IoTeX Tech AMA — January 4, 2019
Hello everyone. Hope you enjoyed a happy New Year Holiday! Like usual, our next bi-weekly AMA will be a TECH one this Friday, January 4, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM PST. We will be granting 300 bonus points for up to 10 people for the “most thoughtful questions” we receive. Again, please double-check and make sure that you are submitting question with your unique IoTeX Hash ID to qualify for bonus points if selected. Any other Hash ID will be ineligible.
How to participate in the IoTeX AMA
- Subscribe to the IoTeX subreddit r/IoTeX
- Visit the pinned “IoTeX Tech AMA — January 4, 2018” post in the r/IoTeX subreddit on Jan 4, 2018 between 2:00 PM — 4:00 PM PST. We will also post a link in the official IoTeX Telegram group when the campaign starts. *Note: We will only accept questions submitted within the official AMA timeframe announced here.
- Ask us a question and include your unique IoTeX Hash ID (PM@IoTeXBountyBot and enter /hashid, or follow the instructions here) — we will only give points for new questions (no duplicate questions)!
- We will answer the questions one by one in Reddit. If you have follow-up questions, please feel free to comment on our reply!
- We will also select the most thoughtful questions and give additional bonus points.
- We will transcribe the AMA and post the list of questions and answers to our Telegram group.
- “Most Thoughtful Questions” Bonus: 300 points (Up to 10 people, chosen by the IoTeX team)
- Points will be distributed no later than Jan 9.
- We don’t give bonus points for repeated questions. Please check our former AMAs here
- Shoot us any questions you’ve got related to IoTeX!
- Profanity and spam messages are forbidden.
Announcing the Winners!
Congratulations to those who won bonus points from this AMA!
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Most Thoughtful Questions
Q1. It has been overlooked I think but in my opinion it was a very important moment when earlier in 2018 Raullen and Zhijie were teaching a distance learning course regarding Tech of blockchain and IoT at Nicosia’s university. I mean how many projects have done this by trully sincerely sharing their knowledge with new students of the field, personally I’ve only heard IoTeX doing this. Also we’ve seen that recently IoTeX partnered with University of Cincinnati. My question is whether courses like that are still being done or are being planned to be done and why is that important for team of IoTeX to allocate some of the efforts into these spaces of academics?
A: First, thank you for the recognition of our academic contribution! As we stated earlier, we think the blockchain industry development heavily relies on the cryptography knowledge base. As the team with solid cryptography background, it is our obligation to explore for more innovations and make more contribution to sharing the knowledge to more talents. That’s why we also open sourced lots of our codes to the public, free to use. That’s also why we always say that there is no “real” competitor in the current blockchain industry — everyone should put lots of work exploring, researching, to strengthen the development and future killer application/ innovations regardless to do it individually or with other companies/research parties. By teaching lessons and working with academic labs, we will have more opportunities to reach more talents, speed up the innovation exploration, and all these will ultimately benefit our own development. Collaborating with top researchers in academia is also crucial for bringing the cutting-edge research innovations to the IoTeX blockchain.
Q2. When looking at Iotex core’s insights at Github it can be seen that since June of 2018 there has been quite a downtrend in commits up until now with spikes in August and end of October. Should this be interpreted that the majority of the work has been done and this is actually a good sign? Any clarity please.
A: Each project has its own development style. For us, we built everything from zero and finished most of the initial codes in June. Then we slowed down the commit speed intentionally. At the same time, we did several rounds of code review and code refactoring to improve the network. That’s a lot of work which will not be shown by the # of commits. (e.g. https://github.com/iotexproject/iotex-core/pull/371) So the # of commit is not the only factor to evaluate the workload. And usually, we commit our code intensively before every code release so you will see some spikes. It means that we began to freeze our code for final testing, but those codes are built gradually in the past few months.
Q3. For important mainnet releases I’m sure the team will conduct various bug bounties for the community so they can potentially find any bugs and work for the hackers would be rewarded but is the team thinking of raising the stakes a bit and paying more and finding very high level hackers globally to test the robustness of the network? Would that be both technically and economically efficient and why?
A: Yes we are thinking of launching another round of bug bounty program. We prefer to set a reasonable reward for the contribution since the bug bounty program is not the only way to test the network. In addition, in most of the cases, we not only give a one-time reward for the developers who helped us discovering bugs/vulnerabilities, but also keep the long-term relationship as they will help us working on IoTeX network-related works. We will also have accordance bounty program for these additional contributions. We believe raising the reward to a much higher level is not the only way to approach the high-level hackers. We may utilize a few platforms to help us spread the program details.
