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Team Updates|50 MIN. READ

Elastos Founding Team AMA – April 2020


1) Can someone give us an update on ETH Task Force? Where are they with getting projects to port over? How many?

Can someone organize a website that tracks projects being built on Elastos? There are currently many ways this is communicated and it is hard to bring them all together. Is Titan still working towards something? Is Jimmy Lipham still working on his doorbell system? Each project should have labels to categorize their stage in development, such as ‘being discussed’, ‘planning work’, ‘underway’, ‘launched,’, or whatever the appropriate labels are.

Clarence Liu: At the moment, the ETH Task Force is working on their final task and scheduled to complete the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) implementation, and it is being funded through CRC. 

Projects targeted for porting Ethereum dApps – in particular, game dApps – have been largely unsuccessful due to a lack of perceived impact by the community. 

DeFi is a high priority, and both the Elaphant team and ETH Task Force are in discussions regarding the bridges and oracles required for DeFi applications in the Elastos ecosystem. DeFi adoption is a major undertaking, and one that will not be possible without significant funding from Cyber Republic. Once CRC goes live in late May, we will be able to get more insight into what will be feasible as the complete Cyber Republic Council begins operations. As for Jimmy Lipham, he is not presently involved in the project.

Of course, community teams and individuals are encouraged to initiate projects designed to track development progress, and to submit Suggestions to Cyber Republic for funding as appropriate. Already, we have seen elanodes.com emerge as a powerful example of a community-run website that is adding value to the community at large.

As for development progress internally at EF, our developer website tracks the modules – https://developer.elastos.org/discover_elastos/modules_status. The ETH Task Force will also be adding the progress of its various modules to this page too.


2) In EOS there is a way to delegate your votes to a surrogate – any chance of getting something similar here? I’ve just recently come across the idea of p-reps in another project. Basically, node operators are required to do more than just run a node. They must also do promotion, education, community videos, and so on. Any way something similar could be incorporated into Elastos?

Clarence Liu: Requiring DPoS Supernode operators to contribute to the community is a good idea, and one which effectively weeds out bad actors with malicious intentions. The major challenge is that the Elastos ecosystem would have to confront the reality that such a model may be inclined to become centralized, as it is very difficult to implement without centralized checks and confirmations that are conducted by a trusted, central authority or third party. At present, the advantage of Elastos’ DPoS Consensus is that it is truly and entirely decentralized, and does not require external authorizations of any kind.


3) Once CR elections are completed I am curious what Rong Chen’s plans are for his involvement in Elastos?

Rong Chen: Until end of 2021, I will be fully committed to supporting the Elastos Foundation’s network of decentralized teams as they collectively build out the first workable rendition of Elastos’ core infrastructure. Of course, the next-generation internet will never be complete, as its development will be a perpetual, adaptive process as the Elastos community expands and evolves. For now, I am focused on my role as a mentor and advisor to forward-thinking software engineers who are heading the Elastos Foundation’s teams. As I live in a very focused way – and in a space that is constantly evolving and extremely volatile – I do not have concrete plans as to where my journey will take me two or three years out. I do want to be involved in the development of the Smartweb, as it has been a vision I have dedicated the majority of my life to in one way or another. However, I do not believe my role to be that of a CEO-type, a crowd-facing figurehead, or an idol of any kind; I prefer to remain in the backdrop, advising and supporting the efforts of those who are developing emerging technology at the infrastructural level. I was once in their shoes as a developer at Microsoft, and I believe my perspective and life experience are the most valuable assets I can provide at this stage in my life.


4) Can we have an update on Titan, CDN, and HIVE, and a rough expected timeline?

Rong Chen: First of all, Titan is doing quite well. In fact, due to the recent conditions with the quarantine, demand for their services has surged as of late, and they are responding aptly. I am not directly involved with Titan, though I do stay in touch with their BD head. As I have shared in the past, we have experimented with 100,000 satellite boxes, and Titan can leverage off-peak bandwidth for a number of purposes, including video storage. 

CDN, on the other hand, is best likened to IPFS, with superior performance by a factor of 10; of course, IPFS is more geared toward storage, and the two serve different purposes. If we start a “VideosOnDemand CDN Sidechain” of sorts  – which is certainly not out of the question – Titan may very well act as a Supernode. The bottom line is that Titan is not fully decentralized, as an index of films is saved in servers. What we are examining is how to effectively integrate Titan into the Elastos ecosystem and draw on its capacity to leverage off-peak bandwidth without compromising the decentralization of our infrastructure.

Another scenario I envision is one where a user wants to watch a video using a DID, and accesses it through a number of service providers, one of which may be Titan. After watching the video and paying for it, the user can use the same QR Code for all payments because it is underpinned by smart contracts. Then, the vendor who provides the video compensates the nodes using ELA. The tech is not quite there yet to facilitate this sort of exchange, but we want to create and support these types of modern business models. Titan’s technology is certainly poised to play a key role.

