I. Introducing LynxChain
Lynx’s mission is to enable broad consumer adoption of decentralized applications (dApps) by creating an integrated ecosystem that is easy to use, fun and intuitive for the average user.
Our team, which is based in Los Angeles, CA and Raleigh, NC has built the leading mobile EOS wallet for the english speaking world. Our desktop wallet and API, launched in August 2019 has already been adopted by all 15 of the top 15 EOS dApps. We have also built several popular free to play games on the EOS blockchain, so we understand dApps both from the wallet and actual application perspective.
With fast and cheap blockchains like EOS, and attractive, consumer friendly wallets like Lynx it’s easy to get excited about the future of dApps. Games where users compete and win virtual items and marketplaces for those items and other digital goods represent two core use cases. And while EOS and Lynx have both enjoyed some success, it’s our strong belief that we need a new, simpler blockchain for true consumer apps.
The biggest obstacle, and the one that LynxChain addresses is free accounts. Amazingly, by design, an EOS account costs a wallet like Lynx around $4 to create. We can subsidize some of that, but there is no way for us to offer our users free accounts. For users who are used to free services like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter this represents an enormous barrier to adoption.
Second, there is no notion in EOS of an avatar or user name at the blockchain level. Again this is something all users expect in 2019, and is a key to retention. EOS names must be exactly 12 characters long, have no avatar, and there is no notion of “verified accounts”. This means you can’t look up users and the interface is hampered by arcane long names which are often meaningless.
Third, EOS is complicated by the notion of “staking” tokens for system resources and by needing to occasionally “buy RAM” in order to continue. Users do not understand this concept of “staking” (locking up tokens for 3 days or more, and then “un-staking” them in order to use them). They don’t understand “CPU” or “Network Usage” or “RAM”. They expect things to “just work” like they do on all of their other Internet apps.
In order to combat these drawbacks, EOS apps such as “CPU Emergency” and “EOS Authority” have emerged for users to manage their resources. Block One added a “Resource Exchange”, or “REX”, on top of the system for users to lend other users resources and earn interest. All of these features and utilities add to the overall user confusion. We need something simpler.
Starting with EOS, we surgically built LynxChain as a simplified version of EOS, with free accounts, and an identity model similar to Twitter (avatars, names etc..). It is offered as an open source project that anybody can use or modify. It was designed to integrate with the proprietary Lynx Wallet (lynxwallet.io) , and to leverage off that wallet’s user base, but there is no requirement that dApps use the Lynx Wallet or integrate with it. We encourage apps to develop native mobile apps, and we welcome other wallets to implement LynxChain.
The development for LynxChain 1.0 is complete and is offered as a fully functional working product as of the date of this WhitePaper. A native LynxToken (LNX) will be created and once MainNet has been launched will be partially distributed to early supporters of the project, with a majority tokens left un-mined and available to compensate block producers, code contributors, wallets and early users. The long term distribution of these tokens is expected to be done by an independent, term limited governance council.
Like Bitcoin, there is, by design, a maximum total amount of 21,000,000 LNX tokens. Once these tokens have been allocated, the system is intended to survive based on fees paid by dApps for system usage, and allocated by the governing council, mainly to block producers. As long as there is sufficient interest in the chain by dApps, this is expected to be a self sustainable decentralized system whose continued existence does not depend in any way on its initial creators.
Virtually every blockchain up until now has been developed as a pure “back end” solution, with little regard to end-user consumer experience. For example, Ethereum launched in 2015 as an app platform, but with unacceptable slow speeds for anything but the most basic money transmission apps. Similarly, EOS launched in 2018 with a command line interface, rudimentary wallet support and outrageous account creation and RAM costs.
As one of the leading wallets in EOS in the western world, we are acutely aware of the shortcomings of EOS and we believe that they are not likely to be solved by third party solutions and more complexity. For this reason, we decided to start with the EOSIO code and make surgical changes and simplifications.
We decided on these changes with our own Lynx Wallet in mind, although as mentioned in the overview, we do not require users that they use the Lynx Wallet. We welcome other wallets to adopt this blockchain, as well as other native apps with built in wallets. We believe that many of the changes built into LynxChain will benefit these apps as well.
Having said this, our philosophy is “less is more”. We don’t intend to compete with EOS in terms of core blockchain consensus features, or other features such as REX, voting etc. We will integrate improvements to their code as it makes sense, but overall we want to simplify things.
Free Accounts: Users will be able to create one free account with first name, last name, avatar and a verified phone number. Native apps will be granted free account creation rights as long as they adhere to this minimum standard
Paid secondary accounts: Once the phone number has been used to verify one free account, all subsequent accounts will be charged a nominal fee.
