The following text is a transcript of the 3rd episode of the monthly Verity Live Q&A Session that took place on January 29th, 2018.
If you wish to watch the video, you can do so on our YouTube channel.
Verity Live Q&A Session #4 summary
The main topics covered in the 4th Q&A Session across the recap and the actual Q&A segment include:
- Validation Nodes progress update
- ‘V for Verity’ competition rewards update
- Verity as an oracle for prediction markets
- Introduction of Verity’s blog
- Blockfolio Signal announcement
- Verity joins Network Catalyst Accelerator by Village Global
- Alpha events experimentation and overview
- New Verity interface teasers
- Potential future revenue models
- Why is Verity on the Ethereum blockchain
- Overview of trends in the crypto space in 2019
- Security of the Verity protocol
- ‘Multi-account’ issues and solutions
Verity Live Q&A Session #4 begins
[09:34] Martin and Nick make an introduction to the 4th Q&A Session
Martin and Nick from Verity
. So, today we’re here for the Q&A session. We’re going to talk a little bit about what happened, what are our future plans and hopefully we can answer all of your questions that you posted. Very awesome questions by the way.
Thank you. We’ve just gone through them. Really impressed. The questions are all super good. So, we’re going to do a bit of a recap of December and January. Going to go through that and then we’re going go through the questions and
obviouslyanswer as many as we can in the time we’vego available.
So thanks everyone for joining us.
[10:10] Recap of the last month
Verity Christmas party
So what happened in December. Well, first of all as you know – Christmas. So, most of the team was away from about 23rd to about the 7th, with some of the team coming back earlier.
We had a fantastic Christmas party at a really nice restaurant. We actually invited partners this time, which is something we haven’t done in the past,
and enough, everyone brought their partners and we got to meet everyone’s better half. ,funnily
Which was great fun. So that was a big success. But of course you’re not here to hear about our Christmas party, but definitely one of the highlights.
Validation Nodes progress
So, probably the biggest thing that happened in December was our nodes, which we’ve been working on for some time.
As you know, everyone here probably watching this stream has already been using our Alpha nodes for some time, but, of course, moving to a fully decentralized network on the main net requires a little bit more substantial and well-engineered platform than our Alpha that debuted back in March last year.
Maybe I’ll let Martin go in a little bit more detail on this particular point, being it’s pretty important. How do you think the node testing went in December?
Super awesome, better than expected actually. It’s very hard to build something that’s decentralized and by putting out the code that anybody can run and you have to expect all possible attacks.
Of course, we’re still not there to kind of have a full complete package but the first experience was actually that we launched the nodes and we got people to download them and run them and it worked. Yeah, it was a pretty good first impression. There were some hiccups where people that didn’t maybe completely understand as it was a little bit more technical on how to actually launch the nodes, but, you guys did a very good job and most of the people successfully started their nodes so, yeah.
We’re now moving into the next stage, implementing more features to the nodes themselves, the staking, the disputes and making them full-fledged. So far, very good.
So essentially, we ran a bunch of internal test with us joining events that were run on the new nodes that were being hosted across the globe and yes as Martin said, the nodes performed really well. Of course, some of the tests failed, but we quickly found and fixed a few bugs, as you’d expect, but the point is that we now have something that is really good.
We’ve always had great developers on the team that we’re very fortunate to have. And the proof is in the pudding, We’re really confident that we’ve got something here that’s kind of forming the base of the future of the Verity protocol.
Yeah we feel like we’re reasonably on time, having this in December puts us in a good place to basically launch these, I know I am speaking too soon, but Q1 is our anticipated time frame to have these in your hands.
Yeah, we’ll talk a little bit more about that, as Nick basically explained, the open beta part is scheduled in Q1, we’re talking April or May here, so we just want everybody to download it and play with it and help us grow the network and which kind of gets us closer to our end goal which is us being separated from the network itself and really proving that the decentralized oracle could be there as a source of ultimate truth and we are definitely on the road to that goal.
So that’s the biggest most significant thing, but a bunch of other things happened as well….
“V for Verity” rewards update
We also ran a “V for Verity” competition which ended. We were really blown away with the entries. Some really creative thinking,
… some really creative stuff.
Awesome work, so thank you all for those who entered. I think today we’re actually sending off across the world…
So you’re getting hoodies very very soon!
So keep an eye out for the courier if you’re one of the lucky winners. But, thank you. That was just a fantastic competition. So yes, we actually expect more competitions like that, more creative ideas we have for you, so we just love when we get such passion and support from the community. It’s awesome.
Verity as an oracle for prediction markets
Yeah. We also ran our first Augur prediction market, with Verity set as the oracle. So, sometimes you know oracle… Uhm… I used to do some stuff with expenses in a previous SaaS business and you know people would confuse all the players like Expensify is the same as others and having 10 different categories; products for big businesses, for small business there are products for accounts payable for employee and it’s the same for oracles. There’s bunch of oracle products out there, but they’re all kind of doing different things.
So, Augur is one of those ones that people sometimes think that’s doing something similar to us, but really they’re a prediction market, they do have an oracle themselves which helps resolve those prediction markets. But we thought it would be fun to run our own market on Augur with Verity as the set oracle.
Particularly interesting given the recent story that’s been developing with their prediction market around the Congress and basically for those who don’t know the person who posted the market tried to claim that the Democrats hadn’t won the House after the election and then this dispute has been going on for some time
I think, like, 15 weeks, So it’s an understatement for “some time”.
Exactly. So, the problem here is obviously that while the oracle part is performing as designed, there is a certain low performance that would be one way of justifying it.
Yeah, we don’t think it is as efficient and it’s all hands down to Augur team – they created an awesome product. But their main focus is creating prediction markets, not creating an oracle.
So the oracle works fine but we’re solving a little bit of a different problem and we can be very efficient even in a prediction markets, so that’s why we thought that kind of implementing us or pointing us as an oracle or resolution agent to prediction markets like Augur or stocks is one of the big use cases for Verity.
Exactly. So, we set up our own around the final Brexit vote so I think we had around 100 people come in and resolve that the vote was voted down and that was fed back to the Augur market that we set up.
So, we might run a few more of these, it was fun. And also put us on the radar of the augur community, which is a strong and vibrant community as well. But also I mean for anyone listening or watching this, welcome to use Verity as an oracle for other markets or whatever you have in mind. So it was fun and watch the space, we might run some more in the future.
