IoTeX AMA Livestream for Delegates Program — Mar 26, 2019

Thank you to those who joined our general AMA and livestream session on March 26! 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

Livestream Recap/Highlights

  1. Overview of the Mainnet Rehearsal
  2. Q1 — On Delegates’ contributions
  3. Q2 — Delegates changing rewards
  4. Q3 — Reputation system for Delegates
  5. Q4 — Voting for the Delegates in the top
  6. Q5 — The Current state of the IoT industry
  7. Q6 — Becoming IoTeX’s Delegate
  8. Q7 — On funding
  9. Q8 — IoTeX’s business model
  10. Q9 — On marketing

1. Overview of the Mainnet Rehearsal

We have launched the staking and voting program around one month ago, and up to today, we already have around 25% of the circulating IOTX tokens staked & voted. Also, we have some very decent Delegates that are currently listed in the top 12, they all come from different backgrounds, including tech, fund/investor, community and it’s great to have such diversity.

But this also becomes a challenge for us, because we have to coordinate with all of them in order to launch the Mainnet and that’s not an easy task, hence, we will implement it in 3 stages. In the first phase, we will launch the Testnet, and everyone will use test tokens called IOTT to vote on the testnet, trying to pretend to get elected, run a node, produce some blocks and get testnet rewards. The purpose of this part is to get everyone up to speed with where we are and try to get familiar with our software and how to run it. Up to now, I think most of the top 20 Delegates that got elected on the Mainnet side, already should have mined on the Testnet. They have their node up and running, producing blocks and generating rewards. Phase 2 is the Mainnet Rehearsal, using a different pipeline, so that we use real IOTX tokens and a real staking/ranking contract for everybody and have a control mechanism in place to oversee the entire process. When the Rehearsal starts, we will have everyone on board, especially the top 12, because they will be the ones to produce blocks on the Mainnet, so it would be great for them to get to know each other, and this is when we will actually produce the genesis block. If we succeed, we will do other rounds and if successful, the rehearsal will be considered completed and if something goes wrong, we will prolong the rehearsal for 1–2 weeks. Once phase 2 is done, we will launch the Mainnet, which is phase 3. It’s important to mention that for Mainnet rehearsal, we will use a new pipeline that has the actual votes, real IOTX tokens, real protocol, and it’s kind of the soft launch of our Mainnet. You know, we get a lot of questions from the community around “when is the Mainnet?” and it’s important to realize that we are doing this rehearsal because the security of the network and your tokens are of the most importance for us! We are going to be publishing reports and videos of these rehearsal sessions and provide you with various metrics to add more transparency.

Jing: “Based on the community voting, over 20% of the voters have selected a staking duration of 350 days. Thank you for being our true believers!

Q1 — On Delegates’ contributions

This really depends on the type of a delegate, for example, for tech delegates, contributions to the core code are really welcomed! Now, we have a few tech delegates that are trying to build things around the repo, because they don’t have to dive that deep into the code and can still build something really useful and cool, for example, explorers, tools for distributing rewards to voters, calculators and more. Since our delegates have very diversified profiles, they are welcome to contribute different resources and can help us to build communities in their countries, translate & post information/articles in different languages, organize meetups, attend events, etc.

Q2 — Delegates changing rewards

One thing that our Brand Ambassadors are doing right now is creating a spreadsheet and we are going to assign a number of delegates per BA, who they are going to vote for and track the rewards received. This spreadsheet will be very transparent and have different metrics, that we will be able to provide to the community, such as: delegate’s payout %, payout frequency, history of when delegates have changed their rewards in the past and also when they actually paid out those rewards. All of this is going to be open to the public and we encourage the public to contribute! The team’s job here is to maintain the decentralized approach as we don’t want to be the police, and all we are trying to do is to provide very transparent information so that voters can make the best decisions.

Q3 — Reputation system for Delegates

We don’t plan to penalize Delegates, but if they pretend to be doing things and not actually doing them or lie we will take action, even though we respect anonymity and freedom, we disincentivize misinformation. We will provide all the tools and metrics available for our voters to make the decision. For example, in the Delegate portal, we are developing a feature with different performance indicators, so that you can see if they are online, their productivity rate, what kind of machines they are using and if they meet all the criteria’s, the bar will be green, if not, red. We also want to highlight that it’s really about community efforts to make all the information transparent and we are not going to be the ones who will chase delegates for information, rather, we want to build a very autonomous kind of ecosystem, where delegates feel very welcomed to contribute in many ways and we are able to spread the news fairly and transparently.

Q4 — Voting for the Delegates in the top

Are they any measures that would disincentivize people from voting for a top delegate to increase their chances of getting rewards because it’s not necessarily beneficial for the network in the long-run?

This is something that we have built into our rewards structure and in our network there’s a concept of fixed rewards and there’s also an epoch bonus, that’s based on your weighted votes. The fixed one is threshold based, top 36 get them and for now, top 12 get the block rewards and on the epoch bonus side, everyone gets it. The main thing to note here is that if you vote for the top delegates, say top 12, you are going to be sharing those rewards with everyone else who has voted for this delegate, versus, if you voted for someone at the bottom, around 30–36, the ROI will be actually higher. So take a closer look at how the rewards are structured and different delegates have calculators on their website to help you. And if you are a voter, please don’t just look at the rewards ratio, one thing, its dynamic, some delegates may want to attract your attention from the beginning and give out big rewards and they take a loss at this initial stage, which we don’t really encourage. From the Foundation perspective, we want them to have enough rewards to cover their hardware and software costs so that they can secure the entire network and then they can share the epoch rewards with all the voters, which is based on the weighted % of the votes. So this should not affect the voters too much but also we will see how it will go. One thing that we urge all the voters to do is to vote based on reliability, future plans and strength of the team and the concept of the node. Some nodes are offering great rewards because they feel confident, but this is a chance to learn more about who these delegates are, do you trust them, do you trust them holding your tokens, or staking on your behalf, and if you answer yes, then they are good candidates to vote for. But if there are doubts, maybe its good to look into other folks as well.

