Umbrella Network
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Umbrella Network

Umbrella Network AMA w/ Kyros Ventures: Recap

Umbrella Network’s Head of Marketing, John Chen, was recently invited for an AMA by Kyros Ventures to answer questions from the community.

Umbrella Network AMA w/ Kyros Ventures

AMA at: Kyros Ventures Telegram Channel

On: Friday, 24th September, 2021 | Time: 1:00 PM UTC

Umbrella is a scalable, community-owned oracle that securely brings external data on-chain. It is the first decentralized oracle service to empower the community with the scale and security modern DeFi applications require.

The transcript is almost entirely in its original AMA form, mildly edited for punctuation and readability only.

*** AMA Starts ***

PART ONE:

Q1. @chen225, Could you please introduce yourself and Umbrella?

Yes, sure. My name is John Chen and I’m the Head of Marketing for Umbrella Network. I joined Umbrella at the end of last year and currently focus on marketing, community, and pretty much anything outside of actual engineering. I have an entrepreneurial background, having started up several businesses across consumer goods, digital media, and marketing. Just prior to Umbrella, I was running a digital media and marketing agency in Asia. Originally from the US, I currently live in Singapore with my wife and 2 kids.

Umbrella Network is a decentralized layer-2 data oracle service. So like all oracles, we bring data, usually off-chain data, onto the blockchain. We give dApp developers access to rich and comprehensive data at the lowest price point and highest scalability.

What makes us different from all the other oracles out there, including Chainlink, Band, and others, is that we aggregate our data before bringing it on-chain. Other oracles have to bring one piece of data at a time on-chain.

So, if a dApp needs the price of BTC/USD and ETH/USDT every single minute, then a typical oracle would have to write twice to the chain every minute, once for every data pair. With Umbrella, we aggregate all our data and can bring thousands of data points onto the chain all at once, allowing for much lower costs, higher scalability, and security.

Looking at the MC of Chainlink and Band, we could easily see that UMB still has a lot of room to grow. 🔥

Yes, we’re just getting started.

Umbrella Network Vs. Chainlink Vs. Band Protocol Vs. Kylin Network Vs. DIA

This past week has been quite eventful for us.

Q2. What is your plan for Umbrella in the last quarter of this year?

We’ve been pretty busy this year in terms of building out and executing our roadmap. And for the final quarter of this year, we have some pretty big goals which include

1) Getting more product adoption.

2) Expanding to more blockchains so that we can move toward the path to become more multi-chain interoperable.

3) Starting to move into the enterprise big data market.

Yesterday, we made a major announcement that really catapults us forward, especially as it relates to goals 1 and 3. We will be acquiring the leading oracle in the ad-tech space, Lucidity, which will bring us some major benefits, including bringing in their blue-chip roster of clients like Hyundai, Samsung, KFC, and others, that, once integrated, will start using our oracle data to process and verify digital ad impressions.

This is a huge deal because it will -

1) Bring about significant market adoption and by enterprise blue-chip clients

2) Immediately allow us to successfully enter the enterprise big data market and be a significant player in the ad-tech vertical

3) Make Umbrella the largest blockchain oracle in the world in terms of the volume of data processed. So we are extremely excited about what the future holds.

PART TWO: PRE-SELECTED QUESTIONS:

Q1. This is a really interesting question from @thonguyen7 regarding the NFT trend that is “booming” atm:

I have read that oracles are of great help for the development of any blockchain project, but really, do they offer the benefits of data transfers only from fungible assets? Or do they also offer data on NFT assets? If so, why do they only state that they want to achieve 1200 data pairs and not NFTs?

Umbrella’s Merkle tree architecture is quite versatile. We currently store mostly crypto or financial data price pairs in our data structure, but we can build various types of Merkle trees designed to store different data types.

It doesn’t even have to be in pairs, so it could be sports data sets, personal health information, mathematical computations, or NFTs.