3 Char+ account names: Every free account will have a 3 char+ alphanumeric account name. First come, first served, just like twitter. @fred references fred krueger. We expect a free land rush to claim your own name to be launched prior to the actual main-net launch.
Avatars and real names: In addition to the account @name, any user on LynxChain will have a 128x128 pixel avatar and an unconstrained display name that can include spaces. We feel that it is critical for apps to be able to reference users with avatars system-wide, as they currently do on Facebook, for example.
Possibility to verify your account name: Users can optionally upload a drivers license and selfie and get verified by Netki / OnFido. Nominal Charge. Verified accounts show up as in twitter.
No user resources: No notion of staking. No CPU or Network staking. No user RAM. Users should never see the concept of RAM. Sending tokens is always free and always works The system covers the cost of direct transactions. These will never fail for reasons of CPU / Network.
It its important to point out again that while the branding of LynxChain is tied to the existing Lynx Wallet developed by Needly Inc and licensed to WorkToken BVI, the LynxChain is completely open source and will support multiple wallets, as well as apps with native wallet capability.
As mentioned in the overview, the Lynx Wallet team has extensive contact with the EOS dApp community, and believes that it will be able to convince many of these dApps to also launch versions of their offerings on LynxChain.
There are several reasons why EOS dApps may want to create versions of their apps on our chain, or skip EOS entirely.
- The ability to “open the app in Lynx” with no initial account creation cost is appealing to web apps such as desktop games that require blockchain signing.
- This advantage is magnified by apps that encourage people to add their friends to the ecosystem, as they did in early Facebook games such as FarmVille.
- As LynxChain is rolled out as an integrated part of the Lynx Wallet ecosystem, having a LynxChain version of your app will likely be viewed as a “normal occurrence” in the Lynx wallet.
- The short names, avatars and ability for LynxChain to function without an explicit user notion of RAM or staking should increase user activity and retention.
In contrast with these advantages, EOS dApps will work without significant changes from EOS MainNet. Like EOS apps, these LynxChain apps will use the core EOSIO function calls. LynxWallet will provide APIs and examples to port these apps to the new chain.
Even outside of the Lynx wallets, LynxChain may have appeal for certain vertical native applications that need a blockchain and a token, but do not want the overhead of EOS RAM prices and account creation costs.
Unlike EOS MainNet, where apps are required to stake EOS for RAM and CPU, no such staking is required. However, apps will need to be whitelisted to prevent bad actors (spam / excessive network usage), and dApps will pay a daily fee in LNX tokens corresponding to their resource usage.
Working together with Crypto Lions, a European Block Producer, Lynx has created a whitelisting system that allows bad actors to be flagged, and new apps to be whitelisted from an administrative interface. All active Block Producers will have access to this, and any of them can add or remove apps to the whitelist. Permanent app banning will require a 2/3 super-majority of block producers.
In general, LynxChain does not want to pass judgement as to what kind of apps are allowed on chain. Different countries have different regulations, and different wallets and apps can be built on top of LynxChain for different uses. These can be custodial apps which store users keys, or non-custodial apps like the Lynx Wallet itself which do not. But apps that abuse system resources or are known to harm users will be blacklisted.
IV. Block Producers
LynxChain is based on a delegated proof of authority system where a rotating set of Block Producers and standby Block Producers validate transactions and write them into the chain.
Initially, Block Producers will be appointed by Lynx itself. After a year, a governing council will be created, fashioned in the style of Hedera HashGraph’s governance model, with term-limited positions, a nominating committee, and the ability to remove council members for cause. This council will appoint block producers and decide on the direction of the codebase.
In each of the first two years, WorkToken BVI will grant 1 million total tokens to launch the network, split amongst the Block Producers. After this, a small “pay as you go” model with be developed where dApps are required to pay a modest daily fee in system LNX tokens in order to continue to use the network. This fee will be computed by the chain and pre-paid by the app (tokens will be drawn down from a designated account). The fees will represent a premium to the estimated daily costs of validating the blocks, including an allowance for CPU rental or amortization, RAM rental or amortization, bandwidth costs and an allowance for the cost of human supervision. We expect this fee to be in-line with the fees Amazon AWS charges for hosting a typical web application,
As of the time of this WhitePaper, the following standby block producers have agreed to participate in LynxChain:
- Crypto Lions
- EOS Dublin
- EOS Amsterdam
- EOS Argentina
- EOS Venezuela
- EOS USA
- EOS Detroit
- EOS San Francisco
- Guardian Circle
- Aloha EOS
- EOS Cafe
- EOS Sphere
- EOS GO
The actual selection of the number and composition of the initial active block producers (vs standby) will be done before main-net launch, later in 2019.
