Top 10+ Blockchain Technology Companies - Reviews 2020

Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Edit: TL;DR added in the comments
 
Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analyzed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk-reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralized and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis of why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise, just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction
 
The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since the end of January 2019 with daily transaction rates growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralized and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. The maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realized early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralized, secure, and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in the amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralization. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue dissecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour, no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts, etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as: “A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronize cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next, he states that: "blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”. For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber, and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa, this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network, etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever-changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralized and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimization on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and the University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (66%) double-spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT, etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralization.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently, there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so-called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralized nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics, you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching its transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end-users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public. They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public-facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers. The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translate to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non-custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS; shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralized too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralized in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. The faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time-stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalized: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object-oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: * “all programs have two basic components, data – what the program knows – and behavior – what the program can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviors in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behavior are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.” *
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: OCaml is a general-purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognized by academics and won a so-called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise, it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts, it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa or Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue: In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships
 
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organizations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggests that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already take advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, Airbnb, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are built on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human-readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They don't just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data, it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community-run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non-custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiative (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggests in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real-time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding of what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures, Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
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Crypto-Powered - The Most Promising Use-Cases of Decentralized Finance (DeFi)

Crypto-Powered - The Most Promising Use-Cases of Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
A whirlwind tour of Defi, paying close attention to protocols that we’re leveraging at Genesis Block.
https://reddit.com/link/hrrt21/video/cvjh5rrh12b51/player
This is the third post of Crypto-Powered — a new series that examines what it means for Genesis Block to be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols.
Last week we explored how building on legacy finance is a fool’s errand. The future of money belongs to those who build with crypto and blockchain at their core. We also started down the crypto rabbit hole, introducing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi (decentralized finance). That post is required reading if you hope to glean any value from the rest of this series.
97% of all activity on Ethereum in the last quarter has been DeFi-related. The total value sitting inside DeFi protocols is roughly $2B — double what it was a month ago. The explosive growth cannot be ignored. All signs suggest that Ethereum & DeFi are a Match Made in Heaven, and both on their way to finding strong product/market fit.
So in this post, we’re doing a whirlwind tour of DeFi. We look at specific examples and use-cases already in the wild and seeing strong growth. And we pay close attention to protocols that Genesis Block is integrating with. Alright, let’s dive in.

Stablecoins

Stablecoins are exactly what they sound like: cryptocurrencies that are stable. They are not meant to be volatile (like Bitcoin). These assets attempt to peg their price to some external reference (eg. USD or Gold). A non-volatile crypto asset can be incredibly useful for things like merchant payments, cross-border transfers, or storing wealth — becoming your own bank but without the stress of constant price volatility.
There are major governments and central banks that are experimenting with or soon launching their own stablecoins like China with their digital yuan and the US Federal Reserve with their digital dollar. There are also major corporations working in this area like JP Morgan with their JPM Coin, and of course Facebook with their Libra Project.
Stablecoin activity has grown 800% in the last year, with $290B of transaction volume (funds moving on-chain).
The most popular USD-pegged stablecoins include:
  1. Tether ($10B): It’s especially popular in Asia. It’s backed by USD in a bank account. But given their lack of transparency and past controversies, they generally aren’t trusted as much in the West.
  2. USDC ($1B): This is the most reputable USD-backed stablecoin, at least in the West. It was created by Coinbase & Circle, both well-regarded crypto companies. They’ve been very open and transparent with their audits and bank records.
  3. DAI ($189M): This is backed by other crypto assets — not USD in a bank account. This was arguably the first true DeFi protocol. The big benefit is that it’s more decentralized — it’s not controlled by any single organization. The downside is that the assets backing it can be volatile crypto assets (though it has mechanisms in place to mitigate that risk).
Other notable USD-backed stablecoins include PAX, TrueUSD, Binance USD, and Gemini Dollar.
tablecoins are playing an increasingly important role in the world of DeFi. In a way, they serve as common pipes & bridges between the various protocols.
https://preview.redd.it/v9ki2qro12b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=dbf591b122fc4b3d83b381389145b88e2505b51d

Lending & Borrowing

Three of the top five DeFi protocols relate to lending & borrowing. These popular lending protocols look very similar to traditional money markets. Users who want to earn interest/yield can deposit (lend) their funds into a pool of liquidity. Because it behaves similarly to traditional money markets, their funds are not locked, they can withdraw at any time. It’s highly liquid.
Borrowers can tap into this pool of liquidity and take out loans. Interest rates depend on the utilization rate of the pool — how much of the deposits in the pool have already been borrowed. Supply & demand. Thus, interest rates are variable and borrowers can pay their loans back at any time.
So, who decides how much a borrower can take? What’s the process like? Are there credit checks? How is credit-worthiness determined?
These protocols are decentralized, borderless, permissionless. The people participating in these markets are from all over the world. There is no simple way to verify identity or check credit history. So none of that happens.
Credit-worthiness is determined simply by how much crypto collateral the borrower puts into the protocol. For example, if a user wants to borrow $5k of USDC, then they’ll need to deposit $10k of BTC or ETH. The exact amount of collateral depends on the rules of the protocol — usually the more liquid the collateral asset, the more borrowing power the user can receive.
The most prominent lending protocols include Compound, Aave, Maker, and Atomic Loans. Recently, Compound has seen meteoric growth with the introduction of their COMP token — a token used to incentivize and reward participants of the protocol. There’s almost $1B in outstanding debt in the Compound protocol. Mainframe is also working on an exciting protocol in this area and the latest iteration of their white paper should be coming out soon.
There is very little economic risk to these protocols because all loans are overcollateralized.
I repeat, all loans are overcollateralized. If the value of the collateral depreciates significantly due to price volatility, there are sophisticated liquidation systems to ensure the loan always gets paid back.
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Investments

Buying, selling, and trading crypto assets is certainly one form of investing (though not for the faint of heart). But there are now DeFi protocols to facilitate making and managing traditional-style investments.
Through DeFi, you can invest in Gold. You can invest in stocks like Amazon and Apple. You can short Tesla. You can access the S&P 500. This is done through crypto-based synthetics — which gives users exposure to assets without needing to hold or own the underlying asset. This is all possible with protocols like UMA, Synthetix, or Market protocol.
Maybe your style of investing is more passive. With PoolTogether , you can participate in a no-loss lottery.
Maybe you’re an advanced trader and want to trade options or futures. You can do that with DeFi protocols like Convexity, Futureswap, and dYdX. Maybe you live on the wild side and trade on margin or leverage, you can do that with protocols like Fulcrum, Nuo, and DDEX. Or maybe you’re a degenerate gambler and want to bet against Trump in the upcoming election, you can do that on Augur.
And there are plenty of DeFi protocols to help with crypto investing. You could use Set Protocol if you need automated trading strategies. You could use Melonport if you’re an asset manager. You could use Balancer to automatically rebalance your portfolio.
With as little as $1, people all over the world can have access to the same investment opportunities and tools that used to be reserved for only the wealthy, or those lucky enough to be born in the right country.
You can start to imagine how services like Etrade, TD Ameritrade, Schwab, and even Robinhood could be massively disrupted by a crypto-native company that builds with these types of protocols at their foundation.
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Insurance

As mentioned in our previous post, there are near-infinite applications one can build on Ethereum. As a result, sometimes the code doesn’t work as expected. Bugs get through, it breaks. We’re still early in our industry. The tools, frameworks, and best practices are all still being established. Things can go wrong.
Sometimes the application just gets in a weird or bad state where funds can’t be recovered — like with what happened with Parity where $280M got frozen (yes, I lost some money in that). Sometimes, there are hackers who discover a vulnerability in the code and maliciously steal funds — like how dForce lost $25M a few months ago, or how The DAO lost $50M a few years ago. And sometimes the system works as designed, but the economic model behind it is flawed, so a clever user takes advantage of the system— like what recently happened with Balancer where they lost $500k.
There are a lot of risks when interacting with smart contracts and decentralized applications — especially for ones that haven’t stood the test of time. This is why insurance is such an important development in DeFi.
Insurance will be an essential component in helping this technology reach the masses.
Two protocols that are leading the way on DeFi insurance are Nexus Mutual and Opyn. Though they are both still just getting started, many people are already using them. And we’re excited to start working with them at Genesis Block.
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Exchanges & Liquidity

Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) were one of the first and most developed categories in DeFi. A DEX allows a user to easily exchange one crypto asset for another crypto asset — but without needing to sign up for an account, verify identity, etc. It’s all via decentralized protocols.
Within the first 5 months of 2020, the top 7 DEX already achieved the 2019 trading volume. That was $2.5B. DeFi is fueling a lot of this growth.
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There are many different flavors of DEX. Some of the early ones included 0x, IDEX, and EtherDelta — all of which had a traditional order book model where buyers are matched with sellers.
Another flavor is the pooled liquidity approach where the price is determined algorithmically based on how much liquidity there is and how much the user wants to buy. This is known as an AMM (Automated Market Maker) — Uniswap and Bancor were early leaders here. Though lately, Balancer has seen incredible growth due mostly to their strong incentives for participation — similar to Compound.
There are some DEXs that are more specialized — for example, Curve and mStable focus mostly only stablecoins. Because of the proliferation of these decentralized exchanges, there are now aggregators that combine and connect the liquidity of many sources. Those include Kyber, Totle, 1Inch, and Dex.ag.
These decentralized exchanges are becoming more and more connected to DeFi because they provide an opportunity for yield and earning interest.
Users can earn passive income by supplying liquidity to these markets. It usually comes in the form of sharing transaction fee revenue (Uniswap) or token rewards (Balancer).
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Payments

