IoTeX AMA Livestream — May 31/19

Thank you to those who joined our general AMA and livestream session on May 31! We had a great time answering your questions and talking about our Delegates Program 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 bonus points.

Session participants

This AMA was hosted by our co-founder Raullen, Head of Cryptography Xinxin, and Head of BD Larry.

Livestream Video

Livestream Recap/Highlights

  • What IoTeX has been working on?
  • Blockchain’s role in IoT & privacy
  • VITA token
  • Member portal
  • AvoBoard

Some of the questions from the community (see the video for the full list of Q & A)

  • How is IoTeX’s consensus special or different from others?
  • What is IoTeX’s approach on privacy-preserving solutions for smart contracts?
  • What is your view on 5G?
  • Is every AvoBoard a node in the network?
  • Will VITA token be available to trade? any airdrop coming?
  • What’s the ratio to swap VITA to IOTX?
  • Any embedded hardware solutions in the pipeline?
  • How are you tracking the broader market?
  • Who are your favorite Delegates and how is the program going?
  • How developers can get involved?

What IoTeX has been working on?

After the launch of the IoTeX Mainnet Alpha, we’ve been delivering new tools, new wallets, new explorers, and we just launched a blog post around the Post-Mainnet Roadmap. Last year, we mainly focused on more of the fundamental research related to the different components of blockchain infrastructure, such as consensus and privacy. And starting from this year, because we already have the foundation of IoTeX blockchain, we are focusing more on the application aspect, how to bring the IoT applications on our blockchain in a secure and efficient manner and what role the blockchain will play in the entire IoT ecosystem. These are the research directions that we are looking to solve and bring the real-world applications to the IoTeX blockchain.

Blockchain’s role in IoT & privacy

IoT system is quite complex, it has multiple components like devices, gateways, storage and other services that you need to take care of and blockchain is another very important component that goes into this IoT space. It’s important to think about not just delivering products without really thinking holistically about the security architecture how the blockchain will enable interoperability across these devices and how it all fits together.

VITA token

This Vitality token, short name — VITA is going to be our community token and the first token that will ever be launched on the IoTeX network. We chose the name vitality because the definition means the capacity for survival or continuation of a meaningful existence and we think that its a good analogy for community. This token is meant to incentivize and put a lot of the community governance onto the blockchain incentivizing people to contribute in different ways such as staking and voting, doing community tasks, referrals and other kinds of contributions. Kind of digitizing those incentives and contributions and giving people VITA tokens for those activities and finally having a lot of ways to spend those VITA tokens. We have a lot of IoT device manufacturer partners, that have donated lots of the latest IoT products so we’re going to be doing reviews on those products and giving those away in lotteries as well as a lot of other ways for you to use VITA tokens both within the IoTeX ecosystem and in third-party applications.

Member portal

The member portal is our way of not just creating IoTeX specific news, but also sharing updates around the entire blockchain, IoT and privacy space. We want this to be the one-stop shop for all community members, whether they are new members or have been with us for some time, they can come to the website to understand the blockchain and IoT space, what’s happening in it and what IoTeX is contributing, so it’s a mix of curated content, exclusive news, IoT product giveaways and lotteries and all these kind of fun things. We want to make learning about blockchain and IoT, and IoTeX more fun and engaging for everyone.

AvoBoard

We have been working on this top secret hardware project for over a year now and see it as a gateway to trusted computing and privacy in the IoTeX network and you know Xin Xin has been in the weeds designing this board from scratch. Avoboard is a secure edge computing device, that you can build application on top of. The main motivation for us to consider developing this type of a secure computing device is that we realized that security is a really serious issue for the IoT world and in the past years, we have seen lots of reports about different data breaches and large-scale data breaches in the IoT space. Since most of the manufacturers only consider the cost when making the IoT device, there isn’t enough security features being integrated into these low cost devices, which bring a lot of issues for the IoT deployment and applications. We consider to bring this new board, which is developer-friendly to do the trusted computing applications. We will open the pre-orders for the Avoboard in late June or early July and before that, will probably be issuing some more technical documentation and possibly a white paper.

