Launchpool AMA Recap — Mintlayer

Launchpool x Mintlayer AMA Summary

Place: Launchpool Official Telegram Community

Date & Time: March 21st, 17:00 UTC

Guests: Enrico Rubboli CEO, RBBS Labs & Andreas Kohl CBDO, RBBS Labs

Host: Spiderman (Launchpool Team)

Launchpool was excited to host Enrico Rubboli CEO, & Andreas Kohl CBDO, of RBBS Labs for an interactive Ask-Me-Anything session with the Launchpool Community. This AMA comes in anticipation of the Mintlayer weeklong Allocation Mining Event on Launchpool from Monday March 21st 2022. The session lasted approximately 1hr, and consisted of questions from the Launchpool Team as well as questions from the Community.

Questions from the Launchpool Team

Spiderman:

Hello and Welcome all LPOOLers, as many in our Community already know, today we have an AMA session with Enrico Rubboli CEO, & Andreas Kohl CBDO, of RBBS Labs (the Team behind Mintlayer)

Mintlayer is a layer-2 side-chain solution built on top of the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain. Mintlayer enables the creation of tokens and smart contracts “powered by” Bitcoin. This makes DeFi use cases such as those currently found on Ethereum and other blockchains possible and scalable in a truly “Bitcoin native” environment for the first time.

As always, the chat will be muted for roughly 30 mins whilst we ask the pre-prepared questions. After this, we will open up to questions from the Community for another 15 mins. We will also enable “Slow Mode” for all questions.

Welcome, Andreas and Enrico!

Andreas Kohl: Hey, thanks for having us!

Spiderman: Glad to have you here. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your involvement with the space.

Andreas Kohl: I’ve been a Bitcoiner since 2012, first being exposed by a fundraiser that was done for Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange when he first entered the Ecuadorian Embassy: which I slept in front of along with a group of Assange supporters. I then had a pretty successful LocalBitcoins operation for a few years, and eventually introduced both the Prince and head financial regulator of Liechtenstein to Bitcoin in 2015; which eventually indirectly led to Liechtenstein becoming the first country to offer a regulatory framework for blockchain service providers, as well as crypto banking services. After being a consultant in Liechtenstein for a long time and travelling around South East Asia researching special economic zones, I joined Mintlayer last year and took the project out of stealth mode. I’m now in El Salvador, where I’m working on several great opportunities for the Mintlayer ecosystem.

Enrico Rubboli: I’m a software engineer, and was working in the science field for a while when in 2012 I discovered Bitcoin. In December of 2015 I met Paolo, the CTO of Bitfinex in London and I joined the team, working on the exchange and Tether. It was a great experience and the team is one of the best I’ve ever worked with. In 2019 I founded RBB LAB, a software engineering company that is now solely focused on the development of Mintlayer and its ecosystem.

SpiderMan: Quite an amazing background history you both have. Could you tell us about the rest of the Team?

Andreas Kohl: I lead the business development team, which is currently composed of myself and Sarita Yasmin, former Kraken. Together, we take care of investor relations and ecosystem initiatives, such as the Launchpool Labs incubator partnership: a dedicated launchpad for the Mintlayer ecosystem, and several more which are under way.

To take a look at what we have to offer for the ecosystem, visit:

Enrico Rubboli: The majority of the people in the team are working on software development, we have 15 engineers today, including some cryptographers, blockchain experts, experts in compilers and programming languages, networking etc. They are all senior engineers even though we are gradually opening the new positions to more junior positions. By the way, we are actively recruiting, so if you are interested (or you know someone who might be) please check our page:

Ben, for example, is the CTO and he’s leading all the projects, most of Ben’s career, thus far, has been spent working with cryptography, where he has worked on a variety of things, including cryptanalysis, implementing classical cryptography libraries, post-quantum cryptography, and Toshiba’s quantum key distribution project. Ben has worked with kernels, embedded systems, and software security-related projects outside of cryptography.