As it relates to making payments, much of the world is still stuck on plastic cards. We’re grateful to partner with Visa and launch the Genesis Block debit card… but we still don’t believe that's the future of payments. We see that as an important bridge between the past (legacy finance) and the future (crypto).
Our first post in this series shared more on why legacy finance is broken. We talked about the countless unnecessary middle-men on every card swipe (merchant, acquiring bank, processor, card network, issuing bank). We talked about the slow settlement times.
The future of payments will be much better. Yes, it’ll be from a mobile phone and the user experience will be similar to ApplePay (NFC) or WePay (QR Code).
But more importantly, the underlying assets being moved/exchanged will all be crypto — digital, permissionless, and open source.
Someone making a payment at the grocery store check-out line will be able to open up Genesis Block, use contactless tech or scan a QR code, and instantly pay for their goods. All using crypto. Likely a stablecoin. Settlement will be instant. All the middlemen getting their pound of flesh will be disintermediated. The merchant can make more and the user can spend less. Blockchain FTW!
Now let’s talk about a few projects working in this area. The xDai Burner Wallet experience was incredible at the ETHDenver event a few years ago, but that speed came at the expense of full decentralization (can it be censored or shut down?). Of course, Facebook’s Libra wants to become the new standard for global payments, but many are afraid to give Facebook that much control (newsflash: it isn’t very decentralized).
Bitcoin is decentralized… but it’s slow and volatile. There are strong projects like Lightning Network (Zap example) that are still trying to make it happen. Projects like Connext and OmiseGo are trying to help bring payments to Ethereum. The Flexa project is leveraging the gift card rails, which is a nice hack to leverage existing pipes. And if ETH 2.0 is as fast as they say it will be, then the future of payments could just be a stablecoin like DAI (a token on Ethereum).
In a way, being able to spend crypto on daily expenses is the holy grail of use-cases. It’s still early. It hasn’t yet been solved. But once we achieve this, then we can ultimately and finally say goodbye to the legacy banking & finance world. Employees can be paid in crypto. Employees can spend in crypto. It changes everything.
Legacy finance is hanging on by a thread, and it’s this use-case that they are still clinging to. Once solved, DeFi domination will be complete.
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Impact on Genesis Block

At Genesis Block, we’re excited to leverage these protocols and take this incredible technology to the world. Many of these protocols are already deeply integrated with our product. In fact, many are essential. The masses won’t know (or care about) what Tether, USDC, or DAI is. They think in dollars, euros, pounds and pesos. So while the user sees their local currency in the app, the underlying technology is all leveraging stablecoins. It’s all on “crypto rails.”
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When users deposit assets into their Genesis Block account, they expect to earn interest. They expect that money to grow. We leverage many of these low-risk lending/exchange DeFi protocols. We lend into decentralized money markets like Compound — where all loans are overcollateralized. Or we supply liquidity to AMM exchanges like Balancer. This allows us to earn interest and generate yield for our depositors. We’re the experts so our users don’t need to be.
We haven’t yet integrated with any of the insurance or investment protocols — but we certainly plan on it. Our infrastructure is built with blockchain technology at the heart and our system is extensible — we’re ready to add assets and protocols when we feel they are ready, safe, secure, and stable. Many of these protocols are still in the experimental phase. It’s still early.
At Genesis Block we’re excited to continue to be at the frontlines of this incredible, innovative, technological revolution called DeFi.
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None of these powerful DeFi protocols will be replacing Robinhood, SoFi, or Venmo anytime soon. They never will. They aren’t meant to! We’ve discussed this before, these are low-level protocols that need killer applications, like Genesis Block.
So now that we’ve gone a little deeper down the rabbit hole and we’ve done this whirlwind tour of DeFi, the natural next question is: why?
Why does any of it matter?
Most of these financial services that DeFi offers already exist in the real world. So why does it need to be on a blockchain? Why does it need to be decentralized? What new value is unlocked? Next post, we answer these important questions.
To look at more projects in DeFi, check out DeFi Prime, DeFi Pulse, or Consensys.
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Why i’m bullish on Zilliqa (long read)

Hey all, I've been researching coins since 2017 and have gone through 100s of them in the last 3 years. I got introduced to blockchain via Bitcoin of course, analysed Ethereum thereafter and from that moment I have a keen interest in smart contact platforms. I’m passionate about Ethereum but I find Zilliqa to have a better risk reward ratio. Especially because Zilliqa has found an elegant balance between being secure, decentralised and scalable in my opinion.
 
Below I post my analysis why from all the coins I went through I’m most bullish on Zilliqa (yes I went through Tezos, EOS, NEO, VeChain, Harmony, Algorand, Cardano etc.). Note that this is not investment advice and although it's a thorough analysis there is obviously some bias involved. Looking forward to what you all think!
 
Fun fact: the name Zilliqa is a play on ‘silica’ silicon dioxide which means “Silicon for the high-throughput consensus computer.”
 
This post is divided into (i) Technology, (ii) Business & Partnerships, and (iii) Marketing & Community. I’ve tried to make the technology part readable for a broad audience. If you’ve ever tried understanding the inner workings of Bitcoin and Ethereum you should be able to grasp most parts. Otherwise just skim through and once you are zoning out head to the next part.
 
Technology and some more:
 
Introduction The technology is one of the main reasons why I’m so bullish on Zilliqa. First thing you see on their website is: “Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform for enterprises and next-generation applications.” These are some bold statements.
 
Before we deep dive into the technology let’s take a step back in time first as they have quite the history. The initial research paper from which Zilliqa originated dates back to August 2016: Elastico: A Secure Sharding Protocol For Open Blockchains where Loi Luu (Kyber Network) is one of the co-authors. Other ideas that led to the development of what Zilliqa has become today are: Bitcoin-NG, collective signing CoSi, ByzCoin and Omniledger.
 
The technical white paper was made public in August 2017 and since then they have achieved everything stated in the white paper and also created their own open source intermediate level smart contract language called Scilla (functional programming language similar to OCaml) too.
 
Mainnet is live since end of January 2019 with daily transaction rate growing continuously. About a week ago mainnet reached 5 million transactions, 500.000+ addresses in total along with 2400 nodes keeping the network decentralised and secure. Circulating supply is nearing 11 billion and currently only mining rewards are left. Maximum supply is 21 billion with annual inflation being 7.13% currently and will only decrease with time.
 
Zilliqa realised early on that the usage of public cryptocurrencies and smart contracts were increasing but decentralised, secure and scalable alternatives were lacking in the crypto space. They proposed to apply sharding onto a public smart contract blockchain where the transaction rate increases almost linear with the increase in amount of nodes. More nodes = higher transaction throughput and increased decentralisation. Sharding comes in many forms and Zilliqa uses network-, transaction- and computational sharding. Network sharding opens up the possibility of using transaction- and computational sharding on top. Zilliqa does not use state sharding for now. We’ll come back to this later.
 
Before we continue disecting how Zilliqa achieves such from a technological standpoint it’s good to keep in mind that a blockchain being decentralised and secure and scalable is still one of the main hurdles in allowing widespread usage of decentralised networks. In my opinion this needs to be solved first before blockchains can get to the point where they can create and add large scale value. So I invite you to read the next section to grasp the underlying fundamentals. Because after all these premises need to be true otherwise there isn’t a fundamental case to be bullish on Zilliqa, right?
 
Down the rabbit hole
 
How have they achieved this? Let’s define the basics first: key players on Zilliqa are the users and the miners. A user is anybody who uses the blockchain to transfer funds or run smart contracts. Miners are the (shard) nodes in the network who run the consensus protocol and get rewarded for their service in Zillings (ZIL). The mining network is divided into several smaller networks called shards, which is also referred to as ‘network sharding’. Miners subsequently are randomly assigned to a shard by another set of miners called DS (Directory Service) nodes. The regular shards process transactions and the outputs of these shards are eventually combined by the DS shard as they reach consensus on the final state. More on how these DS shards reach consensus (via pBFT) will be explained later on.
 
The Zilliqa network produces two types of blocks: DS blocks and Tx blocks. One DS Block consists of 100 Tx Blocks. And as previously mentioned there are two types of nodes concerned with reaching consensus: shard nodes and DS nodes. Becoming a shard node or DS node is being defined by the result of a PoW cycle (Ethash) at the beginning of the DS Block. All candidate mining nodes compete with each other and run the PoW (Proof-of-Work) cycle for 60 seconds and the submissions achieving the highest difficulty will be allowed on the network. And to put it in perspective: the average difficulty for one DS node is ~ 2 Th/s equaling 2.000.000 Mh/s or 55 thousand+ GeForce GTX 1070 / 8 GB GPUs at 35.4 Mh/s. Each DS Block 10 new DS nodes are allowed. And a shard node needs to provide around 8.53 GH/s currently (around 240 GTX 1070s). Dual mining ETH/ETC and ZIL is possible and can be done via mining software such as Phoenix and Claymore. There are pools and if you have large amounts of hashing power (Ethash) available you could mine solo.
 
The PoW cycle of 60 seconds is a peak performance and acts as an entry ticket to the network. The entry ticket is called a sybil resistance mechanism and makes it incredibly hard for adversaries to spawn lots of identities and manipulate the network with these identities. And after every 100 Tx Blocks which corresponds to roughly 1,5 hour this PoW process repeats. In between these 1,5 hour no PoW needs to be done meaning Zilliqa’s energy consumption to keep the network secure is low. For more detailed information on how mining works click here.
Okay, hats off to you. You have made it this far. Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole we first must understand why Zilliqa goes through all of the above technicalities and understand a bit more what a blockchain on a more fundamental level is. Because the core of Zilliqa’s consensus protocol relies on the usage of pBFT (practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance) we need to know more about state machines and their function. Navigate to Viewblock, a Zilliqa block explorer, and just come back to this article. We will use this site to navigate through a few concepts.
 
We have established that Zilliqa is a public and distributed blockchain. Meaning that everyone with an internet connection can send ZILs, trigger smart contracts etc. and there is no central authority who fully controls the network. Zilliqa and other public and distributed blockchains (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) can also be defined as state machines.
 
Taking the liberty of paraphrasing examples and definitions given by Samuel Brooks’ medium article, he describes the definition of a blockchain (like Zilliqa) as:
“A peer-to-peer, append-only datastore that uses consensus to synchronise cryptographically-secure data”.
 
Next he states that: >“blockchains are fundamentally systems for managing valid state transitions”.* For some more context, I recommend reading the whole medium article to get a better grasp of the definitions and understanding of state machines. Nevertheless, let’s try to simplify and compile it into a single paragraph. Take traffic lights as an example: all its states (red, amber and green) are predefined, all possible outcomes are known and it doesn’t matter if you encounter the traffic light today or tomorrow. It will still behave the same. Managing the states of a traffic light can be done by triggering a sensor on the road or pushing a button resulting in one traffic lights’ state going from green to red (via amber) and another light from red to green.
 
