We held a live AMA with Xiaohan Zhu, co-founder of Meter.io on 24th February 10:00 PM (UTC+8). Here’s the recap for those who missed it.
Xiaohan: I have a mixed engineering and finance background. The first 15 years of my career were in R&D and engineering. Afterwards I got my MBA from Wharton and started doing strategy and investments. Back in 2016 I formed a VC fund called ZMT Capital and started getting into crypto investment in 2017. I In 2018 I finished the first fund and decided that I enjoyed BUIDL more. That is when I started working on Meter. My cofounders are my ex-colleagues in Silicon Valley High tech companies. They were seasoned architects in distributed systems, cryptography, and finance with companies like Google, Huawei, Cisco, and more. We also have professors in computer science, electrical engineering and finance from Stanford, UIUC and George Washington Univ sitting on our advisory board.
Meter is a highly decentralized Ethereum scaling solution with a builtin low volatility gas currency. It connects to Ethereum and other public chains as a Layer 2 protocol.
It utilize a unique hybrid consensus protocol that separates currency creation from record keeping. It uses Proof of Work to create the $MTR low volatility coin and HotStuff based PoS consensus with $MTRG governance coin to manage the ledger.
We launched its foundation maintained mainnet in July, 2020 after 9 months of testnet. Yesterday we just relaunched the final round of the incentivized testnet before delivering the full featured mainnet. We expect everything will be on the mainnet after 3 weeks.
Meter will become the most decentralized yet highest performance layer 2 solution for Ethereum by then. To be accurate open staking on mainnet. The mainnet is already live since July last year.
Twitter AMA Begins:
Q1. The first Twitter Questions from @cLayghost92
“Meter makes a bridge with ERC20 compatibility that will share the same architecture with AEB, what are the advantages of using this birdge, is it limited to ETH transactions or do you plan to upgrade this feature beyond other chains in the future?”
Xiaohan: A few weeks ago we helped Avalanche team launched their Avax-ETH bridge. Meter had its own bridge from Meter to Eth since August, but it was for MTRG tokens only. We will soon upgrade the bridge to support all ERC20 and ERC721 tokens based on the same tech as AEB. The bridge has a good balance among decentralization, security and cost. It will start with ETH and we will expand the support to other chains like Polkadot, BSC and etc.
Q2. The second Twitter Questions from @ZoeyScarletts
“One intersant thing is that you DON’T USE Oracle like chainlink or similar, but why? This not attract the attention of Legal terms?
Just for curiosity Which kind of electricity source use you? Aeolic , thermal or hydroelectric? Or don’t care at all?”
Xiaohan: We don’t use oracle when creating the metastable gas token MTR since oracle’s data source tend to be centralized. In addition if you build a financial system’s base layer currency on top of oracle, and mistake in the data feed could cause the collapse of the the entire system. That is too much of a risk for base layer money. MTR instead leverage PoW miners profit chasing behavior to create the elastic monetary policy. It is uncheatable and reliably links to the stable values in the physical world. We do still need oracle to build other DeFi apps though. For example a synthetic asset tracking tesla stock would require oracle to feed data on chain. That is why we partner with Chainlink and many other oralce providers.
Q3. The third Twitter Questions from @CabreraEdelis
“Meter can support up to 1500 TPS using HotStuff consensus. This number compared to other blockchains could be a low. What could be improved so that Meter at least double his TPS?”
Xiaohan: This is a very interesting and controversial topic. Many other projects in the industry claims very high TPS. However there are a lot of fine prints. For example one of the really hot projects claimed 60k tps. The fine prints were all the transactions are unrelated and someone presorted the transactions in advance. Then they could process the transactions in special code running on GPUs. By no means this will happen on the actual mainnet. Our 1500 tps was tested in actual field testing. In addition, the limitation was not from the consensus protocol but the EVM itself. EVM has a sequential processing model meaning it is a single thread application. When you saturate the speed of one CPU core, you reached the maximum. Therefore as long as you support EVM, you have such a limit for tps. The same applies to all Ethereum scaling solutions including rollups and etc.
We could support much higher tps horizontally however by introducing multiple chains and shading. The1500 tps is just for a single chain performance bottle neck.
Q4. The fourth Twitter Questions from @y1sus_afp
“Meter connects to Ethereum and other public blockchains as a Layer 2 protocol. How are they different from other projects that use the Layer 2 protocol? How does meter stand out among all these blockchains? With which of them is it possible to establish a connection?”
