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Telegram AMA & CEO Mrinal Manohar

Medha Parlikar


On the most recent Telegram AMA with CasperLabs, we were joined by CasperLabs CEO Mrinal Manohar. Taking your questions, he discussed differences between L1s, the Casper Network’s energy efficiency report, the Casper Association, plans for new products, partnerships announcements, and more. Join us for AMAs every Wednesday at 12PM ET on Telegram. Read the full transcript:

Q. I was wondering a couple of things:

1) What are differentiating factors from other layer 1's, and

2) What are the long term plans for Casper?

A. Sure. On Part 1: 1. We scale without sacrificing decentralization or security and do no random sampling whatsoever. Therefore enterprises that require PoW level decentralization and security can get it here.

2. We have enterprise grade tools, testing and development environments, so we slot more cleanly into the current infrastructure.

3. We are extremely energy efficient; this is becoming increasingly important as ESG demands rise.

4. We enable Hybrid installations so businesses can keep their business processes consistent.

On Part 2: Long term we will continue partnering aggressively with small and large enterprises as well as governments. We have the resources and structure to give state of the art consulting and professional services, the partnerships we have announced to date are a small part of a much larger pipeline

Q. When can we expect a single-click staking feature?

A. In development, will be announced as soon as it's tested/releasable.

Q. What's going on with circulation?

A. The API for Circulating Supply has been updated to reflect the industry standard used by all projects, showing the number of tokens "in the general public's hands". The previous approach overestimated this by including tokens that are part of treasury, for example, or by including all of the seigniorage to date, vs. just the estimated circulating portion thereof. This Casper Association blog post discusses more.

Q. What other blockchains have a development team like yours that can offer assistance with developing a dapp for their business?

A. Most do not because there isn't an equity backed company. We specifically did our Series A as a pure equity round to ensure we have a permanent staff and capital base to help with these integrations.

Q. What governments will start using Casper in the near future?

A. Announcements to come. As you can imagine, when governments are involved, approval and press processes are slow.

Q. Why didn't you develop a wallet before launching the project?

A. We did through Clarity, and it can be used. But yes there are more widely used hardware and software wallets to come. As a new non-ERC20 blockchain that does not support EVM there are some additional tasks we have to do up front.

Q. Our Casper delta awards have not been announced. 28 days left. There is no explanation. Is there a planned date?

A. They will be distributed. Discord is the best avenue to keep in touch regarding this.

Q. Why is Casper pursuing enterprise and not DeFi/decentralized applications first?

A. As we saw with IBM blockchain and other private blockchain platforms, they add little value to an AWS database. We saw many of these projects fail in 2017/2018. Enterprises are slow and the last to adopt; this seems like an overly optimistic 'build and they will come' strategy.

Q. Wouldn't it make sense to focus on DeFi, NFTs, cross chain bridges and DAOs? These applications are where crypto has proven to add value. Focusing on migrating ETH apps to casper should be the highest priority so we can take advantage of ETH's gas problem. Isn't it the easiest path to onboard new users and bootstrap network effects?

A. DeFI is a major part of our enterprise push. The opportunity for DeFi is MUCH MUCH larger than what we see right now. There are very specific things we are doing that can redefine mortgages and core banking systems. Large scale shifts take longer and more planning.

Q.  When will a dapp such as a DEX or Lending Board come out?

A. Pretty soon; there will be announcements in many places. Please note that we like to specify the solution quite thoroughly before announcing a partnership. We don't want to make a planned announcement and then not follow through.

Q. Can you comment on where the extra approx. 120-140 million in supply came from? (reference is the new API)

A. Liquidity requirements for exchanges. Nothing was sold; these tokens are "lent" to ensure there isn't a lack of liquidity. All exchanges have these requirements.

Q. If you were an engineer or an investor and heard about Casper for the first time, would you prefer Holochain or Casper? What differences make Casper more advantageous?