With public blockchains like Zilliqa this isn’t so straightforward and simple. It started with block #1 almost 1,5 years ago and every 45 seconds or so a new block linked to the previous block is being added. Resulting in a chain of blocks with transactions in it that everyone can verify from block #1 to the current #647.000+ block. The state is ever changing and the states it can find itself in are infinite. And while the traffic light might work together in tandem with various other traffic lights, it’s rather insignificant comparing it to a public blockchain. Because Zilliqa consists of 2400 nodes who need to work together to achieve consensus on what the latest valid state is while some of these nodes may have latency or broadcast issues, drop offline or are deliberately trying to attack the network etc.
 
Now go back to the Viewblock page take a look at the amount of transaction, addresses, block and DS height and then hit refresh. Obviously as expected you see new incremented values on one or all parameters. And how did the Zilliqa blockchain manage to transition from a previous valid state to the latest valid state? By using pBFT to reach consensus on the latest valid state.
 
After having obtained the entry ticket, miners execute pBFT to reach consensus on the ever changing state of the blockchain. pBFT requires a series of network communication between nodes, and as such there is no GPU involved (but CPU). Resulting in the total energy consumed to keep the blockchain secure, decentralised and scalable being low.
 
pBFT stands for practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance and is an optimisation on the Byzantine Fault Tolerant algorithm. To quote Blockonomi: “In the context of distributed systems, Byzantine Fault Tolerance is the ability of a distributed computer network to function as desired and correctly reach a sufficient consensus despite malicious components (nodes) of the system failing or propagating incorrect information to other peers.” Zilliqa is such a distributed computer network and depends on the honesty of the nodes (shard and DS) to reach consensus and to continuously update the state with the latest block. If pBFT is a new term for you I can highly recommend the Blockonomi article.
 
The idea of pBFT was introduced in 1999 - one of the authors even won a Turing award for it - and it is well researched and applied in various blockchains and distributed systems nowadays. If you want more advanced information than the Blockonomi link provides click here. And if you’re in between Blockonomi and University of Singapore read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 2 dating from October 2017.
Quoting from the Zilliqa tech whitepaper: “pBFT relies upon a correct leader (which is randomly selected) to begin each phase and proceed when the sufficient majority exists. In case the leader is byzantine it can stall the entire consensus protocol. To address this challenge, pBFT offers a view change protocol to replace the byzantine leader with another one.”
 
pBFT can tolerate ⅓ of the nodes being dishonest (offline counts as Byzantine = dishonest) and the consensus protocol will function without stalling or hiccups. Once there are more than ⅓ of dishonest nodes but no more than ⅔ the network will be stalled and a view change will be triggered to elect a new DS leader. Only when more than ⅔ of the nodes are dishonest (>66%) double spend attacks become possible.
 
If the network stalls no transactions can be processed and one has to wait until a new honest leader has been elected. When the mainnet was just launched and in its early phases, view changes happened regularly. As of today the last stalling of the network - and view change being triggered - was at the end of October 2019.
 
Another benefit of using pBFT for consensus besides low energy is the immediate finality it provides. Once your transaction is included in a block and the block is added to the chain it’s done. Lastly, take a look at this article where three types of finality are being defined: probabilistic, absolute and economic finality. Zilliqa falls under the absolute finality (just like Tendermint for example). Although lengthy already we skipped through some of the inner workings from Zilliqa’s consensus: read the Zilliqa Design Story Part 3 and you will be close to having a complete picture on it. Enough about PoW, sybil resistance mechanism, pBFT etc. Another thing we haven’t looked at yet is the amount of decentralisation.
 
Decentralisation
 
Currently there are four shards, each one of them consisting of 600 nodes. 1 shard with 600 so called DS nodes (Directory Service - they need to achieve a higher difficulty than shard nodes) and 1800 shard nodes of which 250 are shard guards (centralised nodes controlled by the team). The amount of shard guards has been steadily declining from 1200 in January 2019 to 250 as of May 2020. On the Viewblock statistics you can see that many of the nodes are being located in the US but those are only the (CPU parts of the) shard nodes who perform pBFT. There is no data from where the PoW sources are coming. And when the Zilliqa blockchain starts reaching their transaction capacity limit, a network upgrade needs to be executed to lift the current cap of maximum 2400 nodes to allow more nodes and formation of more shards which will allow to network to keep on scaling according to demand.
Besides shard nodes there are also seed nodes. The main role of seed nodes is to serve as direct access points (for end users and clients) to the core Zilliqa network that validates transactions. Seed nodes consolidate transaction requests and forward these to the lookup nodes (another type of nodes) for distribution to the shards in the network. Seed nodes also maintain the entire transaction history and the global state of the blockchain which is needed to provide services such as block explorers. Seed nodes in the Zilliqa network are comparable to Infura on Ethereum.
 
The seed nodes were first only operated by Zilliqa themselves, exchanges and Viewblock. Operators of seed nodes like exchanges had no incentive to open them for the greater public.They were centralised at first. Decentralisation at the seed nodes level has been steadily rolled out since March 2020 ( Zilliqa Improvement Proposal 3 ). Currently the amount of seed nodes is being increased, they are public facing and at the same time PoS is applied to incentivize seed node operators and make it possible for ZIL holders to stake and earn passive yields. Important distinction: seed nodes are not involved with consensus! That is still PoW as entry ticket and pBFT for the actual consensus.
 
5% of the block rewards are being assigned to seed nodes (from the beginning in 2019) and those are being used to pay out ZIL stakers.The 5% block rewards with an annual yield of 10.03% translates to roughly 610 MM ZILs in total that can be staked. Exchanges use the custodial variant of staking and wallets like Moonlet will use the non custodial version (starting in Q3 2020). Staking is being done by sending ZILs to a smart contract created by Zilliqa and audited by Quantstamp.
 
With a high amount of DS & shard nodes and seed nodes becoming more decentralised too, Zilliqa qualifies for the label of decentralised in my opinion.
 
Smart contracts
 
Let me start by saying I’m not a developer and my programming skills are quite limited. So I‘m taking the ELI5 route (maybe 12) but if you are familiar with Javascript, Solidity or specifically OCaml please head straight to Scilla - read the docs to get a good initial grasp of how Zilliqa’s smart contract language Scilla works and if you ask yourself “why another programming language?” check this article. And if you want to play around with some sample contracts in an IDE click here. Faucet can be found here. And more information on architecture, dapp development and API can be found on the Developer Portal.
If you are more into listening and watching: check this recent webinar explaining Zilliqa and Scilla. Link is time stamped so you’ll start right away with a platform introduction, R&D roadmap 2020 and afterwards a proper Scilla introduction.
 
Generalised: programming languages can be divided into being ‘object oriented’ or ‘functional’. Here is an ELI5 given by software development academy: > “all programmes have two basic components, data – what the programme knows – and behaviour – what the programme can do with that data. So object-oriented programming states that combining data and related behaviours in one place, is called “object”, which makes it easier to understand how a particular program works. On the other hand, functional programming argues that data and behaviour are different things and should be separated to ensure their clarity.”
 
Scilla is on the functional side and shares similarities with OCaml: > OCaml is a general purpose programming language with an emphasis on expressiveness and safety. It has an advanced type system that helps catch your mistakes without getting in your way. It's used in environments where a single mistake can cost millions and speed matters, is supported by an active community, and has a rich set of libraries and development tools. For all its power, OCaml is also pretty simple, which is one reason it's often used as a teaching language.
 
Scilla is blockchain agnostic, can be implemented onto other blockchains as well, is recognised by academics and won a so called Distinguished Artifact Award award at the end of last year.
 
One of the reasons why the Zilliqa team decided to create their own programming language focused on preventing smart contract vulnerabilities safety is that adding logic on a blockchain, programming, means that you cannot afford to make mistakes. Otherwise it could cost you. It’s all great and fun blockchains being immutable but updating your code because you found a bug isn’t the same as with a regular web application for example. And with smart contracts it inherently involves cryptocurrencies in some form thus value.
 
Another difference with programming languages on a blockchain is gas. Every transaction you do on a smart contract platform like Zilliqa for Ethereum costs gas. With gas you basically pay for computational costs. Sending a ZIL from address A to address B costs 0.001 ZIL currently. Smart contracts are more complex, often involve various functions and require more gas (if gas is a new concept click here ).
 
So with Scilla, similar to Solidity, you need to make sure that “every function in your smart contract will run as expected without hitting gas limits. An improper resource analysis may lead to situations where funds may get stuck simply because a part of the smart contract code cannot be executed due to gas limits. Such constraints are not present in traditional software systems”. Scilla design story part 1
 
Some examples of smart contract issues you’d want to avoid are: leaking funds, ‘unexpected changes to critical state variables’ (example: someone other than you setting his or her address as the owner of the smart contract after creation) or simply killing a contract.
 
Scilla also allows for formal verification. Wikipedia to the rescue:
In the context of hardware and software systems, formal verification is the act of proving or disproving the correctness of intended algorithms underlying a system with respect to a certain formal specification or property, using formal methods of mathematics.
 
Formal verification can be helpful in proving the correctness of systems such as: cryptographic protocols, combinational circuits, digital circuits with internal memory, and software expressed as source code.
 
Scilla is being developed hand-in-hand with formalization of its semantics and its embedding into the Coq proof assistant — a state-of-the art tool for mechanized proofs about properties of programs.”
 
Simply put, with Scilla and accompanying tooling developers can be mathematically sure and proof that the smart contract they’ve written does what he or she intends it to do.
 
Smart contract on a sharded environment and state sharding
 
There is one more topic I’d like to touch on: smart contract execution in a sharded environment (and what is the effect of state sharding). This is a complex topic. I’m not able to explain it any easier than what is posted here. But I will try to compress the post into something easy to digest.
 
Earlier on we have established that Zilliqa can process transactions in parallel due to network sharding. This is where the linear scalability comes from. We can define simple transactions: a transaction from address A to B (Category 1), a transaction where a user interacts with one smart contract (Category 2) and the most complex ones where triggering a transaction results in multiple smart contracts being involved (Category 3). The shards are able to process transactions on their own without interference of the other shards. With Category 1 transactions that is doable, with Category 2 transactions sometimes if that address is in the same shard as the smart contract but with Category 3 you definitely need communication between the shards. Solving that requires to make a set of communication rules the protocol needs to follow in order to process all transactions in a generalised fashion.
 
