“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden
“If you’re going, to San Francisco… be sure to wear, some flowers in your hair…” If you are actually going to San Francisco, or already live there, be sure to bring a new vision of the internet with you — because the community dev team is assembling, and we’ve got a new leader.
Speaking of flowers and leaders, Dr. Feng Han was out pounding the walls of ivy this week. Oh, no big deal, just educating people at Cornell and Harvard about the merits of Elastos. Just an average week at this point.
Elastos continued its forward momentum this week. Let’s recap.
1. The browser technology solution successfully loaded Component Assembly Runtime(CAR) components on the latest version of chrome but Reflection still has problems and needs to be followed up;
2. The OS version of RT achieved cmake compilation and the upgrade to clang compile is complete, and the compile environment is improved
3. Implementing and compiling the respective docker images for the following github projects: Elastos blockchain, Elastos wallet, and Elastos runtime and constructing the development environment on-demand in the cloud to prepare for online development and one-button cloth chaining;
4. Repackaged the metadata cls file into eco to make exporting eco more concise;
5. Reorganized and improved Elastos RT, browser solutions, and Ela Pay documents;
6. Tested the Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) node, organized the test documents, organized the test tool to send mail using Gmail;
7. The code refactoring of SPV is complete. The majority of bloom, common, crypto, and core have been migrated to Utility code repository;
8. Discussed the interface between mobile wallet and Elastos RT. Reviewed mobile wallet prototype and UI design;
9. Wallet 1.0.18 version tested;
10. Continued the sidechain transfer, joint mining, arbitrator node details and development.
● Elastos is hiring full-time and part-time community members for technical and non-technical positions: https://medium.com/elastos/we-want-you-elastos-community-recruitment-da0e97694f63
●Elastos SF Team has released its Communication Plan: https://medium.com/elastos/elastos-communication-plan-by-sf-team-april-june-2018-8979b27c6ad6
● The Elastos Logo voting is live. The voting will close April 23rd at 11:59EST. https://goo.gl/forms/tUhXMrGYZYL2va5R2
● The Elastos Video Contest deadline is July 15th. https://medium.com/elastos/elastos-video-contest-final-version-5efb9fbebf19 https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3089082.0#post_a2
● Elastos is looking for community writers for its official Medium page: https://medium.com/elastos/write-for-the-community-ba7a1e75be59
The Elastos team spoke with the team of the famous financial company MCN (Multi Channel Network) to discuss potential collaboration opportunities.
Elastos first hackathon started accepting registrations.
Dr. Feng Han discussed Elastos and the future of blockchain at Harvard’s AI and Blockchain Forum.
Dr. Feng Han met with Professor David Just at Cornell University to talk about the application of blockchain in food safety and how Elastos can establish a P2P network that fully protects the copyrights and freedom of owning one’s own data. Professor Just teaches behavioral economics courses and is an expert in nutrition.
Kevin Zhang was announced as our new Head of Elastos Development. Kevin will be releasing more information about himself and his role in the coming week.
Su Yipeng, chief architect of Elastos, was a judge at the “Alumni, Internet, Big Data, and Blockchain Finals for the Third National Tsinghua University Alumni Tribune Contest.” The Tsinghua Alumni Creative Innovation and Business Contest (abbreviated as “Tsinghua Alumni III Competition”) is a series of events organized by the Tsinghua Alumni Association to support alumni and students in innovation and entrepreneurship in an all-round, multi-level and non-intermittent manner.
Rong Chen showcased and gave presentations on Elastos at the IoT Tech Expo Global 2018 (April 18 -19, London), the world’s largest IoT conference bringing together key industries with over 12,000 attendees and 500 speakers from some of the biggest companies in the world. https://www.iottechexpo.com/global/
Rong Chen hosted an event in London at London South Bank University. A person in attendance had this to say after listening to Rong’s talk:
“Very Charming. Very knowledgable. Lovely man. Everyone was excited about being there. I could have listened to him for hours. He has some great stories. I think whether you’re technical or not, he speaks to you and there is something for everyone. Sure some stuff is even over my head, but it’s so encouraging to see he’s so passionate about this project, the new smart internet and what it can accomplish. I’m reading comments that some people who watch his talks online believe he needs a business guy to replace him, but I could not disagree more. I just think someone alongside to jump in and support him around the vision, away from a technical standpoint would help. One thing he mentioned which I thought was fascinating was how Microsoft is disbanding their OS (Windows team) and it struggled to make the news. When he was talking about it, and why that is so…he was very clear to point to the Elastos banner physically behind him. Mentioning how Microsoft is a living dinosaur but one which should be respected. He also spoke about a play on the Elastos word, not just elastic computing, but e-last-os. The last ever operating system. That really hit home, that this could be around for a long time, and could support all devices, all consoles, all IoT, if called upon. Rather than having Elastos iOS, Elastos Android, Elastos Fridge, Elastos PS5, etc.”
