[DRAFT ] SIP-00XX: Mintlayer

Dear Sovryn community,

Please find below our new draft SIP for the collaboration we’d like to propose between the Sovryn community and Mintlayer.

Naturally, it being a draft, nothing you see below is final yet, and we are still open to make changes based on your feedback. However, so long as there are no substantial objections from the community, we intend to submit this for a Bitocracy vote in the coming week(s).

Thank you so much in advance for your honest and constructive criticisms, please do not hesitate to raise your voice, as we are listening. Finally, thank you for being such an awesome community.

Stay Sovryn!

-the Mintlayer team

Introduction
I hereby submit this SIP to hold two Token Sales for the Mintlayer MLT governance token on Sovryn’s Origins platform, and to expand the Sovryn dApp to the Mintlayer blockchain.

The intention of putting forth this SIP for a Bitocracy vote is to obtain permission for Mintlayer’s use of the Origins platform to perform these sales, and to begin the development of the Sovryn dApp on the Mintlayer blockchain, starting with the Origins launchpad (for Q1 2022), and continuing with other DEX features (throughout 2022 and 2023).

Reasoning
Mintlayer could be a game-changing innovation for the Bitcoin ecosystem. We would like to invite the Sovryn Bitocracy to imagine a future where you can directly exchange native Bitcoin (as opposed to a wrapped or pegged version) for any token (including NFTs and privacy-oriented tokens with confidential transactions) with atomic swaps and even use the Lightning Network., Mintlayer will make this possible on a sidechain whose consensus mechanism partly derives its security from Bitcoin’s Proof of Work through a system of anchors and checkpoints on Bitcoin blocks.

By building Mintlayer side by side with the Sovryn community, we are not just hoping to gain a like-minded ecosystem of future users who share our vision and values, but most importantly, we want this community to be one of Mintlayer’s largest stakeholders, empowering Sovryns to steer the direction of the project, especially during the coming months, which will be most crucial for Mintlayer’s early development.

Background
Mintlayer is a Bitcoin sidechain dedicated to asset tokenization and decentralized exchanges. Currently, there are a few tokenization systems created on top of Bitcoin like Omni(& OmniBolt) and RGB. They all have the same disadvantage: their transactions compete for the same space as the Bitcoin transactions, polluting the Bitcoin blockchain and leading to higher fees. The first version of Tether was issued on Omni, which moved to Ethereum to avoid the high fees on the Bitcoin blockchain (and then moved again to Tron because of even higher ETH fees).

For this reason, the concept of “sidechains”, with onchain space dedicated to asset tokenization and pegged-tokens, has been put to the test. Rootstock is an example, but its architecture is very close to Ethereum and merged mining leaves the governance power over Rootstock in the hands of Bitcoin miners without any actual stake (cost and effort required) in the Rootstock chain.

Liquid sidechain is an alternative, but its governance is centralized in the hands of the companies that have contracts with Blockstream. In contrast, Mintlayer’s governance is community-driven: the protocol introduces Dynamic Slot Allotment (DSA), a refined Proof-of-Stake-inspired consensus mechanism with Bitcoin anchoring. For both Rootstock and Liquid, bitcoins on the sidechain are used in a peg-in system managed by a federation of few entities.In contrast, Mintlayer avoids intermediaries, instead allowing direct atomic swap between the tokens built on Mintlayer and the bitcoins on the mainchain. In fact, a Mintlayer DEX transaction allows p2p exchanges of tokens issued on Mintlayer with each other (intra-chain atomic swap) and also between Mintlayer and Bitcoin (inter-chain atomic swap).

To be clear: This SIP is not proposing that Sovryn cease to be available or maintained on the RSK blockchain. Our vision is for users to be able to stay Sovryn by toggling between both bitcoin sidechains as they please on the Sovryn dApp, and also bridge tokens from one to the other, ensuring a free market and maximum choice.