And this is where the downsides of state sharding comes in currently. All shards in Zilliqa have access to the complete state. Yes the state size (0.1 GB at the moment) grows and all of the nodes need to store it but it also means that they don’t need to shop around for information available on other shards. Requiring more communication and adding more complexity. Computer science knowledge and/or developer knowledge required links if you want to dig further: Scilla - language grammar Scilla - Foundations for Verifiable Decentralised Computations on a Blockchain Gas Accounting NUS x Zilliqa: Smart contract language workshop
 
Easier to follow links on programming Scilla https://learnscilla.com/home Ivan on Tech
 
Roadmap / Zilliqa 2.0
 
There is no strict defined roadmap but here are topics being worked on. And via the Zilliqa website there is also more information on the projects they are working on.
 
Business & Partnerships  
It’s not only technology in which Zilliqa seems to be excelling as their ecosystem has been expanding and starting to grow rapidly. The project is on a mission to provide OpenFinance (OpFi) to the world and Singapore is the right place to be due to its progressive regulations and futuristic thinking. Singapore has taken a proactive approach towards cryptocurrencies by introducing the Payment Services Act 2019 (PS Act). Among other things, the PS Act will regulate intermediaries dealing with certain cryptocurrencies, with a particular focus on consumer protection and anti-money laundering. It will also provide a stable regulatory licensing and operating framework for cryptocurrency entities, effectively covering all crypto businesses and exchanges based in Singapore. According to PWC 82% of the surveyed executives in Singapore reported blockchain initiatives underway and 13% of them have already brought the initiatives live to the market. There is also an increasing list of organisations that are starting to provide digital payment services. Moreover, Singaporean blockchain developers Building Cities Beyond has recently created an innovation $15 million grant to encourage development on its ecosystem. This all suggest that Singapore tries to position itself as (one of) the leading blockchain hubs in the world.
 
Zilliqa seems to already taking advantage of this and recently helped launch Hg Exchange on their platform, together with financial institutions PhillipCapital, PrimePartners and Fundnel. Hg Exchange, which is now approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), uses smart contracts to represent digital assets. Through Hg Exchange financial institutions worldwide can use Zilliqa's safe-by-design smart contracts to enable the trading of private equities. For example, think of companies such as Grab, AirBnB, SpaceX that are not available for public trading right now. Hg Exchange will allow investors to buy shares of private companies & unicorns and capture their value before an IPO. Anquan, the main company behind Zilliqa, has also recently announced that they became a partner and shareholder in TEN31 Bank, which is a fully regulated bank allowing for tokenization of assets and is aiming to bridge the gap between conventional banking and the blockchain world. If STOs, the tokenization of assets, and equity trading will continue to increase, then Zilliqa’s public blockchain would be the ideal candidate due to its strategic positioning, partnerships, regulatory compliance and the technology that is being built on top of it.
 
What is also very encouraging is their focus on banking the un(der)banked. They are launching a stablecoin basket starting with XSGD. As many of you know, stablecoins are currently mostly used for trading. However, Zilliqa is actively trying to broaden the use case of stablecoins. I recommend everybody to read this text that Amrit Kumar wrote (one of the co-founders). These stablecoins will be integrated in the traditional markets and bridge the gap between the crypto world and the traditional world. This could potentially revolutionize and legitimise the crypto space if retailers and companies will for example start to use stablecoins for payments or remittances, instead of it solely being used for trading.
 
Zilliqa also released their DeFi strategic roadmap (dating November 2019) which seems to be aligning well with their OpFi strategy. A non-custodial DEX is coming to Zilliqa made by Switcheo which allows cross-chain trading (atomic swaps) between ETH, EOS and ZIL based tokens. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a (soon to be announced) USD stablecoin. And as Zilliqa is all about regulations and being compliant, I’m speculating on it to be a regulated USD stablecoin. Furthermore, XSGD is already created and visible on block explorer and XIDR (Indonesian Stablecoin) is also coming soon via StraitsX. Here also an overview of the Tech Stack for Financial Applications from September 2019. Further quoting Amrit Kumar on this:
 
There are two basic building blocks in DeFi/OpFi though: 1) stablecoins as you need a non-volatile currency to get access to this market and 2) a dex to be able to trade all these financial assets. The rest are build on top of these blocks.
 
So far, together with our partners and community, we have worked on developing these building blocks with XSGD as a stablecoin. We are working on bringing a USD-backed stablecoin as well. We will soon have a decentralised exchange developed by Switcheo. And with HGX going live, we are also venturing into the tokenization space. More to come in the future.”*
 
Additionally, they also have this ZILHive initiative that injects capital into projects. There have been already 6 waves of various teams working on infrastructure, innovation and research, and they are not from ASEAN or Singapore only but global: see Grantees breakdown by country. Over 60 project teams from over 20 countries have contributed to Zilliqa's ecosystem. This includes individuals and teams developing wallets, explorers, developer toolkits, smart contract testing frameworks, dapps, etc. As some of you may know, Unstoppable Domains (UD) blew up when they launched on Zilliqa. UD aims to replace cryptocurrency addresses with a human readable name and allows for uncensorable websites. Zilliqa will probably be the only one able to handle all these transactions onchain due to ability to scale and its resulting low fees which is why the UD team launched this on Zilliqa in the first place. Furthermore, Zilliqa also has a strong emphasis on security, compliance, and privacy, which is why they partnered with companies like Elliptic, ChainSecurity (part of PwC Switzerland), and Incognito. Their sister company Aqilliz (Zilliqa spelled backwards) focuses on revolutionizing the digital advertising space and is doing interesting things like using Zilliqa to track outdoor digital ads with companies like Foodpanda.
 
Zilliqa is listed on nearly all major exchanges, having several different fiat-gateways and recently have been added to Binance’s margin trading and futures trading with really good volume. They also have a very impressive team with good credentials and experience. They dont just have “tech people”. They have a mix of tech people, business people, marketeers, scientists, and more. Naturally, it's good to have a mix of people with different skill sets if you work in the crypto space.
 
Marketing & Community
 
Zilliqa has a very strong community. If you just follow their Twitter their engagement is much higher for a coin that has approximately 80k followers. They also have been ‘coin of the day’ by LunarCrush many times. LunarCrush tracks real-time cryptocurrency value and social data. According to their data it seems Zilliqa has a more fundamental and deeper understanding of marketing and community engagement than almost all other coins. While almost all coins have been a bit frozen in the last months, Zilliqa seems to be on its own bull run. It was somewhere in the 100s a few months ago and is currently ranked #46 on CoinGecko. Their official Telegram also has over 20k people and is very active, and their community channel which is over 7k now is more active and larger than many other official channels. Their local communities) also seem to be growing.
 
Moreover, their community started ‘Zillacracy’ together with the Zilliqa core team ( see www.zillacracy.com ). It’s a community run initiative where people from all over the world are now helping with marketing and development on Zilliqa. Since its launch in February 2020 they have been doing a lot and will also run their own non custodial seed node for staking. This seed node will also allow them to start generating revenue for them to become a self sustaining entity that could potentially scale up to become a decentralized company working in parallel with the Zilliqa core team. Comparing it to all the other smart contract platforms (e.g. Cardano, EOS, Tezos etc.) they don't seem to have started a similar initiatives (correct me if I’m wrong though). This suggest in my opinion that these other smart contract platforms do not fully understand how to utilize the ‘power of the community’. This is something you cannot ‘buy with money’ and gives many projects in the space a disadvantage.
 
Zilliqa also released two social products called SocialPay and Zeeves. SocialPay allows users to earn ZILs while tweeting with a specific hashtag. They have recently used it in partnership with the Singapore Red Cross for a marketing campaign after their initial pilot program. It seems like a very valuable social product with a good use case. I can see a lot of traditional companies entering the space through this product, which they seem to suggest will happen. Tokenizing hashtags with smart contracts to get network effect is a very smart and innovative idea.
 
Regarding Zeeves, this is a tipping bot for Telegram. They already have 1000s of signups and they plan to keep upgrading it for more and more people to use it (e.g. they recently have added a quiz features). They also use it during AMAs to reward people in real time. It’s a very smart approach to grow their communities and get familiar with ZIL. I can see this becoming very big on Telegram. This tool suggests, again, that the Zilliqa team has a deeper understanding what the crypto space and community needs and is good at finding the right innovative tools to grow and scale.
 
To be honest, I haven’t covered everything (i’m also reaching the character limited haha). So many updates happening lately that it's hard to keep up, such as the International Monetary Fund mentioning Zilliqa in their report, custodial and non-custodial Staking, Binance Margin, Futures & Widget, entering the Indian market, and more. The Head of Marketing Colin Miles has also released this as an overview of what is coming next. And last but not least, Vitalik Buterin has been mentioning Zilliqa lately acknowledging Zilliqa and mentioning that both projects have a lot of room to grow. There is much more info of course and a good part of it has been served to you on a silver platter. I invite you to continue researching by yourself :-) And if you have any comments or questions please post here!
submitted by haveyouheardaboutit to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Introduction to Cryptocurrencies — CET, the King of Public Chain Tokens that Has Gone through Thick and Thin

Introduction to Cryptocurrencies — CET, the King of Public Chain Tokens that Has Gone through Thick and Thin
Written by the CoinEx Institution, this series of jocular and easy to understand articles will show you everything you need to know about major cryptocurrencies, making you fully prepared before jumping into crypto!

