KuCoin AMA With Ergo — The Future of Smart Money Is Here

2021/08/31 11:32:42


  1. Ergo is a UTXO based blockchain with Proof-of-Work consensus. In this aspect, it is similar to Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin and similar to Cardano, Ergo uses the so-called "extended-UTXO model," which implies UTXOs with the ability to contain arbitrary data and sophisticated scripts. Due to this, Ergo supports advanced financial contracts similar to those in Ethereum's account-based model.

Dear KuCoin Users,

Time: August 30, 2021, 16:00-17:11 (UTC)

KuCoin hosted an AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) session with the Ergo team in the KuCoin Exchange Group.

Project Introduction

Ergo is a UTXO based blockchain with Proof-of-Work consensus. In this aspect, it is similar to Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin and similar to Cardano, Ergo uses the so-called "extended-UTXO model," which implies UTXOs with the ability to contain arbitrary data and sophisticated scripts. Due to this, Ergo supports advanced financial contracts similar to those in Ethereum's account-based model.

Ergo builds advanced cryptographic features and radically new DeFi functionality on the rock-solid foundations laid by a decade of blockchain theory and development. Ergo is designed and implemented by a team of experienced developers and researchers who hold publications and PhDs in cryptography, compiler theory, blockchain technology, and cryptographic e-cash. The team also has a solid background in core development with such cryptocurrencies and blockchain frameworks as Nxt, Scorex, and Waves.

Official Website:

White Paper:

Follow Ergo on Twitter and Telegram.


Alexander “Kushti” Chepurnoy — Co-Founder & Core Developer of Ergo

Active in blockchain since 2011, Alex (Kushti) has written over 20 academic papers and more than 15 years experience in software development. Co-founder of ERGO, he was also a co-founder of (now Chainlink), a core developer at NXT, and one of the first employees at IOHK, where he was a Research Fellow and Team Scorex Manager.

Joseph Armeanio — Business Development Manager of Ergo

Joseph has been involved in crypto on the investment side since 2013. He brings a passion for counter economic frameworks and tools for social good. His role as a business developer is creating partnerships in the crypto industry as well as educational partnerships, research opportunities, and driving the adoption of Ergo tooling in the public and non-profit sectors.

Mark Glasgow — Head of Community Management at Ergo

Mark represents the community to the Ergo Foundation and has over 15 years of experience working in decentralized communities. As a Computing Science graduate with a personal passion for improving inclusive systems, Mark is also the Technical Director for Disabled Students UK CIC, a non-profit, making universities accountable to their disabled students and disability law.

Q&A from KuCoin

Q: In simple terms, what are Ergo’s key features, and in a crowded market, what sets you apart from other blockchains?

Joseph: What sets Ergo apart from the majority of blockchains in the space is functionality. Ergo was designed and built for running financial contracts before “DeFi” became a buzzword. Ergo Script is a flexible language that offers functionality that is unique even in comparison to other eUTxO blockchains.

Notable key features include our native stablecoin SigUSD, an NFT auction house, Ergo Mixer, and Oracles. Research and development is currently occurring with additional smart contract frameworks, NiPoPoWs, sidechains, and layer 2 solutions.

Ergo is continuously building and improving a toolkit for financial contracts. Rather than trying to create a single focus or tagline, Ergo’s mission is simple. We would like to push the boundaries of what is possible in extended UTxO and Proof of Work.

ERG was launched fairly with no ICO or premine. This was done to create a fair distribution of tokens. We are still early in our emission period with just over ⅓ of the maximum supply of 97,739,924 ERG mined.

Mark: Ergo is one of the most sophisticated protocols in the space and absorbs ready-to-use ideas that are well-tested and formalized in scientific papers. Its primary focus is to provide an efficient, secure, and easy way to implement financial contracts that will be useful and survivable in the long term. Ergo is a self-amendable protocol that allows it to absorb new ideas and improve itself in the future in a decentralized manner. It incorporates several novel ideas such as NiPoPoWs and ‘Storage Rent’ - notably, the full supply (97M) will be mined just 6 years from now - and supported thereafter with storage rent and transaction fees.

But as Alex said recently, "Undoubtedly, Ergo is going to be the unique beast in the zoo of cryptocurrencies, and the horizon is still not visible."

