The Growing Need To Incentivize Nodes And Why STRONG Tokens Are The Answer — KuCoin AMA With StrongBlock CEO David Moss

KuCoin Blog
Feb 27 · 13 min read

Dear KuCoin Users,

Time: February 25, 2021, 08:00–09:19 (UTC)

KuCoin hosted an AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) session with StrongBlock CEO David Moss in the KuCoin Exchange Group, where he talked about STRONG and what their team is doing to support blockchain nodes.

Project Introduction:

StrongBlock, led by a well-known and highly respected team, is a pioneer in blockchain infrastructure development. Their innovations include the STRONG protocol and node reward mechanism which, along with NFT token incentives, lay the foundation for stronger, more efficient, and economically-sound blockchain networks.

StrongBlock is the first and only multichain protocol to reward nodes for supporting the infrastructure of their blockchain.

Why incentivize nodes? With limited resources and no financial incentive, many nodes run out-of-date software, maintain incomplete blockchain histories, and are intermittently off-line. There is no easy mechanism to fix this problem once a blockchain is launched.

To solve this, StrongBlock has made it possible for anyone to create a node in seconds — or add their own node — and receive STRONG token rewards every day. More nodes equals more resilience.

With over 8,000 nodes already incentivized, STRONG has become a major force in the emerging “DeFi with a Purpose” space.

Official Website: https://strongblock.com

Flash Paper: https://strongblockio.medium.com/strongblock-flash-paper-e1eb9cd55f61

Follow StrongBlock on Twitter and Telegram.

Guest:

David Moss — Founder and CEO of StrongBlock

David Moss is the Founder of StrongBlock, creators of the STRONG governance token, its “rewards for nodes” platform, and its groundbreaking NFT integrations to rewards. David has spoken worldwide on blockchain adoption.

Previously, David held two prominent roles in the creation of EOSIO, the 3rd-generation blockchain operating system that raised $4 billion in its Initial Coin Offering (ICO): As SVP of Technology Operations and employee #2 at Block.one LLC, where he was responsible for the development of the EOSIO software and developer relations; and as co-leader of the historic EOS mainnet launch, involving over 300 technology providers from the global blockchain community.

Prior to Block.one LLC, as CEO of Exceed.Team, David provided strategic consulting and White Paper development for over 3 dozen blockchain startups with hundreds of millions successfully raised via ICO’s.

David was also Founder and CEO of an Enterprise technology consultancy with Fortune 100 clients, and started his technology career working for Oracle Corporation.

Q&A from KuCoin

Q: What is your background and how did you get into crypto?

David: I started my tech career at Oracle Corporation working on the Boeing 777 project. After Oracle, I ran a consulting company with clients including Oracle, Intel, Blue Cross, Accenture, and other Fortune 500’s. I then became a founding technology exec at Edmunds.com.

I got an intro to Bitcoin in 2012 by a friend who is now a luminary in the space. Being a tech guy, I read the Bitcoin White Paper. That got me super interested in the cryptographic tech side of blockchain, and the financial freedom side got me hooked on crypto.

Fast forward to early 2017, and I turned my side thing into a full time gig, working with blockchain startups on strategy, due diligence and white papers. Many of those companies did huge ICO’s in 2017.

I was about to launch my own blockchain projects when I was approached by Block.one LLC, where I became Employee #2, working with Dan Larimer. Dan put me in charge of delivering the first version of EOSIO. I also led the launch of the EOS mainnet in June 2018.

After building EOSIO, it was clear to me that the world needed easy-to-use blockchain infrastructure, not just a blockchain operating system, and I wanted to have my own company where I could innovate faster. So I launched StrongBlock with the team I had brought in to Block.one to build EOSIO.

Q: Can you tell us about the team?

David: Most of our core team — myself, Corey Lederer, Brian Abramson, and Michael Mason — worked together at Block.one LLC. We also all worked together prior to that. When I knew we needed to build EOSIO fast, we got the band back together and built it.

Corey is Chief Product Officer at StrongBlock. I brought him into Block.one LLC as Director of Technology Projects where he was employee #4. I met Corey while he was running global brand marketing technology operations at Nike. He worked with all the greats (Oh, and that Tiger Woods car crash yesterday? It was near where I live.)