https://preview.redd.it/zjz4s25uj1351.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=15bf3acdaa80d054cd38f101a2bafd3a0d2a4a66
CET (CoinEx Token) is the native token of CoinEx DEX (Decentralized Exchange), the world’s first dedicated public chain to decentralized transactions. Launched in January 2018 by CoinEx, a global well-known digital asset trading service provider under ViaBTC, CET does not only exist as an exchange-based token, but plays the role of the base currency for the entire ecosystem of CoinEx Chain, and obtains richer application scenarios and higher empowerment.
As a token of a decentralized trading public chain, CET has attracted much attention in the industry with promising future.
Post-1990s entrepreneur Yang Haipo joined hands with Copernicus team to create CoinEx
Yang Haipo, the Founder and CEO of ViaBTC Group, is an entrepreneur born in the 1990s. He graduated from Northwestern Polytechnical University in 2012 with a major in mathematics and applied mathematics. He once worked at Tencent TEG / Weibo and Futu Securities. In 2011, when Yang Haipo was still in college, he got to know Bitcoin, and became one of the earliest Bitcoin investors. In 2014, this insightful young man seized the opportunity and bought Bitcoin at the full position. After leaving Tencent, Yang engaged in the mining industry, and served as the technical leader of Zeus Technology (one of the top three SCRYPT mining machine brands in the world) as a start of his entrepreneurship in this field.
In March 2016, Haipo threw himself into the deployment and development of the Bitcoin mining pool, and independently completed the entire code of the ViaBTC (ViaBTC Technology Limited) mining pool, which successfully went online 2 months later. That is also the world ’s first BCH mining pool. ViaBTC is not only the biggest BCH mining pool but also the fifth-largest Bitcoin mining pool. It not only elaborates on the vision of “making the world better through Bitcoin”, but also expresses Haipo’s belief in the industry.
Later Haipo found that the exchange could provide the industry with important functions of asset issuance and value discovery, which is the core of the entire industry. That is why he decided to devote himself to the development of the exchange. In March 2017, ViaBTC, led by Yang Haipo, received a 20-million-yuan Series A funding led by Bitmain to expand the exchange business.
In December of the same year, Haipo established CoinEx. CoinEx has taken on an irresistible momentum soon after its establishment, and attained great achievements within only two years:
In January 2018, CoinEx launched CET, a user value-added service privilege;
In July 2018, it ranked first among the global exchanges by trading volume;
In March 2019, it partnered with the Matrixport team to develop a new generation of high-performance public chain CoinEx Chain;
In September 2019, it became one of the management platforms with the most extensive global product layout;
In November 2019, it rolled out DEX, the world’s first decentralized transaction dedicated public chain;
In December 2019, CoinEx acquired the Estonian digital asset trading license
In March 2020, CoinEx integrated the first fiat onramp with Simplex
In April 2020, it Formed global strategic partnership with Matrixport
In May 2020, ViaBTC Group announced strategic upgrade……
At the same time, CoinEx is also one of the first trading platforms to obtain a compliance license. It provides diversified derivatives trading services such as spot trading, leveraged trading, and perpetual contracts. Moreover, the platform supports 15 languages including Chinese/English/Japanese/ Korean/Russian to provide safe and reliable transaction services for more than 1 million users in more than 100 countries and regions. At present, CoinEx has also attracted countless “CET believers”.
A deep look into CoinEx and CoinEx DEX
Many people may ask: What do CoinEx Chain and CoinEx DEX do, and how do them relate to CET? Before revealing more details about CET, let’s take a look at these questions~
CoinEx Chain is the world’s first public chain specifically designed for decentralized exchanges. Its Mainnet was officially launched in November 2019. CoinEx Chain contains 3 dedicated public chains, namely DEX Chain dedicated to decentralized transactions, Smart Chain dedicated to smart contracts, and Privacy Chain dedicated to user privacy and security protection. The innovative approach of “three chains in one” turns out to be a perfect solution to scalability, decentralization and security, known as the “impossible triangle” of the blockchain. At present, many domestic public chain teams still face the “blockchain trilemma”, but not CoinEx Chain. On CoinEx Chain, all tokens, not just CET, are free to cross the three chains, thus enabling more possibilities for transactions.
CoinEx DEX is the world’s first dedicated public chain for decentralized transactions. The shortcomings of many DEXs in the market lie in the failure to improve users’ trading experience, which is exactly what CoinEx DEX is committed to solving. Under the premise of decentralization, CoinEx DEX offers customers the experience approximately equal to that of a centralized exchange, with faster block speeds, higher TPS and better wallets.
CET is not only a token for the platform but also one for the public chain
After the introduction of concepts of both CoinEx Chain and CoinEx DEX, let’s talk about CET.
As a user value-added service privilege in the CoinEx ecosystem and also the token of CoinEx Chain, CET acts as a tool and currency in the entire CoinEx Chain ecosystem, which can be circulated and used in various scenarios. Since its launch, CET has been distributed by various means such as airdrops, transaction fee refunds, operation promotions and team unlocking. On January 31, 2019, the CoinEx Team burnt all the 4 billion unreleased onesand continued to repurchase CET from the secondary market. This move caused quite a stir in the industry.
CET is not only a token for the platform but also one for the public chain. Therefore, without any doubt, CET outshines other platform tokens in terms of value:
1. The daily CET repurchase
For better transparency of the CET repurchase and burning mechanism, CoinEx officially announced that from April 11, 2020, it would adjust the CET repurchase and burning policy by changing the previous quarterly repurchase policy to daily repurchase. After its activation, CoinEx repurchases CET in the secondary market with 50% of its daily profits from transaction fees everyday and burns them at the end of each quarter. Along with the new plan, an independent page designed to display the relevant information was also launched, including circulating supply, circulating market value, daily repurchase quantity, etc, enabling users to view repurchase and burning details clearly. By doing so, CoinEx achieves 100% transparency.
2. Preferential deduction of platform transaction fees
CoinEx users can use CET to directly deduct equivalent transaction fees and enjoy exclusive discounts when trading.
3. VIP service
Users can be VIPs by holding a certain amount of CET or directly purchase the VIP privilege with CET. VIPs are entitled to such privileges as discounted rates, accelerated withdrawals and exclusive customer service.
4. Privileges for special activities
CET holders can enjoy special privileges in marketing activities of the platform, such as entrance tickets to token airdrops or high-quality project acceleration opportunities.
5. Election for nodes to participate in community governance
CET holders who meet the quantity requirements can campaign for nodes and participate in the launch and voting of CoinEx Chain proposals as part of community governance.
6. Staking returns
CET holders can vote for validators and can participate in the Staking economy of CoinEx Chain for Staking returns.
7. Easier trading on CoinEx DEX
On the DEX public chain, users can send and receive CET tokens, and can also create tokens and related trading pairs based on their needs. Moreover, they can perform operations such as additional issuance, burning, locking, and unlocking of tokens, place orders and query transaction history.
8. More CET privileges
Haipo once said: “As the native token of CoinEx Chain, CET will no longer only be the platform token of the exchange. It will have a higher value as the native token of the public chain ecosystem. Its value no longer depends solely on the income of the exchange, but also comes from the consensus from a growing user base, with CET being a tool or currency. As more people use it, the consensus is generated and higher value is created. In addition, CET was decentralized through the decentralized public chain. The exchange can be gone, but not the public chain. CET will be given more vitality.”
It can thus be clear that CoinEx’s ambition goes beyond a public chain towards a decentralized public chain ecosystem. The public chain usually represents the current development direction and the latest research results of the mainstream blockchain technology. In this regard, efforts to develop public chains are of great guiding significance to explore blockchain technology and apply it to the physical industry.
We have every confidence that CET will become a king of the new generation of public chain tokens. “CET believers” also have a great faith in its future value and ecological promotion. Despite all the twists and turns ahead, CET is bound to blaze a trail and lead the industry.

About CoinEx

As a global and professional cryptocurrency exchange service provider, CoinEx was founded in December 2017 with Bitmain-led investment and has obtained a legal license in Estonia. It is a subsidiary brand of the ViaBTC Group, which owns the fifth largest BTC mining pool, which is also the largest of BCH mining, in the world.
CoinEx supports perpetual contract, spot, margin trading and other derivatives trading, and its service reaches global users in nearly 100 countries/regions with various languages available, such as Chinese, English, Korean and Russian.
Website: https://www.coinex.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/coinexcom
Telegram: https://t.me/CoinExOfficialENG
Click here to register on CoinEx!
submitted by CoinEx_Institution to Coinex [link] [comments]

ARK. Here's what's it's all about, what's been going on, and what's coming. [Explain Like I'm Busy]

Dude, it said explain like I'm busy I'm not going to read all this

No problem. Check out these hand-picked relevant ARK Crypto Podcast episodes. Learn while you listen, drive to work or home, cook a steak, give your dog a bath, etc.
If you have decided to read all this, thanks, keep reading for a concise breakdown!

So what's the current big thing going on with ARK right NOW?

ARK.io has recently announced on both its blog and its Twitter that ARK Core v2.6 is coming to Mainnet February 11th. The iteration of 2.6 may sound anticlimactic, but it's far from that. Core v2.6 is the biggest upgrade to date- even bigger than the total Core overhaul performed for v2.0, deployed late 2018.
The new version brings new transaction types to the ARK Public Network, including types that will play a role in creating an ecosystem of linked chains. This ecosystem of linked chains will have the ARK Public Network in the center of the action, storing chain details and allowing for chain discovery.
These new transaction types include:
Multipayments — sending to multiple ARK addresses, while just initiating one transaction, saves time and cost
Multisignatures — you can now get all of the benefits of multisignatures where more than one user can propose or spend funds depending on the predefined terms (eg. 2 out of 3 users needed to successfully send tokens, vote, …)
IPFS — register IPFS compliant hashes on the ARK blockchain within Desktop Wallet.
Business & Bridgechain registrations — you can now register your business and bridgechain on the blockchain and soon, you will be able to get verified via our Marketplace to get access to some exciting new features.
Delegate resignation — delegates who don’t want to be voted for anymore can now opt-out of this by simply initiating delegate resignation.
Additionally, the Core v2.6 improves security against double-spend attacks by implementing nonces. Also, massive enhancements were made to the GTI or Generic Transaction Interface, a critical tool for developers who wish to develop decentralized applications.

What is ARK's unique approach to current issues plaguing the blockchain industry?

ARK empowers everyone, regardless of their aim or technical background, to quickly and easily leverage blockchain technology. In the current hype-driven blockchain landscape, ARK acts as a beacon for individuals, groups, and enterprises seeking to apply blockchain technology to both reach their individual goals and affect change in their local community. ARK’s uniquely simple technology stack allows almost anyone to create and deploy standalone blockchains for any use case with an intuitive graphical user interface and experience. These newly created blockchains also known as bridgechains will have the ability to interoperate through ARK SmartBridge Technology. ARK is also reinventing smart contracts with ARK Logic, a collection of tools including custom transaction types, templates, and plugins. ARK Logic brings security, adaptability, and scalability to decentralized computing workflows. Most importantly, the ARK Ecosystem fosters a growing international community of developers, node operators, blockchains, businesses, and enthusiasts who collectively breathe life into this disruptive technology. Get into the interactive whitepaper here.

Tell me about the ARK Public Network

Ok, no problem. Since coming online on March 21, 2017, the APN has operated as a P2P cryptocurrency with fast block times of 8 seconds and low dynamic fees (near a penny and somewhat novel for a DPoS blockchain). However, the end goal of the APN far exceeds that of just a cryptocurrency that is faster and cheaper to use than Bitcoin. I'll explain further in a minute.
The network, as mentioned, is set up as Delegated Proof-of-Stake. This means forging delegates are deemed worthy to secure the chain and add blocks to it by the holders of the ARK token, which vote for delegates using their ARK as vote weight. ARK remains in users' control at all times, and the top 51 delegates in vote weight enter forging status. The network awards each delegate 2 ARK per block (~12,705 ARK/mo) for services rendered. This continues ad infinitum resulting in a declining inflation rate each year (relative to total supply). When users add or remove ARK from a voting wallet address, vote weight adjusts automatically and they don't need to vote again. Voting continues even if user's wallet is offline.
The main uses of ARK as the cryptoasset of the ARK Public Network besides being a P2P cryptocurrency include:
If you're interested in more details about APN uses, check this direct link to that section of whitepaper.