Check out these introductory videos about Mintlayer (about 1:30m each): Mintlayer Youtube

Here’s also a longer, 15 minute presentation given at Bitcoin Events’ DeFi Conference (where Yago also spoke) in which Andreas further elaborates on how he envisions the partnership with Sovryn to go down: DeFi Conference 2021: Mintlayer: Bringing DeFi to Bitcoin Through Layer2 Technology

Mintlayer features
Bitcoin interoperability.: An entire ecosystem of tokens issued on the new layer can be p2p traded for bitcoins through atomic swap or Lightning Network swaps. The atomic swap is secure even in case of chain reorganization, since Mintlayer blocks are anchored to the Bitcoin blockchain (a Bitcoin reorg affects both the chains).

Scalable DEX: there are no on-chain order books in the form of smart contracts.Instead,trade intentions are communicated through a distributed hash table that is separated from the blockchain. This helps keep lower throughput and fees when compared to Ethereum DEXs like Uniswap. Also, arbitrage transactions can be made through Lightning Network channels between CEX and DEXs’ liquidity providers. As a result, the blockchain space won’t be over-exploited. It is worth noting that DeFi dedicated blockchains get clogged mainly because of DEX contracts, arbitrage transactions and pyramidal schemes (see Glassnode analysis).

Access Control List: ACL rules are optionally enforceable for securities issued on Mintlayer (such as stock tokens), allowing compliance with company policies or other regulators and making fully compliant security token DEXs a possibility, by moving the burden of compliance to token issuers. This feature is something missing on Bitcoin, but possible with Ethereum.

However, unlike Ethereum, Mintlayer doesn’t require Turing completeness; just a few OP_CODES for a higher versatility of Bitcoin scripting language, while retaining its reliability and efficiency. By not requiring Turing complete functionality, Mintlayer reduces risk of unpredicted outcomes that can occur with increased smart contract complexity.

It is also true that there are certain, albeit riskier and arguably not as crucial, use cases which necessitate turing completeness - for this reason, alongside the potential for backwards compatibility with the existing DeFi ecosystem, each Mintlayer block will also have a limited amount of space dedicated to programmable pools, a Web Assembly VM abstraction layer allowing users to exit the UTXO system into an accounting model capable of running “Ink!” smart contracts. Porting tools will help developers turn their Solidity code into “Ink!”. Having a space dedicated inside the block ensures that the entire chain can’t get clogged because of applications such as AMM DEXs and arbitrage BOTs, while Mintlayer fullnodes can even choose not to sync transactions in the programmable pools.

Optional confidentiality: due to the trade-off between privacy and scalability, Mintlayer introduces distinct tokenization standards to address all needs. MLS-01 transactions take up less space and enable procedures like batching (similar to CoinJoin, which is also an option for increased privacy) with BLS signature aggregation, to shrink the space consumed even more. MLS-02 on the other hand has confidential transactions, which are greater in size but provide the maximum privacy imaginable (similar to Monero).

Integrated Wallet: a Mintlayer wallet is a Bitcoin wallet too (real BTC, not a pegged version!) and Mintlayer full nodes can be considered as an “add-on” to Bitcoin full nodes.

No native gas token: Any MLS-01 or MLS-02 token can be selected by users to pay for fees for any Mintlayer transaction. Block creators’ nodes can rely on DEX or CEX prices (queried through API) to estimate the worth of fees paid in different tokens, in order to decide which transactions to include in the block. They may also publicly support specific tokens, signaling their intentions to accept them (the same way Bitcoin miners signal upgrade intentions in the coinbase part of the block). This creates a free market for gas tokens, and potentially allows builders to promote their ecosystem by subsidising gas.

MLT token and Mintlayer Consensus system
MLT is the governance token of the Mintlayer sidechain. A token is necessary because it’s technically unfeasible to build a secure and decentralized architecture based on a pegged version of Bitcoin, given the downsides of every peg-in/out system envisioned so far. Not even the Blockstream Liquid sidechain could implement a governance based on pegged bitcoins, and relied instead on federated entities that signed a contract. For decentralized governance of a sidechain, it is necessary to introduce a POS-like system with a governance token. Mintlayer’s DSA Consensus mechanism prevents nothing-at-stake long range attacks, without needing hard-coded checkpoints, thanks to the protocol’s built-in dynamic checkpoint system, which anchors Mintlayer to the Bitcoin mainchain.

