AscendEX
Published in

AscendEX

HOPR AMA Recap

To help celebrate the listing of HOPR on AscendEX, AscendEX’s Mary Zheng sat down for an AMA with HOPR’s Founder Sebastian Buergel to gain more insight into the project’s success and strategy for the future.

Project Details

Trade HOPR Now

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

If you don’t mind, let’s start with an introduction of HOPR, can you tell us about the company’s history and the team?

Sebastian | HOPRnet.org

Sure — so I’ve been working in the blockchain space full time since 2016, and successfully founded a fintech company here in Switzerland with my co-founder Rik who is also at HOPR. I also worked with some of our tech guys at my company after that which is a blockchain service company, we provided a lot of technical solutions during the ICO hype in 2017 and then saw the opportunities of the web3 which showed us the missing puzzle piece of private data transmission, representing the foundation that we’re now building at HOPR.

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

Let‘s transition towards the native token — HOPR. I am curious about how the HOPR token functions within the platform and why it is needed?

Sebastian | HOPRnet.org

The HOPR token has three main use cases: Users can pay with HOPR tokens to send data through the HOPR network privately and securely.

https://medium.com/hoprnet/introducing-the-hopr-token-bd4a2a31fc7f

Node runners can stake HOPR tokens in their nodes to receive rewards for relaying data. Node runners receive fees in HOPR for the data they help to relay, including a large number of tokens distributed in the form of cover traffic — arbitrary data that helps boost metadata privacy for everyone in the network by obscuring usage levels.

Finally, the HOPR token gives users voting power. Private secure internet is a public good, and should be under control of the users, not a centralized entity (even the protocol creator). We’re currently running governance experiments in the build-up to the launch of the HOPR Association DAO, launching at the end of 2021.

https://hoprnet.org/token

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

Could you share the development status and progress of the project thus far? Including the major partners, milestones and perhaps some statistics.

Sebastian | HOPRnet.org

The HOPR token launched in February, and we’re now working full steam to add more features to the protocol. We’re taking an iterative approach, improving privacy, security and decentralization with each release. We recently took a huge step in decentralizing the network by removing reliance on bootstrap servers maintained by the HOPR Association. Now anyone can operate a bootstrap server which allows new nodes to join the network.

https://medium.com/hoprnet/hoprd-diablerets-release-tutorial-6357b32cdb23

The next major tech milestone is the combination of staking and cover traffic, which leverages crypto staking incentives to provide a layer of privacy for the entire HOPR network. We’re working with the community in an incentivized testing environment over the next six months to ensure the system is robust, private, safe and fair. We regularly saw over 1,000 node runners in our incentivized testnets pre-launch, held on partner chains including xDAI Chain, Polygon (formerly Matic) and Binance Smart Chain. We hope to push that number even higher to ensure our systems are properly stress tested.

https://medium.com/hoprnet/999-nodes-on-basodino-whats-next-136cb0d3c670

On the governance side, HOPR’s DAO initiatives are seeing some of the highest participation rates in the industry. Over 50% of more than 3,000 eligible DAO participants took part in the proposal and voting for HOPR’s fair launch, and we saw similar participation rates in our recent governance experiment.

https://medium.com/hoprnet/bootstrapping-decentralized-governance-the-hopr-genesis-dao-fd4e6a2eb41b

You can always monitor our development activity on GitHub:

https://github.com/hoprnet/hoprnet/

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

Who are the users/clients on your platform and what are some examples of use cases for them?

Sebastian | HOPRnet.org

HOPR allows anyone to transfer data from A to B, privately and securely. The current approach to securing data and metadata online is a total mess, so in a broad sense everyone who sends any data online will need to be using HOPR in the future! But we’re specifically focused on targeting HOPR to companies and industries where the burden of protecting user data is high. We’re in active consultation with several companies about making our network available for their applications — not only crypto companies, but anyone whose business involves transmitting data.

One example is MedTech. Regulation surrounding data security in MedTech is (rightly) extremely strict, especially in the EU. MedTech startups don’t have the resources to employ dedicated data experts to secure patient details. Integrating with HOPR would remove a lot of the complexity and stress, allowing them to concentrate on providing life changing medical services.

https://medium.com/hoprnet/sedimentum-and-hopr-partner-to-protect-privacy-in-healthcare-emergencies-47a2fd5bfb3f

Sebastian | HOPRnet.org

Another good example is the Internet of Things (IoT). Trillions of dollars are being staked on IoT being the next big thing, but little thought has been given to privacy. You’ve got billions of IoT devices, often very cheap and with limited security, mindlessly sending and receiving data every second, often across different legal jurisdictions. It’s a privacy nightmare!

HOPR cuts through all this complexity by eliminating the burden of securing all this data and metadata. If you never create it in the first place, you don’t have to worry about how to store it.

HOPR also has a lot of applications for academia. We’re currently engaged in a market survey with several universities to find out which use cases have the most appeal.

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

Let’s talk about the current landscape of other projects doing something similar. May I ask what separates you from some of the competitors?

