By Michael Chen
Hey Fantomites! As we promised in the Telegram chat earlier, today we’ll be summing up the AMA on Qudem with Michael Kong that was held on the 2nd of April.
We decided to put the questions and answers into different segments for a better overview, and we’ve also added notes or additional information underneath Michael Kong’s answers to further elaborate or correct some of his answers. Cheers and happy reading!
Technology and vision related questions
Question from A3 Mells: ‘’How is FANTOM different from ICON in their mission to build a smart-city ecosystem?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’Technologically, Fantom is very different from ICON. Fantom is building a DAG-based distributed ledger with asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance, but with improvements using existing research to achieve in the average case better performance that “Gossip about Gossip”. ICON’s Loopchain is based on the idea of creating many separate blockchains that are connected to each other, with different levels of nodes. Fantom aims to be a turing-complete smart contract platform. This will enable developers to build smart city applications on top of a single ledger.’’
Question from Rob: ‘’Is fantom only for Korean projects? Seems more focused there then like Eos/eth/Ada/ worldwide — is my feeling wrong?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’Fantom is a global projects with connections in Korea but also elsewhere around the world.’’
Question from Rob: how can compete with 13 millions market cap and 40 millions found with such giant and such tech people like Vitalik — Larimer- ch for example? That have thousands of followers on twitter and are traveling worldwide every day (look Charles of ADA) and have such Novogratz as VC for like EOS?
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘Great question. It is a tough job to build fast, scalable and secure distributed ledger, but we are putting in a lot of effort to achieve this by building the right team and technical partnerships (such as with the University of Sydney). Staying in touch with the community is also important, as they will be using the platform. This is why we’ve focused on answering community questions here and elsewhere, and also attending events around the globe (most recently in New York, Seoul, Australia and Dubai).’’
Question from Rob: ‘’Most of these chains are ready and working with huge communities and funds. How can go there? What’s the plan?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’By building a great distributed ledger and middleware platform, and reaching out to the community.’’
Question from Muskillo: Hi Michael, we’ve heard a lot about Fantom’s similarities and differences from a giant like IOTA. But, apart from smart contracts, where will Fantom outperform IOTA for better adoption in the future?
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘Fantom’s aim is to achieve a high number of maximum transactions per second, with low confirmation times, while being secure. If we can demonstrate better performance than other networks, it will give us a significant advantage.’’
Question from Adam: ‘’How do Fantom plan to create a lively, engaging and fun development community? (I personally think token ownership is important to engage developers which is why I am skeptic to how the initial tokens were distributed, primarily to VC funds)’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’Ultimately we want the network to be used by the community. We are looking to design and implement activities to encourage usage and development, and reach out to different communities. The aim is to achieve network effects that lead to rapid adoption.’’
Question from Steven: ‘’What’s your view on interoperability? Does being a DAG make it easier, harder or no difference to realize it.’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’I’m not sure if it makes it easier or harder. I think interoperability is an interesting feature Fantom may look to have after the launch of the mainnet (such as by using Fusion’s Distributed Control Rights Management functionality), but currently we think other ideas to further improve the scalability of the network are more essential at the moment.’’
Question from Avichai: ‘‘Is there a way to connect current centralised IoT solutions to the Fantom blockchain? — for example can a solution to track water consumption that is already built be put on the Fantom blockchain easily or does it require a complete rebuild?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘Theoretically because the distributed ledger supports turing-complete smart contracts, you should be able to do the same on the network.’’
Question by SF: Have heard about Staking being made available before mainnet. Can we have more details?
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘Yes. Details are already publicly available here: https://medium.com/fantomfoundation/fantom-improvement-proposal-2-proof-of-stake-by-the-numbers-fip-2-a02404144322 https://github.com/Fantom-foundation/FIPs/blob/master/FIPS/fip-2.pdf’’
Note by Michael Chen: Michael Kong may have understood this as the staking details being released early, while the question implied having staking active before the mainnet launches. This needs to be discussed internally.
Question from Steven: ‘’Do you already have a timeline for implementation of staking after main net release? For some projects it can take up to a year after main net release before staking starts.’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’ Our aim is to launch staking with the mainnet release, otherwise the network will be vulnerable to sybil attacks.’’