Lastly, let me touch on Hive, which I must emphasize is not really IPFS. Hive can use IPFS, sure; but it can also leverage other forms of storage, and whatever is most popular will garner the most market share. Elastos supports the user’s right to choose accordingly, and has no intention to push the user in one direction or another. We are all very happy to see Hive complete, and I believe Hive 1.0.0 was released early this week. Now, the Hive Team has advanced to developing Hive++, the generic protocol layer that defines the storage and interfaces. Basically, Hive ++ is a powerful upgrade that will allow for more advanced features and play an integral role in the Elastos ecosystem going forward. Hive++ is advancing rapidly, and is of high priority because DID is nearly complete. In this context, CDN is quite a bit more advanced, and will be engaged more intensively once Hive++ is complete as well. Then, Titan can play a role in the future as a dependable service provider – although not as an exclusive service provider. Honestly, I prefer not to provide any sort of timeline, because it will only represent an arbitrary estimate, and in the past such timelines have created negative sentiment around otherwise very successful releases. Please know that Hive++ is moving along rapidly, and we are yet to run into any major development roadblocks.


5) This has probably been answered before, but how did you meet Feng Han? How often do you speak with him regarding Elastos issues? And do you both genuinely share the same vision for Elastos? Or have there been compromises made on both sides? If so, what compromises have been made?

Rong Chen: Actually, we met for the first time at a private dinner party for the alumni of Tsinghua University in Beijing in 2013. It was a small gathering of maybe 8 to 10 folks. Feng was talking about Bitcoin and I was talking about enterprise IoT and smartphone applications – what I was working on at the time. We had and continue to have different interests, but they complement one another in a rather profound way; we both realized in 2017 that each of us held the missing piece to the other’s vision, and our collaboration on Elastos began. 

Nowadays, both of us have found common ground on private asset ownership in the digital domain being paramount, as it enables a sort of cyber-capitalism which we both hold dear and believe is the key to economic prosperity and the protection of individual freedoms. Our approaches, perspectives, and backgrounds are different, and that allows us to contribute to this project’s development in unique ways and to draw on our networks independently. However, we remain committed to realizing the same vision in the digital space – it’s his economic perspective and my software engineering philosophy.


6) It would be good to know if any of the EF team members are running for CR Council and what their individual outlooks and roles are for 2020.

Zach Warsavage: Any EF members that run for positions on the CR Council do so on their own accords – in other words, as individual community members in the Elastos ecosystem. EF does not provide commentary on or support for their campaigns, and will remain non-partial in this regard. All CRCandidates, their web links, and campaign information is available on elanodes.com under the “CRC Candidates” tab.


7) I know that one of EF’s roles is to oversee the teams and funds, but I always felt that their main role was to evangelise Elastos at universities and companies. Every once in a while we see Mr. Feng Han pop up at some party, meetup, or university, but those meetings don’t seem to lead to any value for Elastos. What exactly are they doing individually to bring value to Elastos other than random meetings or Rong popping up in the chat every once in a while?

Rong Chen: This is an excellent question, and I am happy to share on both of our behalfs. The majority of my time is spent providing mentorship, feedback, and general advisory on the direction and engineering approaches of EF’s network of decentralized teams. I also coordinate resources and efforts between teams to ensure time and human capital are being allocated efficiently. In addition, I serve as a primary contact point for EF in coordinating with a collection of partners and organizations that are contributing peripheral technological elements to the project, such as the Titan investors and a Set-Top-Box company. Feng provides a great deal of support as well, and is focused on building out the ecosystem through his efforts with the Manhattan Project Fund, his book The Era of Quantum Wealth, and communications with various figures and organizations where he has significant contacts that can benefit the ecosystem.


8) I can’t help but feel worried that the EF board members (especially Rong) have already started to distance themselves from the project, even though I believe we need his evangelizing and wisdom now more than ever. I hoped he would run for CRC, but that doesn’t seem like it, right?

Rong Chen: As I have stated publicly on several occasions over the past months, I will not be running. I do not intend to be a public figure at the forefront of Cyber Republic, nor have I ever played that role. However, my place in this project as a mentor and engineering advisor certainly should not be misconstrued as a form of disinterest or apathy – and by the way, I think I have made my energy and motivation felt in the public appearances and speaking engagements I have made. I am certainly not going anywhere. It is basic human psychology to want a superstar – a figurehead like Gates or Jobs, or even Vitalik. But no matter what the model, the teams are where all of the real work gets done. I’ve always been more of a Satoshi-type, which is fitting because Elastos is a technology – not a company. The new web does not need a CEO; it needs a community. From day one, this project has set out to pass power and resources over to the community, and we remain dedicated to that perspective. You cannot have both an idol-figure in a role of power and a decentralized, sovereign community; that’s asking to have your cake and eat it too.


9) Although I’m pleased with the transparency of the EF financials compared to other cryptocurrency projects, I believe they could be more detailed. For example, X amount of BTC and X amount of ELA have been used for Marketing and PR – but what exactly have those funds been used on? Which entity have those funds been spent upon and what did we (the Elastos community) get in return? I can understand that there could be NDA’s in place, but it’s still too vague in my honest opinion.

