Lino Network Annual Report

In July 2018, we celebrated Lino’s first anniversary. It has been a year of extraordinary achievements and we would like to share them with you. We expanded our team, conducted many successful tests, secured generous funding from trustworthy partners, and brought in renowned advisers. Most importantly, our stellar engineers created a product that we cannot wait to share with you during our upcoming launch. Until then, we hope you enjoy reading about our progress, which has been extolled in many venues, including a peer-reviewed academic journal. This report also includes team updates detailing the milestones of the past year, along with sneak peaks of the exciting developments ahead.

What is Lino?

What We Have Accomplished in the Past Year

1. Team Growth: From 4 to 30

2. Testnet Launch and First DApp Deployment

3. Academic Prowess: Proof of Human Engagement & Proof of Content Value

4. Decision on Choosing Cosmos

5. Seed Investment from ZhenFund

6. Successful Private Sale

7. Major Advisors Onboard

8. Global Operation Expansion

9. Code Audit Partnership

What’s Next…

1. Launch DApps

2. Gain Millions of Users Globally

3. Grow to 40 People

4. Push the Research Knowledge of Blockchain

5. Form More Partnerships with Content Creators

How You Can Participate: Lino’s Social Media Channels

Conclusion: Go Big or Go Home


What is Lino?

The global online video market has witnessed explosive growth in recent years, resulting in a continuously growing revenue pool across the content ecosystem. However, due to the inherent dependency of content creators on distribution channels, platforms, like YouTube and Twitch, have amassed a disproportionate share of this revenue pool over time. As a result, content creators face content demonetization challenges, as a result, the compensation they receive is far too low for the true value they create. This reduces content creators’ motivation to continue producing quality content.

Instead of creating another profit-driven company, Lino’s approach is to create a decentralized, autonomous content economy, where all means of production are self-governed by all members. This ensures all content value is directly distributed to content creators and affiliated contributors without going through a dominating middleman. The disruptive blockchain technology enables us to revolutionize the traditional economic model by redefining the profit allocation mechanism.

By leveraging blockchain technology, in Lino, users’ contributions and content value are recorded precisely, recognized efficiently, and rewarded directly, to promote the long-term economic growth of the ecosystem. Specifically, all user interactions , such as views, comments, and transactions, will be recorded onto the Lino blockchain. The Lino blockchain will then compute and allocate rewards, in the form of Lino coins, to the network contributors, such as content creators, audience, developers, validators, and infrastructure providers.

The Lino blockchain is expected to provide universal infrastructure to all users on the video-sharing network, minimizing the development difficulties for developers and providing users with a uniform experience.


What We Have Accomplished in the Past Year

Milestones

July 1st, 2017 Lino Project Established

October 1st, 2017 Seed Investment from ZhenFund

December 1st, 2017 First Minimal Viable Product (MVP) Launched

January 2018 Private Sale Concluded

August 15th, 2018 Testnet Released

In this past year, we have accomplished far beyond what we could have imagined and are grateful to those of you who have accompanied us on the journey. We will begin by highlighting our top nine accomplishments over the past year.

1. Team Growth: From 4 to 30

From our original four founders, we are now a team of 30 who have come together to create this platform and ecosystem. We are very proud of our team dynamic and the culture we’ve built. This includes our daily gym session after lunch, to working together nonstop everyday. We would not be here today if it were not for every single one of our people who push code, negotiate with vendors, talk with lawyers, model incentives, and so much more.

2. Testnet Launch and First DApp Deployment

We launched our testnet on August 15, 2018. The code is public on our GitHub. Our mainnet and first DApp are expected to be released between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019. With this testnet, we hope to fulfil several goals that will jumpstart the development of our mainnet launch:

  1. Find bugs, security loopholes, and unexpected behaviors through community testing. There will be multiple bounty programs to reward those who report undiscovered issues to our team.
  2. Receive Feedback on our existing assumptions and design choices through scalable user testing.
  3. Optimize both our Proof of Content Value Algorithms, and Content Mining Algorithms. These algorithms are data hungry and perform better with increasing data generated from our testnet users. The testnet ensures that they will be more accurate when the mainnet launches. Also, we will learn what attack vectors malicious individuals could use against the system and how to best defend against them.
  4. Ensure that the infrastructure is battle hardened and strengthen areas that need support through stress testing system components.

