OMG Network’s Reddit Community Points Engine AMA

In Blog by Darpan Keswani

Last week we launched the Community Points Engine (CPE) in response to Reddit’s Scaling Bake-off challenge on our new subreddit, r/omgnetwork. Post-launch, we asked our community if they had questions regarding the extension in a live AMA. Here’s a compilation of all the questions and answers from that session.

Community Points Engine Live AMA

Q: Is there scope for Reddit, or any future implementers of the CPE, to be able to move away from the web3 side of things so that end-users, especially ones brand new to crypto, can download the CPE extension, have an ETH address assigned to them, and be good to go with no need for metamask or extra extensions?

A: Yes, it is highly likely that a production implementation for end-users of the CPE will abstract away the complexity of web3 provider and account management. We made a decision earlier on to utilize an injected web3 provided by MetaMask for this PoC for the following reasons:

  1. Ability to implement the extension client without having to worry about private key management
  2. Showcase a 3rd party wallet integration as listed in the bake-off requirements
  3. Despite the steep barrier of entry for our end-users to install 2 browser plugins, the majority of the target users inside of our Reddit community already have MetaMask installed.

We do acknowledge that developing a client-side key management in a way that is secure and usable is an extremely difficult task in itself. As we continue to develop our technology stack to better service the novice end-user, we hope to see the rest of the Crypto wallet ecosystem develop best practices and tools that make friction-less crypto onboarding a reality.

Q: With the CPE and chrome extension built, is there a plan to actively seek other community-based websites with this product (eg. Twitch), or will this remain solely here for the Reddit bake off?

The goal of Community Points Engine is to allow any platform or community to mint, transfer, and burn tokenized points, so there’s no limited number of ways this extension can be used. While originally designed to fulfill Reddit requirements, it’s possible to alter the extension so we can integrate it with other platforms if needed.

However, building a generalized product is a difficult task, so for now, Reddit is the main focus. We will gather feedback from our OMG Network community and the Reddit team before re-evaluating if this project is valuable enough to be molded to fit other use-cases.

Q: What is the potential for interoperability between Layer-2 scaling solutions? For example, DeversiFi is implementing Starkware’s Technology for a DEX. Is there potential for the OMG Network to interoperate with a Starkware-based DEX in order to have a highly scalable DEX that is interoperable with a plasma-based value transfer layer like OMG Network? Is this really even needed or an intelligent solution?

Combining multiple Layer-2 solutions can increase the complexity of the implementation of the final product. However, we believe each Layer-2 has its own advantages and tradeoffs, best-fit for their own use-cases. Due to Ethereum’s limitations and the way the Childchain proofs are stored on the rootchain, it’s hard to evaluate if any of the projects will deliver the expected UI, load, and finalization time that can be efficient enough to deliver a similar experience to centralized exchanges.

Scaling is not the biggest problem when building a DEX. It also involves regulatory and liquidity challenges that consume a lot of resources from both of the teams. So, it is theoretically possible but might not be feasible in the long-term.

Q: From my understanding, this is one of the first real-life implementations using the OMG Network SDK. As a user of your own product, could you give us a reflection of the process of setting this up for Reddit? Did this challenge give you new ideas for the development of the OMG Network?

A: The Community Points Engine didn’t really use our SDK because it’s targeted for mobile development. But, we did use our main Javascript library (omg-js) and developed a new architecture pattern that we believe can be used for other purposes. It’s called a fee relayer, a service that allows a provider to absorb transaction fees so that end-users are able to make transactions free of charge.

In the demo, the fee relayer represents a server that signs and submits relayer transactions based on user’s and fee relayer’s UTXO. The best part is that the fee relayer server can run any other client as a part of their infrastructure.

This product gives us a chance to test real-life patterns in our application so we can understand its true potential and limitations.

Q: Since the Community Points Engine is connected to Metamask and my address is tied to my Chrome browser which uses my Google authentication, the element of anonymity is missing. I also have different profiles for different communities I’m in. After Reddit integrates the CPE, I’m guessing the element of anonymity will be retained since each user has their own address. Is my assumption true?

A: The Community Points client doesn’t collect any information that your Chrome browser stores. So you can rest assured that your other accounts connected to the wallet address are not publically visible. It’s also technically impossible to access the user’s credentials by browser extensions and the passwords are cryptographically hashed within your browser.

The Community Points client doesn’t store any cryptocurrency-related data too, it just populates the addresses from a defined subreddit thread and links them to your Reddit username. This ensures you don’t post the address where most of your funds are stored if you don’t want to reveal such information.

Q: Why didn’t we see any blocks with a full 65,000 transactions during the bakeoff testnet transaction testing?

A: It wasn’t a requirement by the Reddit team.

Q: Would it be possible to turn the flairs into NFTs in the future so they could be traded too?

A: I think our team will consider this option if there’s enough interest for it.

Q: Is it possible for other subreddits to use the Community Points Engine without Reddit’s permission?

A: The current design supports multiple subreddits. You can download our client application and customize the Community Points for your own subreddit permissionlessly — it’s one of the things we’re most proud of. With the current design, the moderator will need to create a subreddit thread so that users can post their addresses. You can follow our development section and try for yourself.

Q: What’s happens if the vault of the fee-relayer is out of OMG coins?

A: The user will receive a corresponding message on their UI. The fee relayer will receive a notification to top up the address that covers users’ fees. The latter part can be automated for simplicity purposes.

Q: In the unlikely event that OMG does not win the Reddit Scaling Bake-Off, what do you plan on doing with all the hard work that went into this submission? Will you continue anyways with the Chrome extension and use this subreddit as a proving ground in an attempt to gain adoption and brand awareness for OMG across other subreddits?

A: We plan to maintain the extension regardless of the bake-off’s result. We might switch the Community Points Engine over to testnet if it becomes more expensive to maintain the fee relayer server.

Want to try out the extension, transfer ROCKS, participate in AMAs, and community events? Visit r/omgnetwork and join the Salamander Army!