A. Definitely Casper, it's not a fork of an existing chain and I think enterprise is the biggest untapped opportunity in the space (and the biggest overall). However, I am biased.

Q. One year from now, what do you think  makes a blockchain thrive or not survive?

A. Usage-- it all comes down to that. Over the next 12 months we expect to have a set of applications running that are used by a meaningful number of end users and enterprises.

Q. What are your thoughts on the increasing tightening of the regulatory space for crypto and blockchain? Do you see any fundamental shift in the coming months?

A. Long term it's probably a good thing; the biggest problem now is a lack of clarity. It will be messy at first (these things always are). But the same thing happened when the stock market was nascent, when the internet was nascent, and when cloud computing was nascent.

Q. What is Casper's vision for the next 3 years?

A. Primarily 3 things: 1. Grow out and fully professionalize the consulting services and integrations support.; 2. Continue research into increased efficiency, reduced carbon footprint and things like Atomic Sharding (led by Dr. Kane).; 3. Greatly grow out the ecosystem of tools and applications (both by and with enterprises). Of course lots of other things too, but these will be a focus.

Q. In your view. What is your most significant technical milestone which would help Casper demonstrate its full technical potential under the current roadmap?

A. I think the biggest milestone will be having a real enterprise-grade product that thousands or millions have installed on their phone that uses the Casper Network as it's layer 1. There are a few potential candidates here already.

Q. Does team Casper plan to put CSPR on Binance or Coinbase? Are you planning to launch an IDO in the near future, or add DApps to the Casper ecosystem like how Solana is doing very successfully?

A. We are in talks with all major exchanges, but cannot comment. On the IDO side, yes there have been several grant applications made to the DevDAO; I see a few major ones coming on soon.

Q. What are the benefits of using a partially-synchronous network for Highway over asynchronous and even synchronous?

A. 1. Being fully asynchronous has 2 problems: 1. It doesn't adapt to changing hardware via "Configuration" meaning if hardware greatly improves and a set of validators choose to reconfigure based on this, that benefit isn't realized; and 2. In a practical setting, it requires synchronization. It's why they are always permissioned or delegated systems. Being fully synchronous has the same issue A, but additionally has additional attack vectors.

Q. Imagine for a moment I'm a CTO of a multinational company-- I have in front of me all of the blockchains to choose from. What would you say to convince me to choose Casper above the others?

A. Having been in this position (and won a few bake offs), it comes down to 2 things:
1. The product being enterprise grade and fitting in much more cleanly into their tech stack. This is important as they do not want to hire engineers to learn blockchain specific languages. Also the fact that they are allowed to have Hybrid installations.
2. Very importantly, the way we are structured enables us to give ongoing support and consulting services to ensure that this infrastructure is maintained and grown.

Q. How is Casper different from Hedera Hashgraph from a value proposition? Trying to better understand additional value that Casper is bringing to the market.

A. 1. Full smart contracting.

2. Fully permissionless and decentralized (Hashgraph is very centralized, council of 13 members).

3. Open programming standards.

4. Much lower energy footprint.

5. Significant ecosystem funding through a non-profit DevxDAO and non-profit Association.

Q.  I’m curious as to whether Casper is, or will be, focusing on adoption in specific industries / nations, and if so, why?

A. We optimize for the most impact while having the most willingness (by the organization) plus matching our current capability set. In the very short term, it's best to go for the highest impact opportunities that are the lowest hanging fruit.

Q. Have you already signed some deals with governments?

A. Announcements to come.

Q.  How does Casper prevent scamming or cheating from some of the bad validators when we put CSPR into staking?

A. The network requires 66% of the stake to go byzantine in order for a double spend to happen. This is a higher threshold than the 51% attack on PoW chains. If you feel BTC and ETH are safe, we are safe too.

