IoTeX Tech AMA — February 8, 2019
Hello everyone! Our next bi-weekly AMA will be a TECH one this Friday, February 8, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM PST. Based on our community’s feedback, we want to expand the question submit period for this AMA — you are able to submit the questions at any time from now till Feb 8, 2:00 PM PST.
As usual, we will be granting 300 bonus points for up to 10 people for the “most thoughtful questions” we receive. Again, please double-check and make sure that you are submitting question with your unique IoTeX Hash ID to qualify for bonus points if selected. Any other Hash ID will be ineligible.
How to participate in the IoTeX AMA
- Subscribe to the IoTeX subreddit r/IoTeX
- Visit the pinned “IoTeX Tech AMA — February 8, 2019” post in the r/IoTeX subreddit.
- From now till Feb 8, 2:00 PM PST, ask us a question there and include your unique IoTeX Hash ID (PM @IoTeXBountyBot and enter /hashid, or follow the instructions here) — we will only give points for new questions (no duplicate questions)!
- The thread will be locked at 2:00 PM on February 8, 2019 and we will answer the questions one by one till 4:00 PM PST. If you have follow-up questions, please feel free to comment on our reply!
- “Most Thoughtful Questions” Bonus: 300 points (Up to 10 people, chosen by the IoTeX team)
- Points will be distributed no later than Feb 13.
- We don’t give bonus points for repeated questions. Please check our former AMAs here:
- Shoot us any questions you’ve got related to IoTeX!
- Profanity and spam messages are forbidden.
Announcing the Winners!
17vxw, 1vbuw, 1ncdj, 15pmt, 1kzay
Most Thoughtful Questions
Q: How is the team planning to ensure boatstrapping(20% of circulating supply) so that the mainnet is not delayed?
A: There are multiple approaches we are taking — we must think not only from the perspective of voters but also Delegates. It is important to get both voters and Delegates on board, and to create transparency between the two groups to create a dynamic ecosystem. For voters, we have several exciting campaigns planned — for example, those that vote early will be given big rewards. On top of this common approach, we plan to hold “mock votes” to teach people about the voting process and familiarize them with our easy-to-use voting website. We feel a big part of having people vote is making it convenient and transparent, which is a big focus for us. For Delegates, we are currently discussing with our private sale investors (many of which will be Delegates) how they can stake their private sale tokens. We have received tremendous feedback from them, and many are on board to stake their first and second token distributions. As you know, an additional 10% of tokens will be distributed in February (6% or 600 million IOTX to private sale investors), so getting the majority of these folks involved will be crucial to meeting the bootstrap requirement.
Q: How exactly will you bring in and stimulate voters to vote for delegates? What will be their motivation apart from staking & getting rewards promised by Delegates?
We will leverage a set of community reward campaigns to motivate more people to vote and participate in building the IoTeX network. During the bootstrapping stage, we will first release a few educational reward campaigns which help people better understand how the network runs and what kind of benefit they can get by getting involved in the program. Right before we launch our voting website, we will also organize voting mockup campaigns for people to learn and practice how to vote for the delegates and how to obtain the best profit by setting up different voting buckets. Through these campaigns, people not only get to know the program better but also realize how much reward (campaign rewards, staking rewards, voting rewards, etc.) they will get. So overall as the network builder, we reserved many reward tokens for the early bird participants to bootstrap the network.
Q: The iotex development team will soon complete the roadmap for 2017–2019 this year. I want to know when to release the new roadmap.
A: We have defined the roadmap for 2019 as you mentioned — some big dates will be the launch of Mainnet Alpha in Q1 2019, privacy-preserving subchain and trusted IoT dev kit in Q2 2019, DApp developers platform (tools, libraries, SDKs) in Q3 2019, and finally the full-featured Mainnet GA in Q4 2019. We also have many “behind the scenes” releases throughout 2019, so stay tuned!
As far as the roadmap past Q4 2019, we will likely refresh in mid-2019. We are still assessing multiple approaches / priorities, so once we are more clear on our medium-term and long-term goals, we will publish a new roadmap.