Question from Steven: ‘’In a past Medium article, on-chain voting was mentioned as a possibility for FTM holders. Will FTM holders be able to vote directly or via delegating to validators who in turn will vote?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’On-chain governance is still under development, but currently the plan is to allow every FTM holder will be able to vote directly.’’
Question from Steven: ‘’Quote from Medium: “Fantom aims to promote and develop software that makes it convenient to delegate to validators through a straightforward UI.” Will you provide real time visibility in staking rewards that each validator will grant to their delegators?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’That is our aim.’’
Question from Shadi: ‘‘Who are your main competitors? What features of the Fantom platform set you apart from them?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘Other infrastructure projects with smart contract support such as Ethereum, Cardano, and Hashgraph, just to name a few. The edge we believe we might have is a network that can process a higher number of transactions per second (tps), while maintaining low confirmations time. In local testing we have done so far, it appears we have achieve a tps rate in the high tens of thousands with 65 nodes. It is important to note that these are very preliminary results, and Fantom is conducting further testing with different parameters.’’
Question from Adam: ‘‘How do Fantom plan to create a good development experience for developers?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘Great documentation, software that is secure and scalable, including a verifiable register-based virtual machine and compiler that reduces the instances of bugs in smart contracts.’’
Question from Steven: ‘‘We have seen a few partnerships announced. Will these all focus on applications directly onto the Fantom public chain? Or will Fantom also focus efforts on private enterprise chain development eg ICON <-> ICONLOOP relationship.’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘I believe it will be a combination of both, depending on the specific relationship. Like Ethereum, users will be able to deploy their own private networks.’’
Question from SF:
Binance has developed their own chain and is actively enticing projects that do not require Smart contracts to move on to the Binance Chain. How do you guys compete in terms of marketing?
Incentives being provided are listing discounts, Active support of the Binance marketing engine, and support to reach out to Binance audience , and association with Binances trusted Brand. And most importantly an out of the box market i..e the Binance DEX.
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘If Fantom can demonstrate a fast, scalable, secure and decentralised mainnet, with smart contract support (currently implemented with the EVM, but may work with a LLVM register-based machine) then that should be a great incentive for users and developers to use the network.’’
Question from Adam: ‘‘How is Fantom planning to reach developers and show that Fantom is a tool with better underlying technology and easier, more intuitive development experience?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘Great question. That’s difficult to answer. Once mainnet is released, we will produce a lot of documentation on how to use the network, build upon it, and improve it. We will try to make it as accessible as possible. Furthermore, we will likely attend developer events and engage significantly with the community.’’
Question from Brennen: ‘’Why Nano and Iota when we have Fantom? Do Nano and Iota have a viable use case?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’Both networks are technologically very different from Fantom and each other. Neither is a general computing platform for turing-complete smart contracts, which Fantom aims to achieve.’’
Question from SF: ‘’Can you provide more details about the Oracle collaboration and what that means for fantom’s sustainability after your ICO fund runs out’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’Oracle has previously offered discounted computing power to Fantom and also to be part of the Oracle marketplace. Apart from that. I’m not aware we are currently doing anything else with them at the moment. Many partnerships are looking forward to the release of our mainnet, including Oracle.’’
Token related questions
Question from Bazerka: ‘’Is Fantom liquidating FTM tokens monthly and if yes then what’s the sell pressure from the team’s side at the end of every month?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’ Fantom is not currently liquidating any FTM.’’
Question from Bazerka: ‘’I noticed in the GITHUB a new trust wallet was created, what is that for? (Sent michael a pic of the wallet on telegram)’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’Trustwallet is a mobile application allowing you to store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum-based tokens, and others. We decided to add our token to it as it was easy to do and makes FTM now compatible with this wallet.’’
Question from Adam: ‘‘Is Fantom planning on improving the current crypto economic model, to create further utility or economic incentives to own Fantom token and not just incentives to use the underlying technology?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘I believe the economic incentives to own the tokens are tied to the underlying technology. In order to secure the network and thus encourage usage, token holders must be economically incentivised to add their computational power as a validator node. Thus, Fantom wanted to have an attractive block reward schedule to attract more staking.’’
Question by Cejay: Will staking start right after main net or will it take some time after main net? Do we stake by holding FTM in FTM wallet?
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘As previously answered, staking will occur with the launch of the mainnet. You can stake either by running a validator node, or by delegating your stake to a validator node.’’