Meetups and Events
Meetup in London
Rong Chen will be hosting his second event in London on April 21@ Chapter Spitalfields. Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/top-blockchain-project-from-china-2nd-elastos-uk-meet-up-tickets-44844466005
Meetup and event in NYC
Rong Chen and Feng Han will host an event on May 12th at Fordham University.
Dr. Feng Han at the 2nd Annual Fintech Conference at Fordham
Dr. Feng Han will speak at the conference on April 24th at Fordham University. Details can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-fordham-fintech-networks-2nd-annual-fintech-conference-tickets-45008130530
Meetup in LA: The Future of Blockchain & The Entertainment Industry
Elastos will be hosting a meetup in Santa Monica (date and location TBD) to discuss how Elastos can revolutionize the entertainment industry. Details can be found here: https://www.meetup.com/LA-blockchain-fintech-cryptocurrency/events/249312404/
Two Interviews were published on Medium this week.
Huboi News Interview with Su Yipeng, the Chief Architect of Elastos
Su Yipeng spoke at length with Huboi News, and his comments were insightful and informative. It is refreshing to hear from another key member of the team. Here are a few highlights.
Elastos started out August of last year. In December of last year, the public chain and wallet were launched. March 2018, it landed on Huobi Exchange. For blockchain teams, it’s actually very fast. But this is only the beginning of the Elastos project. Why did we seek funding? Because the project is far from complete. If it was completed, we wouldn’t need any funding. There’s a roadmap on our official website. We have separate goals in April, June, and August.
Now I want to talk about the Elastos community. The investors in China have helped us a lot with community building, especially some matters our team didn’t know how to handle. There’s no CEO in Elastos because we want the Elastos team’s development to be more towards the community model. We have different groups and operate in holacracy. It’s very close to the community model. But it’s still highly centralized. Because during the founding period, good executive power is needed to finish the project. As the infrastructure evolves, we hope that the organizational structure will evolve to the community as well. We have found people from Silicon Valley who have experience in international technical teams to join our team and run the developer community. Elastos should not only have the investor community. We also hope we can build the technology community. Our team will first focus on the core and foundational matters. In the long run, we will give the developer community more space to make more high-level software development; individuals and teams make contributions to the project. And we will give them positive incentives and feedback. Our founding team will also evolve into a community team.
Now there are many teams and applications who hoped to work with us. But we do have a screening process. Currently, we require them to have landing scenarios in traditional applications. Zapya has nearly 100 million users. Ulink has nearly one million rental users. They already have the foundation in real scenarios. So we will support them to make applications combined with blockchain. If they have to start from the beginning, it’ll be very tough. Why work with these large applications? Elastos’ goal is to create a SmartWeb platform and make it possible for applications to have positive and reverse feedback among one another, which can help us improve the platform.
Rong Chen Q&A with Bit University
Another Rong Chen interview, another brilliant explanation of Elastos. Read it. There’s no substitute for straight from the Tiger’s mouth.
Here are some key excerpts:
Many people find the operating system very mysterious.
That’s why the internet has developed so fast — there’s no approval system. But it also creates a series of big problems such as viruses, forged identity, and theft of user privacy. It’s all because there’s no ID. Now we are more inclined to use big applications, such as Wechat and Google. In other words, oligopoly companies such as Tencent, Google, Microsoft and so on have issued us an ID, which is safer.
The blockchain we’re talking about now has a principle feature — it has issued the internet an ID, which is not under the control of any country. It can issue wallets, and the wallet itself is a kind of ID because the wallet is used for payment and it definitely uniquely identifies a subject. So we don’t need to dwell on the final stage or efficiency of blockchain. If we can utilize blockchain’s mature characteristics and use them on the internet, for example, issuing the internet an ID, it’ll be the beginning of security.
The architecture of our operating system today is the same as it was 40 years ago. (The world’s, not Elastos’)
We require the ELA to have value. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to motivate the miners.
