Voice of the MANXers: Series #1
Whether the value of the blockchain market is overhyped is debatable, especially given the market’s performance over the past two weeks. Still, there is no doubt that the use of blockchain technology is gathering momentum, as evidenced by news stories like the following:
· Online retailer Overstock.com is “going all in on blockchain and cryptocurrencies.” — CNN
· “The World Bank is preparing for the world’s first blockchain bond” — CNBC
· “110-year old UPS eyes blockchain to streamline delivery logistics” — CCN
This week MANX conducted its first Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Telegram, the start of a series of planned informational and educational sessions.
Here are some of the questions raised from the MANX community (MANXers) and the answers from Sam Levine, Head of Technology Development, co-founder Dr. Yawei Cui and Head of Global Communities, Ms. Jennifer Bie-Purewal. Questions and answers have been edited for clarity.
Sam: A little bit about me — My career has always bridged deep technology and its business applications. I started off with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science from MIT, then did AI research for several years before returning to MIT for my MBA. Over the past few years, I’ve been working with InsurTech start-ups and helping large insurance companies evaluate blockchain and distributed ledger opportunities.
What is your vision of the current market and what shall we expect in the future?
Sam: Guys, the market is bad, really bad. Reason to panic? Yes, if you are only short term and don’t pay much attention to fundamentals. No, if are in it for the long term, and do have confidence in this newly emergent technology.
Crypto and blockchain have always been a roller coaster — short term gains and losses in excess of 20% are not at all uncommon. We’re still seeing a solid total market. But yes, we will have to work harder to break through the fear!
Are you planning a Global Meetup Tour? Which cities are you going to visit? Moscow is waiting for you!
Yawei: We don’t have a set itinerary for our meetup yet, but it could happen sometime in September. We have been doing a survey in our group, asking all MANXers where they hope to see us. To respect the voice of the community, we have put a few cities in the list: Seoul, Dubai, Moscow. We certainly hope you can keep voting because we’d love to go as many places as possible.
Do you plan to postpone fund-raising due to market conditions?
Sam: MANX is not a pump and dump — it’s a global team focused on creating something brand new and making it accessible to even the smallest participants. So we have no plans to postpone currently.
Is MANX going to do airdrops at some point?
Sam: In general, I don’t believe in giving out free stuff for no good reason. There may be several exceptions — one is to reward referrals and the promotion of MANX to others; another is to reward solid community contributors, such as those actively participating in the invitation-only MATE group, that is the MANX Academy of Token Economics on Telegram.
I would like to hear more about what you are doing to be ready for difficulties that await you and how you want to handle such a big project with such a small team?
Sam: We’re not really such a small team — we currently have people working in our global offices: Canada, China, and USA. Part of the funds raised will be to expand the team, and in fact we’ve begun interviewing developers and others already. Also, of course, we hope to direct a wave of community contributions to help us move faster!
Follow up with that question: How many full time software developers are working in the project at the moment?
Sam: As of now, we have 26 developers, not counting many part time contributors.
Any plan for meetup in Asia？
Sam: We’ll definitely be stopping in Asia — at least Seoul and Dubai.
Yawei: Yes. We are thinking about quite a few cities in addition to Seoul, such as Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, Hanoi, Bangalore, Shenzhen ……
Sam: While you guys are thinking of more questions, let me tell you about how I first met Yawei.
A blockchain investor friend of mine in NYC connected me up with Yawei, saying I wouldn’t believe the vision of the MANX team. I read the white paper, met with Yawei and other key team members. And I got excited about the possibility of working with a team with such an advanced and complete vision of how to change the world. I came on board soon after, and I am very excited to be working with this great team and amazing supporting community from all around the world!
Which funds and VCs support you?
Sam: We will disclose when we are able to. I understand that following big investors is one way to take some risk out of your decision to invest or not. That said, I would encourage anyone looking to make an investment to do the legwork, read the materials and make an informed decision.
Are you going to show MVP before ICO?
Sam: No, we run a tight ship, but we need funds to move faster. So we anticipate doing the TGE/ICO before the MVP is available.
Now I want to ask you a question about future! Tell us a little bit about post-quantum security system. And are you ready to quantum parallelism?
Sam: Quantum computing is something that we’re quite concerned about — existing encryption methods are theoretically susceptible once quantum computers are available.