Rong Chen: For reporting purposes, we have categorized our expenses in accordance with the recommendations of the accounting firm that conducts our semi-annual audits. In order to optimize our reports for compliance purposes, we consider their expertise to be invaluable.  To address your concerns directly, our actual Marketing & PR Expenses – that is, what most in our community would regard as Marketing & PR Expenses – comprise a very small fraction of the official figures expressed in our official statements. Official figures are inclusive of a number of expenses such as team salaries, legal costs, events, and other line items that do not constitute conventional marketing expenses.


10) Many projects have a desktop wallet, and having one may probably attract more users, especially those that avoid using mobile wallets. Can we get a desktop wallet for staking in the near future?

Rong Chen: EF still maintains the Elastos Web Wallet, and has prioritized the development of elastOS to support a suite of tools for mobile devices. As such, all wallet applications, DID functions, and other elements of the Elastos ecosystem – including Cyber Republic Consensus and CR Council elections – are being established for prominent mobile OSs Android and iOS. All of our energies, resources, and manpower is focused on developing robust, mobile infrastructure and related tools, so we do not anticipate the development of desktop wallet functions such as DPoS and CR Council election support in the near-term.

As an alternative, we presently have community members working on a Suggestion for Desktop and Ledger support via CR Suggestion #248: Ledger/Desktop Wallet Updates. To support this Suggestion, please contribute your comments and vote accordingly.


11) Can the team provide any specifics on the dApp the Hive team is working on to showcase Hive’s features?

Jingyu Niu: At present, the Hive dApp for elastOS should be regarded as a demo release. Hive is undergoing a comprehensive redesign to build a stronger architecture, and the Hive++ project will have more updates available soon. Hive is often mistaken for being a dApp, but it is actually a service. For that reason, any further dApp releases will be demos whose publication serves to showcase various features and tools offered by Hive++. To read up on the latest available information on Hive, its elastOS dApp, and 2020 Outlook, please refer to our 2019 End-of-Year (EOY) Report.


12) Any plans to bring back the Cyber Republic Ambassadors program?

Clarence Liu: At the present time, there is no discussion to re-establish the CR Ambassadors program. Of course, it should be noted that all operations related to CRC are exclusively the responsibility of Cyber Republic, and are beyond the responsibilities and interest of EF.


13) Any plans to bring back the CR100? There was some really great content on there and it seemed like a good framework for inspiring dApp creation.

Clarence Liu: At present, reestablishing the CR100 program is not under any discussion. However, other programs with similar models and visions have been proposed, and there are ongoing talks about the formation of a BD Team or Committee of sorts, which is to be funded by Cyber Republic via CRC. Once again, it should be noted that all operations related to CRC are exclusively the responsibility of Cyber Republic, and are beyond the responsibilities and interest of EF.


14) With only 1,800 active staking addresses (and likely less people that actually stake) who own 6+ million coins combined, I can only conclude that we are very far from reaching a solid audience. This is a very worrying metric and shows the health of Elastos. This number should be at least 180,000 in my opinion.

Rong Chen: Expanding the community and general reach of Elastos is of course integral to our ecosystem’s long-term success. As I have said many times before, the main responsibility and focus of EF is to develop the technological infrastructure to pave the way for growth.  All matters related to marketing, promotion, and user growth are the responsibility of CR and the larger Elastos community. In delegating this responsibility to CR, EF has remained true to its commitment to releasing and distributing power and responsibility, and to creating a truly decentralized ecosystem capable of self-governance. Regarding active staking addresses, it is worth considering that DPoS Supernodes voting statistics do not accurately reflect the number of engaged community members that are following and contributing to the Elastos ecosystem. That said, DPoS Supernode voting statistics provide strong metrics for community engagement, and we anticipate significant increases as we equip more wallets with DPoS voting support.

The mission of Elastos Foundation is to create a new Smartweb, i.e., a new market for private ownership of digital assets. I believe that owning personal data should be one of the basic human rights.

For example, the business model for GreenPass/Elastos Health or dApps like this should be subsidized by CR or compensated from gas fees charged to profitable businesses, such as search or selling movies. 

Aggregation platforms, such as Googles, Facebooks, and Amazons should be decentralized–and most of the profits should be contributed back to the community of Cyber Republic.  For vendors, bloggers, and Youtubers on those platforms, they should keep profits, if any, for themselves.

Similar apps, such as Health and Weather on the current Internet, survive by stealing users’ data and selling it without users’ consent. Consumers can’t complain about “free” apps after all.

Just as Tesla is not a battery company, although its core competitive edge is its battery technology, Elastos is a project to build a new Internet, and its three tier consensus blockchain technology is only a component of the whole decentralized platform. I wouldn’t worry too much about whether Elastos has 1,800 or 180,000 daily active users (DAU) at this point, because the latter number could be larger than all blockchain DAU combined, but in the Internet arena, which is a totally different arena. 

