QuarkChain holds a monthly AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Telegram/Wechat groups on Saturday at 7–8 PM PST. This is the summary for February AMA. We welcome any questions, comments, and suggestions.
Q1: The Bitcoin halving is taking place this year. How do you expect this to affect the entire blockchain industry? What role will QuarkChain play in the industry?
The Bitcoin halving is a major event in 2020 and we believe this event may have significant impacts.
Technically speaking, this means every block reward is reduced from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC, and the inflation rate is also halved.
As a result, firstly, the inflation rate will be below 2%, which means the rate is close to that of gold. Secondly, the selling power from miners is also halved. While as cryptocurrency and blockchain become more popular, more people may be more likely to own BTC.
From the perspective of the market, BTC has become a hedging asset against risks since there are not many global assets that have a good story as well as good liquidity. There are two main factors influencing the price of BTC: namely the manufacturer of mining machines and the Wall Street. As long as selling mining machines is still making a profit while the global economy is still thriving decently, the value of BTC will maintain its level. So I think that the market will view the halving this time around in a more optimistic light.
BTC is rather out of sync with other blockchain projects because its financial nature far outstrips its technical nature. We can compare BTC to gold while other projects are more comparable to technology companies who focus on technological applications and innovations.
Another question is what halving signifies for our QuarkChain team. Since 2018, QuarkChain has been focused on inventing a faster and more convenient public chain. Since the launch of mainnet, our product has evolved to become a framework like Polkadot and Cosmos that enable launching a chain with one click and provide cross-chain framework consensus. During our Stanford 2020 meeting last week, we further proposed the idea of a “quark family” whereby one can adopt this sharding layer framework on public chains. If this concept is applied to consortium blockchain, then it becomes “quark-union.” Such framework can be applied in other scenarios and interoperate for other use cases and provide a plethora of choices for users, which is our target goal this year.
In the middle of the year, we will announce the next product developed specifically for this framework, which functions like Polkadot’s Substrate framework that allows developers to build products as parachains. Please follow us to learn more!
In general, I think this is really good news for the whole cryptocurrency world!
Q2: The Chinese market pays more attention to the consortium blockchain. Will this affect QuarkChain? Will the team consider joining the consortium blockchain?
One of our goals is to broadcast our QuarkChain technologies to more people around the world, and we are happy to see that not only can our technology be applied to the public chain space, but also to the consortium blockchain space!!
Secondly, it is also natural to extend the public chain technology to the consortium one, where Ethereum has EEA, and JP Morgan is also working on Quorum, which is the consortium version of geth.
With the Chinese government’s support of this domain, I think it is a very good opportunity for QuarkChain to participate in the market and meet the needs in the consortium blockchain space. We will soon announce the new products in the area soon!
Q3: The QuarkChain team attended the Stanford Blockchain Conference recently. Are there any differences between the direction of exploration in 2020 and in 2019? Did you find any new or interesting ideas?
A lot of interesting things happened during the Stanford Blockchain Conference. I also discussed with several people, including Vitalk and Professor David Tse about their works. We discussed some details about their proposal in the extreme case such as network partition and asked more details in how Lamport’s BFT algorithm’s relationship with his proposal.
First of all, I found there is a rapidly rising interest from academia to enter into the blockchain space, including professors from renowned universities such as Stanford, UIUC, and Cornell.
Secondly, I found more and more people are taking serious considerations into practical problems such as scalability and security. For example, Vitalik gave a talk about 51% attack and how to avoid that; people are working on both vertical and horizontal scalability. Of course, Facebook Libra also presented their blockchain.
We are watching these technologies closely and are looking forward to seeing its development, which will guide our future growth as well!
Q4: QKC held a meetup yesterday and you talked about what the future of blockchain looks like and topics related to business. Can you give us a brief summary about the discussion? How can QuarkChain be applied in the real world? Any use cases?
We delivered a speech titled “What The Future Blockchain Looks Like to Empower Business.” Looking back, the early days of blockchains were chasing after pure technical breakthroughs with little considerations for practical business needs. This is related to what we talked about also at the year-end review: after TPS, what else can blockchains propose?
One of the big trends that we see is that, typical major business applications rely on both consortium blockchain and public chains. Even for Facebook Libra, it starts with consortium blockchain and then will move onto public chains. From a business perspective, the space is looking for a more comprehensive solution that allows seamless communication between consortium blockchain and public chains altogether.
The Boson consensus is the paper we published during the world-class 2019 IEEE conference. It is the sharding infrastructure framework that we have been referring to since day 1, which is analogous to the Substrate framework from Polkadot. We have applied this framework to implement QuarkChain, as you are all familiar with it by now.
We are now applying the same framework onto consortium blockchain to allow different enterprises to define different chains based on their own business requirements and also create plug-ins to interact with other chains such as IBM Hyperledger, Ant Financial blockchain, WeBank, and so on.
With the great efforts of our BD team, we are working on some use cases with our important partners. One direction we believe is to speed up financial processing using blockchain in the enterprise space. For instance, with immunity and transparency, we could facilitate regulated financing and circulation of assets more easily. Imagine DeFi in consortium!
As I mentioned before, we are building the consortium version of QuarkChain, and actually, the first version of the product is almost ready and is under testing.
