It is time to bring the EVM home to Urbit. It’s time to augment it for the next hundred million users. It’s time to launch the Urbit Virtual Machine.
Put simply, the Urbit Virtual Machine is an L1 EVM network running natively on Urbit.
The Urbit Virtual Machine (UVM) is a superset of the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), running natively on Urbit instances. It maintains EVM equivalence with the option to add Urbit native opcodes.
Why an Urbit EVM?
A self sovereign, Urbit native blockchain, without external dependencies
Use of the Urbit ID as an ideal seed for the network. Every. Urbit. ship. is pre-funded with $U, and pre-configured to interact with the UVM. Sending value to someone is as easy as typing in their ship name
A shared value layer for high value state, to enhance the Urbit developer canvas
A token supply owned by the Urbit community, with validators acting in defense of Urbit principles
Interoperability with defi primitives and liquidity
The opportunity to eclipse Ethereum in validator count, due to Urbit’s ease of use
Ability to merge novel future primitives, such as zkEVM or sharding
A native client to interact with Azimuth
Unifying the fragmented L1 & L2 PKI
A native client for Ethereum, EVM compatible L1s, & Rollups
A colonial Martian spaceport, attracting Terran frontiersmen to settle the red planet
$U is a universal constant. You can feel it in your essence.
$U is the unit of account for the UVM blockchain. There will only ever be 24 single character ticker symbols. UVM merits ownership of this extremely scarce real estate.
$U is Urbit’s value layer, the fungible sinew between Urbit applications
If one encounters tooling that requires a multi-character ticker symbol, the colloquial ticker given shall be $URBT.
500mm **$U** have been created. With 80% of the $U supply granted to the Urbit community.
Every address that appeared in the PKI received 283 $U That includes transfer proxies, spawn proxies, voting proxies, and management proxies.
Every L2 ship owner address received 921 $U
Every L1 ship owner address received 12,017 $U
Every active running ship received 145,195 $U
(Active ship snapshot was performed July 20th, 2022)
Additionally, 4,509,613 Ethereum addresses received 0.1 $U:
408,823 addresses that own a .eth domain,
500,103 addresses that interacted with a bridge contract
3,600,687 addresses holding > 1.005 ETH
An additional, illiquid, 500mm $U (out of 1 billion total) have been locked as a war-chest for protocol development, incentive programs, future airdrops, or to be burned in it’s entirety.
Your airdrop can be seed funding for contribution to the UVM, or something else in Urbit. $U is is seed funding for the entire ecosystem.
Holding your airdrop for lucrative validator opportunities is recommended.
As Urbit displaces all of computing, people will come home to Urbit’s own blockchain
Ethereum is presently a $200 Billion dollar protocol. UVM will surpass it through superior decentralization, and superior UX.
Today’s “Ethereum killers” compromise on decentralization to lower gas fees. But one look at their respective market caps shows that the capital allocators value secure, decentralized blockchains above all else.
Urbit’s breakthrough ability to allow users to easily run server side software will drastically increase node count which will allow increased state capacity through sharding. Developers and investors will assign blue chip status to the UVM.
“A lie is sweet in the beginning and bitter in the end, and truth is bitter in the beginning, and sweet in the end.”
The most decentralized major smart contract protocol: Ethereum, has active censorship on a substantial, if not a majority, of it’s infrastructure: Ethermine, USDC, Infura, & Alchemy, are presently censoring transactions from specific contracts and addresses.
60% of staked PoS Ethereum is currently sitting with four vulnerable entities: Lido (30%), Coinbase (15%), Kraken (8%), and Binance (7%). These entities are vulnerable to censorship pressures, if greater than 50% of staked eth refuses censored transactions, they cannot be included in the chain.
Any protocol that is technically able to discriminate against transactions, inevitably will do so. Said protocol will descend into a virtue spiral, where every transaction is subject to filtration or worse.
Urbit’s UX enables every user to easily run their own validator. This fixes the user’s incentive to delegate tokens to centralized validation pools, as validation is simple and baked in to the Urbit OS.
Urbit is disrupting the command line.
