The way HotPocket plus its daemon, Sashimono, is designed, Evernode could be a stand-alone chain or “nailed” to any layer 1 chain with sufficient smart contract capabilities to issue tokens and function as a message board. However, we think Evernode could be best launched as a layer 2 solution composed via the XRP Ledger because of the suite of benefits the XRP Ledger offers. These benefits come in two categories: benefits that come from being within the ecosystem of an existing chain; and benefits the XRP Ledger has over other layer 1 chains.
Category 1: Existing Ecosystem Benefits
The two main benefits that come from being part of an existing ecosystem are:
- Integration: By issuing Evers as a token on a layer 1 chain we avoid the need to build an independent ecosystem of wallets, browser plug-ins, and explorers. Evernode will interoperate with existing XRP Ledger tools, like Xumm. Exchanges that support XRP can easily support Evers.
- No dUNL: By issuing Evers on a layer 1 chain, we avoid the need for a separate Evernode network with a separate dUNL and all the complications that come with specifying, identifying, and incentivising a decentralised dUNL.
Being able to use the XRP Ledger to compose Evernode is a bigger benefit than it might appear. As a stand alone chain, Evernode would have to have its own dUNL. This is actually a difficult problem to solve without your chain looking like a common enterprise between the selected node operators. Being able to piggy-back off the XRP Ledger’s mature dUNL infrastructure is a massive bonus.
Category 2: XRP Ledger Benefits vs Other Layer 1 Chains
The five key benefits that come from choosing the XRP Ledger specifically, as our layer 1 chain are:
- Speedy: The XRP Ledger is fast for a blockchain. Transactions are confirmed within 3-5 seconds, and it can handle up to 1500 transactions per second.
- Cheap: The XRP Ledger is cheap. Transactions cost a fraction of a penny.
- Reliable: The XRP Ledger is reliable. It has been running continuously for over 8 years and processed over 62 million ledgers without halting.
- Secure: The XRP Ledger is not vulnerable to double spending. If validators cannot reach consensus the ledger halts until human actors reconfigure the dUNL to remove the compromised nodes.
- Native DEX: The XRP Ledger has a native decentralised exchange. This is very useful for issuing and trading hosting tokens for Evers, a core feature of Evernode.
It is easy to overlook the significance of the XRP Ledger’s DEX. Evernode is effectively a curated marketplace for decentralised hosting services where all hosts run software that includes a standardised consensus engine so dApp developers don’t need their own consensus engine for every dApp they launch. The XRP Ledger’s DEX – combined with its ability for users to mint and trade their own tokens – is a massive plus for this type of network. With it, nodes can mint Hosting Tokens that represent a unit of hosting services that dApps can purchase and then redeem with the host for the hosting they require. Without it, we would have to build a separate trading platform to automate nodes and dApps offering and accepting hosting services.
Necessity for Hooks
This suite of benefits outlined above, makes the XRP Ledger the ideal choice for Evernode’s layer 1 chain with one caveat: the implementation of Hooks.
Hooks are described as follows:
“Hooks add smart contract functionality to the XRP Ledger: ‘layer one’ custom code to influence the behaviour and flow of transactions. Hooks are small, efficient pieces of code being defined on an XRP Ledger account, allowing logic to be executed before and/or after XRP Ledger transactions.”https://XRP Ledger-hooks.readme.io
As small pieces of code that allow XRP Ledger Accounts to function as “lite smart contracts”, Hooks allows for Evers to be minted and issued to reliable Nodes in accordance with the proposed emissions schedule, subject to changes that might be implemented through the Governance Game.
Without Hooks, the XRP Ledger lacks the capacity to support Evernode in a fully decentralised form. Fully explaining why our project needs Hooks is worthy of it own separate post, but it has to do with the legal and security consequences of a small group of people being custodians of the private keys to the account that would otherwise hold and distribute the Evers tokens.
If the Hooks amendments does not proceed, we would have to pivot to an alternative chain, such as Ethereum or, more likely (because of Ethereum’s cost and slowness) Binance Smart Chain.