APEX Network Mainnet Phase 1 Progress Report
Dear community members and token holders. Since the June 25th announcement that our initial mainnet technology has been deployed, we have been hard at work testing and implementing optimizations and new functionality on the blockchain. At the same time, our dialogue with enterprise partners gearing up to deploy on the APEX Network blockchain is evolving. Use cases are becoming more clearly defined, and software implementation is taking shape. Through this progress report we wish to share an updated overview of the status of our work. First of all we would like to delve into further details about one of our most mature pilots, before disclosing details about both a previously unnamed pilot enterprise and also a company that we are very excited to be able to disclose cooperation with for the first time!
Enterprise Pilots — Progress & Annoucements
Treasure Carbon is the most mature pilot, and their use case is well defined. They are bringing carbon credit assets onto the APEX Network blockchain, implementing a record based system that pegs one carbon credit to one asset token on our blockchain. Treasure Carbon will be first in the world to tokenize a Carbon Fund, meaning that the investors’ shares in the fund will be determined by the amount of tokenized assets they hold. For such a use case they will obviously not be mapping carbon credits to CPX directly, but will be issuing a new asset on the blockchain which will act like an escrow.
The tokenized asset will represent a transferable ownership certificate, and the approximately $20M fund itself allows investment in a variety of carbon assets inside and outside of China. This is done to provide easier access to these assets at a discounted price as these assets are currently exchange traded. In this regard the fund resembles an ETF. The current government run exchanges require a minimum capital of $1M, while the new structure will have no lower capital boundaries for participation.
Direct investments in the fund will legally not be open to public participation, as this would too closely resemble an STO, and custom contracts will be required. However, after the initial offering it will be possible for the first round of investors to transfer their tokenized assets to other persons. The initial carbon assets sold through the fund will come at a 20% discount versus current market price on regulated exchanges. The reason for this is that they are selling carbon assets that are already on their balance sheets — as they already hold more than $50M worth of carbon assets they are looking for increased liquidity. The remaining assets they will retain, as they expect them to appreciate by 2–3x over the next couple of years based on their industry research.
Many of the above details have little to do with traditional “crypto”, but are provided as an insight into the carbon market and how Treasure Carbon is thinking going into blockchain technology. The goal of the fund is to increase liquidity in carbon asset trading, and for the investors to realize returns by speculating on the future appreciation of carbon assets. The possibility of carbon asset fund tokens being traded on the future APEX Network DEX depends on an assessment of how STO-like the construction is judged to be, compared to current and upcoming regulations.
In addition to the above, Treasure Carbon wants APEX Network to develop a protocol for them that enforces several different types of restrictions within the carbon fund like lockups for the investments. Some of Treasure Carbon’s potential use cases may even require us to add additional functionality, as some assets deployed on the APEX Network blockchain may need to become non-fungible (similar to ERC-721 on Ethereum), where each individual tokenized asset remains unique. All together, the use cases and desires of the company make carbon assets and blockchain a natural fit.
Treasure Carbon is currently deploying the APEX Network blockchain as a private chain to get familiar with its operations and testing applications, and they are looking to do test deployment of carbon assets on our public blockchain fairly soon.
Spring Airlines is the next pilot enterprise that we are happy to be able to formally announce. Spring Airlines is a low cost carrier operating out of headquarters in Shanghai, sporting a fleet of approximately 90 Airbus aircrafts and reporting a net profit of close to ¥1B in 2016. They want to create a blockchain ecosystem to enable clients to swap loyalty points within their ecosystem with partners like hotels and restaurants. The main reasons they want to achieve this is to induce liquidity with their partners, create a protocol of exchange within their ecosystem and thus improve the overall customer experience. Additionally they want to implement a data consent protocol into their services, enabling data monetization for consumer data tied to the loyalty points.
