NKN AMA Q&A Highlights — February 2020

9 min read


In case you missed last week’s NKN Core Team AMA, please find Q&A highlights from our discussion below:

Question #1:

Do you have any plans to hire more developers to code more dAPPs? If you don’t plan on hiring more developers then why not?

In the long term, what works best is to build the open source community that can both contribute and help others build dApps on top of NKN. However, in the short term, we will build our own dApps to kickstart the ecosystem and to show the value of our platform. We hope this will attract more developers and users to NKN and further encourage the growth of the ecosystem.

Question #2:

With several products now in beta, do you have an estimated time-line for v1 product releases? Specifically nMobile and nCDN?

NKN takes a cautious approach when designating an application a production release vs beta. This means that releases such as Mainnet will remain beta until we are confident that the application works very well, securely, and without issue.

As for our services, nCDN has already been launched and is ready for commercial traffic. nMobile is almost ready and is about 90% feature complete. The next step is to release nMobile on Google Play (for Android users) and App Store (For iOS users). We expect to make the application available in the next 1–2 months.

Question #3:

Could you please share any stats about nCDN usage and its performance?

There are 2 kinds of customers for nCDN. One is the big accounts, such as video service providers, and the other is small/medium size companies, such as small enterprise or websites, which can use our self service portal at ncdn.io. Each of these 2 types of customers are in a different scale of adoption.

For the larger accounts, we have completed a commercial trial with a large “Chinese YouTube” and we are now on-going some trials in southeast asia. While we have completed the technical trials, we are now in the commercial agreement negotiation phase.

For our self-service portal, a majority of the traffic is from our own NKN web sites with an additional 20 or so websites that have signed up to try nCDN. One of these websites uses our nCDN service to provide android application software (APK) downloads for its users. We do expect this to grow over time. Regarding performance, please see our September 2019 bi-weekly where we we share how nCDN outperforms cloudflare in China.

Question #4:

Business development is really the main focus right now and some more visibility there would be great

  • the security audit
  • commercial negotiation update with chinese youtube

The security audit is still on-going. Because the NKN P2P, consensus and blockchain layers are all brand new, we expect the security audit to take time to review, understand, and properly assess the security impacts. The security team has been very interactive with NKN and so far there has been no major issues identified.

The commercial negotiation with the chinese youtube is also on-going. Things are going well, but we cannot publish any information until the contract is signed.

Question #5:

In the bi-weekly report you mentioned giving aid to multiple different companies via nkn tools through your partnership with China Mobile. Can you elaborate on that?

With the spread of the CoronaVirus, many people are now working from home. NKN has a lot of experience with remote work. In fact, we use our own tools and network to help our remote employees work and communicate from home using services such as TUNA (for secure remote access), D-Chat, nMobile, NKN File transfer, and nShell for remote server control. Therefore, NKN has teamed up with China Mobile and the InfoQ developer community to donate our network resources and tools to help others productively work from home during this time of need.

Question #6:

How is the progress of exchanges migrating the NKN ERC-20 markets over to mainnet tokens?

Some exchanges are very eager and are already testing with NKN Mainnet and are more or less ready to go. With others, we have not yet started integration. The main reason is that we need to finish our security audit first. Once this is done and we work out integration with exchanges then we will expect to see announcements as to when Mainnet tokens will be available on our various exchanges. In the meantime, you can still use our online swap tools to swap between NKN Mainnet and ERC-20 tokens.

Question #7:

Are you applying to any new exchanges as of recently?

We are monitoring the situation. While Bitcoin and Ethereum have recovered in the market, smaller tokens overall are showing lower volumes and thus including additional exchanges may not be in the best interest of the token holders. We want to make sure that our token holder’s assets are safe and sound. In addition, the US regulatory environment is still not clear and we have not seen many tokens being listed on US exchanges as of late.

Question #8:

How is Yanbo doing? We hear from much of the team but it seems as if he likes being behind the scenes.

Yanbo enjoys working behind the scenes. Most of his time is working on product management as well as interacting with NKN Chinese community on Telegram and WeChat. He also works closely with the R&D team to build and deliver NKN’s software infrastructure and products.

Question #9:

Will Wolfram computational engine use NKN?

