We would like to thank Qudem for inviting us and hosting this AMA session and community for asking such interesting and high-qualify questions! Our congratulations to the 3 winners listed below, whose questions received the most upvotes! Make sure to join our next AMA ;)
Sure, this is a product we have developed in a few weeks after the launch of mainnet alpha in April this year. The pain point after launching the mainnet is that we found ourselves so hard to obtain metrics from the blockchain directly which is the same for our developers and delegates. The idea is to pull blockchain raw data out, store it in a database, categorize and index them, integrate with graphql which is an awesome way for querying the data. After the release of this tool, our delegates were the first jump on board and make use of this tool — they developed various tools for calculating and distributing rewards to their voters, monitor how the chain is doing and what other delegates are doing. This is so far the most popular use case. The analytics project will keep evolving to provide more insights into the blockchain to developers in an easy way. Thinking about blockchain is a parallel universe (as it has its own casualty) and analytics is the wormhole we built to peep through.
The main purpose for VITA token (which has no pre-mine, no ICO, no fundraising etc.) is to engage with the community and to bring vitality to the community! Actually, our definition of community is much broader such that we want to engage with users/developers who are not already in crypto space. For example, on vita discord channels, we developed some fun experience of using the tokens — the users don’t have to install any wallet or manage keys to use the tokens, e.g., users can use a simple command like “!tip bob 10 VITA” for tipping others, similar for airdropping tokens and starting polls. The intrinsic value of VITA relies on how large and active this community would be and how many users are using it (without hassling with wallets, keys). The speculative value of VITA I cannot tell :) Check out more here: http://iotex.io/vita
Great question. The reality is we have too many blockchains in the world but too few developers. The reason for this is that the blockchain industry is still at a very early stage and no real use cases are adopted by mass, so only a few developers are eager enough to try to craft something mostly for fun. To this, we do think the initiative to connect the physical world and blockchain world is a great opportunity for generating real use cases are adopted by mass, with the door opened, more traditional developers (who are working on mobile apps, IoT applications) will join us. Secondly, we have too many blockchains they are the same in functionalities. I do think the tech differentiation is the key to attract more attention here — for example, the l2 trusted computing we are working on will provide brand new experience to users and developers such that they can do impossible things (e.g., erc20 tokens with privacy functionality like zcash) easily. Last but not least is to further make progress on our developer engagement program — one concrete action item my team is working on is to set up a series of code labs for beginners and advanced developers creating things on top of IoTeX. I used to work at Google which internally has tons of codelabs for internal developers to get up to speed on many different aspects of technologies like AI, VR, security and etc.. I personally like this very much.
1. The price of your token continues to go down. What factors do you think influence it and what’s your strategy to keep holding communities attention? 2. Could you share more details about the marketplace you are working on? When is it going to be launched, what products will be there, etc? 3. When will you share the progress made so far with your announced partners?
For now, the crypto market is a highly speculative market and the token price almost has nothing to do the projects’ progress for most of the projects. IoTeX is such an ambitious project that our goal is to change how the physical world works with the blockchain world and not a lot people can understand our vision and hold the belief of it. So it is not a surprise to me that speculative investors come and go rather than hodl. But I see more and more long term believers are joining us recently, no matter through investment, development and other forms of ways to work with us, which is super encouraging! In addition, it seems like we are in the initial phase of another bull run for the entire crypto market and usually, bitcoin is taking the lead but more attention will be shifted to other projects once bitcoin finished its sprint. We have more focus on the underlying privacy/TEE technologies as for now which is innovative, unprecedented and not easy. Once the underlying hardware/protocol is stylized, we will kick off the trusted data marketplace project. For partnering with other projects and companies, we are selective because we want to work with our partners seriously rather than for PR purposes. We are working with many projects such as Chainlink (we announced the partnership yesterday), Neutral dollar (stablecoin), Celer (l2 scaling), Harmony (zkp projects) and many other companies from the traditional world. As great and solid progress is made, we will make official announcements.
1. How many nodes do you have? How many tokens do you need to run a node? And what are the rewards? 2. “IoTeX and Lineable hope to connect 1,000,000+ Lineable devices to the IoTeX blockchain in 2019.” What is the status thereof?
I assume you mean delegate nodes — globally we have ~60 delegates on-board and the top 36 of them are serving the network by producing and validating blocks. We specifically designed the low entry barrier for delegate candidates — one has to stake down 1.2M IOTX and get another 0.8M IOTX from others (including oneself) to be eligible as a delegate candidate. Check out the reward details here (http://v1.iotex.io/consensus-delegate-handbook.pdf); my impression is that the annual return is 10% — 15%. Lineable project is going well. They will host their chain (for orchestrating lora gateways) within IoTeX network. We are kind of slow on the development of subchain SDK given other priorities; and we are actively staffing the team to have more hands working on the subchain SDK.