Alex: Not so much interesting Proof-of-Work blockchains around these days, actually, and Ergo is truly unique among them.

Q: Oracles are an important feature of blockchain. For our audience, could you explain the application of oracle pools and how they will be implemented on Ergo?

Joseph: Oracles are an interesting issue in blockchain. Protocols are measured based on objective truth and security based on their cryptographic framework. The level of assurance in properly built systems is very high by design with the proper network assumptions.

Oracles are more of subjective truth, reliant on the participants. This “subjective truth” creates a point of attack in decentralized finance that we have seen exploited.

The oracle pools model on Ergo came about with joint research with Ergo and Emurgo, one of the founding members of the Cardano blockchain. The goal was to use game theory, economic disincentives, and stages of data aggregation to create a model for hardening oracles from known attacks.

Can a truly decentralized oracle exist with a high degree of assurance? At Ergo, we believe so.

Most API data is readily available and is free. The interesting thing is, how do you port it to a blockchain in a way that is decentralized and has robust assurances that it is not being manipulated? It is an interesting problem. I think Ergo’s solution is one of the best frameworks in the space.

Mark: Oracles in blockchain serve as messenger agents, connecting two distinct points of data sources while guarding the reliability of the information. This is indeed a valuable job as many people and decentralized apps rely on these data points to ensure continuous operation. Furthermore, because decentralized finance doesn’t use middlemen, the accuracy and speed of oracles are even more vital to sustaining a functioning blockchain ecosystem. Oracles keep both internal and external communication of an application and ensure its consistent and robust operation.

A real-world example of this is the stablecoin, which utilizes an ERG/USD oracle pool and is refreshed every 12 minutes. When such large amounts of collateral are at stake, it is vital that these data points are accurate and reliable.

The design of Ergo’s oracle pools is more efficient and programmable than using multiple single oracle data points, like we see in Chainlink’s oracle design. Ergo instead builds hierarchies of confidence using oracle pools and pools of oracle pools. Ergo, it’s faster, cheaper, and more beneficial to the end-user.

Ergo’s Oracle Pools, and what they mean for the ecosystem

Chainlink Oracles vs. Ergo Oracle Pools

(Sorry for the article spam - but we have some great writers!)

Alex: In addition, oracle pools is consensus protocol with incentive in native tokens (ERGs). A lot of concerns about LINK tokenomics these days, oracle pools are free from such issues!

Q: The highly anticipated ErgoDEX release is coming very soon. What makes this DEX so special?

Alex: ErgoDEX will unify orderbook and AMM DEXes (thanks to the extended UTXO transactional model of Ergo). Also, it allows to embed contracts into orders, which can be used for token sales with unique properties, e.g. token sales with buyback guarantees, and also trade derivative instruments easily.

Mark: ErgoDex’s edge comes from being built by developers who have years of experience building on one of the most sophisticated chains in the space - that utilizes an eUTXO model similar to Cardano's implementation.

ErgoDex Beta is live now on the Ergo blockchain, allows the system to be battle-tested and iteratively improved based on real-world data - eventually running natively on both the ERG and ADA chains - permitting cross-chain exchanges, shared liquidity, and many yet undiscovered applications utilizing the uniqueness and innovation bundled into Ergo.

For example, this recent article covers a feature mentioned in the Ergo whitepaper - allowing investor security and refunds when participating in ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).

Joseph: ErgoDex is a project that is definitely trying to push the capacities of a decentralized exchange on UTxO.

The first aspect of ErgoDex that is unique is the ability to have both an orderbook and AMM Dex in one application. This will allow users to trade on whatever interface they prefer. The duality will allow providers the ability to use the AMM Dex to provide liquidity to the orderbook Dex. This shared liquidity model is unique to a Dex. It is used by centralized exchanges to encourage users to provide liquidity, as well as gives traders a wider variety of flexibility in how they trade.

The second aspect of ErgoDex that is unique is the long-term plan to have cross-chain liquidity between ErgoDex implementations on multiple blockchains. This will allow users to take advantage of features that are unique to particular ecosystems.

To put it in simple terms, I like the tech.

Q: NFTs are a hot market at the moment. What is Ergo doing to remain relevant in this rapidly growing space?

