Hello, fellow Cyber Republicans. On the last day of February, the Elastos Foundation published the 2018 Financial Report covering July 2018 to December 2018.
We will be delving into some details from the report and we’ll share some clarifications Elastos’ leader, Rong Chen, answered for the community. There’s also some hot discourse in the community regarding Supernode pools along with a deep dive into DPoS written by yours truly. There is a stunningly active community in the Philippines that, through the voice of Krisha, we’ll be showing their significant activities. And lastly, the Cyber Republic is piling up suggestions on the Cyber Republic website. Vote for the projects you feel are most important. This is our ecosystem and we control our own destiny.
Moving into the financial report, it includes expenditure information in the following areas: Research and Development, Public Relations and Marketing, Operations and Management, Fixed Assets and Ecosystem Collaboration. The audit was done by Beijing Shuangdou Accounting Firm.
Elastos Foundation explains: “Beijing Shuangdou Accounting Firm was engaged by the Elastos Foundation to audit the expenses in fiat and digital currency and assets made between July 2018 and December 2018. The information included in this Report follows pertinent regulations in Auditing Standards for CPAs of China.”
As community members dove into the Financial Report, some questions were raised and Rong Chen personally answered several of these questions in the Telegram chatroom. There’s a post on the Cyber Republic Forum that overviews everything Mr. Chen had to say about the Financial Report.
The Elastos Foundation doesn’t have the responsibility or legal ability to disclose all information. When this was pointed out by a community member, Rong explained, “Thanks for pointing out that EF is not CR. We are not going to expose full financial details, nor BTC addresses, partially due to legal matters. However, I do invite [the] Elastos community to select one or two people with CPA license to come to come to Beijing at [the] foundation’s cost, sign an NDA, sit down with the auditing firm and Elastos accountants to find out whether Elastos foundation is true to its words.”
A big question from the community was getting into the specifics of what “Ecosystem Collaboration” really means. Rong was able to explain in full detail: “DMA, HIVE, SPV wallet, ETH Sidechains, Trinity Browser, etc. are partially or completely outsourced. We are likely to sign contract or to pay for bonuses at the end or beginning of a financial circle. Please keep in mind that Elastos Foundation is not a single company. People should read [the] EOY report and check against milestones. Last night I was talking about 6 months average BTC expenditures. We will post a “teams” page in a day or two, to explain which companies, teams and how many people were paid for the last 6 months. Comparing two documents side by side, you may have a better understanding what’s going on. Elastos is an open source Smartweb platform. We tried to implement it as efficient as possible.” This settles the argument that the EF is omitting any specific information. There are legitimate legal ramifications to disclosing certain aspects of the Foundation that they must abide by.
Rong Chen is willing to take suggestions for other Financial Audits in the future: “If you find a reputable accounting firm, let me know. Before you do that please call it up and make sure it really does crypto accounting, not some crypto projects saying they do. Next time we may take the accounting firm you select seriously. We will not consider any accounting firm that charges a quarter million dollars a pop, and that don’t do cryptos.”
Lastly, he reminds the community that there are 100 engineers at work. “Here’s some simple math: 1400 BTC in six months, in terms of average BTC price of each month, comes to 4.5 to 5 million USD. Reading through weekly reports and the EOY report, Elastos Smartweb takes at least 100 engineers including outsourcing plus supporting staff to build, whether it’s really very efficient team or not, you may ask Jimmy or anyone with IT management that you trust. 5,000,000 divided by 100 employees, divided by 6 months, comes to 8333 dollars per month salary, plus office rent, travels, BD, PR, legal, social security benefits, everything. Is it too high? I hope people could see the simple logic behind before they FUD. ELA expenditure is for bonuses, incentives for partners, etc. How many crypto projects are as clean and as transparent?”
Rong clearly wants what’s best for Elastos and the Cyber Republic. We thank the Elastos Foundation and Rong Chen for giving us a deeper dive into the expenditures and answering so many follow up questions the night the Financial Report was released. This shows the dedication and the care Elastos Foundation has for its community members.
Moving on to another topic, Supernode elections are almost underway. Wallets are being tested for Supernode Elections and voting and is slated to start next week. The requirement is 5,000 ELA along with advanced hardware that’s suitable to run a node.