Verity wishlist. We also created a wish list because we obviously do get a lot of community requests and ideas and we wanted a better way of tracking this. So, basically from now you can actually post to that wishlist on the Reddit.
Any ideas, suggestions, if you have a project of your own and you would like to use Verity are welcome.
Goodbye telegram, hello Discord
In other news, we have basically switched over to Discord from Telegram. I think it’s great. Anyone who has been in Telegram communities knows how there really is a bit of a stretch of the design to have thousands of people in a chat.
Yeah. We think that Telegram is perfect for small communities. It basically acts like a straightaway-messaging app. But it has its downsides when you scale the community to hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of people.
And we all kind of started with Telegram even though our actual preferred method in the beginning was using Discord or Slack but as most of the crypto community was on Telegram it was a natural starting point for us.
But now we’re moving to Discord, trying to keep the core community there, engage you as much as possible, get the feedback, talk with MDPs and with people running the nodes. And just the capabilities of Discord, having separate chat rooms, having bots that can help us monitor the community, give rewards or give levels.
Of course, if you guys you want us to move back, let us know. But we’re really hoping that you stick with us on this one, we think it’s going to be well worth it. And the whole point of the community is to grow the community, so we want a platform that supports that rather than you know can make it a little bit trickier.
Meet the team on Instagram
On a lighter note – we also did a “Meet the team” post on Instagram last month. So, you know we’ve got quite a few people on the team and if you jump on our Instagram you can see pictures of each of them along with funny facts. So jump on our Instagram and follow us if you’re not already.
Frequent visits to San Francisco
Now, one of our questions is about what we’ve been doing in San Francisco, from which we just came back from a 10 day trip there. We’ve met with one of the AWS engineers on their blockchain side which was insightful, and we also attended some of the presentations there.
But I’ll tell you the lead, you know the big news on the first question on the list.
Couple of other things:
Verity as one of the top emerging startups in the region
There was also a startup report from the region’s #1 accelerator, ABC, actually based here in Slovenia, but they’re basically the #1 accelerator for South Eastern Europe. So they had a hot-startups to watch list and we were on top of that list so thank you ABC for noticing us and writing some nice words. It was very good.
Birthdays at the office
A bunch of birthdays we celebrated in January of course. For a bunch of team members. I know I am rushing now, cause we’ve got a lot of questions and sort of trying to get through the news update.
Verity Alpha events testing and reward distribution
So, as a lot of you doing events, essentially what we’re trying to do is test Verity across
bunchof different use cases. We’ve had some new ones – some fake review detection, some audio recognition, insurance claim evaluation. So those were new event types and we know from talking to you guys that you guys quite like these more challenging ones.
We also distributed the Alpha event rewards that have been backlogged for a little while, so those were sent out. I think over 4 million VTY were distributed so that was fantastic to just show our appreciation to everyone who participated so far.
Yeah and they will from now on be distributed on a weekly basis and this process is going to be much faster now.
Yeah, we’ve improved that drastically. And yeah more experiments to come. You know sometimes not every event reaches a consensus. But that’s actually kind of what we’re looking for in a lot of cases. If we have consensus on everything then it’s like an experiment where “true” would happen every time so it’s actually really important that we have some of these false outcomes.
Not to discount our use case entirely but to find the breaking point the way that Verity works
ithat it is not binary, there is a bunch of parameters which you can set and so if you obviously have more people on the event, more rewards, et cetera, you can expect stronger results.
So, we’re actually deliberately are trying to figure out where the current mechanism breaks. How many is too few people, not enough reward; so it’s all part of the process to build these guidelines on how to use Verity in the best way.
Our mantra is really experimenting and trying to pinpoint what is the perfect consensus time, is it one sigma too much or too little, what the normal distribution looks like, so to kind of play with those parameters and to learn how the psychology behind the human actions works. It’s really important to nail those parameters and we’re testing different use cases.
We expect a lot of future use cases to not reach a consensus but this also kind of means that the company which would buy this data in a real world use case would actually know that there is no strong consensus of what the results should be.
Verity is present on Blockfolio Signal
So another very important update is that we are now on Blockfolio Signal.
Anybody that’s in the crypto space for some time knows that it is one the most useful apps to track your portfolio or the companies or projects you like and follow, the projects you follow. When we were approached by their team I was really surprised “is this really happening?”
Their current Signal only has a small minority of strong and important projects, which gives as another brilliant alternative for us push updates to everyone in the community directly. So we really urge everyone to download Blockfolio, add our ticker (VTY) to it and you’re all set. It’s not only to monitor what’s happening with Verity, but to mostly be updated about what’s happening with Verity as well.
So, you’ll get all the signals. So yeah it’s not like a commercial, we don’t get anything out of it, but it does make it simpler for those using it to be updated with our and other projects’ news as well. We’re very happy to be in this group and would like to once again encourage you to use it.
[24:37] Closing the recap segment
So, that’s the recap. Quite a lot of stuff in a relatively short month. The whole team is back on board so it’s all a go. We look forward to updating you on everything that happened in January the next month. But yeah, super great month. But yeah – the highlight was our validation nodes – Alpha version 2.0 running decentralized. So, now onto the questions.
[25:08] – Questions and Answers segment begins
*Looking at the questions submitted live*
Yeah I’ll go back to the first question..
We kind of covered some, and we’ll cover some others now and we’ll go back if there are any more new questions in this live stream channel.
So the first question is about me.
I haven’t done any of these before with the team. My role actually has been as the kind of angel investor from day one. So I was involved with other projects and other businesses so I wasn’t full-time since day one. But basically I had been an angel investor, not specifically in
Verty, but actually an angel investor in the two other co-founders of Verity, so Luka and Martin for the past two or three years. Basically backing them as individuals with a lot of talent, mobility, knowledge and with the belief that they’re destined to create a really successful company one day. So that’s basically what I have been doing.
And then it wasn’t until sort of middle of last year, 2018, that I realized that this is a huge opportunity. We’re in this because we think that there’s a chance to build the next major protocol to build a foundation layer of the “decentralized internet” as it were. And so, yeah, that was the opportunity that I had and I decided to take it. Basically, I transitioned from that advisory investor role into a management role. So, not as CEO but Martin has been the CEO the whole time and will remain in that position, but more in a sort of an, I guess, COO / CFO role is what I am here doing.
