Harmony x Satoshi Club AMA


Asalways, SatoshiClub’s community enjoys events full of entertainment. Today we would like to tell you about the conversation we’ve had with our friends from Harmony. The AMA took place on May 28 and our guest was Corey Strong (Co-Founder of Harmony).

The reward pool was $200 and has been splitted in 3 parts.

In this story, we will try to summarise the most interesting points for you. It would be as fun as the real thing, but we’ll try to get as close as possible.

Part 1 — Introduction and questions collected on our platform

Serg: Hello @nickw123 ! Welcome to Satoshi Club! Please tell us a few things about yourself

Irina Kravchuk: Hi @nickw123 Welcome

Nick White: Hey everyone, I’m co-founder of Harmony and honored to be here to talk to you all. I hope we convert you all to Harmonauts today

Irina Kravchuk: Good luck! We’re very happy to have you as our guest as well

Serg: We are pleased as well to have you here today. Please briefly introduce Harmony to us

Nick White: My background is I grew up in Hawaii before going to Stanford for my BS and MS in AI/neural networks. Then I moved to Hong Kong and fell down the crypto rabbit hole and started Harmony with my co-founders Stephen, Sahil and RJ.

We set out to solve the problem of scalability. We decided that if blockchain were to become adopted by the masses and create the same level of impact as the internet itself, we needed to build a blockchain that could support billions of people, would settle transactions in seconds, and would be extremely cheap to use, all while maintaining strong decentralization.

So we designed an architecture that combined the best of sharding and proof of stake, using the best new cryptographic primitives and networking techniques. Our blockchain now supports thousands of TPS with 8 seocnd settlement time and each tx costs less than $.000001. And we’re still decentralized. We have 1000 nodes now and are heading to many thousands of nodes over the coming year.

Serg: was it hard to move from AI/neural networks to blockchain?

Nick White: Luckily I studied Electrical engineering which gives you a broad background in computer science, so it wasn’t all to hard for me to jump into blockchain and crypto.

Irina Kravchuk: Why did you move to Hong Kong?

Nick White: I joined an AI incubator/VC in Hong Kong as “AI specialist”

Serg: Thanks for this introduction, Nick! Ready for question 1?

Nick White: Of course

Q1 from Telegram user luckydraw66

What will be Harmony next steps towards achieving mass adoption? What Blockchain use cases are currently working on and which use cases do you think will be the most successful in driving blockchain technology adoption?

Nick White: The next step for mass adoption for us is creating a comprehensive grants program for developers to building tooling and apps on Harmony. We want to cultivate a rich developer community and ecosystem, while also helping target some key use cases. In particular we see our blockchain as very well suited for financial applications and payments. We imagine Harmony to be a global settlement layer for cross border finance. We think the growth in adoption of stable coins is only just starting and we want to position ourselves in front of that wave. In addition to payments, our chain supports smart contracts so we can also build DeFi applications.

Serg:is there any financial app built on Harmony at the moment?

Nick White: We have our first big announcement around this coming very soon!

Irina Kravchuk: I would be very happy to see a serious alternative to PayPal coming in the near future!

By grants you mean offering money to projects for development?

Nick White: Yes we will be using the funds in our foundation to offer developers to work on projects with us.

Serg:can you tell us more about the finances? where does it come from?

Nick White: Sure thing. So at our launch we created a foundation with a certain portion of the ONE tokens in supply. These funds are meant to be used for ecosystem growth and adoption. We plan to also develop a governance system to help us give out grants and use this money in a decentralized way.

Irina Kravchuk: So basically the community will choose? The projects that are being financed?

Nick White: I don’t want to say anything final until we’ve arrived at a governance design, but the community will be part of the decision making. Eventually we would like to remove our own company’s involvement and go fully decentralized, but that may take some time.

Q2 from Telegram user nickkiii

1000 Validators is quite a huge number, what made you choose for Harmony to have 1k validators rather than fewer like binance chain has?

Nick White: Great question. The answer is decentralization. The thing that makes any blockchain better than another (or even better than a database) is how decentralized it is. When a blockchain limits the number of nodes it has, it becomes more centralized. Both in terms of infrastrucutre as well as in terms of power on the chain. Infrastructure centralization is dangerous if a nation state were to try to shut down the network. Centralization of power on the chain is dangerous because it can lead to collusion or simply a dictatorship.

