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GAINS Associates

Harmony — Telegram QUIZ & AMA — April 18

On Saturday, April 18, we had the pleasure to welcome to our Telegram chat:

Li Jiang, COO of Harmony

Maggie Wang, Operation & Product Analyst of Harmony

Niteesh Settypalli, Business Development Intern of Harmony

We asked him questions about the development of Harmony, currently ranked 198 on Coinmarketcap.

Some sentences have been slightly edited for readability but the meaning has been conserved.

Summary

In this AMA, Li Jiang, Maggie Wang and Niteesh Settypalli from Harmony joined the GAINS community to tell us about their project.

Li Jiang spent 6 years at GSV Capital. He organized a Global Education Summit with 1,500 attendees, including Barack Obama! He plays ultimate frisbee and won nationally in 2017.

Harmony is a blockchain for humans. It is a high-performance, low-fee public chain as a frictionless platform for DeFi applications. It focuses on bridging high-growth economies in countries such as Southeast Asia and India, #CrossFi.

Harmony is among the first production mainnets with Proof-of-Stake and sharding, the top two goals of Ethereum 2.0.

Harmony’s new staking system, called Effective Proof-of-Stake (EPoS), reduces centralization while allowing delegation and compounding, attacking the rich-get-richer problem with economic incentives to run smaller nodes. There are now 1,000+ nodes.

Harmony is #4 this past month by Githbub activity.

In addition to staking, the ONE token is used as currency on ecosystem applications such as Lympo and Quidd.
Lympo incentivizes a healthy lifestyle and corporate fitness with reward tokens. They are fully integrated with Samsung Wallet; they have hundreds of thousands of users.
Quidd is a marketplace for collectibles. It has 6.8 million users and 2 billion licensed items.

Harmony’s mission is to scale trust for billions of people and to create a radically fair economy.

Introduction

Q — Alexandre R from GAINS: Can you tell us what you did before crypto, how you got into crypto, and if you’ve had any other venture in crypto previous to being involved with Harmony?

A — Li Jiang from Harmony: I was a venture capital before, I have founded a logistic startup during college with the highest revenue.

During my six years at GSV Capital, I organized Pioneer Summit and Global Education Summit with 1,500 attendees including Bill Campbell and Barack Obama.

I hold an economics degree from Northwestern University. I’m an adjunct professor at Northwestern’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. I’m trained on ultimate frisbee daily and own an amateur team that won nationally in 2017.

My crypto story is pretty interesting.

A community starts with humans and their dreams. They say “isolation is the dream killer”. So, I started a gathering of dreamers in Silicon Valley two and a half years ago. We gather every week, four hours or more every time.

Out of this community, we have recruited our founding team and now the full-time team of 20, including 7 engineers from Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook; 7 graduates from Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, Penn and Oxford; and 4 PhDs.

Li Jiang, COO of Harmony
Li Jiang from Harmony

Q — Alexandre R from GAINS: So, do you want to tell us more about what Harmony is and what you specifically do, yourself In a few short and simple sentences for now?

A — Li Jiang from Harmony: Chief operating officer, uptime human.

It means I’m usually always up, working on any range of business and operational issues.

As a lean project, we don’t have a CFO or many typical roles you find in a big company, so some of that work comes my way.

Q — Alexandre R from GAINS: Interesting. Can you elaborate on what scaling trust for billions of people means?

A — Li Jiang from Harmony: Harmony is a blockchain for humans.

Our mission is to scale trust for billions of people and to create a radically fair economy.

Machines do not need trust; for sure they don’t care about fairness. But we do.

Product

Q — Twitter user @hiep12323: Harmony wants to solve the trilemma (Decentralization, Scalability, Security) But how about the fourth dimension (Privacy), How would you solve all these critical dimensions with Harmony? Are you going to sacrifice one of them to improve in others?

A — Li Jiang from Harmony: As infrastructure engineers who used to work at the world’s top companies, our approach is to bring the best research results into production.

They’re now 1,000 Harmony nodes, 80% of them run by the community, in line with tens of thousands of Bitcoin and Ethereum nodes.

Harmony presents a new staking scheme called Effective Proof-of-Stake, or EPoS. It reduces centralization while enabling delegation and compounding.

