First of all, this post is about my personal thoughts only and does not represent position of Ergo Foundation.
I think this is a very good moment to discuss long-term vision and development plans. Black swans appear frequently these days, fear of financial markets turmoil is in the air, a lot of uncertainty around cryptocurrency-related regulations, biggest ever hacks in the DeFi space, loss of first principles by critical part of the broad cryptocurrency-related community, ATH Ergo price - the background can be used for paving a way for long-term success of Ergo.
In the first place, we want to make Ergo ecosystem what it should be, namely:
- digital-gold native token - thus Proof-of-Work and limited total emission must be preserved
- community-oriented - selloffs to Big Tech and governments should be avoided, decision-making should be more transparent and open with time
- avoiding breaking changes and hard-forks
- prioritizing decentralization and uncensorability over fancy TPS numbers and other metrics
- intended for powering regular people with new economic tools
For that, as a core developer I see several aspects to take care off:
protocol development - hard-forks and breaking changes should be avoided. 5.0 soft-fork is on the way and will be proposed to miners in coming months. Main change there is about just-in-time (JIT) costing for contracts instead of ahead-of-time(AOT) costing which is used now. Then next soft-fork will be about adding new operations to contracts.
cryptoeconomic security of the protocol - as emission is limited to just 8 years, it is good time now to estimate how stable will be miners incentivization after. We can soften effects of no-emission by standardizing a new emission contract paying after 8th year of mainnet existence according to some schedule (flat 1-3 ERG payment in a simplest case), and the contract will be funded from transaction fees (thus a part of transaction fee is going to miner immediately, another part is going into the re-emission contract), or storage rent (with a similar split), or even current emission (via a soft-fork limiting miner withdraw).
reference protocol client (node) development - most important developments needed already started, such as new sync protocol (will be landed in 4.0.15), bootstrapping with UTXO set snapshot and bootstrapping with NiPoPoW proofs. After that a lot of incremental improvements in regards with efficiency, stability and security will be needed, that is normal endless process though
crosschain, sidechain and offchain solutions - complete Ergo.meta, find most efficient offchain solutions for most popular applications, translate lightning network implementation made for Bitcoin (when lightning network will be more popular). Partner on atomic and private swaps with other UTXO cryptocurrencies. Make first experimental sidechains in 2022.
light clients developments - building blocks are in place, we need to describe workflows in EIPs and support implementations, also, test them for real in places with limited or filtered internet
improve documentation for existing libraries, make more tutorials on contracts development
make Ergo Foundation activities and spendings more transparent
do research around community-empowering tools, work more with communities, especially in need, and charities
make hackathons and summits regular