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Project Roadmap

posted Mar 14, 2016, 6:27 AM by Ohad Asor   [ updated Apr 17, 2016, 2:20 AM ]
Beginning with some recap:

Tau is a language. It is a programming language, but not only such. It may express virtually any arbitrary knowledge, rules, and processes. Examples are contracts, mathematical proofs, scientific facts and arguments, and legal documents. Its power comes from being unambiguous and consistent while still maintaining maximum (finite) expressibility. A more detailed explanation of what consistently decidable means and why it is the strongest Tau's property has a dedicated explanation on the following short talk:


This isn't new: this type of language (specifically, Martin-Lof Type Theory [MLTT]) has known implementations. Tau's innovation is by adding DHT and Blockchain primitives to the language, and by that make the language aware of other peers and be able to coordinate with them securely and meaningfully. Another innovation is adapting the RDF language family to MLTT: taking the subject-verb-object format of the famous RDF languages family (e.g. Notation3) and giving it MLTT logic, makes Tau a more accessible, readable, and portable language than other MLTT implementations.

What we develop now is a compiler to this language, means, something that takes a document written in Tau language together with a query about that document, and resolves the query. But there's another important building block which is shared knowledge and rules.

The languages incorporate a shared level expressed by the built-in blockchain. Tau-Chain is designed to have a single root chain. This chain contains code, written in Tau language, and this code is being executed. As a metaphor, imagine a piece of code that all it is doing is to download itself from github and execute it, again and again, while the code might be changed and do additional operations in the meanwhile. A Tau client downloads its own code from the root chain: it downloads a block, executes the code in it, and this code instructs how to download and run the next block. By that, the client understands the blockchain according to the network rules that were relevant at that point of time when the block was created. This gives rise to the network being self-defining. Tau begins its genesis block clean of rules, and the rules of the network will then be determined collaboratively over the network by the first users (for more information see this blogpost).

To get a glimpse of what uses such a network gives rise to, see this blogpost. For an description of Tau as a generalized blockchain, see here.  Tau also incorporates the lambda-auth design for verifiable computing, as described here.
A more detailed use case appears here and is summarized on the following short video:

Many of those use cases are to be built on Agoras. Specifically, we plan to implement over Agoras the code-for-money market, computational resources market (as on Zennet's vision), and a decentralized smart search engine (aiming to obsolete Google), among some other plans. Those require a currency, and Agoras will be a currency implemented using Tau's architecture, inheriting the self-definition and democracy abilities, protocol elasticity, and smart yet comprehensible contracts.

Tau as for itself comes with no coin and begins completely and inherently equal. It is merely a language with a blockchain, but with far reaching consequences. It is meant to be a platform for decentralized (and offline) applications. Agoras will be only one of them. Tau is designed to leave no incentive to others not to develop over it, e.g. due to its code reuse abilities and the incentive to combine hashes to one root chain, to mention only two aspects.

The selected mentioned markets that Agoras is planned to implement need abilities that are unique to Tau, and, they give unrefusable answers to some of the most disturbing bottlenecks in the world economy: software development, computational resources, and data together with processing it. An example to additional idea to be implemented on Agoras but not fully developed yet: derivatives market that also implements risk-free interest (without printing new money!).

Explaining Tau, Agoras, and their implications is not an easy task. We have been working on explanatory materials and had a significant success in spreading the word and the vision, yet this success in explaining the ideas is still very partial. The current materials still doesn't show the whole detailed picture, and are not clear enough. A new website and additional videos are currently under construction. More people are getting involved and trying to explain the ideas in their own words. This process takes time and work, but it is important that enough people will figure out what this is all about, as it is really about something big that has a fundamental impact on all aspects of life (and I understand if I didn't manage to convince you about this point yet). Its success strongly depends on how people understand it, because the users themselves are going to set the rules of the network. The larger the consensus and the more arguments are raised, the more chance to converge towards better rules. We don't have to worry about too much or too complicated information: that's why we have Tau.

Having more people understanding the project is also important from the pre-sale point of view. We need to distribute the Agoras coins somehow, so we pre-sale them and by that we also hope to receive long-term funding to the projects. Agoras project will require much more effort and human resources than the Tau client if we wish to fulfill our vision in the optimal way. The coin distribution has to be fair at the sense that people were given a reasonable opportunity to understand what this project is really about. The above has to do with the sale going on longer time than usual in the cryptocurrency world, nevertheless the project is quite different than others, and has to be managed as a serious software startup and not according to common practices in the cryptocurrency world that might suite other types of projects.

Still, early buyers have to be incentivized. We had a weekly 2% raise in price and recently suspended it. But from May 1 the price per token we sell at will be 20 cents, going up 5% monthly (recall it has nothing to do with prices people sell at on the exchange). Beginning from today we offer the following wholesale discount: every additional 10K tokens will give additional 5% discount. So if one purchases 30K tokens, the price for the first 10K is the regular price, then a 5% discount on the next 10K tokens, then 10% discount on the subsequent 10K tokens. All purchasers via email receive a tax invoice with their desired recipient name. A buyer that agrees not to receive the intermediate tokens but only the final coins gets additional 15% discount. The total marginal discount will never go below 50% (as to be fair with earlier buyers).

This current stage is extremely preliminary, as the implications of the technology aren't even fully explained yet, and even the language itself isn't ready yet. When things will look like they really are, namely, that if it all works as planned then we offer unrefusable replacement to markets of literally dozens of trillions as for today, this will be well reflected in the market cap. Far to mention, when the final coins will take action together with the already implemented futuristic markets.

For final words, your participation in thinking of the rules of changing the rules is very important. Please give some thoughts, ask questions and have discussions about how you'd like Tau to be like. If we do it right, it'll meaningfully master all mankind's knowledge and way beyond.
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