The marketing team is made up of a team of professionals with international experience in the tech market from telecom to the web, from mobile to blockchain. They are able to plan integrated marketing and communication strategies and tactics from an organic and performance perspective, on and offline, the team covers all the strategic levers of the area, from social media marketing to content providing, from pr to media relations, from media buying on all media Level to event production.

SpiderMan: I must say, you got experienced team members. What problem are you trying to solve? What is the overall vision for the project?

Andreas Kohl: Mintlayer makes Bitcoin more useful, and therefore more valuable. Bitcoin is already the most robust and decentralised settlement network, and we believe that due to the anti-fragile properties of Nakamoto consensus, and the effects of Metcalfe’s law on distributed, open source peer-to-peer networks, Bitcoin will always keep its position as the most valuable and secure cryptocurrency network. But part of what makes the Bitcoin protocol so secure is how hard it is to change; its “ossified” characteristic. That is why we aim to bring more utility to the Bitcoin protocol without needing to change it, particularly the tokenization and smart contract capabilities that we see in other layer 1 protocols, as well as a few other innovations which we believe are essential for the future of decentralised finance. We do this by building a sidechain; that is to say, a whole new blockchain, but which depends on and leverages Bitcoin’s proof-of-work in its own consensus, thereby inheriting a lot of the decentralisation and security from Bitcoin.

Mintlayer is also aiming to be the most interoperable Bitcoin sidechain, without a need for a pegged or wrapped version of Bitcoin. Mintlayer brings multi-currency functionality to the Lightning Network (you will be able to open Lightning Channels with any token issued on Mintlayer), it brings the option to issue monero-like confidential assets (the MLS-02 token standard which will use bulletproofs), create security tokens that can be compliantly self-custodied and traded in a DEX (MLS-01 token standard with Access-Control-List attached), issue and trade NFTs, make atomic swaps (or even Lightning Swaps) between any of these tokens and BTC, use these tokens in turing-complete dApps, and pay for transaction fees using any MLS-01 or MLS-02 as long as it is in demand by MLT stakers (Mintlayer is the first blockchain with a free market of gas tokens; no native gas token)

SpiderMan: Amazing. In this regard how are you differentiated from other similar projects?

Andreas Kohl: There are three bitcoin sidechains today. Rootstock is a smart-contract platform very similar to Ethereum, that uses wrapped Bitcoin instead of Ether for the gas. Liquid, from Blockstream is probably the closest one to Mintlayer, but unfortunately it’s a private blockchain controlled by a federation. Stacks is a very nice implementation and focuses on their great smart-contract implementation.

We think that Mintlayer takes the best from each one of them, building the first open blockchain that focuses on scalability via Lighting Network and flexibility/privacy with a UTXO system instead of an account base system.

SpiderMan: Where are you at in your roadmap? Could you please talk us through the next steps.

Enrico Rubboli: We are about to release the wallet, which will initially be a proper Bitcoin wallet, and will integrate all the Mintlayer features in the future. We are a few months away from the release of the second version of the testnet, which will be independent from Substrate, the codebase we initially used to build the project on. We expect to see the new testnet around September and the first version of the Testnet early next year.

SpiderMan: Looking forward to the wallet. How was the project funded up to this point? How will the funds from the pre-IDO be used?

Andreas Kohl: We raised 5.2 million USD in our seed round, which is entirely earmarked for developers’ salaries all the way through to the end of our technical roadmap, around Q3 2024. We then raised a further 12.6 million in our strategic round, of which roughly half is earmarked for marketing initiatives, and the other half for ecosystem initiatives.

This is a rather small raise for a protocol level, infrastructure project, but it is entirely sufficient for us to reach our goals and let Mintlayer become a self-sufficient, fully decentralised protocol, as opposed to some of the “decentralisation in name only” that we see out there.

SpiderMan: Great. Are there any strategic partners (excluding Launchpool) that you can share?

Andreas Kohl: Participants in Mintlayer’s seed round are all listed here:

As for the strategic round, you might find some VCs have already made their own announcements about their participation, however although the round is greatly oversubscribed, we haven’t yet finalised our cap-table and finalised all of our allocations, so we are not yet ready to make an announcement on our end — keep your eyes peeled though, there’s some great names that you will see on there!