“How did you survive during a long bear market? What difficulties, if any, have been encountered in this period?” What has been the biggest technical challenge that you overcame this year? And what from your pov is the biggest one to come, this year and beyond? Do you see IoTeX having a role in home surveillance and home automation someday — and of what kind?
To be honest, I don’t have a strong feeling about the bear market in the past year since we have been so focused on building things :) I am an early bitcoin investor and user and tell me about the bear markets — bitcoin has been through many much tougher market situations and it is true that a blockchain project (including its token) becomes valuable only after being through tough times! In terms of the technical challenge, it is an interesting topic. We used to have lots of internal discussions around the technical roadmap — opinion 1 is to develop a useful blockchain by focusing more on the application/user-facing features while option 2 is to focus on the moonshot features which will likely not useful in the near term but important for the future. Both of them are legit and great. I would think option 1 may partly because the aforementioned “bear market” made people more realistic and desperately want a landing case for blockchain. Still, we decide to go for option 2 since we are an ambitious project for changing the world. The biggest one to come this year and beyond is decentralization — I feel like the industry focus is slightly off the right track as it puts too much attention on scalability technologies such as sharding — for which I think it is totally wrong. The blockchain is only valuable cuz it provides low-cost trust which roots in the decentralization. If one wants a fast system, there are many such as cassandra and kafka. Blockchain is not meant to be fast, at least the layer 1 chain. Yes! Device identity and trusted data are the two concrete things we are working on rewarding IoT+blockchain. We have quite a few inbound requests from home surveillance manufacturers and companies around these two.
Can you explain better so that the token is used IoTeX Foundation and Ecosystem? Could you update the amount of available foundation and Ecosystem tokens? Why are not the foundation and Ecosystem tokens used for new associations? Any explanation of the current status of the iotex project? Do you plan to sell OTC iotex tokens? In that case, what provision of tokens are available for sale. Why is not iotex published in more media crypto and YouTubers? What idea of expansion is there currently, globally, which countries are you most interested in? How many fairs of iot and crypto do you plan to go to in 2019 and 2020? How many companies have contacted you interested in security iot? How many staff resources do you currently have? How much available capital is there for the project? People are procured with the alts, in what position do you think is iotex as a project, from 1 to 10? Why do you think iotex is better than similar projects? Do you have a board of directors, how often do you meet? Early stage venture capital investors, is there any of them that joins the board of directors and decisions? How can big investors contribute to iotex? He thinks it would be interesting to buy more tokens from venture capital investors. Do you communicate with new venture capitalists and other iot companies to buy iotex tokens?
Thanks for such a list of thorough questions. The Binance Research Report(https://info.binance.com/en/research/IOTX-2019-05-27.html) will have some concrete numbers for some of the questions here; let me address them from a high level. IOTX is used for governance (through staking/voting), utility (like gas in Ethereum) and operating of subchains in IoTeX Network. Please see the Binance Report for concrete numbers of tokens allocation. One change we made recently is to distribute last trance of the private-sale tokens in July (which is already done) according to http://member.iotex.io/polls. Otherwise, everything else stays the same. Foundation and ecosystem tokens will be used for incubating new projects/initiatives on top of IoTeX network. We received some ideas and applications already and are selecting which are the ones we want to start with. We have no plans to sell IOTX via OTC. Any interested investors can buy from the secondary market. We are focusing on building :) As the project gets more well-established, we are talking about ourselves more on media, conferences and etc.. We already have enough number of inbound queries from IoT companies to start with. We are a team of 30+ people and most of us are engineers and scientists. For the procuring of tokens, I cannot give financial advice. IoTeX has an ambitious vision and solid execution, it is a great project. We have few advisors from IoT industry, academia and venture side, and we meet roughly once a month. We are open to strategic investors especially the ones coming with industry resources. We are working with some of them but cannot disclose the details for now.
What role do you think IOTEX will play in making blockchain highly adaptable in the worldwide stage?
IoTeX’s role is clear — it connects the physical world and the blockchain world by leveraging the machines/devices and things. To make it highly adaptable, IoTeX has this blockchains-in-blockchain structure that we encourage applications/scenarios to have their specific subchains that acting like adapters to specific verticals. It is interesting to see that Polkadot adopts similar designs which they call parachains.
Where do you and the team see the world of blockchain being in years to come, and how will $vita change the landscape of the cryptocurrency space in years to come? What do you think is the biggest problem Team will solve that no other project is solving now, and why is the problem important to solve?
Connecting the physical world with the blockchain world is a huge trend in the next 5 years. VITA’s mission is to engage the community and make crypto super easy to use for normal people in this world, so it is another way to connect the physical world with the blockchain world. The important problem is “how to connect physical and blockchain worlds”. This is super important: 1. The physical world needs a parallel virtual world to enable programmability and automation for lots of things; 2. The blockchain world needs to have an impact on physical world to demonstrate its value and generate revenue potentially. There are very few projects working on this now, e.g., chainlink takes a great first step on this. IoTeX continuously pushing this forward.
