We took some time to interview the Casper Network team to get an inside scoop into what they have been working on and how they are accelerating enterprise adoption of blockchain technology.
What is Casper Network and what does it hope to accomplish for Web3?
The Casper Network is a public, permissionless, decentralized layer 1 blockchain. Casper is a Turing-complete wasm-based smart-contracting platform using a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. Casper has been designed to enable existing businesses, large and small, to easily integrate the benefits of blockchain technology into their existing tech stack, allowing those organizations to future proof their business models as blockchain adoption accelerates.
What are the differentiating features of Casper Network and how does it differ from other projects with a similar mission?
Casper has been built from the beginning as a modular, upgradable network, ensuring that as technology advances, the Casper network can be upgraded to take advantage of that new technology. This extends to the consensus mechanism being utilized by Casper. With this upgradability and flexibility at its core, Casper will enable businesses to adopt blockchain as their needs change. This commitment to upgradability also extends to Casper smart contracts, which are also upgradable – securely enabling the flexibility needed by changing market needs or business dynamics.
For non-crypto natives, what does Casper Network plan to bring to the user experience of crypto, and what will be its main applications?
Casper is all about utility and enabling the rapid and easy adoption of blockchain technology. The Casper ecosystem attracts both small startups and big companies interested in quickly and efficiently enabling their services with the blockchain. We have projects on core-banking automation, intellectual property management, automotive but also defi, bridges, gaming, and NFTs!
Can you introduce your team to the readers? What relevant experience do they have and what projects have inspired them in their designs?
The Casper Association is the not-for-profit, Switzerland-domiciled organization which is responsible for overseeing the network and supporting its organic evolution and continued decentralization. In essence, we are the steward of the open source protocol, and as such, we advance the development of the network with the core team at CasperLabs and other parties which can contribute to the protocol. Membership in the Association is composed of the independent validators which run nodes on the Casper Network. The Association currently has 25 full time staff members.
How did you achieve your funding requirements? Was it from an exclusive token sale or private funding? When was it?
Casper Association conducted a token sale under Swiss Law in May 2021.
What parts of the Casper Network roadmap is the team most excited for?
We are working on the brand new consensus protocol, which should speed up the Casper network even further. We plan to unify account and smart contract concepts, giving them the same superpowers!
Where do you see Casper Network in 5 years? What does it look like when Casper is mass-adopted?
We see Casper as a base layer in enterprises, large and small businesses, public bodies and global organizations working on our public and private chain instances coexisting together. Thanks to our broad involvement in community-driven projects, we expect to see more entertainment products (games and NFTs) and DeFi.
How does the Casper architecture differ from other blockchains? Does it solve the scalability trilemma, and if so, how?
In addition to being a public layer 1 blockchain, the Casper Network has been built and optimized for fast developer adoption. The network has been built to enable rapid WASM ( Web Assembly ) development, using languages such as RUST. While leveraging blockchain technology, the network seeks to accelerate business operations via unique features like predictable network fees, upgradeable contracts, on-chain governance, privacy flexibility, and developer-friendly languages. Casper’s core features and strengths enable developers and enterprises to reap the benefits of blockchain technology.
Another unique aspect of Casper (and it having been built bespoke, every line of code, from the ground up) is the flexibility on Casper to have various kinds of deploys. An enterprise can choose to use a fully private deployment of Casper, have everything on the public network, or a hybrid installation.
To enable significant scale, while addressing the blockchain trilemma, Casper uses a unique, “correct by construction – CBC” consensus mechanism called the Highway protocol to deliver scale, speed and security.
What is the primary use case of the Casper token?
CSPR is the layer one network token for Casper (like ETH is on the Ethereum Network) ands has two primary functions:
- To pay for transactions that use the resources in the network (which fees are allocated to validators and also ensure that the resources in the network are not abused);
- To provide economic security to the network via staking in consensus.