Is team good?

Yes, team good. Team very good. General sentiment among ARK team members is that ARK is a dream project to work on, and this motivates them to do great work on a consistent basis as the ARK technology stack progresses. Very recently, ARK hired an additional half dozen people in various departments, including marketing department. This brings ARK team total to over three dozen experts. The ARK business entity is also well funded with around 10 years of budget. The ARK business entity spends funds in a very sensible manner compared to some other projects who spend with insufficient foresight or discretion.
Members of the board are thoughtful and deliberate, and the CEO FX Thoorens has been hard at work putting a spotlight on ARK, showing an 'intermeshing' of ARK with the global regulatory landscape in regards to crypto. Recently, ARK became a founding member of ADAN, a professional association based in France created to help structure and develop the digital assets industry. Other members include Consensys France and Ledger. ADAN will consult with public authorities, industry leaders and private bodies to promote the use of digital assets and all activities in this sector. This includes exchange platforms, brokers, hardware, protocols, decentralized applications and blockchain technology platforms. Hear FX Thoorens talk more about this in this podcast episode.
The ARK business entity is located in France, but the ARK team is distributed across 10+ countries and multiple continents.

What's going to happen?

Cool stuff. Organizations and open source projects have been stumbling across ARK and really like what they see. Multiple projects are working with ARK technology and are at various stages of development, but since you're busy, I'll highlight the project nOS which recently launched their public testnet and uses ARK technology for their blockchain. nOS also has great things to say about ARK that you can hear in this podcast episode or watch in this video.
We believe that as more businesses, organizations, and open source projects start looking around for blockchain solutions, they will also enjoy ARK's simplicity, flexibility, and feature set. Our powerful technology stack is backed up by a recently upgraded documentation hub for developers.
The product we have that makes it very easy for projects to join the ARK Ecosystem is called the ARK Deployer, which you can learn about in this two minute video. It allows developers from all walks of life to create, customize and launch a standalone blockchain in three simple steps. In the near future, what's going to happen is a big improvement to the Deployer. The ARK Deployer will get an upgraded and more powerful user interface that also facilitates chain management post-launch, as well as interface directly with cloud providers like Digital Ocean to launch genesis node and peers in background. This would allow for a massive leap forward in our vision of 'Point. Click. Blockchain.'
ARK.io is also working on a Marketplace for developers, where custom plugins and tools developed by both ARK.io as well as third parties can be acquired for assembling blockchains much easier. Imagine a wordpress-type environment where you can create a super-powerful and customized blockchain by connecting Legos together. In the same way that early World Wide Web needed WordPress/Squarespace style tools to bring the technology to every business or organization, we believe that this need will be out there for blockchain technology as this new decade progresses.
There is more cool stuff that is going to happen, but I'll wrap it up there for now.

After reading all this stuff, what is it you want me to do?

Well, not make any financial decisions, because that is not the purpose of this information. However, as a developer, there's a lot of interesting things you should know and may want to consider doing. The ARK technology stack uses TypeScript and other JS-style frameworks, so if you know those, you should get excited.
Here's some additional less 'developery' stuff you can do:
Thanks for coming along for the ride of this post. ARK has been out here, it's out here, and it's going to continue to be out here, doing its part to make sure everybody knows that blockchains are, in fact, a thing.
submitted by doubled1c3 to ArkEcosystem [link] [comments]

[Part 1] KAVA Historical AMA Tracker! (Questions & Answers)

ATTN: These AMA questions are from Autumn 2019 - before the official launch of the Kava Mainnet, and it's fungible Kava Token.
These questions may no longer be relevant to the current Kava landscape, however, they do provide important historical background on the early origins of Kava Labs.
Please note, that there are several repeat questions/answers.

Q1:

Kava is a decentralized DEFI project, why did you implement the countries restrictions to run the node? Will there be such restrictions by the time of the mainnet?

Q2:

According to the project description it has been indicated that staking reward (in KAVA tokens) varies from 3 to 20% per annum. But how will you fight with inflation?

We all know how altcoins prices are falling, and their bottom is not visible. And in fact, we can get an increase in the number of tokens for staking, but not an increase in the price of the token itself and become a long-term investor.

  • Answer: Kava is both inflationary with block rewards, but deflationary when we burn CDP fees. Only stakers who bond their Kava receive inflationary rewards - users and traders on exchanges do not get this. In this way, rewards are inflated, but given to stakers and removed value from the traders who are speculating like a tax. The Deflationary structure of fees should help counterbalance the price drops from inflation if any. In the long-term as more CDPs are used, Kava should be a deflationary asset by design if all things go well

Q3:

In your allocation it is indicated that 28.48% of the tokens are in the "Token treasury" - where will these tokens be directed?

  • Answer: Investors in financing rounds prior to the IEO have entered into long-term lock-up agreements in-line with their belief in Kava’s exciting long-term growth potential and to allow the projects token price to find stability. Following the IEO, the only tokens in circulation will be those sold through the IEO on Binance and the initial Treasury tokens released.
  • No private sale investor tokens are in circulation until the initial release at the end of Q1 2020 and then gradually over the [36] months The initial Treasury tokens in circulation will be used for a mixture of ecosystem grants, the expenses associated with the IEO as well as initial market making requirements as is typical with a listing of this size. Kava remains well financed to execute our roadmap following the IEO and do not envisage any need for any material financings or token sales for the foreseeable future.

Q4:

Such a platform (with loans and stable coins) is just the beginning since these aspects are a small part of many Defi components. Will your team have a plan to implement other functions, such as derivatives, the dex platform once the platform is successfully launched?

  • Answer: We believe Kava is the foundation for many future defi products. We need stable coins, oracles, and other infrastructure first that Kava provides. Once we have that, we can apply these to derivatives and other synthetics more easily. For example, we can use the price feeds and USDX to enable users to place 100x leverage bets with each other. If they both lock funds into payment channels, then they can use a smart contract based on the price feed to do the 100x trade/bet automatically without counter party risk. In this way, Kava can expand its financial product offerings far beyond loans and stable coins in the future.

Q5:

There are several options for using USDX on the KAVA platform, one of which is Margin Trading / Leverage. Is this a selection function or a compulsory function? Wondering since there are some investors who don`t like margin. What is the level of leverage and how does a CDP auction work?

  • Answer: This is a good #Q . Kava simply provides loans to users in USDX stable coins. What the users do is completely up to them. They can use the loans for everyday payments if they like. Leverage and hedging are just the main use cases we foresee - there are many ways people can use the CDP platform and USDX.

Q6:

Most credit platforms do not work well in the current market. What will you do to attract more people to use your platform and the services you provide? Thank you

  • Answer: Most credit platforms do not work well in the current market? I think that isn't correct at least for DeFi. Even in the bear market, MakerDao and Compound saw good user growth. Regardless, our efforts at Kava to build the market are fairly product and BD focused. 1) we build more integrations of assets and expand financial services to attract new communities and users. 2) we focus on building partnerships with high quality teams to promote and build Kava's core user base. Kava is just the developer. Our great partners like Ripple, Stakewith.Us, P2P, Binance - they have the real users that demand Kava. They are like our system integrators that package Kava up nicely and present it to their users. In order to grow, we need to deepen our partnerships and bring in new ones around the world.

Q7:

KAVA functions as a reserve currency in situations where the system is undercollateralized. In such cases new KAVA is minted and used to buy USDX off the market until USDX becomes safely overcollateralized.

Meaning, there will be no max supply of KAVA?

  • Answer: Yes, there is no max supply of Kava.

Q8:

Why Kava?

  • Answer: ...because people are long BTC and the best way to go long BTC without giving up custody is Kava's platform. Because it is MakerDao for bitcoin. Bitcoin has a 10x market cap of ETH and Maker is 10x the size of Kava. I think we're pretty undervalued right now.

Q9:

How do you plan to make liquidity in Kava?

  • Answer: Working with Binance for the IEO and as the first exchange for KAVA to trade on will be a huge boost in increasing the liquidity of trading KAVA.

Q10:

Most crypto investors or crypto users prefer easy transaction and low fees, what can we expect from KAVA about this?

  • Answer: Transaction fees are very low and confirm if seconds. The user experience is quite good on Tendermint-based blockchains.

Q11:

How do I become a note validator on KavA?

Q12:

It is great to know that KAVA is the first DEFI-supported project sponsored by Binance Launchpad, do you think this is the meaning that CZ brings: Opening the DEFI era, as a leader, you feel like how ?

  • Answer: We are the first DeFi platform that Launchpad has supported. We are a very strategic blockchain for major crypto like BNB. Kava's platform will bring more utility to the users of BNB and the Binance DEX. It feels good of course to have validation from the biggest players in the space like Cosmos, Ripple, CZ/Binance, etc.

Q13:

Since decentralized finance applications is already dominating, how do you intend to surpass those leading in the market?

  • Answer: The leaders are only addressing ethereum. BTC, XRP, BNB, ATOM is a much larger set to go after that current players cannot.

Q14:

What does Ripple play in the Kava's ecosystem, since Ripple is like a top tier company and it’s impressive that you are partnered with them?

  • Answer: Ripple is an equity investor in Kava and a big supporter of our work in cross-chain settlement research and implementations. Ripple's XRP is a great asset in terms of users and liquidity that the Kava platform can use. In addition, Ripple's money service business customers are asking for a stable coin for remittances to avoid the currency heading risk that XRP presents. Ripple will not use USDC or other stable coins, but they are open to using USDX as it can be XRP-backed.

Q15:

Considering the connectivity, Libra could be the biggest competitor if KAVA leverages interchain for efficiency.

  • Answer: With regard to USDX, it is important to understand the users interacting with the Kava blockchain have no counterparty that people could go after for legal actions. A user getting a USDX loan has no counterparty. The software holds the collateral and creates the loan. The only laws that would apply are to the very users that are using the system.