Q: In the whitepaper the details on RDPOS in section 6.2.1 it mentions a minimum of 97 delegates with ability to expand. In section 6.2.2 to form a committee size of 11 based on VRF. The current design proposes 36 consensus delegates of which 24 will be selected in a committee to produce blocks for a given epoch (24 hours). Effectively 66% chance for a given consensus delegate to get into a round.
It would seem more random to select 11 or 24 from the 97 or to select 16 from 36 and 8 from 37–97.
Based on the current design of 36 consensus delegates what prevents separation of 36 to 37 in table vote ranking as occurs in Tron or EOS (established order). As a voter why would you vote for a candidate who is unlikely to produce blocks and therefor can not reward you. As the imbalance grows the established order of top 36 takes hold and is unlikely to change, how do you see it changing and why is this top 36 likely to change in comparison to EOS or TRON where the only fundamental difference is all SR/BP are in every round where as Iotex consensus delegates have 66% chance to be in round.
A: In terms of the total number of delegates, the long term goal is still to have 100+ delegates as this ecosystem grows — especially with the launch and boom of the distinct subchains. It is more random to have configurations as 16/36. But to balance both security, decentralization and efficiency, we’ve decided to go with 24/36.
The difference between 36th and 37th BPs is that the former gets the fixed block reward while the latter doesn’t, which is designed to compensate the former one of the hardware cost — that being said, the voters still have incentive to vote for the latter since the “cashback” could be as attractive as the former. Another angle to look at this is that our consensus provides this elasticity for growing the number of delegates. For example, if necessary, we could easily grow step by step, e.g., 24/48 -> 36/48 -> 36/72 -> 48/72 -> 48/96 -> 60/96.
Q: Whether any can fulfill these minimum requirements of HW/SW/Ops and coefficient of productivity? what advice you can give to users to become delegates? how many times after initial process of vote can be redirected voices?
A: To those that wish to become Delegates, first we recommend you read in detail our two blog posts on Delegate requirements and the election / rewards process. Next, we want to emphasize the importance of campaigning and sharing your contributions to the network. The IoTeX community is very interested in hearing about how you plan to run your node and how you will impact the network in the future. Having a clear plan, educational videos, and other resources will all be well received by the community.
To your second question, after you submit your initial votes, you can change your vote at any time. For example, if I cast a vote for Delegate X using 1,000 IOTX tokens and a 14-day stake duration, then I can change my vote to Delegate Y at any time, but the token amount and stake duration will still be fixed. In this way, the delegates have more pressure to keep perform very well all the time, and the voters have more flexibility to control their votes.
Q: How exactly does the staking process work? If you have IOTX, can you just stake them, or will there be a minimum requirement or anything else? How can people outside of IoTeX community get involved? And if you stake, do you must to vote?
A: First, we will prepare a voting/ranking page to list all the delegate with their detailed information, including but not limited to their performance statistics, basic introduction, reward distribution plan, etc. Based on the information, you can proceed to vote. The staking/voting process will happen on Ethereum blockchain (right, we use Ethereum blockchain as the beacon chain for our blockchain, for now). We will provide convenient tools for you to easily apply with the name of the delegate you want to vote for, how many votes you want to give to it, and the stake duration — which is called a “bucket”. For every staking/voting bucket like this, we require a minimum staking amount to mitigate spams. We are working hard to make the whole voting process easy to understand and proceed for all voters — even you are out of the cryptocurrency community. We will also provide step by step instructions in multiple ways, such like blog post, instruction videos, etc. Finally, you have to vote for someone (can be yourself) to complete the staking/voting process.
Q: How is your Delegates Program better than existing BP Program of EOS, Tron, Lisk, etc? How will you incentivize people to participate in it and what could be the expected rewards for being a delegate and/or staker?