As for advisors, we have recently onboarded my old friend Charlie Shrem, who I’m really proud to have on board!

SpiderMan: What made you choose Launchpool as your launchpad partner for the AME?

Andreas Kohl: I’ve personally known Richard for a long time, as well as the Alphabit team, who became Mintlayer’s lead VC in our seed round. I think the egalitarian “fair sale” model is really awesome, and even quickly becoming an essential part of crypto community-building. We really want this model to be an integral part of the Mintlayer ecosystem, so we will support Launchpool in integrating the Mintlayer blockchain, and we’ll encourage anyone building on Mintlayer to consider doing an AME on Launchpool as well. We know the Launchpool team do a great job in curating and guiding projects, which is why I’m also keen about our incubator partnership with Launchpool Labs, through which I’m sure we will soon see a great deal of super high quality projects emerge.

SpiderMan: Great to hear. What is the total allocation you’ve set aside for the Launchpool community? Are there any limitations or is the Allocation Mining Event open to everyone? Please list any countries that are excluded from the allocation event due to regulatory reasons.

Andreas Kohl: 2,162,277 MLT, at the same terms as those agreed to by the VCs who participated in our strategic round; that is, 1/3 of every ticket in “short vesting”, and 2/3 in “long vesting”

720,759 MLT at $0.1952, with “short vesting”: 10% TGE + 6% monthly over 15 months

and

1,441,518 MLT at $0.1452, with “long vesting”: 4 months locked + 2% monthly over 10 months, then 4% over 20 months

This results in an average price per MLT of about $0.16, with a total vesting over 34 months

Enrico Rubboli: Unfortunately, for regulatory compliance, we have to exclude some countries, for example USA, North Korea, Iran, Yemen, Syria and other jurisdictions under FATF increased monitoring guidance

SpiderMan: What happens after the AME? Could you talk us through the tokenomics: total supply, initial circulating supply, initial market cap, initial vesting, total vesting period (from launch until when will the last token be vested for), etc.

Andreas Kohl: The total supply of MLT at launch is 400,000,000, of which 38,450,252 MLT are unlocked (circulating) on TGE. The hard cap is 600,000,000 MLT, which will be reached after about 10 years, when 200,000,000 MLT have been distributed as block rewards. The public sale price is not yet final, so I can’t answer about the initial market cap, but you can find some graphs about the token distribution / unlock schedule here:

SpiderMan: Ah nice.What are the use cases for the token? Do you have any mechanisms planned to support the DeFi component?

Enrico Rubboli: MLT can be used to participate in the blocksigner auction and then collect fees of the onchain transactions. Think of Tether, which is — after Bitcoin — the first crypto for exchanged volumes onchain: if Tether is issued on Mintlayer, as well as other stablecoins and securities like stock tokens, all those transactions will pay fees to the block creators: they are the majority of the fees currently paid in the entire crypto space, at least with the exceptions of Bitcoin fees and gas for Ethereum DEXs. Besides staking, MLT can be used also to pay network fees either for transactions, DEX and smart contracts, as well as for the issuance of new tokens (MLS-01, MLS-02 for confidential transactions and MLS-03 as NFT Non Fungible Token)

For the first ten years there is a decreasing reward for staking that increases the total supply from 400 million to 600 million, the decreasing model should be compensated by the growth of the network, keeping the incentives aligned.

SpiderMan: Cool. Where can we join your community?

Enrico Rubboli: Please follow our twitter account

https://twitter.com/mintlayer

You can join our telegram channels also, there are many in several languages, but the international community is here:

A longer list is available on:

SpiderMan: Our Community will certainly follow your socials. Thank you again for sharing these great updates with our Community.

I will now open up the Community to questions from the floor. Please be reminded that we have “Slow Mode” enabled and will only be answering questions related to Mintlayer.