We are currently working on providing both a public and private chain option for them, and once they are up and running, their business will ease into one of them. In this process they will not need to do any development or have the technical burden of researching and choosing what is best for them. Their blockchain interest is coupled with a request for additional advanced AI applications. These AI applications are already being developed, and implementing the blockchain aspect is the simple part of the equation. We expect to be able to see their assets on the public blockchain within the next few months — aiming for October, but allowing for adjustments. This kind of approach with reference to use cases and implementation is something we expect to be doing for a lot of our enterprise customers.
New (!) Enterprise Pilot & Partner: Car BaaS
We are proud to announce our cooperation with Car BaaS, a leading fintech and blockchain company specializing in on-chain credit data and analytics.
Carbaas is partially owned by Shanghai Caihua Insurance Group, a comprehensive financial technology service group that integrates financial risk control services, GPS positioning, big data integration, artificial intelligence and insurance brokerage.
In addition, Shanghai Shiyi Electronic Technology Co., Ltd, another subsidiary of Caihua, is a car finance business focusing on banking, OEM, financial leasing and microfinance companies. This GPS software and hardware service provider, after more than eight years of hard work, has a market share of nearly 30% in the domestic market in the field of auto mortgage loans with customers such as Ping An Bank, Agricultural Bank, Jingdong Finance, Micro Credit Network, Didi and Yizhi. Altogether the company platform manages more than 2.2 million vehicles, and has been involved in the cumulative approval of more than 8 billion in loan funds.
Their aim is to deploy a car loan credit approval blockchain solution for a consortium of banks and financial institutions in China. Together with Car BaaS, we are working on a technical solution (public or private chain) for a consortium of banks and financial institutions to be able to share credit and risk data/insights in order to provide loan and financing options to customers of car companies such as BMW in China. Depending on the nature of the solution, the blockchain that will eventually be used can be deployed using Hyperledger private chain technology or a hybrid/public chain provided by APEX Network. By hybrid chain we mean a private version of APEX Network that still interacts with our public blockchain.
Important to note is that, even if Car BaaS eventually opts for the Hyperledger version, we will still be guiding and working together with them on the creation and implementation. The cooperation with Car BaaS has recently come to fruition, and development has started.
Transforming the traditional auto finance industry with blockchain technology to help auto finance companies build blockchain applications quickly and at low cost. — Carbaas.io
The cooperation involves APEX Technologies and APEX Network providing Car BaaS with a complete solution; A ledger for recording data, storing and providing existing data, allowing for risk management (storing risk information) regarding drivers, as well as making it tamperproof, reliable and easily shareable with other financial institutions in a swift and user friendly manner. The core of Car BaaS is their existing database with over 500 million people along with their AI based risk management model. All in all our team will work on a blockchain + data + AI solution, integrating the core strengths of APEX Network’s parent company APEX Technologies with blockchain technology.
Example of the use case in everyday use, step by step: Client X walks into BMW dealer store, decides to buy a brand new BMW 3 series and asks the salesperson for a loan — core data goes from BMW to its financial partner (i.e. a bank) — data goes into the entire system and checks for existing data with other financial institutions — profile gets built on blockchain — the client’s request for financing is automatically approved or rejected — if approved, every release of funds and partial payments of the loan on specified dates is recorded on the chain. The unique selling proposition here is that if this process happens on a hybrid/public/consortium chain, then this data is shared across various financial institutions and numerous synergies emerge.
Car BaaS provides a complete set of automotive financial blockchain solutions integrating application development, industry suites, rapid deployment, real-time monitoring, etc., to jointly build a credit value network based on automotive financial data. — Carbaas.io
We encourage our community members to read more about Car Baas on their website under the “About us” tab.
China based electric car company
As for this enterprise pilot, work is still in early stages and our team and theirs are still mapping out the detailed technology needs and suitable solutions. Therefore we cannot provide any insights yet as everything is still up for potential changes, but we do hope to release additional content in the mid term.