We work with the Wolfram blockchain research lab regularly with bi-weekly calls to check on new opportunities. One of the areas we are looking at is helping Wolfram research and its community of projects to improve the communications stack in the distributed computing space.

Question #10:

any thoughts on implementing something like a supernode system where said nodes stake, get more compensation but also get penalised when going offline unexpectedly this would ensure to clients a certain minimum activity threshold. basically a financially guaranteed minimum product/ performance.

The NKN mining mechanism itself encourages nodes to be on-line 24/7. By continuing to be on-line and relaying data, you have a higher probability of earning a mining reward. We have designed this mechanism to encourage a minimal level of performance. In addition, our routing algorithm favors nodes with higher processing and network capacity. To do this we use network latency, which offers an approximation to determine how good a node is in terms of transferring data.

For paid services such as nCDN, we offer a hybrid mode, where NKN will run a subset of nodes to ensure a minimal level of quality while still offering a majority of nodes from the community to participate. By doing so, we are providing good product/performance.

We are proud to say that we have achieved the ability to have a stable network without using supernodes. We accomplished this by designing a dynamic network that allows nodes to join or leave the network at any time while maintaining reliability overall. Therefore, there is really no need to offer supernodes within NKN.

Question #11:

Can NKN be used to reduce ping? If so, do you know to what extent and have you considered to develop a dAPP to reduce ping.

It’s easier for NKN to increase throughput than to reduce latency. Since data in the NKN network typically travels through multiple relays or hops, it is difficult to improve the latency as compared to a direct connection. However, we can improve throughput by breaking the data into chunks and sending it over multiple concurrent paths which can accelerate throughput. In our testing, we have found that often times the bottleneck or congestion in today’s networks is not at the end points but instead within the internet itself. By breaking data into smaller pieces and sending that down down multiple paths we can ensure that no single congested data path can affect the overall throughput.

Question #12:

What type of data usage can we expect from the nCDN Chinese YouTube when the deal goes through?

The good news is that the Chinese YouTube has lots of demand. Any capacity that we can offer they will use it. On the other hand, the usage is very localized to China. Therefore, we will ramp up the community nodes in China to satisfy that need. This same customer does have subscribers overseas in locations like southeast asia, where we are currently testing NKN nodes to support the demand.

Question #13:

Will the nCDN costs change when NKN’s token price changes? as in, cost less NKN as the USD price rises?

We recently began offering payment in NKN token for nCDN service at a discounted price to encourage people to use NKN mainnet token. That price is not fixed and will float monthly or weekly as needed depending on the market fluctuations.

Question #14:

Is there a future plan for smart contract support like eth or eos ?

NKN is really focused on delivering network traffic and our #1 priority is to improve and enhance our network performance to provide much better service. Smart contracts do not help us accomplish this. We would like to eventually include smart contract support to help enhance our naming service and pubsub functionality but its not our top priority at the moment.

Question #15:

Are you working on NKN 2.0 as planned? Which problems are you trying to solve with 2.0?

NKN 2.0 is really working towards providing more applications and services on NKN and attracting more users to the platform. In short, achieving real-world adoption. As we look to the future, we need to enable a free market mechanism so that communication service buyers and sellers can transact over NKN similar to how companies like Amazon provide a marketplace for goods, NKN can eventually offer a marketplace for communication services like web proxy, file transfer, etc.

Question #16:

Have you engaged with any other teams working on network/messaging layer like Hopr.Network, Marlin Protocol or Nymtech.net?

No, but thanks for the input and we will look into these companies.

Question #17:

How many people are in nkn team ?

We have about 18 people globally with 4 in the US and 14 in China. Our CEO, Yanbo Li, along with most of our engineering team as well as local Business Development and Community Management are located in China. Co-Founders, Bruce Li, and Yilun Zhang as well as Allen Dixon are located in the US.

Question #18:

Can you tell us what’s happening with improved tokenomics of NKN? Haven’t heard about it in quite a while.

Earlier in December, we had discussed the possibility of using a staking mechanism with NKN. We evaluated staking models from different projects, however, while it might make sense for NKN in the future, the immediate need is to encourage more adoption of the NKN token as well as market traction with our products. Once we can attract revenue and pay out to miners via token, we will have good token dynamics which will help token holders, miners, and developers alike. That type of adoption will help us with mainstream media and market as well.

