IoTeX AMA w/Asia Blockchain Review — August 15, 2019

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Hello, our dear community! We would like to share an AMA Recap we did together with Asia Blockchain Review in their Telegram Group . We had a very active session with a high number of participants. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to join us and asked us thoughtful questions!

How is IoTeX’s consensus special or different from others?

IoTeX uses Roll-DPoS, our own in-house consensus mechanism that is a variant of the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS). IoTeX community votes for Delegates and 24 of the top 36 are randomly selected every hour to perform consensus. It’s DPoS with randomization!

Can you simplify us the architecture of IoTeX?

Sure — IoTeX uses a few different technologies in our platform: blockchain, secure hardware, and data storage layers. At the blockchain level, we use a “root chain + sidechains” model, where the root chain is security-oriented and manages various horizontally scalable sidechains. It is a blockchain architecture that is highly scalable and perfect for building unique sidechains for different IoT networks.

Currently, to store token IOTX according to ERC20 standard. And to create more opportunities for IOTX to develop, will IOTX in the future develop a blockchain platform for itself?

Yes, right now we are running staking/voting on the Ethereum Mainnet, which is why there is an ERC20 version of IoTeX. However, the IoTeX Mainnet (which was built from scratch) uses native IOTX and has been live since April. So we are already on our own blockchain platform! It just happens to communicate perfectly with Ethereum, another innovation of ours :slight_smile:

What is your view on 5G?

5G will be the key to many new possibilities in IoT. It’s hard to quantify 5G’s potential impact, but it will likely increase data rates by 100x and operate multiple input/multiple output, which expands the options of IoT greatly.

What is it trying to solve? And what purpose is it trying to serve to the community?

IoTeX is a platform incorporating blockchain, secure hardware, and data storage innovations to enable first-of-its-kind capabilities for privacy & IoT developers. IoTeX’s goal is to empower the Internet of Trusted Things, where all physical and virtual “things” — humans, machines, and DApps — can exchange data and value at a global scale . By serving as the infrastructure to unify all “things”, IoTeX will power the new decentralized economy.

What are the staking rewards for your users?

You can find more information on staking rewards for IoTeX at stakingrewards.com

Right now staking ROI is ~10% for voters and up to 15% for Delegates !

What would motivate large companies to adopt IoTeX vs using their gigantic resources to develop in-house technology (or copy some of the existing blockchain projects, it’s “open source” after all)? Would smaller IoT companies have the foresight and resource to adopt the IoTeX platform?

We do envision a future where enterprises can adopt IoTeX platform, but that will be when the frenzy of cryptocurrency/hype is over. I expect there to be multiple public blockchain platforms out there in the future, which will be focused on specific things. IoTeX we hope will be the go-to for ANY blockchain+IoT developers out there. It’s still early for the blockchain+IoT industry, but I’m confident IoTeX’s technology will be the future leader, no doubt.

With what exactly will you support app developers in the future?

We already have a suite of web SDKs that help developers get started and build DApps with IoTeX — you can find all of our dev docs here: docs.iotex.io

In the future, we will also have SDKs for building your own sidechains, as well as privacy-focused SDKs which will be used with AvoBoard. Reach out to us in IoTeX Telegram group if you want to discuss more dev stuff!

What is the transaction limit and as a sidechain is a limitation the same as for the master? And if not how does it increase?

We have tested 1k+ TPS on our root chain, and when we launch our sidechains they should be able to do even more TPS. This is because we focus on security for the root chain and scalability/functionality at layer 2

What role do you think IoTeX plays in increasing the adaptability of the blockchain on the global stage?

IoTeX will play an important role in the blockchain space by showing people real, tangible use cases. I think that many people have a “romanticized” view about blockchain, but we are 100% focused on delivering real products. A lot of what makes IoTeX different is we are not just a blockchain company — we also manufacture innovative hardware and data storage solutions, Which are combined with blockchain to create a whole ecosystem!

Why IoTeX separates the original chain for processing separately? What does it mean?

We use a concept called “Separation of Powers” — read more about it here: https://medium.com/@iotex/the-grand-design-of-iotex-separation-of-powers-f3af2cd80b99

Basically it’s important to separate duties and not mix up too many incentives. Usually, three variables + time is all we can manage for!

Where will all the IoT device data be stored? On hardware, or on the user/client-side? Will the blockchain store all the data?

