On Friday, August 3rd, 2018, LI Jun, Founder of Ontology, and Andy Ji, Chief Strategy Officer of Ontology, joined our English Telegram group for a live Q&A session where they answered questions about Ontology’s future. Below is a summary of the questions answered during the session.
We’ve divided the Q&As into six topics: technology; consensus; use cases; ONT, ONG, and the market; ONTO; and team.
Q: Because of the anonymous verifiable claim technology and specifically sigma protocols, does this mean that ONT could also have a private transaction option like Zcash?
LI Jun: Yes, Ontology will be able to support both private and public transactions depending on the scenarios in the future. The technology is already ready, and we will choose a suitable time for it. Regarding the verifiable claim, we can support both public and private claims.
Q: What’s the next big milestone now that the MainNet is launched?
LI Jun: Ontology will have a big upgrade every quarter, the next milestone will be Q3, which will include infrastructure performance enhancement to nearly 10k tps and will include new functionalities like Ontology Oracle service, the new distributed data exchange protocol, and we will also kick off the develop for sub-blockchains in Q3.
Q: With the MainNet launch over, what is the primary focus of the team now?
LI Jun: There are two directions, one is continuous enhancement for the blockchain infrastructure and the trust collaboration platform (as we mentioned there will be a big upgrade every quarter). Another direction is for ecosystem development, we will engage and involve different partners in different industries to build decentralized dApps and sub-blockchains on Ontology.
Q: Ontology has estimated at least 10,000 transactions per second. When is it expected to reach this goal? And which dApps will have a lot of transactions?
LI Jun: It depends on the applications, since Ontology’s applications are mostly used for real business scenarios, in many cases there are lots of transactions, for example Points, they will need lots of tps, and if we have lots of applications like this in the future 10,000 tps will not be enough. We still need to find some scalability solutions like sub-blockchains, side-blockchains, and sharding. Of course, this first requires more applications to join Ontology and we are working on that now.
Q: What are some of the benefits of creating dApps and deploying smart contracts on the Ontology blockchain vs the NEO blockchain? Is it just that the Ontology blockchain is more enterprise-focused?
LI Jun: Ontology provides the modules to link to real business scenarios, for example the distributed identity framework and distributed data exchange framework. That means for many applications your service can have not only blockchain technical support, but can also be supported on different legal systems and regulations which are necessary for many real business scenarios.
Q: How do you see Ontology in relation to other platforms such as Cardano, Ethereum, Eos, ICON, etc.?
LI Jun: Just as we mentioned, we will be one of the world-class blockchain infrastructures. In the future there will be multiple blockchain infrastructures to support different scenarios, and since we cannot support all business cases on one public blockchain, maybe we will have competition, but it will also be cooperation. We are working together for better blockchain infrastructures to support people to use more and more decentralized services. For the technology side, we have the confidence to be one of the best platforms.
Q: ONT and NEO are both made by Onchain. Doesn’t ONT cannibalize the need/utility for NEO? How are they different?
LI Jun: Ontology is developed and supported by Onchain, but NEO have their own team, so that means NEO is not developed by Onchain. Ontology and NEO have a technical cooperation, but Ontology/Onchain is a different team with NEO. Ontology is focused on building a platform to link with different business scenarios, legal systems, and enterprise solutions, and technically the implementation is different between Ontology and NEO. Ontology infrastructure is different; Ontology uses Go and NEO uses C#.
Q: When will a bug/security bounty rewards program will be launched?
LI Jun: We will launch a bug bounty program in two weeks on our website and on other third-party bug bounty platforms (actually we have done a lot of security auditing and testing for the platform, and of course we will welcome more bug hunters to help us let the platform be more secure and safe).
Q: When will the 28 nodes launch and when will recruitment for the 2nd nodes group begin?
Andy Ji: They will start to run dedicated nodes on Aug 24th and we will start our 2nd round node competition around October 7th.
Q: Will Ontology become more decentralized over time? Will there ever be more nodes? Will the amount of stake required for nodes ever change?