Q5 — The Current state of the IoT industry

So we know that IoT has been there for many years but with no rapid development but recently we have been hearing about this new wave coming of the 5G technology (that we got to see at CES this year) and its being deployed rapidly in China, US and other areas around the world. As more devices get connected to the Internet and the network, we are foreseeing that 5G will largely solve the problem of connectivity of the IoT devices and impact the identity of these devices. That’s why we think that blockchain has a very large potential here to provide these objects some type of identity. For those of you who have been following our updates during these months, you know that we get a lot of interest from IoT companies and recently we have started discussions around partnerships with Theta — decentralized streaming platform utilizing the blockchain and right now working on the TV box. We are currently working with some of the hardware companies to facilitate hardware development, which will launch very soon, maybe in April or May, so everything is on the way and Mainnet is going to be just the beginning and lots of real use cases are under development. But as Raullen said, the blockchain and hardware, have a very important relationship in the future, in terms of id, authentication, sharing economy, all these devices are not just consumer products, but actual revenue generators and blockchain can provide the fundamental payment and protocols for such kind of information exchange and transactions. Also, very soon we will launch the member portal to introduce the hardware products to our members.

Q6 — Becoming IoTeX’s Delegate

Because we have built the whole thing with the decentralization in the DNA, a delegate can join us at any time if he has enough tokens, the process of joining or leaving is fully up to you, you don’t need our permission to do it. And also if a delegate wants to leave, meaning if he loses interest in us, or wants to do something different, the unstaking process will take 3 days to be effective and that should be enough time for the voters to notified. Once this candidate has unstaked, we will have some kind of a warning bar at the top of their name in the portal, so that everyone is aware that this delegate is opting-out and voters can transfer their tokens.

Something else worth noting is that we do not have any censoring process or KYC to filter the candidates and decide if they can join or not. We are building an open network, everyone is free to join and free to leave, that’s our philosophy. We trust the decentralization and the voters to maintain the network secure and if you see someone who’s delegating himself to be a BP and gets elected and not producing blocks or maybe maliciously attacking the system, his voters will see this and eventually drag him down out of the consensus delegates by switching their votes. We already have the built-in design to prevent any cheating in the network and if we see Delegates doing something that’s malicious to the network or providing fake information to the community and we know about it, we will make that as widely known as possible. This is like a call to action for the community, you could think about the IoTeX team as a community member that’s completely unbiased, if we see something that’s damaging the network, we can guarantee that we will make it known, and right now the core team has an extremely loud voice, so we will step in when needed. We will create a very fair ecosystem and even though, we can never completely take someone out as a delegate, what we can do is to provide the facts and let the voters decide and indirectly manage this process.

Q7 — On funding

We will definitely have more blockchain partners joining us and from the investor side, this past year, we got a lot of interest from different tech investors, they want to invest in our token or have interest in the equity. Just to be transparent, at this moment, we don’t have any kind of equity round and we are still in discussions. So far, we have enough money to support the entire IoTeX blockchain development.

Q8 — IoTeX’s business model

Since IoTeX is a non-profit foundation, how is the project sustained over time without the focus on revenue?

This question is applicable to all the blockchain companies, so everyone is trying hard to find this real business model for blockchain. So there are two ways, for now, we do have some ongoing projects with very big businesses that use IoTeX technology to support their supply-chain system or other types of systems, so that’s one of the revenue channels. From the internet perspective, once we have the traffic and users, we will be able to monetize this kind of attention and traffic. It’s important to also note that non-profit doesn’t mean non-revenue, it means that we are not doing this to make returns for our investors or the traditional equity model, but we do things to cover our costs and to maintain our growth of the network.

Q9 — On marketing

How would you rate your current marketing efforts and what do you think can be improved on the promotion and marketing side?

It’s important to think about this in context of — no ICO, very organic community, non-hyped kind of approach, and what that has done for us over this past 1.5 years, directly translates into what our voting looks like. 20% of circulating supply staked in just 3 days, that already shows the devotion of our community, the next step now is to use this very devoted community and build it. At the same time, there are definitely things we need to improve and definitely we will devote more attention to using our community, Ambassadors and do this together but for now, we are pretty satisfied and looking forward to the future. Adding to that, we are highly focused on the user growth, which is going to be the best marketing for the community as more people will participate in the network and hold the tokens. Another part is that we are in the process of building new stuff with enterprises, so our new announcements and releases will definitely speak for us. And as we are building these new kinds of products, we will need to educate the general public, have good user experience and have good functions, so that they will definitely see the value and the reason why they need to use this product.

About IoTeX

Founded as an open-source project in 2017, IoTeX is building the world’s leading privacy-centric blockchain platform for the Internet of Things (IoT). Their mission is to build a decentralized trust fabric for a new era of collaboration and data exchange among devices, applications and people. Backed by a global team of research scientists and top engineers, IoTeX combines blockchain, trusted hardware and edge computing to realize the full potential of IoT.

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