Many members have come together on the Cyber Republic Forum and have created discord groups and wechat groups in order to join together and run multiple Supernodes. People are getting excited about being part of a Supernode. Thanks to Michael S. for creating a post and getting people together to join different Supernode Pools. https://forum.cyberrepublic.org/t/supernode-pool-recruitment-and-q-a/648/8
These Supernodes will be elected by the Cyber Republic community, and we hope to compile a list of options for the community to vote on. We wish everyone luck with their pools!
As Rong Chen says, “Elastos is building a BRIGHT WEB…”, we at the Cyber Republic certainly see the light at the end of the tunnel.
-By Jeremy G.
New CR Page: Docs
By Kenneth K.
The Cyber Republic has released a first draft of the new CR documents page. We’d like to emphasize that the CR is a completely public and open project. Every aspect of the CR must therefore be transparent and submitted to the community for comment, discourse, and debate. In that ideal, these alpha documents are being released and it is our hope that the community takes the time to look over these materials that act as the laws and definitions that we all have agreed to abide by.
Here is a summary of the materials currently included in this document:
Intro and Cyber Republic Workflow:
As the CR is only as successful as the community’s involvement in it, this section breaks down how any individual with any skillset can get involved in the Cyber Republic in a clear and easy-to-understand way. This establishes the fair and public protocols that will move a project from discussion to suggestion to proposal to funding to execution.
This is a growing guide that describes not only what suggestions and proposals are, but also what the Cyber Republic Secretariat and Council are.
Cyber Republic Constitution:
The Constitution of the Cyber Republic is an exciting document that overviews what the Cyber Republic as a whole has agreed to, and what protocols have been put in place to protect the community and its vision. From the values and mission, to voting and amendments, to conflicts of interest and checks and balances, the CR Constitution is the bedrock of our new republic.
Media Style Guide:
Branding assets are the unified front of the Cyber Republic. It is important that the world can recognize who we are at a glance, and these are the tools to make ourselves seen.
There are always questions, and this document will grow and answer the most common questions such as funding, definitions, and DPoS consensus mechanisms.
Here is the latest Elastos Weekly Update:
We have a new Cyber Republic Documentation site with relevant introductory information about the Cyber Republic, including the constitution, voting and proposals, and leadership. Check it out here:
Cyber Republic Website
Main Project Repo: https://github.com/cyber-republic/CyberRepublic
Git Activity and Updates
Please refer to the timeline described on this article for more info: https://blog.cyberrepublic.org/2018/12/27/important-cyber-republic-announcement
If you are a developer interested in working with the CR or Elastos, here’s a form you can fill out: https://goo.gl/forms/pvzDYMsVEs10s6U72
Supernode Elections: There’s a Lot at “Stake”
By Jeremy G.
We are embarking into a new era of Elastos and the Cyber Republic. Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) Supernode Voting and Elections are coming soon to a Wallet near you. There’s been a lot of chatter in the Telegram chat rooms, subreddit and CR Forum about Pooling for Supernodes and what the process is. As wallets are being tested for elections this week, the voting looks to start sometime this month.
The first round of elections will conclude in April, in which the Community Nodes will begin participating in DPoS Consensus. This article is meant to give the community a clear, in-depth look on important aspects of how DPoS works and also to suggest some ideas in which node groups can use in order to properly divvy out profits to each other and voters. Also, in order to protect the sanctity of the DPoS Consensus process, any malicious activity will result in penalties and potential dismissal of Supernode status.
First let’s break down the DPoS structure Elastos has devised. There will be 108 total nodes. 96 of the nodes will be democratically elected by the community, and 12 of the nodes will be voted in by the CR Consensus. Each of the 96 non-CR Supernodes will need to meet the requirement of having 5000 ELA locked-up, along with various hardware requirements needed to run a node.
Another terms for these non-CR Supernodes are “Participant Nodes”. 36 of these nodes will be “active”, with the 12 CR Nodes always running. The other 72 nodes will be “stand-by nodes”. The stand-by nodes with the most votes will take the place of any inactive Supernodes.
As CR Community Manager Nicola Zimmmerman (AKA Ghandi) eloquently explains: “There are 96 nodes which are voted in by the community and are getting rewards. The 36 Supernodes are called active nodes, the 72 stand by nodes become active nodes when one of the active nodes goes offline or when they get more votes in a voting round (every 72 minutes) than the active node with the least votes.”
In other words, 24 of the 36 Supernodes are in flux and voted on every 72 minutes. The nodes with the most votes in the Top 24 will be Active. Ultimately it’s those top 24 Supernodes that will get the most rewards because they are the most active and will be processing the majority of the transactions on the network.