So the network operating system we’re doing now is not very much related to hardware. We are more willing to call it the Smart Web, which means a World Wide Web that can have programs run on it. If you click the URL on the previous generation of the Internet, which is the browser, which was born in 1995, the website page will be presented to you. For the next generation of the World Wide Web, once the URL is clicked, a program will be presented to the user. Google called this Instant App. So just like Smartphone refers to a phone that can run applications, Smart Web refers to a web that can run applications.
Elastos is a platform. It doesn’t compete with anyone. And we welcome people to develop DApps for our platform.
When it comes to Elastos’ profit, people might not believe what I’m about to say. Operating systems, such as Linux, are open source projects. They’re mainly for nurturing an ecosystem. We all know that if we build a science and technology park to attract investment, its role is different from a corporation. Just like a country, it sustains itself through collecting taxes. Corporations need to pay tax because they’re making money. So they’re two different things. The operating system, in fact, is like a science and technology park, like an incubator, like a country. They’re nurturing an ecosystem. So the priority is to let our eco-partners gain the benefits.
Another point is a philosophical issue. It’s hard for Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Apple to achieve 100% open source, which comes down to the same question — if it’s open source, how can they profit? It is impossible for every company to make its own public chain or internet. The internet should connect all companies and all websites, therefore it needs to have credibility. Besides, it needs to be open source and not putting profit as its priority.
SF Dev Community & Community Recruitment
Elastos is starting to build its San Francisco Dev Community and expand its PR and Marketing Community.
We’re about to start growing.
In 1848, people began to make an exodus across hard terrain, across cold grounds, with all they had, and with the belief that they would make a new world in California. Those covered wagons of the Oregon Trail are now people like you, with a computer and an idea. All roads still lead toward San Francisco, but for most of us, we don’t have to go anywhere to connect the whole world. This is not a gold rush — but a rush of ideas — that revolve around something new — something attainable — something good and beautiful. Most did not make the trip back in the 1840s, and most will not make it now. But eventually, all will benefit from our hard work. It will be the pioneers who build this new city, this cyber republic, this country, without kings, without the walled gardens of yesterday, who cut the tape and reveal the architecture of tomorrow. Have your scissors ready, because that day is coming.
A community project is a strength.
Just as Rong Chen had to have the right code before he could give his project to the world and expect change, we must have the right inner vision if we are to not become like countless other projects and end up with corruption and greed. It must be said again, technology will not save us. It is what we do with technology. It is our intent. Intention is an inner quality and it must precede an external fix or ideology. Nice ideas do not magically change the world for a reason — there must be inner conviction and belief and this is where the community vision is a real strength. How can we be different if we do things exactly the same as everyone else? We are eco-partners in an eco-system and the benefits go to us. We will be as strong as each one of us is in union with the whole. This is a project that demands personal responsibility to grow it from the ground up. We cannot bring order to the world if we cannot work together, because alone, in division, we are disordered.
Egotistic pursuits infect every project, because the people are the project and the project is the people. The problem we see with the internet today is not caused by the outer world but by the minds of those who built it. But if you listen to Rong Chen, what he is saying is different. His thinking is actually different.
This is not about being morally superior, this is about being technologically superior yet also inwardly unbound by the usual self-centered mentality of a corporate project. There is a possibility here. We need your energy. We need your vision. We’ve got our castle in the air. Come help us build the foundation under it.
“This philosophy is very different from the philosophy of a company. A company’s first goal is to make money. It’s for profit. So it’s a totally different concept compared with the internet. Products compete with one another. Companies exist to profit. Smart economy is like a country and the goal is to incubate its ecology. A country aims to make its people live a comfortable life, not winning anything in the competition. So the concept is very different.”
Thoughts and Conclusions
In a week where the the FBI, the US Department of Homeland Security, and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre issued a joint alert warning for a hacking campaign directed at devices like routers, it’s a good time to be able to actually comprehend the merits of Elastos.
The Russian hacks are designed to look at data passing through routers and undermine the firewalls that protect the device from malicious traffic. The warning was directed at internet service providers, firms, government departments, and large companies.
Former NSA hacker Jake Williams said of this, “Everybody hacks routers. Saying that home routers with default passwords are getting owned is like saying that thieves are picking up unattended money in a public area.”
