Thanks to the TOP community’s constant enthusiasm for learning more about our project and getting to know our team members better, we held another Ask Me Anything (AMA) this week in our Telegram group. After gaining familiarity with TOP Network’s mission and key products in our first AMA, this time our supporters raised more questions specifically about the technical development and token economics on our blockchain platform. Here’s the recap of our second AMA:
Q1: What are the latest updates on the project?
TOP Network has made a lot of progress since our first AMA last month.
We continue to make breakthroughs in technical development, investment, community management, and team building.
O1ex announced additional investment in TOP Network this month. Qtum founder Patrick also announced strategic investment in our project.
In the robust, fast-growing TOP community, members have been discussing our projects proactively (many thanks to our supporters!), and we keep bringing new talents to our TOP team!
Q2: How will TOP create revenue?
In addition to the general-purpose public blockchain platform, TOP offers a real-world business — the world’s first decentralized cloud communication services. Dapps that connect to TOP Network for our cloud communication services pay service fees based on their usage.
Q3: How does cross-shard transaction and communication work in TOP Network?
TOP Chain uses block lattices to perform transaction synchronization across shards inside a zone. Each shard periodically packs into blocks the latest state information about all the changed accounts and passes the blocks on to other shards in the same zone, keeping all the same-zone shards in sync.
TOP Chain performs cross-zone synchronization similarly. Each zone generates blocks containing the latest state information on all the changed accounts and exchanges the blocks with other zones, synchronizing account state across all zones.
Q4: The white paper says TOP can process millions of business transactions in a second. How many shards/nodes does the network need to achieve such a high TPS?
Unlike the existing blockchain platforms such as EOS, TOP Network has three layers of ledgers — the main chain, multiple service chains and the off-chain processors. Off-chain processors, similar to layer 2 networks, pre-processes transactions off the blockchain. Service chains handle complicated business logic before submitting financial settlement to the main chain. With service chains and off-chain processors offloading transactions, TOP Network can process millions of transactions per second. Sharding is just one of the important technologies to scale our main chain.
Q5: Apart from BitVPN, is the team developing other Dapps? When will they be available?
We recently completed the development and testing of the first version of three Dapps — a decentralized Web chat app, a decentralized lottery app and a decentralized lucky money app.
Q6: TOP is going to migrate three existing apps with 50 million users to the chain, but what about the future beyond these three DApps? Does TOP have any plans to incentivize developers or cooperate with established enterprises?
We firmly believe that the TOP ecosystem relies on a large number of skilled developers and high-quality Dapps to flourish.
Therefore, a certain number of tokens are reserved to reward early developers for joining the ecosystem. Also, we plan to subsidize service fees paid by developers to encourage them to use our platform.
Q7: What will the mining process be like for TOP Tokens?
The Total token supply is 20 billion, with 38% reserved for mining.
TOP tokens will be available for mining after the launch of TOP Network next year. SkyVPN users, for example, will possibly become TOP token miners then. Any user can contribute their devices and bandwidth to TOP Network to earn tokens. You can also mine tokens by verifying transactions as consensus nodes.
Q8: What are the use cases for TOP Tokens? How will the use cases benefit the value of TOP token?
TOP has two independent but interconnected platforms — TOP Network for cloud communication services and TOP public blockchain platform. Here are a few use cases of TOP tokens on the two platforms.
1) Communication Service Fee
The distributed cloud communication services offered by TOP Network are not free. Dapp developers/operators need to pay the miners who provide communication services for them based on the workload and the settled price.
2) Deposit for Nodes
Paying a certain amount of deposits is a key prerequisite for a device (a server, computer or CPE) to join our platforms as a communication service provider (service node) or a consensus node on the main chain. TOP adopts delegated proof of stake combined with PBFT-DPoS* consensus algorithm. A node that pays a larger deposit is more likely to be selected as the consensus node in a shard.
3) Deposit for Resources
Deploying and operating smart contracts on TOP Network requires deposits.
4) Transaction Fees
Sending high-frequency transactions requires gas fees.
Q9: TOP is releasing Testnet 2.0 soon. What are the new features on Testnet 2.0?
Testnet 2.0 will be even faster than the current version and will be able to support WASM smart contract. A decentralized messaging layer will be available, too. We will build on top of that layer a decentralized Web chat app, which offers interesting features and functions such as lucky money, lottery and polling in the group chat. You guys will definitely love it!
Q10: What are the challenges TOP Network will face before the scheduled release of Mainnet, and how do you intend to address these challenges?