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

Generally speaking there are two main approaches:

  1. Theoretical approach more on the crypto theory side, like cryptography theory which includes the multi-party computation, homomorphic encryption and zero knowledge proof. At the current stage, those are still at the very infant stage and they cannot do everything, even like zkp — zero knowledge proof, can actually do a very limited amount of things and the complexity to implement stuff is very very high.
  2. Practical approach is the one we are taking it is more like assuming that you have hardware similar to like a safe box, in which you can run everything in a confidential way. This is something called TEE - Trusted Execution Environment which has been on the market for like three, four decades and it’s a very mature technology. Basically, its like a chip that has some secret element, TEE inside, to allow you to run transactions in a very secure way. So we’re kind of taking this approach by assuming this hardware is secure enough so we can feature rich stuff compared to the cryptography approach and it comes to life in Avoboard, all these trusted execution environments are built into Avoboard into it.

What is your view on 5G?

5G is the next generation of the telecommunication technologies, which will further reduce the response time and give you high bandwidth for the communication. We believe that 5G will directly unlock the new IoT related applications, for example, in the autonomous driving domains and maybe remote surgery, this type of applications. For these IoT applications, which require faster response time, 5G will be the necessary component, however, they still need some further work to bring this technology to the IoT domain. Also the new communication modules need to be built and the power consumption is another consideration, how to integrate the 5G technology in a cost-effective way into the IoT word. 5G is often paired with the edge computing nowadays, they are two very linked kind of technologies. Edge computing is more kind of reducing the distance between the device and the central server, because if you’re bound by the speed of light, you can only send data thousands of miles and get data back to the device so fast. So instead of doing it on centralized servers you’re kind of doing more computation both at the infrastructure edge and the device edge.

Is every AvoBoard a node in the network?

Think of it as a small computer, it is still an IoT device but is relatively low-cost and has very limited capabilities in terms of computation and storage. Most likely this type of device will act as a lightweight client in the IoTeX blockchain and might store partial data of the blockchain on the board. However, depending on the concrete applications we’ll need to design the protocols on how to use the storage on the board and how to talk with other devices.

Will VITA token be available to trade? any airdrop coming?

The initial purpose of VITA is not to make it tradable but it is an erc20 token running on top of IoTeX blockchain, so any exchange can go ahead and list VITA token to make it tradable, that’s not under our control.

We are planning to do an airdrop for the initial voters and stakers who have been voting and staking using IOTX and we’ll share more details with you guys in the next few days.

What’s the ratio to swap VITA to IOTX?

VITA won't be swappable to the IOTX but can go the other way around. We will share the token economics and details with you in our upcoming blog.

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

We actually just had a monthly Delegate call this morning, a few hours ago we and shared a lot of contents that we can disclose to the community as well. We will have a software upgrade, more analytics around IoTeX blockchain, but most importantly, we talked about the contributions from the Delegates. It’s very exciting to me at least to see so many contributions from different Delegates around the world. For example some of the Delegates sponsor us with hosting meetups, some have integrated us into their product, like Cobo and some of the community Delegates have developed lots of meaningful things for us, like wallets, Explorers, gateways to show the return or ROI, as well as, we did some marketing campaigns together, like with the Coingecko Delegate.

Some of the future plans for the Delegate program — definitely onboarding new delegates, two new ones are joining — Blackpool and Scitex. Our goal as IoTeX is to be kind of like the unbiased overseer of this Delegates Program and just provide transparency on what Delegates are contributing and confirming that they stick to their words about paying out rewards. So on those two topics, we’re really taking a new initiative to make those more public and also to curate ones that we find especially valuable for the network. So on the member.iotex.io website within the next coming weeks we’ll be adding a new top section with like many banners of what delegates are contributing, as well as a new section in each voting profile, where delegates in their own words explain what they are building. And on the second piece around the rewards part , we’ve created an account that we’ll vote from for all the Delegates and record all the rewards we will receive and make that data public. The overall goal is to add more transparency to the program and incentivize more community and Delegate participation.

How developers can get involved?

Most importantly, we have the core part ready and now we are building surrounding products. There are lots of things actually around the IoTeX core so if you have some cool ideas or if you know how to do something in a very efficient way, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and we will talk about how we can support you to build this thing. So internally, in the short term, there are two things we will build, one is the IoTeX analytics that means we’ll have more deep insights about what is going on in the IoTeX blockchain. And another example is that we have a bare minimum implementation of the SDK which is already working, but we do need to work on it more and integrate with different products and need to figure out this glue layer in between products to make it happen, so that the existing products can talk with IoTeX blockchain.


Announcing the Winners!

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About IoTeX

IoTeX began the journey in 2017 to build the Internet of Trusted Things, where all physical and virtual “things” — humans, machines, businesses, and dApps — can efficiently exchange information and value at global scale. Backed by a global team of research scientists and top engineers, IoTeX combines blockchain, trusted hardware and edge computing to realize the full potential of IoT.

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