Beyond a pure technical test of the system, we have also developed softer goals for the testnet. We hope that it will drive more interest and education around the system — most notably that they understand that Lino puts the power back into the hands of the content creators and viewers, enabling a more sustainable ecosystem.

3. Academic Prowess

Lino’s research parallels the video content research of centralized platforms such as viewership determination, but there is a unique twist as the system is decentralized. Due to the inherent permissionless nature of blockchain, we have to tackle this problem by using mindsets and tools that are different from the traditional centralized world. It is not a trivial matter to create a decentralized content platform because it raises important questions central to the values and culture of our community. How does a user determine the value of a particular video or stream? How does the system detect people who are inflating their viewership? How should governance be conducted in a way that is optimal for the system?

Proof of Human Engagement

To ensure equality in the system, we want to only distribute rewards to real human users. In a decentralized system, it will be difficult to differentiate humans from bots, and more importantly, if a botnet attacks the system that can result the system breakdown. Lino proposed a solution to prevent that from happening.Lino has pioneered and documented a new way to detect bots in our published paper called Proof of Human Engagement in Decentralized Systems, which was accepted into the IEEE sponsored Future Technology Conference 2018. On an advanced level, it functions as a decentralized version of Google reCAPTCHA. You can learn more about the system by reading the paper here.

Proof of Content Value

Any content value is difficult to quantify. Think of a news feed algorithm, with continuous fine tuning in the background. On our end, we have developed a fairly robust system by leveraging an anti-fraud algorithm, stake-based censorship, penalty scores, freeze periods, and consumption friction rates. These subsystems greatly increase the difficulty of manipulating the system. Most of them have already been implemented in our Minimal Viable Product (MVP); however, it will take additional research to further prove this method. The ultimate goal is to show that a Nash equilibrium exists in Lino, and the best strategy for each user to reach the highest earning potential is by staying honest.

4. Decision on Choosing Cosmos

Currently, our ledger is built on top of Tendermint that is developed by Cosmos. Tendermint is a consensus engine used for securely and consistently replicating an application on many machines. We have contributed code to the Cosmos SDK and ran a Cosmos validator on their testnet. Tendermint implements the Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) which tolerates up to ⅓ of validators failures. Tendermint’s BFT-based PoS has obvious advantages over alternative consensus algorithms including Proof of Work (PoW), Proof of Stake (PoS) and Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) in terms of transaction speed, which is crucial to a content sharing network. With Tendermint’s BFT-based PoS consensus algorithm, Lino will be able to support tens of thousands of transactions per second with instant finality, which is perfect for live streaming and video applications.

5. Seed Investment From ZhenFund

At the beginning of most projects, only the co-founders and a close circle of friends believed in the product that they are working on. We were so grateful when ZhenFund took the initiative and supported us. This validation from a traditional venture capitalist reflects their belief in our mission and the product. Their investments will add to the foundation of trust and credibility we are building within our community.

6. Successful Private Sale

In February 2018, we completed our $20 million private sale with our investors. The list of investors includes DFund, FBG Capital, BitAngel, Funcity Capital, INBlockchain, LinkVC, Node Capital, Pre Angel, Chain VC, AlphaCoin Fund, Viking Capital, Ausvic Capital, Crypto Standard, and Consensus Capital, etc.

This capital enabled us to hire and expand our team to build out the Lino blockchain. During the last year, we have participated in networking events both in countries such as China, Japan, Korea and the United States. Unlike other project participants who were eager to secure funding, we attended these events to communicate and meet with our early investors and fans in person. We would like to thank all who have helped and supported us tremendously at the beginning of our journey.

7. Major Advisors Onboard

The average age of the Lino founding team is 27, while the tech team’s average age is 25. This makes us a team of young, hungry, and driven entrepreneurs. But it also means we need great advisors with experience and expertise.

