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IoTeX AMA — August 3, 2018

Our general bi-weekly AMA on August 3 is now over! Thank you all for asking us so many thoughtful questions. We hope you enjoyed engaging with us in two AMA’s in one day on CryptoDiffer’s Discord channel as well as our very own subreddit.

Congratulations to those who won bonus points from this AMA. We look forward to answering more questions in 2 weeks time! Meanwhile, you can head on over here for our AMA details.

Participation Steps

  1. Subscribe to the IoTeX subreddit r/IoTeX
  2. Visit the pinned “IoTeX General AMA — August 3, 2018” post in the r/IoTeX subreddit on August 3, 2018 between 6PM — 8PM PDT. We will also post a link in the official IoTeX Telegram group when the campaign starts. *Note: We will only accept questions submitted within the official AMA timeframe announced here.
  3. Ask us a question and include your unique IoTeX Hash ID (PM @IoTeXBountyBot and enter /hashid) — we will only give points for new questions (no duplicate questions)!
  4. We will answer the questions one by one in Reddit. If you have follow-up questions, please feel free to comment on our reply!
  5. We will also select the most thoughtful questions and give additional bonus points.
  6. We will transcribe the AMA and post the list of questions and answers to our Telegram group.

Point System

  1. “Most Thoughtful Questions” Bonus: 300 points (Up to 20 people, chosen by the IoTeX team)
  2. Points will not be granted for merely participation!

Note: Points will be distributed no later than August 8.

Rules

  1. Shoot us any questions you’ve got! Tech, team, our favorite desserts…anything at all.
  2. Profanity and spam messages are forbidden.

Most Thoughtful Questions

Congratulations to the 40 participants who submitted the most thoughtful questions for IoTeX’s General and Cryptodiffer’s Discord AMAs on 8/3/2018. Listed below are the top 20 questions from our very own General AMA on our subreddit. You can find the other 20 questions in this link below.

Q1: What will the average cost of transactions be (in IOTX or USD) and how will this stay competitive with mass adoption if the price of Iotx rises significantly?

Currently our development is still in the Testnet phase, so the transaction cost structure and pricing will be determined around Mainnet launch time. Transaction cost structure and pricing is a vital part of the token economy for a project to be successful, and we hope to create a well-balanced structure for both miners and users in order to stay competitive with other mainstream projects in the market. Additionally, we will test run several pricing models in our Testnet and Mainnet Preview development cycles.

Q2: What is the biggest problem in the development you are facing? Or you do not have problems?

  • Security: to build up a solid public blockchain platforms, we need to deal with tons of existing types of security attacks, such as DDoS, as well as newly invented attacks for blockchain.
  • Horizontal scalability: Like traditional enterprise systems, making thousands or even tens of thousands nodes work together is a non-trivial challenge to resolve.
  • Performance: High TPS is not only decided by the consensus design, it also heavily depends on the implementation. Performance of the blockchain, transaction pool read/write, and encryption will all affect the transaction throughput.
  • Research: Blockchain technology is still at a very early stage. There’re still quite a few problems that haven’t been well understood yet, and we hope to invest in our research to find the answers.

Q3: How will the Lineable products use the IoTeX blockchain exactly? Will they be phoning home constantly? And if so, will each phone home event be a separate transaction? Please explain in laymans terms!

Hello — thanks for the first question! By “phone home” I assume you mean how the device will connect to other Lineable devices or the family member’s of the user. Lineable’s new line of smart watches will connect to the IoTeX platform in one of two ways:

  • Lineable device to telecom server (via LoRaWAN) to IoTeX blockchain server
  • Lineable device to cellular phone (via bluetooth) to IoTeX blockchain server

The first approach would be appropriate for individuals without cell phones or areas where there is not reliable cell service. The method of gathering the data is similar to traditional cloud approach — the real difference is once the data is on the blockchain. Once the data (or the transaction hash) is stored on the blockchain, anyone in the network can verify / prove that the data came from a specific device. This makes the data “pure” in the sense that others can verify that it is original and nobody has tampered with it. Also, once data is on the IoTeX blockchain, it can be sent completely privately using IoTeX’s privacy-preserving techniques. For more information, please see our detailed blog post:

Q4: It’s been a rough year so far and a lot of us are unsure about the future of many of the new projects this year. How does IoTeX reassure it’s investors and followers?

