It’s hard to believe that it’s been entire 365 days since we saw the dawn of the Web3.0 world then boarded on.
How time flies. At the ending of 2019, Hang Yin and I were sitting in a tavern in Berlin, watching Gavin giving his speech about the launch of Kusama with a can of beer in hand. It even sounded like a joke that KSM might break $1 at that time (and that’s exactly what we were joking with Parity & Acala mates). Hang and I were so thrilled and amazed that our very first project — pLIBRA, a privacy-preserving bridge between Libra and Polkadot — could be admitted and granted with a few thousands of dollars by Web3 Foundation. Yet today, after only 12 months, Phala is now a bright-painted frigate sailing by two aircraft carriers: Kusama and Polkadot, with other frigates including Acala, Crust, Plasm, Moonbeam, and so on. It would be a long voyage driven by the community of Web3.0 believers.
2020 was a tough year to undergo. Core teams were 24/7 on-call, only to develop and launch the testnets as expected as possible. I remember each failed negotiation during fundraising, “It’s not gonna happen, “ said the investors; I remember the day I called Antonia and persuaded her to join us with the vision of Web3.0 while she was still on a train and I was driving home. But just as the Paulo Coelho quote goes,
“When you want something; all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
We survived the seed-round (thanks to Candaq, IOSG Ventures, Exoplanet, etc.), learned lessons from great investors (like Jocy), distributed 27 million PHA on Kusama Network as Phala’s very first airdrop, and, thanks to all the around-the-clock work, made a Substrate-based TEE network come true.
It‘s made by strenuous efforts, timelessly debugging, argues, and persistence. Someone has been accusing us of copycats, but if you read the codes, you will know how hard this could be.
As its results and proofs, we successfully launched three testnets abiding by the design of Phala whitepaper. They even surpassed what we expected: the upper limit of simultaneously online miners was increased to 100,000, and on-chain extrinsics has exceeded 1,000,000 times.
However, indeed, we have encountered numerous challenges and regrets: There were so many ideas that failed to achieve and so many gaps between design and reality; granted projects are still under development (pLIBRA, W3A, KSM darkpool); Phala pre-mainnet which should have been launched by the end of 2020 is now delayed; the last but not the least, Phala community still has a long way to go before it is fully and truly decentralized.
Still, we wrote this annual report to round up Phala community work in 2020 and how PHA were distributed. And we do hope this report could be a map for all Phala newcomers and an answer for all Phala believers. Enjoy. :)
Dec 21, 2020
Phala community was established in Feb 2020 after Phala made its debut AMA. At that time, only 200 users joined the first WeChat group. Later in March, Phala created its Telegram Chat for international followers.
Today, after two times of reconstruction and defoaming, Phala community has 10,000+ members and 40 core contributors.
1.2 Phala Follower Portrait
According to user insights provided by tweetsmap.com and weixin.qq.com, most of the Phala followers are in their 20s-40s, and mainly live in the following 10 countries: The United States, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, The United Kingdom, China, Philippians, Australia, Nigeria, German. They are most active from UTC 8:00 a.m. to UTC 10:00 a.m.
According to 1,018 questionnaires collected from community members, 80% of feedbacks consider data breach as a “serious” issue which “should be solved asap”. Most of them earn their livings as freelancers (30%), investors (14.9%), and miners (13%). One-third of them are willing to actively participate in Phala programs.
In the rating session of community experience, Phala community documentation, discussion, and activity scored 8.71 points, 8.51 points, and 8.71 points out of 10 respectively.
Phala Miner community was just established when testnet Vendetta launched. With a rather rare hardware requirement, the miner race has attracted a considerable number of miners since November 27:
- Day 1, 200+ miners；
- Day 7, 500+ miners；
- Day 20, 1,000+ miners.
Today, there are 300+ members in miner discussion groups, 1,000 miners on-chain, and 21,000+ words of miner docs. Here we want to extend our special thanks to the following “Masters of Miner” who spent a great amount of time answering questions and helping new miners:
- 莱斯威特 (Laisiweite)
- 张扬 (Zhangyang)
- Luca Poggi
In 2020, Phala sponsored and participated in four developer events:
- Polkadot Hello World! Hackathon
- Encoded × Polkadot Hackathon
- Substrate Seminar by Software College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology
- Hangzhou Dorahacks Substrate Hackathon
In all the above activities, a total of 82 developers participated in Phala-related challenges, and 7 of them built amaizng DApps such as Secret Filebox, Keyword Manager, Secret GPS, Tuna Ledger, etc. based on Phala confidential smart contract.
II. PHA Distribution
In 2020, Phala spent a total of 1,434,924 PHA (approximately $ 143,492) and 240 KSM on community building, of which:
- Testnet Incentives：1,103,466 PHA
- Core contributor incentives：164,956 PHA
- Community events：109,435 PHA
- Candies for marketing：26,291 PHA
Other than PHA, we spent $ 4,231.43 on gas before http://award.phala.network/ went live.
$ 10,600 of USDT was spent on off-line marketing and community gifts production. 683 pieces of community gifts including hoodies, flat caps, stickers, and T-shirts were made, and 391 of them were distributed to 133 recipients in Sweden, Belgium, and China.