I kind of see my main job as supporting Martin to make sure that we obviously keep a cash flow runway, because we obviously got a big team and we’re building a major project that doesn’t fund itself yet and so that’s kind of what my focus on is keeping us making us investable. Obviously I’ve got a lot of experience, I’ve had 3 or 4 exists from my previous companies and definitely, an exit is not the goal here. This is really about building some substantial piece of much-needed infrastructure but obviously having gone through all those things, building companies up from scratch and in many cases exiting them, built up a lot of experience which I think is helpful here.
That being said this is a whole new world, like, one of my first companies we were doing, you know, iPhone apps and I think in 2009 we founded and 2010 is when we released the app, it was iOS 3 and I remember downloading iOS 4 beta and my phone literally *chuckles*… I just never downloaded any iOS beta after that, but I wanted the multi-tasking feature that iOS 4 brought.
So, yeah, I have been in a situation where things are really immature, we couldn’t find any companies that had iPhones. We got the first Android 1.6 device and no one had one of those. So I do know what it’s like to be right at the beginning of things. It was not a lot of playbook for SaaS back in 2010 and now there is like a zillion of them like this is so many ropes. This is how you play the game if you are going to do a SaaS product. So, it feels a lot like that in a way, in that there isn’t a how-to guide about how to do a crypto company.
So there is some familiarity there, but it was also extremely challenging I mean, it’s not having you know everyone there’s a lot more of the community involved. Again if you’re doing a SaaS business now, things are a lot more professional, everyone kind of knows what the metrics are, everything is a lot more standardized, but maybe people are slightly less willing to help each other. Because people are a bit less trusting.
Whereas in this community everyone is figuring it out so there are a lot more people leaning on each other, looking for advice and it’s very easy to connect and network with the community. So yeah there’s definitely familiarities about it, and I am not the world’s greatest crypto expert. There are parts of it philosophically a lot with what I believe in, but it’s definitely Martin and Luka are the guys that understand it to the
n-thdegree and I am trying to essentially bring some of that old-world, old-world experience to the team to help us continue on this mission and deliver our vision in the end. So that’s basically what I’m here to do.
Yeah Nick is basically crucial because of the amount of experience in the business world in general, building startups and building products. I’ve learned so much from him and he helped us on this route immensely and it’s crucial to have him here as a co-founder and leading us, giving us advice, making things happen and he has this amazing feeling of what’s happening next and how to play it right and also a voice of reason, so I think he’s crucial here and I think we’re a great team together.
Yeah, we’ve worked together for three years now,
Yeah, it’s not a new gig… *chuckles*
Yeah, exactly. It’s the first gig that I have stopped what I was doing and said you know Martin this is something that we should really focus on completely. So it’s our first time pairing up completely dedicated, but we’ve been working together on projects for a number of years.
So, I guess the first kind of outcome of what I have been doing here was that I sort of took the view that as much as ICOs were disrupting venture capital, it hasn’t gone away and ICOs have certainly taken a holiday. And will they come back? Well, time will tell.
2. “Also if there are any news from San Francisco that you are able to share? Have you been satisfied with the validation node closed beta and when will there be more such events? Thank you for your time. :)” – from EustaceBage via Reddit
So, I took the view that we need some sort of access to people with a long-term view, people who had seen the world change and we sort of took the view that the US will probably be the best place for that. So we actually applied to an accelerator in the US called Village Global.
Village Global is relatively new, they’re about a 100 million fund and they’ve got some of the worlds greatest investors as their limited partners. It sort of sounds almost like ridiculous as you say it, but their Limited Partners include Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, …
It’s a total who’s who of Silicon Valley…
Of the world…
The world. Yeah the world and we are a part of the fund. And so we can yeah we can say indirectly that those people have actually invested into Verity. So that’s the big cat out of the bag
That’s the big news
We’ve been going to San Francisco because we’re part of the Village Global..
What they call Network Catalyst. It’s an accelerator, it is a fund they have invested into us and it’s also a network catalyst, an incubator and like Nick said the biggest names in the industry from Mark Zuckerberg to Jeff Bezos invested into us through them and..
So, VilageGlobal.vc for anyone who wants to take a look.
Yeah, check it out. So that’s the big secret, we’ve been kind of holding it a little bit back. So that was the major reason why we went to San Francisco and that we’re going to spend a little bit of time in the following months there as well. So you can expect a little bit more details in the post and email coming up, it’s going to be a post on the blog.
It’s already on the blog live, right now! I’ve just got a news update. So you can go and check it out right now. I don’t think we mentioned we also launched our blog so we kind of moved away from Medium and we are going to post major updates on Medium as well, but we have our own blog. We just have more flexibility and freedom there. So go check it out and we’re super thrilled to part of the Silicon Valley group now.
Yeah, exactly. It’s not just about the money, but the network that we can make.
That’s the base. The biggest.
We have a like we already mentioned on this we really have a super engineering team but you know we are in the middle of Europe but this blockchain community is quite shallow and that’s obviously had not been around for ages but it’s also very distributed.
There’s people in blockchain everywhere in the world but there is not a huge number of them, so there’s this developing community, but we feel, rightly or wrongly, that Silicon Valley still has a big place a big role to play in the development of this industry.
Yeah,there’s a lot of very very good projects out there in Silicon Valley a lot of great minds. Even what people think are competitors are not actually not, but like Augur and Chainlink and other oracle projects. Blockchain funds as well.
There’s a lot of very smart people and we still believe that the Valley is one of the best incubators for the greatest minds of the world and to build the tech and to actually have revolutionary ideas so we think that Europe is actually a little bit ahead in the whole blockchain understanding maybe and even adoption, but we think that Silicon Valley is one of the best places to grow new ideas and create revolutions. So yeah.
Essentially Silicon Valley was the beneficiary of these revolutions whereas other markets you know kind of catch the wave a bit later, once it’s really formed. So, they’re kind of the wave makers and we think that it’s a pretty important thing when you’re working in this space. So yeah, that’s it, the big news on that one.
Let’s move to the next question. I think it’s from Noahbreezy. He posted it on Reddit. He said…
3. “What are the plans for the Telegram group? Will it eventually be deleted or will Verity continue to use it?” – from Noahbreezy via Reddit
So, as we explained, we moved to Discord right now. We don’t plan to delete the Telegram group. We’re still going to push major updates there as well. We think some people still prefer telegram but we do want that the community kind of
slowly transitionto Discord and we might discontinue the Telegram group all together in the future. So for nowit stays.