Speaking of rewards, 25% are distributed to the 36 Supernodes; every active node gets the same amount. 75% of the rewards are distributed to the 96 nodes with the most votes–rewards are distributed proportionally to the number of votes. The 12 CR nodes don‘t get any part of the 75% of course since they don’t have to be voted in. The community will be making decisions on which Nodes are active and which will be on stand-by through voting. Ultimately, it’s up to the Cyber Republicans to choose the best and most reliable Supernodes. The network depends on the reliability of these Supernodes, so it is important to vote accordingly.
To understand what these nodes do, it’s important to know what happens before the DPoS process. Elastos uses a dual consensus mechanism: Proof of Work (PoW) and DPoS. Elastos uses Merge Mining on the Bitcoin blockchain. The PoW miners produce the blocks and as stated in the Elastos DPoS Supernode Election article: https://news.elastos.org/elastos-dpos-supernode-election-process/
“The 36 active nodes will confirm the blocks previously produced by PoW miners.”
Between the miners using PoW and the Supernodes using DPoS, this is how Elastos reaches full consensus for all transactions made in the ecosystem.
For those interested in running your own node on the Elastos network, you’re in for a treat. There are several different avenues available. Many in the community are congregating together to build teams that will run Supernodes. There have been a number of proposals on how the payouts will be properly structured and also ensure there isn’t any illicit activity between team members and voters.
The first method is the use of the multi-signature function in the Elastos wallet. Teams can set up a multisig wallet which requires a certain number of pool participants to sign the transaction. There’s a maximum of six and minimum of two owners to each wallet, and up to four required signatures to sign off on transactions. This ensures that multiple bad actors would be needed to betray the trust of a supernode team.
This may be the easiest method, but it may not be the most ideal. Gandhi explains a bit more why a multi-sig option may not be the best course of action: “A multisig wallet is the easiest solution in my opinion but it has some deficiencies. For example, if one of the pool participants wants to leave the pool, you have to make a new multisig wallet, transfer the 5k ELA to a new wallet and register again for the election.” The constant flux of changing team members and creating new wallets may cause some headaches and become somewhat time-consuming. Votes could be lost in the process. This brings us to a potential solution to this problem: creating smart contracts to streamline the process better.
Smart contracts are the method in terms of divvying up ownership of a node and distributing rewards to its voters. Gandhi continues: “With a smart contract, one could find a solution to sell their stake of the node without the node having to go offline. The smart contract (or a second one) could also be used to share the block rewards with the voters. For example, you create a smart contract and deposit 5k ELA in it as a pool. The node owners set how much of their block rewards they want to share with their voters (ie. 80% for voters, 15% for pool participants, 5% for running and maintaining the hardware). The smart contract detects automatically who is voting for your node and distributes the voting rewards. It doesn‘t make sense to do this in every block because this would be way too expensive, but let‘s say every 2 weeks and as a voter you only get rewarded when you voted for the node for the whole 2 weeks period. The smart contract automatically distributes the rewards to the pool participants”. The Supernode pools can essentially automate the process in distributing rewards amongst themselves along with their community voters through smart contract. This would give many interested parties peace of mind that everything is being controlled by code.
So how exactly does one go about creating a smart contract in order to compensate members of a Supernode pool or CR voters? Well, the answer isn’t simple yet. There are a few details to iron out in the process of enabling a fully-functional smart contract that distributes ELA funds to multiple parties. Software Development Relations Manager, Kiran Pachhai (KP) explains the creation of a smart contract in this specific Supernode context: “You can’t write a smart contract for ELA payments. Since that is done via main chain and main chain doesn’t run smart contracts. One option is maybe through smart contracts on Eth or Neo sidechain that keeps track of all the votes, rewards, etc. and based on certain triggers like a monthly date, it triggers another action which will auto distribute the ELA into a wallet. The handling of ELA payments itself could be done via scripting, same as how you would do BTC payments via scripting. The voting type transactions are different on main chain so you could write something based on that. A Supernode is just a machine that runs arbitrator code. You can’t write a smart contract for a supernode. You can only write logic onto a smart contract and put it on the Blockchain. After a certain event or trigger, it can execute the script that then auto-distributes ELA to people. Then again, you could possibly do the entire thing as scripting alone.”
As you can tell, though it would take an experienced developer in order to automate the process through smart contract and scripting, it looks to be the safest and most efficient path in order to assign payments to Pool members or voters.