A: There are many answers to this question — when thinking about the design of BP/Delegate programs, there are lots of parameter decisions that can make a very big difference. Ultimately, we feel our decisions and program design support inclusivity, growth, and fairness to multiple types of stakeholders. To give you some examples:
- Voting: The biggest difference in voting between IoTeX and others is that in our network, 1 token = 1 vote. EOS, Lisk, and some others allow their users to vote 30 times in EOS and 101 times in Lisk. This means that a token holder with 10 million tokens can vote for 30 / 101 nodes 10 million times each. It is a recipe for collusion, and the results show especially in Lisk: https://cryptogo.de/en/lisk-the-mafia-blockchain. In some other networks (e.g., Ontology, NEO), the team has full control of who their Delegates are — in other words, Delegate selection is centralized and there is no voting or ways for community to participate.
- Delegate requirements: We wanted our Delegate requirements to be reasonable, but still sufficient to set a minimum threshold. We do this by having a 1.2 million IOTX self-stake requirement (~$8,500 right now) and reasonable hardware requirements (~$5k per year). Compared to other networks, this is much more inclusive. For example, EOS hardware requirements are extremely high ($100k+ per year), which has made many of their BPs non-profitable this year. In Ontology, their minimum stake requirement is ~$50k in ONT tokens, which was recently reduced from $150k+ in December.
- Rewards not funded by inflation: IoTeX does not use inflation to fund our block rewards. Instead we have created a rewards pool, which includes all gas fees from transactions and 1.2 billion IOTX (12% of total supply) to fund rewards for years to come. This is more fair to token holders who do not want to see their holdings devalued due to inflation.
These are just three examples, but there are many more cases. If you have any specific questions on design choices, please feel free to comment and we can explain how we differ from other projects!
Q: There wasn’t really time to ask about what it seemed to be a very successful conference in CES at Vegas. To those who maybe don’t imagine, how big and important was the conference at the overall technical level and not only from a blockchain point of view? What was the biggest eye-opener thing for the team from the CES? How successful where TECH presentations from Iotex?
A: Thanks for the questions. For those may not be very familiar with this conference, CES is actually the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show which is held annually in Las Vegas. It attracted over 4000 companies and 180,000 attendees this year. It showcased the latest innovations and products (hardware-related), and this year we definitely see IoT as industry growing with tremendous speed while 5G and AI are getting mature. At the same time, privacy concerns and security issues are becoming the biggest challenges facing IoT industry. IoTeX are one of very few projects providing blockchain open-source platform and products. We demoed our device auth and management solution and unveiled the trustless privacy platform using blockchain and TEE innovations for the first time. It received huge attention and attracted 1000+ visitors. Hundreds of companies are interested in partnerships or working on product integrations, including smart home, wearable, medical, industry IoT, system integrators, etc. We also attracted many media and investors for meetings. Overall, it ensure the industry trend is align with our directions, blockchain and privacy will lead to new kind of IoT products and innovations which will not only solve the current problems but also unlock huge opportunities in near future.
Q: Iotex is privacy centric and this attribute is a huge element to the success of the project. My question is about a new method of privacy preserving technique in mimblewimble. What are team’s thoughts on the technology if they are familiar with it? Would it be a good buffer to maybe implement this tech in the future or does Iotex believe that they have a superior privacy focused technique?
A: Good question. MW receives much attention recently, while we have already examined the MW scheme ~6 months ago. It is an innovative blockchain structure — by simplifying, it also provides certain privacy features. Philosophically, it shares the same vision with Bitcoin — a decentralized ledger, which is fundamentally different from the vision of many other mainstream blockchain projects like Ethereum/EOS/IoTeX whose vision is a decentralized computation platform. That being said, MW is good for privacy tokens but is limited to this. Thus not a priority for IoTeX team to implement it (plus, beam and grin already have that done, why should we reinvent the wheel :) ). Good news is that we did get some inspiration of MW’s underlying crypto tricks, and put it into our privacy subchain will be launched in Q2 2019. Looking forward to sharing with the world!
Q: I’m really loving the delegates program but I have a complex question: Why exactly log1.2(stake duration) function was selected? Why does Iotex think it is optimal and why not different log function so people would be incentivized to stake longer because at some point benefits of staking longer greatly diminishes over time?
