IoTeX AMA Livestream for Delegates Program— Mar 1, 2019

Thank you to those who joined our general AMA and livestream session on March 1! We had a great time answering your questions and talking about our Delegates Program and we would like to provide a brief summary for those of you who weren’t able to join, as well as, below you will find the questions that were chosen by the team and qualified for bonus points.

Session participants

Our co-founders Raullen and Jing, and Head of BD Larry hosted the livestream to communicate with our supporters and to let you know more about the IoTeX recent updates!

Livestream Video

Announcing the Winners!

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Livestream Recap/Highlights

  1. Overview of this session
  2. “The Grand Design of IoTeX”
  3. Q1 — Delegates & how is the distribution of the rewards enforced
  4. Q2 — How the transition between epochs works
  5. Q3 — Delegates Profiles
  6. Q4 — Automated process of the rewards distribution
  7. Q5 — Any working projects?
  8. Q6 — On the supervisory board & IoTeX Foundation

1. Overview of this session

This is a very important month and a very important milestone for IoTeX and the entire IoTeX network and community. We have just launched our member portal, maybe some of you have already looked at it and the profiles of our Delegates. Actually, we have gotten over 100 applications and we are really impressed by those profiles and maybe we will have more. Also, starting from next week, everyone will be able to use our platform to do the self-stake or stake your tokens. And within one week, March 11, this will be the official launch of the voting, so mark your calendars! So just to give you an idea of what we have been up to these past weeks. We have been launching a lot of announcements, so maybe there are some, that you may have missed but just to recap, we launched a blog on the Grand Design of IoTeX, kind of explaining, that staking and voting will be run on Ethereum until our beacon chain/gravity chain is launched in Q3 or so. As Jing mentioned, we launched our Delegates website, over 40 Delegates are up there for you to browse and at the bottom of every profile we have a DISQUS thread, so you can start asking delegates questions and you should join their social media channels and definitely start engaging and figuring out who they are, both professionally and personally, because these are going to be the people that will help to grow the IoTeX network. The exciting news is that we have announced the release of the open-testnet v2.0 and it has a lot of really exciting enhancements; a lot of security, vulnerability, performance features, too many to go over right now, please do check out that blog and also if you are a developer, you can create a full node now start exploring the blockchain and getting used to what this testnet can do.

And just to go back to the member profile, we want to really share some of the people that have applied so far. So we have a lot of different groups and you may have seen blogs that we have written recently around the different types of investors and funds, different developer groups, different Brand Ambassadors, and different tech providers and finally different ecosystem partners, that are bringing in different capabilities to the network. So we have kind of announced these guys in the groups and definitely do check out those blogs! You will also see that these delegates will not be just maintaining and validating our node, they will be the key builders of the community and also the entire ecosystem.

2. “The Grand Design of IoTeX”

We just launched a blog called IoTeX Mainnet — Staking/Voting & The Grand Design, which basically outlines the work for Q2, Q3 and Q4 leading up to the big Mainnet GA launch.

So as of now, we have an Operation chain and Orchestry chain, which is the root chain of the IoTeX network and the governance layer of the IoTeX blockchain, that’s where we have all the voting and staking (now we have this on the Ethereum mainnet). But in the next two quarters, we will have our own governance for blockchain. In Q3 we will launch our Gravity Chain, Ethereum calls it a Beacon Chain, it’s basically the mechanism that is used to kind of define the governance for the entire system.

From what I understand the integration between our blockchain and reading from Ethereum and kind if updating the Delegates that’s kind of unprecedented, right?

Yeah, that’s a very important feature we have implemented, so as a voter/staker you work with the smart-contract, that’s also audited by 3rd parties on the Ethereum mainnet, and we will have the IoTeX blockchain, which has an Ethereum client, to read the states of those contracts of the ethereum mainnet to instruct all creations in the IoTeX world. Basically, it says, so here’s the data from the contract and these are the BPs which will do the block production work in our IoTeX network. That’s the separation of power, basically, we don’t want to put everything in one network. For example, in EOS, if you are a delegate and you are elected in the top 24, then there’s no incentive for these 24 folks to receive any peoples votes anymore. They can just turn down all the transactions, or purposely miss transactions and there’s no mechanism to make them stop. So that’s a very strange design to us, and that’s why we will have this governance layer, operation layer, business logic and subchains.