Q4. Will the Committee of block producers be selected only through a consensus Roll-DPoS mechanism? Or will there be additional mechanisms to eliminate centralization and possible collusion?
A: Yes — we are currently in the final stages of designing our block producer ranking and rewarding schemes. The ranking scheme will define how block producers are chosen, and it will not only be reliant on stake / votes but also other factors to prevent centralization and collusion. The rewarding scheme determines how block producers are rewarded for participating in consensus. We will be releasing individual blog posts on both of these schemes over the next month.
Q5. What, if any, role will IoT endpoints have in maintaining consensus? Do you plan to protect the endpoint from any attempt to compromise it’s private key if it needs to be stored on an IoT device that might live in a less than secure location?
A: IoT devices will not be responsible for maintaining consensus — this task is the exclusive responsibility of IoTeX block producers as our Roll-DPoS consensus mechanism is a variant of delegated proof of stake (DPoS). These block producers have minimum HW/SW requirements to ensure that consensus is processed securely and efficiently. However, IoT devices (acting as full nodes or light nodes) will be responsible for downloading the latest history of transactions so they can participate in transactions. In other words, endpoints will periodically sync the latest version of the blockchain.
In addition, the security of endpoints is crucial for any blockchain-based IoT applications since the IoT endpoints are essentially responsible to provide trusted data to the blockchain. For protecting endpoints from compromise, a piece of secure hardware is highly desirable for storing private key on IoT devices. Moreover, a well-designed key management mechanism is also important to ensure the long-term security of IoT systems.
Q6. Dear IoTeX Team, Wish you had (or are having!) good holidays. I’ve got one question about Roll-DPoS (or DPoS in general): not speaking of exact numbers/percentages/mechanisms, we know that the block rewards which a BP earns will get shared among those stakeholders who voted that BP, proportionally to their stake. But what about those who voted for all the other candidates that actually did not make it in the candidates pool? Will they be excluded by the rewards sharing? Or is it that all the block rewards from all the BPs get collected and shared among all voters regardless of who they did actually vote? Thank you.
A: The sharing of block rewards from block producers to those that voted for them will not be built-in to the protocol (as is the case in PoS projects like Tezos). Instead, it is up to the block producer to determine how they will allocate their block rewards. For example, some may choose to re-distribute 80% of block rewards to those that voted for them (weighted by votes), and commit the remaining 20% to further development of the platform. We have even seen some block producers re-distribute 100%+ (i.e., they will pay more than the block rewards) to win votes. This is ultimately determined on a case-by-case basis — there may even be some block producers that do not re-distribute any funds to their voters, but will still be voted in by contributing to the network in other ways (i.e., DApp / tool builders, project awareness).
As such, there will not be any defined rules requiring BPs to share / not share their block rewards. From IoTeX’s perspective, we will only provide voters with high degree of transparency as far as block producer metrics / uptime to help people make the most informed decision.
Q7. Hi! How did spend holidays?
1) to you any offers from your competitors on IoTeX to technologies sometime arrived? if yes, that what?
2) in the future you plan merging with other companies?
3) we know that IoT technologies help to save significantly money to ordinary users, but further this technology will rise in price or become cheaper for ordinary users?
A: Hello! The team got to spend precious time with our families over the holiday / New Year break, but we also worked diligently. We are more inspired than ever to do great things in 2019!
1/2) We do not see other blockchain companies as “competitors” and we actually work with other similar projects on research and development. We are happy to be part of the blockchain industry which is very collaborative. However, we will not “merge” with other companies but we will definitely continue to build strategic partnerships with DApp builders, investors, and other companies. Our goal is to build our community with talented and passionate companies and community members!
3) IoT technology is advancing very quickly — not only are devices / chips becoming more cheaper and powerful, but new connectivity technologies (i.e., 5G) will greatly improve the capabilities of the IoT industry. We feel this trend will continue — today’s IoT capabilities will become cheaper, but new exciting technologies will emerge at higher price points that may replace some existing capabilities as well.
IoTeX is the privacy-centric blockchain platform that is fast, flexible, and the Internet of Things (IoT) friendly. IoTeX’s global team is comprised of distinguished research scientists, top-tier engineers, and experienced ecosystem builders. Designed and optimized for IoT, IoTeX uses state-of-the-art privacy, consensus, and sub-chain innovations to capture the full potential of IoT. By enabling trusted data, interoperability, and M2M automation, IoTeX bridges the physical and digital worlds and brings trusted machine economies to the masses.
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