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Introducing: Silvermint

9 March 2022

Some of you may be familiar with Pyrofex or with me from projects we’ve worked on in the past. If you are, you might have noticed that we were awfully quiet for the last few years. The pandemic affected everyone differently, but Mike and I used it as an opportunity to quietly get to work on a project that means a lot to us. We’re ready to start talking about that project and in the coming weeks and months, we’re going to start releasing code.

But, for now, I wanted to introduce you to: Silvermint.

What is Silvermint?

Silvermint is a leaderless, scalable, and secure proof-of-stake blockchain with smart contracts and censorship resistance. Silvermint is projected to handle more than 140,000 transactions per second on our primary shard where finalization takes about two seconds. Silvermint also features “true” finalization, after which transactions cannot be rolled back or reordered in any way.

Silvermint is exceptionally reliable against attack with an eye-popping Nakamoto Coefficient of over 680 nodes when fully deployed. And while attackers with that kind of scale may be able to temporarily deny or slow service, they cannot reliably prevent finalization from eventually occurring.

Silvermint’s smart contracting language, Symmetry, is being designed from the ground up to be highly secure, extremely fast, and easy to use. Symmetry’s syntax is based on the Go language and should be easy for developers to learn. The type system is first-rate and provides the syntax and semantics needed to permit formal verification of complex type constraints at compile-time.

Because of all this, we believe that Silvermint represents a groundbreaking new platform in the blockchain space.

Why Silvermint?

We began working on Silvermint in 2018 because we believed it was possible to design a consensus protocol that achieved significant improvements in speed, security, and decentralization.

Speed and scalability remain key concerns for cryptocurrency adoption. There’s no way that Bitcoin or Ethereum can service the load associated with global retail payments. Each year, we discover more interactive online applications that could use a technology like Ethereum. From DeFi to gaming to NFTs, the use cases for smart contracts keep expanding. But, we keep running into scaling problems.

So, we developed a consensus protocol that worked differently. The Casanova Protocol that sits at the heart of Silvermint uses a fundamentally new approach and so it’s insanely scalable. We knew our protocol would be faster than Ethereum, but we weren’t sure how much faster. It currently looks like Silvermint is going to be about 10,000 times faster than Ethereum on just our primary shard.

Beyond the consensus protocol, we also believed that a new approach to smart contracts was needed. Smart contracts would always be slow and dangerous to use, so long as they are programmed in languages like Solidity, JavaScript, C++, or even Rust. These languages were not designed to be formally verified and lack the sophisticated type systems needed to prevent many critical flaws. We needed a new approach to writing smart contracts that would be familiar and easy to learn, while adding powerful new features to improve security, reliability, and performance. So, we designed a programming language called Symmetry to resolve these issues.

Finally, we felt that when smart contracts could be trusted to be both secure and to perform, then developers would begin writing real-world, global scale applications. When that happens, they are going to need the flexibility to build, deploy, scale, fix bugs, migrate, and so forth. All the normal tasks for software engineers are just a bit more complex in the blockchain world. And so, we’ve designed a sharding architecture and tool chain that pushes the state of the art in this regard, too.

The Human Element

Blockchain is already changing the way the world works, the way humans interact with finance, and the way we think about software. But, we need a blockchain that fits our lives, transcends the normal boundaries, and empowers us to create the world we want to live in.

It should be so easy to use that everyone tries it. It should be so fast that everyone can use it. It should be so cheap that users don’t notice it. It should be so reliable that there’s no noticeable downtime.

We are making that blockchain for you and Silvermint is the result.

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