With thousands of seats, the Harmony network allows far more market dynamics and participation than any staking blockchain.

On scalability, we’re among the first production mainnets with Proof-of-Stake and sharding, the top two goals of Ethereum 2.0.

We have solved the most challenging problems of the blockchain trilemma and productized the state-of-the-art research results.

The future of privacy is already here but unevenly distributed.

One example is a short computer proof that does not reveal your account books but guarantees your solvency to repay loans.

Another example is a single private key with multiple public keys that unlock different capacities such as audits and authorization.

Like other sufficiently advanced technologies, these primitives feel like magic but are already being demonstrated in practice.

The market timing fits perfectly for Harmony’s approach of engineering for production.

Q — Twitter user @dani_unss: Harmony is entering a very crowded market, isn’t this just more of the same, another blockchain promising things that most people don’t understand or need at the moment?

A — Li Jiang from Harmony: Harmony focuses on broader financial products as they are well-validated with Ethereum and ready for mass adoption.

Finance products within one country are already highly efficient and protected. On the other hand, purely on-chain #DeFi solutions without onramp gateways or local distribution have limited impact in real-world economies.

Harmony focuses on bridging high-growth economies in countries such as China and India, hence #CrossFi for cross-border finance. Harmony remains an infrastructure layer; our local partners serve customers with country-specific products and compliance.

Actually we think now is the time when the world needs an open financial system that is fair.

Q — Twitter user @Rockycrypto80: Recently, Stake Heist launched on 17th April.

Can you tell us something about Stake Heist & How the collaboration with Gitcoin will be beneficial?

A — Li Jiang from Harmony: Stake Heist is finally here, launching on April 17th at noon PT and running for two weeks, in collaboration with Gitcoin! We have increased the prize pool for Stake Heist to 15,000,000 ONE.

There are two categories of bounties in Stake Heist:

Exploit: These bounties help us identify vulnerabilities in our design and code. These are open-ended and usually include attack vectors and exploits.

Project: These bounties are projects that are useful for validators and delegators to use for staking.

Stake Heist will fully test our open staking before we launch on mainnet

Gitcoin is easily one of the most active technical communities we can partner with and they’ll bring serious hackers to test Harmony.

Q — Telegram user maranatha: In a previous AMA you mentioned Pangaea 2 which got me interested, can you explain more about this

DeFi and Dapps are 2 pillars primed to rule cryptocurrencies, what’s Harmony strategy to DeFi and Dapps.?

A — Maggie Wang from Harmony: DeFi has been hot since last year. I think this area has the best use case for blockchain: the current financial system is a trust-based model that can be supported by blockchain. DeFi is still experimental at the current stage: for example, people can withdraw ETH from MakerDAO at zero cost when it plummets. Also, other issues happened on public chains, e.g. orders are not cleared in time, data is not updated from oracle.

Harmony’s goal is to build a high-performance, low-fee public chain as a frictionless platform for DeFi applications. Apart from better infrastructure, I think it also needs a better ecosystem: 1. Oracle should be a part of this ecosystem, we have integrated with Chainlink, the leading oracle service provider. 2. It should also include Stablecoin, which is the “cornerstone” of any financial applications on crypto. Carbon is helping issue an FDIC-insured Stablecoin native on Harmony. 3. Another important participant in DeFi is DEX. We have cooperated with DEX including ViteLabs and Hydro Dex to give users a better experience on Harmony.

We are also focused on a very promising market: Cross-fi, i.e. cross-border transaction. Two obvious pain points exist currently: i) high transaction fee; ii) long clearing time. We are working with many licensed partners in Southeast Asia and India to solve this problem for cross-border labors.

Q — Telegram user Jonathan tross: Do you think Staking open testnet is as user friendly for experienced as well for newbies?

What features and benefits are different and unique from other platforms?

A — Li Jiang from Harmony: we are trying to make learning to run a validator much easier on harmony. it still requires some willingness to learn technical knowledge, try harmony.one/auto.

Q — Telegram user Ross Queen: Harmony looks very futuristic and is currently receiving positive attention!

I want to know what is the minimum requirement to run the Harmony node?