According to Phala Economics White Paper, 10,000,000 PHA was designed to be distributed as community incentives. Before the mainnet launch, the undistributed amount would be turned into the mining pool of pre-mainnet Darth Vader. If the pre-mainnet mining pool were not to be fully mined up as the mainnet went live, all the unmined PHA will be burned.
3.1 Testnet Incentives
Phala launched three testnets (PoC-1, Rorschach, Vendetta) during the past 2020, which completes 90% of functionality testing (the last piece of the puzzle will go live soon).
On April 1, 2020, Phala launched testnet PoC-1 which enables private transfer and privacy token issuance. It lasted for only 7 days, welcomed 100 participants, and distributed 2,016 PHA, with 5,800 views on Medium and WeChat blog. The incentive program contained:
- Test & Claim: 10 PHA for each participant who completed the tutorial
- Lucky Privacy Token: Daily giveaway to randomly-picked user-issued privacy tokens
- Lucky Retweet: Retweet giveaway and the most-liked 10 retweets will receive extra bonus
On July 20, 2020, testnet Rorschach went live with a 100,000-PHA incentive program to encourage massive participation of Gatekeepers and full-nodes. The number of online Phala nodes toped all other Polkadot projects only 4 days after the program was announced, and Phala remained to be the first place for the following 15 days. 90 cities across 30 countries were lighted on the map of https://telemetry.polkadot.io/.
According to subscan.io and poc2.phala.network, 3,117 accounts were created with an average daily activity of 194 and average daily growth of 74, among which 10% were Gatekeeper addresses. Phala community-scale reached 1,000 people with a growth of 163.8% in English groups. Several local communities (Russian, Italian, French, Spanish, Vietnam) established with relevant docs translated by core contributors. Rorschach Incentive Program contains:
- Test & Claim: 10 PHA for each participant who completed the tutorial
- Secret Oracle Game: Predict DOT price using Phala private transfer
- MEME / Tutorial creation reward
- Node competition: share a prize pool of 100,000 PHA by running nodes
By Jan 1, 2021, we are so thrilled to see 1,300 miner nodes (440,000 computing power) and 13 Gatekeepers running on Phala, which has topped our design expectation for a safe and powerful privacy computing network. The number of on-extrinsics reached 1,000,000 on subscan.io, which is 49 times higher than the previous version. Daily active accounts peaked at 17,000, which is 47 times higher than the previous version.
For more detailed review of testnet Vendetta, you may refer to Phala Testnet Vendetta Review.
3.2 Phala Watchman Program
Phala designed a comprehensive reward distribution mechanism for all contributors — the Phala Watchman Program. Since May 2020, it has made considerable progress in terms of participants and contributions.
Phala has been cooperating with contributors to build the community together since the born of the community. The first translator 孙家小猫 was mentioned in the weekly updates published on Mar 1, 2020. After ERC20 PHA goes live in May, we published the first edition of the Phala Watchman Program, which mainly rewarded contributors for group moderation. Three contributors successfully passed the interview and became of Phala family: Alex Morozov, Mickey · Stone, and Lailai.
Till now, Phala has recieved 150 applications from 36 countries, 36 of which were submited by the Chinese community. Languages with the least submission are French, Croatian, Portuguese, Turkish, and Yoruba.
So far, Phala community has 40 Watchmen joined as MODs and translators. They have contributed 6,000 hours of group moderation work, 130,000 words of translation, 22 tutorials, 15 videos, and received 166,000 PHA in return.
3.3 Marketing and Community Incentives
Phala community has held various fun activities other than testnet incentives as a simple and friendly way for all beginners to get their first bag of PHA 💰.
In 2020, Phala presented over 100 online / offiline activities including AMAs, panel talks, dev seminars, forums, and conferences, etc… One-third of them were designed with PHA incenvetives and 135,000 PHA were distributed.
IV. Articles, Videos, and Documentation
Contents are to the community as the community is to Web3.0 projects. Phala has been dedicating itself to produce quality articles and videos for Web3.0 lovers as an important planet in the Polkadot universe.
We built two main positions in both the English world and the Chinese world: Medium WeChat blog (Phala可信网络).
On WeChat, Phala可信网络 updated 83 original blogs 8 translations to over 9,500 followers and reached 262,000 reads. Other than WeChat, Phala articles were also published on a dozen of top Chinese media.
With 500 registered users, Phala forum received 4,000 visits and 17,600 views, which indicates at least one user would visit Phala forum every 8 days. 7 languages of posts were created by translators. In 2021, Phala forum will support more languages by recruiting more translators.
Year Zero of Phala
2020 is the “year zero” of Phala Network. Phala completed seed-round fundraising with an evaluation topped 10-million; PHA made its debut on Huobi Global as the first Polkadot-eco token on Huobi with its return rate peaked 2,400% compared to the private sale price. We extended partnership with Maskbook, Plasm, Reef, Bondly, Bluzelle, and Professional Diversity Network (Nasdaq: IPDN). We joined the linux Foundation and the Confidential Computing Consortium (CCC), which enables Phala to explore the border of privacy computing together with other members including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Intel, etc.
