Meet COTI CTO, Dr. Nir Haloani
May 6, 2018
We recently sat down with Dr. Nir Haloani, COTI’s CTO, to discuss everything related to his scientific findings, his early interest in bitcoin and what the future holds for COTI, currency of the internet.
Nir is an innovator in the areas of data compression, AI, and machine learning and has earned the prestigious Master Inventor title for authoring over 13 patents in these fields. He has over 19 years of experience leading research and development teams at a number of tech companies and was the former co-founder and CTO of Infima Technologies, which was later acquired by IBM. Nir holds a BSc degree in computer science and mathematics from Tel Aviv University, as well as a PhD in applied mathematics from Bar-Ilan University.
From all the currently available cryptocurrency projects, why did you choose COTI?
I chose COTI over most other cryptocurrency projects as it takes a holistic approach to solving the fundamental problems in today’s payments landscape. COTI takes on a sophisticated behavioral approach to address the necessity of mediation provisions. The TrustChain™ layer was squarely created to incentivize honest, trustworthy conduct amongst network participants.
In addition, the existing payments networks are not suited to deal with new forms of commerce that have been emerging over the past few years, such as peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions, online marketplaces, and cross-border e-commerce. While digital currencies like Bitcoin promise lower transaction fees and higher approval rates, they face scaling challenges and low adoption rates. They’re also not equipped to address the safeguards that consumers and merchants have grown accustomed to.
COTI is building a transparent and secure system that defers governance as much as possible. As we suspect, most people care more about privacy and improved modern global banking systems, as opposed to non-traceability and anonymity. COTI addresses this demand in a way that is faster, easier, more cost-effective and trusted than existing payment networks.
You have patents in a number of scientific areas: data compression, artificial intelligence, machine learning and storage. The community will be fascinated to hear a bit more about this. Please share a few of your experiences.
All of my patents originated from real world problems I was trying to solve, as opposed to theoretical concepts. One such problem concerns storage issues, such as a system for lossless data compression, real-time multi-block lossless recompression and efficient one-pass cache-aware compression. Other patents relate to data classification and protocols, such as real-time data classification into data compression domains, efficient caching of Huffman dictionaries and table boundary detection in data blocks for compression purposes.
In my research, I try to bring an out-of-the-box way of thinking and collaborate and share ideas with other researchers to achieve the best possible results.
I think that my previous patents, research and experience can be used to implement similar concepts and find new ones that will enable us to solve current blockchain challenges related to storage, performance, caching, propagation, sync and scalability.
How does your previous research experience position you to help the payments industry?
My previous research work focused on creating innovative solutions to optimize storage space and improve system scalability and performance. I have a lot of experience in building real time protocols and scaling system architectures to achieve optimal performance and minimal latency. Some of my previous research can be applied to resolve the storage challenges of DAG-based systems and minimize synchronization latency and protocol-based issues.
From a technological standpoint, what sets COTI apart from the rest?
COTI was explicitly designed to be used for payments. What’s more, COTI’s addition of a TrustChain™ layer makes it the only digital currency to offer a compelling alternative to existing payment systems. It is the first digital currency to account for mediation, an essential aspect of any successful payments network.
COTI’s unique approach to mediation will result in low abandonment rates, low transaction fees, high approval rates and a user-friendly experience.
Unlike existing market solutions that offer PSP (payment service provider) solutions, COTI solves the core problems of high risk merchants. Currently, merchants and consumers are assigned risk ratings based on broad classifications, rather than the actual risk they pose to the system. For example, legitimate merchants operating in high-risk industries are classified as high-risk by their industry association, while dishonest merchants operating in low-risk sectors may classify as low-risk by the same forces.
COTI’s behavioral scoring system incentivizes honest conduct and creates a relationship of trust between transacting parties, whether it be a consumer-to-consumer, consumer-to-merchant or acquirer-to-issuer relationship (i.e., the whole payments supply chain). By solving the trust deficit, COTI drives down transaction fees, drives up transaction approval rates and enables the world to unlock its full e-commerce potential.
What are you currently working on at COTI?
There has been great progress in COTI’s R&D. We are excited that our TrustChain™ protocol is moving closer to the point of mainstream adoption around the world. Progress on our Trust Score algorithms, Mediation System, COTI protocol and the release of our alpha net is also happening quite quickly.
We have finalized the first release of the COTI Trust Score algorithm and defined two types of Trust Scores, which will be implemented in our decentralized TS nodes: Initial Trust Score Algorithm (ITSA) and Trust Score Update Algorithm (TSUA).
We have also made significant advancements in defining the COTI Mediation System’s first prototype. We are also working on our first merchant integration solution, one that consists of our frontend web application, the COTI wallet, and a backend COTI layer, which will serve both the wallet application and third party API calls from a merchant’s backend servers.
Our research team has been working around the clock to finalize the first iteration of COTI’s base protocol. We have also designed an innovative and secure flow that will enable users to reset their wallets and reactivate their blocked account and funds.
What is your vision for the future of modern digital payments?
We think it will be booming, particularly for digital currencies that provide the best value proposition for their users. Scalability, instantaneity, low-to-zero fees and ease of use within a stable regulatory framework will be crucial for a thriving cryptocurrency market.
What is your opinion of digital currencies? Were you an early adopter of Bitcoin?
As a technological innovation, it’s probably one of the biggest things to have come about in the past decade. Digital currencies provide a low-cost way to transfer value from one user to another 24/7, 365 days a year. It also has a very low minimum transfer amount. As a result, many companies consider them to be useful for remittance, payments and microtransactions.
I think in the long run, cryptocurrencies will most likely play a large role in future machine-to-machine interactions in the Internet of Things (IoT). Distributed Autonomous Organizations will also play a significant role with automatic, event-based smart contract execution. In general, I think cryptocurrency and blockchain technology hold some key ideas that will make traditional financial systems more efficient through lower cost structures. I see a very strong use case for cryptocurrencies in the remittance and microtransaction industry.
Personally, I was an early adopter of Bitcoin. I maintained small mining networks for experimental purposes a few years ago, but unfortunately cashed out before it exploded in value.
What is the greatest challenge you foresee for COTI?
The greatest challenge is that COTI may not achieve its full potential due to reasons beyond our control, such as regulatory frameworks and market sentiments.
What’s in store for COTI in the upcoming few months?
We will be delivering our first merchant integration solution in the upcoming months. The solution consists of our first frontend web application, the COTI wallet, and a backend COTI layer. We will also be delivering our initial COTI base protocol and deploying our alpha net consisting of our TrustChain™, Mediation System, wallet, exchange and merchant integration tools.
The COTI community is continuously to grow at a rapid rate. As a coin of appreciation to our community, we are excited to announce that in the upcoming month we will be launching a special pre-sale limited to our community. For more details get in touch with us on Telegram or via email.