Additionally, the ability to quickly merge new zkEVM research, will prevent validators from seeing transaction content, thus preventing transaction descrimination. An L1 who’s transactions are not visible to validators and infrastructure providers will attract the most capital.
UVM ownership has been seeded to the most forward looking, technically gifted community members in the crypto ecosystem. Throughout history technical early adopters have been leading indicators of wealth, a trend that will benefit UVM.
With the PKI (Urbit IDs), every user is automatically able to receive tokens and other UVM state. There is no onboarding friction.
Private keys used for ship administration on L2 and L1 are both equally valid on the UVM. This saves the PKI from a deeply hindering fragmentation.
Four click validator install increases the validator count, which increases decentralization & security, which increases state capacity in a sharding scenario. Node count is the hidden factor in solving the blockchain trilemma.
U Will attract EVM users, which will increase the demand for ship ownership, which will in turn, increase the interest in $U, and so on, and so forth. Users will come for the yields, and stay for the beauty of the Urbit application ecosystem.
The dream stack: most blockchains can only dream of having a clean slate OS to pair with their state chain.
Urbit application development will increase transaction volume and demand for $U.
EVM equivalence allows the use of familiar, audited, lindy contracts on the UVM.
Urbit native DEX, Money market, Stablecoins, NFT Marketplaces will increase demand for $U. Native Urbit integration will improve the UX, and reduce frontend UI censorship risk.
Only the Urbit community has the technical chops, and the culture of censorship resistance to incubate the people’s EVM.
With 80% of the liquid supply of $U allocated to the Urbit community, and the remaining allocated for development and services, the $U validator citadel will be composed of the most forward thinking, technically literate, and pro civil liberty community members in crypto. Such a citadel is essential during the technical transition from a censorship resistant, to a censorship proof protocol.
Ease of validation creates demand for $U and reduces selling pressure, as stakers need to buy $U to access APR yield.
As Urbit disrupts all of computing, the ability to add Urbit specific opcodes will increase the UVM’s moat against other blockchains. Protocols will come home to $U to do things other blockchains just can’t do.
Ethereum maintaining a reasonable amount of state for decentralization is understandable. However, this necessitates a cap on the amount of activity the network can support.
As Ethereum core developers discuss state rent/pruning, it is a certainty that the global demand for shared state will exceed the single hard drive’s worth of storage on the EVM. Thus a multi chain future is ensured.
Winner takes most dynamics don’t apply when growth is intentionally constrained, a dynamic that will benefit the UVM.
Your tokens are already deposited to the Urbit PKI, no “claim” is required. You can access and use your $U using the same keys that control your Urbit ship. UVM is compatible with all Ethereum infrastructure and can be used with your favorite wallet/tooling.
Your ship “ownership address” received a large amount of $U.
Management, spawn, voting, and transfer addresses also received $U.
On Ethereum, if you own a .eth name, used a bridge contract, or hold > 1 Eth, you received 0.1 $U
If your Urbit ships are on L1, and are owned by addresses listed in Metamask, (hot or hardware wallet) accessing $U is quite simple.
Click “Add to Metamask”
If your ship is on L2, the mnemonic key that controls your address was given to you in your master ticket. Open your Master Ticket (A “ship-name-Master Ticket.png” file from the ship-name-passport.zip file you received when you first booted your ship), and use the “Ownership Seed” mnemonic (highlighted in red) in your favorite Ethereum wallet to access your $U. The first address generated (highlighted in blue) will be the ownership address holding your $U.
Use the seed to activate your address in
Any Ethereum compatible wallet
All L2 ships received a management addresses which was funded with $U, and can be a useful unattached secondary address. You received your management key in your passport.zip alongside your master ticket. You can view your management key in bridge, see below.
You can view your master ticket, management, and other $U funded proxy addresses through Bridge
Click ID to view your ownership and management addresses.
If L2, click OS to download your passport with your ownership and management keys.
The UVM has been seeded, it now belongs to the Urbit ecosystem
Examples: Send tips to poasters on
%channel, make an ad-hoc DAO with a multisig, or place a wager in
Send tokens to any ship. $U is the perfect complement to the Urbit identity. Every user is pre equipped to interact with $U through the PKI, and through the airdrop, every owner and peripheral PKI address is pre funded with $U.
