Thank you to those who joined our general AMA and livestream session on July 2! We had a great time answering your questions and talking about VITA, Delegates Program, Mainnet, development, current goals and we would like to provide a brief summary for those of you who weren’t able to join, as well as, below you will find the questions that were chosen by the team and qualified for rewards.
This AMA was hosted by our co-founder Raullen, Head of Cryptography Xinxin, and Head of BD Larry.
- Updates from the team
- Launch of IoTeX Analytics
- Delegates reward tools
- Updates on VITA
Questions from the community:
Q1 : Looking back at your progress until now, what would you have done differently if anything?
Q2 : Given your respective backgrounds, what was the moment where you said we have to do this and we have to start IoTeX?
Q3 : Given the amount of IoT devices out there in the world and their lack of security and privacy how hard would it be to retrofit various devices to make use of IoTeX?
Q4 : There are a few coins out there right now that seem to be aiming towards the IOT so what sets IoTeX apart?
Q5 : With the launch of Mainnet, when do we expect to see the exchanges switch over?
Q6 : When can we expect the native wallet with ledger integration?
Q7 : Is it possible to introduce such an option as re-delegation of profits or reinvestment so that coins are not sent to delegates purses or wallets but are automatically delegated to implement the concept of compound interest?
Q8 : The price of the token is not looking great these days what factors do you think influence it and what’s your strategy to keep holding the community’s attention?
Q9 : What’s your roadmap after Q4 2019 and when will you share a new roadmap?
Q10 : Can you share more details about the marketplace?
Q11 : What progress do you have with your partnerships?
Q12 : Do you see IoTeX having a role in home surveillance and home automation and if so what kind of smart home and home automation?
Q13 : What’s the benefit of a three day withdrawal period after unstaking?
Q14 : How many nodes do you have and how many tokens need to run a node and what are the rewards?
Q15 : What killer features does IoTeX have that are ahead of the competition?
Q16 : How does VITA intend to open up the technology to the community and to the researchers so it can be continuously improved? Are there plans to fully open source VITA in the future?
Q17 : What do you think about smart contract Oracle’s like Chainlink?
Q18 : How many difficulties did you pass to develop the project/what’s the hardest thing that we have done to date
Q19 : Are you going to do any work for PR?
Q20 : For how many weeks months etc can we claim VITA?
Updates from the team
To kick off Q3 there are lots of initiatives that we have been identified, and on the tech side we are structuring features for Mainnet Beta and some of the features have been already done, like for example, the analytics that we have launched a few weeks ago. There’s like a list of features we want to get done in Beta which will be launched hopefully in September. Mainnet Beta will be really focused on trying to be developer friendly, feature complete and also stable and decentralized . Apart from the tech side, we are working on other things, Raullen and Xin Xin are trying to onboard more partners, especially from a traditional world like the Internet companies, IoT companies, and having lots of conversations with them in regards to partnerships and collaborations. XinXin is working a lot on the AvoBoard research and writing some new papers which should be coming out very soon.
Launch of IoTeX Analytics
IoTeX Analytics Playground was just released, in it we use a query language called GraphQL and we’ve built this into two places one is the analytics playground at analytics.iotexscan.io and that’s a predefined database with lots of metrics that make it very easy for anyone even those without any programming knowledge to query useful metrics, like delegate rewards, number of votes, and other things related to the blockchain in the IoTeX network. Then there’s also an API gateway on our Explorer if you go to iotexscan.io and click “Tools” you’ll see Explorer Playground that is reading data directly from the blockchain. You can also watch a “how-to” video here. Features, such as analytics, make our blockchain transparent, secure and decentralized, as well as, improve the usability.
Delegates reward tools
We are thinking about building another microservice to help our Delegates and voters and have like an automatic kind of service for Delegates, that will distribute rewards to them and their voters automatically, Our goal is to be inclusive for all of our users, voters, and Delegates and make your life easier in some ways
Updates on VITA
It’s been a couple of weeks since VITA has been launched and we see thousands of you already claiming VITA almost every day it’s really encouraging to see people logging in and claiming their VITA! We have lots of plans for VITA, including new exchange listings coming up as well as different tools and ways to use VITA . We’ve always thought of VITA as this token that circulates throughout the IoTeX community kind of rewarding the active community members, allowing them to use their VITA to get IoT products, unlock different privileges in the network, and in the future be integrated with third-party applications.