A: We decided to use the log1.2(stake duration) function as it best represented our goals for stake duration. Our primary goal was to incentivize users to stake at least for 28, 42, 56, or 80 epochs, which is where the point of diminishing returns is on the bonus curve. We feel like the range of 1–3 months is a good “comfort zone” for voters — from conversations with different IoTeX community members, we settled on this curve. The point of diminishing returns is important, and we chose the curve that best fit our vision. For HODLers, we also wanted to give them the option to stake up to one year, which is why that is an option.
In the future after Mainnet GA is launched, this will be a parameter that the IoTeX community can vote to change. For example, if there is a proposal made to the network that has enough support (i.e., majority of votes), then the coefficients of the log formula or even the entire formula can be changed.
Q: IoTeX has amazing tech plans for the future but I believe project like this is always evolving and looking for improvement opportunities. How does IoTeX look for new possible tech implementations: maybe scholar theorical level, maybe through comptetitors and viewing their mistakes and so on, what are the research channels for potential technical transcendence?
A: Insightful question. The blockchain industry is still advancing quickly; original research and its application is the key to success to many blockchain startups, including us. The approach IoTeX takes is to identify trends and problems in-house, collaborate with universities and research institutions to look for solutions, and implement solutions and productionize them in-house again. The universities and research institutions we are collaborating with to conduct blockchain/cryptography/IoT research includes University of Waterloo (mostly around cryptography), University of Cincinnati (mostly around blockchain) and National University of Singapore (mostly around crypto-economics). We hope to work closely with more in the future.
Q: We’ve recently seen one of the Proof-of-Work coins being attacked in a manner of block reorganization which is a critical thing when speaking about security of a blockchain and there are evidences of very low costs required to 51% attack many of the PoW top 100 coins listed on Coinmarketcap. As IoTeX runs a novel version of Proof-of-Stake rather than PoW consensus algorithm why is this way perceived as a much safer option in regards to a healthy blockchain and would it be much more economically inefficient to attack blockchain of IoTeX in comparison to PoW coins and to what extent?
A: I personally think all blockchains, except bitcoin, should use PoS (or other non-PoW) consensus. PoW works only if the majority computation power is controlled by honest parties, which is not the case for non-bitcoin projects — this is especially true when the market is not good! For a blockchain to be sustainable in all circumstances, PoS-alike consensus is the right way. For example, Ethereum is working on migrating to PoS as well. PoS’s intrinsic problem is its technical complexity and the stake death spiral — if one can create millions of millions of coins from thin air, he becomes the bigger staker on the chain and can further screw things up and lead to irreversible consequences. Luckily we found a sweet point of efficiency and decentralization by introducing Roll-DPoS and separate staking/voting from block production.
Q: Hi, team!
- Among the co-founders and technical specialists (coders and programmers, etc.) there are people whose works have been cited and published in various sources. Question! Some of these works and patents can be applied in the IoTeX project and the IoTeX blockchain?
- Are there any works and patents that have been published or written (but not yet published) in 2018 and 2019 that can be shown to the public? I mean those works / patents that we have not seen yet (unpublished academic works on the site)
- The situation has already formed on the initial vote for BP. How we will vote before the launch of the network. I mean, we will have to create a transaction in the ERC-20 of our wallets and transfer some gas to where? on a common project wallet created by vote or on a specific delegate’s wallet.
Thank you! I wish you further fruitful and hard work!
- Of course, all the research effort we have is for making IoTeX a cutting-edge and future-proof blockchain.
- There are two papers are still under review, and we will publish them once accepted; otherwise, all other papers are published. For implementations, we are more careful as we still keep some software/hardware internal to make sure they are 100% mature and can be applied to IoTeX ecosystem firstly.
- Yes — for the first couple phases of the IoTeX Mainnet, voting will be performed on the Ethereum blockchain. This is because Ethereum’s Mainnet is more mature, and we take the security of voter and Delegate funds very seriously. This is the same structure that many Mainnet projects have taken — even EOS ran voting on Ethereum for a while before migrating to the EOS blockchain. We will likely follow the same plan — once we hit certain security and performance milestones, we will perform all activities on the IoTeX blockchain. Ethereum will be our backend for now but we will make sure the user experience of voting will be seamless, and will have great tools that make the process very easy.
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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