You should know that blockchain is not needed for every data exchange/ transaction between “things”. For IoT data specifically, lots of local processing at the edge (device + gateway) takes care of smaller tasks that would be silly to perform on blockchain from a cost perspective (e.g., data validation, simple analytics). One example for our trusted tracker is the device is smart enough to locally process whether the current temp is <0 degrees — a contract can be written so that if it is below freezing temp, then it will write that record to the blockchain but if not, nothing happens. Ultimately, it is subjective how much “trust” is worth, so depending on the gas price and each user’s specific needs, that will determine whether they will use blockchain for various things.

One analogy I like is: “blockchain is an armored car, you use it in scenarios where you need 100% trust (e.g., high value), not to go grocery shopping (e.g., low value)”.

IoTeX uses Roll-DPoS consensus mechanism — a variant of Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS). How effective has this new mechanism been? Does it happen often wrong during operation?

It’s been extremely successful! It’s been live on our Mainnet for about 3 months now and it’s working perfectly. It’s going so well in fact that we expedited our increase to 36 consensus delegates by 3 months earlier than originally expected!

How would you compare the pros and cons of public vs private blockchain for IoT? Wouldn’t private blockchain be more appropriate for the “privacy” aspect of usage? What if companies like IBM open-source their IoT applicable code (where are they now in terms of IoT blockchain)?

Private blockchains are a hotly debated topic — the argument is it is not much different than a shared database. I personally think shared databases solve a lot of the issues that people associate with blockchain, but it is not the same as a public blockchain. If all you want to do is enable trust in data, then private blockchain may be good enough for you. If you want to enable open access to trusted data, then public blockchain (permission-less) is the only way to go.

I would say many of the business interests of corporations do not lend itself well to public blockchains, which are more for the “greater good” than individual benefits.

IOTX is used to pay for transaction fees, create and execute Smart Contract in IoTeX’s network. Transaction speed is always the most important thing, how do IOTX avoid the occurrence of transaction bottlenecks? When today, everything must always ensure the speed of transactions.

Performance bottlenecks on the blockchain are managed by our dynamic gas model, similar to other networks. But I think what you are referring to is a high amount of data in the IoT. In reality, not all of this data should be put on the blockchain, only the most important/high value/trust-requiring data points!

What’s the ratio to swap VITA to IOTX?

1 IOTX = ~25 VITA right now based on our VITA bidding pool: iotex.io/vita

What is the VITA token? What does it do in your project?

VITA is the IoTeX community token, which rewards IoTeX voters. People can spend VITA in our marketplace or use them as credits in IoTeX DApps or trade them (soon)! It’s an important step to make IoTeX 100% decentralized by putting community governance on the blockchain

How would the upcoming 5G wireless technology impact IoT and/or IoTeX specifically? Is wifi or Bluetooth connection enough for blockchain IoT applications, or doesn’t really matter?

I wrote a great article about how different connectivity standards will impact blockchain + IoT space — take a look: https://hackernoon.com/the-blockchain-iot-tech-stack-163dd1d59d27

Overall, more connectivity options = more possibilities for developers! Different combinations of data rates, prices, etc.

What will be the security measure to prevent the root chain to be unaffected by sub-chains that do not function well or under attack or have bugs etc. Will IoTeX privacy feature cover the transaction data (receiver, sender, amount) or also smart contract data (inputs and outputs)?

Good question — the root chain is the orchestrator of all sidechains. If one sidechain is corrupted, then that is isolated from the rest of network. That is one of the roles of the central root chain. As far as privacy, we focus more on the smart contract input/output privacy (which can also be used for transaction masking). I like to say that we work on “computational privacy” which can also be used for transactional privacy.

What potential do IOT have? Why do you want to develop it?

IoT is a trillion dollar industry and still growing. the problems that IoT faces are actually perfectly suited for blockchain — trust, privacy, and interoperability will be solved via blockchain systems, which will unlock even more trillions of dollars in value for IoT. If we prioritize privacy, open access, and interoperability, IoT will be a permanent force and even more integrated into our daily lives. But privacy is so important, which is what IoTeX is focused on.

How do you encourage developers to build applications on the blockchain?

Right now we are not so focused on on-boarding developers — there is still a lot of work to do on the underlying blockchain! We are launching our developer board called AvoBoard in the next couple months, which should help developers start to launch privacy-preserving smart contracts and various IoT capabilities

Will IoTeX make rootchain-subchain protocol language-neutral, or will there only be one supported programming language? Also, will subchains have their own tokens?

Yes, sidechains can be coded in whichever language. The root chain is written in Go. Sidechains will definitely have their own tokens — we already have commitments from many blockchain network developers to launch their own tokens on IoTeX Network!

What’s your view on Facebook also coming in crypto world?how do you see Facebook as competitor?

