Last night ( April 2nd, 2020), aelf hosted an AMA on our telegram channel, featuring both founder, aelf’s CEO, Ma Haobo, and aelf’s COO, Zhuling Chen. Below is a transcript of the questions and answers.
Zhuling Chen — It’s always great to hang out in this group. This group means a lot to the aelf community. It is the first aelf community and has been there through all the ups and downs in the world. I would like to start with wishing everyone is staying safe at home during the virus outbreak. It definitely has been a difficult time for all of us, but together we can pull through it.
We understand that the situation is quite striking to all of us. But I really believe that the solution to the virus outbreak is really about more global coordination and collaboration.
All of you to be assured, our team in different places are all safe and working from home as normal.
The aelf team in Beijing were among the early ones experiencing the virus outbreak. As everyone was on the way home for Lunar New Year holiday and then experienced a total city lock-down followed by a 40 days work from home policy. It was definitely not easy for then but our team stayed strong, took necessary pre-cautions and focused on work with right morale. Mappo has recently published some tips of how to work from home effectively based on our experience. Do check it out. Despite not working in the office since February, we have achieved great progress, including launching aelf 1.0 preview, which is an important milestone in technical delivery and also the road map to mainnet launch (which listed out the essential steps for the community to work together to launch a successful public network)
Let’s first talk about aelf v1.0 preview. It is the cornerstone of the mainnet launch. The product itself has all the features that the public network is needed. The code base has been reviewed and tested rigorously by the team. And a few highlights of how the network would look like:
1. The code allows a stable and high throughput blockchain network to operate publicly.
2. For developers, they will love how flexible the system is to be customized, the amount of tools and documentations to help them start developing applications on the network
3. For the whole community, the system is an ever-evolving one where voting system is ready in place to conduct network wide voting on various topics, such as transaction fee adjustment, network protocol upgrade, incentive adjustment, etc
4. aelf system is able to run multi-chain architecture where each side chain will host different applications and still ready to work with each other
I see in other language groups, folks are translating the conversation and sharing with all groups. This is great
So you may ask, since the software is ready, why have we not yet launched the public network? The answer in short is that a public blockchain is launched not by a team but through a community effort and that’s why we are coordinating the community effort based on the road map we proposed. aelf team has launched the public testnet based on aelf v1.0 preview and currently all nodes are under the team. The goal is to let the community and elected nodes to take it over and launch it at global scale. Not only launch it but also be familiarise with the network and also set the launch parameters in a decentralised way. If we take a car as an example, we have made the car, but ultimately the drivers are you guys and therefore before it really hits on the road, we need to guide the community to do a test drive, adjust the car based on what really works for YOU, and ultimately let YOU drive the car freely and safely
So how are we going to help the community launch the network.
First of all, we have launched the codes, documents about economic system and governance model and technical features. With all the things available, you are able to understand what is the system about, as a token holder what’s your benefit in the system, and being a node in the system plays a big role in the governance
Next, without yet electing the nodes, we will get all token holders to join the current aelf network through a mapping event. That means as long as you have elf tokens, you will be able to get 1:1 test tokens on the public testnet. that gives you full access to all the features, and you will feel like you are already using the mainnet. You will get rewarded in making transactions, voting, etc.
Do try out the elf wallet and voting features, you will see how easy to transfer tokens cross chain. and also how flexible the system allows people to make changes. For example, the community may want to adjust the block rewarding parameters or fees to use certain services on mainnet, they can initiate a discussion and then vote in the system and once voted through, it will be reflected on mainnet.
For people/ organization that want to play a bigger role in the system, we will do a dry run of node election. Take it as the real node election before mainnet launch. We will see who are the active members in the community and being trusted by the community. Among the nodes, we will form a network launch committee. The committee will be the crucial party to oversees and ensures the smooth launch of elf mainnet, instead of just relying on elf team. This is our step towards decentralisation.