Brian is our CTO. He was VP of Infrastructure at Block.one LLC (where he was employee #5). Brian architected and built the infrastructure for all of the EOS Testnets and created security protocols for the EOS mainnet. I met Brian at Content.ad, where we built an AWS-based multi-billion-events-per-day ad-serving platform.

We were lucky enough to add Konstantin Shkut as our lead developer late in 2019. He’s now a driving force behind our amazing release schedules and velocity.

They are an absolutely amazing — and STRONG team. Together, we have built a lot of great blockchain software while other teams (humble brag) just talk about building, but never publish…not naming any names here, but you know what I’m talking about.

Overall, we have a completely virtual team, with employees and contractors — sometimes dozens of them, sometimes less, depending on what we’re working on. We run a very lean, focused, and fast development shop, spread all across the globe.

Q: What is STRONG?

David: StrongBlock is the first and only multichain protocol to reward nodes for supporting the infrastructure of their blockchain. With over 8,000 Ethereum 1.0 nodes already incentivized, STRONG has become a major force in the emerging “DeFi with a Purpose” space. To me, that means that you’re not just mining, you’re supporting infrastructure.

A little background: We started the company in July 2018. Our Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform — which can launch new blockchains in 3 minutes — went through over a year of development, launching in February 2020. During that time, we also worked with major corporations including a partnership with HDAC/Hyundai to build blockchain infrastructure.

StrongBlock’s BaaS used pools of third-party paid nodes for its private and public blockchains to create trusted, truly decentralized networks. What we found looking at thousands of blockchains we helped launched was that strong governance systems — coupled with node reward methods — dramatically increase blockchain participation, adoption and decentralization.

For those of you who don’t know it — and you don’t need to know it to be a part of STRONG — nodes are the core of any blockchain. Yet they are often paid nothing by the blockchains they support — including Ethereum 1.0. This poses a risk to everyone, like when centralized Infura went down and took MetaMask and Binance down with it a few months ago. And that has happened — and will keep happening — until we get things more decentralized.

What no one else was doing was offering a protocol that rewards Ethereum (and other) full nodes. To serve this massive unmet need, StrongBlock shifted its focus away from BaaS early in 2020, and moved into Nodes as a Service (NaaS). That’s the protocol we have today.

Q: What are the unique features of the STRONG project?

David: Okay, here’s a prepared list so I don’t mistype anything:

  • 2-click node creation and deployment service — removing all non-technical components to launching a node.
  • Rewards non-mining nodes, encouraging them to run up-to-date software and security to the network. (NUBI)
  • Ability to test and generate performance (health) of a node.
  • First Decentralized Node Operation Platform (DNOP). Node operation platforms have been centralized, subscription-based services with high capital costs to deploy for the protocol. We change that game.
  • NFT mechanics to enhance functionalities, rewards, gamification and more.

Regarding NFT’s, we have already issued a serialized ERC-1155 NFT (Bronze STRONG) into our ecosystem, and have many more planned. They can be earned through different actions within the protocol.

We’re currently only supporting Ethereum 1.0 nodes for rewards. For partnerships, we’re talking with different protocols whose nodes need compensation. First on the list is Ethereum 2.0.

We’re working with groups who want to use our nodes. Fees from that will be shared by the nodes.

We’re also talking with groups who typically run Ethereum 1.0 full nodes and are looking for compensation for them. Other kinds of partnerships include sponsorships of different mining pools.

Q: What are the tokenomics of the project?

David: Currently there are 521,534 total STRONG, 135,813 circulating.

STRONG is the native token of the platform and serves 2 main functions:

  • 10 STRONG is required to create a node
  • STRONG is also the reward token for nodes — Node Universal Basic Income (NUBI)

10% of STRONG that is contributed to the community to register a NaaS or ByoN (Bring your own Node) has been burned each Thursday. As of February 18, 2021, we’ve burned a total of 7,351.696 circulating STRONG (over 5% of circulating supply) since NaaS became available on December 3, 2020. After the February 25, 2021 burn — when we expect to have burned 5.8% of circulating supply — that 10% will be redistributed for future use.