So there is really a lot of flexibility. Right now, we have mostly pricing pairs because that is what is a current common need for applications on the blockchain, but we are working on more unique and novel ways to utilize our data solutions, including releasing a Verifiable Random Number generator the next month, among others.

Right now we have 1,200 data pairs being offered, but we will look to provide more than 10,000 data pairs by year-end.

Q2. Next question from @minhcryptohun

In your monthly recap publication for August, you stated that the daily rewards for rUMB on the Hadley Stream were increased by 92.5% and in the months of September & October, it will be further increased at a higher rate of 93k/day. Can you explain the details of this rewards program, its requirements, conditions, and benefits, and for how long this program would run?

This was a temporary additional distribution we added to our normal rewards streams, as an added bonus to our community of stakers after the Chainswap exploit. A total of 3MM additional rUMB reward tokens were added to the distribution streams.

However, on an ongoing basis, we already have very healthy staking programs, with our Hadley Stream APY already at above 70% even without this added bonus currently. Our Polar stream is rewarding an even higher APY of more than 400% the last time I checked.

For more details on our staking program, you can visit our website at https://umb.network.

Q3. I think this question has been asked multiple times:

Chainlink is generally the most popular oracle network but the risks and centralization points of it are always talked about. Could you summarize some points where UMBRELLA has better specifications than Chainlink for example? Is Umbrella more decentralized? @Lanhysan

Haha! Yes, I think I just answered this one a few days ago, but I’ll address it again.

Yes, Chainlink is the current dominant player in the oracle market. And while they have a great team, fantastic marketing, and a clear first-mover advantage in the market, we do sometimes see that they are often seen as a more centralized oracle.

That’s because they essentially operate under a Proof of Authority consensus, simply due to the fact that they have the final say as to who can be a validator in their network.

Furthermore, due to the extremely high costs to operate a Chainlink node, only large corporate or professional node operators can mostly afford to do so.

We are more decentralized because we are able to allow almost anyone from the community to become a validator. Right now, we are taking applications and choosing cohorts, sure, but soon we will open it up so that there will be a lot less of an application process. Pretty much anyone who has basic experience running a cloud server could be a validator.

And because the cost of running a node on our network is extremely low, right now at less than $2,000 a month, and with that cost expected to drop drastically as our network of validators continues to grow, it is an expense manageable by any normal person.

In comparison, there are some estimates that put running a chainlink node at over $10,000 a day, which is prohibitive for anyone.

Q4. I think UMB holders are having the same question with @Jelenacu:

What are the milestones you have achieved and what about your upcoming plans? How do you plan on increasing the demand for tokens in the crypto space?

We have achieved some major milestones in the past few months. We went live on BSC Mainnet in May, are about to go live on Ethereum’s Mainnet next week, and with the aforementioned Lucidity acquisition, we are well-positioned to have a significant market adoption of our data oracles, and not just with DeFi projects, but with major Fortune 500 clients who will be using our solutions.

So this significant market adoption will bring about a tremendous amount of data usage. Lucidity, prior to our acquisitions, has processed over 600million data transactions for clients. And post-integration, that high data usage will be directly plugged into Umbrella, and further usage of the Umbrella oracles will translate into more usage of the UMB token via staking and consensus once DPOS is implemented early next year.

Q5. The last question of our part 2: Do you plan to burn your tokens? Are you planning to list on other exchanges? @RenataGoddard

Yes, we have done a token burn just recently of about 1.5M tokens as per a vote with the community, and are open to doing more burns in the future based on the best interests of the community and the project.

Umbrella Network Token Burn Event

As an example, we have our rewards token distribution program of rUMB running every year, with those rUMB redeeming 1:1 to UMB tokens at the end of every yearly period. However, if certain achievements are met, our redemption would start earlier. When that happens, all of the undistributed rUMB and their correlating UMB would be burned. That could add up to a significant portion of the allocated token supply.