It’s been a rough bear market for all of us. However, we have always had a long-term view of our project. For reassurance, we ask that you maintain faith in our all-star team to continue delivering against our technical deadlines as we have for the past few months. If there ever is a time that IoTeX does not deliver on our promises, that will be the time for uncertainty — we are committed to never letting that happen.

The price of our token is important as it represents a forward-looking indicator of belief in our project. However, this is not the only thing that matters — the strength of our community and partnership ecosystem is also an indicator of project health. Behind the scenes, we know that this part of our project is thriving — we are excited to share more news with you as soon as we can.

Q5. As a fan of your project me and I believe every true fanatic of IoTeX is very excited regarding the upcoming launch of the Official Partnership Program Launch as I believe that cooperation is exactly what is needed by IoTeX to manifest the dreams into reality, it will be a huge stepping stone moving ahead! My few questions:

1. Do you already have undisclosed dApps that are willing to launch on IoTeX?

2. How will you market the program to attract the view of development and ecosystem partners?

3. One of benefits for development partners are hands-on advisory, in case of huge number of such partners, how would you distribute time to advise them?

4. What does the partnership with Lineable mean to IoTeX?

Hi there — thanks for your excitement regarding our partnership program. We are excited too :)

  1. Unfortunately, we cannot disclose any specifics regarding partners that have not been announced yet. We have received lots of interest over the past year, and will share with you as soon as possible.
  2. We are still in “build mode” here at IoTeX — we hope to use our first set of development partners as examples of the great things that can be achieved by working with IoTeX. As we drive further towards Mainnet Preview launch in Q4 2018, we will share with our community and the general public the progress we are making with our partners.
  3. We are selective in the number of development partners that we sign. One of the things we look for in our development partners is the ability to carry out their development independently — the fact that IoTeX will provide technical advisory should be more on the integration / implementation side. The projects we like to work with are not the flashiest, but rather those with technically sound and motivated teams.
  4. The partnership with Lineable means a lot to IoTeX — we see this as our path to our first “use case” / proof of concept. Lineable already has existing clients, hardware, connectivity partners, etc. and they are just as committed to our project as us. We are really looking forward to great things with Lineable!

Q6: Is there a real practical advantage of blockchain over existing and tested technologies? I ask, because at the moment over the years, no real working project has been released, which could not be implemented as effectively as on the blockchain.

There is always a lot of comparisons between blockchain today and the Internet in its early days — even though it is a high-level comparison, we do feel that they will follow similar adoption patterns. Similar to the Internet, blockchain is providing a completely new way to think about transacting with others in a decentralized and trustless fashion. We don’t think about blockchain as replacing any legacy technologies (e.g., cloud); rather, it provides opportunities to create brand new products and services. We are still in the early days of blockchain, but close your eyes and think about what the future will be like in 5 years — undoubtedly, the control and power will be pushed away from greedy centralized parties to the end consumers. Eventually, society will demand control over their data and their privacy, and we believe IoT will be a huge example of this.

Q7: Will IoTeX implement a block size limit on the main chain ?. How does IoTeX plan to combat potential attacks against the chain?

Yes, we will need to limit block size to ensure the consensus on a given block will be completed in a predicted timeframe. As to combat potential attacks, we first make sure we seriously evaluate the security level when designing our blockchain. We also focus deeply on engineering quality to avoid the security holes introduced by improper implementation. Last but not least, we will invite partners and community members to test the blockchain significantly to cover any issues we may have missed.

Security is of the utmost importance for any blockchain project — luckily, we have some of the most talented infrastructure security experts on our team, including co-founder Raullen, who was an infrastructure security lead at Google and Head of the Cryptography R&D team at Uber before starting IoTeX.

Q8: Do you plan on monetizing the vast amount of data from the IoT devices, and how to do so? Will the data be owned by the users, or dApps, or IoTeX?

This will be a case-by-case basis. IoTeX is considering providing a “data mart” as a service to DApps, but we will not take any of the profits. We are not a “for profit” project — the core team is building this platform for everyone. Some DApps may choose to hold the data for themselves, but they will likely provide some kind of incentive to their users to provide their data, either in tokens or fiat or other. We believe the most impactful DApps will be those that give data back to the user, so the end user can choose to maintain full privacy of their data, trade their data, sell their data, and more. Our ultimate goal is to allow both companies and users to benefit from this new business model, centered around cryptoeconomic incentives. There will be lots of trial and error to understand which incentives create the most impact.

