Holochain Forum

Vril: The Ultimate Currency Project

This thread is a continuation of the thread at

I’ve been working on designing/developing a Ripple-like system using the tools that Holochain provides. What I realized over my journey of doing so was that with only a few minor tweaks and twists, a Ripple-like system can not only be used as a currency for mutually recurring payment-settlements, but also as a system for value exchange that spawns private currencies catering to the unique needs of the issuer. Such a system also simultaneously overcomes the few limitations of Ripple (addressed in the document). This is a thread to discuss opinions on the system’s design and architecture. All criticism is welcomed, constructive or otherwise.

Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gqc9mGPADdvgeD62A6yJFNg4zv3wInq7/view?usp=sharing

[Note that the document was originally meant for my personal mental note-keeping… And as most protocol-designers, I might have been biased towards discussing only edge-cases while omitting out the usual behaviors; if that’s the case, or if you find any explanation ambiguous to grasp, please do leave a comment here]

Do leave a review…
(cc @resilience-me, @pauldaoust, …)

[I see no reason to flag a post like this! After all, Holochain is about building cool things and revolutionizing the current methodologies. It’s sad to see free-speech being censored on a platform like this… Whoever it was, please reconsider your decision of flagging the post…]

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Note that I’m not implying that Holo-fuel is dead! Quite the contrary. In fact, I believe even Holo-fuel should be easily representable in Vril; a couple of corporate currencies (preferably mutually-dependent) is all that’s needed to kickstart the system that Vril is (once deployed). If only @artbrock considers re-modelling Holo-fuel as a Vril contract… Anyways, I definitely am implying that we should ditch Holo-fuel as a currency for trading anything other that Holo-hosting.

The documentation makes a few assumptions about some of the upcoming features that have neither been implemented nor been extensively talked about (further development shall only resume once these have been implemented): most notable, countersigning, anonymous calls, and especially ‘calling remote DNA/zome’s functions in a validate routine’. Does any of these assumptions break some Holochain invariant that I’m unaware of?

Adam Smith needs revision.

“the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what is best for themself AND the group.”

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Loved it! Thanks for sharing… I actually got into Holochain purely for their p2p framework, so kinda missed on these great talks like the one you just sent… However, it’s never too late to begin, I guess. Would certainly look deeply into the meta-currency project once I have the time.

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@The-A-Man your post wasn’t flagged by someone, Discourse has a bot that flags posts for review when they have links. A way to prevent scams or risking the community. All good with your doc.

Warm wishes

Lucas

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Are you sure? It is extremely common that posts are flagged when they critique a project. I mentioned something slightly critical about jitsi.org in their forum and was flagged immediately, along with comments like “if you don’t like it go somewhere else”. And there are precedents for saying “it wasn’t a flag for the content specifically” when it actually was.

Is there any formal documentation of the links == spam flag mechanism? Can people be whitelisted from it or is it always flagging every post, all the time, that includes links?

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I disagree
https://developer.holochain.org/docs/guide/planning_a_dapp/#membranes

Also, I flagged your post (1st time ever) mainly because of the title. Why not say "VRIL: [description] or [currency that can help ____]? However, also because:

Based on your overall tone and content on a variety of threads now, I’m not convinced that you have the health of this forum as intention. Constantly mentioning Ripple and what appears to be misdirection in several other conversations, has thus incentivized me to at least voice my vote according to respectful procedures. Afterall, this is a Holochain forum whose immune system is potentially in the early phases, and therefore I do not think flagging this topic is inappropriate. It seems the team disagrees with my flag which is also their choice, so please forgive me if I’m out of line, then I apologize, it is absolutely not my wish to behave incorrectly.

With that being said, I am not going to post on this topic any longer because I do not wish for “Goodbye Holo-fuel” to keep showing up at the top of the feed, and for the same reason I am not going to respond to your messages any longer. I saw you completely bash Art and holofuel (pretty sure that comment actually did get flagged and removed) in the mutual credit category.
While aggressive speech does not offend me, please recognize there is a broader misunderstanding of these new technologies and a lot of speculation about various projects. Newcomers likely do not spend a lot of time diving into deeper technical concepts.

This general issue is one of the reasons I would like to see more participation on the forum by the community as a whole, to strengthen the health and content.

I have love for you and wish all the best in future endeavors.

@resilience-me it seems the mystery is clarified here, it was a community member flagging the post not the bot.

Well then it wasn’t a mystery, because that is pretty normal and expected (and it was what the OP said happened as well. ) Happens all the time. The only mystery about it is when it happens in cultures with a pretense of “openness” that does not actually reflect the actual behaviour (result is a contradiction, or “mystery”. ) The reason actual behaviour does not live up to the ideal, is that the desire for openness is only one factor, and human instincts for closed in-group another.