Meanwhile, we are bringing Phala to more developers as the silver lining in the age of transparent blockchain and enables them to create wonderful tools such as IPFS Secret box, Secret Storage of GPS records, and password manager, etc.
A window of Polkadot
As a window of Polkadot ecosystem in China, Phala is always introducing the concepst of Web3.0 and Polkadot to more people, while continuously interacting with Polkadot-ecosystem teams.
During the past year, Phala received 2 Grants from the Web3 Foundation, joined the Substrate Builders Program, and graduated from the Web3.0 Bootcamp. Phala core members — Hang Yin and Marvin Tong — voiced their expectation about Phala and Polkadot at several Polkadot events including Web3 Builders Seminar, Sub 0 Online, and Web3 Forum 2020, We were invited to over 100 AMAs, panel talks, seminars, etc. as important Polkadot-eco speakers, sharing the concepts of Substrate and parachain.
We held Kusama Stakedrop, the very first airdrop designed for and airdropped to Kusama/Polkadot community, to unfold the possibility of distributing tokens through Kusama Network.
We published the first use case of private cross-chain transfer with Acala Network on parachain testnet Rococo to prove the amazing potential of XCMP use case to the world, which will empower DeFi with privacy protection and help DeFi to evolve into the next stage.
We wrote CRU × PHA: Double Mining on SGX Devices (CN) to help miners gain more returns with SGX devices.
We translate the first edition of several Polkapot blogs, helping Chinese Polkadot followers to learn the latest updates in time:
Avalanche and Polkadot, Gavin Wood: 反击！Gavin撰文PK雪崩协议
Trusted Execution Environments and the Polkadot Ecosystem, Polkadot team: 波卡生态与可信执行环境
We live broadcasted the Sub 0 Online and the Polkadot Decoded to nearly 1,000 Chinese audiences on our bilibili channel @PhalaNetwork.
We sponsored 3 Substrate Hackathons, and organized the first Substrate seminar with Software College of Huazhong Technology University for young developers, only to introduce this brilliant blockchain frame to more developers of the next generation.
At the beginning of 2020, we went to the Beijing Substrate meetup and gave a presentation as team pLIBRA, and were, fortunately, encouraged by Gavin.
At the end of 2020, as Phala Network, we published the first private cross-chain transfer demo with Acala, which was witnessed by 23,000 more global followers.
Stay true, stay gold, and you will be what you believe.
VI. The Upcoming 2021
6.1 Parachain of Polkadot
There will be three big moves ahead in the first season of 2021：
- Kusama Parachain Crowdloan
- Polkadot Parachain Crowdloan
- Phala pre-mainnet and mainnet
The following functions on the mainnet will go live phase by phase: migration of ERC20 PHA to PHA, Mining, NPoS (Gatekeeper profits & Nominator profits), governance … From then on, Phala will be the most decentralized and powerful privacy computing cloud featured for cross-chain utility and general computing performance.
6.2 Miner Community
Launched only a month ago, the mining module and Phala miners community are still puerile and tender. We are working on the third-party mining-pool protocol which will greatly lower the entry barrier of new miners, and we will continously optimize the miner experience with better documentation, miner events, and Miner helper incentives.
6.3 Developer Community
As mentioned earlier, Phala smart contract has been open for deloyment. Hoping more developers can deploy Phala confidential contract, we will continously refine developer documentation, improve relevant modules, and distributed more PHA to developer events.
6.4 Watchman Program
Phala Watchmen Program will be evolved with a richer dimension of contribution tasks, rewards, and achievements to let every core Phala contributor hold a stronger sense of belonging and long-term confidence in Phala.
We will strengthen branding and marketing, enhancing the retention and activity of the community-based brand recognition, to promote the value of the vision of Phala Network to more people via media accounts operation, campaigns, community culture, on-chain governance, and decentralization.
We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the following Phala community contributors for their contributions in 2020. Without their time and efforts, there would be no Phala community:
Local Community Leaders
Abhilash Atmaram, Ahua, Along, AZhangyang, Bairen, Biezuomeng, Crypto Jedi, Dishi, Fengge, JEKZ, Khuong Phan, Haihe, Hoang Nguyen, Lailai, LaisiweiteChin, Matt Nowack, Mickey·Stone, MF Jakariya, newsletter, Petr Mensik, Senyan, Sirash S S, Sibiaoshu, t1n6, Wuti, Willy Adskhan, Yijiu, zaketac
aoritus, cash__, D3V3LIN, Ting A Lin, Qian
You may check all the raw data at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eVEHr9ZjQ647Z4NHgBe38ma4oJ9M6T_f8knBBlCvZAU/edit?usp=sharing
Phala Network is a light, powerful, and secure trusted-hardware-based confidential smart contract, dedicating itself to be a novel privacy computing cloud and provide privacy computing and services for all users and companies. Phala Network will be a parachain on Polkadot and a solution to the next-generation privacy protection. Member of the Confidential Computing Consortium (CCC). Recipient of 2 Web3 Foundation Grants.