TOP Network ✕ TokenGazer AMA Recap
TOP Network was invited by TokenGazer, a blockchain research organization, for an AMA in TokenGazer community on Jan. 10. TOP CEO Steve answered insightful questions from TokenGazer researchers and community members in technical innovation, team management, Dapp development, etc. Here comes the recap.
1. TokenGazer Researcher: TOP Network is a “transformed” blockchain project. Can you talk about the relation between Dingtone and TOP Network? And why was Dingtone transformed into TOP Network?
Steve@TOP Network: Why we started TOP Network? All of the Dingtone products are centralized, but there are tons of disadvantages in the centralized world, especially in the communication industry. We believe the decentralized communication system would disrupt the centralized one, so we have to take a step ahead before someone else does. That is the reason why we started TOP Network.
2. TokenGazer community member: What have you learned from the decades of experience as a serial entrepreneur and how it benefits your business strategy in the blockchain industry?
Steve@TOP Network: Starting a blockchain project is not only about solving technical problems.
In traditional entrepreneurship, a team keeps making products perfect until success, while most of the blockchain startups give up once encounter any difficulty. Managing a team is key to success especially in the bear market. Only the experienced entrepreneur can bring in use cases and applications of the blockchain technology. The business logic from zero to one stays the same whether in the blockchain industry or any other forms of startups: user needs, product form, business model and management, and it also applies to any human-related activities. I believe the core values of blockchain do not lie in decentralization but redefining the relations of production. Once we have established the underlying blockchain infrastructure, the relations of production will be enhanced to be more reliable.
3. TokenGazer community member: Which consensus mechanism does TOP Network public chain use?
Steve@TOP Network: We use PBFT-DPoS (practical byzantine fault tolerance with delegated proof of stake) consensus mechanism, but the “S” is different from the traditional PoS in which the “S” is defined solely as stake. The “S” in our PBFT-DPoS is a comprehensive, safer stake that combines multiple factors including asset stake, computing power, accumulated reputation, etc.
4. TokenGazer community member: Does the team of 100 refer to your company or the community? And how do you manage them?
Steve@TOP Network: Our development team has 100 members. Because we have an ambitious goal to build a public chain, decentralized communication services and Dapps, we need a large number of developers. We do have a large team compared with other projects in the blockchain industry.
5. TokenGazer community member: Is your public chain project subject to censorship?
Steve@TOP Network: We don’t have such an issue as we haven’t launched our Mainnet yet. Moreover, all of our users and targeting communities are overseas. Our headquarter and community management team are all in Silicon Valley.
6. TokenGazer community member: How to protect users’ privacy in the decentralized communication network?
Steve@TOP Network: In the decentralized communication network, all the communication is end-to-end encrypted. For example, if A sends a message to B, this message is encrypted in the transmission and can only be decrypted by B other than anyone else in the middle.
7. TokenGazer Researcher: Can you talk more about the sharding technology mentioned in TOP Network whitepaper? How to ensure nodes are randomly selected in shards? And how is your sharding technology different from that of Zilliqa and Quarkchain? People generally consider sharding as a difficulty in the blockchain industry, but how do you overcome the challenges?
Steve@TOP Network: When the number of shards reaches high, the number of cross-shard transactions increases significantly so the processing capacity of the entire system goes down. Our two-layer sharding is aimed to improve the transaction processing capacity:
a. Nodes are dynamically and randomly selected to join shards, and randomly replace some nodes from the shards.
b. Some working nodes and backup nodes are dynamically and randomly selected from shards to switch their roles;
c. A verifiable random function (VRF) algorithm selects consensus nodes to from shards.
d. A verifiable random function (VRF) algorithm selects advanced nodes to audit the transactions.
e. Shards dynamically rotate to serve different sets of account spaces.
This is the algorithm of random sharding.
TokenGazer Researcher: Have you realized the idea of two-layer sharding?
Steve@TOP Network: Our Testnet has 2 zones, 4 shards, more than 7000 TPS. Our Testnet 2.0 with higher performance will come out next month.
TokenGazer: It looks like you’re making faster progress in sharding than Ethereum.
Steve@TOP Network: To be honest, Ethereum is not slow in technical development, but very cautious.
TokenGazer Researcher: Can you talk about Zilliqa and Quarkchain, two other sharding projects?
Steve@TOP Network: Zilliqa’s sharding, not account shard but computational shard, cannot be recognized as real sharding. Quarkchain is a real sharding project, but it only has one layer.