I think Facebook putting their name on crypto is a GREAT thing. Overall, I do not believe the public will trust in Libra enough for it to be the global payment standard. When it fails (likely due to lack of full decentralization), I believe bitcoin and other decentralized currencies will be looked upon more favourably by the world.

IoTeX’s direct competitor is probably only IOTA. Besides, IoTeX also has indirect competitors like Ethereum, EOS, Lisk … IOTX how to overcome them and have a strong foothold in the current blockchain map?

IoTeX is doing things that no other network is doing. IoTeX is working in IoT, privacy, and sidechains, which combine to form some very interesting use cases. Basically, we can do all of the things that IOTA/ethereum can do, but they can’t do all of the things that we can!

You plan to create, with the help of your partners, specific devices to run on your technology. But, what type of devices will be the first and how do you plan to implement them?

Good question — the first devices that we are launching will be AvoBoard (gateway/dev board) and TrustedTracker (GPS/environment tracker). Both of these devices will have secure hardware, which guarantees confidentiality and integrity of code/data. in other words, these are privacy-enabled devices — we are excited and you should be too! read more here: https://medium.com/iotex/iotex-post-mainnet-roadmap-vita-token-member-portal-avoboard-8eb66e75687f

What are your plans and the execution for massive adoption? Also, retail node, is there any chance normal people like can establish node?

There will be opportunities for retail users to contribute bandwidth/storage/resources from their at-home IoT devices to the IoTeX network in the future, before we get there, there are some underlying infrastructure work to make it happen, but we are striving for that future every day!

Who are your favorite Delegates and how is the program going?

We love delegates that build things :slight_smile: We are actually holding a community-wide “Delegate of the Month” vote, which highlights some of our most active delegates — take a look: https://medium.com/@iotex/voting-for-july-dotm-via-smart-contract-is-live-vote-now-bf92de9ccb31

Do gravity chain, root chain and layer2 chains support each other in the overall architecture of IoTeX?

Yes, you can read about it more in our article here: https://medium.com/@iotex/the-grand-design-of-iotex-separation-of-powers-f3af2cd80b99

All of the layers have their individual roles in the IoTeX Network, and collectively provide all of the infrastructure required for developers to build state-of-the-art blockchain + IoT products.

Can we mine IOTX and, what’s the difficulty ratio? IOTX is one layer or two layer? Do you plan micro transaction integration at mobile devices market? Is IOTX forked or is it original code?

  1. Yes, you can mine IoTeX, but you must first run as a Delegate and get voted in by IoTeX community. See member.iotex.io

  2. Multi-layer architecture for “separation of duties”

  3. Yes, we will cater to IoT micro-transactions, but not all of that will be on blockchain (some at the local device level) as writing data to blockchain will get expensive. Best to only use blockchain for 100% trust scenarios

  4. Original code! Everything we do at IoTeX is from scratch and purposeful

Can you mention some of your competitors in blockchain industry and how your project is beating them?

We don’t like to think too much about “competitors” but obviously IOTA’s name is brought up a lot. I have said many times in this thread that we are working on very different things than IOTA. But not everyone knows that — I would say 75%+ of community cannot clearly say what is the difference between IOTA and IoTeX. IOTA is more focused on developing a M2M payments standard with no fees, while we are building an application platform that is much more broad in scope.

Vechain has also been around for a very long time. Yes, they have a great partnership with Deloitte which connected them to Walmart, but their use cases are not innovative. Much of their supply chain/asset tracking use cases are simply putting QR code scans/RFID+NFC readings on the blockchain. Does not involve any device authentication, connectivity, or privacy. In my opinion, it can all be done on traditional systems.

The blockchain & IoT industry is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient — unlike DeFi where incentive design is the key differentiator, making IoT work on blockchain requires real tech, which I’m confident we are leading.

As an investor, what expansion plans does your company have and why invest in IOTX, what advantages does it offer compared to other companies?

IoTeX is a platform incorporating blockchain, secure hardware, and data storage innovations to enable first-of-its-kind capabilities for privacy & IoT developers. IoTeX’s goal is to empower the Internet of Trusted Things, where all physical and virtual “things” — humans, machines, and DApps — can exchange data and value at global scale. By serving as the infrastructure to unify all “things”, IoTeX will power the new decentralized economy.

What is the biggest challenge you face currently in terms of becoming a successful project or company?

Our biggest challenge is just staying focused on innovation and making our vision a reality. We know that the future of IoT will be decentralized, that is a fact. But what is not guaranteed is whether the future IoT will be privacy-enabled, open, and interoperable. All things that IoTeX is trying to solve, and if we do we know the type of value that will bring to the entire IoT industry (both $ and impact).