Sebastian | HOPRnet.org

Our strategy is to create a stable and secure environment in which users and companies can operate nodes to ensure their privacy. We’re also focusing on creating long term partnerships with projects that can bring real value. We also hope to attract privacy advocates through the transparency that comes from our DAO. The HOPR protocol will be controlled entirely by its users, which is essential for ensuring trust in the system. And of course our staking and proof-of-relay mechanisms ensure that everyone is rewarded for contributing to the network — no-one is expected to be altruistic. In the short term, we continue to build our community by prioritizing accessibility, ease of use, and gamification. Technical hurdles are one of the biggest hurdles to crypto adoption, and we plan to eliminate as many as possible. HOPR is building layer-0 infrastructure that’s fundamental to the Internet, and good infrastructure is invisible. Ideally, in the future the majority of users will be protected by HOPR without even realizing it.

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

Can you please elaborate on the staking HOPR? What kind of rewards should users expect to earn?

Sebastian | HOPRnet.org

HOPR’s first staking program provides a unique combination of traditional crypto yield farming and our highly successful incentivized and gamified testnets. From the end of July, you can stake and lock your tokens in a HOPR smart contract. Rewards will start from July 27th and run until January 17th 2022, a period of 175 days. Staked tokens receive a base reward of 0.05% per day. This works out at 18.25% APR, assuming you don’t take advantage of the compounding feature (the actual APY will be higher if you restake).

Sebastian | HOPRnet.org

The most exciting part of this scheme is the NFT boosts. You can earn HOPR NFTs by participating in our testnets and other events like the DAO and various one-off games and promotions. Each NFT you earn will boost your staking APY, and NFTs can be stacked. So the more you help out with development and testing, the more you can earn.

https://medium.com/hoprnet/hopr-staking-is-coming-27th-july-8a4255feeef8

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

Can you please elaborate on the goals you are aiming to achieve in 2021 as well?

Sebastian | HOPRnet.org

Q3 and Q4 are going to be huge for HOPR. We’ll be testing and releasing different versions of our unique staking and cover traffic system, aided by the community testnets we’re running as part of our gamified staking program. We have an aggressive release schedule, with new releases coming roughly every two weeks. On the governance side, the goal is for the HOPR DAO to launch in time for the first AGM of the HOPR Association. We’re determined to make HOPR a true DAO that can make real-world decisions and impact, not just limited to on-chain activity like adjusting protocol parameters (although those decisions are important too). Finally, we’re excited to be presenting our privacy research to the world. The first event will be at Eth CC 4 in Paris at the end of July. Team members will be presenting research on both the HOPR protocol and our DAO initiative.

Mary Zheng | AscendEX

Last question on my end — a non-project-related question, which sector of crypto markets excites you the most?

Sebastian | HOPRnet.org

I’m personally a huge DAO fan since TheDAO (RIP!) in 2016. I think that the future of work is a massively important topic for all of us and due to the success of crypto assets we learned that there is no such thing as dreaming too big. The notion of DAOs is challenging the fundamentals of companies. Do we really need companies in order for humans to create value? I don’t think so, but the discovery of the DAO age has only just begun and I’m excited to contribute with our governance experiments to that.

The second topic that I’m excited about in general is web3. Sure, magic internet money and NFTs are cool — but can’t we do much more than that? Can’t we use this ultimately resilient technology to build the foundations of a new web? A web that cannot be so easily captured by corporate greed at the expense of the individual. Supporting everything that goes in that direction is something that excites me a lot. A lot of great work has been made by IPFS and Filecoin but also other teams like Ceramic Network, Streamr, Marlin and others. I’m really looking forward to providing a privacy foundation for web3 with HOPR.

Community Questions:

Crypto Queen

Each project has interesting stories behind how it was created. So can you tell people about the story that gave you the motivation to build and develop a great project like yours?

Sebastian | HOPRnet.org

I like this question — thanks for something unique. There has been largely two drivers:

Firstly, having worked for several years as a technical consultant in the Ethereum space (mostly ICOs, tokenization platforms and alike) we realized that something was missing to build a privacy-first web3. And that’s the data exchange highway on top of which we can build all the magic decentralized applications that you read about everywhere. It’s just not something that was possible before we had general purpose blockchains and L2 solutions like the one we’re building. That’s actually a quite recent opportunity.

The second realization was that in the web3, network level privacy is more broken than in the web2. This is counter intuitive and quite the opposite of what many projects claim. So let’s look a bit closer: In the web2 world we use services like AWS and most of us have at least some trust in Amazon et al and usually also legal agreements to enforce certain expectations of privacy and privacy violations. But in a P2P world of the web3 there is no “ trusted counter party” like Amazon. There is just some dude running a node. You should have absolutely no trust in that node runner and for all you know they might be data harvesting you more aggressively than any web2 company ever could. So private data exchange is a necessity for any sort of real web3 application.

Maxim

Can you list 1–3 killer features of Your Project that makes it ahead of its competitors? What is the competitive advantage your platform has that you feel most confident about?

Sebastian | HOPRnet.org

So privacy is a big thing and there are many big projects focusing on privacy. But HOPR is so far the only network-level privacy project that focuses on truly private data exchange. HOPR provides significantly better privacy than your VPN or even Tor because of our packet mixing setup (that’s why it’s called a “mixnet”). At the same time, HOPR is decentralized — in contrast to previous solutions such as Tor that require a central point of coordination. Finally, HOPR is economically sustainable — before blockchain with L2 capabilities we would not have been able to build our unique proof-of-relay mechanism that allows for cheat-proof incentivization. So all in all, I’m very confident that HOPR is your best bet at really reaching network level privacy for any sort of application. Feel free to follow us on the following channels to learn more and stay tuned.

https://t.me/hoprnet

https://twitter.com/hoprnet

https://hoprnet.org/

Trade HOPR Now

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store