Imagine an Urbit community owned DEX, an Urbit owned money market, an Urbit owned yield aggregator, and an Urbit owned NFT marketplace. Additional innovations over incumbent protocols can be achieved by incorporating the native Urbit stack.
The UVM has a roadmap, and we need you to contribute.
Head over to Roadmap & Bounties to see the roadmap, or build your own feature/library.
A community owned protocol is run by it’s community. Click through to the developer section for documentation on running your own node.
In the near future we will migrate to PoS and thousands of validators will be needed.
Share the text and ideas with other Urbit community members.
UVM is selecting a CTO and additional developers from the community, and has an allocation to compensate full time contributors. Hop in the development group, or message ~doplur, ~bindel-batdul, or ~mipput-bosted if you are interested in helping bring all of crypto home to Urbit. web+urbitgraph://group/~bindel-batdul/urbit-virtual-machine
UVM is an EVM superset protocol. It provides all EVM endpoints, with the option to add powerful Urbit specific APIs.
UVM/EVM Client functionality 1a - Read blockchain state, render locally 1b - Maintain wallet keys/hardware wallet integration 1c - Write to EVM compatible blockchains 1d - Provide documented Hoon SDK for app developers
Hoon Consensus Layer
Hoon Execution Layer
Privacy & Scale
L1 transaction obfuscation
2-4 Will be developed concurrently
UVM began life with Clique consensus. In the near future the network will migrate to proof of stake. As consensus development proceeds, a minority Hoon client will begin operating and begin to establish lindyness. The targeted validation share of the network will increase as the primary Hoon validation client matures. Development of a second and third client will further diversify the validation network and allow Urbit native validator nodes to take the majority of the network.
The execution layer will follow a similar path.
As the benefits of the Urbit stack become more well known, we expect a material percentage of Ethereum mainnet validation to be performed by Urbit native nodes.
$U is the decentralization maximalist EVM network. Whenever centralization risks are identified: funded, concerted, and preemptive architectures will be developed & implemented. $U will not be decentralized by crises, $U will be decentralized by design.
UVM has allocated a percentage of the genesis supply of $U to the UVM Roadmap.
There will be a general second airdrop in the future, for general participants, contributors, and efforts that don’t fall into these categories.
|Hoon UVM SDK||Hoon native UVM/EVM bindings & documentation for app developers||0.5%|
|EVM Read\Write Client||A native client to interact with UVM and EVM blockchains||1%|
|UVM Wallet||A native wallet to manage balances and send transactions||0.5%|
|Azimuth App||A native app to interact with Urbit address space||0.5%|
|EVM Validation Client||A native UVM and EVM PoS validation client||1%|
|EVM Execution Client||Geth EVM Emulator in Arvo||1%|
|Second EVM Validator||A second UVM validator with a separate codebase||0.5%|
|First five apps||Grant for the first five apps to integrate $U||0.05%|
|UVM CTO||UVM Technical Leadership Role||2.5%|
|Hoon -> EVM Compiler||A compiler and tooling to produce EVM binary using Hoon||TBD|
|Transaction obfuscation||Obfuscating transaction contents to validator nodes by default||TBD|
|Rollups||Persistence of UVM state rollups to other L1s, and UVM L2 functionality||TBD|
|RPC Endpoint: Get owner address||An RPC endpoint to lookup a ship’s owner/manager EVM address||TBD|
|$U Faucet||Bot resistant developer faucet||0.1%|
|WUBT Wrapped Planet Token||A wrapped planet token native to the UVM||0.5%|
If you are interested in working full time on any of these efforts, check in to the UVM development channel
An Urbit sovereign network is the only way to eliminate external censorship risks.
If UVM validators detect censorship, they have a moral responsibility to slash the offending nodes immediately, or fork the network if slashing is insufficient.
The network should prepare against centralization vectors preemptively
As Urbit approaches it’s J curve of growth and it’s eternal September, now is the time to take a cultural snapshot and leverage the Urbit ethos to create an EVM that safeguards user sovereignty.