4. “I am interested in how things are going n respect to the roadmap, do you think the switch to main net is feasible in the predicted time?” – from EustaceBage via Reddit
Main net release. Yeah, we covered that already. We aim to do that at Q1. Don’t want to put an exact date on that since things happen, but yeah, Q1 is the predicted time frame.
So yeah, the end of Q1 is what we think we going to move to an open beta phase. Meaning that all of you want to run validation nodes will have this option until then we are slowly increasing the number of people that registered for prime validation nodes and they are slowly being moved into our internal network which will then gradually be released into the public.
Thank you in advance, keep up the excellent work
Greetings from Portugal” – from Hayuntruco via Reddit
The next question is Hayuntruco via Reddit.
He said: “Hello Verity team…”
“Can we apply to run a prime validation node again or just for the normal nodes?”
So, right now you can’t apply for Prime Validation Node program, that was just the time a few months ago that you were able to do that. But as I said at the end of Q1 when we move into an open beta phase anybody will be able to apply for running the validation nodes and there are no limits whatsoever.
6. “What can we expect for the beta phase of the current Alpha – the features, new type of events (like prediction engine), stability, scaling and the timeline for the full launch to an actual product.” – from Slamick via Reddit
Moving to the next question – Slamick via Reddit
“What can we expect for the beta phase of the current Alpha – the features, new type of events (like prediction engine), stability, scaling and the timeline for the full launch to an actual product.”
So just to answer the stuff we didn’t so far. Everything you see is being redesigned and re-engineered. Not because we want to have a fancier UI even though there are a lot of improvements on that side as well, its because it needs to work now with the new decentralized version of the nodes. So it’s not us running those. Meaning that a lot of new changes are being implemented from stakes to disputes and all of that needs to be taken into account from the marketplace view as well. So there is a totally new interface coming up.
As Nick mentioned, we’ve been very very busy. So, validation nodes and the interface is the biggest change. There’s going to be a lot of new features, the main two are of course disputes and staking. There’s also stuff like quick join and claim that’s being implemented.
Didn’t mention in the update but we actually ran a 5-day design sprint in December for the new interface for the event, just the event side. And then we did another 3 days at some of the universities here, guerilla testing it with a bunch of students.
Yeah and part of that project was also inviting you, our community, to our headquarters and helping us design the new interface. So thank you so much people came from not just Slovenia, Italy, Croatia and further ahead. So, thank you for making the time, doing the trip and giving us valuable insights and opinions.
So, going back to the question. Yes, new events. As you have noticed there is a new kind of category – insurance. We think there might be some very nice use case and we’re going to talk a little bit maybe at the next Q&A session. There’s also new events that will be tied to prediction markets, there’s going to be offensive language detection, so yeah you can expect a new variety of events.
7. “What can we expect in terms of partnerships – like frequent flights to SF for one, I’m curious to hear more about that as things get confirmed, like the visit to Amazon for one. While I would like to hear more on the traditional side, I would like to hear more about other oracle-problem solving blockchain companies, if there are any. Chainlink comes to mind among a few, is there any cooperation possible with these projects?”– from Slamick via Reddit
This one here is about partnerships and I think relates directly back to the news about Village Global in San Francisco. So, partnerships like Chainlink, and then can we do cooperation with prediction markets like Augur and anything like that.
And so, most of those projects are either based in the area or they have presence there. So, there is nothing to announce in terms of sort of official collaborations with those projects, but they are not competitors, they are out there, actually, they can be used to solve different parts of the problems. So, it’s our hope to form better relations with those companies and to work together with them if at all possible.
So, that’s one of the goals with sort of trips to San Francisco to sort of harbor those relationships and particularly with our launch to the main net, of course, there is no point launching on the main net if we have an unproven concept. And what we have done is proved out the concept on the test network and then port to main network. So, at least one of the variables, the actual most important one, you know you can have anything on main net but if the principal is flawed, then obviously you really got nothing.
So, with that move to main net in the next couple of months, that will be obviously an ideal opportunity to really position Verity as one of the leading the leading decentralized oracle and have you know hopefully some really good relationships form on the back of that.
Yeah and just to kind of clarify I also saw a question about and it’s related to the question we’re answering right now about Chainlink. A lot of people kind of mix what and how does the Verity and Chainlink fit together. What’s the difference at all. Just to put it out there. It’s a lot of details around it, in essence the Chainlink secures the transport layer in most of the use cases. And Verity provides the decentralized data source.
So, Chainlink and Verity can work together very nicely, where Verity provides a decentralized a truthful data source and then Chainlink guarantees that that data wasn’t changed between when it was sourced and to the point when it arrives into the smart contract. So basically, you now have a full trust layer there.
Also if you’re building a smart contract and you absolutely want to use an API that already exists, that’s essentially what Oraclize and Chainlink and other help you to do, whereas obviously for Verity it’s an alternative API or datasource.
One that we think is perfectly suited for decentralized applications because if you centralize the data and you have everything downstream decentralized a lot of the point is lost. So yeah, so those products help you if your smart contract requires use for the certain API that’s perfect for you needs.
And you believe the API doesn’t change and you have all the structured data you need, but unfortunately, or fortunately, we are still human beings and we’ll be here to guide the processes and input the data and make decisions for the next, not decade, but hundred years, and at that point where you have human and smart contract contact you have this big gab between and that’s where Verity fits inn.
8. “How is the company going to become self sufficient in regards to generating revenue and on what terms – I recall Mr. Mikeln talking in the first interview about having the platform open source so I’m not sure how that works – if you are able to shed more light on this we would very appreciate it” – from Slamick via Reddit
So, we can move I guess onto the next question.
How is the company going to become self-sufficient in regards to generating revenue, open source model, and so on…
Verity definitely believes in open-source and you’ve seen how far we’ve got – 20 years ago when
internetbecame reality with open source Linux operating systems which powers every server out there. And that’s how you can actually watch us right now.
But now we are in this stage where a lot of the software companies are figuring out that open source is the way to go.
You’ve seenthat from the recent acquisition of Red Hat. It’s a more than 30 billion dollar acquisitionby IBM. You can see that by the usefulnessof platforms like Github which are built on top of open source protocols.