The committee will agree on the actual launch process, final checking all the parameters in the system to be ready for launch and then decide when the criteria are met to launch the network. Once all that is decided. We will invite all interested nodes to apply for the election and let the community know what’s their plan to grow elf network. the network will initially be launched with a few nodes from the committee and gradually be replaced by the elected nodes (a bootstrap phase). Along the way, we will work with exchanges to conduct token swap (which we are also designing an innovative system to further enhance security and usability of elf tokens in exchanges)
I have done a really long monologue as I am excited about what has been done at aelf. As you can see, the coming weeks are gonna be busy for aelf community — A LOT OF EVENTS to try out and participate to shape the future of aelf.
Among this isolated and worrisome time, at least we all have something to look forward to: a successful launch of aelf network! Once it is launched, we are excited to see a vibrant and technically superior network that is good for DApps to run on top of it.
Doris Guo — Q1: As a Blockchain startup, what difficulties have you overcome when starting AELF project? What motivates you to solve difficulties and achieve success today???
Zhuling Chen — First, just like launching any startup, its community and investors are usually regional. There is always some bias on if asian projects are solid. It is really rare to have a Asian project to be supported by western funds and community from day 1. We were lucky to have overcome that obstacle. Having a global investor lineup from day 1. Having a global team from day 1 and also working with a global community from day 1. This benefited us to have an international perspective which is crucial in blockchain industry.
Secondly, as a hardcore technology company, it is really hard to put in plain words what is our ambition. Our ambition is huge, achieving key innovations in multiple fronts of blockchain technology and organically combined them to serve real uesrs for the future. Our marketing team has been working really hard to elaborate what aelf is. Now we have come to a point that the product is ready. Therefore it is much easier for all of us to understand how solid aelf is by trying out the network ourselves! That’s exactly what the following events will be about — Try out all the exciting features of aelf network before mainnet launch.
Doris Guo — Q2: What critical problems do you see occurring in the blockchain industry nowadays? How does AELF solve these problems???
Haobo — First, we need to distinguish the difference between BTC and ETH. One is Digital Cash and the other is the Smart Contract Platform. AELF addresses most of the latter’s problems. In short, it can be summarized as performance, end-user friendly, developer friendly, network economy, and self-governance and upgrading. Each of these areas will probably take up a lot of space, and as a whole are the issues described in our two white papers.
In short, AELF is faster, end users do not need to know the rules of blockchain, developers can set up the development environment in 10 minutes, have a good economic model and can carry out proposal governance on the chain.
Doris Guo — Q3: What is your long-term vision about the industry which AELF is working at? Are you afraid some day there will be another project with more innovative technology can replace AELF ???
Haobo — Let’s talk about where AELF stand in the traditional Internet. It is essentially a cloud service provider, AELF provides resources and infrastructure for developers to deploy their services, known as smart contracts.
We eventually want AELF to grow like AAA (Amazon, Azure, AliCloud). Because AELF is a network that can be dynamically scaled, we can accept any new technology, some of the more advanced technologies we can put on a side chain.
Doris Guo — Q4: Why did Aelf choose for cross-chain interaction?
Haobo — As I mentioned earlier, AELF solves the Smart Contract Platform problem. However there are other digital cash problems as well which we would need to use existing infrastructure such as Bitcoin’s chain in order to interact with Bitcoin. There are a lot of infrastructures on Ethereum that we want to interact with.
Multi-chain on AELF network, mainly is to isolate resources to improve network performance and network stability.
Doris Guo — Q5: What difficulties does AELF team have now (I talk about COVID-19)? How does AELF team solve it? Have you changes of roadmap???
Haobo — There is no great impact. The teams in Singapore and Beijing are communicating with each other remotely on a regular basis.
The only change is that most of us are now working from home which has no impact and in fact, it seems conducive to the acceptance of more community developers in the future to come. From the internal working schedule and development timeline, there is no great impact.