Beyond these basic functionalities of the token described above, the Casper Network (and its native token) are built from the ground up with the unique features that enterprises demand to build their business critical applications and, as such, are expected to have a myriad of use cases as described above in questions 3 and 4. In addition, DeFi and NFTs are being launched on Casper as well, because the protocol’s unique features are well suited for those crypto-centric areas.
What is unique about the tokenomics of Casper? What incentive mechanism does it have?
Our token economics are different from those of “digital gold” tokens like Bitcoin, designed to be scarce. Our tokens are minted from a fixed starting basis, which is accounted for by tokens distributed to genesis validators, employees, community members and held for future distributions. The total supply of tokens grows at a fixed annual percentage rate from this basis.
The inflationary nature of our macroeconomics has two significant advantages over enforced scarcity. Inflation incentivizes token holders to stake or delegate their tokens, a behavior we explicitly support with our delegation feature. Additionally, because Casper is a general-purpose computing platform, it is essential to supply tokens to support actual economic activity on the platform and discourage hoarding tokens in expectation of speculative gain.
Why should users stake Casper and what benefits should they expect outside of normal staking rewards?
Staking Casper tokens is a great way to earn rewards. Our current annual percentage yield is at 10.44%, and CSPR coins earn a staking reward every two hours. Staking is a good indicator of participant’s trust in protocols, and we’re currently at a 76.62% staking ratio, ranking #2 globally among the top layer 1 blockchains (10/24/22).
Can you explain Casper’s consensus protocol ‘Highway’, and the benefits it holds over classic Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus protocols
The Highway Protocol is a proof of stake blockchain architecture based on the original Casper CBC specification – with notable improvements. “Byzantine Fault Tolerance” – generally speaking – describes resilience against an attacker controlling an unknown (but limited) subset of the network’s nodes. BFT consensus models assume that less than ⅓ of the nodes within a network are dishonest. Under this assumption of ⅔ honesty, BFT blockchains can operate securely over time and maintain an immutable, verifiable history of transactions.
The Casper Highway Protocol is a consensus model that is safe and live in the common BFT sense, but additionally allows for two major improvements. First, Highway enables the network to reach higher thresholds of finality. Second, it achieves flexibility in a way not possible in typical BFT models.The Casper Highway Paper includes more insight into the Highway protocol, including explanations of DAGs, the GHOST rule, voting, finality, weighted consensus, and more. You can read the Highway paper by clicking here.
Are there any exciting updates, announcements, or partnerships coming up in the immediate future that you can disclose today?
Coming up soon is release 1.5 and then a major network update in Casper 2.0.
With upgrade 1.5, which will be released before the end of the year, it will be easier for new nodes to join the network. It also has a lot of interesting features, such as redelegate. 1.5 will reduce disk usage, making nodes easier and cheaper to run. This makes the network more robust and secure – because running a validator is more affordable. Additionally, there is a groundbreaking feature called ‘speculative execution’ that will allow contracts to be debugged and tested against mainnet!
Casper 2.0, anticipated for early 2023, will dramatically improve performance with another new consensus protocol (codename Zug), provide new capabilities for smart contracts as well as an exciting new gas fee mechanism. Examples are contracts that can pay for themselves, contracts that can stake the network and contracts that can have delegated keys for upgrades. In addition, Casper 2.0 will include faster block times, and improved engineering velocity.You can also view our roadmap which is publicly available here.
Where is the best place for the community to interact with you?
We’re on; Twitter, Telegram, Discord, YouTube, LinkedIn and Reddit. That said, we invite everyone to participate in our community call on Discord every two weeks on Tuesday at 12pm EST, to sign up for our newsletter and/or join our GitHub page.
Why is Staking Rewards the best partner for your project?
Staking Rewards is the leading data provider for staking and crypto-growth tools. We believe it’s a trusted way to further engage with the community by keeping them updated with live information and acting as a verifiable provider.
Casper Network is accelerating enterprise adoption of blockchain technology and playing a pivotal role in the growth of Web3. Check out their asset profile to get real-time staking data!