Another reason to use staking is to improve security. However, we are in the middle of a security audit and so far our current security has been adequate. We have also added additional security for our naming services as well as when generating network IDs that help reduce spamming attacks.

We also have the NKP (New Kind of Proposal) process, where the community can propose improvements. We encourage anyone with a good idea on how to improve our token economics to write a proposal using NKP via our forum so that we can get feedback from the community and find a way to address it.

Question #19

Any collaboration planned with IoTeX? Especially with IoTeX new Ucam product working with NKN’s dataride?

We are continuing to collaborate with IoTeX and have had discussions around IoTeX’s new Ucam products as well. We are also working together to host a joint Webinar on the topic of Secure Smart Home tentatively planned for early March. Please stay tuned for an announcement soon.

Question #20:

How can you become an nCDN supplier? Are there any incentives for nCDN suppliers now?

We are working on a new NKN bundle we call NKN Commercial which will offer opt-in plugin modules to easily run nCDN, TUNA, and other services where you can earn additional rewards. Once we finalize this bundle as well as ramp up commercial contracts then we will get it out to the community to make it easy to become a nCDN supplier.

Question #21:

What steps are being taken to reduce NKN’s token velocity? You probably know some working projects that have a real working utility token, but the token itself isn’t getting more expensive. How NKN token will capture NKN Network Value?

Our business model is that we will take payment from enterprise customers and will distribute rewards via token to miners. Miners have the option to hold the token or cash out via exchanges. One of the things we have observed is that lots of miners are also long term investors in addition to mining. Therefore, many hold onto the token they earn from mining for the long term which also reduces the velocity.

On one hand you want the token to circulate in order to demonstrate utility. On the other hand, you don’t want to reduce the token value. We need to find a good balance between these two. Once our project grows larger, the opportunity to have a second token to separate investment vs utility may make more sense. However, at this time it does not make sense for us given our project market cap.

Question #22:

As payments move to crypto, you should be open to payments in BTC/ETH/NKN etc (instead of only USD).

Yes, we already support NKN token payment for nCDN along with USD. Regarding BTC or ETH, we have not added these payments yet, but would not be difficult to support.

Question #23

What about the nMobile App for iOS?

We just started developing the iOS version of nMobile recently. We expect to have it available in Q2 of this year.

Question #24

Just to confirm, there is no way you can run into issues with the SEC like projects like Enigma just did, right?

In terms of legal compliance, we have alway been cautious. We comply with the regulation in China, US, Singapore, and Australia. I would not say we are 100%, but we are very safe and remain careful with our legal compliance.

Question #25

In the future is there any value in spending money on marketing and advertising to “spread the word” so more people will know and can find you more easily?

We are a project that wants to have long term success. Since we are targeting enterprise customers with longer sales cycles and competing with companies like Cloudflare and Fastly that have been around for years with long runways, we too need to plan accordingly to sustain operations for the long haul. Therefore, we cannot risk spending large amounts of money on marketing which could jeopardize our future. We want to use our resources smartly and be very frugal as well.

Also for our customers such as enterprises or developers, traditional consumer mass marketing will not help. For instance, for enterprise customers you need business development resources that can reach out, inform, realize successful implementation, and even customize agreements for their needs. We have experienced BD professionals both in the US and China to do just that.

For our dataRide product, which is more geared toward developers you need to take a different approach. To be a preferred API, you need to go to the forums, websites, and other places where developers look for solutions like hackernoon, github, and Product Hunt or even more vertical oriented channels for solutions in security cameras, chat applications, and more. Our teams are already hard at work in these areas as well but it will take time. We will, however, use mass media with some of larger partners and agreements when it makes sense to do so.

About NKN

NKN is the new kind of P2P network connectivity protocol & ecosystem powered by a novel public blockchain. We use economic incentives to motivate Internet users to share network connection and utilize unused bandwidth. NKN’s open, efficient, and robust networking infrastructure enables application developers to build the decentralized Internet so everyone can enjoy secure, low cost, and universally accessible connectivity.


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