Question from Nicholas: ‘‘What will be the Circ. supply after Mainnet?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘It depends on a variety of factors, including when the mainnet is actually launched, but the total supply should be around 2,181,821,155 FTM. However, this could change.’’
Team related questions
Question from James: ‘’Is Andre’s contract being renewed?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’Yes. He is coming on full-time. More announcements coming :).’’
Edited answer by Michael Chen: Andre has actually not renewed his contract yet and we are still leaving the options open for him to do as he pleases. In the current discussions it seems like Andre is planning to move back to an advisory role, as he also feels that he Foundation is in a significantly better position now than when he started advising.
Question from SF: ‘’Are you coming back to Sydney anytime soon?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’I’m in Sydney now’’
Question from Dude: ‘‘How can you be such a god and best Fantom developer(Sorry Andre haha)? Keep carrying and pushing us man. Don’t need to answer the question.’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’Thank you for your support, but I am not a God.’’
Question from David: ‘‘Would like to know more about fantom nexus and what it means’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘Fantom Nexus’s aims were to engage with the Korean community, establish partnerships with Korean companies, technical partnerships, and contribute to the development of the technology.’’
Question from Cejay: ‘‘Is being CIO fantom your main role or do you work on other projects?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘I focus most of my time on Fantom.’’
Timeline, Road map, and milestone related questions
Question from Steven: ‘’Your whitepaper contains a road map with key milestones and high level deadline targets. Are there any plans to add this road map to the website with status updates. I for instance am a big fan of the ICON approach. Monthly updated and having 4 statuses for each detailed objective within a milestone.’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’I like this. I think we should add a roadmap back. The major milestone ahead for Fantom is the launch of the mainnet, aiming for Q2 2019.’’
Question from Bazerka: What are the top 3 priorities for fantom for the rest of 2019 & since australia is on your radar, will a listing on coinspot.com.au be on the cards
Answer by Michael Kong:
‘’ — 1. Launch of the mainnet with staking
— 2. Design the specification of the new register-based virtual machine
— 3. Establish user growth and partnerships on the mainnet. Personally I would be happy with a listing on coinspot.com.au. However, the focus has been to target large, international exchanges.’’
Question by SF: ‘‘Hows the Dubai Smart city application progressing. I understand there are 20 competitors.’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘‘Andre and Ashton are currently in Dubai talking to many organisations and government officials. More information will be released after the trip is over.’’
Finance related questions
Question from Sf: ‘’Andre said on the interview with ohHey matty that they have a two year run way at current burn rate of $250k. Thats $6m. He also said they lost 50% USD value from ETH drop. But the report published lately says you converted all 40m to USD. Which is it?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: We currently have approximately a two year runway, assuming no foundation tokens are sold, and that the market does not move at all.
Note by Michael Chen: this implies that even without our strategic reserve tokens we have an approximately two years runway, in purely fiat currencies and a minor amount of BTC/ETH to be used to pay for services within the crypto industry (some people heavily insist on receiving BTC/ETH payments which we understand).
Question from Rob: ‘’How the fantom founders can assure investors that they will not dump like they did with the ICO ETH raised? And how they think they gonna go to compete with top ranking crypto?’’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’ Not sure exactly what your question is, but the team as far as I am aware is not selling but building the platform.’’
Question from Bazerka: ‘’Does fantom have enough money to last another 2 years in a bear market for example & do you plan on employing a CFO & finance team?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’Yes. We currently have a finance team handling accounts and payments but we are looking to hire a full time CFO going forward.’’
Question from Steven: ‘’ Among the partnerships that have already been announced, or have yet to be announced, are there any sources of income involved? Do these partners, apart from making their staff available to explore DLT-based solutions, also make funds available for Fantom to develop for instance interfaces. Are you currently exploring whether Fantom is eligible for grants of the Korean government or other country governments which you are targeting for adoption? In short, are there any sources of income to sustain the growth of the Fantom development apart from the ICO funds?’’
Answer by Michael Kong: ‘’ We are currently talking to various potential partners where sources of income may become available, but we are not ready to announce yet. Funding may include the development of interfaces. We are speaking to a couple of government or government agencies.’’
To check out the original AMA, please go to https://qudem.com/events/fantom-101-with-michael-kong/8
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