Questions from the Launchpool Community

Question: How does scalability for Defi applications via Lightning work? How many transactions per second are possible on Mintlayer?

Enrico Rubboli: The Lighting Network uses a different paradigm, it’s not a blockchain where every transaction must be forwarded to every single node to be validated, instead it is only shared among the nodes that are involved. This means the lighting network can process theoretically an unlimited number of transactions, in the reality we can safely assume several millions per second.

Question: I would like to ask if there is any duration for the wallet to be available?

Enrico Rubboli: A beta version will be released shortly, we are at the final internal testing stage, and will open the testing to the Community soon, just fixing the boring stuff like privacy policy (required by apple and google) etc..

Question: Can you list 1–3 killer features of Mintlayer project that makes it ahead of its competitors?

Andreas Kohl: 1. No native gas token — I believe that currently one of the biggest bottlenecks for the mainstream adoption of DeFi is simply how counter-intuitive and UX-breaking it currently is to always need a specific token in your wallet (a “gas bank”) in order to open and close DeFi positions, interact with dApps and make transactions. So, being able to pay transaction fees with any popular token at the protocol level, will be a massive gamechanger for the entire DeFi space.

2. Bitcoin interoperability — High frequency trading of altcoins (and perhaps one day even tokens that represent real life commodities) against bitcoin on the Lightning Network could revolutionize finance. Even simple atomic swaps, which on Mintlayer are protected against reorgs caused by orphaned blocks, since Mintlayer reorgs alongside Bitcoin, will be a big deal, especially when you can do them with security tokens (ACLs allow to transfer the burden of compliance from centralized exchange operators to token issuers), disintermediating the trading of securities.

3. MLS-02 confidential tokens, which will provide all the benefits of Monero, but inheriting transaction irreversibility from Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work instead of relying on a separate consensus mechanism, as well as giving the full liquidity of Bitcoin to these and any other tokens issued on Mintlayer, since decentralised p2p swaps with BTC are always just a click away on Mintlayer

Question: Hi Mintlayer, $350k USDis too small for our Community. We are more than 17k, so that translates to approx. $20usd per person. You guys should consider increase our allocation to $1 million minimum. Thanks

Enrico Rubboli: This is actually the second sale, the first one went pretty well indeed:

https://cryptoslate.com/mintlayer-becomes-the-most-oversubscribed-launchpool-pre-ido-with-over-15-3-million-staked/

Question: Hello Andreas, great use case you’ve got there! Please can you state why the vesting schedule is a bit length?

Andreas Kohl: One thing which is important to note: You can stake MLT even while they are locked (i.e. before they’re vested)! And although there is a minimum of 40,000 MLT to participate in the consensus mechanism, you can also stake them as part of a pool if you can’t reach the 40k minimum by yourself. This will allow you to get MLT block rewards and collect transaction fees (paid in any token that you want!). This is part of why the vesting schedule is so lengthy (actually not so lengthy for a protocol/infrastructure project, most have much longer vesting); we want to encourage participation in the consensus mechanism from day one.

SpiderMan: If the Community has any more questions or if it’s unanswered here, please ask it over in the Mintlayer Community:

Again, thank you Andreas and Enrico for your time in sharing all the info and we can’t wait for what’s ahead.

Thanks everyone that participated! This will be the end of our AMA.

Enrico Rubboli: Thank you all for your time!

Andreas Kohl: Thanks everyone!

About Mintlayer

Mintlayer is a layer-2 side-chain solution built on top of the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain. Mintlayer enables the creation of tokens and smart contracts “powered by” Bitcoin. This makes DeFi use cases such as those currently found on Ethereum and other blockchains possible and scalable in a truly “Bitcoin native” environment for the first time.

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About Launchpool

Launchpool leverages communities, knowledge, expertise, contacts and capital to provide crypto projects with the best possible start to life, maximising their chances for success in this fast moving & dynamic space.

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Launchpool connects varied stakeholders in the crypto community, including funds, community, marketers and experts, incentivising all. Join: t.me/launchpoolxyz

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