ETH 2.0 Development Firm CasperLabs to Work on Its Own Blockchain


CasperLabs, the firm tasked with developing Ethereum’s implementation of Proof-of-Stake (PoS), has decided to launch its own blockchain.

According to a recent announcement, CasperLabs plans to launch its own PoS blockchain in collaboration with Singapore-based crypto exchange BitMax.

BitMax will host CasperLabs’ Exchange Validator Offering (EVO) and allow retail investors to get hold of the network’s CLX tokens. The exchange will also operate a full node of the network at its launch to facilitate staking for retail sale participants.

The sale mechanics

According to the offering’s website, the founding target is 3,000,000 USDT and will sell investors 10% of the total supply of 10 billion CLX. CasperLabs plans to put about 20% of the supply in circulation during the first year after the mainnet launch.

The EVO is part of the validator round and all the purchased tokens will be locked for 90 days after the mainnet launch, which is expected to take place in Q3 2020. During the lock period, the tokens will participate in validator staking and earn staking rewards. After the lock period ends, the token release will take place progressively over the next nine months at a rate of 1/38th per week.

The CLX price during the EVO is $0.01 per token, while an eventual public sale would sell them at a minimum bid price of $0.02 each. The announcement explains the reasoning behind the sale setup:

“CasperLabs has made no token offerings to date and all funding has been conducted via a standard Series A equity financing. The decision not to sell tokens was based on ensuring open access to the underlying system. […] CasperLabs, together with, is taking a novel approach to challenge the status quo of staking power consolidation amongst institutions by conducting the industry’s first EVO.”

CasperLabs’ blockchain value proposition

CasperLabs CEO Mrinal Manohar told Cointelegraph that the firm will primarily be a publisher of open-source software and does not plan to participate in the network in other ways other than hosting an EVO or operating a full node. 

When asked about the network’s value proposition, he explained that his company is trying to add to Bitcoin’s copy protection and make Ethereum’s smart contracts more scalable, adding:

“CasperLabs is purpose-built to scale blockchains without sacrificing decentralization and security.”

Manohar said that his firm has embraced open programming standards and support for programming languages that are not crypto-specific like Rust and AssemblyScript. He also said that the network is not Ethereum virtual machine-compatible and does not support its smart contract programming language Solidity. He noted that, over time, support for other programming languages can be added by the team or the community, adding:

“We will not be EVM compatible or support solidity. We went the route toward fully embracing open programming standards. That being said, as Ethereum moves towards eWASM, this would be something that is reasonably easy to integrate into our contracting system as well.”

Manohar explained that Casperlabs’ blockchain tries to make work easier for developers by storing smart contracts at immutable addresses, having a flexible account structure, and hosting multiple transaction payment options instead of making the sender always pay for transactions. When asked why the firm decided to pursue its own project instead of working on Ethereum’s protocol, he said:

“We have always been an independent project, and there has been no change here. We are an open-source project, though, and we are always open to collaboration (and do collaborate with Ethereum and other protocols).”

CasperLabs’ work on Ethereum’s protocol

In the past, CasperLabs made significant contributions to the development of Ethereum’s aptly named “Casper” PoS protocol. In early November 2019, the firm released what it claimed to be the first correct-by-construction Casper implementation that is provably safe.

In September 2019, CasperLabs raised $14.5 million to design blockchain scalability solutions.

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