It’s been a rough year so far and a lot of us are unsure about the future of many of the new projects this year. How does IoTeX reassure it’s investors and followers?

You’re right — the token prices especially in the altcoin market are suffering, But I would say it does not reflect the great work being done in the industry. I can say that everyone at IoTeX has never been more confident in our place in the blockchain+IoT industry — we can’t wait to show you our new tech!

How did you guys survive in this long bear market and what difficulties have you encountered during this period?

We constantly get pushed by our community to do “more marketing” during the bear market, but we are just hyperfocused on the important things. There is a lot of noise during bull markets, but bear markets also come with lots of criticism. It is important to have thick skin and believe in what you are doing — onwards!

What do you think is the biggest problem IOTEX will solve which is not solved by other projects yet and why is the problem important to solve?

PRIVACY. People are not focused enough on privacy in the blockchain industry or the IOT industry. This will define the future of how we engage with others/think about our data. Building privacy and more importantly making it usable for people will be one of the biggest advantages of IoTeX.

Can you explain decentralized governance and decentralized economics?

Decentralized governance/economics — the way I think about this is codifying the way that we interact in the physical world into the digital world. One thing I have been thinking about lately is how to design incentive structures that have many different variables. They say that you can only account for 3 variables + time, but i think that there are even ways to have “derivative incentives” to connect different families of incentives together.

What is IOXT’s goal in the coming years? (Finance, products, services, …)

We just want to be the leading platform for blockchain + IoT. We have always been a tech first company, so we plan to continue to build out strong tech that will transform the world!

Since we have a lot of questions regarding the tokenomics, please explain to us what role does IOTX token play in the ecosystem?

Tell us about your core team members background and how they started with the IoTeX?

IOTX token will be used to stake/vote for delegates, register IoT devices and sidechains to the IoTeX network, and some other governance tasks. There will be other tokens (like VITA) that will exist in the IoTeX network in the future.

IoTeX was founded as an open source company in 2017. With offices in Silicon Valley, Shenzhen, and Singapore, the IoTeX team consists of 25+ top tier engineers, research scientists, venture capitalists, and ecosystem builders.

One of benefits for development partners are hands-on advisory, in case of huge number of such partners, how would you distribute time to advise them?

We are more focused on delivering SDKs/tutorials that everyone can use before we dive into custom consulting/hands-on support. There will be a time when IoTeX will be ready to support more custom engagements, but the role of a platform like IoTeX is to make things that are generally useful for everyone, so we are focusing on that for now.

What is IoTeX’s approach on privacy-preserving solutions for smart contracts?

We use TEE-based trusted computing. Basically we utilize secure hardware, which guarantees confidentiality and integrity of all data/processes run in the IoTeX Network. Secured by both hardware and cryptography!

What is your marketing strategy? What is your expectation of the project in crypto world?

Our marketing strategy is to focus on blockchain + IoT enthusiasts that will be with our project for the long-term and not focus too much on speculators/pumping the price. We have never been the type to do any hype marketing, just focused on delivering real product.

Do you plan on monetizing the vast amount of data from the IoT devices, and how to do so? Will the data be owned by the users, or dApps, or IoTeX?

The data will be owned by the users — that is what makes blockchain + IoT so interesting! It really flips the model where corporations own our data today to us owning and managing our data in the future. We can keep it fully private, selectively share it, or buy/sell/trade it

Whats the IoTeX charity for?

IoTeX has a long history with charity — we ran two charity programs back in early 2018 and have recently started an initiative to use rewards from our delegate program to fund charity — check it out: https://medium.com/iotex/iotex-the-giving-block-partnering-to-use-blockchain-for-social-good-9a56ee4217ec

Why do you think your project needs the blockchain at all and more specifically why its own token? Why can’t you just use ETH?

Blockchain and IoT are very complementary technologies. I like to say that IoT is the technology that generates the data and blockchain is the technology that adds trust to that data.

Comparing IoTeX and Ethereum, the most important thing to realize is that IoTeX was designed/built from scratch for privacy & IoT use cases while Ethereum is general purpose. We also have privacy and trusted computing capabilities that are not available on many other platforms.

So IoTeX = blockchain + privacy + IoT.

IoTeX has a very impressive team, advisors and shareholders. How did you manage to gather all these people to work on your project? How many team members do you have?

Most of the people/groups that are part of the IoTeX Network see us as a deeply technical project. IoTeX has prioritized our technology over marketing, and we also did not do a public ICO (only private sale) so our community is very organic and passionate.

