchange listings, right?

Brandon:
Yeah that’s a fair question. Unfortunately, it’s not something we can comment on

Question 5:
The lack of composability due to rebase is concerning and can lead to lost funds by interacting with smart contracts that do not support rebase. How does Ampleforth plan to address this issue. There are competing algorithmic coins such as ESD which points to this fact as a con for Ampleforth and taking some market share.

Evan:
AMPL is an independent financial primitive that does not rely on centralized collateral or lenders of last resort. It’s like Bitcoin, except it can be used in contracts. It’s not a stablecoin, it’s a volatile (high-risk high-reward) asset.

Algorithmic stablecoins like ESD, that regulate supply using bonds, seek to be (zero-risk, zero-reward) assets. But they can’t really be sustained by free-market incentives. For example, they cannot survive secular decreases in demand (and will ultimately rely on buyers of last resort). So effectively they are (some-risk, zero-reward) assets.

We want folks to start favoring “stable contracts” over “stable coins” because the goal of the decentralized finance movement, is to create an alternative financial ecosystem, beyond the reach of politics. And stablecoins either 1) rely on traditional banks, or 2) rely on lenders of last resort.

Brandon:
How you define composability is a red herring, I think. Everything follows from utility. Ample is still a relatively new asset in the history of finance, and sometimes it takes a while for other pieces to catch up. It’s happening, though, in small steps. Ampleforth is trying to reinvent finance and that doesn’t happen by building the same thing over and over again.

Question 6:
Whats the next item in the efi roadmap thats closest to completion?

Brandon:
It sounds like Coiner’s Yield platform is getting close to mainnet. I expect that’ll be the first lending application with Ample support. Next to that, there’s a lot in-flight and those schedules depend on development steps like audits, testing, external governance, etc.

Speaking of which, now that Aave’s governance process is more refined, we’re starting to make some progress there. In not too much time, we’ll be collecting delegation power to meet the proposal threshold. So look out for when that starts!

Question 7:
On the front of marketing, can you tell us what you are working on to increase AMPL exposure inside and outside of the cryptosphere to help it achieve mainstream adoption within the Crypto/DeFi space.

Evan:
We’ve struggled quite a bit to explain AMPL to folks. But the most recent explanation has really started to work in small tests. Next step is to roll out mass-market materials that utilize this new narrative, starting with a short video. Would love to get help from the community on this as well. I really think it can be memed.

“AMPL is like Bitcoin, except it can be used in contracts” is the narrative for the average joe.

For folks who are slightly deeper in the space, what we want to get across is the idea that the whole point of the decentralized finance movement, is to create an alternative financial ecosystem that is beyond the reach of politics and can check the existing system.

Stablecoins either rely on 1) traditional banking partnerships (in the case of fiat collateralized coins) or 2) lenders of last resort (in the case of algorithmic stablecoins and crypto-collateralized stablecoins). Therefore they can either be directly regulated or are unreliable.

forget stablecoins, it’s about stable contracts

Evan: (continued)

Somehow, the DeFi community has gotten it in their heads that it’s okay to settle for building an alternative financial ecosystem that basically relies on US dollars and / or private market bailouts. This makes no sense to me.

DeFi relies on stable contracts, and thus far we’ve used stablecoins to monkey-patch solutions together. But these solutions are either censorable or unreliable. The primitive building-blocks of this alternative banking system are therefore not robust. We need primitives like AMPL, that can be used in contracts, in order to build an alternative financial system of value.

Ultimately, when folks realize the importance of the fundamental problem we’re solving, they will simply adapt their systems to support AMPL’s rebasing mechanic. It’s happening slowly but surely!

Question 8:
Would it be feasible for AMPL to launch a proprietary lending service? As in a service of its own where maybe even other tokens can also be borrowed, thus generating a revenue that could then possibly be put into the liquidity pool or rewards towards geyser OR both via smart contracts on a decentralized basis?

Evan:
It’s definitely possible to roll a special purpose lending protocol for AMPL. One of our advisors is independently building one. My understanding is users will deposit wrapped bitcoin, and borrow AMPL for longer-lived loans! Perfectly showcases the value of AMPL as an asset. I’m excited about this.

Question 9:
When we have Ample on multiple chain will an oracle on ethereum be used for cross chain lookups or will there be native oracles for all chains?

Brandon:
The main protocol oracles will continue to exist solely on Ethereum, along with the supply policy. Bridges will marshall transfers and rebase events. I give a lot more detail in this Chainsafe summit talk, if you want to know more! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbNqJUlylf4&list=PLPn3rQCo3XrNSA0p3tZvK9SqQ-fhtkOU1&index=26

Question 10:
Are there plans to push for rebase support in a new ERC standard through an EIP? Or is Ampleforth relying on other developers to support?

Brandon:
Yeah we’ve definitely thought about that and even written a few drafts here and there. Now that we’ve seen how these platforms shake out, I think we could publish something with a lot more confidence.

Question 11:
Any plans to have ama over YouTube one day? This is some great knowledge but it seems confined to us in discord. I think there is just a huge gap in understanding the protocol in the broad crypto community

Brandon:
We have done that before, but it was a long time ago! Maybe we can think about doing that format again, at least periodically

Question 12:
It seems the clones have tainted rebase and have clouded peoples judgement

Evan:
You’re right about that. Many of the clones are not in it for the right reasons. Rebase was a mechanic we used to solve a specific longstanding problem with commodity-monies like gold. We should be more public about this. I think one piece of content in the works is the “intellectual journey” of how we got to AMPL. Manny’s working on some of this stuff and it can help give us the right kind of exposure.

Question 13:
Why do you think Tron and Dot just didn’t clone ampleforth and come out with their own version of it?

Evan:
AMPL will always be the first-mover in elastic tokens. And honestly, communities like ours can’t be created overnight. In a way protocols like Ampleforth, capture a set of values. The clones will not easily be able to lay claim to those values.

Also, tron and dot stand to gain a lot by courting good ethereum projects to their platform. if they cloned every project, they might be perceived as hostile to work with.

Link to start of the office hours on Discord

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