The Verity protocol itself is open source and the revenue stream we want to come from a layer above that, where you built tools and a platform above it.
You can imagine the marketplace you’re using right now, the Verity Alpha you’re using right now, and the tools that will help people run nodes and get insights like block explorers into the network itself to generate events… all these tools that are actually needed for the protocol to operate, you can monetize that.
Similar to how GitHub can offer open and free accounts, they can also do a premium model on top of that and generate revenue right there even though they are using a protocol “git” which is open to everyone.
So, we imagine that everybody can use Verity protocol however they like, they can fork it, they can do whatever they want with it, but in order to kind of the easiest path to using this protocol is going to be through the tools we’re already building. And we can monetize that. And there are other revenue models like doing integration and support with bigger partners, so it’s a direct B2B open source business model. There’s a lot of revenue streams that Verity is trying to and will materialize.
Like we mentioned, there is no playbook here. Pivots are likely, but right now that’s our leading kind of view on how this plays out. And open source isn’t new. And I believe there is a playbook there actually.
9. “Are you thinking of expanding the team in the near future?” – from Slamick via Reddit
So yeah, next question
“Are you thinking of expanding the team in the near future?”
Yes definitely, but to be honest right now are already quite a team.
Yeah we have a pretty full team.
We have pretty much every role… In engineering we have two of most of the roles of front-end, smart contract, you know all the different components, we’ve got a great team. So right now, we’re keeping the team at the same size. But probably coming towards Q2 with obviously the key milestone being released, the validation nodes going live in Q1 is we’ll look to expand the team from there.
We’re the kind of as we already mentioned before thrilled to actually have the talent we have. A lot of times you look at you know other crypto projects putting 20 different names or 40 different names on their website and then in reality you see that not a lot of people actually actively work on the project and the further you go you figure out that projects worth millions of dollars have 4 people on the team.
We really think that we put all the effort in actually building this project so that’s why we kind of have this sizeable team and but there is a notion in the startup industry that you never stop hiring and we believe in that and we’re actively looking for new talent all the time.
10. “I am curious on how Verity sees the latest blockchain development. Are there any interesting things you’re keeping track of, anything you might want your community or the general crypto enthusiastic public ot be aware of your opinion. Martin especially seems to know and understand more than he is currently letting on about the blockchain technology. It’s a nice way to get exposure while making contacts in the crypto scene.” – from Slamick via Reddit
Yeah, there’s always different layers of kind of knowledge to every aspect and we don’t think we are the greatest experts out there. We do think that we are very knowledgeable in the space we are in and that’s also one of our advantages.
My personal opinions is that we are moving into this building phase right now in 2019, you can also call it a cleaning phase for the crypto, where a loT of projects promised a lot, raised a lot of money but will die out and that’s the natural order of things. 90% of the traditional startups die. And in the blockchain that number might even be higher but it’s actually it’s the best time to build stuff a lot for people are saying that it’s actually, it’s much easier to create connection, to promote your project, to let the world know what you’re doing.
It’s a lot less noise, basically. Which suits us just fine. So yeah, the ups and downs of the crypto market. It was a hell of a year last year, but in all honest, like, I am actually happier in this market. I know no one else is but…
Me as well.
It’s just better. It’s better to be things grounded. Making sense. And a lot of the bad actors came to the market. We know, we met them. We’ve been around the world. And now those bad actors are really disappearing. So it’s a good place to be.
And it’s just as everybody knows – It’s just market cycles. You have it in
stockmarket, you have it everywhere. And it’s really. And you can’t really create the wave, you can just follow it. But if you’re building the right product with the right vision and you’re actually creating some value, there is no point of being scared of the market cycle itself.
So that being said, a little bit more in tech, what I think is going to happen in 2019, I think we are going to see a lot of actual usable
dappsand protocols being developed. I think a lot of projects will actually remove their utility token,if it was only used for fees. I believe that the real value is actually creating the value around the token, using it for governance, using it for growing the network, for allowing other features and capabilities of the protocol or the platform you’re building. I think a lot of companies will go into kindof removing the token if it was just used for the fees, as we have seen with the 0x project fork.
I think we’re going to see better on-chain governance, moving a little bit more from off-chain to on-chain. We’re going to see the first taste of the proof of stake on Ethereum. We are actively following that and we think that we’re going to see that by the end of the year, nobody knows exactly, but that’s how we think. We think that the development
onthe zero-knowledge proofs, you also know them as Zk-SNARKs or Zk-STARKs There has been a huge development effort in that. It is also an important tech for us to guarantee the privacy in some parts of the network itself, so we are actively researching that area.
There has been some setbacks last year about how efficient these algorithms are in terms of how much gas they use for example in smart contracts but there is a lot of new development so I am very positive about that. I am positive about that we are going to see some use cases, some bad some good, about token bonding curves. We don’t have enough time, I am just throwing out there so you can go out there and search it yourselves. Look about token bonding curves, it’s basically an automatic system where smart contracts dictate the price of the token you’re buying and selling from. So, that’s that I think is going to have some hype about it. But watch out, there’s might be a ICO 2.0 system building around it.
We’re also going to see some token created registries. Which basically means like, if you imagine Yelp, which is a list of best restaurants out there, you can have a list of top universities, a list of tokens, whatever you want to have. If you want to port it to the blockchain, one of the great ideas is that you can actually do it through token created registries and this is tied back to the bonded curves. So, go out and check it out.
We don’t have time today to explain it but it’s a very interesting technology and idea behind it. So I think we’re going to see a lot of these new experiments being executed this year, as well as financial markets and financial their derivatives, security tokens, I think we’re moving into that space as well.
11. “What’s the timeline for the continued development of validation nodes and their governance rights? Are there gonna be any off-limits on what VNs are going to be able to do or are you going to hand the reigns to the future path of the platform solely in the hands of the community?” – from Slamick via Reddit
So next question is basically the roadmap and timeline for validation node and governance rights.. Are they going to be any off limits on what VNs are going to be able to do, are you going to hand the reins to the future path of the platform solely in the hands of the community.
Yeah I think that we are in this on-chain / off-chain hybrid thinking right now. We love what the Ethereum community is doing, which had some successful and also some unsuccessful on-chain governance experiments. But right now they’re’ more of an off-chain governance where a consortium of companies that work closely with Ethereum alliance is actually working together, they have open calls every week, they do like a rough consensus on what should be the next thing to build. So I think that’s kind of the first step.