Q9: Roll-DPOS yellow paper and testnet alpha indicates that new set of block producers are selected every epoch and in case of lacking trust because of their actions they may not be voted again this definitely enhances the consensus what if we would think about the flip side of this. Let’s say that few candidates were historically proven to be trustful in producing blocks. In that case wouldn’t it be more efficient to prioritize these candidates to a new epoch therefore less new candidates would need to be chosen to make up a new set of BPs hence less work and time to select the new set ?

It is a good idea to prioritize the candidates in terms of their past history for producing blocks, which will reduce the time for selecting the new set of block producers. However, this approach needs a distributed reputation mechanism for continuously monitoring nodes’ behavior, which is going to add additional complexity to the system. Moreover, selecting a new set of BPs for each epoch is helpful for minimizing the potential risk that some BPs get compromised and launch attacks to the system.

Q10: Could ethereum dApps be moved to IoTeX platform? Is IoTeX supported by ethereum virtual machine?

We’re still on the way to figure out the whole picture of virtual machine for IoT. Supporting Ethereum virtual machine (or more precisely smart contract via Sodility) is one good strategy. We seriously consider doing so, but are exploring multiple options. It could allow developers to easily port the existing DApps from Ethereum to our platform.

Q11: Many people say that the main thing in life is love and family. But do not generalize these two concepts. Why? — often strong families are created not for love. And those relationships in the basis of which lies love — are crumbling. But, what does the word family really mean to you? And what is love?

Very poetic question :)

Family to us means a lot of things — much of our core team has their direct family (wife/husband, kids, etc.), whom we value greatly. We also have our IoTeX Family (this is actually the name of our group chat), and this extends to our community as well. We think family is all about mutual respect, and that is something we hope our community sees in the way we conduct ourselves.

Love in this case is about being selfless to improve the lives of others. We feel we are achieving this by working hard on the IoTeX project to bring new opportunities to change lives of people around the world.

Q12: Congrats on your Lineable partnership which is a big impact on the Korean market. What will be your vision and possible strategy if you can share to include other markets in other regions like Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and North & South America so that IoTeX will be know in those regions?

We have several criteria for selecting our strategic partners, one of which is geographical diversity. We see our partners not only as companies building DApps on top of IoTeX, but also as extensions of our project in their respective countries. Eventually, we will work with partners from every continent around the world — this is important to understand region-specific nuances (e.g., regulation, rate of adoption) as well as the culture. We have already learned so much from our time in Korea, and look forward to expanding to Europe and Southeast Asia next! Look out for more announcements soon ;)

Q13: Which of the key innovations of IoTeX is predicted to be used in the products Lineable (Partnership IoTeX & Lineable)?

Lineable will first start by connecting their products to the IoTeX blockchain, utilizing our privacy-preserving techniques to secure and transmit their sensitive user data. They will also benefit from the native benefits of blockchain, such as immutability, transparency, and decentralization.

In the future, IoTeX’s subchain architecture will be important, as Lineable will be able to trade / sell / donate data to other companies on the IoTeX network seamlessly and securely. They will also benefit from the scalability that we achieve from our Roll-DPoS consensus mechanism.

Q14: There are so many competitors on crypto space. When one comes another will come after it with new features and innovations. The question that I want answered is: How will you fight your opponents and how will you always keep the project innovative and alive?

It is true that there are many more “competitors” coming into the crypto space every day — however, we don’t see them all as competitors. We have taken the philosophy of befriending many other projects, even those that are doing similar things as us. At the end of the day, we are confident that what we are building requires not only the upfront design (which can be copied conceptually), but also the technical capabilities to execute (which cannot be replicated). We are keeping a close eye on the progress and innovations of other open source projects, but we like to think of ourselves as thought leaders, not followers in this industry.

Q15: Do you guys have any plans on making apps or hardwares that will facilitate the running of the consensus mechanisms on other small devices (with limited memories and processors?) e.g. smart watches during a casual jogging (without any other smart devices).

An elaboration, what is the smallest mobile device that you guys have tried connecting to the testnet that can be able to run the consensus mechanism? And how much data would it consume for making each transaction?

