Blockchain Platform IOST Preparing a “Secret Weapon” after its Mainnet Launch
The IOST project is building a blockchain platform that aims to achieve high scalability and decentralisation by implementing their own sharding scheme and consensus mechanism.
After a number of testnet releases over the last year, the Beijing-based team is finally launching its main-net on February 25th.
Upon such a big event, Crypto Times has been given an opportunity to interview the CEO and co-founder of IOST, Jimmy Zhong. Before IOST, the entrepreneur was running an online academic platform called StudyPool. At the same time, he heard about the blockchain technology from one of his college professors, and soon started to come up with improvements for solving the scalability-decentralisation tradeoff problem. Having realised the technology is beyond cryptocurrencies thanks to smart contracts, he has sold StudyPool for 40 million USD and established the IOST team in 2017 with 20 members.
Below is an edited transcript of our interview.
Crypto Times: What is going to happen at the mainnet release, and what will users be able to do?
Jimmy Zhong: Firstly, I will be live-streaming on Twitter on the day of the mainnet release (February 25th). We will release detailed documentations and articles in multiple languages, and officially release the plan for 2019 and onwards. The actual token swap from ERC tokens to mainnnet tokens is planned on March 10th.
Upon the mainnet launch, you will be able to play DApp games with better performances. My team is trying to bring more and more games onto the IOST platform. We are also working with many partners. A New York-based startup called Bern Protocol is building a decentralised content distribution platform, and they are going to be one of the first projects that will issue tokens on our platform. We also have partnerships with PWC Europe, multiple Chinese enterprises and gaming companies. With these partnerships, we aim to introduce our blockchain on products that are already big parts of our society. That’s why we are looking at well-known companies in the industries of gaming, finance, content distribution, advertisements and so on.
We are finally launching a product, and I am very excited about it. In order to grow our user base, we are releasing a “secret weapon” in late March. On this update, users will be able to play DApp games without any background knowledge. You know, we want users to just get a wallet and play. We are lowering the bar and removing the technical complexity. I believe this will give non-tech people an opportunity to participate in using the blockchain technology.
Crypto Times: What are the core differences between IOST, Ethereum, EOS and TRON?
Jimmy: Current Ethereum has a high network latency, and its TPS is about 20. TRON has a low latency, but at the moment, they are doing the opposite of what we want in a decentralised network.
EOS also achieves a low latency with its TPS scoring 1000-ish. Generally, when you want to scale a blockchain, many projects resort to network sharding or consensus with fewer nodes. EOS manages to boost its TPS by doing the latter; their delegated proof of stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism has 21 nodes that are chosen via elections. But in fact, these 21 nodes are controlled by 6, 7 groups of people.
IOST, on the other hand, is one of the first highly scalable AND decentralised blockchain platforms. We are not saying that our platform will scale millions TPS – that would just be a pure lie. With our efficient distributed sharding (EDS) system, IOST will surely run a lot faster than Ethereum, and under our proof of believability (PoB) consensus, it will probably have around 100 nodes, too.
Crypto Times: After two major market crashes, how is the “crypto winter” affecting the IOST project?
Jimmy: December 2017 was an annoying time for us because of all the nonsense projects with obvious lies. Luckily for us, we have enough fund and time to keep going even after the second crash at the end of last year. Now that speculators are gone, it’s time for people who believe in the distributed ledger technology. So we are still pretty bullish on the technology. Just like Bitcoin has a place as a currency, IOST will have a place as a good blockchain platform.
I have a strong team to keep advancing even under the current market climate. There are about 100 members here in Beijing office, and another 30 members are working in Japan, Korea and the United States. Approximately 50 members are in the development team – we have a PhD from Princeton, graduates from best universities in China, and computer science competition winners. Bringing more people on board is equally important, so we also allocate a lot of resources to marketing and promotions.
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