We do no publish specific timeline as we do not want short term holders (traders) to create too much negative pressure on product development.
Doris Guo — Q6: AELF is an open source blockchain, and there’s the common problem of taking asubstantial amount of time for the different participants to agree on strategic decisions. What types of governance models do you use in AELF to address this issue???
Haobo — The issue is about public blockchain network, and who can decide the direction of the network. Our answer is long-term holders.
For the short-term holders (traders), we refuse to allow them to participate in any discussion of the direction of AELF, because the short-term holders are likely to make a profit and sell quickly, which is essentially the same example of a person who cheats the President and then runs away for his personal gain.
We defined a number of proposal processes, including the logic of the two-party system in the United States, and the participation in the referendum to ensure that the final proposal represents the majority. At the same time, we are looking for some legal solutions to avoid bifurcation, such as prohibiting exchanges from intervening in bifurcated new tokens.
While we can’t limit a community, we should be able to find ways to limit a centralized organization. This restriction is akin to a ban on national secession.
Doris Guo — Q7: How will AELF empower Investors, Companies, Developers, Platform Users to deliver impactful solutions and bring value to people all over the world ?
Haobo — We will learn from the operational experience of successful foundations such as the LINUX foundation and license some commercial companies to use aelf solutions to solve business problems.
At the same time, AELF is an open-source product under MIT License, and we accept any use that does not violate this open-source principle.
Zhuling Chen — let me add on to haobo’s statement. To incentivize and empower the community, we are also exploring ways to let the community to decide how to use the funds for aelf (allocate to where it matters to our community) once mainnet is launched
This means, you guys can decide what are the projects to be funded on aelf, etc.
Doris Guo — Q8：When will the node campaign start? How will aelf attract users to participate in nodes election??
Haobo — According to our published roadmap, the timeline can be dynamic but I don’t think it will be too long. The main idea is to let everyone understand what we envision AELF to be like, and what are the rights and benefits of being a node in the future.
We hope to find nodes that fully recognize the efforts of AELF at the present stage and are willing to participate in the future development of AELF. We will run a simulation of the node campaign on the testnet and set up a temporary mainnet launch committee.
Please follow our official Twitter for more upcoming details!
Doris Guo — Q9: Token swap form 2 is somekind of cross-chain transfer? It will be handled by a smartcontract?
Haobo — It is handled by the smart contract, we define an asset cross-chain transfer protocol, but it may be opened after a snapshot.
Doris Guo — Q 10: Which Exchanges will support token swap? Do you have any plan to list AELF in some big exchange like Binance, Houbi, Kucoin,……. ?
Haobo — We are already in talks with some exchanges, there is still competition between exchanges, and many are still hoping to attract more users by getting access to mainnet token swap early.
Doris Guo — Q 11: Aside conversion of the current tokens to mainnet tokens, what other main features will be accomplished with the mainnet launch??
Haobo — We have a documentation file that has been published, which has listed some features.
Doris Guo — Q12: Do you have any plan to burn or buyback your coin?
Haobo — We have plans for the community to govern through DAO, we have no interest in short-term price incentive adjustment as we would prefer to drive the project to higher adoption. After mainnet starts operation, there will be a part of network revenue get destroyed automatically.
Doris Guo — Q13: Often, as a newbie developer, I face difficulties on most blockchains. How easy and convenient is it for me on AELF, and what programming language and tools are needed??
Haobo — We set up staging for DAPP developers on GitHub and configured CI. Develop a smart contract using C# with React Native on the front end.
So in fact, developers can fork the source code without setting up the environment locally, and you can conduct unit testing with the help of CI. You can also release the smart contract and generate the installation package of iOS and android online.
Doris Guo — Q14: What is the progress of business development and what are some of your commercial partnerships?
How will aelf rapidly develop the number & performance of DAPP?
Haobo — First of all, the blockchain industry is still fairly small and users with ETH and EOS wallets are considered a very small group and its not effective to even promote within these groups. What we need to consider is how to enable users who have never been exposed to blockchain to use DAPP.