We push ourselves to be the first to build a decentralized cyber capitalist market and prove that the Cyber Republic business model works, since we believe in a “winner takes all”  approach in software ecosystems. Our plan is to have 20,000 active daily users on the Smartweb, including Hyper.im, elastOS, etc., by the end of August, to demonstrate real world scenarios. And by that time, CRC should be autonomously running for two months already.  Then we will go from there.


15) How do you plan to support teams that actively do product marketing, work on Exchange listings, and/or inform people about the value of Elastos? What are the options beyond the current council?

Heng Li: All such team initiatives can be proposed and funded through CRC, and the processes that surround CR Council operations have been designed specifically for that purpose. Beyond Focusing on infrastructure, as has been stated previously, EF’s present vision involves transitioning to a standards organization which mirrors the W3C. Since joining the W3C in 2019, EF representatives Rong Chen and Jingyu Niu have attended W3C events, engaged other member organizations and their representatives, and examined the W3C’s broader organizational structure. By member donation, a W3C-esque standards organization dedicated to the Elastos ecosystem will be well able to support its own operations while continuing to streamline development efforts and coordinate symbiotic relationships within the ecosystem.


16) I understand that you believe that the CR Council should take on community decisions, and I agree with that to some extent. At the same time, many projects have complained about the difficulty of working with the current Council members. Complaints have to do with disrespect, abuse of power, and a lack of business savviness. This is very worrying as we see people and projects leaving Elastos faster than we reach new ones.

Rong Chen: Please keep in mind that the interim council’s number one task is to build the CRC first, while getting feedback from our community.  Yipeng Su wrote the CRC white paper, and guided the Elastos blockchain team to implement the architecture. Feng Zhang is a lawyer and is providing advice and feedback from the Chinese community. Both of them are not paid for their interim CR positions. And to be fair, we have gone a long way from CR100 to CR Consensus in the past year and a half. 

An important factor to consider in assessing CR Council operations is that, to this point, the CR Interim Council has only had a limited opportunity to make decisions. Because its members were not democratically elected, and because it draws on a unique funding source beyond the CR Funds allocation, the Interim Council is very conservative in its spending behavior. Upon the launch of the full, 12-representative CR Council, spending behavior will be conducted with a far less conservative approach. But to pass a proposal, one needs 2/3 of the CR council votes, which is still no easy task. 

To have a cryptocurrency, there must be a market, that’s what the Smartweb fits in.  In retrospect, when I was building an Internet ecosystem, I could not imagine it would be possible to have a digital currency.  When I saw BTC and Ethereum in March 2016, it clicked — that’s the last missing piece of this big puzzle. I even named the project “SnakeJaws” at the time after the fishing village where the Chinese “Special Economic Zone” for private ownership of properties got started.  

CRC is for running the Smartweb based on consensus. But a more important issue than the governance model is whether the Smartweb creates new business opportunities for startups.  Not many startups should rely on government funding to launch their businesses in the real world. Government funding is mostly for building infrastructures and for improving the welfare of its citizens.

It would be better also for the community to learn about CRC through the process. In my opinion, many projects are too early to start at this point.  It’s very unfortunate that some people decided to leave after their proposals were turned down. 

Building a new Smartweb takes time. I understand that two years could be a very long time to our community members, but please also understand that it could be a very short period of time to internet infrastructure developers, which haven’t been changed much for forty years. 

The real concern I see here, is not the CR funding issue, but that Elastos is still not mature enough to let our community see business opportunities.  If history can teach us anything regarding this matter, a guy, with a nickname Idiot, had the guts to sell “Idiot Sunflower Seeds” on a street in 1979, in China, which literally heralded the Chinese market economy.  Given that the current internet has never had any private ownership of properties, and the Elastos infrastructure is not quite there yet, I can only wish that our development teams stay hungry and our communities stay foolish.


17) Why is it that it was again centrally decided to delay the council vote? We all know that the current CR Council members wear a double hat and consequently many popular topics are simply ignored or not supported. Why can’t we just install the new CR Council and implement the blockchain solution later?

Rebecca Zhu: Delaying the council voting was not decided by anyone specifically or by a central authority per se. The only reason it was delayed is that we need more time to complete coding and testing.

Developers are trying their best to catch up with the original schedule, but due to Covid-19 and other circumstances, we had to postpone the launch of CR Consensus. Although we can have council members elected before full launch, as this capability was already code-completed on the Elastos blockchain, this is only a small portion of the entire CR Consensus. What developers are working on now are proposal voting, proposal tracking, payment etc. These are indispensable and shall be implemented and carried out on the Elastos Blockchain, not by manual work. When the entire CRC is in place, we will achieve the complete self-governance of the Elastos community. For these reasons, we have determined that it is wisest to delay the launch of CRC by 2 months in order to have comprehensive infrastructure in place on day one. This is the most efficient implementation process, and it is one in which we have great confidence. In short, it is worth the wait.