Mintlayer uses Bitcoin PoW for different scopes, it’s not only a way to commit its state in Bitcoin: first, every Mintlayer block is linked to a BTC block and a reorganization on the Bitcoin mainchain reverberates also on the sidechain (it means more security for atomic swaps). Second, Bitcoin POW is used as a “clock” for time calculation: it defines Mintlayer rounds (with a committee of blocksigners) and enforce a minimum time delay between Mintlayer blocks, preventing any attacker from trying to generate blocks at higher frequency (to fake a “longest” chain). Third, the Bitcoin block hash is used as a source of entropy for the random determination of the blocksigners in the next round, so that it’s not necessary to rely on other randomization sources such as new algorithms which may reveal vulnerabilities in the future or ASIC hardware distributed by a single entity (such as in the case of Ethereum 2.0 Proof of Stake system!)

Participants who Stake 40,000 MLT tokens or more have the chance to be selected as blocksigners by the protocol algorithm and earn network fees for the blocks created.

For more info about Mintlayer’s distribution metrics: [Public] Mintlayer token distribution

Mintlayer Roadmap
The Mintlayer Testnet is launching on November 10th. It’s already possible to play with the code on the public repositories of github. Around the same day - if this SIP is approved - the token pre-sale will be held on Sovryn Origins platform. By that time, the high-intensity marketing campaign will have been running for a month already, with programmatic ads, involvement of influencers, press releases and mass-activities on socials including initiatives such as the Bitcointalk signature campaigns.

Two weeks before the testnet launch, the Core team of international developers will be gathered in a war room in Dubai not just to work for the upcoming launch, but also to prepare the hard work expected in the later months: first for the mainnet, later for all the upgrades in the pipeline. Currently 9 full time devs have been hired thanks to the funds raised by the seed raise and a few more are about to join the team.

The testnet has been implemented on a Substrate networking architecture on top of which a UTXO system with BLS signatures has been built. The first version of the node available will have limited features such as sending and receiving funds, creating tokens, BIP39 seeds and the Bitcoin scripting system. Later releases will implement programmable pools, atomic swaps, ACL rules and much more, as shown in the Mintlayer roadmap.

The mainnet is expected in Q1 2022 and in April Mintlayer aims to participate in the Bitcoin 2022 Miami conference as a “Moon” sponsor.

Token sale
Part 1: Fair Sale

We propose a capped fair sale of 6,302,521 MLT on Sovryn. “Fair sale” in this instance means that the same terms are offered as were presented to Mintlayer’s Seed Round VCs, in the private sale that was held in March 2021 (same price and vesting).

By default, participants in this fair sale will be registered to receive mainnet MLT when the mainnet launches in Q1 2022, but MLT tokens will also exist on the Rootstock and Ethereum blockchains, with a bridge facilitating transfers between these chains, and fair sale participants will have the option to receive RSK or ERC20 versions of MLT on TGE, instead of the default mainnet version, if requested before the launch of the mainnet.

However, it is important to note that, unlike mainnet MLT, the ERC20 and RSK versions of MLT can not be staked to participate in the DSA consensus mechanism and receive block rewards; also, it’s not possible to bridge tokens between different chains while they are still in their vesting period. Instead, only mainnet MLT tokens can be staked to potentially receive block rewards even if the vesting period is not complete.

Tokens for sale: 6,302,521 MLT ($600,000)
MLT price: around $0.0952 (price will be defined in sats on a specific day)
Percent of supply: 1.58% of total supply, 1.61% of Initial Circulating Supply
Vesting type: 10% available at TGE + 6% unlocked monthly over 15 months
Accepting: rBTC
When: 10th November, 2021.
SOV Staking requirements: Users must have SOV staked for at least 3 months. Max allocation size is $50k for 10,000+ SOV staked, $15k for 1,000+ SOV staked, $1.5k for 100+ SOV, $250 for 10+ SOV, and $50 for 1+ SOV.