Q5: What does your roadmap for 2020 look like? Name some important milestones you hope to achieve. What are the major developments lined up for QuarkChain this quarter?
In 2020 H1, we plan to fully support our native token to enable DeFi composability. We would like to make the token more user-friendly as well.
Actually, ETH2.0 is targeting native tokens for a while, and we also have a long conversation with ETH. While ETH2.0 is still planning and designing the feature, our goal is to fully support ETH 2.0 in 2020 — probably the first blockchain that enables all these!
For the second half of the year, we are still looking into several areas, namely privacy, heterogenous chain, and new consensus mechanism. We also would like to learn from the community to see what the best idea may be.
Please check more details here:
Q6: In the past years, we all said ZIL was your biggest competitor, but the fact is we did not see too many updates from them. So who is your current strongest competitor? How do you stand out from your competition?
Actually, in this growing new area, we learned tremendously from different projects in sharding, multi-chain area: ETH2.0, Polkadot, Cosmos, and ZIL.
And for us, our idea is quite simple — to achieve our goal with using all technologies from us and also from others. We also interacted with the blockchain communities actively so that we could jointly contribute to the blockchain space. This philosophy explains why we have an active presence in different projects such as ETH and Libra.
Our technology, the Boson consensus, is the key for us to differentiate from others. Even better, the Boson consensus is designed to be flexible, and thus is able to incorporate a lot of novel ideas! To my knowledge, this flexibility can hardly be found for other blockchains. Unless other projects decide to follow us someday, I think we should have plenty of space to stand out!
Q7: What are your future plans for the developer community?
We just started our bounty program for supporting native token auction — an important part for multi-native token support. This means many dApps on ETH can be rewritten and enjoy the benefits of the multi-native tokens, and we will have demos and programs to educate the public.
Q8: QKC technology is at the forefront of the industry. What are its strategies in market expansion? How are you planning to take over more market share in 2020?
We need to acknowledge that the speculation is widespread across the entire market, similar to what was observed during the early days of the stock market. As we can see now, the era of speculation and fast money is fading away. What we observed in the US stock market for the last decade is that the out-performers are no mere speculation but outstanding technology companies who keep innovating themselves. To adapt to this shift of culture, we now align the overall marketing strategy to branding.
What this signifies is that besides telling people the acronym of QuarkChain, we should let other people know more about the details of QuarkChain and the recent updates of our team.
What we will do in the future is to share more quality in-depth contents which vary in format but are easily readable. We would like to intrigue more people by experimenting with different forms of data visualization. We also want to step onto different school campuses for technical sharing sessions and have first-hand engagement for technology enthusiasts and gain their recognition. From there, we will then carry out more public advertisements. Because of the outbreak of virus, we will develop more online activities to enable more people to participate free of physical constraints.
Q9: Why do we see less interactions from the team recently? How are the team members faring? Can you work on developing the Chinese community in 2020?
Someone messaged me offline wondering why I appeared in the group less often recently. I actually am still with QuarkChain and have been working on various projects in great depth. For example, I was lecturing MBA classes and summarized how blockchain can step out from its current bottlenecks.
Some also discovered that they were no longer able to private chat with me. As I have explained before, such a decision was made on the basis of freeing up more of my time from customer services to allow more creative thinking and R&D. I have been paying close attention to the discussion and suggestions within the group chat. I am also in consultation with Yufeng and Daisy for the latest news within the group chat as well. Our team is doing well with more technologies underway. We are landing more business applications and are shifting our marketing focus from operations to branding. We will continue to update our latest developments so stay tuned!
About the community, we aim not just to grow only the Chinese one but around the world. You may understand the idea of developing a community in a different sense than I do. As I might have mentioned before, for the past two years, blockchain was highly speculative and some projects only wished to boost the number of followers with little maintenance of the community. Since the days of speculation are gone, developing a community is no longer just counting heads but providing contents of added values and spreading the awareness of these quality contents to more people. This is also why I appeared less in the chat but have published more in-depth articles over the past few months.
Q10: What are the latest updates in terms of business developments? Who are some of your latest business partners?
Let me first talk about the potential effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. Its ramification is of global scale; interestingly, it has an accelerating effect for blockchains since people came to realize that after thrifting on big data and large-scale IT systems, these white elephants did little to present timely, effective, and accurate data. Such inefficiencies have created tremendous challenges for public administration and blockchain is the perfect solution to fill this vacuum.
When it comes to commercialization, as an early entrant, we are happy to share some initial progress with our supporters.
Firstly, related to government affairs, we have business use cases for large business enterprises and governments regarding data management, public governance, and public services.
Secondly, targeting this outbreak, we have proposed a comprehensive 2G solution using blockchain and are in close communications with the government.
Lastly, in terms of management of public assets and finance, we have made some significant attempts to manage assets that were previously overlooked and were unable for financing. Our approach may be used to create financial products for circulation.
Let me give you a concrete example in factory monitoring. During production, with the automated and trustless production of data, the discharge data from the factory will become more reliable. Environment department can then use discharge data collected from automatic devices with little worry that factories have tampered with the data for the sake of avoiding penalties.
Thanks for reading this summary. QuarkChain always appreciates your support and company.