We do believe that thought that the on-chain governance, maybe not 100% but like 90% should be on-chain and we’re actively moving into that direction so every Verity token will actually give you the voting rights on topics on how the new features should be implemented to even the business decisions. So, you can’t do that overnight and it can take a lot of time, but there are going to be a lot of new tools.
So, I think that the space was a little bit not defined last year because there was not a lot of platforms and tools being able to build on-chain governance because it’s kind of a hard project problem on its own. So right now, there is a lot of these tools being developed and we’re actively monitoring what’s happening and we definitely think that the decentralized oracle can only work if it is truly decentralized meaning that we also don’t control the fate of it. So that’s our ultimate goal that we’re striving for.
12. “Would you guys consider moving to
What do you think of TomoChain, Martin?
I actually like what they’re doing. And they’re not the only blockchain platform that we like.
Even stuff like EOS or Cardano is basically platform we can go to. We are blockchain agnostic. We just we take into considerations a lot of things. And we believe
Tomochainis a very good project. But just in terms of how well the development tools and support and stability is there is nothing that can match Ethereum right now.
That’s also why we have chosen Ethereum in the first place, and we’re revisiting the idea every so often and we are experimenting should we port to something else and we might do that in the future, but so far Ethereum just have proven it to be the most stable and usable out there.
YeahI think, it’s not that everything goes right for Ethereum as we all know, they’ve got the longest history of trying. *laughs* Right? And the community has got the most goodactors in it. I think it’s one way of putting it.
Like with these other newer developing communities, full of good actors, but a higher proportion of bad actors maybe or people’s and motives are not as clear. Whereas Ethereum feels the most…
It’s has proven itself so far.
It feels like it’s the thing you can bank on. So that doesn’t mean that we have closed our eyes on other project, we’ll judge them on their merits as always.
But right now, every time we do this kind of review, the merits or the total score of Ethereum comes in the highest. So, that can change any time, but right now that’s our take on it.
Exactly and keep in mind that Verity itself is designed to be an open source. So if you want you can actually fork it and move it to
Tomochainor Cardano or whatever you like and with a little bit oftweaks it can work there. So yeah, all doors are open.
13. “How’s it going with partnerships? Is the team actively promoting their platform/looking for companies that would benefit from it?” – from Mrmin12 via Reddit
So the next question is how’s it going with partnerships, is the team actively promoting the platform looking for companies that would benefit from. I think we also kind of answered it as well.
Yeah, we’re definitely actively looking for people. Most of the companies are actually at very early stages right now, so it’s hard to do proper deep integrations but there is a lot of companies that fit into our story very well and changing a lot with Silicon Valley kind of gig right now as well.
14. “How much fun are you guys having in the office? It’s important to relieve the stress after so much work.” – from Mrmin12 via Reddit
This next question is about how do we have fun in the office?
So, every now and again we
go kartracing and Martin obviously loses.
*laughs* We can make a bet right now
Yeah, that’s not entirely true. I think last time I won for the first time in quite a long time *laughs*.
You did. Yes.
So a bit of go-karting, race track every now and again as well. And last time…
Quite a lot of car enthusiasts in the company.
We went to the like indoor trampoline but like the professional ones. Which was pretty cool.
And next up we’re going night sledding. So, basically, sounds suicidal to some degree, but I am sure most of us will survive. In the middle of the night, on top of the mountain.
Middle of the night, headlamps, we’re going to be towed by the snow plugs up the mountain and it’s going to be 2 hours of fun of us… Hopefully fun sledding in the night, night sledding.
We also have a ping pong table in our office, so anybody could kind of go and do that.
Yeah as long as they don’t get frostbite and lose their hands or fingers during the night sledding…
Yeah.. we’ll see, we’ll see.
And we have yeah there’s a lot of kind of off-work activities we do and that’s one of the great things our company is people are connected they feel well here, and it’s just great energy and vibe we have and I think that’s one of the most crucial things.
What a lot of startups lack is actually people are there to do their job, to do it 9 to 5, go home, that’s it. You know in our case we have, on Fridays, after work we have beer, so it’s really people just connecting and it’s just awesome. So yeah.
15. “How will the platform defend itself against Sybil attacks? Reputation may offset it a bit, but I imagine anyone will be able to vote on a significant portion of the events, rendering it less effective. Disputes and stakes may prevent low-resource attackers, so I’d like to hear from Martin what else is planned or in the idea stages to mitigate this.” – from Robanta via Reddit
Alrightso we’ve got some tough ones next. So, a sybilattack question.
So yeah, the
sybilattack is kind of an interesting one. Where even when people think that in Bitcoin you have sybilattack is basically prevented by Nakamoto’s consensus is kind of not because the sybilattack can also be used in Bitcoin network, which means that you’re going to you could do Eclipse attack and you could isolate member from the network by creating fake nodes around him. Sybil attack is very…
No one ever had 51% on the bitcoin network, but only 2 or 3 players together had more than 51% at certain stages so there was always this consortium risk there as well but exactly they were working in their own interest they didn’t do.
It’s kind of a very complex situation. How does it work in Verity? Well
sybilattacks in Verity are prevented mostly by reputation and the staking amount and by saying that this prevents just the low resource attackers is not totally right, because how we designed and how we want the Verity protocol to be used is that actuallythe total staking amount is equal or greater to the value of the task being deployed on the Verity network.
So imagine that I as company come along and I want you to report on some task, and the information I get back is of $100 value ot me. So I can just create and define the amount of stakes to be equal to $100 or even a multiple of that, which prevents people from gaining anything, by creating the sybil attack itself, meaning creating fake identities and sending the fake information or stealing the information ourselves. So it’s basically the size of the stake and the reputation together that can prevent sybil attacks. We’re also implementing uPort identity into the project which prevents this further.
So, imagine a company saying hey I want X amount of people to report me this information, but I want these people to have some kind of verification, to be unique individuals or be living somewhere or to have this identity from some X project. You can actually do that via blockchain and identities protocols like uPort and even Civic. We’re looking implementing uPort into the protocol itself so that’s going to prevent sybil attacks even further.