Q1 — Delegates & how is the distribution of the rewards enforced

“A delegate is promoting himself, saying he will distribute 80% of the block rewards to the voters. Are there any locking rules that assure he will actually have to do that or is this still optional at the end?” This is kind of a question of how do we make sure that delegates follow their promises. This doesn’t just stop at the rewards distribution, it involves community plans, as we want to make sure that people are campaigning and following through what they are promising. At IoTeX, it’s ultimately the job of all of us to make sure that Delegates are held accountable. I think from experience and discussions, we do think they will, but from our perspective, we are here just to add transparency to the process. Any kind of changes to the profile, any changes to the voting structure, rewards structure, we are going to make sure that they communicate them effectively to their voters. Also, we are going to provide tools for payout, that they can use. The good thing about it is that all the rewards are paid on the blockchain, so it’s completely transparent, who has done what and who hasn’t done what. There’s no way to technically enforce the payment, but the beauty of the blockchain kind of makes it all transparent.

Q2 — How the transition between epochs works

“As the block producers change every epoch, how are the blocks verified during the time the transition happens. Are the new delegates actually elected and waiting in line before the start to not stop the blockchain from running?” It’s definitely designed, so that it’s going to be completely continuous, so there’s no stopping of block production. The way it works is that the ranking of the delegates is updated in real time throughout the day. Right now 1 epoch is 1 day. So the delegates are swapped every day, and every day the top 36 are selected as consensus delegates and 24 of those 36 are randomly selected to produce blocks one by one, while others verify throughout the day. Every day there are 8640 blocks, meaning those 24 randomly selected will be doing 360 blocks each. And this is all completely continuous, so right when the epoch ends, rewards are paid to the delegates and new top 36 are swapped in. This is a very important part of the consensus around not only how you reach consensus but the smoothness, so the user experience for delegates is definitely something we think about a lot. That’s also the reason why we roll in those delegates in phases. We consider for Phase 1 its still kind of unstable, so we allow the top 12 to get in first and allow others to get ready and we are going to provide and do testnet rehearsal with them. Even if they are not in the top 12, they will be already engaged and know what to do and get their tech and hardware setup. So when the time comes, they can go in very very fast. So just for some clarification, it’s kind of like learning a new program language, there are certain nuances of the software. The hardware maybe the same, but the software to configure and optimize it takes some rehearsal so that’s why we are doing mining on the testnet first and then rehearsal on the mainnet before the formal launch.

Q3 — Delegates Profiles

“IoTeX seems to have a magnificent fleet of delegates, even during this bear market, what kind of delegates are currently absent does the team think would be great to be great additions to diversify the scope of the delegates?” Yes, we are impressed with the applications, some of them we didn’t know from before, but we know, that they have been looking at our project for a long time. Right now, I think we have a very good mix of profiles, but we really want to see more from the developer side, especially those, that are working on the IoT related and privacy related applications. We will provide a very innovative platform for you to build the applications on top of us very soon. And we are taking a different approach by launching the mainnet step-by-step, so that, we can engage with the community early, even if some certain features are not ready, we will have very close communication with a developer group to understand their feedback and provide archives, data and dev kits for them to play with first and start to build up those interesting applications. So that when our GA is launching we can really expect some amazing applications to be ready on top of us. I think that IoTeX’s goal from day one has been to build this open-source network and 2018 was really a year where the IoTeX core team did most of the development in addition to some of the core contributors outside of the core team. 2019 is going to be different, since that, now that the infrastructure and the protocol is there, now its time to add more open-source tooling where everyone can use, different SDKs, oracles, APIs, really all these things will make it easier for people to build applications and once we have those applications, having delegates that have large user bases, connections to enterprises, so its kind of cyclical, across developers, investors, community-focused nodes and Brand Ambassadors, technical partners, its really a team effort across all those different profiles.