When you look back to the day you guys started IoTeX, are you guys satisfied with the progress you have made? When you say IoTeX is a truly private blockchain, how do you think it is better than other private blockchain implementations in the industry?
I am super impressed by the progress of the team — we started with three co-founders and we now have 30 employees all over the world and ~100K people in our community in 18 months; we started with a whitepaper and now we have a decentralized, stable and performant public blockchain already processed 1million transactions and every line of code of this blockchain is written by us, no fork, no clone. IoTeX project has been highly recognized in the industry by top exchanges, top institutional investors and top companies in the internet and IoT industry. Very different. If you look at the privacy-focused blockchains as Monero, Zcash and Grin — they are all slow, hard to use (like in Grin, sender and receiver should cosign a message before transferring coins) and has limited privacy (like monero has limited anonymity set). Most importantly, they set a high bar for developers and users to embrace this privacy technology. What we want is to set a privacy-preserving enabled platform so users and developers can enjoy using it without hassling with the hardcore techniques underlying. Also compared to ZKP, ring-sig approaches, our TEE-based approach provides a faster and easier user experience.
What killer features has IoTeX that are ahead of the competition and how does IOTEX intend to open up the technology to the community and to researchers so it can be continuously improved on?
In short, PoS-based decentralization and TEE-based trusted computing are the two killer features of IoTeX. The former one is in production, and we are welcome anyone to join our Delegate Program! The second one is still under R&D stage and we will gradually open to the community once features are stabilized.
Is it possible to introduce such an option as re-delegation of profit (the type of reinvestment) so that the coins are not sent to the delegate’s purse but are automatically delegated, implementing the concept of compound interest?
Hah, this is the second time I received such a requirement! This is something definitely technically feasible and let me pass this back to my PM as they are building an auto reward-distribution service for all delegates and this could be one fancy feature.
1. Do you guys worry when the price of your token goes down in the market and try something to bring it up? 2. Why did you make the Vita token pre-mined? 3. Do you believe adding Blockfolio, Citex as delegates will benefit Iotex in the long run?
A little bit since we do not let our supporters suffer; but not too much since we know it will pick up in the near future. Basically, to me, the “blue chip” age in the crypto market is coming or already came. Great projects with an ambitious vision and solid execution are getting more attention from the market. VITA is not pre-mined, as the purpose is to create a fair token for everyone to enjoy. We have no intention to do fundraising using it. Yes, if you look at our delegates they are really coming from different sectors — community/media, tech, investors, exchanges/wallets, developers, ambassadors. All of them are contributing and make IoTeX a prosperous ecosystem! Check to see who they are
I saw that IoTeX is currently holding its first network-wide vote via smart contract. Why is such community engagement important for IoTeX and what role will this type of voting play going forward? What kind of decisions do you think is important from IoTeX to put to the community?
Great question. Decentralization is the soul of a blockchain. Every shareholder’s opinion is important to us! We will have more voting events like this regarding how to grow tech, community, token economics and etc..
What’s your outlook on the future of cryptocurrencies? What can we do to keep increasing adoption?
We long both crypto and the world! We identify ourselves as the connector of the physical world and blockchain world, which will have massive adoption.
Can you explain why IoTeX is unique and how you expand your project?
IoTeX’s role is clear — it connects the physical world and the blockchain world by leveraging the machines/devices and things. PoS-based decentralization and TEE-based trusted computing are the two killer features of IoTeX.
What other platforms (if any) are you and your team working on to expand blockchain development and technologies?
We are exclusively focused on IoTeX Network for now but we use different techniques/tools to make it better such as graphql, typescript, tee and etc..
Hello, I’m just a newbie in this current new world, what’s your plan to expand/grab knowledge about cryptocurrency especially for IOTEX project?
docs.iotex.io is definitely a great place to start. We will also launch our codelabs in a few weeks which would be a great place for starters. You can also check out lots of useful resources here https://www.iotex.io/community-resources
How do you see the project develop in 3–5 years from now, both business-wise & company wise? What are the plans to expand in different regions? Will you outsource the team/skills or keep it centralized and set up offices?
The past 18 months is a great start for the project and we are working even harder since then. This year we aim to finish most of the tech foundation (blockchain + trusted computing); 2020 will be one year we focus on some use cases — device identity, trusted collecting of IoT data, trusted storage of data and compute. The second half of 2020, we will focus on commercialization of such as the data marketplace on top of our technologies. In terms of where to start, we found out that Asian and Europe are most passionate about IoT that’s where we will likely to push first. Decentralization is the soul of the blockchain, both at operation level (e.g., delegates) and organization level (e.g., diversified team and decentralized offices). We are always trying to make IoTeX more decentralized and we would love to have believers to join us no matter from where!
Why iotx doesn't spend more time to promote more news about the project?
We are focusing on building :) As the project gets more well-established, we are talking about ourselves more.