16. “Considering the current low market value of VTY, are there any obstacles for an attacker to carry out an 51% attack on the network? Obviously in alpha stage this doesn’t matter, but once nodes come out in full force and governance rights are given out, how do you envision this on a long-term where an attacker might lead the platform astray.” – from Robanta via Reddit
So the next question is:
“Considering the current low market value of VTY are there any obstacles for an attacker to carry out a 51% attack on the network…”
Well, actually no because there are two parts of the story here. Verity as being a hybrid protocol to say because we use Ethereum as a layer 1 and we built our own network which kind of works as a layer 2, to actually to be a 51% attack you have to actually do the 51% attack on Ethereum itself. So if you want to steal funds from smart contracts or you want to change the outcomes or change the reward structure or anything like that you actually have to do a 51% attack on Ethereum, which is you know is going to be pretty hard.
And to actually do a 51% attack so called on Verity network, well it doesn’t work like that. Because Verity network doesn’t have a transaction history. Doesn’t work as a traditional blockchain. Validation nodes create one truth, basically creating one block and discarding that because they don’t need that information anymore. So there’s no double spending attack in the Verity network itself. You can attack one task at the time by having majority in the voting, but that is kind offset again by the reputation, staking disputes and all of that. So there is no real 51% attack on Verity.
17. “Considering where the project is now, do you still think the crowd is omniscience – as in, ever knowing? I believe the crowd can only do so much and I think the opinions or any subjectivity is where events will fly off the handle. Are there any mechanisms you intend to implement to the wisdom of the crowd or will some potential use-cases be abandoned?” – from
nextquestion is about dowe still believe the crowd is all knowing…
So the answer is, in terms of the basic principle – yes, we think the tests we run, over 500 events, has proven that the crowd is pretty damn good at what it does. But it comes back to the earlier question about experiments. We run the experiments not to look like how amazing it is.
We run our experiments to say look this is where it broke, this is where it went wrong, this is where there weren’t enough people. We run our tests like hoping to break it. That’s kind of the point. So, we still believe and think that the data is backing it up, but of course the more events we run, we will be able to scientifically to say this is not the best use case for crowd, you might just want to use a Mechanical Turk for this type for this data or you want to use this type of API for that.
So it’s just like everything in the world, there is not one product that does everything and to getting data into a smart contract or getting data into the decentralized universe there won’t be just one way to do it. We know that we have a really good way of doing it. Because like I said, we proved our concept on test net. And now we think that concept is worthy of being put on to the main net and deployed as a protocol. So yeah, we haven’t had anything to change the science behind
crowd, but yeah, we do look forward to beable to say it’s not good for that, it’s not good for that, it’s really good for that, and it’s good for that.
So we have run, what? 500-odd experiments, I think we need to run into the thousands before which…., obviously we’re accelerating all the time, the events are getting faster and faster, but yeah, once we get into the thousands we can start having more kind of scientifically backed up opinion of where it’s really fantastic and where other options are better. So I hope that answers the query.
Yeah, so far as we seen the and well not as seen but predicted in the beginning the Verity protocol itself is not in most cases not perfect for doing opinion and subjective tasks and it was never designed to do that. It was developed as kind of genetics algorithm or natural selection algorithm where the best people that can provide truthful information will get an incentive for that, but the information itself needs to be known to that group of people.
So the crowd itself needs diverse enough and have independent opinions on it, but the truth out there should be something. So the fact should be there. You can’t just ask people when’s the humanity reach interstellar travel speed or whatever it is. Nobody knows an answer to that and the crowd doesn’t really help you there.
There are some use cases like what we already explored with the prediction engine where crowds can be used to monitor it’s own ability to perceive the value of a product for example. So you can use 100 people to gauge what the cost of the product should be. Because that’s where you can actually average out people’s opinion can be on how much a certain phone is worth, right?
So that’s maybe one use-case, but majority of use cases, the Verity is just perfect to bringing the data in this decentralized kind of bullet-proof fashion into the smart contracts which themselves are decentralized and nobody can control them. We’re just closing that gap and we think that’s one of the biggest problems the decentralized industry has and that’s why we’re attacking it. But yeah, as Nick said. It’s all about figure out what works and what not. Expect a lot of events that will fail, and a lot of events that will be successful.
Yeah and one of our core value strengths we do this right, we’re running these test where a lot of these projects haven’t got much to show..
You know, whitepaper, hype, and building the…
I mean, name a startup that built exactly what it said is going to do on day one and it turned out perfect. Right? Building a company is all about experiments, tests, data, feedback loops. If you don’t have that, you’re building a black box, and building a black box within a black box and the chance of success are very low.
So, that’s why we have taken the approach we have and we couldn’t have done that without you guys, of course, the fact that you guys are sticking with us and we have new communities coming on and members all the time.. That’s everything
It really means so much to us. Without you, we cannot run these tests. We cannot figure out it. So we’re really grateful to have a community that actually can help us and without you, we couldn’t be actually developing further…
So yeah… You have friends, invite them to Verity. We need people as many people as possible with different backgrounds, different opinions, to do these events. It all helps.
18. “Recently I can not participate in events using Cipher. Are you planning to make an app that iOS users can join?” – from Nyanko Samurai via Reddit
Questionhere about using . From Nyanko-samurai. Yeah, so basically the question is. You can obviously use decentralized browsers like Coinbase or brave browser on mobile now. But as you probably know… it’s not actually that bad cypher tobe honest…
Yeah, the Coinbase dapp browser? Is actually pretty awesome.
You can actually vote on events, but the question is really about a mobile web version and what are our thoughts on that. So, it’s not the same priority as the validation node launch this quarter, but I think it fits in sort of our timeline…
Yeah I think with the move at the end of Q1 to the open phase, we’re definitely looking to kind of start doing that – is it going to be ready at that point; we don’t know yet.
But we’re actually exploring and making mobile ready for some time now. We’re just going to see how well it plays with the priorities with the
mainnetlaunch. So if everything goes according to plan, we hope you’ll get it as soon as possible. We know how important it is for people, who just use their spare time to do these events, rather than just going behind the computer and waiting for it. We know the pain here so…
Yeah we get the pain, totally. So, it’s something we’re going to talk about.
When we are going to have more concrete date on it, we’ll definitely let you know. But expecting more sooner than later.