We want Harmony to set new standards not just for speed and cost but also for decentralization in blockchain. In time we would love to see 10’s of thousands or 100’s or even millions of nodes. That’s why we made it possible to run a Harmony node on a simple machine like your laptop.

Another added benefit is that as a sharded chain the more nodes we have, the more throughput we gain. It’s a win win. More throughput, more decentralization.

Serg:the sharding technology is similar to the one ETH 2.0 is going to implement? Buterin said smth about sharding

Nick White: Yes we have a similar design to ETH 2.0, except we have fast finality and we are already launched!! ETH 2.0 hasn’t even started phase 1 which is just the start of a new non-sharded POS chain. They will still have to build sharding after that. Plus all the compatibility and migration problems they’ll encounter both technically as well as in the community.

Irina Kravchuk: So no limits when it comes to the number of nodes?

Nick White: There is probably a limit somewhere, unclear where it might be. Also if we run into those problems, we will likely be able to engineer a solution down the road.

The only bottleneck in sharding is the beacon chain, which has special duties among all other shards. If there become too many shards then the beacon chain may become overwhelmed. There may be a more advanced design that could solve this problem though. One in which groups of shards are nested perhaps.

Q3 from Telgram user endtimeprophet

What’s EPOS and how is it better than POS. What makes Effective Proof of Stake consensus better for harmony

Nick White: “Effective Proof of Stake” EPOS is a new spin on allocating voting power and rewards in a proof of stake network that our CTO RJ developed. Proof-of-stake blockchains have been criticized for “rich get richer” economics in which the largest stakers earn the most. EPOS counters this problem by capping the rewards of large stakers and boosting the rewards of smaller stakers.

The way that it works in more detail is that people bid for a certain number of available seats on the network. Right now that number is 320. Among the top 320 bids, the median is taken. That median sets an upper and lower bound on the amount of rewards that each bid will earn. So if you bid too much higher than the median you will not earn very much, but if you are much lower than the median you will earn extra.

One of the nice side effects of this model is that it allows for compounding of rewards in staking since there’s no fixed node staking price.

Serg:what is the reward for the nodes?

Nick White: The inflation rate is currently 3%. People are currently earning ~15% annual staking rewards right now.

Irina Kravchuk: And the biding is made automatically within a range? That the nodes set?

Nick White: The bidding is done by the validators themselves. Some do it manually, others do it with a script.

Serg:what if all the available tokens will be staked? it means that the return will be 3%, right?

Nick White: Yes if 100% of total supply is staked, the annual reward will be 3%. We have a very detailed economic model here: https://medium.com/harmony-one/harmonys-new-tokenomics-bcdac0db60d7

To see EPOS live in aciton, check out our staking dashboard: https://staking.harmony.one/analytics

Yield curves for the first 3 years of rewards.

Q4 from Telgram user DEC2607

How does Harmony’s roadmap for 2020 look like? Name some important milestones you are hoping to achieve?

Nick White: Now that we’re equipped with a battle-tested base layer, we will shift gears to pursue adoption with the same nonstop execution that enabled us to launch the first sharded PoS blockchain. Our scalability, speed and cost will enable use cases and user experiences that no other blockchain before us could.

Our roadmap for 2020 includes reducing settlement times below 8 seconds, transitioning to community governance, and pursuing several promising application areas including cross-border finance, auditable privacy and branded digital collectibles.

We have a couple of exciting partnership announcements coming up that will help show people where we’re headed. A high priority will be bringing stable coins onto our platform. I’m looking forward to launching with Quidd in 2020.

We also brought on a new team mate to lead our marketing efforts. He’s going to do a great job in boosting our awareness and image. The timing is perfect now that we have a battle-tested base layer to build on.

Q5 from Telgram user IAM12312

You guys had an $8 million joint acquisition of Quidd with Animoca. Can you tell us about its Importance?

Nick White: Yes, Quidd is a bridge for Harmony into the digital collectible and blockchain gaming ecosystem. We look forward to launching a blockchain powered version of the Quidd app and onboarding it’s 13M collectors to Harmony. Quidd also brings a huge number of well known brands like Marvel, Disney, Rick and Morty, giving Harmony the chance to be the first to put these brands on the blockchain.

