What is Axie Infinity’s Ronin and Why Should You Care About?

If you read the most recent Axie Infinity development update , you would have read that very last section on Ronin, which had some intriguing updates that I want to get into! Before we get into it, let’s dive into what Ronin is, why we need it, and what benefits we can expect from it.

What is Ronin?

From the team, Ronin is “…an Ethereum-linked sidechain made specifically for Axie Infinity.” The sidechain is being developed by the team to solve many of the issues that we face, as players, with the current Ethereum blockchain. The sidechain will allow for all the smart contracts that are currently deployed on ETH to be deployed and run on Ronin. This means that all interactions/transactions that we currently have on the ETH blockchain will be executable on Ronin, but much faster and cheaper.

In the white paper, the team has a clear diagram showing the difference between the current dev stack and the future dev stack.

From Axie Infinity White Paper

As you can see, the current dev stack has Axies and SLP on the ethereum blockchain with land and items on the Loom network sidechain. Now that the Loom team has moved on from blockchain gaming support, the team has decided to make a sidechain solution of their own. We can see how this future stack looks with everything on the Ronin sidechain and a bridge built to the Ethereum blockchain. To many people, including myself, the bridge to the Ethereum blockchain is very important. Many are more comfortable leaving their high valued assets, that they are just holding, secured on this network. Being able to move them back and forth easily will be very convenient.

On a different note, I love this quote from the team, “A Ronin was a samurai without a master in feudal Japan and Ronin represents our desire to take the destiny of our product into our own hands.”

Why do we need Ronin?

Given that you are interested in Axie Infinity, I am assuming that you have some experience with the Ethereum blockchain. At the current time, there are many people working on scaling for ETH and I am sure this scaling issue will be solved in the future. However, with this being said, the network congestion can cause ebbs and flows in the Axie player experience. The more congested the Ethereum network is, the higher the price per transaction is. These high transaction costs deter players from completing on-chain transactions, such as breeding or buying/selling. As a result, the Axie economy is severely impacted as the Axie population growth rate is not somewhat predictable.

The team recognizes this as they have stated how the “one-size-fits-all” approach of scaling do not fit their needs as a blockchain game (see the Ronin introduction here). There are many specific requirements that Axie needs from a sidechain that the mainstream ones will not fit for them. The example the team gave was the marketplace. According to the team, 97% of the volume goes through their in-house marketplace, which means that the scaling of the marketplace transactions is of utmost importance to get right. They do not want to depend on someone else to get it right. They even said themselves, they “…believe that nobody is going to put as much care, thought, and intuition products serving our community…”. I have stated before, the attention to detail that this team puts into everything they do is evident. They don’t want to rush things just to get them done, and why would you, as a user and an investor, want that as well? We, as a community, have been patient because we know that things will be done the right way. Which is why taking the time to build an in-house solution is essential.

What benefits can we expect?

The main benefit that we can expect is that the Axie team will have full control over their own success. The team will be able to customize the sidechain to fit all of their needs instead of being forced to build their game under the restrictions of the Ethereum blockchain. While this may seem trivial, think of it similar to building a house while being limited to having a 5 foot ceiling. You can’t really do much under the confines of the restriction. Now imagine building a foundation where there is no the limit —  the opportunities are endless. This is the freedom that the team can now have.

For the tangible benefits, the team concluded:

From the team’s Intro To Ronin Article (linked above)

I am most excited about first 2 bullet points listed. The ability to have fast and seamless transactions almost instantly will make the game so much easier to play. You won’t have to worry about the cost of your transaction, having it get stuck, or trying to estimate the best gas price possible. This, plus the customized wallet solution, opens up the game to players that are not as educated on blockchain technology; allowing for mainstream adoption. Further, the fact that the gas fees could be retained by the community and used for things like tournaments and bounties makes me excited about funding new opportunities in the community.

I love this video

The new updates:

Now let’s get into the really exciting stuff, the most recent development update! 

The team is preparing for Ronin launch with an internal date set for launch. The wallet and block explorer are being tested and polished up. The validators that they selected to secure the network are being onboarded. This is so exciting. With the Ronin launch, the community will instantly benefit from the things I listed above. The team listed the current dev updates:

From https://axie.substack.com/p/december

The fact that there are currently 3 validators running on the testnet is incredible. Having the support of outside investors and companies is only going to strengthen the Axie community. Also, the fact that the team has built something where you can create an account, import private keys, sign messages, and connect with trezor in the time since they announced Ronin is a credit to the talent that the development team has. Plus, they created their own block explorer, similar to Etherscan, that can now track transactions, blocks, and account balances. Most everyone uses Etherscan to search transactions/accounts and they understand how important it is to be able to do this.

However, what I am most intrigued about in this new update is the idea that players can get a certain amount of free gas per day. This is awesome. Completing these transactions for free opens up Axie to a totally different audience. Typing ‘>a gas’ in the #botcommands channel is no longer required. You don’t have to time your breeds for when the Ethereum network is least congested. A burden is lifted off your shoulders, so to speak. 

The team ends the update with the notion that they are going to look into external audits and bug bounties. It is always good to get another look at your code. Being the ones that wrote the code, you inherently have some sort of bias. External auditors and community members offer fresh eyes which make sure that everything is secure.

To summarize, Ronin is close and it will create a whole new, and better, user experience for Axie players!

If you liked what you read, please follow me on Twitter! I am doing an $AXS giveaway on there, so make sure to check it out.

on Twitter: https://twitter.com/the_YCB

Or in Axie Infinity’s Discord as YCB: https://discord.gg/axie

Thank you!

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