My TL;DR: A scalable blockchain based on OmniLedger (scalable DLT) and zero-knowledge proofs, with smart contracts that can be deployed in natural language, aka plain English, via a proprietary Ring programming language.
“Fast”, “scalable”, “easy adoption”, “privacy” are some of the buzzwords dominating the ICO space right now. They are trendy because even after 9 years of Bitcoin and 4 years of Ethereum, things don’t happen significantly faster. EOS was supposed to bring us more than 10k TPS at launch, but they only debuted with 76 (I know, it’s still early). So the race is still on.
The Emotiq team enters it with a blockchain based on the OmniLedger distributed ledger, which uses sharding in order to scale. It has a strong privacy focus, featuring non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs. Zero-knowledge proof is like proving to someone you’re old enough to drink, without actually sharing your birthdate or age. Non-interactive means you can just start drinking. This is a terrible explanation for an exceptional cryptography concept which led to zk-SNARKS (Zcash et all) and later on to Bulletproofs (yet to see it). All these should make for a 5k TPS privacy oriented blockchain.
Emotiq really stands out, however, via Ring – a natural language that enables anyone to write smart contracts, by converting plain English into Lisp code. This should enable virtually anyone to write smart contracts by simply typing in what it is that they want, without knowing how to code. To keep the ledger lean, the team also wants to implement MimbleWimble, which helps keep track of the total amount of tokens while pruning transaction data. Oracles will also be a part of Emotiq, with the team aiming to have them easily integratable into smart contracts.
What I like:
- 5.000 transactions per second
- Good tech concepts, code was positively reviewed by Andre Cronje
- Reduced cap to $39mn but only selling 51% of tokens (previous $60mn for 65%)
- Testnet around the corner (early July),
What I dislike:
- No advisors or partners listed yet
- “plain English” smart contracts is unlikely to work as advertised
- Rumors that seed had 8-10x vs presale
- Exchange listing can only happen after main-net goes live (no temp token)
The Emotiq list of technical concepts it wants to implement is intriguing, and the test net in two weeks should start showing some of it off. Until then, however, I remain skeptical. That’s mainly because there are a lot of buzzwords crammed in a few pages, with GitHub only showing some basic blockchain code, but not more. The “natural language” smart contracts idea is off putting for me, as I believe no company who is serious about their business will actually use non-programmers to pseudo-code smart contracts. With some notable advisors and partnerships, Emotiq would have made for a more interesting ICO. They however have only managed to get moderate exposure and not put forward anything tangible to substantiate their claims. Also, the ICO ‘fashion’ is moving towards scalability projects for established blockchains like Ethereum and Bitcoin, rather than yet another blockchain, with yet another combination of technologies, that maybe will eventually see some adoption. I will avoid the Emotiq ICO.