Very soon we will hold the Genesis Voter VITA airdrop, once the ledger integration is implemented. So stay tuned for more updates on VITA, if you haven’t checked out VITA yet, definitely find the links in our Telegram group or on Twitter. We think that now is a great time to accumulate VITA, not only its the time that most of VITA is being minted every day but it’s basically free for everyone to claim, so regardless of whether you think it’s gonna be a dynamite token in the future or you just wanted to get some free IoTeX swag and IoT products. So claim your VITA and check out our Discord , we have been dropping a lot of new features almost every day.
Q1: Looking back at your progress until now, what would you have done differently if anything?
Raullen : That’s a great question also a very tough one but interesting. I think about it all the time if I would do something different how would I do it. I think that so far, we were making a really good experience and process concerning the team size, company size, we have built the blockchain from scratch, have our innovations actually integrated into the blockchain and on the token side everything is going well, you know, it’s listed on big exchanges and with more exchanges in the pipeline. One thing, if I had more resources, I would put them into this very IoT focused kind of application side or partnerships and we do have the plan to actually expand the team a little bit and have more IoT people on board to really focus on the IoT applications.
Q2: Given your respective backgrounds, what was the moment where you said we have to do this and we have to start IoTeX?
Raullen : It’s was all the way back in Q3 2017, that’s when 2 other co-founders XinXin and me, sat together and tried to imagine what the world would look like ten years from now and even 20 years from now right and we realized that this machine economy is such a huge trend for everybody. Already we are surrounded by all the data and sensors, everything is getting connected to the Internet, every piece of equipment, and the ultimate goal for everything to be connected to this neutral platform, you can call it a good form of Skynet. And that’s why we could not wait any longer because the blockchain technology is already here and 5G getting to IoT, everything is almost ready, we just need to close this gap and do something that will change the world.
Xin Xin: Looking at the existing application landscape, we are still far from our vision, as we need to find a way to connect all these applications silos that exist. Blockchain technology is a good candidate since it can remove the untrusted intermediaries and bring something new and realize the ultimate goal for the IoT.
Q3: Given the amount of IoT devices out there in the world and their lack of security and privacy how hard would it be to retrofit various devices to make use of IoTeX?
Raullen : Just integrating the devices into the blockchain is one thing but adding the security and privacy that’s needed within this device is a different story. I think we have two different dimensions here, one is on the IoT device side, the first thing we want to do is to connect everything, but that’s 5Gs business, to provide connectivity and on top of this I think identity of the device should be a very important piece of work, on which we have a lot of progress on. Once the device is connected to the network/Internet, it should be able to submit the data and also retrieve it from the network, using platforms similar to Google. The question is how can we make this platform better, like more decentralized? I do think that decentralization is a key to a success and that there’s a way to make it secure and add features like privacy, the privacy-preserving computation that we are working on.
Right now actually, we see some projects straying away from the fully decentralized vision and I think that will end up being a bad decision. We also get lots of questions about sharding, which is a really hot topic everybody’s talking about, but I personally think that sharding for a layer one blockchain is a terrible idea, it’s the wrong direction since the layer one blockchain should be very pure, simple and decentralized.
But going back to the original question, I think Xin Xin, has some great perspectives on you know, what does blockchain add to these smart devices like and just because you connect a lot of smart devices in a network doesn’t mean that’s a smart network, so how does a blockchain kind of bring us to that smart network?
Xin Xin: W e can think about this problem from the two different IoT aspects, one major issue is that most of the IoT devices are not secure when people design them. Because the early IoT adapters didn’t think about security and privacy at the very beginning, that’s caused a lot of problems and that’s why you see many data breaches reports almost every day, especially in IoT domain, but now I think this trend is gradually changing. When I participate at different types of IoT conferences, people gradually realize the need for good security in the device from the very beginning. However there are still application silos, that haven’t been resolved yet for multiple reasons, IoT systems are rather complex and have so many stakeholders along the supply chain. You have the US manufacturers, Chinese manufacturers, system integrators, cloud service providers — all of them play different roles in the entire IoT map.
Q4: There are a few coins out there right now that seem to be aiming towards the IoT so what sets IoTeX apart?
There are quite a few projects talking about IoT, some focus on sharing economy, but everybody’s focus is different as IoT is still a big unknown area, so I would like to appreciate those projects exploring this unknown kingdom together with us. There are a lot of IoT projects focusing on moving data from device to device but that’s more like transactional IoT, whereas, we’re diving into the trusted computing with the launch of AvoBoard.