19. “What are you going to do about VictoriousCoin which has the same 3-letter designation as Verity (VTY) on blockfolio and CMC, and possibly elsewhere too?” – from 4morgh via Reddit
We’ve got a question here: “What are we going to do about Victorious coin that has the same 3 letter designation…”
We’re going to do absolutely nothing. Because it doesn’t change anything about our vision or our mission. So nothing is the answer to that.
Briefly, multiple accounts: what’s allowed and what is not? Let me try to explain.
- I have a friend to whom I’ve been planning to explain about Verity for a while. I know he’s interested and would like to join. I also know he has a girl he lives with, who’s
at computerall day and would also like to take part. What do I tell them, can they both take part?
- Do they have to do it on separate computers? Do they have to do it on separate networks? I clearly remember it’s been said on telegram a while ago that IP address isn’t an issue. They don’t want to play against the rules, just need to know the rules first so they don’t do something wrong.
- They would probably sell their tokens gathered, is that a problem? Why is that? What would be ok?
- If her brother hears what they do, can he join too? How to do it in line with the rules, and how to know if it’s not possible at all?
- If I was a student doing Verity events in between the classes, along with a few of my buddies, is that ok? We’re all on the university wi-fi. Can we sell the tokens together, not everyone are familiar with trading?
- If I was a Nigerian guy who invited 30 kids from an area, gave them cheap phones and told them what to click on a few times a week, is that ok? If this is profitable for me, I may want to invite 30 kids more but have to invest in 30 more phones first, should I do it?
Is it maybe inevitable that we end up with something like this? Would love to hear what you think.
If taking part in events turns out profitable, at least for people in countries with small earnings, we might end up with a few organized groups who would click on events and that might, I’m afraid, severely impact Verity. Like this third case I mentioned. But I don’t think that the first two examples could fall into the same category.
So I’d like to highly recommend: set up the exact rules! Announce them publicly, and from that point, and only from that point, start following what people do more closely and penalize them. All people who want Verity to succeed would support this. Otherwise, people may end up doing something wrong without knowing and lose their hard earned tokens/reputation one day, just because there were no rules.
Cheers and all the best!” – from Nmrsfc via Reddit
So I think the main question is multiple accounts? If
iunderstand it. What’s allowed and what’s not.
“If it is okay to invite your friends or even invite other students and people to vote on it.”
“Do they have to do it on separate computers or separate networks?”
Not right now. We don’t plan to do some kind of IP restriction on it. Like we said the real
sybilattack prevention and verifying the uniqueness of the votes will be done via staking, reputation, blockchain identity.
There is just to much to read all out. But the gist of all these questions is different use cases for I guess related parties. So, if they’re boyfriend and girlfriend using the platform, kind of a broker and kid contractor and subcontractor kind of stuff. A bunch of things.
I guess for clarity maybe we can answer these directly in text somewhere. But essentially it’s our job to make a network that supports any way people care ot use it. We can’t control…
And we don’t want to.
.. if you use the same computer with somebody else. And that’s what I guess makes Bitcoin so tolerant it’s been attacked and all these weird and wonderful ways for so long that it’s kind of like immunization against a virus. Its always being attacked so it will get stronger and stronger and stronger.
So, we’re doing the same. We’re building a network that will stand all these different use cases and abuses in some cases as well. So that it has that robustness. And robustness takes time. You can’t have robustness in a day or even a year.
So that’s again we’ve got a lot of benefit from being on test network, you may remember the early days when we were getting DDOSed attacked right of the early events and that’s something that we had to overcome and that put tolerance into the system.
So, yeah. People might be, some people might have concerns like right now I can just create 7 accounts and just from all of them and because of that some of the events where we experiment with the linear distribution reward system, there isn’t that much emphasis of the speed of itself, but we really believe that the exponential distribution is the right approach to mitigate the collusion between people which also kind of prevents people from just having 7 accounts and voting at the same time because you can’t do that really.
And most of the tasks on Verity will need human input, it’s all in an experimenting phase right now, but it’s the test that the computers can’t solve. So you can’t first build bots that vote for you and then what’s the point of asking these questions on Verity if you can do it automatically.
So, the questions that will have the biggest value on Verity, the tasks will actually be tasks you can’t do via automatic processes so you need a human in the loop. And if you need a human in the loop and you want to be as fast as possible you can’t possibly do that on 30 accounts.
And then when you have staking and disputes you kind of have to hoard a lot of money and if you make a single mistake you are going to lose a lot of money.
So, it’s just basic crypto economics that prevents you to game the system in most use cases and if the company wants to have even further prevention mechanisms they will just request identity. It doesn’t mean that your passport will be tied to anything in Verity at all, it will just be that technically the hash of your identity will represent it, and you cannot create personas. So there’s a lot of different play here.
But, mostly comes back to the staking to disputes to reputation and the blockchain identity. Which most of the stuff isn’t implemented today, so that’s why we are also on the test net and even with the next iteration you’re going to see stakes and disputes this is going to help against doing that.
Yeah. Essentially, it’s identity and staking are the two biggest deterrents and both of those are in their infancy in the current version of Verity that everyone is using. But they’re major focuses of our development team so those things as become more important on the main network, we’re going to do them on the test network.
But yeah once you’re staking tokens to do an event and your identity is tied to the event, if that’s the person wanting that data requires, then obviously someone with 5 accounts becomes exponentially more difficult to do.
And you can always increase the size of the crowd or decrease or create more tight consensus rules.
Just to close this question I think we’ve seen quite a lot of questions in that direction right now, about
sybilattacks, about multi-account attacks and all of that, we’re going to publish an article about that, about the game theory behind that, about the nash equilibriums, about how actually why this works and how this works, perhaps some mathematics behind it. So a little bit more technical if you want to dig deep down into that topic .
S,o I am going to make sure and let you know when that will be available.
[01:18:34] Questions and Answers segment ends.
[01:18:35] Martin and Nick end the show with a brief recap
I think that’s it. It looks like that’s all of the question. We’ve been going for more than an hour, so… thank you. Thank you for watching us. I hope you get some ideas, that we clarified some other stuff. That you’re happy as we are about the Village Global, about the main net release, about the new events and about everything else.
Don’t forget to go to the blog, read it, there is a lot of new content coming out right now, we’re going to do a little bit more about the ideas itself, about the industry, what we think, some insights. And yeah get ready for the next Q&A session, it’s going to be somewhere between mid-to-end of February and yeah that’s it.
Thank you all for coming. See you next time.
Thank you. Bye!