18) Will there be clear roadmaps, milestones, and deliverables for all the teams that are working on the different components? That would at least give people the opportunity to decide if Elastos is solid enough to build a business on or not.

A few interesting businesses have already expressed interest in Elastos’ technical components. However, while rapid and consistent progress is being made, none of desired components are fully prepared to function in an  enterprise environment, and the teams that are constructing the components do not have complete roadmaps, deadlines, or deliverables.

It is of course totally fine that the Elastos components are not production-ready yet. In my view, the fact that businesses simply cannot know what to expect is unacceptable.

Rong Chen: Defining concrete roadmaps, milestones, and deliverables can be a double-edged sword. It’s always helpful to lay down tangible goals and fixed timelines, but when technical feasibility requires deeper thought and additional testing, development teams are faced with a decision to either prematurely release an unprepared product, or to announce an undesirable delay. In either case, no one is pleased. In our commitment to transparency and open communication with our community, we have found the best middle ground to be in releasing deliverable-specific timelines that correlate to our best estimations, and to reassess and recalibrate those timelines as unforeseeable challenges present themselves. As EF’s network of teams becomes increasingly decentralized, producing development timelines for specific technical components and launches requires the coordination of several teams and thus becomes increasingly challenging; for us, this is a natural growing pain. For the time being, our 2019 End-of-Year (EOY) Report offers development timelines and milestones for each team in a “2020 Outlook” section, and we encourage all interested community members to look to that information, as it is based on our best estimations. Please also check out the site https://developer.elastos.org/discover_elastos/modules_status/ for status updates on all our services. 


Rong Chen: March 30 Telegram Q&A 

This following Q&A is reprinted unedited from the Elastos Community Telegram Channel


Q: Actually – In your opinion, how important is the development of push notifications from dApps within elastOS to the underlying OS?

A: I believe it’s a very crucial feature to have push notifications for mobile apps and it requires somewhat centralized control unfortunately.

Q: Is it possible to have push notifications while still securing the information being transmitted between devices?

A: I believe so.  Apps are published by “companies” not EF.  The notification servers (no extra functionalities) operated by the companies could be vetted by sidechains.  Just my hunch.

Q: Given crises often facilitate innovation, do you see any innovations that you would like to see happen utilizing elastos that could take advantage of the world-changing events we are seeing now? Besides the obvious adoption of the overall OS.

A: Indeed, users own their own data for one, and vetting fake information for another.

Q: Another question: How is the decentralized team structure working out? Is it as productive as you anticipated and how likely are these teams to make the transition to self-sufficient organizations that build on Elastos full time?

A: Teams are more or less centralized, following their leaders. EF is outstanding tasks to those teams, please see the EOY report. In the future, EF will turn into a W3C like specification oriented organization, encouraging teams to bid for implementations. I hope this direction also clears up the questions about over relying on so-called EF or EF teams, because there won’t be any in one and a half years from now.

Q: What will be the main focus of EF after all the elastos blocks are 100% ready and elastOS is fully operational?

A: A new Internet won’t finish for a long time. I would say for this year and most part of next year, EF will still focus on funding the infrastructure development.

Q: Thanks for your time Rong. Do you think it would be possible to finance the maintenance and development of Elastos post August 2021 with CR funds if the market conditions do not improve?

A: Given the current development schedule, I am very positive about the future of the Elastos Smartweb, which should be autonomous running for some time already by the end of next year.  And I see many opportunities to help startups to get traditional VC funding to launch profitable businesses (vs those crypto projects which have no hope in getting money from mobile consumers).  Cyber Republic is a virtual governance body, the funding should be mostly for infrastructures and welfare of the masses, for example paying for DID registration fees for all or helping new immigrants to settle down.

Q: I have heard you mention press button side chains. Do you think we will be at that stage when the EF is finished?

A: Should be.  Also the concept of sidechain is really from the blockchain world, which is only partially useful in my opinion.  The key is really dApp agnostic to the Smartweb service providers. For example, when you make a phone call, you have no idea whether your call is routed via satellite or undersea cables, where satellite companies and fiber companies are all CENTRALIZED. 

Sidechains are only part of the infrastructure to facilitate guilds of services, eg storage guild, video broadcast guild, cloud computing guild etc.

Leveraging centralized service providers such as Titan will be the key to Elastos’ success.  All centralized service providers are really “miners” in my mind, so long as they don’t control user data.

Q: Hi Rong, Hope you are well! So if the market continues to plummet, does this have any impact on the deliverables for EF? Also, is the expectation of 20K users still realistic?

A: Not really.  First financially when we say we build the Smartweb in four years, we will do it.  So far so good. Secondly, as for whether the CRC could have enough businesses to sustain an underlying token, everyone is entitled to have an opinion.  To me, being number one is everything in the software industry.

Q: Any updates on Titan? Titan is sounding very exciting as well.

A: They are doing well especially for WFH (Work From Home) use cases.

Q: Dear Rong, would you say that Elastos gets more press coverage in China/Asia than in the West currently?