Q5: With the launch of Mainnet, when do we expect to see the exchanges switch over?
Raullen : Staking and voting on Ethereum have been very seamless and we have received really good feedback from the community. Most likely we are going to maintain staking and voting on Ethereum for a while going forward and I’m actually writing a blog post talking about this and Xin Xin has a paper under review right now. The idea is that the eventual form of IoTeX in terms of a token is that it will live on multiple blockchains. For example, right now it lives on two blockchains, one is Ethereum, used for governance and the other one is IoTeX root chain, used for utility.
Q6: When can we expect the native wallet with ledger integration?
In terms of the wallets, we already have the desktop and web wallets out, and there’s a mobile wallet for Android coming out soon, it’s being tested by our team currently. For the ledger integration, we have already submitted the entire package to the Ledger team for review and waiting for them to get back to us, so should be very soon.
Q7: Is it possible to introduce such an option as re-delegation of profits or reinvestment so that coins are not sent to delegates purses or wallets but are automatically delegated to implement the concept of compound interest?
Building that on chain would be kind of strange and we would like to keep it very simple, you know, simplicity is key because we if we build something like this into the protocol, then it is very difficult to change later on. But this could be a very good like feature for new services, like centralized services we are developing right now, so I think this idea can be considered.
Q8: The price of the token is not looking great these days what factors do you think influence it and what’s your strategy to keep holding the community’s attention?
Raullen : I think that for now, the market is actually experiencing like the starting stage of a booming market where the bitcoin is actually taking a dominance on everything, so you see lots of other coins and IOTX getting squeezed out a little bit, so that’s probably the first reason. The second reason is that we have some private investors who got the tokens around May/Junish and some of them actually converted to Delegates which is good, but some did not and possibly creates some selling pressures but our trading team is predicting that these selling pressures are phasing out right now. I have a very strong feeling that IoTeX token will do a great job in the next few months!
Laryy : I think it’s important to understand the nature of the industry, it’s very cyclical, kind of like the debt cycle in traditional markets. You know, every time Bitcoin gains dominance, then a lot of capital flows in and then once bitcoin is over overpriced then flows back down into more alt markets. While this is going on, we just received word that we’re in the top 25 projects in the entire industry from Flipside Crypto which is big which is a partner of Coinmarketcap and they do a lot of very deep analytics of blockchain projects. So we are in the top 25 from overall projects and I think in the top 5 in terms of the developer activity, so you know, the price side is not really reflective of the progress that’s really going on here and for those of you that are staying committed, I think it will pay off in the future!
Q9: What’s your roadmap after Q4 2019 and when will you share a new roadmap?
We published our roadmap probably in early 2019 and it has changed a lot since. We have not of course adjusted any of our major goals but mostly the sequence as we need to be taking a more strategic approach. Like Raullen mentioned, a lot of the focus is on L2 and figuring out how to make IoTeX the most developable. We are also crafting a new updated roadmap and will share with our community soon.
Q10: Can you share more details about the marketplace?
Our ultimate goal is to have an IoT marketplace in the future and now we’re gonna start with is more IoT giveaways. We have a lot of great IoT manufacturer and distributor partners that have already committed thousands of devices over the next year to give to the IoTeX community. Our community token VITA will be used in these giveaways and it’s basically going to give our users some concept of how the IoT marketplace will work in the future.
Like you know, we are also developing an AvoBoard and Avochain, we have this idea of an IoT oracle in a privacy-preserving way, so I think that will be like the cornerstone that the marketplace will be built on top of, but that’s like far down the road, it’s not the thing we are actively building right now. At the moment, we are building a foundation layer of this new technology that has never been built before.
Q11: What progress do you have with your partnerships?
So there are a bunch of big-name companies we have been talking to regarding like the IoT and blockchain, we cannot disclose the names the right now. One of them, for example, is our technical partner, they provide us with some software and libraries, something that we can directly use as technologists. Another one is more on a strategic level, we are proposing different TEE solutions to them to see if they would like to try them out. Larry and I (Raullen), we have a very ambitious plan around forming an official alliance and having all those big names joining us and talking about how we should do IoT and blockchain in the next year in order to bridge this blockchain world to a much wider and broader world, which is non-blockchain. Some of our ecosystem partners like Celer, for example, are making a lot of moves in the layer two scalability and we have conversations with them all the time around how to best design layer two scalability because we’ve both kind of working on that.