Part 2: Public Sale

In Q1 2022, the Mintlayer mainnet will be launched. This is when VC and fair sale tokens will be distributed (TGE) and vesting will begin. At the same time, there will be a public sale offering fully unlocked tokens on a limited number of exclusive platforms, including Sovryn if this SIP is approved. Accordingly, if this SIP is approved, the Mintlayer dev team will endeavour to help Sovryn core developers to create an initial, beta version of the Sovryn platform on the Mintlayer testnet, so that at least the Origins launchpad platform will be available on Mintlayer mainnet on launch day, enabling Sovryn users to participate in the Mintlayer public sale (and other token offerings on the Mintlayer chain, pertaining to other projects, several of which are already under way) using native bitcoin.

Tokens for sale: 6,000,000 MLT ($1,500,000)
MLT price: around $0.25 (price will be defined in sats on a specific day)
Percent of supply: 1.5% of total supply, 15.36% of Initial Circulating Supply
Vesting: Unlocked
Accepting: BTC (native, mainchain BTC as opposed to pegged/wrapped BTC)
When: First quarter of 2022.
SOV Staking requirements: None

Airdrops
Bitocracy: 600,000 MLT to SOV Stakers, with a 12 month vesting period
A week after the public sale, any SOV staker possessing at least 1,000 MLT will be eligible for an airdrop of 1,000 MLT. Funds for this initiative are limited to a maximum of 600,000 MLT, so a maximum of 600 Bitocracy members will receive the airdrop. The 600 winners will be chosen based on a metric that will factor both the amount of SOV staked and MLT held.

Liquidity mining: 400,000 MLT to the rBTC/rMLT pool, with 4 months vesting.
A week after the token sale, any Liquidity provider of the rBTC/rMLT pool will receive airdropped MLT tokens according to the quota the Liquidity provider committed in the pool. For example, assume there are 100,000 rMLT tokens in the pool and a Liquidity provider called Satoshi participates with 30,000 rMLT. In that case the 30% of the 400k MLT allocated for this initiative - which amounts to 120,000 MLT - will be airdropped to Satoshi.

9 Likes

I am interested in more details about the “metric that will factor both the amount of SOV staked and MLT held”.

Just wanted to say this is a very well written post.

Looking forward to those in our community who are more technical and knowlegable asking some questions while I try to understand and learn more about how Mintlayer would work.

I think you have a typo on initial circulating supply percentage on the first sale.

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The initial circulating supply is 39,080,504, and only 10% of the 6,302,521 fair sale tokens will be distributed on TGE, so 1.61%, is correct

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This isn’t decided yet, but I’d be curious to hear if you have a suggestion! The final SIP will elaborate on this metric.

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Got it, I was calculating roughly 16% based off the figures in the second sale but see now how you have calculated it.

Stake weight, size and length. + amount of MLT

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[I realize the following is a bit of an unpleasant comment; but it’s intended well and will be raised anyway, so might as well be here, relatively away from the public].

A bitcoin fork with op_codes modified for DeFi functionality, a wallet that includes a native BTC address, atomic swaps, maintaining non-Turing-completeness, all of this is exactly being offered by another young project, Defichain (which gets systematically ignored BTW when there is talk about Bitcoin DeFi by the Sovryn and Stacks teams, i don’t know why). They already have a native BTC addresses within their wallet, atomic swaps already live, they have the same BTC anchoring as proposed here. The tokenization on the long-term roadmap of Mintlayer is coming to Defichain in two weeks, the planned DEX is also already live there. By the time Mintlayer launches these features, Defichain has a two year head-start, which is a lot to catch up with and people will constantly point out this overlap.