For those of you who look at charts from the start, you’ll notice that we started out pre-launch in August 2020 with 10,000,000 STRONG. On November 25, 2020, less than two months after launch, we overhauled our tokenomics and burned over 94% of the minted supply.

Going forward, STRONG will be utilized to access certain key functions within the ecosystem that will ‘turn-on’ a list of future features:

  • Non-wallet component
  • Connection to swap mechanisms
  • Revenue generation for nodes through a host platform
  • Path-payment for other native blockchains to pay and reward their users on the platform

STRONG will act as the bridge to activate these services to the platform along with NFT components to enhance them.

Q: Is your project fully launched? Have you adhered to your timeline/milestones?

David: Yes, our NaaS platform is fully launched. We’re on V3, and working on some big new features. Update suggestions from the community are regularly made and prioritized. Both our BaaS and NaaS were launched on time. We’re proud of our history of launching blockchain products on time. We have a great rhythm and communication style in the team. We always meet — and typically beat — our milestone dates.

In terms of protocol adoption, we recently reached a huge milestone of 8,000 Ethereum 1.0 nodes, which equates to approximately 60%+ of the non-mining ETH community. We had not expected that to happen until Q3 of 2021 or later.

Q: What makes your token necessary?

David: The STRONG token is already actively used within the ecosystem and, as I said, will be even more important as we go forward. While we currently only support Ethereum 1.0 nodes, our experience is that having a single token is crucial in a multichain node reward system.

Q: Your team’s background is in EOS. Why did you choose to build NaaS and your rewards protocol first on Ethereum 1.0?

David: There are very few working, viable projects on EOS. The “build it and they will come” mentality of a great protocol with no users is just sad. EOS and EOSIO needed marketing support and adoption. It never happened.

Ethereum is a paradox: it’s good because everyone is there, and bad because everyone is there. “It’s too crowded. No one goes there anymore” is a famous quote that describes it.

At our core, we are blockchain developers. We build blockchain projects. STRONG is an amazing, innovative project that needs mass adoption. You can get that on Ethereum 1.0, where nearly every DeFi project is.

You can’t get that on EOS.

That doesn’t mean we aren’t working on other protocols. Remember, we are a multichain protocol. We will keep using ERC-20 STRONG tokens, and ERC-1155 NFT’s, as on and off ramps. But we are building bridges to other protocols that are faster and cheaper.

Q: What’s exciting and important that’s coming up on your roadmap?

David: NFT integration. NFT’s will in some cases be required in the near future, and incentives for node creation will start to include STRONG and NFT’s. We’ve been talking with groups including Kucoin about our NFT approach.

To grow the community, we will continue to add different protocols, including Ethereum 2.0, so more people can participate.

Gamification with nodes, STRONG and NFT’s is coming…

And very important: For more utilization of the nodes that our users have created, we are pursuing partnerships with many groups, as well as building an incentive program for node utilization.

Oh, and we have a new marketing team starting on March 1, 2021.

Overall, we’re excited with the amazing response to our NaaS platform — 8,000 nodes!!!

Q: Any insights or tidbits you can leave us with?

David: Yes. The roadmap has major milestones, but there’s a lot coming.

Tidbits:

Something we can only hint at: Think “Ethereum hybrid multichain DeFi node and vault support with low gas and faster transactions”.

There’s a lot of chatter in the community as to why KuCoin has listed the STRONG token, and what else is coming from that relationship. Stay tuned for more….

Make sure to follow us on https://t.me/strongblock_io and https://twitter.com/Strongblock_io

Free-Ask from KuCoin Community

Q: Hi Mr David👇👇

Q1. How does STRONG plan on getting the word out about the project to the community and implement real world case use?

Q2. Many blockchain projects / companies focus on and say they will revolutionize the banking system and help the unbanked. How realistic do you think such statements are?

David: Q1 We have a new marketing team. But we have focused first on building something real and sustainable.

Q2 Not sure about the unbanked. They still need an internet connection for crypto. Maybe Elon will help with that.

Q: Compared to other NFT’s, what makes your project so remarkable?

David: Our NFT is serialized, and can be recognized from with smart contracts to trigger other actions.