In the past few months, four additional advisors have joined our team. They included successful investors, Hollywood veterans, and well-known YouTubers. They have invested in world renowned internet companies, been producers for over 30 years, and have a global fanbase of more than 20 million viewers. We are looking forward to sharing their names with you soon. With their backing and support, Lino is ready to make an impact in the content industry.

8. Global Operation Expansion

In a classic Silicon Valley story, the four co-founders of Lino started working out of a friend’s garage. When that became too small, the founders moved in together and started working out of a shared house. Friends called the place a “family owned restaurant” as everyone would eat, work, and sleep there. In July 2018, when our venture outgrew the house, Lino moved into a 3,000 square-feet office in Cupertino, California. This office gives us the opportunity to grow at an even faster speed.

Meanwhile, we have started our global operation expansion. We now have more than ten members based in both Europe and Asia.

9. Code Audit Partnership

There has been so much news lately about different projects or crypto exchanges getting hacked, and understand that both the damage and risk for all parties can sometimes be unbearable. Security is Lino blockchain’s highest priority and has been since day one of our development. After a few rounds of evaluation, we began a partnership with Knownsec, a Tencent backed cybersecurity solution provider. This partnership furthers our code auditing effort to ensure that our code is impenetrable.


What’s Next…

As we witnessed the volatility of the cryptocurrency market, the ups-and-downs of different blockchain related projects, we realized we must focus on our blockchain development and teamwork. There are five goals we would like to focus on in the upcoming year.

1. Launch DApps

By 2019, we expect to have two DApps launched on the Lino blockchain. And yes, we will release our white paper with our mainnet launch. Building incredible DApps is the key strategy in bringing our vision to a wider community. Working on this will add another unique user experience to the underlying blockchain. Meanwhile, our engineering will be focusing on optimizing the mainnet and making it safer.

2. Gain Millions of Users Globally

We quantify success by having a large and diverse number of users from around the world, as we do not want to be a regional player. We hope to have millions of users globally in our community by next year.

3. Grow to 40 People

The faster we grow our team, the faster we move. We plan to increase our headcount to a total of 40 individuals globally. The majority will be devoted to developing our technology, specifically the infrastructure team. To see a list of our available job openings, please check out our LinkedIn page.

4. Push the Research Knowledge of Blockchain

There is always more to research, learn, and experiment with when it comes to a protocol — it is never truly done. More optimization, more security, more features — it will be an ever ending pursuit. Fortunately, we are here for the long run and plan to never stop building. Current areas of research include:

  • Copyright Protection: How we protect the originating copyright of a content creator
  • Decentralized Advertisement Marketplace
  • Improved Infrastructure
  • Reputation System

5. More Partnerships with Content Creators

Platforms are obsolete without content. We are taking steps to ensure we have top influencers and content creators using Lino. When our platform launches, we will have anchor content from both large producers and indie creators.

How You Can Participate

If you share our dream and would love to be updated along the way, please subscribe to our newsletters at www.lino.network.

Lino’s Social Media Channels:

Official English Language Telegram: https://t.me/lino_official

Chinese Language Telegram: https://t.me/LinoCN

Official Announcement Telegram: https://t.me/Linonetwork

Feel free to email us at info@lino.network.


Conclusion: Go Big or Go Home

As we are finishing this report, we are now at the end of Q3 in 2018. During the past year, Lino has experienced the hype and craze of the crypto world, but we remain focused, calm, and determined.

The first year of Lino was momentous for all of us: We formed the dream team in the heart of Silicon Valley and grew from four to 30 team members within one year; we secured abundant funding; made critical strategic decisions which enabled us to thrive; we established solid partnerships, and worked with the experts in both the blockchain and content industry to ensure long-term growth and expansion of Lino ecosystem.

We know that the coming days and years will not be easy for the blockchain industry and crypto world; however, as Warren Buffett had said, “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.” By having discipline and focusing on product development, we are moving toward our shared dream and fully prepared to make great strides in our upcoming journey.

We look forward to delivering our DApp and mainnet launch to you in the near future!