Jimmy Zhong Telegram Interview

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IOST CEO Jimmy Zhong stopped by our Official Telegram Group last week to answer questions from the community around testnet, mainnet release, decentralized applications and the future of IOST. Below are some highlights from the interview.

Moderator – Do you plan to release ‘efficient distributed sharding’ (EDS) as part of the mainnet launch?

Jimmy – Part of it, Yes. During our past sessions, we talked about “sharding” — “State sharding” is still an issue that has be resolved in the industry as a whole. Most “sharding” based projects these days (for example, Zilliqa) are still only resolving “transactional sharding”, which we can definitely integrate, but state sharding will haves to wait — for security reasons, etc (frankly speaking, the whole industry is waiting). IOST’s core technology is our “Proof of Believability” consensus protocol, we are done developing it as this point and it already makes us faster than EOS while being a lot more decentralized & secure.

Moderator – Is there a plan to support other languages such as Python, Go or Java in the VM?

Jimmy – Currently, we are supporting JavaScript with Chrome V8 engine and native Golang modules to handle high-performance transactions. If you didn’t get a chance to read our articles regarding our VM, we highly recommend #IOST lead engineer Li Haifeng’s article on the Ethereum, EOS and IOST virtual machines.  

https://hackernoon.com/how-were-designing-a-better-virtual-machine-than-ethereum-and-eos-7b60ba62fc5a.

In the meantime, we are also preparing to launch online courses on the largest education websites including Codecademy, Skillshare & etc.

Moderator – While you guys are working hard on the technology, building a strong ecosystem is also crucial for a project to be successful, how is IOST going to attract developers & how are you guys building your ecosystem?

Jimmy In terms of ecosystem building, I believe in two things:

  1. Currently there is NO project that actually has a strong Dapp ecosystem. Infrastructures like EOS & Ethereum have a bunch of Dapps built on top of it but almost all their Dapp DAU(daily active users) numbers are below 1000 — this is nothing in the world of the Internet.
  2. You can’t expect all the developers to just walk in and start to build on your platform. If you consider IOST the Windows of blockchain, we also want to build Microsoft Office & Internet Explorer. I think the most important things to bring developers on board are the following:

a. Incentivize them properly(we will release an innovative plan soon)

b. Inspire them with some applications

c. Have a lot of users that’re using the platform already

With these things in mind, we are also moving fast and developing our ecosystem building with Bluehill (a 50M fund backed by Venture Capitals, specially investing in projects that will be built on top of IOST or work with IOST), Theseus (a DAPP team backed by Sequoia Capital, Matrix Partners, Zhenfund & etc that will be full time focusing on building DAPPs on IOST) and Berm

We want to bring blockchain to the masses for the first time. If you care to learn more about this, read this article:

https://medium.com/iost/bringing-blockchain-to-the-masses-513e3d7d4d33

Moderator – Smart contract management is always a pain, how is IOST resolving this?

Jimmy – In our newest test net, transactions now support multiple signatures. Smart contracts can check the call stack, and can answer questions such as “Who invoked this ABI?” Smart contracts also have special permissions control, such as upgrade and removal. This largely reduces the pain of smart contract management present on Ethereum and similar platforms.

Moderator – What will be the network transaction speed upon mainnet launch? Will 100k transactions be possible after sharding? When do you expect to implement sharding?

Jimmy – In terms of layer 1 solutions for scalability, 100k transactions is simply not needed. It’s technically possible through [transaction] sharding. As for the second question, we can easily integrate transaction sharding, but as for state sharding, the whole industry is waiting — and I don’t expect the wait to be short. Also I doubt that if it’s even necessary for a blockchain to scale while being secure & fully decentralized. I think our “PoB” consensus protocol is already a great solution and we can get to multiple thousand TX/s on layer 1 and that’s already enough.

Moderator – Could I receive information to create a node on my pc?

Jimmy – To learn about our test net and how to set it up on your computer, check our developer portal at:

http://developers.iost.io

http://developers.iost.io/docs/en/4-running-iost-node/Deployment

https://github.com/iost-official

Moderator – I think Proof of Believability consensus is better than POS consensus, however believability could be hard to measure. I heard contributing to IOST project is considered as a “believability”. There could be many kind of contribution, for example, contributing a source code through github, posting on blog,Reporting a bug, etc.. Among these kind of contributions, what could be the ideal contribution, do you think? 

Jimmy – Contributing source code through Github/posting a blog is making a contribution into the IOST ecosystem, however that’s not how POB works since those things are hard to measure by code. See my answer above, but some examples in POB include “net trading volume, token deposits, cluster node, verifying tx volume & etc.”  To read more about how is IOST solving the scalability issue while being decentralized with the POB consensus protocol, read this article by Terrence:

https://hackernoon.com/tackling-the-scalability-trilemma-1627fa3f6936

Join the developers slack channel to learn more about how to contribute to IOST.

https://bit.ly/2CQfAti

Moderator – IOST Dapp contract developer needs IOST to deploy the contract. In many case if contract code is not too long, only small amount of IOST token is needed to deploy it. Maybe 10 cent would be enough to do it. However, to get a that small amount of IOST, developer need to go through process like this: 1. Go to cryptocurrency exchange. 2. Signup 3. Do kyc process, 4. Deposit fiat money into the exchange. 5. buy IOST token with the feel of doing investment. 6. withdraw bought IOST token to deployer address, since in exchange, user couldn’t view our private key. It’s too much process for deploying just a small contract. This hard process also applies to normal dapp user. I heard IOST team going hard to achieve UX,DX(Developer Experience). Is there any strategy currently thinking to get a rid of that process, for example, use a paypal or alipay for buying a small amount of IOST token?

Jimmy – Yes that’s how EOS works now and we are improving this on multiple aspects.

For developers:

  1. Making IOST accessible in as many ways as we can, centralized exchanges, decentralized exchanges, wallets, web portals, etc. 2. Support JS & build other modules to make developers lives a lot easier when they choose to develop on IOST.

For users:

  1. Making IOST’s wallet as easy to set up as possible, and work with exchanges / wallets with third party logins. Now setting up the ETH/EOS is a huge pain, and we are resolving this.

Moderator – In terms of the degree of decentralization alone, assuming that the degree of decentralization of Ethereum is 100, how many points does IOST get when it comes to decentralization?

Jimmy – Decentralization isn’t simply defined as the number of nodes you have in the network. I’ve talked about this multiple times under different scenarios. It means that almost anyone can join the network to read/write. For example, as long as you have a computer, theoretically you can join the BTC network and mine — but the reality is a lot more complicated. There are miners that’s dominating different tokens, there are flaws with POS/DPOS/etc. so that a few big players can potentially dominate the whole network and making other people economically inefficient to join the network…  In fact the article we have here explained how we are maintaining decentralized while scaling:

https://hackernoon.com/tackling-the-scalability-trilemma-1627fa3f6936

But to answer your question directly, I think we are at least 85+.

Moderator – What magnitude of smart contracts and transactions can IOST support? How does it compare to other projects on the market? Overall, what is the performance of the layer 1 level expansion?

Jimmy – Although I don’t think this number means much since test environments are different for different projects. We tried to have our test nodes hosted in different regions on earth… and we get ~8000+ tx/sec. Most projects have very few test nodes under the same internal network to get the big number they want (and of course security aspects are also ignored), we don’t do that.

Moderator – What’s your internal time frame on the the base level of actual adoption for IOST, its technologies and markets that it is currently chasing? (1yr, 5yr? Etc)

Jimmy – 1-2 years should be enough. And from a longer time perspective, I’m obviously very bullish on the industry.

 

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