A: Not really.  All I care about is when we will have real users and when we will have the MOST users.

Q: Dear Rong, can you tell us if the government of China has ever approached you to understand Elastos and see if they could use Elastos network to help their administration (for example handling eIDs)?

A: The simple answer is no.  But there are startups contacting me about helping them to do business with government agencies or state run businesses.

Q: What are current predictions for the number of users over the next 2-3 years?

A: Put it this way, 20 thousand users are only for trials and testing.

Q: Dear Rong, from your expertise would you say that hosting DIDs on Elastos is better than other blockchain projects because of BTC security. Does the Carrier have any advantage for Elastos regarding DIDs handling?

A: Carrier is the layer separating runtimes (virtual phones) from the computing/communication infrastructure. A computer has user IDs and Verizon has user IDs, that is the difference between other blockchain project’s DIDs and Elastos DIDs.

Q: Mr. Chen, what are the biggest threats to elastos? And it’s biggest strengths?

A: We are on the right track, sometimes we hit tumbling blocks, but so far we managed fine.  I fully understand the pressure from our community due to the bear market. I am with all of you in the game. The biggest risk is not achieving first place in this new Internet game. So be aware.

Q: That’s a good number for testing and trails. When can we see 100k+ users per month?

A: The difference between a blockchain has limited capabilities, so regardless its number of TPS, it’s NOT scalable.  Verizon being a carrier (network) could have unlimited number of users in theory. That’s the difference between a computer and a network computer.  Yes, in theory, Elastos could have unlimited number of users for computing needs, to handle their data, social and business demands.

Q: I never lost faith and I won’t. Go for number one Rong!!!

A: It’s sad but true, there is only one room for taking the number one spot of the new Internet, work hard may not be enough, luck also plays a role.  There might be three rooms for device operating systems, I wish I knew this twenty years ago. I thought I could design a new os, I jumped in the year 2000. Now that I am really humbled by realizing the difference between being able to do one vs being the one.  

Many young folks could build a blockchain or Web 3.0 whatever.  Being the one is not competing on strength, rather it’s on leverages.  Being able to dynamically switch service providers would be the key to Elastos’ success, only time will tell.  

When I was young, I struggled to understand what it meant by “He who does not contend is above all competitions” (Tao Te Ching) If one does not fight, how could he win?

There is a question about why we want to build NEO sidechain (or EOS sidechain), while pushing for Ethereum sidechain adoption?  Because we want to exercise an architecture which would enable us to flip sidechains. If Ethereum wins we win, if Ethereum loses, we still win.  Get it?

Have you heard blockchain as a service? Video broadcasting as a service, IPFS storage as a service… In fact, when the term SaaS was defined in building 42 at Microsoft, I was there.

Q: Sir. I remember last year you had a meeting in Shanghai with some big players about 4k streaming using elastos carrier or something like that. Where are you at about this?

A: It’s coming this year.

Q: My dream was to own an elastos TV box. But this dream evaporated a long time ago. We stopped talking about this TV box

A: If we could have a million set-top-boxes, we could do it again, for sure.

Q: I can only imagine it’s not easy building the new internet in such difficult circumstances. With so much competition Who do you think are the biggest threats to Elastos achieving first place?

A: You need strength to enter the Olympic Games, but you need faith to be the champion.  I think the biggest threat is doubt in our community.

Q: I think in the crypto field you need a solid project with good tech and strong developers. Elastos has it. But you need to be market oriented and keep up with the market pace if you want to survive. Elastos lacks this.

A: No marketing, let the best products win and market themselves.

Q: This strategy made us lose a lot of money.

A: We have a different take on this.  Other projects also lost in value. 

We have four years to build a new Internet.  That’s what we promised. 

If the world says a new Internet is only worth this much.  So be it. 

Don’t ask me how much is ELA worth, ask yourself how much a new Internet is worth!   As I said, we may not be the one winning the game, but we focus, we fight hard for it.

And also remember, we won’t run out of gas for the last mile of four years.  That’s also what we promised.

“It’s a stupid world” would be a polite way of putting it.

Q: How much funding is left?

A: Another year and a half.

Q: Yes I agree with you on that. We also have no doubts about your dream and we have faith in you and Feng but we are also decision makers at elastos to make better decision In business.  For example I have a hand sanitiser company and what we will do is get everyone to sign up a did and we can giveaway hand sanitizers but we can register thousands of people on elastos and give them some things to play with- for example- games, chat, video, dating, social network so we can get daily users to increase. My question is basically how long till this dream/vision can be achieved?

A: The infrastructure is there.  But we are very short-handed to help you to develop your app.

Q: Do you have any major announcements coming up in Q2-Q3

A: CRC launching, Smartweb running. Real users and real use cases.

Q: What use case are you most excited about?

A: Main stream apps, including chat such as Hyper.im, micro-websites (blogs) such as Elastos Feeds within elastOS, and maybe some smart-home apps such as video on demand.  Niche market apps such as GreenPass, StarWire, etc.