But what about the prevention of bad actors in the ecosystem? Elastos Foundation has the proper rules and infrastructure in place in order to weed out the bad apples. As stated earlier in the article, the Participant Nodes need to lock up 5000 ELA. This stashed ELA acts as collateral in case any sketchy activity occurs or rules are broken. This is explained in the Elastos DPoS Supernode article when Supernodes don’t act accordingly: “…if the node is found to have violated the rules, the appropriate amount will be deducted from the ELA on deposit according to the situation and the remaining ELA will be returned to the wallet address linked to the public key that was provided at the time of registration.” There isn’t a set amount determined in terms of how much ELA would be deducted to such bad actors, but they will certainly be penalized. It’s good to know that there are certain rules and regulations to be followed for all Participant nodes without exception.
There are plenty of other DPoS Consensus blockchain projects out there, some like ARK which work well and are user-friendly with payouts to voters being as simple as voting for someone with the best reputation and rewards, and receiving those rewards in your wallet on a weekly basis. And others like Lisk which have a cartel running it which does not pay out any rewards to voters unless you vote for the entire cartel, and the rewards for doing so are generally inconsequential.
As you can tell, there are a lot of nitty-gritty details that come with the DPoS Supernodes. Most importantly, however, these Supernodes will be able to secure and confirm transactions to keep the reliability of the network fully intact. It’s up to the community to continue to vote for the Supernodes that represent the best interests of Elastos and the Cyber Republic Ecosystem.
Cyber Republicans, there’s a lot at stake with these Supernode Elections and Voting, no pun intended.
CR Forum Topic Highlights
We’ve summarized some of the popular topics of this week:
If you read our previous CR weekly, you may have come across the DPoS Node Rights Alliance being set up to allow more token holders to participate and benefit from the election. “KenNinja” has raised concerns in regards to the formation of this alliance, its impact to the general community if manipulation is possible through this alliance, as well as the pros and cons of the model being proposed. Feel free to leave your comments in the following link:
Unofficial Telegram Q&A with Rong Chen
As discussed in the intro, following the release of Elastos financial report, Rong Chen visited the Elastos telegram group to have an unofficial Q&A session with the community members. Some of the questions raised were:
- Lack of detail to the audit and financials
- Nature of substantial BTC expenditure for ecosystem collaboration
- Concern regarding legal issues for Elastos decentralised network
- Misunderstanding of Elastos total expenditure in year 2018
- Any other blockchain projects that are competing with Elastos
If you would like to find out more about the discussion and read Rong’s answers, visit the following topic in the forum:
Supernode Pool Recruitment and Q&A
Following the upcoming DPoS supernodes election, one of the community members, Michael Stack (known as “mikestack11”) has started this topic to gather community members who are interested in joining or creating supernode pools. He also discusses topics surrounding how the multi-signature wallets will operate for these pools. Though there are numerous members who have already expressed their interest to join or create a pool, some of them are concerned about if there is mechanism to penalise bad actors as well as the flexibility of rules and terms, including the implementation of transparent and customizable legal smart contracts for each member in the pool. If you are interested in this discussion, check out the following link:
Cyber Republic Weekly Update 25 February 2019
Starting last week, a topic will be created for all future CR weekly reports in the forum so that any feedback or comments can be presented and discussed in one place. These weekly updates are a source of reliable information about CR and Elastos. If you are a regular reader of our CR weekly report, please keep a lookout for the new weekly forum topic and drop your comments, questions, and concerns there. The following link is for the last week report:
NEO Dev Con and NEO 3.0, are we “wasting” our time?
“KenNinja” has created another topic about the potential ‘waste’ of time in technical development undertaken by Elastos to become compatible with NEO virtual machine as the NEO blockchain may change its infrastructure over time. However, Kiran Pachhai, the Elastos’ Software Development Relations Manager, provides insight regarding the sidechain infrastructure of Elastos and how this ensures that however the new NEO blockchain ends up, the NEO sidechain on Elastos will still function as normal. This is the difference between NEO public blockchain and NEO virtual machine (which is to be ported to the Elastos main chain). Have a glance at this topic if you are interested:
Check out these hot topics to see if there is anything that you can contribute to, or simply express your thoughts to help make the forum a truly vibrant community.