The smallest embedded devices on which we tested our Testnet code is the VoCore2 wireless router (http://vocore.io/v2u.html), which is a coin-size computer featuring a MT7628AN CPU running at 580 MHz. For making a transaction, the device basically just signs the transaction and broadcasts it to the peers.

So far, we have tested our code on ARM and MIPS-based architectures. We will expand our test set to other types of chips (e.g., Artik, Semtech) to make sure we create a working solution for all IoT devices.

Q16: Could you help us explain more on the role of Data Crowdsourcing Vendors and the interaction of the IoT users, advocates, marketers and service providers to the IoTeX blockchain?

Once data is stored on the blockchain, it is immutable and traceable. However, the original source of the data cannot be verified unless the data is attested (i.e., proven to come from a specific source / device), which is supported by IoTeX’s protocol. Today, there is an abundance of IoT data that cannot be fully trusted, rendering it unusable for formal research, sale to third parties, and other uses outside of the data owner’s domain. By connecting to IoTeX, the data generated by various IoT devices (owned by a specific individual) can be attested and fully trusted, effectively making each user a “trusted data supplier”. We see this as a great way to crowdsource data, and once corporations and data buyers see the value in this data, we are sure the supply / demand dilemma will be solved.

Q17: AFAIK, Apple use Homekit to control compatible IoT devices, Google has similar protocol, is IoTeX compatible with these protocols?

Yes and no — these smart home offerings from Apple / Google / Amazon run on a combination of proprietary hardware, software, and firmware. We do not wish to integrate directly with their software, but rather will focus on achieving hardware interoperability by leveraging a neutral blockchain infrastructure layer.

One good way to think about this is cell phones tied to a specific carrier. Once you “jailbreak” a cell phone (i.e., strip away the hardware from the firmware/software), it can effectively be used on any cell phone carrier.

Q18: What is the effectiveness of using the “transaction injector” to generate false token transfers between addresses for Testnet?

In Testnet, there’s no or only limited number of real transactions generated from users, we need to rely on transaction injector to create simulate decent amount of fake transactions to test if our blockchain is working properly. It also gives us the easy control to imitate different test cases, such as high transaction volume period and malicious transaction attack.

Q19: What are the main tasks for this year? I believe that you will be ahead of the competition.

The main tasks for us this year will be to execute our technical roadmap — specifically, completing our Testnet Beta launch (which will include subchain management and smart contracts), as well as formally launching our Mainnet Preview in Q4 2018. If we achieve this, we will certainly be ahead of the competition, and it will position us greatly to do amazing things in 2019.

On the business development / partnerships side, we also hope to work closely with our development partners to launch working proofs of concept. We will incrementally add more PoCs, which will eventually merge into minimum viable products (MVPs), which will form the foundation for our first DApps in 2019!

Q20: While DAGs claim to solve the block problem, they still rely on redundantly sharing and processing data between every full node on the network. The increased tps may simply shift the pain towards drastically increased storage and bandwidth requirements for the poor full-wallet users . Byteball is already in double digit GBs for data storage. How can this project solve this problem and what solutions will it have in the future?

Since the blockchain is an append-only data structure in nature, the storage requirement increases over the time on the full nodes. We are investigating various solutions for compressing or pruning the blockchain for the old transactions, thereby reducing the storage overhead in the future.

About IoTeX

IoTeX is the auto-scalable and privacy-centric blockchain infrastructure for the Internet of Things (IoT). IoTeX’s global team is comprised of Ph.Ds in Cryptography, Distributed Systems, and Machine Learning, top tier engineers, and experienced ecosystem builders. IoTeX is developing several in-house innovations to push the frontier of blockchain 3.0, including a blockchains-in-blockchain architecture for heterogeneous computing, lightning fast Roll-DPoS consensus mechanism, and lightweight privacy-preserving techniques. IoTeX is bringing autonomous device coordination to the masses by “connecting the physical world, block by block.”

Website: https://iotex.io/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/iotex_io
Telegram Announcement Channel:
https://t.me/iotexchannel
Telegram Group:
https://t.me/IoTeXGroup
Medium:
https://medium.com/@iotex
Reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/IoTeX/
Join us:
https://iotex.io/careers

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Founded as an open source platform in 2017, IoTeX is building the Internet of Trusted Things, an open ecosystem where all humans, machines, and businesses can interact with guaranteed trust and privacy.

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