Since the OmiseGO Developer Program’s (ODP) launch in February this year, hundreds of developers have been on boarded. They are now building, testing and contributing to the improvement of the network.
One such ODP participant is Anthony Estebe, the CEO and Co-founder of the MESG Foundation. We sit down with him to get to know MESG and how their latest integration, Plasma Guard, will benefit developers and OmiseGO’s end-users.
Q: Could you tell us about MESG, the MESG team and how it all started?
A: MESG is an application-building framework that reduces development time and provides a new avenue of income for developers.
The framework consists of two parts:
- Engine: Allows free communication between services, blockchains, and decentralized networks.
- Marketplace: For buying and selling access to services and workflows.
The MESG Foundation originated after I met Nicolas Mahe in Thailand in 2015. Initially, we were looking into Ethereum smart contracts, but the available tools to build apps were so slow that we decided to go with a node-on-demand solution based on a smart contract.
We later discovered that connections between smart contracts and the web were too complicated. As a result, we extended our concept to connect smart contracts with the “normal” web.
Doing so opened up a number of opportunities, which is why we started working on decentralizing this intercompatibility framework, trying to expand it beyond Ethereum.
In 2017, Alexis Sirkia, co-founder of crypto market-maker GSR, joined MESG as the third co-founder.
Since then, the team and product have expanded and we’ve released our open source Engine, CLI and Marketplace. We’re now looking to expand the Engine's functionalities onto the mainnet so we can enable decentralized executions.
Q: What are the types of projects MESG focuses on? Could you give us examples of your previous work?
A: We’re currently focused on developing the MESG Engine, Marketplace, and CLI with the aim of building a decentralized network of services. But we’ve also built some apps on top of MESG as proof-of-concepts to showcase the versatility of our framework.
One example is an app that monitors any or all ERC-20 transactions on the Ethereum Network in real-time by sending an email via SendGrid.
Another reuses the same Ethereum service from the previous application but connects it to Stripe, allowing for direct fiat-to-crypto transactions.
One more example takes on SaaS products’ high barrier to entry by enabling cryptocurrency micropayments in exchange for small bits of consumption. This eliminates the need for pre-paid, one-size-fits-all subscription models and lets people pay for only what they use.
Q: Could you explain to us what the new integration is and the problem it’s trying to solve?
A: The goal of the new Plasma Guard App is to be able to use plasma in a way that’s secure without needing to trust other users, or even the plasma operator itself.
Plasma is known for its security: it features a challenging period to dispute invalid exits to the root chain. But this only works if someone is “watching” transactions, ensuring that exits are valid and that no one is trying to exit an already-spent UTXO.
Still, errors can happen and servers can go down. And it’s important that the plasma chain is watched at all times so users can automatically exit with their funds at the right time, without any risk of loss.
The solution we’ve created listens to every byzantine event (‘faulty actions’ that make the blockchain unsafe to use) on the OMG Network, hunting for invalid exits or faulty operators.
Then, on behalf of the user, the app automatically triggers the appropriate action. Whether it’s to ensure the security of the chain or to exit it when nothing can be done.
Q: What does this integration mean for developers and what could it mean for potential end-users of the OmiseGO Network?
A: The integration secures plasma chains, making sure users’ funds remain safe and are automatically withdrawn if anything unexpected happens.
Developers can use the app to ensure full security and trustlessness while using plasma. They could also provide a service to ensure plasma security and timely exits for others.
Over time, this solution could potentially reduce plasma’s exit period. Since the network can be validated in real-time, the 7-day waiting period could be reduced to just a few hours.
Additionally, Plasma Guard can be used to lessen user friction and improve horizontal scaling. It does this by reducing plasma Lock, where tokens are locked on the mainchain while they are in use on the plasma chain.
This locked period could potentially be reduced to the point where ephemeral plasma chains could be made for specific purposes and later discarded. For example, a user can create a server/plasma chain to host a game, and when the game ends, the chain is discarded.
Q: How easy is it for developers to use your integration?
A: It’s a super simple four-step process:
- Install MESG-cli
- Run service watcher
- Run service root chain contract
- Start the app
Here's a readme doc for those interested in more details.
Very soon, it will be reduced to just two steps with the introduction of workflows (currently in test phase). At that time, it will be:
- Install MSEG-cli
- Start the app
Q: How has your experience working with OmiseGO been? What excites you most about the OmiseGO Network?
A: Our experience working with OmiseGO has been excellent!
It has been a pleasure to coordinate with Pong on building this Plasma Guard app.
The basic use of OmiseGO, including transactions and deposits, was easy to learn, thanks to the great documentation and JS library.
The more advanced use, such as working with plasma exits, byzantine events, and exit workflows, was a challenge to figure out initially, but all the necessary information was there for us.
Then again, the goal of this project is to make security features more accessible, so the end-user and even developers won’t need to worry about that.
What excites me most about working with the OmiseGO Network is that it’s a brilliant way to integrate a payment gateway that has all the security of the blockchain, without all of its complexity.
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MESG’s projects directly contribute to our vision of enabling wider access to financial services. We look forward to continue working with them as they integrate Plasma Guard with the OmiseGO network, increasing security and improving overall user experience.
For more information on the ODP and on how to become a part of it, click HERE
For more information on this integration check out:
***Originally published on the OmiseGO July 2019 Newsletter