Those kinds of partnerships don’t really amount to concrete you know cobuild deliverables but it’s more research partnerships and kind of keeping each other up to date. With NKN for example, we’ve built the Airbnb of the future use case, where integrated a lot of different smaller home devices with IoTeX blockchain running on NKN’s connectivity network. We actually had a meeting with them a couple of weeks ago to talk about the next evolution of a project, mostly focusing on smart cities and the automotive sector, so really trying to figure out ways that we can combine our technologies to kind of create a proof of concept or a use case. But for some of the other partnerships, you know very truthfully and honestly to the community, some of the other projects that we signed like mid 2018, peek bear market, a lot of them had difficulties fundraising and that’s been their number one priority for the past like two-three quarters, Lineable is one of them.
Q12: Do you see IoTeX having a role in home surveillance and home automation and if so what kind of smart home and home automation?
IoTeX can actually play a very important role, think about how your home automation system. You purchase lots of different types of IoT devices from different manufacturers, need to install tens of apps for each device, each time you use one app to control one IoT device to see what’s happened, and it is really hard for those devices to talk with each other. The IoTeX blockchain can play the role to connect them together, in the future, the interoperability functionality will be added into this ecosystem. Besides connecting all of your devices together, we also consider the security and privacy very seriously, and the trusted hardware will help in that aspect. Our goal is to realize the user control screen privacy where you will determine where your personal data will go instead of being directly sent to the cloud provider you currently use.
Q13: What’s the benefit of a three day withdrawal period after unstaking?
It is designed like this mostly for security and safety in case if something gets messed up or your account gets stolen by hackers or if there’s a malicious Delegate that did something very harmful to the system, they would want t to grab the assets and go. That’s why we have the 3 day period where your tokens are still kept in the system before being released.
Q14: How many nodes do you have and how many tokens need to run a node and what are the rewards?
There are about 60 Delegates and the number is growing. We also have some big names coming on board very soon. In order to run a Delegate node, the minimum requirement right now is 1.2 million IOTX self stake as well as another 800,000 votes, so 1.2 million tokens and a minimum of 2 million votes is what you need to become a Delegate and start to receive rewards.
Q15: What killer features does IoTeX have that are ahead of the competition?
IoTeX has a few innovations, one is our Roll-DPoS consensus that ensures decentralization of the network. The second one is the privacy technology, like the TEE and trusted computing to realize this type of privacy technology, with which you can execute privacy-preserving contracts, token transfers and other fancy features that will be coming out in the next two quarters.
Q16: How does VITA intend to open up the technology to the community and to the researchers so it can be continuously improved? Are there plans to fully open source VITA in the future?
VITA is a token running on top of IoTeX and it provides lots of things to us. For example, because it’s the first Dapp actually running on top of IoTeX blockchain it helps us to identify lots of missing pieces, see what’s working, what should be fixed and improved, all of this is possible because of our very active community, from which we get lots of feedback. We had a soft launch for VITA and are slowly introducing features and making sure we have all the user required features that allow people to use VITA easier in our browser and our wallets and everyone that has been following along for the past month, has seen a lot of updates to explorers, wallets and tools. Also, the VITA smart contract has been already verified by SlowMist and the token contract should be fully open sourced very soon.
Q17: What do you think about smart contract Oracle’s like Chainlink?
We will announce something together very soon, stay tuned
Q18: How many difficulties did you pass to develop the project/what’s the hardest thing that we have done to date
Xin Xin : I think in developing a blockchain project you face a lot of engineering challenges, the hardest things is how to bridge the theoretical aspect to the blockchain platform. I think there are many gaps when you try to really implement for example the consensus and other protocols and make them to fit well in your engineering system.
Q19: Are you going to do any work for PR?
At IoTeX, as you know, we have a very technical team with a great background and we have made tons of progress over the past couple years, so the best is yet to come and investing a lot in marketing and PR is still like introducing something, that you know is still very much in progress. If you take a snapshot of IoTeX today, I’m sure you know it’s very impressive, but if we’re really going to spend a lot of big marketing dollars and PR attention I think it should be at a time when we’re ready 100%. We are after the organic PR, the hype is good at some time but in the long run, we think that organic PR will be more beneficial for the project.
Q20: For how many weeks months etc can we claim VITA?
You can claim VITA probably for the next four years at least and it’s minted every 25 hours. For those that haven’t been in tune with VITA, you can earn VITA in a lot of different ways, the bidding pool, you can claim VITA if you’re an IoTeX voter, and you can do tasks for VITA.