The competitiveness of AELF is to make it easier for AELF developers to promote their DAPP to ordinary users, rather than to teach ordinary users a lot on blockchain knowledge. The average user doesn’t like to hear about private keys, mnemonic, Gas Price, RAM, CPU, etc
Only until we solve such problems, companies that need to solve problems through blockchain will be more inclined to use AELF in technology selection.
Therefore, our main work is to explain the competitive advantages of AELF, ETH and EOS to everyone.
We have some business cooperations, but we also believe that simply through case-by-case business cooperation will not be able to gain adoption so quickly, therefore we still need to put our products to stay ahead of the next generation.
Doris Guo — Q15：What other activities can encourage more people to be confident about aelf?
Haobo — We are only going to state the truth by having those that have faith in us to stay and those that don’t to leave.
The development of aelf is not driven by a single foundation, but by a steady stream of contributions from the community.
In the future, we will also place the activities in the DAO for on-chain governance, and let the community make decisions by itself.
Zhuling Chen — we will try to be as transparent as we could
Kun Aguero — As you know that in the present market situation many new coins or either dying or thriving for liquidity? How will you manage this liquidity problem?
Zhuling Chen — Aelf started in 2017. we have gone through a few cycles in the market, still remember the big down period in 2018–2019. aelf is financially solid and the team has always been working hard. if you are refering to liqudity in exchanges, we are among the lucky ones that are listed in all major exchanges
Xinshu Dong — Hello, great discussions! I’d like to ask what are the criteria to join the committee for launching the mainnet? Would love to participate
Zhuling Chen — Hi xinshu, great to see you here. The committee will be chosen among the nodes elected during the testnet dryrun. Which means, it is really important to participate in the testnet dryrun and also start to estalish your reputation in the community so that people will elect you as a node. The detailed criteria will include what is your plan to help aelf to grow, tech competency and reputation
An Da — What are AELF ‘s achievements in 2019? Who had supported you to get those things?
Zhuling Chen — to name a few, in 2019, aelf is one of the most active projects on github. This means aelf is evolving and improving fast in this space and our team has the tech strength. in addition, we have also sucessfully listed on all major cloud service providers, such as AWS, Azure, google. so large companies can easily launch aelf side chains in their organizaiton with minimum hassle
John… — Hi sir @czhuling and @orzedwin my question is how the voting for master nodes candidates occurs? And why is the development of this system important for your project?
Zhuling Chen — simple. all token holders can vote for the nodes they support on our block explorer.
Miha — Thanks for great AMA :) After mainnet lunch, how will you assure that transactional fees will stay low? We know what sometimes happens to fees on ETH blockchain. Thanks for your answer!
Zhuling Chen — great question, first of all, due to the fact that is aefl is scalbilty, this will reduce transaction fee. Secondly, all transaction fees will be voted by the nodes (which will be elected by you). so they will represent your interest
bobbyfernandito — Currently as we see All projects are concerned with the speed and security .
So tell us here — what are the facilities Aelf provide to their user and investors ?
Haobo — Security: we have an automated smart contract code audit. During contract deployment, production nodes and the community audit participation are required. On the other hand, we are also planning to provide a standardized model of centralized exchange access for 100% asset certification and emergency measures to deal with exchange attacks, which we will be released later.
Haobo— speed: aelf has been working on improving performance, which is transparent to users which they can also experience by themselves.
An Da — What effect does AELF token have on the AELF ecosystem? Holding AELF , what benefits will users receive ?
Zhuling Chen — Holding ELF enables you to use all the services on aelf network. ELF has a deflating system where the total amount will reduce as network grows. token holders can also vote for the nodes to run the network and also vote for big dedisions in the network. part of the fees in the system will also be distributed to token holders via a smart contract
ahihi132 — Which companies do you view them as potential partners and that they are somewhat also beneficial for both user base and AELF itself?