Mark: Due to its low fees, Ergo has pulled a ton of great artists into the space (Shoutout to and his amazing series).

Right now the is undergoing some upgrades by new community developers. New features like artist albums, royalties - and sister sites like are popping up all over the place - there’s even a whole separate Discord community dedicated to it now.

Trustless NFT swaps with Cardano will be possible in the future and should help bridge the two communities.

Joseph: The Ergo Auction House is currently working on a royalty rights model that will allow NFT artists to be entitled to a portion of the resale of their work that is resold on this dApp.

This is quite an exciting development as it begins the process of replacing the legal mess that is royalty rights and begins replacing it with smart contracts.

I believe it creates a long-term incentive for artists to use our ecosystem as well as potentially creates a new economic model framework for artists longer term. The work of some artists becomes popular long after their initial sale, sometimes after their lifetime. This framework allows them to benefit from their labor long term.

Alex: In addition, Ergo allows for simple DeFi composability, thanks to the extended UTXO again, so you can easily make a bid from the ErgoMixer and so on.

So this is not just about EAH, but the whole ecosystem.

Ergo Auction House is getting a new contract now, which allows for royalties and other cool new features.

Q: In reading into your project, I learned that Ergo Script is a language that was written from scratch. What aspects of it are unique compared to other contract languages, and what kinds of applications is it capable of producing that we have yet to see?

Alex: Not just ErgoScript, but the whole extended UTXO model of Ergo was truly unique when introduced. ErgoScript allows for much simpler contracts in many cases (in comparison with Ethereum), which is also good for security, unique combinations of logic and cryptographic protocols, etc.

Mark: ErgoScript is a powerful and protocol-friendly scripting language for cryptocurrencies. Programs in ErgoScript are used to specify the conditions under which currency can be spent. The language supports a type of non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs called Σ(Sigma)-protocols and is flexible enough to allow for ring-signatures, multi signatures, multiple currencies, atomic swaps, self-replicating scripts, and long-term computation.

Thanks to the high flexibility of the ErgoScript programming model and eUTXO, many different protocols will be possible on layer2, each one solving scalability problem in a specific domain (like simple payment transactions).

Ergo blockchain can be thought of as a common settlement layer for many level2 protocol and applications.

The application I'm most excited about is probably LETS. A local exchange trading system — or ‘LETS’ for short — facilitates exchange between members by providing a local currency and a directory of offers and needs. LETS can be thought of as a mechanism to facilitate the velocity of trade, goods, and services out-with the existing monetary system, allowing us to create sustainable local economies.

Joseph: I think the most interesting existing aspect of Ergo Script that is unique to Ergo is the read-only data input UTxO. This is a UTxO box that broadcasts data on chain without needing to be destroyed and recreated.

This lowers computational costs and makes DeFi on Ergo more economically competitive.

Alex: Another nice property is good support for contract templates and composability of standard and non-standard logic (good for financial instruments with unique properties).

Q: I would like to talk about Ergo’s plan for GPU mining. Market sentiment seems to be moving towards proof of stake. Alex, you pioneered proof of stake with NTX when it was not popular. What made you switch back to Proof of Work as a consensus model?

Alex: Proof of Work is simpler for verification, well-known, and also achieves uncensorable, transparent, and relatively fair distribution, especially if the ASIC-resistant algorithm is used. Ergo is using the ASIC-resistant algorithm Autolykos 2, and currently, a few thousand miners are getting new ERG daily, so fairness of distribution is actually achieved.

Joseph: I would add regarding GPU mining.

The largest benefit of GPU mining to miners is the ability to use hardware to generate cash flow. It requires no direct investment in a project and creates competition between POW chains to remain relevant.

The POW model creates a natural incentive to innovate and improve to remain relevant. We have some miners who are invested in Ergo for the long term. We have some who hop on Ergo when it is profitable.

There are some in the blockchain space that are not a fan of “freelance” miners. I think GPU mining is a useful tool to provide cash flow that may be critical to the health and wellbeing of some participants. Small amounts of cash flow can go a long way in parts of the world. It’s putting food on tables, keeping a roof over people’s heads, and keeping their lights on.