8. TokenGazer community member: It’s easy to measure asset stake of a node, but how to measure its computing power and reputation?
Steve@TOP Network: The capacity of a node refers to its computing power, network capacity and storage capacity. Every node is randomly selected to prove its capacity. The reputation of a node measures whether the node has cheated, initiated abnormal transactions, and the accumulated time of its services, etc. A node with a higher reputation has more opportunities to verify the transactions.
9. TokenGazer Researcher: There must be a large expenditure for a development team of 100. Without token sales, do you have sufficient funds to support the team?
Steve@TOP Network: Our annual income reached 100 million. That will support us to go further ahead despite the bear market.
TokenGazer Researcher: What is your business model?
Steve@TOP Network: Dapps and Apps are profitable while the public chain is not. That’s why those projects without Dapps will suffer from insufficient funds. We have both public chain and Dapps.
10. TokenGazer Researcher: The traditional communication applications are enabled by an instant, interactive network. Can TOP Network public chain meet such a requirement? Compared with centralized communication apps, are there any delays (for example, delays in chat) in decentralized communication apps? What’s the TPS of the Testnet?
Steve@TOP Network: The system randomly tests the capacity of all nodes. The requirements for the capacity of a node vary among different communication services. For instance, phone calls require high stability while messaging app does not. VPN requires a high Internet bandwidth but not stability.
11. TokenGazer community member: Which public chain are the Dapps based on before the Mainnet launch?
Steve@TOP Network: Our Apps are centralized now, but they will be migrated onto the Mainnet soon and will keep generating income.
12. TokenGazer researcher: Is your income from Dapp or App?
Steve@TOP Network: There is no big difference between App and Dapp. For example, the business model of a VPN does not change when it’s decentralized, and will continuously generate income for. Our Apps, unavailable for download in China, target at users overseas.
13. TokenGazer community member: How many people in your development team of 100 work on App and Dapp, and how many on the public chain?
Steve@TOP Network: Our public chain development team has more than 30 members.
14. TokenGazer researcher: Are the Apps built on TOP Network in the future?
Steve@TOP Network: Yes. We will migrate the apps onto the public chain, but users may not realize as it does not affect their experience.
15. TokenGazer researcher: Are users really concerned about whether the underlying infrastructure is decentralized? For example, what motivates users from the centralized communication giants like WeChat and Line to use another decentralized communication app?
Steve@TOP Network: It depends on different situations and use cases. Users don’t care whether the product is decentralized or not, but are only concerned about the problems they can directly feel. Taking VPN as an example, the centralized products are more likely to be blocked than the decentralized ones. That’s the issue users care about.
TokenGazer researcher: But being decentralized does not mean it is free from being blocked.
Steve@TOP Network: Bypassing VPN blocks requires a comprehensive suite of techniques, but decentralization is the basic.
16. TokenGazer researcher: Does that mean you mainly target at VPN users instead of the traditional communication applications?
Steve@TOP Network：No. VPN is only one of our Apps. I take it as an example because it’s easily understood.
17. TokenGazer Researcher: Have you heard of Mainframe, a popular project focusing on communication protocols? What do you think of Mainframe and how is it different from TOP Network?
Steve@TOP Network: Mainframe is a scam project. Within the team of about 10, all the members are operating the community, no one focusing on development. Scrumble is another unreliable project.
TokenGazer Researcher: I heard that there are 28 people in the team among which 12 are full-time employees. It has gained great attention at home and abroad, and attracted a lot of high-profile investors. Can you talk a little about the technology of Mainframe?
Steve@TOP Network：Investors and high-profile endorsement cannot reveal the value of a project. We’ve never talked about this. Mainframe does not have technology, so I can’t talk about their technology.
TokenGazer researcher: Mainframe has already launched a Dapp for download.
Steve@TOP Network: Technical development in the communication industry is extremely challenging. The demo of Mainframe, a simple messaging app, existed months ago. Telegram is a strong competitor of us, but there are operating under the stealth mode, veiling their progress from the public and even their investors, which is highly against the transparency and openness in the blockchain industry. According to TON white paper, many technical blueprints like “unlimited sharding” are problematic, and there is no updated version of the white paper yet.
18. TokenGazer researcher: TOP Network is not open-source yet. Will you release the source code in the future?
Steve@TOP Network：We will release source code before the Mainnet launch.
TOP will roll out the first technical AMA on Jan. 24 with our CTO Taylor. Taylor will answer any technical related questions in the Telegram group. Leave your questions in the comment section to win tokens!