Top new topics
Supernode Pool Recruitment and Q & A
Unofficial Telegram Q&A with Rong Chen
Cyber Republic Weekly Update 25 February 2019
Spotlight Series – Elastos Browser (Trinity)
Top active topics (in terms of number of views and replies)
Hyper.im – Peer-to-Peer Instant Messenger
Marketing & awareness of Elastos & The Cyber Republic https://forum.cyberrepublic.org/t/marketing-awareness-of-elastos-the-cyber-republic/102/8
Bi-weekly livestream with Rong Chen
Supernode Pool Recruitment and Q & A
Hyber.im – Beta now available
dApp idea thread
Community Shout Out:
Olayode Yusuff dropped an article on Today’s Gazette that discusses a meeting between Elastos Co-Founder Sunny Feng Han and CR Interim Council Member Kevin Zhang with The World Bank.
CR Terminology: Sidechain
By Kenneth K.
As there are many terms to such a large project like Elastos and the Cyber Republic, we’ve decided to build a growing glossary of terms that can help the less technical understand better what the tech means and the impact it could have. This week we’re focusing on the term: Sidechain.
A sidechain is a discrete sub-blockchain linked to the main chain which enriches the capabilities of the main chain. Assets are exchanged between the main chain and sidechain at a predetermined rate, but because calculations can be solved on separate chains simultaneously, capacity is greatly increased. For instance, in other blockchains utilizing sidechains a user on a parent chain sends their tokens to an output address where the tokens are locked. A corresponding amount of tokens is released on the sidechain and the user is then able to utilize the tokens on the sidechain in several transactions before returning the sidechain tokens back to the main chain via the same locking mechanism. Elastos’ mechanism utilizes the same private key across mainchain and sidechains, and transfers between them are facilitated through arbitrators–the 36 Supernodes which run one node of every single chain: main chain, DID sidechain, Token sidechain, and so on so forth. Sidechains are responsible for their own security. If there is a problem in the sidechain or mainchain, they do not necessarily impact each other.
Think of a sidechain as a local road parallel to a highway. Perhaps this local road has several more intersections and stop signs and traffic moving in different directions. If these intersections and stop signs were put on the highway, things would easily slow down to full-blown traffic jam–maybe even the majority of the time. By adding these local roads parallel to the highway, it allows specific traffic to exit and get to particular places at particular times, which keeps the highway itself uncongested and freely moving.
Elastos uses a number of sidechains, each specifically designed for one type of traffic. DID sidechain just for issuing decentralized IDs and storing information for each DID. Token sidechain which has the sole purpose of issuing fungible and non-fungible tokens. Ethereum sidechain to mimic anything that Ethereum can do through smart contract or function. NEO sidechain to mimic NEO’s smart contracts and functions.
|Chinese Community Activities|
|Interview with Rong Chen by Cryptobriefing||https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/dWUQtlTRQXYKsnlCetQvaA|
|Trinity demon on WeiBo||https://www.weibo.com/tv/v/HiLOtfZNN|
|Integrating 5G into Elastos: an example||http://touziela.com/m/view.php?aid=228|
|What is the right value for ELA?||http://elastosfanszh.com/zixun/2019/0301/153.html|
|Comments from Kevin’s talk||http://elastosfanszh.com/zixun/2019/0225/143.html|
|Smart economy needs a “safe” internet||http://www.bitett.com/portal.php?mod=view&aid=2951|
In last weekly update, we discussed the DPoS alliance initiated by the Chinese community. As the alliance states, the purpose of running the nodes is not for profit but for the following reasons:
- Provide a way for token holders to benefit from the DPoS node elections;
- Encourage members to vote; and
- Prevent the collusion of “whales”.
With the current election rules, no rewards are given for voting in the DPoS elections. To encourage the community to participate, the alliance will reward its voters. ELA deposited to become a node candidate will weigh twice as much as ELA used to vote. This serves to compensate those taking the extra risk of depositing ELA, as well as the initial set-up cost of hardware. When deciding the weight factor, there were some considerations for the node candidates. The rewards cannot be:
- too low: if the reward is too low, node candidates will not be attracted and it may cause collusion between the nodes during elections; or,
- too high: it is unfair to voters and it will not attract enough members to join the alliance
This alliance encourage members to vote by maximizing the yield of every ELA they use to vote with. Referencing the formula given in the last weekly update, the percentage of the profit given to node committee decreases (and rewards given to the voters increases) with an increase in voting rate. Here are some figures:
|Votes obtained by the alliance||% of reward for node on deposit|
Though rewards to voters are increasing, the absolute amount for the nodes will still increase as the alliance receive more profit as a whole. In short, this formula increases the profit of both voters and the nodes with more gains to the voters the more voters there are.