Yet of all of the national media outlets in both the US and UK that detailed the extent of these attacks, not one of them mentioned an operating system that could have prevented them. This is a potential crisis of personal and national security that is not going away on its own. While many projects in this space struggle to truly define how they will change the world, Elastos is ready to solve a problem at the highest levels of technological vulnerabilities. This has the potential for globally earth-shaking reverberations. Smart routers run by the Elastos OS could have an enormous impact — in fact, the word enormous is an enormous understatement.
Why should we settle for allowing thieves to pick up our unattended money in a public area? Our phones and computers and devices should not be laughably easy to gain access to. Yet this never even crosses the average person’s mind.
Rong Chen has said, “I think the internet as we know it today is broken. Broken from a cybersecurity point of view. For example, according to Kaspersky Labs, on peak days we can see about 1500 individual Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDos) attacks every day. Some of these attacks last a whole day. What worries me is that we are now moving to build really safety-critical applications on top of this “broken” infrastructure.”
This is not just about technology anymore. This is about society. This is about how we live our lives, so much of which are now lived online. It’s also about our phones and our computers, our routers, and soon, our cars, our things will live online too. We live online, yet we accept a different set of rules there like we are just visitors to some foreign world with its own laws, its own kings and thieves. Though Rong Chen may never say it himself, he is not average among the great minds he calls his peers, he is exceptional in a way that is bigger than any operating system, any mere technological product could ever be. That is his vessel, his lens, his portal to make the world better by creating the platform for people to build that world while simultaneously keeping our physical world safe. To protect our physical identities while giving us digital identities. Rong is a philosopher. A pioneer heading west, envisioning a digital society that is not a series of dictatorships masquerading as innovative egalitarian ecosystems, but as a chunk of breathtaking land, where a flag is staked that contains all flags and yet contains no flags at all. And from that fresh soil, a shout is heard across the plains for all to hear. It says, “Here it is, now come and build the rest.”
This is not to make profits, but to give profits back. This is not to cling to every last cent of revenue, dodging every legal obstacle in the way, but to cling to the vision of a country where you own what makes you valuable. You exchange. You, and the person you want to exchange with, exchange. It is quite simple. The entire Elastos vision may seem complicated, but this part is simple. You interact with the application directly while the application interacts with the internet indirectly. You get the immediacy to interact safely with the dapp, and the dapp gets the non immediacy with the internet to keep you safe. It is the same for your things — your router or your smart devices. The device interacts with the Elastos OS software and the software interacts with the internet. This magical buffer, between you and potential attacks, written in C, a nearly ubiquitous coding language, can be installed on almost any device or thing. Are you getting it? Remember that national security warning about the ease with which our walls are breached through the internet? This would stop that — and it was created to help you, to help the world, not some corporation, by a man who actually thinks differently.
The Elastos Runtime is an impenetrable fortress, perfectly hidden behind the current OS already on your phone. You don’t even need to switch what you already have. It runs as a virtual machine, which is just like any other app, except it protects your data and prevents dapps running via the runtime from ever touching the internet. It is the filter of malware, of viruses, of dos attacks, and when those malicious little bugs do come after you, the Elastos virtual machine acts as a sandbox, a place of no escape, that impenetrable fortress that contains the virus and eliminates its spread. Let’s put it another way by painting a picture. It’s like a giant roach motel, but instead of a cockroach, it’s someone trying to steal your data, your identity, your money. The roach enters the motel/VM through one door and into one room. But for the roach, there is no second door. Once it is determined that a roach has entered, the room is sealed, and the roach/virus is defenseless, rendered useless, dead. It can still “steal” your data, but it cannot leave, it cannot access the internet to send it anywhere. This c++ virtual machine is a checkpoint, a holding center, that only allows what is safe to pass through. Malicious content is contained, and then removed. Why would you want to allow roaches to breeze in and out of your devices? Viruses shouldn’t be like Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence. Trap them with Elastos!
Picture an internet where you are free — where you are safe. Go ahead and picture it right now, because you can’t go online and see it, and if things stay as they are today, you won’t see it. But that is why Elastos is so important to the world right now. That is why Rong Chen has been working on this for 34 years, the last 18 of which have been on Elastos. He wasn’t just taking his time — he’s been building something groundbreaking, something we actually need. How many people can actually say that? Now, how many people need to actually hear about it?
So ask yourself — have I taught anyone about the wonders of Elastos this week?
Onward! Upward! Elastos!
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”