Q16:

Wonder how KAVA will compete with the tech giants

  • Answer: Libra is running into extreme issues with the US Senate and regulators. Even the G7-G20 groups are worried. Its important to understand that Libra is effectively a permissioned system. Only big companies that law makers can go after are able to run nodes. In Kava, nodes can be run by anyway and our nodes are based all over the world. It's incredibly hard for a law maker to take down Kava because they would need to find and legally enforce hundreds of business in different jurisdictions to comply. We have an advantage in this way over the larger projects like Libra or Clayton.

Q17:

In long-term, what's the strategy that KAVA has for covering the traditional finance users as well? Especially regarding the "stability"

  • Answer: Technical risk is unavoidable for DeFi. Only time will tell if a system is trustworthy and its never 100% that it will not fail or be hacked. This is true with banks and other financial systems as well. I think for DeFi, the technical risk needs to be priced in to the expected returns to compensate the market. DeFi does have a better user experience - requiring no credit score, identity, or KYC over centralized solutions.
  • With our multi-collateral CDP system, even with it overcollateralized, people can get up to 3x leverage on assets. Take 100 USD in BTC, get a USDX loan for 66 USDX, then buy $66 BTC and do another loan - you can do this with a program to get 3x leverage with the same risk profile. This is enough for most people.
  • However, it will be possible once we have Kava's CDP platform to extend it into products that offer undercollateralized financial products. For example, if USER 1 + USER 2 use payment channels to lock up their USDX, they can use Kava's price feeds to place bets between each other using their locked assets. They can bet that for every $1 BTC/USD moves, the other party owes 3x. In this way we can even do 100x leverage or 1000x leverage and create very fun products for people to trade with. Importantly, even in places where margin trading is regulated and forbidden, Kava's platform will remain open access and available.

Q18:

In long-term, what's the strategy that KAVA has for covering the traditional finance users as well? Especially regarding the "stability"

  • Answer: Kava believes that stable coins should be backed not just by crypto or fiat, but any widely used, highly liquid asset. We think in the future the best stablecoin would be backed by a basket of very stable currencies that include crypto and fiat or whatever the market demands.

Q19:

Compound, maker they're trying to increase their size via the competitive interests rates. THough it shows good return in terms of growth rate, still it's for short-term. Wonder other than financial advantage, KAVA has more for the users' needs?

  • Answer: Robert, the CEO of Compound is an investor and advisor to Kava. We think what Compound does with money markets is amazing and hope to integrate when they support more than just Ethereum assets. Kava's advantage vs others is to provide basic DeFi services like returns on crypto and stable coins today when no other platform offers that. Many platforms support ETH, but no platform can support BTC, XRP, BNB, and ATOM in a decentralized way without requiring centralized custody of these assets.

Q20:

The vast majority of the cryptocurrency community's priorities is symbolic pricing. When prices rise, the community rejoices and grows. When they fall, many people begin to cast in a negative way. How will KAVA solve the negative problem when the price goes down? What is your plan to strengthen and develop the community to persuade more people to look at the product than the price?

  • Answer: We believe price is an important factor for faith in the market. One of Kava's key initiatives was selecting only long-term partners that are willing to work with kava for 2 years. That is why even after 6 months, 0 private investor or kava team tokens will be liquid on the market.
  • We believe not in fast pumps and then dumps that destroy faith, but rather we try and operate the best we can for long-term sustainable growth over time. It's always hard to control factors in the market, and some factors are out of our control such as BTC price correlations, etc - however, we treat this like a public company stock - we want long-term growth of Kava and try to make sure our whole community of Kava holders is aligned with that the best we can.

Q21:

Do you have any plans to attract non-crypto investors to Kava and how? What are the measures to increase awareness of kava in non-crypto space?

  • Answer: We are 100% focused on crypto, not the general market. We solve the problems of crypto traders and investors - not the average grandma who needs a payment solution. Kava is geared for decentralized leverage and hedging.

Q22:

Adoption is crucial for all projects and crypto companies, what strategy are you gonna use/follow or u are now following to get Kava adopted and used by many people all over the world?

Revenue is an important aspect for all projects in order to survive and keep the project/company up and running for long term, what are the ways that Kava generates profits/revenue and what is its revenue model?

  • Answer: We have already partnered with several large exchanges, long-term VCs, and large projects like Ripple and Cosmos. These are key ways for us to grow our community. As we build support for more assets, we plan to promote Kava's services to those new communities of traders.
  • Kava generates revenue as more people use the platform. As the platform is used, KAVA tokens are burned when users pay stability fees. This deflates the total supply of Kava and should in most cases give rise to the value of KAVA like a stock-buyback in the public markets.

Q23:

In order to be success in Loan project of Cryptocurrency, I think marketing is very important to make people using this service without any registration. What is main strategy for marketing?

  • Answer: Our main strategy is to build a great experience and offer products that are not available to communities with demand. Currently no DeFi products can serve BTC users for example. Centralized exchanges can, but nothing truly trustless. Kava's platform can finally give the vast audiences of BTC, BNB, and ATOM holders access to core DeFi services they cannot get on their own due to the smart contract limitations of those platforms.

Q24:

Currently, some project have policies for their ambassadors to create a contribution and attract recognition for the project! So the KAVA team plans to implement policies and incentives for KAVA ambassadors?

  • Answer: Yes, we will be creating a KAVA ambassador program and releasing that soon. Please follow our social media channels to learn about it in the coming weeks.

Q25:

Currently there are so many KAVA tokens sold on exchanges, why is this happening while KAVA is going to IEO on Binance? Are those KAVA codes fake or not?

  • Answer: For everyone's safety, please understand Kava tokens do not exist yet and they will only exist starting with the Binance IEO. Any other token listings or offerings of Kava are not supported by Kava Labs and I highly discourage you all from trying to get them there. It is most likely a big scam. Please only trust Binance for this.

Q26:

KAVA have two tokens, the first is called Kava - a governance and staking token; the second is called USDX - an algorithmically managed crypto-backed stable coin. What are the advantages of USDX compared to other stablecoins such as: USDT, USDC, TUSD, GUSD, ...?

  • Answer: USDX is one of the few stablecoins to be fully backed by crypto-assets. This means that we do not deal with fiat to back the value, and thus we don't have some of the issues when it comes to storing fiat funds with banks and custodians. This also makes our product fully digital and built for the future of crypto growth.

Q27:

As a CEO, does your background in Esports and Gaming industry help anything to your management and development of KAVA Labs?

  • Answer: Esports no. But having been a multi-time venture-backed foundeCEO and have gone through the start-up phase before has made creating and running a 2nd company easier. Right now Kava is still small, Fnatic had over 80 employees. It was at a larger scale. I would say developing software is much more than doing the hardware at fnaticgear.com

Q28:

Why did Kava choose to launch IEO on Binance and not other exchanges like: Kucoin, Houbi, Gate, ....?

  • Answer: Kava had a lot of interest from exchanges to partner with for IEO. We decided based on a lot of factors such as userbase, diverse exposure across multiple regions and countries, and an amazing team that provides so much insight into so many communities such as this one. Binance has been a tremendous partner and we also look forward to continuing our partnership far into the future.

Q29:

Currently if Search on coinmarketcap has 3 types of stablecoins bearing the USDX symbol (but these 3 stablecoins are no information). So, what will KAVA do to let users know that Kava's USDX is another stablecoin?

  • Answer: All these USDX have no volume or listings. We will be on Binance. I am not worried.

Q30:

In addition to the Token Allocation for Binance Launchpad, what is the Token Treasury in the Initial Circulating Supply?

  • Answer: This is controlled by Kava Labs, but with the big cash we have saved from fundraising, we see no reason why these tokens would be sold on the market. The treasury tokens are for use in grants, ecosystem growth initiatives, development, and other incentive programs to drive adoption of the platform.

Q31:

How you will compete with your competitors? Currently i don't see much but for future how you will maintain this consistency ? No doubt it is Great and Unique project, what is the main problem that #KAVA is currently facing?

  • Answer: Because our industry is just starting out, I don't like to think of them as our direct competitors. We are all working to grow the size of the pie rather than get a larger slice from a small pie. The one thing that we believe will allow us to stand apart is the community we are building. Being able to utilize our own community along with Cosmos and our other partners like Binance for the IEO, we have a strong footing to get a lot of early users onto our platform. Also, we are also focusing on growing Kava internationally particularly Asia. We hope to build our platform for an even larger userbase than just the west.

Q32:

How do you explain your project to a random person who has never heard of your project?

  • Answer: non-crypto = Kava is a lending platform for users of cryptocurrencies.
  • crypto = Kava is a cross-chain DeFi platform for loans and stablecoins backed by BTC, BNB, XRP, ATOM and other major cryptocurrencies.

Q33:

Will KAVA team have a plan on implementing DAO module on your platform since its efficiency on autonomy, decentralization and transparency?

  • Answer: All voting is already transparent on the Kava blockchain. We approved a number of proposals on our test net.

Q34:

how to use usdx token :only for your platform or you have plan to use usdx for payment ?

  • Answer: Payments is a nice use case, but demand for crypto payments is still small. We may choose to focus here later if demand for crypto payments increases. Currently it is quite small with the bulk of use remaining in trading and speculative use cases.

Q35:

Do you have plans to spread KAVA ecosystem across other continents. if yes, what are the strategies and how can I as a community member contribute to making it possible?

  • Answer: We are already across many continents - I don't think we are in antarctica yet. Africa might be light on nodes as well. I think as we grow on major exchanges like Binance, new node operators will get interested and help decentralize Kava further.

Q36:

Maker's CDP lending system is on top in this market and its Dominance is currently sitting on 64.90 % , how kava will compete will maker and compound?

  • Answer: adding assets like bitcoin which have more value and more users than ETH. It's a bigger market that Maker cannot compete with Kava in.

Q37:

Currently, the community is too concerned about the price. As prices rise, the community rejoice and grow, when falling, many people start throwing negatively. So what is KAVA's solution to getting people to focus on the project rather than the price of the token?

What is your plan to strengthen and grow the community to persuade more individuals to look at the product than the price?

  • Answer: We also share similar concerns as price and price direction is always a huge factor in the crypto industry. A lot of people of course are very short-term focused on flipping for bigger profits. One of the solutions, and what Kava has done, is to make sure that everything structured is for the long-term. So that makes sure that our investors and employees are all focused on long-term gains and growth. Locking vesting periods are part of that alignment. Another thing is that we at Kava are very transparent in our progress and development. We will be regularly posting updates within our own communities to allow our users and followers to keep up with everything we're up to. Please follow us or look at our github if you're interested!