Q4 — Automated process of the rewards distribution

“From the technical point of view, will there be an automated process of distribution of the rewards or will the block producers will have to do it manually?” The rewards will go from IoTeX protocol to the delegates and then from delegates to the voters. That first step, protocol to delegates, is fully automated, at the end of every epoch and on time, rewards will be sent and that’s built into the protocol. The rewards from delegates to the voters is not being enforced by the protocol, so it’s not built on-chain, these are the things that will be managed by the delegates, while we will provide different types of tools that will make this process easy. So if you break down the process, it’s basically calculating who voted for you and how many times they voted for you, calculating the resulting rewards, based on the defined % and reward plan, and then finally distributing the rewards to all the various wallets. So we will be providing a daily report of who voted and how many times and subsequent rewards and around distributing these rewards to various wallets, as Raullen mentioned, we are working on that along with some of our contributors and delegates.

Having everyone kind of distribute rewards every single day, it’s a lot of work to manage from the delegates side, so just to set the expectations from the voters perspective, be kind to your delegates, vote for them, build a good relationship with them and if they are doing something wrong, its important to make it transparent to the community, but definitely give them some slack, as a lot of them do have day jobs at some very established organizations and this is all kind of the community effort, so we should work together. And just to add a little bit to that piece, it’s really important to vote not based on rewards but based on the ultimate value that they will bring to the network and it’s hard to do that in practice, as its very attractive to see 80% vs. 95% but when you do the math, it really isn’t that much difference so you should think about that and you should be conscious of who you vote for, really dig into what they have done in the past, what they plan to do in the future, and vote based on the best outcome for the IoTeX network. We will try to make this process as transparent for you as possible, so you can make right decisions, and elect folks, that are not the only kind of giving back to the community and voters but also are really high-quality delegates.

Q5 — Any working projects?

This is actually something very interesting, we are excited to talk about in Q2, as we are working specifically one-on-one with several enterprises. For example, a very large device manufacturer in China, supply-chain finance and supply-chain track and trace platform, that goes 10 levels deep, it’s very complex, but ultimately IoTeX was really built for. Also working a lot on the privacy-preserving things and really focused on products, which will be related to hardware and privacy. We will have our very unique value proposition and unique developer profile to bring those new kinds of products to the blockchain industry and that’s something we are working on. Stay tuned!

Q6 — On the supervisory board & IoTeX Foundation

“Will IoTeX Foundation monitor the implementation of commitments and the distribution of rewards from the delegates to its members?” This is something that we will want to provide transparency on. As far as the implementation of the commitments, the wish list that Jing mentioned earlier, around different developer tasks, our plan is to create a very transparent process, where delegates can claim tasks and once they complete it, we want them to be peer-reviewed by the community and once its peer-reviewed, push it into production, and then we have an indicator that this delegate has completed this task. So making it very transparent about who has done what and it’s going to be verified less by the supervisory board but more by the community. If the delegates change their community reward plan, they need to let us know if they want to do that and then we will definitely inform all those community, that they have such a change of their commitment. We will also build tools to help to monitor if they really distribute or implement properly, and if you find that there’s something wrong, you can contact the Foundation to report it and you can also change your votes at any time if this delegate is not delivering on their commitment.

About IoTeX

IoTeX is the world’s first privacy-centric blockchain platform that is fast, flexible, and the Internet of Things (IoT) friendly. IoTeX’s global team is comprised of Ph.Ds in Cryptography, Distributed Systems, and Machine Learning, top-tier engineers, and experienced ecosystem builders. Designed and optimized for IoT, IoTeX uses state-of-the-art privacy, consensus, and subchain innovations to capture the full potential of IoT. By enabling trusted data, interoperability, and M2M automation, IoTeX connects the physical and digital worlds and brings trusted machine economies to the masses.

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