Q: STRONG token currently relies on the Ethereum platform! But, as we know the Ethereum blockchain currently has many scalability issues! Then, what’s the main reason behind choosing Ethereum, not other blockchains?

David: Already answered. And alternatives being worked on.

Q: With the development of blockchain technology, an infinite number of blockchain projects have appeared on the market. But people prefer/will accept projects that have real use cases. Can you tell us about real-world use of STRONG or solutions that contribute to this?

David: Answered in the AMA

Q: How many people are using $Strong right now? What’s the volume processed through the platform?

David: 8,000+ nodes, mostly 1 node per wallet.

Q: What kind of ecosystem will you create for sellers and consumers or engage them? Do you take into account community thoughts and feedback when building your project?

David: We constantly listen to the community. In the future, everything we built will be turned over to be governed by the community.

Q: What are the ways for your project to generate revenue in the long run? What is the progress of business development and what are some of your commercial partnerships?

David: There are many everyday uses for nodes that people don’t think of, especially supporting exchanges and wallets. That’s where we’re focused now. Over time, that will expand to providing infrastructure and nodes for defi, finance and other ecosystems.

Outside organizations need nodes. The US OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) said in a recent statement that banks can use blockchains for settlement; each branch would need a node. That alone is going to be huge.

Q: Recently, there have been security breaches in smart contracts of DeFi projects, leading to loss of huge funds. StrongBlockrecently launched Defi Protocol V2. What security measures have you implemented in the protocol? Have you carried out any audits?

David: We are on Version 3. Our smart contracts were audited by Hacken, and are reviewed with each iteration. We’re constantly testing our own security as well, internally and externally.

Q: 1) Do you have a limit number of node creation in mind for ETH1.0 and how do you plan to adopt 2.0? (1.0 to 2.0 are moved or handled separately, etc)

David: We have an upper limit in mind, but we’re not there yet.

2) Monetization? How are they going to achieve it?

3) Marketing campaigns? (in addition to this AMA)

4) I feel that the project has not had the expected adoption being that it is something UNIQUE in the spectrum, the passive income is far above any other, what has happened there?

5) I would like to know about the market cap, it does very little for so few tokens that there are

All answered in the AMA. Adoption is coming — and we already have 8,000 nodes. We consider ourselves a solid, undiscovered gem.

Q: Do you think that DeFi will disrupt the existing financial system? What is Balancer’s approach towards the DeFi sector?

David: DeFi already has disrupted the financial sector. And we are NOT Balancer… that’s another project.

Q: Are all the team experts in cryptocurrency?

David: Everyone on the team has worked in the blockchain technology space.

What is the next development progress we will see? Is there any future plan to attract more users to increase the trading volume?

David: We are focused on supporting nodes with STRONG and NFT rewards. That’s our focus.

Q: As we know, there are lots of projects that spend a lot of money on marketing to sell their tokens. However, after that they left the project unfinished and did not even care about the growth of the token. What does StrongBlock think about this? What will StrongBlock do to keep the project and token afloat?

David: We will keep building. We’ve already delivered. We’ll keep delivering.

Q: 1-Increasing Token price

2-making Token Valuable

3-Building Community Trust

From the 3 aspects above, I want to ask, which one is the most important for you?

If all above are important for you, which one will you do first?

David: Making the token valuable by creating a great, useful product, and building community trust by continuing to do so, helps increase token value.

Q: What will be the biggest achievement of STRONG in 2021?

David: Integrating NFT’s, partnerships, and paying customers for node services are key for 2021.

Q: Strongblock community still has a lot of space to grow. How do you ensure the organic growth of the Strongblock community? Is there any event or coming news that will attract new investors?

David: Many events, partnerships and developments are coming. That’s how you grow the protocol and the community.

Giveaway Section

KuCoin and StrongBlock have prepared a total of 6 STRONG (approximately 2,000 UDT) to give away to AMA participants.

1. Red envelope giveaways: 12.4 STRONG

2. Free-ask section: 0.6 STRONG

3. Post-AMA activity: 13 STRONG

Activity 1 — Quiz: 10 STRONG

Activity 2 — Price Guess: 3 STRONG

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