I think the question to ask is, do the economic incentives of mining make sense, and does that create a benefit for some people. I would say that the answer is yes. Ergo is committed to the long-term viability and evolution of GPU mineable PoW.

Mark: PoW is battle-tested, and there are trade-offs in everything life. For creating contractual money, PoW is the winner across several fronts.

Joseph has been hard at work bringing in new mining pools to support the hashrate that will be leaving ETH, and user reports are already flooding in on how Autolykos is the coolest algorithm.

Written in scala, while memory-hard - still tops profitability rankings while not overheating.

Q: Ergo uses sigma-protocols. Can you tell us more about sigma-protocols?

Alex: Sigma protocols (aka Generalized Schnorr Proofs) are subset of zero-knowledge proofs known for efficiency, composability, and ability to be used as signatures via a standard simple transformation.

Thanks to the sigma protocols, Ergo has support for flexible multisignatures (threshold, ring signatures, etc.), which do preserve zero-knowledge (signers are not known, only signing ring), unlike Bitcoin multisig, and also efficient, unlike Ethereum implementations.

ErgoMixer, a unique non-custodial and non-interactive privacy application, is using sigma protocols under the hood to destroy outputs-inputs linkability for a transaction. It is formalized in the published paper, and implementation is now very stable. Please also check the unique approach to avoid privacy leaks due to the need to pay mining fees via special tokens and emission box pattern (in the paper).

Mark: Sigma protocols allow a true Peer-to-Peer system with privacy in mind. No one else at the moment is able to build a trustless LETS system, has multisig with no signers disclosure, build trustless payment networks, or has real ring signatures that preserve zero knowledge.

See this article by Joseph on one of the first applications of Sigma Protocols - ErgoMixer

Contact information:

Website | Whitepaper|Ergonaut Handbook | Forum | Block Explorer | Github | Exchanges | Twitter | Reddit | Telegram | Discord | BitcoinTalk

Joseph: Many are excited about Bitcoin Taproot, essentially Ergo has been running an advanced version of Tapoot since 2019. Post this upgrade, direct Schnorr swaps will be possible. ERG X BTC

Alex: And in general, a lot of sigma-protocol-based applications are still to be discovered!

Q: The Ergo Manifesto is addressed to ordinary people. What is Ergo's strategy to reach these people?

Mark: Ergo has been focused on building a concrete base these past years and build up solid foundations and financial tooling for the people. We strive to make Ergo more accessible each day, identify and promote competency from within as a grassroots movement with a fair launch. Mrs. Glasgow even recently made an 'Ergo for Eejits' video to give a simple overview of Ergo:

We have several discussions in the works to help our reach to the average person, and Joseph is on the lookout for an Education Director so that we can push forward UTXO research and development as a whole.

More concretely, the main step is iteratively building up our tooling and systems to be usable and friendly to anyone and while giving them financial autonomy.

Joseph: Education, education, education.

The area we need to focus on in the short term is documentation and education for developers.

As they build tooling, we need to focus on user education. Hopefully, users begin to educate users, which in time transcends language barriers.

As the users become more educated, they can provide feedback to developers in terms of the tooling that is of greatest need and demand. I hope in time this creates a sustainable feedback loop. It is an exciting development to be a part of.

Alex: Also, Ergo marketing is also mostly community-based, which is the best way to approach ordinary people. The community is exploding in recent months and will continue to explode due to this strategy.

Alex: This graphic is made by the community, for example.

Joseph: In time, I think the community will decentralize me. I look forward to that day.

Q: You have developed very close ties with the Cardano Foundation. Ergo is its own blockchain, but can you offer some insights into the partnership you share with the Cardano blockchain?

Cardano’s founder, Charles Hoskinson, has even called Ergo the “spiritual successor to Bitcoin.” What do you think he means by that?

Alex: Not yet, but some announcements are on the way.

Mark: Ergo and Cardano are both born out of similar roots and similar principles but from different perspectives. Ergo aims to develop the UTXO space side-by-side with Cardano in years to come and has many novel features and ideas that will be utilized by lots of chains as they become more interconnected as a whole over the next few years.

