Umbrella Network AMA w/ Poloniex: Recap
Umbrella Network’s President, John Chen, was recently invited for an AMA by Poloniex to answer questions from the community.
AMA at: Poloniex English Telegram Channel
On: Tuesday, 19th October, 2021 | Time: 11:00 AM 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 ***
Q1. Hi John, nice to meet you. Please tell us more about yourself. 😁
My name is John Chen, and I’m the President & Head of Marketing for Umbrella Network.
I joined Umbrella Network at the end of last year and currently focus on ensuring that we are building and sticking to our roadmap of deliverables, marketing, community, and pretty much anything outside of actual product development.
I have an entrepreneurial background, having started up several businesses across consumer goods, digital media, and marketing. Currently I live in Singapore, though I’m originally from New York. Very glad to be here today!
Q2. What is Umbrella Network (UMB) and how does it work?
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.
Umbrella’s nodes pull data from various APIs and arrive at consensus via an on-chain smart contract. We use Merkle Trees to allow nodes to validate thousands of transactions for the price of a single transaction. This allows us to bring thousands of data points to the blockchain in a single transaction, whereas other oracles can only bring one data point per transaction.
This advantage allows us to offer data at a significantly lower cost than any other oracle on the market, among other advantages. It also gives us the ability to offer more data than anyone else.
Q3. What is your perspective on the prospect of the current oracle services and scalable data solutions for decentralized finance (DeFi)?
Do you think UMB’s future growth can blend into a big part of the real-world (traditional & modern) business transactions?
Oracles, like the wider infrastructure and interoperability ecosystem on blockchains, are not a zero-sum game. The market opportunity is massive.
Take for example Chainlink — they currently have around 500–600 partners and offer around 250 data pairs, with most of their feeds updating once a day. They are currently the market leader. I think this shows how nascent and early-stage the market really is.
UMB’s future growth can definitely blend into real-world business transactions and use cases. Oracles are incredibly vital to the blockchain ecosystem and its applications. So our broader objective, as stated in our mission statement, is to “Bring the world’s data on-chain.”
So what we envision is ultimately bringing any data that any application needs from the real world onto the chain for them to use. This could be for an insurance app that needs real-world insurance information. It could be a gaming app that needs a verifiable random number generator, etc.
A great example would be our recent acquisition of Lucidity and the opportunities that this provides. Acquiring Lucidity, which is a blockchain-based marketing & analytics solution for the digital advertising industry, gave us an immediate, successful entry into that enterprise market, giving us a significant presence in the digital ad-tech market.
Upon integration, it will give us immediate market adoption with bluechip clientele, something that is critical to the advancement of our project. And not just a small amount of market adoption, but significant adoption with oracle usage by some of the biggest corporations in the world, including Samsung, Hyundai, KFC, and others — all Lucidity clients and at volumes of data processing that will make us the largest blockchain oracle in the world by volume.
Q4. There are tons of new and old Oracle projects “fighting” for their places in the current market. What makes Umbrella Network (UMB) unique to face such competition?
What makes us different from all the other oracles out there is that we aggregate our data before bringing it on-chain.
Other oracles have to bring one piece of data at a time. So if a dApp needs the price of both 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.
Whereas with Umbrella, we are able to aggregate data together, thousands of pieces of data currently, but potentially millions of data points, all at once and write it to the chain. This gives us tremendous advantages in terms of scale, speed, and cost of getting that data to users compared to other oracles.
This is pretty significant, particularly for those chains where transaction fees can be very costly like Ethereum. So while most other oracles offer a few hundred data points at most, we currently offer over 1,600 data pairs, all for free right now and that figure is growing rapidly. We will have over 10,000 data pairs available by the end of this year for applications to use.
And finally, it’s not just crypto price pairs or even financial data that we can bring on-chain. If there is an API in the real world, chances are we can bring that data on-chain. So it could be real-time weather, sports stats, insurance info, real estate pricing, personal health insurance, eCommerce data, you name it. The types of data we can bring on-chain are virtually unlimited.
Q5. What has Umbrella Network (UMB) accomplished to date and what are the current use cases of the UMB token?
We’re still a fairly new project, having just had our IDO this past Feb. But I think we have achieved quite a bit in the months since then. We have already gone live on BSC Mainnet in May, and on Ethereum’s Mainnet in September, and launched our in-house developed ETH-BSC Token Bridge in October.
Now we are planning to launch on six more chains over the next few quarters including Polygon, in the next few days before month-end, as well as Avalanche, Solana, Cardano, and others.
Umbrella also recently acquired Lucidity, which puts us in a good position to have significant market adoption of our data oracles — not just with DeFi projects, but with major Fortune 500 clients who will be using our solutions.
This significant market adoption will bring about a tremendous amount of data usage. Lucidity, prior to our acquisition, has processed over 600 million data transactions for clients. 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.
We also have very attractive staking programs already in place for token holders, our Hadley and Polar staking streams are rewarding very healthy APYs of between 75%-350%, last time I checked.
Q6. One of the biggest concerns of crypto investors is “token hacks” that seem to happen quite frequently.
Please share with us about how the Umbrella Network is secured?
Great question! Safety is of course a huge concern to all, and as an engineering heavy team and project, we are very focused on ensuring our smart contracts are fully audited (by Slowmist) and secure. On top of that, we have taken measures to further improve on the security of our project and reduce risks to our token holders.