LI Jun: Yes, for Ontology the consensus mechanism will be continually open for everyone, everyone can apply to be a consensus node or they can put their ONT in a smart contract to join the consensus mechanism and get rewards. VBFT can support thousands of consensus nodes and support everyone to join the consensus system. That will support Ontology to keep a decentralized level in the long term. Besides that, VBFT also can support high-performance while being decentralized.
Q: How is the governance and consensus going to function i.e. the active participation? Let’s say I have 10 ONT, is it a matter of participating in decision making by contributing computing power or in what way?
LI Jun: We will open the smart contract soon, even if you just have 10 ONT to the smart contract and support different consensus nodes, you will get the reward of consumed ONG as well.
Q: How do we support the consensus nodes? How is the smart contract working? What does it mean for the ONT? Are they going to be locked? Do we need a computer running 24/7?
LI Jun: You have two approaches: one, if you want to run a node, you can set a server or a cloud-based node, of course you need to lock your ONT in a smart contract and you will get a reward for the consumed ONG on the Ontology platform. For individuals you don’t need to run a node, you can put your ONT to a public smart contract and select other nodes you want to support, you will also get a reward for the consumed ONG.
Q: Can everybody be a consensus node given that they have enough stake/resources? Or is it like that you need permission of the Ontology team or current set of consensus nodes to be able to contribute to consensus?
LI Jun: Everybody can be a consensus node (the stake can come from yourself or others support you).
Q: So, there isn’t a minimum amount of ONT needed [for consensus]? Also, if you become a node can you opt out anytime? For individuals, by putting the ONT to the public contract, does it mean they are locked as well or can they access it at any time?
LI Jun: There is no minimum amount, but you will have competitors. If your stake of authorization is less than another, you will be a candidate (you will get a reward as well, but of course, less than normal consensus nodes).
Q: How are ONG fees divided between ONT holders and nodes?
LI Jun: ONT holders can get unbounded ONG every block (4 ONG/per day for 10k ONT), and for the used ONG on the Ontology platform, it is rewarded to those ONT holders who join the consensus mechanism (individuals or nodes).
Q: If I support a node, do I need to stake ONT? If I want to quit someone’s node, how long dose it take?
Li Jun: You need to authorize your stake to support a node. Normally, the switch period will be one month.
Q: Based on that Ontology is an identity trust platform, can we see in the next month a true application for Ontology with some big company?
LI Jun: We’re currently building decentralized applications and sub-blockchains for some big enterprises. But as you know, for these big enterprises there needs to be special customization and testing before the final production. For example, Points has already built their first dApp on the Ontology TestNet for an Ontology verification service. We will try to launch these types of applications on MainNet as soon as possible, but we need to make sure all the applications are safe and have a good security control.
Q: Besides identity verification, what sorts of other use cases do you see Ontology being used for?
LI Jun: The distributed identity framework is just one of the fundamental modules. Ontology still has other common modules like the distributed data exchange module. In the next phrase we will have a different distributed data exchange mechanism, distributed electronic contract module and signature service, and more. All those common modules build together as a decentralized trust collaboration platform to build a bridge to link different business scenarios. The trust platform will work together with Ontology’s multiple blockchain infrastructure to support different business scenarios with specific requirements in a large scope.
Q: Do you guys have any enterprise and government-level partnerships which help in real world adoption?
LI Jun: Yes, we have enterprise partnerships who are doing enterprise level applications on Ontology right now. For government, we are using the Ontology framework to build consortium blockchain solutions.
ONT, ONG, and the market
Q: Has the down market overall affected development for ONT?
LI Jun: No, we have enough funding and resources to support Ontology development in the long term. As you see, Ontology is one of the only MainNets which launched on time in this year and we will have a big upgrade every quarter (which proves our engineering capability).
Q: What’s the real value of ONG and what uses does it do on the platform?
LI Jun: ONG is a utility token on the Ontology platform. When you want to deploy, invoke, transact, or use smart controls on Ontology you need to consume ONG. All used ONG will return to ONT holders (for ONT holders who participate in consensus governance process). All ONT holders will get their unbound ONG block by block every day. We will open the individual to join the governance process soon, that means everyone, no matter how few ONT you hold, can put your ONT in a smart contract to join the consensus mechanism and get rewards for the used ONG.