As far as the IoTeX team, we are lucky to operate out of Silicon Valley, where many top tier engineers live. Our co-founders were former tech leads from Google, Facebook, Uber, etc. and are well respected in the traditional and blockchain industries. Our deep technical expertise and strength of our tech/vision will definitely continue to attract top tier talent in the future!

I’d like to ask a question regarding mass adoption of IoTeX as it is significant to any person who is one way or another connected to the project: crypto regulations are probably the hottest topic right now. Let`s assume that IoTeX will expand and be adopted in the USA and China as an underlying tech to support massive IoT industry and both governments would decide to mark cryptocurrencies as illegal. IOTX is for sure mandatory in IoTeX ecosystem for devices to communicate and so on so how such a problem would be dealt with?

Interesting question — I would say that if China/USA decide to ban cryptocurrencies, it will only make the use/adoption of cryptocurrencies greater. Today, crypto is technically “banned” in China, yet the majority of all capital in the crypto industry is from China. Many of these government warnings are just that — they are warnings to those that abuse cryptocurrency (i.e., scam people) that governments will protect their citizens. I strongly believe that any crypto bans will not be enforced by China or USA though :slight_smile:

You’ve recently formed partnerships with Chainlink, Lineable to name but a few. Can you talk a little about these partnerships and how they help support the IoTeX ecosystem?

IoTeX has different types of partners:

  1. Delegates: responsible for maintaining the IoTeX network by producing blocks. There are currently 60+ Delegates from around the world, including Blockfolio, Coingecko, Draper, and more. See them all here: member.iotex.io

  2. Development partners: these are devs/orgs that will build DApps/Layer 2 chains on the IoTeX network. We are already starting to get commitments from many projects that want to build Layer 2 chains, such as Nesten: https://medium.com/@iotex/iotex-nesten-building-next-gen-iot-communication-ecosystems-dff617ccc1f2

  3. Ecosystem partners: these are devs/orgs that build complementary technologies that can be used by IoTeX. Great example is Chainlink — we will utilize Chainlink oracle tech to bring real world data to the blockchain.

Are there some major partnership in the works? I’m also interested in how you do immediate transactions? Do you anticipate scaling issues?

Yes, we are working directly with a few major enterprises, but the nature of these engagements is very long-term and confidential. I will tell you that many of the ideas we have for our in-house hardware comes directly from conversations we have with developers/enterprises, to ensure that what we are building is wanted/needed by the industry.

We have immediate transactions (instant finality) because of our consensus mechanism, Roll-DPoS, which utilizes randomized selection of Delegates as well as PBFT to reach consensus.

We don’t anticipate scaling issues; rather, IoTeX is horizontally scalable. unlike other platforms that embed sharding/scalability into Layer 1, we strongly believe this should exist at Layer 2 (like Celer). As such, IoTeX’s multi-chain structure is perfect to horizontally scale. In other words, adding a new sidechain any time you need more TPS.

Can you tell me what IOTEX has done and plan to do to achieve ADOPTION in the reality, real use cases, our real society…?

Truthfully, we are not there yet where IoTeX is truly impacting society. We are still at the stage of “ IoTeX has MASSIVE potential to impact society ” — there is still work to be done to finish our platform, as well as lots of work to help developers/enterprises build real products on our platform. What we are focused 100% on is delivering capabilities that no other platform (centralized or decentralized) can perform. This includes privacy, trusted computing, decentralized identity, etc., that will form the foundation for the next wave of IoT.

What is your context and how did you come up with an idea to create your project?

I am not a co-founder of IoTeX, but i joined the project very early in April 2018 (about 6 months after it was founded). I studied economics at MIT and my work background is in management consulting. I learned about bitcoin while consulting a large bank client, which captured my interest in investing in btc/eth. after a while, I started exploring other uses of blockchain and out of ALL of them, I think blockchain + IoT makes the most sense. It is one of the most technically challenging, but has the biggest potential impact!

Hi Larry u r very passionate & I’m curious to know with so many different people who have such brilliant creative minds ,how do you all gel so well & If one comes up with a creative idea how do you all execute it & what’s the next big move to compliment IoTex…

Great question! The crypto industry is crazy — for example, I don’t know any other industry where it is totally okay for a project to change their roadmap every 6 months. But this is absolutely necessary as the industry is moving so fast. As such, we always have to be proposing new ideas and refining our strategy.

At IoTeX, the best ideas always win. We have spirited debates but it is always with the same goal in mind: to make IoTeX the leading blockchain + IoT company in the world. We all have our specific expertise (front end/back end software, hardware, business, cryptography, etc.) so we all try to take the lead on coming up with new ideas.