In terms of listing on other exchanges, we just listed on KuCoin yesterday, which seemed to have been very well received by both our community and the broader market.

Announcement blog: https://medium.com/umbrella-network/umbrella-network-announces-umb-listing-on-kucoin-exchange-c56fc2d1bfbe

While we do have plans to continue to increase our liquidity and broaden exposure by listing on more top tier exchanges, we can’t comment at this time on any immediate plans, but know that we are always careful with our planning, and we have on our timetable additional exchanges we will look to list on, which we will inform the public when we are able to.

PART 3: LIVE SESSION:

Q1. Chainlink, Band, Kylin, API3, etc., which of these currently provide the same service as you. You have important competitors such as these in the decentralized oracle service world, will you be able to get more adoption than any of your competitors? What competitive advantages do you have?

I think the oracle space is still in its infancy. There is a massive market opportunity, as almost every major blockchain application will need some sort of off-chain data or processing. We feel like we have several competitive advantages that make us unique. One of them is our architecture which allows us to process/aggregate multiple data points at once. This brings about major advantages in costs, speed, and scaling.

For example, with our Lucidity acquisition, no other oracle could have been able to integrate into them, because Lucidity processes millions of transactions with very high scale and velocity. Only our architecture can handle the massive data processing needs of the digital advertising industry.

So on the surface, while everyone may be offering a similar service, we really have our own different strengths. And our ability to handle massive amounts of data is a singular strong point that will allow us to support a lot more application needs, particularly in the high usage markets like enterprise, gaming, and others.

Q2. I am an experienced developer and ethical hacker. Do you have any plans for hackathons so as to check the security of your ecosystem periodically and also invite developers to build?

We are active in the developer and hackathon communities. We are currently sponsoring ETH Online, which is open for submissions currently through mid-October. And we will be continuing to sponsor more as we look to expand our own developer community. You can go register for our hackathon that’s happening here now 👉 https://online.ethglobal.com/.

Q3. Umbrella claims to be a community-owned project. In fact, the participants of your ecosystem such as stakers, developers, and validators are part of your governance system. Can you explain this model to us and how do they all participate to achieve harmony and growth of the project?

Yes, as we move towards Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) as a consensus mechanism in the early part of next year, we will be transitioning more and more of the governance of the project to the community.

We currently have a Community Council that helps with overseeing our community ambassador program and will be overseeing various governance functions for the project. Even our acquisition of Lucidity will be voted on by the community/governance council so that there is proper oversight from the community on what is best for the project.

Q4. Previously, Umbrella came live on BSC Mainnet, and now you are planning to go live on Ethereum Mainnet. Why Ethereum?

How will this be an achievement?

Going live on Ethereum Mainnet is a major inflection point for the project. While our broader goal is to be multi-chain interoperable and to be supporting 8 different blockchains by Q2 of next year, from ETH, SOL, ADA, AVAX, and DOT among others, going live on Ethereum Mainnet is a significant step because today, that is where the majority of the DeFi ecosystem is. So for us, we need to be where the applications are, and where the data needs are.

Q5. I notice your oracle offers over 1,200 data pairs and all for free. How many data pairs do you plan to have in the years to come? What other exciting features do you plan to add to your platform to build the next generation of apps on the Blockchain?

We currently offer around 1,200 data pairs and will have over 10,000 data pairs by the year-end. But that’s really just the beginning.

We can bring virtually any data from the real world on-chain, as long as there is some API connection where we can pull the data. And because we are a layer 2 oracle, we can run sophisticated computations on that data before writing it on-chain, which means we can do all sorts of cool things with the information before applications access it.

So this means we can provide things like advanced, wall street-level arbitrage-free options pricing data, stuff that currently only wall street traders have access to, but DeFi doesn’t, to all sorts of other information that currently is not available in the ecosystem.

***AMA Concluded***

Join the discussion on Telegram at https://t.me/umbrellanet

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