The research on post-quantum cryptosystems has been carried out with respect to multi-variable public key cryptography, Hash function-based cryptography, code-based cryptography and lattice-based cryptography. Considering the controllability of public key and cyphertext and the efficiency of signatures, MANX will create post-quantum public-key encryption and signature standards based on HASH functions and lattice ciphers for different ecosystems and applications.
We think we’re at the forefront post-quantum research and techniques.
MANX core development member Dr. Jack Chiu draws a lot of inspiration from the work of advisor Professor Vladan Vuletic concerning quantum computing and post-quantum algorithms.
There’s more detail in our White Paper and tech papers. We also have a series of videos available on our website and YouTube channel on this topic.
I’m wondering what makes you different — What is the difference between MANX and other similar projects?
Sam: First and foremost is technology. MANX is tackling hard problems with speed, security, flexibility and multi-chain coordination. Second is scope. MANX is seeking to create new technology, stand up a platform that provides it globally, and provide tools and education that makes the solutions much more accessible.
Third is our commitment to the little guy — not just big investors and big organizations. One question we asked ourselves early on was ‘why aren’t blockchain solutions more common? Where are all the DApps?’ Part of our answer is to tune MANX to make it accessible and easy to develop effective solutions in.
Finally, there is our focus on community. MANX is a big project, and we realize that we can’t do it alone. So we’re committed to working with all of you to help make it happen!
Can you tell more about homomorphic encryption?
Sam: We have uploaded quite a few articles on our website to illustrate our main tech innovations, homomorphic encryption being one of them. Please take a look at our online Library. The article is fairly complete, but we have not shared all the details yet.
About consensus, did your team make it from scratch or did you borrow it from someone else, looks like Fusion consensus is good for your project also?
Sam: We studied the latest research on consensus and borrowed the idea of a two node public chain consensus to deal with hostile or benign network environment to achieve optimal performance. The implementation details of MANX Consensus incorporates our innovative methods for fallback criteria and POS in the hostile network environment.
Regarding the $30M hard cap, how did you come up with that value? Do you have a detailed plan of where the money will be spent? Since most people invest using ETH and not USD, why not peg the cap to ETH instead?
Sam: We used to peg to market at the transfer date. Given the past few days we may change that approach and price in ETH. Great suggestion! The hard cap comes from costing out our development, implementation and support plans. Regarding the spending plan, yes we have detailed plans for development, implementation and support. But those are internal for now.
As for the valuation, that’s roughly the average number for public main of this size. To raise 30% is to ensure we have sufficient resources to deliver our promise. The actual distribution of development resources is described in detail in WP section 3.4 Token Distribution Plan. The Association is also responsible for maintaining MANX partnership community and provide incentives to ecosystem partners.
What kind of help & support you are expecting from community?
Sam: We expect to develop the core technology and stand up the public chain and associated services. But that’s just the beginning. We’d like to develop DApp templates and educate SME and individuals on how to extend/use those DApp templates. That’s where we need the community to get involved!
Many MANXers are also skeptical about the long roadmap, would you share your thoughts on the timeline?
Sam: Sure! We’re building a number of moving pieces at the same time. While we’ve got epic teams running in parallel, there are still a number of pieces of technology to develop, then implement, then simplify the use of. Not to be glib, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Would you consider some kind of fund raising schedule, where you get money based on reaching some kind of milestones until you deliver the public chain instead of raising up all up front?
Sam: Good thinking. We are actually discussing the possibility of it internally. Certainly from a dev perspective, we stage by significant milestones. So I don’t think there would be any practical issues with tying funding to achieving incremental dev goals.
In the White Paper you compare your project with TON. What are your main technical advantages? How do you plan to compete with them in marketing?
Sam: Both MANX and TON have some common features like infinite sharding and hyper-cube routing. However, MANX provides easy application development through templates, advanced cryptography and security implementation, as well as two model public chain consensus engine.
Typically, our senior research staff discuss thorny issues with our advisors. They always extend our thinking with arguments and alternatives. We come up with much better solutions as a result of those discussions. In addition to our academic advisors, there are also a number of blockchain and legal advisors who work with us on a regular basis.
Jennifer: In terms of marketing difference with TON, from the very beginning, we have clear market positioning, that is to provide service to SME and individuals. Just as we are doing with investors, we will build tight communities of end users, centered by their industries, sectors and trades. We believe that loyalty comes from personal relationship and experience.
Our second MANX AMA is coming on Thursday Aug 23, 2018, at 9AM EST (1 PM UTC). To attend, please join our Telegram group at: https://t.me/macrochain