Zhuling Chen — great question, if i could write a wish list, that will be: let medium sized financial institutions to use aelf to challenge the big boys. Let telecommunication companies to use aelf for micro-payment and other innovative business models. we also would like to try out a few public sector projects, which blockchain will instill more transparency and trust
Misun — Q1 : Which programming languages are you using in your project? And why?
Q2-What are another big MILESTONES you have planned for 2020 roadmap and how are they supposed to benefit your costumers? Will it be an exciting year?
Haobo — For Q1: We mainly use C# for development, I personally like it. Performance is good, development environment IDEs are strong, and C# creators are influential in the industry. We believe in the right thing, though it may take a while to develop.
The smart contract will then add support for multiple languages, such as WebAssembly, depending on the needs of the community. Now it seems that C# is enough.
Hambi crypto — Which platforms are your competitors? How will you soar above them, and what better things do you offer than them? So , What’s your outlook on the future of cryptocurrencies in this
year and next few years ?
Haobo — As I have already mentioned this before, Eth and Eos. We provide better performance, cross-chain support (already implemented), end-users do not need to know the details of the blockchain, developers payment models and so on.
Floris-Jan — Got a question myself:
What plans is aelf making to prevent centralized exchange to take over the DPoS algorithm like what happened to Steem?
Are we talking about blacklisting exchange wallets, or having the foundation say “No”, or putting all trust in the community?
Zhuling Chen — Great question, Floris. i’m not going to give away all the details of what haobo has proposed to work on this, but in a nutshell, in aelf system, exchange wallets will not be allowed to vote, but only the sub-wallets for each individual can vote. This will also help exchanges to prevent hacking and theft in the future
Alex — What your plans in place for global expansion, are AELF wallet focusing on only market at this time? Or focus on building and developing or getting customers and users, or partnerships? Can you explain this?
Haobo — Our core focus will be through the developers to promote, developers will help aelf to attract more users. So our product has to be attractive to developers. Just like AWS, they only focus on getting their service right, their developers will think about how to promote it. We don’t want to burden them in their promotion process.
Ellkay — What do you think are the major threats and barriers that could face the development and adoption of AELF??
Haobo — If I’m a DAPP developer and I need to promote my APP to people who don’t recognize blockchain, then I’d like to choose a platform that doesn’t have to explain a lot of blockchain details to the end-user, so they can use it easily. We’ve provided some options in the Boilerplate that allow you to log-in simply via QR code + Password, and our recommended DAPP is independent wallet and a separate iOS/Android application.
ahihi132 — Give me some important reasons why we need to hold AELF token where in fact hundreds of project failed and it went to bankruptcy or even developers run when they collect millions/billions of funds…? Can you explain it to us?
Haobo — First of all, we will not give any suggestions as we only describe the fact that the long-term token holder will be able to govern the AELF network, get AELF mining reward and AELF network profit. At the same time, aelf network is a deflation model, aelf network received transaction fees, profit dividends, will immediately destroy 10% etc
All investments are risky, and we don’t judge the behavior of other developers. There are so many things in this world that cannot be understood and unfair. It is important to do our job well. I cannot explain these things.
Unknown — I remember that boss Ma mentioned to only find those truly innovative applications and enterprises with blockchain, how to find and win partners in these aspects?
Haobo — When Linus was developing Linux, I didn’t think he’d find a lot of collaboration when the code wasn’t good.
The response we can give is that we already have a lot of interest in cooperation, including what we have announced, what we haven’t announced, etc.
Unknown — How interested are cloud computing providers in participating nodes?
Haobo — The vast majority of our nodes should be using cloud services, and as long as a large number of our 17 nodes and other candidate nodes are based on cloud services, our network robustness is determined by these cloud computing providers. Of course, in the expansion, we can also use cloud computing services.
Please remember there will be another AMA held on our Reddit channel on April 8th at 6pm Singapore time!
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