Q: Do you still believe the current consensus model is the way forward?

A: You could think of CRC being democracy on rails.   Launching it is just the beginning. I also see the model being applied to sidechains, earlier today I was referring to guilds, for many service areas, such P2P finance, MakerDAO, DiFi would be a couple very limited starting points.

Q: So, if the price of ELA keeps falling, we won’t be able to attract developers, because CRC can’t pay them…

A: For the year and a half, EF sponsors the infrastructure development.  Outside developers are nice to have, but not must have.

For ecosystem dApp programmers, we have some mainstream apps and a few niche market apps already.  For others, I wouldn’t beg/pay them to believe in Elastos. I would recommend CRC to reward outcomes, say which app gives us the first 100 thousand users? Should we give a price to the team?  Also CRC should pay for seamless immigrations of old internet users, for example, pay for their DID registration fees.

After a year and a half, CRC would have responsibilities to maintain and improve the infrastructure as well.

Q: You are scaring me when you say it’s too early for developers.

A: We are not Google or iOS at this point, so developers can’t expect to have everything fed to them.  There are too many loopholes and shortcomings in the Elastos Smartweb at this early stage. If developers feel bitter about the bugs, be warned, and they should stay away, unfortunately.


Q: What is the strategy to get 20k daily users?

A: I believe that there are twenty thousand users who would like to read accountable news or chat without being watched, even if the apps are still buggy.

Q: How can small, community run projects like NAV coin be listed on Binance when Elastos cannot? My understanding is Elastos needs some “Legal Opinion”, whatever that means. How were these small projects able to afford this when the estimates are $20,000 for this “Legal Opinion”? Also, with the large international Elastos Community, we can’t find a current token holder to do this for us for WAY less? It would be in a token holders interest to get ELA on more exchanges.

A: The total valuation of all crypto projects combined is about a quarter of Microsoft.  If you take out BTC and ETH (so called utilities by SEC), the rest are much less ($100 million?).  In comparison, how many companies are listed on Nasdaq?

I don’t believe the daily trades of crypto projects (without big two) could sustain the business of a decent exchange with real trading volume.  How much is the fee for token trade? 0.3%? Say the trading volumes are blown up 10 times, how much would an exchange really make in a day? How many employees do they have to pay? Crypto exchanges are highly unregulated, so how do they make a living? A quarter million dollars listing fees at least and pump-and-dump afterworlds are really the business models for many exchanges.

Blockchain technology is a breakthrough, otherwise we wouldn’t be here talking.  But in my opinion, except darknet being a real (illegal) business, everything else is still a make-believe kindergarten play compared to the real internet businesses.  We would love to work with exchanges who believe in the future of blockchain technology and would like the world to grow up someday.  

I am tired of people mumbling about exchanges.  Do the math and tell me where the money is to be made?  I believe that money is made in businesses not exchanges.  Don’t you agree? Elastos is here to facilitate companies to make money in a new Internet.  And Elastos is not here for a Ponzi scheme. Period.

Q: Maybe we can set up by code the vote coming from exchange wallets as invalid?

A: People should really keep tokens in their own wallet until they are ready to trade.  In the future, I hope Elastos Smartweb could support banking and exchange sidechains.

Q: Thoughts? “There’s not enough funds to build a DeFi ecosystem and it’d have to compete with the existing ones. The observation I liked is that even Tezos with all their funding is jumping into the fray but can’t find a fit.

Maybe if CR really embraces DeFi but I question how many in the now Chinese majority council even understand DeFi. For now they are too busy bickering about the burn.“

A: Two points: porting DeFi to Elastos ETH sidechain and combining it with some specialized consensus for a specific market.  Elastos is NOT a blockchain project. A blockchain by itself is almost useless, so is a sidechain. DeFi built on top of a sidechain, to deal with real Fiat money P2P lending would be much more interesting, in my opinion. But I am no financial expert, just let you know my gut feeling.

CRC subsidies a business, I could see.  But paying teams to believe in Elastos, I would hesitate.

Q: I’m always confused between dittobox, Hive, personal cloud,… And Elastos is called cloud in Chinese lol

A: Elastos in Chinese has a hint of “Yet another kind of Cloud”.  The key difference between a public cloud and the Elastos cloud is that the former hosts websites managed by companies which developed those websites, and the latter hosts web services on (mining) supernodes which are NOT managed by website developers, so companies couldn’t steal user data.

Q: What is Hive?

A: Hive is like the sidechains for the Smartweb storage.  IPFS is one of the implementations of decentralized storage, similar to Ethereum is only one kind of smart contract.

For users to own their own data, they should save the data where they deem comfortable, which could be google drive, OneDrive, personal network access storage (NAS), dittobox is a reference design for that.

Decentralized storage alone won’t be able to meet the needs for the Smartweb because users must keep their master copies somewhere.

Hive also unifies the Smartweb storage interface, very much like computers have standard storage interface protocols such as IDE, SCSI, USB etc.