This is due to the ethos and grassroots community behind Ergo (and UTXO model + innovation). If Bitcoin was made today, it would not be Cardano, ETH, or XRP - It would be Ergo. (CH's words)

Joseph: I take the "spiritual successor to Bitcoin" as a challenge to remain open and willing to work with everyone. Early Bitcoin was about decentralization as Bitcoin was not so monetized. The focus and intent was different in crypto at the time. A lot of big thinkers and dreamers of what this tech could do for our world.

The space needs more of that mentality.

Alex: Ergo is indeed going from the first moral and design principles of Bitcoin, but also evolves in like every aspect with support for stateless clients, storage rent economy, efficient SPV bootstrapping (via NiPoPoWs), sigma-protocols, much more powerful contracts, etc.

Joseph: All I can say is I can't speak to this openly.

Free-Ask from KuCoin Community

Q: Staking and mining are very popular topics recently. Please tell us in detail about the $ERG staking plan and the benefits of adding staking, and detail about the mining system.

Mark: ERG is proof of work - but we’re doing staking anyway via tokenization of dApps

Q: What help can they get from ERG for those who are starting in the crypto world? What way do you instruct those who have little information about investments and earnings in cryptocurrencies? Do you have a guide or qualified person to give some kind of basic tutorial on how to function in the Ergo Platform?

Mark: Back platforms with good tech and a fair start. As a guide, check out the FAQ and wiki on - also happy to answer any questions there later! (if someone doesn’t beat me to it)

Q: In the bear market, what are your plans for surviving?

Mark: Ergo was born in the crypto winter. We’ve already survived, and Ergo is built to be resilient and adaptable to whatever comes our way.

Q: Where can I buy your tokens now, and how can I buy them?

Is it available in all exchanges, and what are your current contracts?

Currently, most investors only care about profits at the moment but ignore the long-term benefits. So can you give them some reasons why they should buy and hold your token in the long term?

Mark: KuCoin d’uh!

Well - because of all those awesome Q&A answers we gave.

Q: How long will it take to test the ErgoDEX application, and will it be possible to use that risk without a doubt?

Alex: You can test ErgoDEX right now!

The launch of real pools depends on ErgoDex devs.

Q: Nowadays, most projects in the cryptocurrency space are characterized by serious security issues. I think all have heard about recent flashloan attacks in BSC. What steps have you taken to ensure that such types of attacks are not an issue in your project?

Joseph: Flashloans are not really possible with extended UTXO, the logic and the token exist within the same UTXO box. The smart contract framework can be called a multistage smart contract.

Q: Can you tell me something about Order-book DEX? And I see 2 types of limit order there:

1) Atomic limit orders

2) Partial limit orders

Can you tell me the difference between these 2? How do they work?

Mark: Atomic is a 1:1 swap, partial order filling is more like what you get on a traditional exchange where your order can be partially filled.

Q: Do you have a whitepaper? If yes, please share it with us. And secondly, do you have plans for pre-sale and ICO? Where can we join it?


Q: A developer of the Ergo community has launched the algorithmic stablecoin called SigmaUSD. What special features does SigmaUSD have? Moreover, what other applications are currently built on the Ergo Platform?

Mark: No liquidations - and you can even mix SigUSD in ErgoMixer, the world's first non-custodial and non-interactive mixer.

Q: What are your plans for influencers? What methods do you use to get people to know about Ergo?

Do you have local communities for those who don't know English to let them better understand the Ergo project?

Mark: We have vibrant community marketing and regional chats for you to check out here —

Q: Are you planning to promote your project in countries or regions where English is not good? Do you have a local community for them to better understand your project?

Joseph: We are a rapidly growing ecosystem. As this continues, we are trying to encourage more translations and "ambassador" type figures in our community to work with educating new users.

Alex: The website is available in Chinese also, whitepaper in Chinese and Persian, Manifesto in Spanish and Hindi, more translations will come undoubtedly.

Q: What is your background, Mark?

Mark: 15 years in various aspects of tech/graphic design/CM - comp sci graduate and director of a non-profit.

Q: How big is your team? Are you a public team or not? Please tell us more about the team background.


You can see the hall of fame here, but we have almost 100 community developers now!

Q: Are you afraid someday there will be another project with more innovative technology that can replace your project?

Mark: Maybe someday - anything is possible, not today.

Ergo can absorb most ideas and L2 solutions. It’s built for the future.