Xiaohan: There are multiple layer 2 solutions currently on the market including Optimistic Rollup, zk Rollups, state channel and side chains. Zk based techniques are incompatible with existing smart contracts. Optimistic Rollup is promising but it is definitely over hyped. All the rollups solutions today require a centralized sequencer to put transactions in order. It essentially is “the house” for all the transactions on the rollup. Not only it has the power to censor and front run transactions, it also easily triggers regulatory issues. Think about a BitMex running on the rollup. It is very obvious who the regulators should go after.
Meter takes a side chain type of approach, similar to xDai, BSC, Matic, Skale. They are either Proof of Authority based (meaning you will have to trust all the validators in the network) or modified on top of Tendermint (Cosmos). Meter uses the most advanced deterministic consensus protocol called HotStuff. Facebook’s Libra is a variant of this consensus protocol. It is several times more performant and doesn’t require the entire network to be highly synchronized (which allows a highly decentralized network) compared to Tendermint. In Meter’s implementation, with the same amount of network traffic as the current 100 nodes Cosmos network, Meter could support 10k nodes. This consensus protocol is comparable in sophistication if not more to ETH2.0.
Q5. The fifth Twitter Questions from @Pradana37433809
“What is the difference between METER tokens such as $MTR and $MTRG? I know that one is a decentralized stablecoin (MTR) and the other is a governance token (MTRG). Can they really be used in combination? Or are they completely independent?”
Xiaohan: $MTRG is the governance token for investment, $MTR is the currency and gas token for transaction fees. In addition when open staking starts you could use $MTRG to stake run a validator node and earn income, you could also use $MTR to bid for newly created $MTRG.
Live AMA Begin:
Q6: Why did Meter choose Hotstuff Consensus for itself? What are the advantages and features of it?
Xiaohan: Please see answer for the previous questions
Q7: What wallets can currently support your tokens? Are there any master plans to add up extra features in your ecosystem in the nearest future? What plans do you have on your roadmap for 2021, in the short term and long term?
Xiaohan: Currently we have a meter native wallet https://meter.io/wallet and if you want to interact with dapps, you could configure your metamask to interact with Meterhttps://docs.meter.io/wallet-setup/interacting-with-meter-mainnet-using-metamask.
Q8: What is the role of token in the ecosystem? Where can users currently buy it, and what would be its use?
Xiaohan: The best resource for this is to go to our doc site. $MTRG is for investment and staking $EMTRG is the wrapped MTRG on Ethereum for DEX and liqudity mining https://docs.meter.io/
Q9: Is it true that if we stake on Uniswap we could earn upto 100% APY or this is just a mere talk to entice people?
Also I would like to know how the platform ensures that payments are made in a decentralized and fraud resistant way?
Xiaohan: Current there is liqudity mining program for eMTRG, you could find more information on https://docs.meter.io/useful-information The highest reward is close to 200% but 3/4 of it is gradually vesting in 1 year.
Q10: The first thing that I will consider when investing in a project is security. How do you convince us that our investment is safe? Any audit for smart contracts?
Xiaohan: Meter has its own blockchain and therefore meter tokens are free of smart contract risks. The blockchain code was audited by Slowmist and you could find the audit report in our Github.
Q11: Isn’t MTR a stablecoin? Then why the value is not fully 1$ (it’s around 0.76$)?
Xiaohan: MTR is not a stable coin pegged to $1. It is a metastable coin that trading within a range based on economic equilibrium. It is trying to complete Satoshi’s original vision of a good currency beyond the fiat system.
Q12: Can anyone create a Meter through Proof-of-Work mining and Is collateral required to build gauge? How do we protect against collateral fluctuations and oracle risk on the smart contract?
Why does Meter work with HotStuff consensus and how does it process thousands of transactions per second? How long does it take to confirm transactions?
Xiaohan: creating MTR is completely permissionless through PoW. You could use MTR to exchange for MTRG through the onchain MTRG auctions. Since MTR has no collaterals, there is no liquidation necessary and no need for oracles. The details about HotStuff consensus can be found on https://docs.meter.io
Q13: Elaborate please about your plans for the nearest year in terms of marketing and business development? How do you plan to expand the network, community, partnerships, etc? Why should investors enter your ecosystem?
Xiaohan: Hi, I’m Mike and I lead marketing for Meter. We are expanding our developer community to build dapps on top of our network, and we’ll launch a formal developer program in a couple of months. We’ve also been covered recently in many YouTube reviews. We are also pursuing many partnerships in the cross-chain space, similar to our recent partnerships with Avalance, Harmony, and others. Lots happening!
Q14: .Many projects rug pulled and exit scam recently. Why should investors trust your project not to do the same?