Q: Why does it cost ONG to claim ONG when it doesn’t cost GAS to claim GAS? Did the team not think of the bootstrapping problem this created?
LI Jun: Because claim ONG is a transaction, the transaction will be recorded on the blockchain and use storage space — this should not be totally free. We have already opened a temporary free ONG claim to support people to get ONG for free in the initial phase. Since ONG is starting to be listed on exchanges, you will be able to get ONG easily soon. We will do an evaluation for permanent free claim, but we will need to do a very careful evaluation first.
Q: When will you release all ONT into the market? Right now, the circulating supply is very low and might be artificially inflating the price (or suppressing it, by the fear of a sudden flood of ONT).
LI Jun: We have already introduced the token distribution mechanism. For the team we have one of the longest lock periods for a public blockchain project. For the technical community reward, it depends on the contributions from the technical community. It will be released slowly, and everyone will be able to see it. For the co-builder plan, we will have a release every half a year over two years, but every release will be low, less than 5%, so the release will be very slow and long-term, and the whole process will be kept transparent.
Q: Why would people use your token vs paying for your services with BTC or ETH? What is the utility?
LI Jun: Using ONG is very low cost for services. If you use BTC or ETH for payments it will be too slow and high cost. For those people who contribute to the governance/consensus mechanism of Ontology, they can get an ONG reward for motivation. For the settlement part, Ontology is faster than ETH and BTC, and that can support enterprise-level applications.
Q: Will there ever a coin burn in the future? And with partnership will Ontology do airdrops?
Andy Ji: All ecosystem partners will have an Ontology community airdrop in the future through the ONTO client.
Q: When can we expect ONG trading on a good exchange?
Andy Ji: After we complete the token swap more exchanges will start to consider listing ONG.
Q: Will ONT go into US markets, or is it just for Chinese markets only? Would love to see ONT going into US and European markets!
Andy Ji: We are talking to Bittrex, Poleniex, Circle, Kraken, Gemini, and Coinbase for cooperation in the near future.
Q: Every successful project has an ambition, do you have the ambition to make Ontology in top 10 in the market?
LI Jun: We cannot predict the price, but the things we can promise are that we are confident to build a world-class blockchain infrastructure in the long-term which will be one of the best blockchain infrastructures. Currently we are one of the largest public blockchain teams in the world, so we will continually focus on Ontology technology and ecosystem development in the long term. For the marketing value, it will depend on how good your platform is in the long term.
Q: Will ONG be more valuable than ONT (as a theoretical scenario like NEO vs GAS)?
LI Jun: Unlike ETH and EOS, ONT will not change its max supply and ONG also has a fixed supply, so both ONT and ONG will not inflate and their value will be protected in the long term. ONG will be consumed in the platform and returned to the ecosystem again and again. Sub-blockchains and applications running on Ontology will recycle the ONG and increase ONT and ONG’s value with the enlargement of the Ontology ecosystem.
Q: Any plans to cover ONT as not a securities coin in future if SEC would like to find it?
LI Jun: The used ONG is only rewarded for ONT holders who participate in the consensus mechanism, so this isn’t like a security, it’s like a reward for a job or task.
Q: Will ONT remain Indivisible?
Andy Ji: Yes, it will.
Q: What else do you have planned for future additions to ONTO?
LI Jun: We will put more identity verification services on ONTO so every user can manage and control their identity data by themselves. We will soon have KYC and AML functions, OTC exchange, candy box (airdrops from different tokens of Ontology applications for ONT holders), and data exchange.
Q: When will ONTO add more features? And what features will ONTO have in the future?
LI Jun: ONTO will be upgraded every two weeks. More functionalities are coming, like multiple-signature (managing your assets with others together).
Q: How many developers do you have working on Ontology?
Andy Ji: More than sixty full-time developers and around thirty community developers for now.
Q: There are a lot of rumours that Da Hongfei will be fulltime committing to ONT and leaving NEO, can you comment on that?
LI Jun: Hongfei is the Founder of NEO and he still works for NEO. Since Ontology is supported by the Onchain team, and since Ontology and NEO are strategic partners, we are still doing technical cooperation.