A — Niteesh Settypalli from Harmony: There is no minimum requirement set by Harmony to run a node. But you must stake enough to get one of the validator seats. This number is determined by the market and what people are staking.

Q — Telegram user Elias Wagner: Ontology and Zilliqa also have sharding technology

What’s so special about Harmony’s sharding?

What are the main advantages users can see using EPoS instead of PoS?

A — Maggie Wang from Harmony: “The rich get richer” problem prevails in all blockchains especially in POS chains. For example, the top 10 validators in Cosmos hold more than 50% of the total staked tokens. This “rank-stake in atoms” chart shows how much atom is staked by each validator. It’s a very skewed distribution.

In EPoS, validators are rewarded in proportion to their effective stake, which is capped/floored in a range around the median stake.

Big validators are economically incentivized to decentralize their nodes, i.e. spin up new validator machines to separate it into multiple small nodes. Small validators can get the same return by running a single node. Higher-ranked validators(in the yellow area) are economically punished to stake too much in a single validator and the lower-ranked validators(in the green area) are enjoying the extra reward. The effective stake is acting as an equalizer that pushes for a more evenly distributed stake among validators, thus avoiding stake centralization.

Q — Telegram user John: Can you tell us about Beacon chain and Shard Chain? How were they helpful?

A — Maggie Wang from Harmony: See our whitepaper. Harmony contains a beacon chain and multiple shard chains. The beacon chain serves as the randomness beacon and identity register, while the shard chains store separate blockchain states and process transactions concurrently. Harmony proposes an efficient algorithm for randomness generation by combining the Verifiable Random Function (VRF) and Verifiable Delay Function (VDF). Harmony also incorporates PoS in the sharding process which shifts the security consideration of a shard from the minimum number of nodes [7,8,12] to the minimum number of voting shares.

Token

Q — Telegram user Antonio Alves: Can you elaborate on the main uses and practical use cases of ONE token?

Where can I use ONE and as an investment, can you give some main reasons why we should buy ONE token as a long-term investment?

A — Maggie Wang from Harmony: First, a large number of ONE token will be staked after we launch open staking which is strong support on the demand side.

As mentioned above we are also building with our partners Lympo and Animoca.

We will integrate with many other applications on an ecosystem level. We had an $8 million joint acquisition of Quidd with Animoca. Quidd is a marketplace for collectibles. It has 6.8 million users and 2 billion licensed items. Quidd has already achieved $10 million user purchases and averaged 6 transactions/sec. Users will spend Harmony tokens on Quidd.

Our official partner Lympo incentivizes a healthy lifestyle and corporate fitness with reward tokens. They are fully integrated with Samsung Wallet; they have hundreds of thousands of users and millions of exercise challenges completed. There are 140 million profiles for mobile fitness alone. Lympo’s reward tokens will be exclusively built on Harmony and our data-sharing marketplace.

Finally, this year we will also implement decentralized governance. Token holders can participate in global governance with proposals.

Q — Telegram user Elias Wagner: Animoca is one of your famous main partners.

When will the first dapp game with ERC721 token be released?

A — Maggie Wang from Harmony: it is not ERC 20 but HRC20, watch here.

It’s a demo of Harmony DAPP by Matt Lockyer, our engineer, btw this morning Matt just built an excellent demo of how to use our staking dashboard as a delegator.

Community

Q — Telegram user Erven James Sato: Can you list all the “Social Media Links” of Harmony So I can follow it and then-campaign Harmony to my friends?

Can you also share your Updates and Developments so I can add it to my Campaign of Harmony?

A — Maggie Wang from Harmony: we will share all social media links later but if you just search harmony dot one slash (the social media) you will find us, e.g. harmony.one/twitter.

Sign up to Harmony Newsletter.

Q — Telegram user Fa Lieng Gwan Tueng: What are Harmony plans to shape up for marketing and building a strong, core community which is important for any new project in the crypto space?

A — Li Jiang from Harmony: It starts with ONE person, join our harmony.one/volunteers to meet the volunteers who help support our validators.

Business Development

Q — Twitter user @Rahul1985577: What is the business model of Harmony? How does Harmony generate revenue for project development?

A — Li Jiang from Harmony: Our goals in 2020 are cross-border utility, decentralized development, and auditable privacy.

