In the past year, the blockchain industry has experienced its fair share of ups and downs. Beyond wild valuations and price swings, we have seen dramatic progress in the space — more than in any year since Satoshi Nakamoto mined Bitcoin’s genesis block back in 2009.
Mainstream acceptance seems to draw ever closer, with popstars rapping about Bitcoin, government officials championing the technology, top tier universities offering blockchain courses and investing into funds, as well as highly promising ecosystem developments like Bakkt, ETF’s and regulatory clarifications opening up the doors for institutions to enter the space.
During this eventful year, IOST has made great progress with our technology. The second version of our test network ‘Everest v1.0’ successfully launched last quarter and as a result, the mainnet launch date has been pushed forward by 2 quarters and is now scheduled for Q1 of 2019.
Much of this technical progress was made around the development of our proprietary consensus mechanism “Proof of Believability” (PoB). We will use this innovative consensus technology — which builds and improves upon the technology of “Proof of Stake” — to become a truly decentralized, developer-friendly and scalable blockchain for business, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and developers.
With the successes of our technological development, we have also started to focus on ecosystem construction and IOST’s long term future direction.
Throughout the year of developing IOST, the most common question we encountered was “how will the ecosystem grow after the IOST blockchain goes online?” This is not only a question highly relevant for IOST, but also for the entire blockchain industry as we push forward into this new and uncharted territory.
In this process of exploration, we have met and discussed with developers and professionals from a wide range of industries who stand to benefit from this developing technology. Fundraising transparency of charities, tokenization of real-world assets, traceability of goods and supply chain management, decentralized exchanges, online advertising, payment transfers and online gaming — we have systematically studied the needs of sectors ripe for disruption and have focused on developing our platform to enable these high potential use cases.
Crucially, not only must our platform be suitable for disruption of these sectors, the ecosystem itself must support and facilitate the development of these applications. If IOST is like Windows, we must enable and inspire developers to build software like Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer.
Theseus was established to achieve this goal.
Theseus is an independent DAPP R&D team created to support the development of decentralized applications capable of leading the charge for the mass adoption of blockchain technology. dedicated to developing games and applications on the IOST infrastructure, Its shareholders include Sequoia Capital China, Jingwei China ZhenFund, and Xianfeng Changqing. The team’s name is inspired by the famous Theseus’ Paradox , which raises the question of “whether an object that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object.”
Theseus was created with the vision that all technological advancements inspire a “cascading effect” wherein innovations inspire branching ideas, all of which build upon each other, ultimately altering and advancing the original breakthrough completely. By beginning with small innovations and building upon them, Theseus hopes to bring about a quantum change in the industry.
At present, Theseus has a number of products in development, which will be launched along the IOST mainnet. Theseus will be crucial in spreading blockchain applications into everyday life. Throughout this process, we hope to inspire even more developers to build upon the IOST blockchain and create an open-source decentralized ecosystem for online services.
On that note, we are excited that with the new version of the IOST test network, IOST is now able to launch online courses to welcome more developers, develop demos, host hackathons and build a developer community. If you are interested in developing on the IOST blockchain, please head to our developer portal. Throughout the run-up to mainnet, we will continue to test and upgrade our platform with feedback from our developer community.
Much of the success of the Ethereum network is as a result of the support it receives from ConsenSys. In Q2 2018 we created BlueHill to similarly support the IOST network. In addition to responsibility for IOST’s daily developer community growth, PR and marketing, BlueHill has set up its own independent fund to invest in IOST’s ecological development initiatives and partners.
Lastly, we are very optimistic about the application of PGC (Professionally Generated Content). In New York, we carefully selected some of the best talent from companies like Google, Facebook, Bloomberg and Mobike, formed a solid team, and hatched Berm Protocol — an IOST-based PGC-led content-based platform.
We believe that the traditional UGC content class platform is evolving, and it is becoming more difficult to control content quality due to the introduction and expansion of incentive mechanisms. The PGC content class platform is more suitable for the essence of blockchain. At present, Berm’s test demo has gained a large user base in the US and other English-speaking markets. Berm has also received support from a number of top VCs and Exchanges outside of BlueHill, and we hope to work together to help the Berm team build the first batch of products that are truly popular with users. The future of Berm will be another vital part of IOST’s ecology and we look forward to the exciting times ahead.
The success of our recent launch of Everest v1.0 is inseparable from the efforts of every member of the team. Thanks again to every member of the team and every enthusiast and developer in the community for their support of IOST. In the next few months, we will launch our mainnet, launch several applications, continue ecosystem development, and expand the developer community.
Let’s bring blockchain to the masses together!
- Jimmy Zhong, CEO