One of the additional things we have done recently to improve our security is to have stopped using third party bridges, and have released our own token bridge just a few weeks ago which is also fully audited.
We have also partnered with both Uno Re and Polkacover to extend an insurance policy, that token holders have the option of purchasing, and will cover their total value locked when they stake in our rewards pools, both the Hadley Stream and Polar Streams. This is so that in the unlikely scenario of some black swan event like a hack or exploit, their staked tokens would be insured and protected. We are one of the few projects to be able to provide this type of policy to our community.
Q7. What is Umbrella Network’s (UMB) progress on its current roadmap?
And what about UMB’s plan for its future implementation?
We are well on track with our current roadmap. We believe that we have been pretty busy this year trying to execute and build out our roadmap. The future of DeFi and Blockchain lies in cross-chain compatibility, and not just one chain. So we want to be where the applications are, regardless of the chain, where there is the need to access data.
UMB has got a pretty ambitious roadmap, which has us integrating and supporting 8 chains by Q2 2022, including BSC, ETH, MATIC, SOL, ADA, and AVAX among others.
We are already live on BSC and Ethereum and will be live on Polygon before the end of this month. Avalanche, Solana, Cardano, and several Polkadot parachains will also be supported in the coming quarters. We are currently doing some revisions to our roadmap, and maybe adding some new chains to support as well. So stay tuned.
Our ultimate goal is to be multi-chain interoperable and support as many of the significant layer 1 ecosystems as we can.
Additionally, we have a lot of new feature releases planned, including our arbitrage-free options pricing data that is releasing this week, which will bring Wall Street level options pricing sophistication to DeFi, data that is currently unavailable in the ecosystem, that will give traders better access to more advanced data for efficient pricing and profitable trading.
We are also releasing our verifiable random number generator by the end of October as well, which will be a welcome addition to blockchain-based gaming applications.
And we’ve got a lot more in store as well, so stay tuned for more exciting announcements from us.
Q8. Time flies and we are heading to the last question.
Where can Poloniex users learn more about Umbrella Network (UMB)?
To learn more about UMB or if you have any additional questions, feel free to join our telegram group or other socials:
Telegram Community — https://t.me/umbrellanet
Telegram Announcements — https://t.me/umbnetannouncement
Discord — https://discord.gg/G9x4TsHSd7
Twitter — https://twitter.com/umbnetwork
Medium — https://medium.com/umbrella-network
Website — https://umb.network/
PART TWO: LIVE SESSION:
Q1. Currently a lot of people are looking at NFTs, metaverse, and games. Can you tell me what advantages will you have in this field in the future?
We believe there is massive potential in blockchain based gaming, and will bring about massive adoption of blockchain technology and usage.
We are doing a lot of work in this area currently, and will be a major presence at the upcoming NFT NYC conference in New York this early November.
So look out for a major announcement coming from us there that will put us on the map for NFT based blockchain gaming.
Q2. What is the most ambitious goal of your project? What is the ultimate vision that Your project is trying to achieve within the cryptocurrencies market? I would appreciate it if you could share with us any upcoming updates?
Our broader goal is to try and bring the cost of data down to as close to zero as possible.
Right now data is limited, and very expensive to bring on-chain. We want to change that by bringing more data, more variety of data types, as frequently updated as possible, and at the lowest cost possible on-chain.
We want data on the blockchain to be like WiFi. You just get your data, almost unlimited amounts, without a second thought as to its costs. Only then can real innovation happen in the ecosystem with all sorts of amazing applications being built, untethered by limited or high cost issues that currently exist.
Q3. I want to support your project. Tell us more about the UMBassador Program and in what ways can we participate?
We have a growing community in the UMBassador program and are always looking for more passionate believers in our project and mission to join.
You can find more information here -> https://medium.com/umbrella-network/umbrella-network-announces-launch-of-global-umbassador-program-2b1eeaf932b6
And apply here -> https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdk4QpD8APHBhOpUikqM3rQsdJlLDMfU3tv-Kwq_IRCfeRkXg/viewform
Q4. Did you consider community feedback/requests during the creation of your product in order to expand on fresh ideas for your project? Many projects fail because the target audience and clients are not understood. So I’d like to know who your ideal consumer is for your product?
Yes, we are a community owned project, and take our community’s feedback very seriously. Some of the features on our platform were suggested by our community and we’ve made changes and adjustments to our tech based on some of that feedback.
In terms of the ideal client for Umbrella, it’s pretty broad. It’s any application that needs data to be brought onto the blockchain. We are looking to be that bridge. And our advantage currently is in doing that at scale. So that could be any DeFi application, blockchain based game, or even a corporate enterprise that’s looking to process large volumes of data to bring on-chain.
Q5. Where can I buy your tokens now, what are your current contracts and how can I buy them and what are the benefits?
Our $UMB token is currently listed on several CEX, including here on Poloniex, Kucoin, gate.io and several others. On the DEX side, we are listed on Uniswap, Sushiswap, Pancakeswap. We offer great staking/rewards programs for token holders currently, with APY’s ranging from 75% up to around 350%. You can find out more information on our staking programs here -> staking.umb.network
Join the discussion on Telegram at https://t.me/umbrellanet