To run a real “general purpose” dApp, which requires a new kind of decentralized computer to facilitate.  What I am saying is that when people talk about dApps for the real world, they must have a concept of their execution environment.  Ethereum or IPFS for that matter can’t possibly be enough to solve the problems alone.  

Can I convince people to believe me?  After so many years, I give up. That’s why I don’t believe in marketing.

Those who can, do!

A computer which runs specialized programs is called an embedded system, eg a router, a mouse, a hard drive, a webcam, etc. which all have CPUs and storages in them.  A computer that runs apps to interact with consumers is a general purpose computer.


Q: Also, are you excited about Elastos DMA’s Greenpass?

A: Sure.  The value of an OS, a Web, a Smartweb, lies in the number of apps collectively as an ecosystem.  I appreciate the DMA team and other developers for building apps based on Elastos technology.

Rong: Ohh, I should clarify.  We are working with Elastos.Academy for documentations and spotlight videos, so that when outside developers want to learn, the materials are there.  But I give up convincing developers to convert to Elastos merely by marketing or talks in conferences.

Q: Do you think that DID sidechain is stable and ready enough to be deployed in GreenPass?

A: Yes.  DID is stable enough.


Q: You are making your vision come true using our money. I personally participated in the crowd sale, and bought more from the exchanges. If I didn’t believe in your vision I wouldn’t give away my money. But I didn’t expect that you would give up on us and focus on only your vision. A good leader should care about those who support him. 

Feng Han said Community, community, community

But we see the opposite from you: My vision, my vision, my vision

A: I feel your pain.  And we constantly talk to our community members.  We have a limited budget to run for four years. We don’t want to run out of funds before we could build the Smartweb.  After all, that’s the real bottom line we promised.

He (Feng) has more knowledge about crypto societies than I.  And he is tirelessly working on it, if you read biweekly reports.

Q: Decentralized internet as in mass adoption even with the best marketing? Yeah never.. but you can accomplish a lot in 4 years IF marketing also comes in the picture.

A: In the 1980s and early 90s, AT&T was marketing UNIX, IBM for OS2. Motorola, Apple and IBM were marketing Pink.  There are also Xerox and Sun Micro for operating systems. They were much bigger and had way more money than Microsoft.  But in the end, Microsoft beat them all, not because of marketing but because of the number of users. 

I also had taken part in Microsoft and Foxconn strategic business planning meetings in my life.  As I mentioned last time, a market of 200 billion for all crypto projects combined, it’s way too small to tell a story unless you have a potential to grow exponentially.  For example, how could it be possible for this market size to support even one decent exchange to make a profit without manipulating their investors? Not to mention crypto exchanges are highly unregulated.

Q: So you’re saying we have been manipulated by crypto exchanges?

A: If the stock market is any reference, thousands of companies with combined valuation of less than a quarter of Microsoft, … You fill in the blanks with what you believe.  But if the new Internet grows to the size of the currency Internet, then I see the future of centralized and decentralized exchanges for it.

Q: What’s the EF’s strategy to achieve a high number of users?

A: Focus 

Q: Blockchain devs just follow the money, the entrepreneurs should be making the choice to work on ela

A: I personally see a very bleak future for blockchain developers.  Don’t take me wrong, blockchain developers are crucial, very much like os kernel developers, a few top-notch ones would be enough.  App/dApp developers should follow the money instead of technology, ie., they should not work directly with blockchain nor kernel developers.   For example, Elastos could issue DIDs based on our mainchain or ETH sidechain (so called blockchain as a service). As in real life, if you are replaceable you don’t command a premium.  It’s harsh but I believe it’s true.

Q: but I believe some of the devs follow/support Elastos because they believe in you or your visions, not entirely for the money.

A: I appreciate that.  Elastos definitely needs top-notch blockchain developers, much like Microsoft needs good kernel developers.  But generally speaking, OS kernel would not be my top pick for a career if I had known what I know now.

A blockchain enables new Internet and business opportunities are much more attractive.

Q: One of the key as well with elastOS, developers don’t need to be blockchain experts to build dApps – all the most difficult parts are already implemented – like using DID login, for example, is so easy to implement, great job Benjamin Piette & co.

A: That’s the point.  People don’t have to know blockchains to ride the new decentralized business opportunities.

Here are some interesting numbers: Microsoft’s annual income was 125 billion USD for fiscal 2019.  Hong Kong GDP was 365 billion USD in 2019 (was 1.6 billion in 1960). Hong Kong M0 supply is about double of its GDP, i.e., 750 billion USD.

Q: do you keep up to date regarding the developments in China and their stance towards crypto/blockchain. Apparently the blockchain service network (BSN) is still scheduled to launch in April and the China Social Credit system will start operating. Do you think these will have a positive or negative effect?

A: I don’t follow government projects because I am not in their loop.  It’s still very sensitive for blockchain projects with their own tokens in China.

I believe that China is going with consortium chains, e.g., state run banks and a few private conglomerates such as Alipay and WeChat pay, jointly hosting supernodes, to issue DCEP.


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