V. Sustainability and Governance
In building LynxChain, it is critical for us to think beyond the founding Lynx Wallet and its small team. Our company, our wallet, and our team may not survive. But we wanted to create a chain that has the potential to live beyond it.
At the end of the day, LynxChain, like Bitcoin or EOS is nothing more than an open source project. It requires at least several Block Producers to stay alive in any form, and to the extent that dApps are willing to pay these block producers in tokens, it can work with no inflation, no fixed development staff, no payroll.
But by design, these block producers must be selected and potentially replaced. The fee structure charged to the dApps must be determined. And the general direction of the codebase has to be chosen. In the initial phase, tokens will need to be awarded to various projects, wallets, exchanges and teams that can help launch the protocol. Users need to be incentivized to join the different apps on the chain, and create LynxChain accounts. Repeat usage should be encouraged, with the ability to “mine tokens” by playing free games or inviting friends to LynxChain.
For all these decisions, we need a separate, independent governing council, comprised of a not too large number of term-limited positions. This council will be set up in the first year of operations with legal existence as Work Token, BVI. The governance models of ICANN and HashGraph will be used as inspiration, with all voting done using decentralized online voting and multi-sig token management tools such as EOS DAC
VI. The LNX Token
Like Ethereum and EOS, LynxChain has a native token, called LNX which will be the core token of the Blockchain
- Apps will use it as a core (volatile) means of transferring value / payment.
- DEXs will use it as the “rails” for other LynxChain tokens
- Exchanges will use it to transfer between LynxChain and other chains, and ultimately to fiat.
- Apps will be charged daily usage fees in LNX for bandwidth, network and CPU consumption
- Block producers will receive LNX tokens for validating transactions
By design there are is a maximum total supply of 21 million LNX, just like Bitcoin. A 2018 Token distribution of LYNX tokens by WorkToken BVI, a British Virgin Island company resulted in 165 million out of a total supply of 500 Million circulating coins (34%). An equivalent percentage of coins will be airdropped to all public addresses of LYNX token holders as of Jan 1, 2020.
The remaining 14 Million LNX coins will be held by WorkToken BVI and earmarked as follows
- 1 million LNX tokens will be granted to Block Producers in each of the first 2 Years
- Up to 2 million LNX tokens will be given as incentives and bounties to drive more adoption to LynxChain, including tokens for free to play games, bounties to invite friends etc.
Longer term, it is expected that LynxChain will evolve to a model where apps pay a daily usage fee in LNX tokens and that fee is split between the block producers. This fee should enable the chain to be self sufficient, providing there is sufficient usage.
As of the date of this WhitePaper (Sep 3, 2019), the LynxChain TestNet is operational and producing blocks. An integrated IOS version of our Lynx Wallet is fully functional on TestFlight. We expect Android and Desktop wallets to be fully functional and released by the end of this month.
During the month of September we will start a name reservation process where one name of four characters or more can be reserved with a valid phone number. These names are offered on a first come, first served basis, with some key names held in reserve (important trademarks and key reserved terms).
MainNet is expected to launch in November. At the very start, all new accounts will be created with Lynx, with gradual opening up to other wallets with free account quotas, and careful system resource monitoring. We may elect to limit the number of live accounts to 10,000 until we are comfortable that the system is operating per spec.
Transaction spam, and account creation spam will be handled by whitelisting and quotas. Apps will not be able to create unreasonable amounts of transactions, and other wallets, once whitelisted, will not be able to create millions of accounts day one.
LNX Tokens (LNX) are not intended to be or to be offered as a security in any jurisdiction. The following Whitepaper is not intended to constitute an offering of securities, a solicitation of investment, a prospectus or offer document in any jurisdiction. The Whitepaper neither represents any opinion or advice to purchase or sell LNX nor shall it or any part of it be relied upon for any contract or transaction decision.
No party mentioned herein purports to make any representation, warranty or undertaking in any form whatsoever in relation to the truth, accuracy, and completeness of the information provided in this Whitepaper, such information being subject to modification and completion. The actual results, performance or achievements of LNX and/or Needly, Inc may be materially different from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by any opinions, estimates, projections and/or forward-looking statements included in this Whitepaper. Forward-looking statements of any kind by their nature are not historical fact but predictions that are subject to multiple factors including but not limited to changes in industry and regulatory trends, changes in exchange rates of fiat and cryptocurrency exchange rates, changes in political, social and economic conditions, and other factors beyond the control of any party mentioned herein. Neither any party nor any person involved in the preparation of the Whitepaper owes a duty of care to any person or any recipient of this Whitepaper. No person has been or is authorized to give any information or representation not contained in this Whitepaper in relation to LNX, and/or Needly, Inc. By accessing and/or accepting possession of this Whitepaper, or any part or information contained herein, you are expressly accepting and agreeing to all of the statements made above in this important information.