I expect the Mintlayer team to be aware of Defichain, and so I’m a little baffled by this choice for an uphil battle. I know we all like to be the author of our own thing - but authorship often doesn’t helpt the blockchain space. Sure, diversification is good, we can let the market decide, but there is too much overlap imo to speak of substantive diversification here.

Defichain is open source, run by a DAO and inviting developers to build with it and on it. So why not approach their core team as well and, instead of reinventing the wheel, work on the bits of your roadmap not covered by them yet, such as for example making Sovryn compatible with that sidechain and perhaps bringing the flexibility in gas tokens to Sovryn. That would allow skipping much of Mintlayer’s roadmap and would bring value quicker to Sovryn and to the Bitcoin DeFi space at large, which is what we all ultimately want.

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600 drops isn’t much so I would either divide the drop more or increase the care with which to choose the happy few. In any case I wouldn’t like to see bag size playing a role. Dropping all MLT in the laps of whales doesn’t help our ideal of decentralization, and for them it’s crumbs anyway. Thus I would rather look at stake length, which is a signal about how dedicated someone is to the SOV-MLT ecosystem, regardless of his / her financial status. Perhaps you can even weigh community activity for Mintlayer in the various channels, since it regards only 600 drops. Thus a rough sketch could be:

  1. 5% manually chosen for community activity / contribution
  2. 95% SOV average stake time per wallet + MLT average stake time per wallet + form application (the first 5% excluded)

[Note on average stake time: If someone has 100 SOV and stakes only 10 SOV for 100 days the average stake time is only 10 days, and not 100 days].

2 Likes

I greatly appreciate the initiative and rework, also the incorporation of user feedback that has gone into this proposal. Well done!

Just wanted to highlight one point (which I´m sure would pop up for discussion sooner or later anyways).

Thoughts about the proposed airdrop:

very fair imo, and well done!

Instead of rewarding the 600 top stakers/MLT holders only, I’d love to see a more balanced approach, where every staker is getting his “fair share” out of his involvement and provided security to the protocol.

Imo the best metric is (and should be): Voting power.

Done by allocating the proposed 600k MLT, but having it airdropped to all voluntarily stakers, where airdrop size is in relation to their voting power of total eligible users. (eligible stakers = users who actively engaged to bitocracy and staked first place, for staking’s sake. Not staking as a byproduct of other actions, like vesting)

This way the outreach of Mintlayer isn´t capped by top 600 users, but probably way higher user base and engagement from the very beginning.
In addition, every staker will experience the protocol’s root spirit of inclusiveness and that every single vote is important. The quadratic equation of deriving voting power is -in itself- as simple, powerful and a pure beast of beauty. It reflects commitment and taking risk by a single measure all across the protocol.

In my opinion, it would be the best approach (for all sides) to have this - and future - airdrops to stakers in a way that every one gets direct monetary feedback tied to voting power, no matter if staked 10 SOV or 10k SOV for the chosen length.

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I do not disagree with this proposal.

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Just to clarify;
If someone has 100 SOV and stakes 10 SOV for 100 days, he IS staked for 100 days time. But of course voting power is less than having it staked 3yrs, or staking 100 SOV for the same timeframe.

I like this suggestion a lot @TM1 . Could be argued as even ‘fairer’ and it distributes the tokens to more holders :ok_hand:

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He is so in the formula to calculate voting power, but not in the formula for calculating the average staking time that I proposed to use.

That said: you zoomed out and proposed outside Mintlayers proposal. My proposal was more directed within their proposal.

I think working with voting power as you proposed may be better than my own proposal.

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Great job to the Mintlayer team! Proposal seems detailed and well thought out.

I would like to gently push on the airdrop amount to stakers. How did you determine 600K airdrop to stakers? That is only 0.15% of total supply. The other Origins launch, BabelFish, did 1% of total supply to stakers. Plus an additional 0.42% of total supply to early stakers. I personally would like to see an airdrop more aligned with the $FISH Origins launch allocation. Or at the very least, just understand Mintlayer’s logic of airdrop amount you offered so we can begin setting precedent for future Origins launches.