Q38:

How did Kava get on Piexgo?

  • Answer: We did not work with Piexgo. We have not distributed tokens to any exchange other than Binance. I cannot speak to what is going on there, but I would be very wary of what is happening there.

Q39:

Why was the 1st round price so much lower than the current price

  • Answer: It is natural to worry that early investors got better pricing and could dump on the market. I can assure you that our investors are in this for the long-term. All private sale rounds signed 2 year contracts to run validators - and if they don't they forfeit their tokens. You can compare our release schedule to any other project. We have one of the most restricted circulating supply schedules of any project EVER and its because all our investors are commiting to the long-term success of the project and believe in Kava.
  • About the pricing itself - it is always a function of traction like for any start-up. When we made our public announcement about the project in June, we were only a 4 man team with just some github code. We could basically run a network with a single node, our own. Which is relatively worthless. I think our pricing of Kava at this time was justified. We were effectively a seed-stage company without a product or working network.
  • By July we made severe progress on the development side and the business side. We successful launched our first test net with the help of over 70 validator business partners around the world. We had a world-wide network of hundreds of people supporting us with people and resources at this point and the risk we would fail in launching a working product was much lower. At this point, the Kava project was valued at $25M. At this point, we had many VCs and investors asking for Kava tokens that we turned away. We only accepted validators that would help us launch the network. It was our one and only goal.
  • Fast forward to today, the IEO price simply reflects the traction and market demand for Kava. Our ecosystem is much larger than it was even a month ago. We have support from Ripple, Cosmos, and Binance amongst other large crypto projects. We have 100+ validators securing our network with very sophisticated high-availability set-ups. In addition, our ecosystem partners have built products for Kava - such as block explorers and others are working on native integrations to wallets and exchanges. Launchpad will be very big for us. Kava is a system designed to cater to crypto traders and investors and in a matter of days we distributed via Binance Launchpad and put in the hands of 130+ countries and tens of thousands of users overnight. It doesn't get more DeFi than that.

Q40:

What is the treasury used for?

  • Answer: Kava's treasury is for ecosystem growth activities.
  • Investors in financing rounds prior to the IEO have entered into long-term lock-up agreements in-line with their belief in Kava’s exciting long-term growth potential and to allow the projects token price to find stability. Following the IEO, the only tokens in circulation will be those sold through the IEO on Binance and the initial Treasury tokens released. No private sale investor tokens are in circulation until the initial release at the end of Q1 2020 and then gradually over the [36] months The initial Treasury tokens in circulation will be used for a mixture of ecosystem grants, the expenses associated with the IEO as well as initial market making requirements as is typical with a listing of this size. Kava remains well financed to execute our roadmap following the IEO and do not envisage any need for any material financings or token sales for the foreseeable future.

Q41:

Everyone have heard about the KAVA token, and read about it. But it would be great to hear your explanation about it. What is the Kava token, what is it's utility? :)

  • Answer: The Kava token plays many roles. KAVA is the native staking token of the Kava blockchain and is used for securing the network. KAVA is delegated to validators, basically professional node operators that run highly-available servers to secure the Kava blockchain. The top 100 validators by weight of staked KAVA earn block rewards that range from 3-20% APR based on the total amount staked in the network. These rewards are split between the validators and the KAVA holders.
  • When users of the platform repay their loans, they must a stability fee (a percentage of the loan) in KAVA tokens. These tokens are burned by the system, effectively deflating the total supply overtime as more users use the CDP system.
  • KAVA is also the primary token used in governance of the platform. KAVA token holders can vote on key system parameter changes and upgrades such as what assets to support, how much USDX in total can be loaned by the system, what the debt-to-collateral ratio needs to be, the stability fees, etc. KAVA holders have a very important responsibility to govern the system well.
  • Lastly, Kava functions as a "Lender of Last Resort" meaning if USDX ever gets undercollateralized because the underlying asset prices drop suddenly and the system manages it poorly, KAVA is inflated in these emergency situations and used to purchase USDX off the market until USDX reaches a state of being over collateralized again. KAVA holders have incentive to only support the good high quality assets so risk of the system is managed responsibly.

Q42:

No matter how perfect and technically thought-out a DeFi protocol is, it cannot be completely protected from any unplanned situations (such as extreme market fluctuations, some legal issues, etc.)

Ecosystem members, in particular the validators on whom KAVA relies on fundamental decision-making rights, should be prepared in advance for any "critical" scenario. Considering that, unlike the same single-collateral MakerDAO, KAVA will be a multi-collateral CDP system, this point is probably even more relevant here.

In this regard, please answer the following question: Does KAVA have a clear risk management model or strategy and how decentralized is / will it be?

  • Answer: Simialar to other CDP systems and MakerDAO we do have a system freeze function where in cases of extreme issues, we can stop the auction mechanisms and return all collateral.

Q43:

Did you know that "Kava" is translated into Ukrainian like "Coffee"? I personally do love drinking coffee. I plunge into the fantasy world. Why did you name your project "Kava" What is the story behind it? What idea / fantasy did your project originate from, which inspired you to create it?

  • Answer: Kava is coffee to you.
  • Kava is Hippopotamus to Japanese.
  • Cava is a region in Spain
  • Kava is also a root that is used in tea which makes your mouth numb.
  • Kava is also crow in Hindi.
  • Kava last but not least is a DeFi platform launching on Binance :)
  • We liked the sound of Kava it was as simple as that. It doesn't have much meaning in the USA where I am from. But it's short sweet and when we were just starting, Kava.io was available for a reasonable price

Q44:

What incentives does a lender get if a person chooses to pay with KAVA? Is there a discount on interest rates on the loan amount if you pay with KAVA? Do I have to pass the KYC procedure to apply for a small loan?

  • Answer: There is no KYC for Kava. Its an open blockchain software platform where anyone with a computer can connect to it and use it.

Q45:

Let's say, I decided to bond my cryptocurrency and got USDX stable coins. For now, it`s an unknown stable coin (let's be honest). Do you plan to add USDX to other famous exchanges? Also, you have spoken about the USDX staking and that the percentage would be higher than for other stable coins. Please be so kind to tell us what is the average annual interest rate and what are the conditions of staking?

  • Answer: Yes we have several large exchanges willing to support USDX from the start. Binance/Binance-DEX is one you should all know ;)
  • The average annual rates for USDX will depend on market conditions. The rate is actually provided by the CDP fees users pay. The system reallocates a portion of those fees to USDX users. In times when USDX use needs to grow, the rates will be higher to incentivize use. When demand is strong, we can reduce the rates.

Q46:

Why should i use and choose Kava's loan if i can use the similar margin trade on Binance?

  • Answer: If margin is available to you and you trust the exchange then you should do whatever is cheaper. For a US citizen and others, margin is often not available and if it is, only for a few asset types as collateral. Kava aims to address this and offer this to everyone.

Q47:

The IEO price is $ 0.46 while the price of the first private sale is $ 0.075. Don't you think that such price gap can negatively affect the liquidity of the token and take away the desire to buy a token on the exchange?

  • Answer: It is natural to worry that early investors got better pricing and could dump on the market. I can assure you that our investors are in this for the long-term. All private sale rounds signed 2 year contracts to run validators - and if they don't they forfeit their tokens. You can compare our release schedule to any other project. We have one of the most restricted circulating supply schedules of any project EVER and its because all our investors are commiting to the long-term success of the project and believe in Kava.
  • About the pricing itself - it is always a function of traction like for any start-up. When we made our public announcement about the project in June, we were only a 4 man team with just some github code. We could basically run a network with a single node, our own. Which is relatively worthless. I think our pricing of Kava at this time was justified. We were effectively a seed-stage company without a product or working network.
  • By July we made severe progress on the development side and the business side. We successful launched our first test net with the help of over 70 validator business partners around the world. We had a world-wide network of hundreds of people supporting us with people and resources at this point and the risk we would fail in launching a working product was much lower. At this point, the Kava project was valued at $25M. At this point, we had many VCs and investors asking for Kava tokens that we turned away. We only accepted validators that would help us launch the network. It was our one and only goal.
  • Fast forward to today, the IEO price simply reflects the traction and market demand for Kava. Our ecosystem is much larger than it was even a month ago. We have support from Ripple, Cosmos, and Binance amongst other large crypto projects. We have 100+ validators securing our network with very sophisticated high-availability set-ups. In addition, our ecosystem partners have built products for Kava - such as block explorers and others are working on native integrations to wallets and exchanges. Launchpad will be very big for us. Kava is a system designed to cater to crypto traders and investors and in a matter of days we distributed via Binance Launchpad and put in the hands of 130+ countries and tens of thousands of users overnight. It doesn't get more DeFi than that.
  • TLDR - I think KAVA is undervalued and the liquid supply of tokens is primarily from the IEO so its a safer bet than other IEOs. If the price drops, it will be from the overall market conditions or fellow IEO users not due private sale investors or team sell-offs.

Q48:

Can you introduce some information abouts KAVA Deflationary Fee Structure? With the burning mechanism, does it mean KAVA will never reach its max supply?

  • Answer: When loans are repaid, users pay a fee in Kava. This is burned. However, Kava does not have a max supply. It has a starting supply of 100M. It inflates for block rewards 3-20% APR AND it inflates when the system is at risk of under collateralization. At this time, more Kava is minted and used to purchase USDX off the market until it reaches full collateralization again.
  • TLDR: If things go well, and governance is good, Kava deflates and hopefully appreciates in value. If things go wrong, Kava holders get inflated.

Q49:

In your opinion what are advantage of decentralized finance over centralized?

  • Answer: One of the main advantages is not needing to pay the costs of regulation and compliance. Open financial software that is usable by anyone removes middle men fees and reduces the barrier for new entrants to enter and make new products. Also DeFI has an edge in terms of onboarding - to get a bank account or an exchange account you need to do lots of KYC and give private info. That takes time and is troublesome. With DeFi you just load up your funds and transact. Very fast user flows.

Q50:

Plan, KAVA how to raise capital? Kava is being supported by more than 100 business entities around the world, including major cryptocurrency investment funds like Ripple and Cosmos, so what did kava do to convince investors to join the project?

  • Answer: We have been doing crypto research and development for years. Ripple and Cosmos were partners before we even started this blockchain with Kava Labs. When we announced Kava the DeFi platform they knew us already to do good work and they liked the idea so they support us.
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