Q: Ergo is said to be one of the most sophisticated protocols in this space. What is it that makes it the most sophisticated? Also, one of the notable features of your platform is the Ergo Mixer. How does this feature work, and what is it all about?


All native tokens can be mixable via the Ergo Mixer. Once the next update is complete native tokens can be staked and will earn a percentage of the fees collected by the mixer.

Q: Can you give us an overview of project economics? Is the token designed to rise and fall with the success of the platform, and does it include any scarcity paths such as stake, store, or burn?

Mark: No burning, some value is locked in smart contracts. See the emission here. 95%+ public tokens.

Q: Do the token holders have the right to participate in the governance of the project? On what kind of decisions can they vote on about the project?

Mark: Miners vote for the main protocol - individual dApps can have governance tokens. There’s governance tokens for SigmaUSD and oracle pools currently held by community members.

Q: Many projects rug pulled and exit scam recently. Why should investors trust your project not to do the same?

Mark: Because we can’t exit scam, no ICO, no VC funding, no pre-mine.

Alex: This is not "our project", rather Proof-of-Work cryptocurrency, so anyone with hardware can get tokens, and no exit scam is possible in principle.

Q: Regulation is very important. Many projects were closed in many countries due to failure to use the correct regulations and permits. In order to go global, how does your team deal with these issues?

Mark: By being adaptable and having optional privacy. Along with true P2P in a decentralized, non-custodial and non-interactive manner.

Q: Tell us a little bit about security? Have you done an audit of the platform? Are the smart contracts error-free? What are the test results?

Mark: Ergo has successfully passed security audit of certain (most critical) parts of the code. This time the audit was done by Jean-Philipee Aumasson (aka veorq, ).

Q: When you say ErgoScript is an eUTXO blockchain, what exactly does it mean to be an eUTXO blockchain?

Alex: Extended UTXO, so a transaction in Ergo has multiple inputs and outputs like in Bitcoin, but unlike Bitcoin, there are also:

* read-only (data) inputs, good for oracles and other protocols which do need for external witnesses

* extended context (possible to read inputs / outputs in a contract etc)

Which opens a lot of possibilities, in particular, proven Turing-completeness as well as a lot of concrete applications.

Q: Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of Cardano, said he loved Ergo. Can we in future see Cardano X Ergo? Or other projects X Ergo

Joseph: You will have to wait for announcements.

We are also currently partnered with Waves, Graviton, Pirate, Komodo, Etho Procol, Turtle Network, Dragon Chain, Signum, Bittube, and Polarity. Ergo is a part of the BPSAA. Please check out their website.

Ergo is always willing to work with projects in the crypto space. The end goal is advancement of this technology. I wish there was less energy spent on infighting between projects/people and more innovation.

It would accelerate the development and use of the tools we are building.

Q: I read that Ergo adopts an eUTxO model language similar to Cardano. What is eUTxO, and how does it comply with Proof-of-Stake?

How are threshold m-of-n signature schemes different from other privacy features in ErgoScript? Can ErgoScript and Ergo be integrated with all future applications?

Mark: The overwhelming majority of successful public blockchain use‐cases are related to financial applications. Ergo extends Bitcoin’s way of writing contracts by attaching a guard script (together with additional custom data) to every coin. For example, in addition to regular protection by some m‐of‐n signature, Ergo allows specifying the possible recipients of these coins, which may also be a contract with similar complex conditions. This "chaining" approach allows the implementation of secure and efficient contracts of arbitrary complexity. This, along with Ergo's focus on sustainability, is what makes it uniquely useful as contractual money.

Q: When can we expect more dApps to join the Sigmaverse?

Alex: Ergo Raffle mainnet launch is on the way! The team is about to deploy it right now.

Q: What does your roadmap for 2021-22 look like? Name some important milestones you are hoping to achieve?


Needs update. Hackathon October 8-10. Come join the Discord community to participate.

Q: Why do you choose POW?


Giveaway Section

KuCoin and Ergo have prepared a total of 116 ERG to give away to AMA participants.

1. Free-ask section: 5 ERG

2. AMA activity: 111 ERG

Activity 1 — Quiz: 75 ERG

Activity 2 — Price Guess: 25 ERG

Participation Rewards: 11 ERG

. . .

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