Ambitious projects like TOP always have huge challenges.
The biggest challenge will be token economy development. Building token economy is more like an art than a science. Nobody knows for sure yet how token economics will work in real-world practice. To address this challenge, we are adopting a very unique approach compared with other blockchain projects. We will launch many of our Dapps on the Testnet and closely monitor how these Dapps develop their own token economies, and fine-tune the token economics model before we launch our Mainnet.
Q11: What are the differences between TOP and EOS?
1) EOS has only 21 nodes on a permissioned network instead of letting each node verify transactions. That is not a blockchain. It is a centralized cloud service that carries a high risk of user data breach. TOP, on the contrary, is horizontally scaled-out to reach over 300,000 TPS while remaining completely permissionless, thanks to our cutting-edge technologies including two-layer sharding, two-layer lattice DAG, three-layer network and PBFT-DPoS*.
2) EOS has only one main chain. TOP has three-layer ledgers consisting of one main chain, pluggable service chains and off-chain processors. Such a design makes TOP the world’s first blockchain that can process complicated business logic at high speed.
3) EOS is far from a satisfactory platform for real-world business due to the lack of business-level infrastructure on its chain. When developers build apps on centralized networks, lots of development tasks are covered by plenty of open-source tools, off-the-shelf middleware or cloud-based services. In contrast, Dapp developers on EOS have to code from scratch for almost everything, even the basic one-to-one messaging function, as EOS provides no service-oriented framework on the base-layer ledger.
TOP Network, the world’s first business-friendly blockchain, offers full-stack cloud communication services including messaging, voice/video, VoIP, VPN, streaming/CDN, IoT data sharing and more. We free Dapp developers from the headache of building communication stack and deploying network by themselves.
Apart from communication services, new service layers can be quickly plugged into our platform. We will implement powerful service layers to facilitate Dapps in a wide range of categories, such as gaming, social networking, entertainment and more.
Q12: Is TOP Network’s treasury chest fiat or crypto?
TOP has completed several rounds of funding. The first round is fiat investment, so we have both fiat and crypto assets. We have hired the best digital asset management firms to manage our crypto.
Q13: Do you plan to provide/develop solutions for enterprise customers or “just” provide tools for individual developers?
We welcome both enterprise clients, such as companies developing Dapps, and individual developers to utilize our services.
Enterprise clients are likely to look for customized solutions. We do not offer customized solutions, but we have created a transparent, open-source platform for our community members to build customized solutions. For example, PwC can build on TOP Network their own products tailored to specific enterprise customers.
Q14: When will TOP Network release its yellow paper?
We will share our yellow paper with our technical ambassadors in one-to-one discussions. Technical ambassadors are welcomed to review our codes and design documents.
At this moment, we do not plan to release the yellow paper directly to the public.
We also have a Discord group for our tech-savvy people. You can join our geeky discussions here!
Q15: Why is TOP token supply so large?
TOP’s mission is to enable real-world business on the blockchain. Many business transactions carry tiny value. It’s inconvenient to complete small-value transactions, such as paying for a 15-minute VPN session, with tokens of large value, just like you don’t want to use a $100 bill to buy a hot dog — you’d rather use a $10 bill. We have a large number of small-value tokens on TOP Network so that the token can fit perfectly into the use cases on our platform.
Q16: With the large transaction volume comes “bloating” of the blockchain, how is this handled on the level of service chains?
We handle this challenge in three aspects:
1. TOP Network has three layers of ledgers — the main chain, multiple service chains and the off-chain processors. The off-chain processors pre-process transactions, which can effectively reduce the workload on our service chains.
2. The hot data storage and cold data storage are separate on TOP Network. A consensus node only needs to store data of the accounts that are in the shards the node is currently responsible for, while other data can be stored in disk or deleted.
3. TOP Network adopts unite lattice, which means each account has its own unit chain. Each account can automatically prune or merge its data.
Q17: for the three apps that will be moved to TOP, how does TOP plan to incentivize and motivate users on these apps?
End users in the TOP ecosystem can receive token based on their Dapps usage and their contribution to the ecosystem. Dapps can design benefit policies to incentivize users. For example, after holding a certain number of tokens for a certain period, users may get extra benefits such as special discounts or access to special functions and services on the Dapps.
Q18: What do you plan to do with tokens that can not be sold during crowdsale?
We only reserve a very small portion of TOP tokens for crowdsale. We are confident to sell all these tokens.
Have more questions for TOP? Join our Telegram group and you can talk directly with TOP team. We are always here to hear your voice.