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I love the name, Vril. And, I agree that multi-hop mutual credit is superior as the money layer of something like Holochain. I had almost identical ideas back in 2014 for something like Holochain + multi-hop mutual credit (inspired by Ethereum that appeared around that time), and have often said that Holochain might not be complete in its design but might catalyze other good ideas (this last part may seem “mean” but it is just my honest take. )

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@resilience-me it might be that what you are experiencing in other communities is a result of cultural differences, in certain cultures your assumptions and stance may be seen as disrespectful. I don’t feel very excited to engage with this dialogue. You might find others in the community that do. Good luck.
Lucas

Well. Or, it could be that the desire for openness is just one side of the coin. The fact here was that, as I suggested, the post was flagged not by an algorithm by a person. So now you need to claim that two people are being disrespectful as it happened to me one time, and it now happened here to another person. At some point, maybe the idea that it is a “bad appple” (me?) breaks down, and like I suggested, it might be more about that people want openness but they also want their closed community.

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Isn’t diversity a beauty!

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EDIT: added some info about cross-cell validation

  • Countersigning will be a framework-level construct that you can use, because it’s difficult to get coordination between source chains right. (Requires a commitment to lock both source chains, plus a mechanism for Alice to roll back her commitment if Bob’s commitment fails to happen for some reason.)
  • Anonymous calls are hard because Holochain has accountability built into it at a very deep level. Agents are identified by their keys, and even if Alice calls Bob using with an ‘unrestricted’ or ‘transferrable’ capability claim, Bob can still see Alice’s IP address and correlate it with her agent key. It’s not easy to do, because there’s an agent→transport mapping in the DHT and no transport→agent mapping, but if Bob was indexing a large enough portion of the DHT he could figure that out pretty quick. (And for all I know, maybe even anonymous function calls still leak agent info; not sure.)
  • Calling remote DNA/zome’s functions in a validate routine, I’m not sure of. It hasn’t been explicitly disallowed (yet), but it would have to be exercised very cautiously in order to prevent non-deterministic results. A few concerns:
    • Given a DNA X whose validation callbacks depend on a DNA Y, all members of DHT X would have to also be members of DHT Y.
    • The remote function being called would have to distinguish between definitive and non-definitive results (where the latter is "couldn’t retrieve entry X yet), maybe a return value something like:
      enum GetFooResult {
          SomeFoo(Foo),
          Unresolved
      }
      
      and the validation callback would have to handle that somehow. Currently validation callbacks can only signal a non-definitive result by saying “Unresolved dependencies; I can’t find the data at hashes A, B, and C” and the conductor will keep automatically retrying the function. The conductor doesn’t do anything with those dependency hashes (at least not yet); it just keeps retrying the validation callback until it gets a definitive result. Which meansyou might be able to return UnresolvedDependencies() with an empty list of dependency hashes and signal the need for a retry.

Haven’t got time to review the paper yet; hopefully I can, uh, not ‘flag’ it for later, cuz that’s got bad connotations (in Mattermost, flagging is a good thing; it means ‘remember for later’). I guess the word I’m looking for is ‘defer’ (I’d prefer ‘mark unread’, but whatever!) But I wanted to respond to some of your questions about technicalities and assumptions.

Speaking to the floor re: moderation, I think that one thing at work here is that culture is not a homogeneous thing. I’m quite happy to have you air your currency ideas here @resilience-me even though, as I’m sure you can tell by now, I disagree with you on some points. I feel like a Socratic voice is extremely valuable for keeping a group of people – especially a group that’s highly prone to ideologies like our group here – intellectually honest and nimble. As long as we’ve got the humility to listen, reflect, etc.

As much as I find disagreement cognitively exhausting sometimes, what worries me much more is when everyone is fully in agreement. Then it starts to look like groupthink :wink:

I also think that the heterogeneity, rather than being bad, is actually good, in spite of its messiness. Forces tugging against each other create balance, as long as respect reigns.

Good ideas are tough and nobody owes them anything; they don’t need anybody to stand up for them. If Holochain sucks, let it fall on its own lack of merit. If certain parts of Holochain suck, let them feel the pressure of critique until they improve.

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Yes, I like diversity.

I don’t think you seem to be critical of Ryan’s ideas. And they aren’t mine, I was living my own life until 2012 when a Miles Hingston that I connected with over the P2P Foundation forum told me about them. I know since before that Michael Linton is critical of Ryan’s legacy. I know of Michael’s public person from the attribution Ryan gave, and I see Ryan’s work as the continuation of the pretty long legacy of thinking around mutual credit. My own ideas is Resilience, my old idea for a wealth redistribution system on top of multi-hop mutual credit. It is why I’m invested emotionally in Ryan’s legacy.