Xiaohan: We have been working on Meter since 2018. After 3 years of hardwork and crypto winter. Now all the development work is already lined up and completed. In addition we are backed by the most reputable VC firms in the industry. We are committed to the project for the long haul.
Q15: Most of the farm coins suffer from high APY and are constantly printing new tokens. For example,,,I farm $MTRG Receive more $MTRG and throw away my extra tokens. Most of the farm coins have failed and will fail on Token Metrics only. How do you offset the selling pressure?
Mike Chan: That is why we have the staking, liqudiity mining and future synthetic assets on Meter.
Q16: Has your project been completely decentralized, and will there be any risk of centralization in the future?
Mike Chan: This is one of the largest differentiators of Meter — full decentralization. Our HotStuff poS consensus can handle 1000s of validators. And our gas currency MTR is mined via PoW, making it as decentralized as Bitcoin. Meter is the most decentralized Eth scaling solution.
Q17: Is there a difference between Meter and stablecoins such as DAI and tether? What makes meter competitive? What would be the most outstanding features of Meter?
Mike Chan: Yes, there are huge differences! Tether is completely centralized, and if you saw the recent news, they have not been honest about how they operate USDT. RE: DAI, they face collateral and oracle risk, which MTR does not because it is PoW mined.
Q18: Typically, investors buy tokens that are likely to increase in price in the future. I saw that, total supply of the token is huge. So, do you have any plan for burning tokens in the future to reduce the supply of the token and increase its investment attractiveness?
Xiaohan: The current total supply of the token is only 25M. In fact Meter is probably the most under valued project if you look from market cap perspective. The market cap is less than 2M.
Q19: where is MeterIO listed on the $MTR token exchange market and where can I buy $MTR tokens?
Xiaohan: For the investment coin $MTRG and gas coin $MTR, you could find them on gate.io, mxc and etc, for the Ethereum wrapped eMTRG, you could find on uniswap and balancer. Links are on https://docs.meter.io/useful-information
Q20: Are there any venture capital or influencer that backed your project?
Mike Chan: yes, we are backed by Pantera, GBIC, and DHVC in our seed round
Q21: Although ETH 2.0 is delayed to next year, but it will solve all exist problem of ETH and become the best choise for dApps in future, so do you think this is a threat for Meter.io project and how could you overcome this barrier?
Xiaohan: We don’t see ETH 2.0 as a threat, in fact if ETH2.0 do luanches, Meter could run inside ETH2.0 as one of the shards. Even for ETH2.0, it still requires layer 2 to further scale
Q22: One of the things that I like about meter is that is not trying to make a new silo, instead is trying to connect different existing silos together, so how many silos meter is able to “link” currently?
Mike Chan: ATM we are a relayer for Avalanche’s ETH to AVAX bridge, and we have our own bridge to ETH. We are primarily focused on ETH, but have partnerships with Oasis, Harmony, Elrond, Matic and others to build bridges to those networks. We will connect all the chains!
Q23: As I read taht MTR is not pegged by fiat currency. Then on which currency MTR is pegged on? Can you tell us how you are different from a fiat backed stablecoin and what are your advantages?
Xiaohan: MTR is pegged to 10kwh of PoW based on the main stream BTC miners. The current opportunity cost for the miners can be found on our explorer https://scan.meter.io/pow , before that cost parity is reached, there is no incentive for PoW miners to create additional MTRs
Q24: How many validators are there in the Meter network? Is there a theoretical possibility that 2/3 of the network validators will act maliciously? Are there penalties for malicious behavior by validators?
Xiaohan: We supports thousands of validators in the pool and hundreds of them doing consensus together.
Q25: On your ROADMAP For Q1 of 2021 which involves Improved block explorer, STAKING and on-chain auctions,.launching of the Meter-Ethereum bridge ..all great goals, Could you please tell us about the progress you’ve made thus far to ensure that all these is achieved?,and what are the challenges you’ve experienced in bringing these goals into reality?
Xiaohan: We have launched the new explorer. testnet for staking has reopened yesterday and we are looking to put them on the mainnet soon. ETH-Meter general purpose bridge will be delivered at the end of Q1 as well.
Q26: There are 3 core issues prevalent in crypto and blockchain: Security, Interoperability, and. Scalability. so, How does Your Project plan to overcome these issues?
Mike Chan: -Security — our dual-chain architecture makes Meter extremely secure, much more so than PoS and PoW alone.
-interoperability — as mentioned before, we are working with many other chains such as ETH, AVAX, Oasis, Harmony, etc to build bridges to connect all of them
Scalability — Meter can execute 1500 tps with near instant tx finality.