Re: FireFly and Smart Client - overlap and convergence


Angelo De Caro
 

Dear Jim,

Thanks for your technical points. I love this discussion.
Indeed, let me add to the conversation another point of view as a TSC member.

I want to start with this statement: Pluggability is as good as the abstraction behind it.
In other words, pluggability per se does not tell us anything. 
It is the abstraction that gives us confidence in the ability to support different implementations.
For example, in theory Fabric has also many pluggability points but in practice it is very hard.

The FireFly proposal does not tell us what's the abstraction used for the Blockchain, for example:
- Is the blockchain used just as time-stamping service?
- What about tokens? Does the abstraction cover both account-based and UTXO? What about privacy?
- The FireFly proposal mentions only Ethereum, Fabric (in design phase, if I understand correctly), and Corda (https://github.com/kaleido-io/firefly-cordaconnect is ~700 lines of Java code). What about Sawtooth and Iroha, for example? I ask cause the Firefly proposal says that it is an "umbrella project".

So, if I understand correctly, and I might be wrong, Firefly seems to be, at the current stage, mono blockchain (Ethereum).
The proposal does not give evidences that other blockchains can be plugged. Which means that given an application developed 
with Firefly, the blockchain can be swapped without changing the application itself (which is a great goal, by the way, if it were realizable).

The same considerations apply to all the pluggability points: Consensus, Zero Knowledge, MPC, all those named.
What's the abstraction that Firefly proposes? 

I think it is important to talk about the above technical points :)

Looking forward for additional discussions.

Thanks much, Jim.

Best,
Angelo De Caro
TSC Member

P.S.: A small comment on the Fabric Smart Client. The philosophy used there is the following: Let's use each blockchain at its maximal potential!
This is because the various DLT platforms are evolving very fast and they are also kind of becoming more specialised. It seems then reasonable to select them based on the functionality they deliver best and then use interoperability protocols to make the DLTs speak to each other. The most proximate gaol of the Fabric Smart Client is to deliver the best possible experience when using Hyperledger Fabric. 

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