Preventing the collusion of “whales”
The circulating ELA is about 14.6 million. If 1 ELA is allowed to cast 1 vote, the number of votes required to secure a node is about 14.6M/96=152K. When 1 ELA is allowed to cast 36 votes, the number of votes to secure a node is about 36*14.6M/96=5.48M (which secures all 36 nodes if members of an alliance are forced to vote for candidates of the same alliance). If one believes that forming alliances is the best way to secure personal benefits, it’s natural that eventually there will be several major alliances competing for votes. The alliances receiving the most votes will become the 24 Supernodes and the 12 nodes ranking from 37 to 48.
Thus, the bar for securing a node is significantly raised. It’s easier for the rich to coordinate an alliance. From the angel wallets, the first 24 angles hold about 4.25M ELA. Using the blockchain explorer as reference, the first 24 wallet holders hold around 3.57M ELA. It should be said clearly that there is no inference that these wallet holders will collaborate. What is highlighted is the actual holdings compared to the threshold.
It should be noted that this alliance is recruiting members from the international community, and the goal is to encourage community participation through a proper incentive structure and to prevent the potential dominance of the rich via collusion. Community members are invited to discuss the possible scenarios and ways that benefit the community the most. Here is a forum post discussing it:
Interview: Krisha A.
Tell us a little about yourself… where did you go to school? What was your major?
At the age of 20, I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science at STI College Global City. I started as an intern at Cognizant Technology Solutions, a BPO company. I was assigned to a Network and Services Systems office where I learned how IT operates in the real world. I also took a one-year vocational course for Computer Systems Servicing NC II at TESDA.
I often accepted remote jobs online. I was a researcher for a US-based cryptocurrency investor. He introduced me to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. He was the reason why I have my position right now in Elastos. What I did then was look over the coins on coinmarketcap.com for some tokens with good forward prospects. Among these was Elastos.
I recommended Elastos to my employer and he followed my recommendation. I met the lead evangelist of Elastos, Clarence, at a meetup in San Francisco. Elastos had been looking for an organizer to manage a meetup in Manila and my previous employer suggested me to Clarence. When the event was first posted on meetup.com, Mr. Alex Timbol was among the first to RSVP, so I messaged him and asked if he could help me out.
I am a Community Organizer and representative of Elastos here in the Philippines where my persona is the “Elastos Princess”. This persona helps to market blockchain to colleges and other young developers. I’m helped by my Mom’s food and catering business, and by a veteran sales and marketing professional who advises me and helps out in Elastos’ Philippines activities.
Alex has years of experience in corporate communications for a food and beverage company, and decades of experience in Institutional Stockbroking around Southeast Asia. He has worked in social entrepreneurship, community organizing, events management, PR crisis management, and disaster response.
He is based in Metro Manila, and I am in Central Luzon, around 120km apart, so he can quickly attend to requirements in the National Capital while I am near enough to make a day trip if necessary. But, Central Luzon, where I am, is among the regional software and blockchain development supercenters due to the Clark and Subic Freeports.
I recently started working in Network Security Support at a Company in Central Luzon.
What are your hobbies? Any special activities you like to do with friends and family?
Whenever I have free time, I watch American TV or Asian anime series. My family and I go to the beach and attend concerts together. We’re a very close family. My mom has a food service business, Raemily’s, and sometimes I help out, gaining valuable practical experience, just as Jeff Bezos said he worked at McDonald’s in his teens.
Raemily’s handled catering and logistics during the October 13 event, and I can always rely on my Mom and her crew for support.
You set up an Elastos meetup in the Philippines, how did it go?
On October 9, 2018, Clarence went to Manila for two things: First, Elastos purchased a booth at Blockchain Fair Asia on October 10-11, 2018. I worked with Clarence to set up the booth and meet the other local and foreign blockchain personalities, including the leadership at NEM Philippines, with whom we now have a cooperative arrangement.
On October 13, 2018, I organized the first ever meetup of Elastos in the Philippines. Clarence Liu was the speaker and it was his first time to visit the Philippines. The meetup lasted for 4 hours. The number of attendees exceeded 100. It set benchmarks in the local Blockchain industry in terms of attendance, relevance of audience, and number of newbies to blockchain.
We had over 40 tech students from two campuses Cavite State University, the largest University system in Southern Luzon. Other blockchains and crypto events had as little as 10 attendees, and there were few with more than fifty attendees–usually the same regular enthusiasts. With Elastos, we wanted to ensure that we had more and that we would break records, so we reached out to IT and student groups via their social media pages, and I personally I invited them with persistent PMs and emails. As a result, we had over a hundred attendees from different communities. Even Star Trek Philippines teleported over to learn about the Internet of the Future. In the real world, STP members are professionals in tech and content creation.