Ready to open the chat.

Part 2 — live questions from the Telegram community

Q1 from Telegram user Keymer Salom

Most investors only focus on the price of tokens in the short term, not the actual value of the project. Can Harmony tell me the benefits of holding Harmony for long-term investors?

Nick White: This is a good question. There are a lot of things to consider about Harmony’s economic model. First of all, we have very low inflation, meaning that your purchasing power will not get diluted quickly as it would in other chains. Second of all, we burn all transaction fees which means that the more adoption our chain gets, the fewer coins get minted until there are no more issued just like Bitcoin. Third, you can use your ONE tokens to earn staking rewards, so if you believe in the long term potential of the project you should stake.

Q2 from Telegram user Matvey Morozov

Interested in the issue of staking, is it possible to participate with a small amount of coins? What is the estimated profitability at the moment?

Nick White: This is a good question. The minimum number of coins to stake if you are delegating is 1000 ONE, or $3 USD. So it’s very accessible not matter how small your holdings are. We want it this way to encourage as many people around the world to participate. This is what decentralization is about.

To run a node, you will need to attract a minimum of 8M ONE stake through your own funds and delegation. We hope to keep this number low by adding more seats over time so that it’s not too expensive to join.
Estimated returns are roughly 15%. It could increase or decrease depending on if more stake is added or removed from the network. We are currently at 3B total stake.

It is how staking in ONE wallet looks like

Q3 from Telegram user Jolaine KL

As a project born in the IEO of binance, practically, do you think that having been on this platform was a good option?

Nick White: Binance has been a huge support to us over the past year. We will be celebrating the 1 year anniversary of our IEO on June 1st. Since the IEO they have helped us run community campaigns to attract delegators and validators. Most recently they have supported staking for our mainnet launch. It’s really incredible what they’ve done for Harmony. They truly believe in supporting decentralization.

Q4 from Telegram user Rohit

DeFi is one of the hottest topic in the blockchain space right now. Can you share your opinion about DeFi with us? Do you think that DeFi will disrupt the existing financial system? WHAT’S #HARMONY approach towards the DeFi sector?

Nick White: DeFi is certainly the hottest topic in blockchain right now. I think that Harmony needs to experiment with DeFi and our path to get there is first to get assets like stable coins on our blockchain. Only when we have assets on our chain will there be something for DeFi apps to use as collateral or trade on DEXs.

Harmony will offer many advantages over legacy chains like ethereum for defi. First of all the cost per transaction will be radically lower. Second of all the settlement times will be much faster so you can actually use a DeFi app as you would a normal web app. The difference is stark. We’re looking forward to the first batch of grants bringing on some DeFi apps to our chain!

Q5 from Telegram user Bobbyfernandito

Ontology and Zilliqa also have sharding technology. What’s so special about Harmony’s sharding? What are the main advantages users can see using EPoS instead of PoS?.

Nick White: Our sharding is special because we are the first to do full sharding and we are the first to combine sharding with Proof of Stake. Other chains like Zilliqa only do transaction sharding. This means they are not fully scalable in the end as other bottlenecks like state storage still exist. We do full state sharding, meaning there are no bottlenecks at all. Every aspect of our chain is sharded.

Second of all, we have proof of stake. It has taken many projects years to build a non-sharded proof of stake chain. This is a frontier technology on its own and combining it wil sharding adds a whole new level of complexity. Staking must be coordinated globally across the entire network, yet each shard must also individually run their own proof-of-stake consensus. This means that each shard must relay information back and forth with a beacon shard to coordinate all the basics such as voting power, slashing and rewards. Ensuring that such a system runs securely requires enormous theoretical rigor and practical engineering.

Thanks so much everyone!

Irina Kravchuk: Thank you for your time and great answers!

Serg:Thank you for your time, Nick!

Part 3— quiz results

In the final part we would like you to check your knowledge in terms of Harmony. They’ve prepared 4 questions for this part, so everyone could be a part and answer. All the correct answers you will find at the bottom of this Recap. Enjoy!

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