I want to be clear. I will vote yes on this proposal if it was up for vote today. But, I also want to encourage strong and lasting turn-out from the Sovryn community. The BabelFish token 3X’d since it’s launch and I feel a lot of that is because the positive momentum from the Sovryn community. I think there is a good script there to copy.

Staking in the Bitocracy is at core of Sovryn’s value accrual mechanism and Origins launchpad is a huge aspect of that. I think it’s important for the community to feel vested in every project that launches on here otherwise we dilute the value and comradery. Building a strongly vested and incentivized network is a net positive for all parties.

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I support this proposal

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I support the proposal, very written!

However, I would like to see the same airdrop system as the one that happened with Babelfish, which in my opinion is fair. There shouldn’t be any requirements regarding the minimum time of staking and the minimum amount of SOV that you need to stake to be eligible for the airdrop. Voting power will do its magic and will not make things complicated. By doing this we will ensure that bitocracy is a process that is open for everyone, even to the guy that has 10 SOV and stakes them for 2 weeks - that’s cool, he is engaging with the process and this person also MUST be rewarded to feel that he is a useful member of our community. Obviously, the more time you stake your SOV tokens the higher airdrop you will have in the end. Bitocracy and voting power will do the job.

My 2 cents

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I think DeFichain is ignored by Sovryn and Stacks teams because it seems to lack of depth and technical awareness. Just looking briefly at their documentation, you can see a few things that don’t seem well thought out:

  1. DeFichain blocksize is unreasonable: if it’s filled up entirely, it is totally incompatible with decentralization: block time is 30 seconds, block size 16 MB
  2. DeFichain commit its status to the Bitcoin network making a snapshot of the blockchain at a certain block. How that “one way” Bitcoin anchoring secures the network exactly? It just introduces new vectors of attack. Imagine a snapshot is made by a malicious entity who wants to soft-fork the chain and the fork occurs at the height of the block with the snapshot. What happens then? do all honest nodes reorg, following the chain with the current majority of stake, or they stick to the chain with the snapshot?
  3. DeFichain blocks are not anchored to Bitcoin blocks, so the chain doesn’t reorg with Bitcoin in case of orphaned blocks or actual chain reorganization, then atomic swap may fail (you paid on one Bitcoin mainnet, but don’t receive the asset on DeFichain or vice-versa)

Mintlayer can’t build on an environment we don’t trust. Even if DeFichain’s claims and “marketing strategy” might recall you Mintlayer, it doesn’t mean that the two projects are similar. If you deep dive into the technology looking at github, they are completely different. So inventing the “wheel” is necessary in this case.

Besides the fundamental functioning of the blockchain and anchoring system there are many other differences between Mintlayer and DeFichain, such as:

  1. In DeFichain there is a gas token which is DFI itself
  2. I might be wrong but I don’t see plans for lightning network / lightning network swaps and there is no idea of DEX with Distributed Hash Table
  3. DefiChain is Turing incomplete while Mintlayer actually supports Turing completeness even if it’s “sandboxed” in the programmable pools, accessible with specific OP CODES
5 Likes

Thank you very much for the elaborate reply and the great insights!

I think that, regardless of current differences, which indeed seem to run deeper than one might think initially, the general aims and vision are quite aligned and because of this it would not surprise me if current differences will tend to disappear (for example, the blocksize is on their agenda, they are also talking about adding an EVM compatibility atm, they might just be doing things in a different order).

About Sovryn and Stacks ignoring them, I’m a general enthusiast about Bitcoin DeFi, and would love to see all parties talk to each other, if anything to engage in the constructive adversarial conversation that will make the Bitcoin ecosystem flourish; the mentioned gripes don’t seem to me to justify ignoring them; my 2 cents.

Thanks again for the helpful response! Will definitely follow Mintlayer closely!

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I think the proposal is great overall, but I also agree with @TM1 about the MLT airdrop.

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