You can watch the event video on youtube here: https://youtu.be/QiuKCmHHJtM
Are there going to be any future meetups?
We have been continually participating in 3-5 tech events per month that may be roughly categorized into into three categories: Networking events, brand presence, and educational events. It is a continuous campaign.
Despite limited resources, Elastos is probably amongst the top five most well known blockchain developments in the Philippines, along with the well-funded NEM, corporate-backed EOS, app wallet enabler Stellar, and universally known Ethereum.
For many of the communities we are reaching out to, we are the first to present blockchain in general, and Elastos in particular.
Notable networking events we’ve attended have been “Women in Blockchain”, with whom I am working with to establish a Central Luzon chapter with other female blockchain developers based in Pampanga, my home province, and nearby Zambales, Bataan, and Nueva Ecija; PADCDI (Philippine Association of Distributed Computing Developers, Inc.) annual meeting, which includes key personalities from the blockchain focussed CEZA (Cagayan Economic Zone Authority in Northeastern Luzon), and the prominent Loyalcoin, headed by local celebrity Paolo Bediones, which runs loyalty programs built upon the NEM blockchain; and Fintech Philippines, which is heavy on professionals in the formal financial sector, and auditing and consulting firms.
Alex has also participated in government and industry events representing Elastos to build links with relevant state offices. Key events he’s attended are the DICTs Internet Governance symposium which connected us to leading regional tech players and infrastructure providers, and the larger DICTs Incubators annual meetup attended by tech incubator operators around the country. This has enabled us to obtain access to key officials and identify state programs that sync with Elastos’ objectives.
One example is DICTs Rural Impact Sourcing program which trains countryside folk to access online paying jobs in software development, web development, content creation and design. If we can form a partnership with them, we could have Elastos development and content creation among their recommendations list.
We have brand presence activities by proxy with college and university tech groups, and moving forward, with several key dev groups. We provide them event support in terms of snacks and food items, and they place a large vertical banner at their venue while encouraging members to sign up for Cyber Republic. We’ve done this at the University of the Philippines, Polytechnic University in Quezon City, Unibersidad de Manila, and recently De La Salle University’s Computer Engineers. It’s cost efficient, and doesn’t require our presence.
Last Christmas, we participated in two blockchain event Christmas parties, where we also brought along a group of students from universities we’ve been in touch with.
Levelling up, we conduct, on a recurring basis, booth presence during school tech events, where we have a booth display and sign ups for the Cyber Republic. In these events, I lead the booth team, sometimes with Alex, sometimes with a team of students from the host school or an organization from another school. We are able to collect dozens of sign ups and strengthen links with the school organizations, as well as other Elastos enthusiasts. We’ve done this at De La Salle University and Unibersidad de Manila as sponsors of events organized by Coding Girls, organizers of school events; and at FEU-Tech and Angeles University upon the invitation of student groups themselves. We have around a dozen more invitations for the months ahead.
So, that’s our secret. Rather than organize our own events, we support and participate in student organization led events if it provides the right audience for Elastos. It reduces costs per signup, and minimizes logistical requirements, and we provide value by linking up student groups from other schools and signing them up to Cyber Republic.
The highest level of involvement we do is a speaking event. Alex spoke at two such events sponsored by Elastos. At the College of St.Benilde School of Arts and Design, he spoke on the basics of blockchain and how Elastos provides a secure publishing platform to monetize creative works. At La Verdad Community College’s ICT Week, he spoke on SMEs and Startups, in deference to the Blockchain talk by our friends at NEM. In both cases, Elastos branding was clearly presented and the technology well-discussed during the speeches.
Our involvement with LVCC has even greater potential going forward. Located in Southern Pampanga, they have the largest school campus in that area, with a student body known for their skills in mass communications. We hope that we can work with them as they evolve into a technology hub in their area, a complementary partner to the already established MetroClark ICT Council in Northern Pampanga, with whom we have also connected.
How is the interaction with the community in the Telegram and Facebook groups that you run?
Our interaction is really good! We always make sure to share latest news about Elastos especially on Telegram. We encouraged students we met to join us to our facebook group. We post some videos and resources to increase their knowledge of Elastos.