Why Finance? Blockchains enable many marketplaces but banking services are the native use.

Why Cross-Border? Open platforms work locally but global users are the most underserved.

Why Harmony? Not only fast and secure, but Harmony is also decentralized and guarantees privacy.

How? We are customer-obsessed but must identify the right customers and external values.

There’s no business model in the traditional sense in blockchain, only building an open platform that creates value for users and our $ONE token.

Q — Telegram user Elly: Why did you decide to bring the New Economic Model?

Is the rewards system also changed depending upon the staking ratios?

A — Li Jiang from Harmony: Why did we change the model?

We changed the model because the assumptions and judgments underlying the original model changed. As John Maynard Keynes said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?”

Take a look at the new Tokenomics.

Q — Telegram user dustyllanos: Did Harmony lose its mission or divine purpose when large portions of your token will be put on open staking?

I think you’ve just transitioned into staking and not really what the coin has been intended for?

A — Li Jiang from Harmony: We will be more decentralized with open staking that anyone can. Come stake at staking.harmony.one.

Q — Telegram user Zerrynoz: There are quite a few wallets that support Harmony. Are you planning to build your own wallet? What characteristics are you looking for the “best” wallet?

A — Maggie Wang from Harmony: Here is a list of all our wallets,

We have a Harmony browser extension wallet.

Join our staking testnet and set up a validator to see how easy it is,

How fast and cheap is harmony? See here.

We sent nearly 1000 transactions with a single token.

Q — Telegram user Karla Herrera Pulido: In the face of the pandemic we are experiencing, what strategy will Harmony use to make new users trust its platform and be part of it?

What strategy will you use to ensure that your platform allows for the construction of a radically fair economy in the long term?

A — Niteesh Settypalli from Harmony: For the first part, our productivity didn’t drop because of the pandemic. On coin cap you can actually see Harmony is ranked #1 in terms of GitHub activity in the past week over Ethereum which is #2. In the past month we’ve been #2 overall, but we think shortly we’ll be #1 for the past month because of the effort the team is putting in.
The team is working extremely hard!

For the second part, please look at epos in the docs. The method ensures its a fair system instead of whales dominating.

Q — Telegram user paraphan: As known in March Harmony Milestones, Harmony has launched Pangaea 2: Stake Heist. So, what is Pangaea, and what is Stake Heist? How will it help to improve Harmony staking?

A — Maggie Wang from Harmony: You can see here and here the different stages of our staking testnet.

for Pangaea 2: Stake Heist is here, and here for staking/delegating economics.

After p1 criteria are met, we will launch Pangaea 2 with 400 slots in 4 shards (200 external).

We will open the network to technical hacking and stress tests with bug bounties. During this phase, we will engage the full Pangaea community, staking service partners, hacker communities (i.e. Gitcoin, HackerOne), and non-crypto developers to fully attack and test the network.

Exit criteria are APR, median stake amount, validator stake per key.

Rolling upgrade in 30 mins, restart in 1 hour.

Realistic allocation/economics, full shard recovery, hard fork simulation 95% uptime (only 72 mins downtime/day) at least 2-day bug-free, same network stress tests 12 days of network exposure to malicious attacks.

Li and the Harmony team, thanks a lot for coming in today. It was very interesting to learn more about Harmony and your plans to scale trust for billions of people and to create a radically fair economy.

I love projects that are very active like you: opening up a hacking contest, figuring out innovative ways to make staking fair, publishing awesome short videos, managing to be second overall on GitHub activity all that while building meaningful partnerships with quality companies!

I’m looking forward to more amazing developments in the future.

Alexandre R from GAINS

This was a great AMA everyone! I would love for all of you to set up a validator on our testnet and check out all the work we’ve been putting in. We have bounties and other rewards to join open staking. Please fill out http://harmony.one/validators after setting up a validator!

Niteesh Settypalli from Harmony

Join us now! Enjoy quality articles, daily curated news, insightful infographics and enter a vibrant, fun and knowledgeable community!

If you want to email us: contact@gains-associates.com.

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GAINS Associates provides you with the latest news and research in blockchain and crypto. It’s a community for everyone to learn and grow together.

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