Q. Mrinal-- I am calling out to the Casper Turkey executives from here. Take us to the disco, we need this.

A. We do plan to visit our communities more broadly as travel restrictions abate for sure

Q. It states in the technical documentation that Casper has gone through a great deal to ensure that no entity owns more than 1% of the total supply. Can you go into more details on how you accomplished this? This is partially why you guys chose to raise equity rounds, yes?

A. The Casper Association wanted a broad distribution of the token. It placed limits on max investment. Also why it lowered caps on Coinlist, 35,000+ participated in the Coinlist sale.

Q. Will more liquidity be "lent" to exchange? Not all exchanges have that requirement. Coinbase for example just listed DOGE, trading only opens when enough liquidity has been deposited by users...

A. Depends on the exchange. Please note this is done by the non-profit Casper Association. There is no incentive other than network health and availability.

Q. Hi sir! Happy to be a part of this amazing blockchain project! Will there be a simple staking option soon for our CSPR token, and a streamlined place or wallet to store our tokens? Many thanks and keep pushing forward!

A. Yes and yes; stay tuned. It's taking longer than we'd ideally like.

Q. When will the CoinMarketCap update come

A. I believe we've handed over the APIs and what they requested; they are probably auditing it as we speak. As mentioned, given we are not a fork and built from scratch, many of these initial processes take a little longer. This Casper Association blog post discusses more.

Q. Does Casper have any plan about a hackathon to find good projects for the Casper Network.

A. Great question-- yes we have a big hackathon coming up with many more to follow. We wanted a couple of upgrades done beforehand.

Q. Do you plan to open offices in other financial cities like Singapore, Geneva, etc...?

A. For now it's Zug, opening one in Dubai, and looking at Shanghai/Beijing.

Q. Will there be a minimum staking amount eventually?

A. No, it's just automated through the auction. If you make it through the auction, you're in.

Q. Any collaborations in Singapore? We will welcome you.

A.Yes, Quest Global is primarily a Singapore company. This is a multibillion dollar company that we are going to do some really exciting things with.

Q. How do you think the price will be affected when the 6-month and 12-month purchasers are unlocked?

A. It's impossible to predict market conditions etc. I feel that the long term value will have much more to do with how much adoption we can see on the protocol than anything else. We as a team are all incented over the 3-4+ year horizon so that will be our core focus.

Q. Although we are better than most projects, I still think we are less well-known. Do you plan to do more advertising and marketing?

A. Feedback on how we need to accelerate marketing efforts has been well received. We are staffing up and devoting resources accordingly.

Q. Do you compare yourself to any cryptocurrency? Or do you think you are unique

A. Closest to Ethereum in the sense we are fully open source, decentralized, and permission-less. Just fully PoS already.

Q. Sure. But If you are a validator and own millions of tokens, you're not gonna offload some at 30x profit? Game theory says yes

A. Not necessarily. I mean if you’re getting a 15% yield, it doesn't make more sense to take your principal off the table and let the rest continue to stake/ride especially if you believe in the project.

Q. Will there be any DEX and DeFi projects launching on Casper?

A. Yes, stay tuned. These things need to be done correctly, not fast :)

Q. Do you have a plan to make Casper more popular in the market?

A. Yes, keep trying to build better things and of course share those findings more. The feedback that we need to do more education about the things we are accomplishing is heard loud and clear.

Q. Do you plan to have the Ledger wallet integration finished before the hackathon?

A. I really hope so. It's in the Audit phase right now FYI. Looks like principal coding is done

Q. Are there any plans to bridge with other blockchains like Ethereum, BSC, SOL etc.?

A. Several proposals are in the DevxDAO for these. Tf you'd like to submit a proposal or know someone who could do this well, I’d strongly encourage applying for a grant to do so.

Q. We followed closely that you had a positive meeting in Dubai. What are the opinions of the institutional investors out there about CasperLabs? How are their investment appetites?

A. Very positive and very large. We will make some announcements as we're allowed to.

Every week, CasperLabs hosts a Telegram AMA where we take your questions! Join us Wednesdays at 12PM ET on Telegram.

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