The Telegram group incorporates the global Filipino diaspora, some developers, and others are crypto investors of Elastos enthusiasts. The Elastos Philippines Facebook group is more local in character; membership includes students and developers seeking updates on Elastos. Much work still needs to be done to encourage interaction among these members.
If you were to give the Elastos Foundation any constructive criticism , what would it be?
Elastos Foundation needs to grow beyond crypto enthusiasts and developers and craft marketing programs for the different stakeholders in its ecosystem, from consumers to content creators. We’ve identified that developers, independent content creators, content publishers, secure financial transactions, and consumers are key stakeholders of the ecosystem. Another would be VCs to fund promising software and hardware projects being built using Elastos technology.
I could say that we’ve already gone ahead of Elastos, presenting the technology as a secure means for content creators to monetize their works. Alex delivered a talk at College of Saint Benilde, to its students in content creation, and we attended the local launch of Huion, meeting animators and anime artists, including the Head of the Cebu Animators Guild, who is enthusiastic to encourage independent animators to publish on elastos. At both events, and at others, content creators are eager to publish on a secure platform where they can monetize their works.
We’d like to see more push in branding as a consumer technology, much like “Intel Inside.” Widespread awareness sparks widespread interest in developing and publishing on the platform in a circle that could leapfrog Elastos way ahead of similar rivals.
Elastos’ advantage is that it has a consumer device on the market, according to the CTO of another network blockchain Alex spoke with. Let’s build on this. Soon, there could be tens of millions of TV boxes, and Elastos enabled Wi-fi (like Fon), Elastos secured smart homes and home devices, as Rong Chen mentioned on LinkedIn.
What are your thoughts about the Cyber Republic?
Cyber Republic underwent an overhaul shortly after we introduced Elastos to the Philippines in October 2018. Such an open platform may be prone to abuse, with some gaming the tasks system at the expense of legitimate projects. I understand it’s being reworked to be more effective, and we are eagerly awaiting a revamped Cyber Republic.
That aside, it’s a fantastic idea to have a forum for the global community, with the caveat that there may be competitors, fraudsters, spies and other unsavories lurking within its confines. The site needs more focus and structure. It should be easier to find people and form groups, and there should be private workspaces for virtual teams.
Are you hopeful for the future of this ecosystem? Any comments, concerns or insight would be greatly appreciated.
The ecosystem already exists. It’s huge. A million TV boxes are in consumers’ homes distributing DRM protected content made by thousands in the content creation industries. It can be ten million TV boxes, or over a billion Elastos enabled devices of various types in homes worldwide.
We’ve been asking Clarence to encourage hardware partners to distribute in the Philippines. At the moment, according to the node map, there is only one such device in the Philippines and it’s in my house. With over 300,000 Mainland Chinese working here, and around five million Filipinos of Chinese descent eager for Chinese language content, local tech importers are keen to bring in the device.
Have you been in contact with any developers or businesses in the Philippines area that are in the beginning stages or incorporating the Elastos technology?
We introduced Clarence to developers within their own development houses in the Philippines during his visit. Most have reviewed the technology, provided some feedback, mostly about the yet-to-be completed tools, but they are eager to work on the platform.
Earlier, I mentioned that we’ve been promoting Elastos technology among young student devs. We’ve reached out to thousands, and with school break coming up soon, we’ll remind them of Elastos and encourage them to experiment on the platform.
We’re in touch with wallet developers coins.ph and TagCash, both popular in Southeast Asia and proposing that they include ELA among their supported currencies.
So, we’ve raised awareness and know that we need to move onwards to yet another higher level, delivering lectures on programming on the Elastos blockchain and conducting Elastos hackathons. We hope to identify and recruit a capable developer into our team so we may push forward with this.
We’ve been able to build links with dozens of school tech organizations, and several national tech societies, opening doors for us to participate in their events going forward. Examples of these are ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) and related Junior ISSA in colleges, JPCS (Junior Philippines Computer Society), and various other specialized tech groups providing us access to their events schedules from which we may select. It will be busy year.
Our goal is to introduce Elastos to tech communities around the country, creating Elastos enthusiast cells, who may further organize and participate in events in their areas.
Elastos Hive Cluster: a decentralized File Storage Service that based on IPFS cluster. For more information: https://blog.cyberrepublic.org/2019/02/19/weekly-report-february-18-2019/
Elastos Sidechain: a scaling solution that utilizes parallel blockchains to the main chain in order decrease transaction congestion on the main chain.
Feel free to leave a comment with your concerns, questions, and suggestions (or praises), for the Cyber Republic.
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