Documents, Ledger integration, the desktop client and supernode selections
The Ledger hardware wallet integration has, to be honest, been moving slower than expected. This is in part due to Ledger feeling that CPX is not a large enough asset for them to integrate on their platform at this point in time, in addition to preferring a token swap to be conducted beforehand. They simply have too many other assets requesting Ledger integration, along with working out bugs caused by the latest Windows update, to give our chain priority at this point in time. In short, this item has obviously suffered a delay. As we originally wished to have Ledger integration as one of the key features of the desktop client, we will be making the necessary adjustments to the strategy of desktop client release. We will continue targeting Ledger integration, as well as looking at further hardware wallet integration options for our token holders.
As we are on the tail end of the Phase 1 estimated time frame, we are working on the documents to be released. As we are using Solidity as our smart contract programming language the instructions for developing contracts on our blockchain are already widely available, as demonstrated by the contracts already deployed on our blockchain by community developer Aldo Raine. We are working to finalize the Node Ecosystem document — we are still discussing the finer points, and hope to be able to release it before the end of October.
The desktop client work is ongoing, and adjustments compensating for lack of initial Ledger support will be made. At the current speed of development, and taking into account that we have prioritized diverting extra resources to work closely with our enterprise pilots, we aim to release the desktop client before the end of November. There will be several upgrades made to the desktop client, with data cloud node functionality being among the most important functions to come in a later iteration of the client.
As evidenced by recent events, our community supernode program has provided valuable insights and enabled us to further improve the core components of the blockchain. The bug that was discovered and subsequently fixed showcases the importance of being able to run tests in a live production environment, where not only standardized tests but also randomness comes into play on a different level. On this note, our current plan is to open up several production spots for community supernode operators, and our supernode program is part of this candidate evaluation. At some point between now and the token swap, a selection of the most active and technically proficient supernode operators will be approached by APEX Network as part of this selection process. Approved candidates who meet all requirements including the necessary CPX holdings will be participating in running our blockchain together with APEX Network, enterprise customers and some of our ecosystem partners. Among ecosystem partners we are able to disclose the following three confirmed supernode operators:
As will be evident for all community members following the technical updates and discussions, performing a token swap at this point in time is not feasible, and the timing for the token swap has been moved to end of year. For the swap we are looking at several technical possibilities, with one being a smart contract coupled with a team controlled dApp automatically verifying swap requests. Focus is on safety and ease of use for token holders. In some instances, if it should be desireable, we may provide personal swap assistance through our team for very large holdings. Targeting end of year for the swap allows sufficient flexibility and time for further refinements and functionality upgrades, along with systematic and thorough testing of all possible scenarios and attack vectors. We acknowledge that our initial time frames have been overly ambitious, but remain committed to delivering a high quality product ready for mainstream enterprise adoption.
We expect the community run supernodes to participate in testing our hardfork module in October
Kick back and have some fun!
Since the launch of our initial mainnet technology, our community developer Aldo Raine has been collaborating with our developer team and made several valuable contributions. Among these are a fully working Java SDK enabling Java developers to create dApps on APEX Network.
Through use of the Java SDK the very first game on the blockchain was created, and this update marks the formal release of our APEX Network Blackjack dApp.
In this game, all transactions and actions happen on the APEX Network blockchain, from deposits and withdrawals to betting, showing cards, hitting and standing. With regards to security, the private key is handled by the browser in a temporary http session during gameplay, and the game itself maintains no kind of database or permanent storage of user data at all.
The game is intended as a Proof of Concept, and allows for more natural interaction with and testing of the blockchain.
To enable all community members to easily get started playing the game and interacting further with our blockchain, we have also created a friendly mainnet test CPX distribution bot through which anyone can easily request funds to use both the web wallet at tracker.apexnetwork.io and the game. The limit per address is 1000 test CPX per week — They will be distributed to your APEX public address immediately, and if needed more can be requested 7 days later.
The CPX can be used for sending transactions, voting, refunding votes and playing games on the APEX Network blockchain. We’d highly recommend that everyone with some minutes to spare head over to tracker.apexnetwork.io to create a wallet, supply their public address to t.me/@CPXDistributionbot and move on to blackjack.apexnetwork.io to have some fun!
APEX Core Development