Today in a Zoom Q&A (very explicitly not an AMA) the Chia Network team, but really Bram Cohen, gave us a detailed overview of the Chia Asset Token, or CAT, standard. The call involved six members of the Chia team (mostly engineers) and the explanation was both technical and detailed. There was a LOT of Chia news announced here, and I expect to have many follow ups. They are also having an AMA tomorrow to cover the Dust Storm. Very busy week for the Chia Network team.
The first thing they announced was the CAT standard, along with the TAIL mechanism that is the chialisp code responsible for creating the token. Clever. They also did a live demonstration of the minting process, and I will have a separate article on that. It seems very simple. The CATs are very similar to ERC20 tokens, but apparently more secure. There will be a verification process but they aren’t detailing what that is. They did say that it is merely a mechanism to get them in the wallet natively, but I think that if something goes awry with a verified token and people get robbed Chia Network may end up in court.
Next is the light wallet. This will also be getting its own post, but it syncs up very quickly and supports CATs right now. You can download it now, and I have. It looks pretty good. A lot like the existing client but just a wallet. You can add two separate tokens right now, MarmotCoin and SpaceBucks. This is pretty cool, and SpaceBucks even has a faucet! Apparently to get a MarmotCoin you need a marmot, so I probably won’t be using that. Its important to note that the beta of the light wallet will break farming if you install it on a machine with a normal Chia client farming, so don’t.
The wallet protocol is “electrum-like” but not based on electrum. It will talk to any Chia node using the same process as another node except it doesn’t need to download the whole blockchain. This thing is a game changer, and paired with Nucle on mobile makes Chia an actual viable cryptocurrency for anyone to use. This is fantastic and I will have a detailed overview later today.
They have built a CAT issuance web tool, which is open source and available here. I cannot wait to use this for all sorts of shenanigans. I also expect scammers to take full advantage of easy to mint tokens, so be careful of the “custom token” ecosystem that is sure to spring up on Reddit and Discord. The verification process might have some serious questions around it, but I think it is important for anyone who doesn’t know exactly what they are doing.
They also announced AMM support and partial offer files, which are way over my head but I will try to a bit here and I will follow up on this as well. This Q&A is another one of those things that I am going to have to watch 4 times and write 3 more articles on in order to get everything down. AMMs are Automated Market Makers, and they will be chialisp programs that allow for automated liquidity and trades. I don’t know, here’s a link explaining it. This is probably huge news for crypto traders but I am not one of those, so I will have to some research on that.
There were a lot of swipes at Ethereum during this announcement. It fits with the feedback I hear from the wider cryptocurrency community about the arrogance of Chia. I tend to agree with the criticism about Ethereum from a technical reason, but they are the power player in smart contracts and DeFi right now and everyone experienced in the industry they are trying to break in here works with Ethereum right now.
To me the real interesting thing is the light wallet and tokens. This is a huge update to Chia, and allows the ecosystem to rapidly expand on Chia itself and not through forks. I am hoping to be able to create a The Chia Plot token for some reason, seeing as they are planning to make it so easy. $TCP incoming.