Recap of #AMASeries21: Crypto OLALA x Vera Protocol and Mr.Denis Lam.
On September 21st 2020, Vera Protocol team and Crypto OLALA group organize an AMA to make the community members know more about Vera Protocol and what is its application? Here is recap of it:
Segment 1: Introduce and Question Warm-up:
Question 1: Can you please briefly introduce yourself and VERA Protocol project?
Hello everyone, my name is Denis and I am the founder of Vera Protocol.
I have been coding since age 14 and started by first internet business at 14 years old. I am currently based in California, USA. I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Engineering and my educational background is one of an engineer.
Since my graduation in 2007, I have worked in multiple startups and companies in the field of e-commerce, IoT, sharing economy, and supply chain.
I assume many of you here today are from Vietnam, including @hieupham1797 ?
Believe it or not, I love Vietnam because if it were not be for my friend from Saigon that introduced me to cryptocurrency 4 years ago, I would not even be here today to talk to you.
4 years ago, my friend and business partner in Vietnam introduced me to a project called Ripple (XRP). At that time it was very low price < $0.01 per token.
She explained to me how cryptocurrency and blockchain will change the world and urged me to invest some money into it. I reluctantly agreed even though I did not spend alot of time to do research into what the technology is about.
I was busy with other internet businesses at that time… but while I was busy you can imagine the price of Ripple going from < $0.01 to over $0.10 then even more at one point in less than 1 year.
I am still HODL my original investment today.
This caught my attention and made me realize the power of network effect and decentralization in cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Since I do not like to invest a lot of time and money into things I am unfamiliar with, I began massive research to better understand blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Luckily, I am based in Silicon Valley, the home to many technology and cryptocurrency/blockchain experts.
And it helps alot when you are also an engineer and understand many of the technical details.
But to be honest, not alot of engineers even fully understand what crypto and blockchain is unless you really spend alot of time to deep dive and learn about all the different projects, white papers, and talk to the scientists…
because cryptocurrency is NOT only about technology… it is a combination of many different fields including topics such as economic theories.
One of my clients a few years ago was a large IoT company. They asked me to research into how to use crypto or blockchain to solve some problems in the field of e-commerce and supply chain.
I attended many events, conferences, meetups — bounced ideas to many other professors and engineers here.
And this was the beginning of how ideas later became Vera Protocol.
Long story short, here was the big problem we want to solve…
Many of us here know the benefit of blockchain or DLT (distributed ledger technology)
Data on a blockchain or DLT = we are supposed to be able to trust it.
The problem is, how do we PUT the data into the blockchain, especially if the data comes from the real-world and is not already on the Internet or Cloud?
For example, I am selling a product to @hieupham1797 so I have a parcel. There is data about this parcel such as its real-time location, temperature, or identity.
Who will put this data on the blockchain? And how do we trust that person?
So this what we call the ORACLE problem…
Before I deep dive into how Vera Protocol proposes to solve this problem…
I would like to continue with my introduction and story.
While researching cryptocurrencies and blockchain, I had the opportunity to travel the world and meet many amazing people
Here in Silicon Valley, there are many blockchain projects. I have had the opportunity to work with or advise them in the past.
I have actually travelled to HCM and Hanoi many times to attend conferences, speak at conferences related to blockchain
I have visited one of Vietnam’s earliest successful blockchain projects’ office… Tomochain
I have helped Tomochain raise its initial investment as ICO.
And engineers on my team have advised Tomochain on how to build its blockchain.
So that is why we are quite familiar with Vietnam.
I am excited to be able to share ideas and knowledge from the smartest people in Silicon Valley with other countries such as Vietnam, as long as there are people thirsty for the informatino.
So now, after witnessing many blockchain layer 1 projects trying to solve scalability, we feel the technology is mature enough to support blockchain layer 2 projects such as Vera Protocol — a decentralized oracle network.
We also know many layer 1 projects — bitcoin, ethereum, tomochain, iota, etc… all cannot solve the problems we are focused on solving.
The oracle problem.
With your permission, I can conclude my introduction and begin explaining what Vera Protocol is and how to solve this oracle problem.
So many of you know how hot DeFi is now.
DeFi or decentralized finance is about use cases where 2 strangers can do different types of financial transactions such as loaning digital assets without needing to trust an intermediary like a bank.
A smart contract makes this type of use case work.
Smart contracts are part of the blockchain so they can only use data that is already on the blockchain.
What if a smart contract requires data OFF the blockchain?
- Exchange data — price of crypto or stocks?
- Real world data — weather, temperature, location, etc.
- Other cloud or digital data?
We have 2 ways to get this data.
First way as we can ask @hieupham1797 to get it and pay Mark if he does the job and send it to the blockchain.
But I dont know if we can trust Mark. Maybe he makes a mistake. Maybe someone bribes him. So a CENTRALIZED ORACLE like mark is not trustworthy.
What if Mark decides to build a network of 9000+ friends here in telegram and ask them to help get the data?
Is this decentralized enough?
There are problems with this…
- The data must be able to be obtained by Mark’s 9000 friends online. So the data must be public. What if this data IS NOT publicly accessible? This is usually the case for real world data.
- Even if the data is accessible by the 9000+ people, and let’s say they vote and agree on the data before the conclusion is sent to the blockchain… many factors can still have the data be inaccurate or not true. For example, Mark can pay 9000 people an airdrop to bribe the majority to vote a certain way.
So this is just some basic examples of why oracle problems are not easy to solve.
#2… is actually what Chainlink is trying to do. Some of you know this project right? The crypto is hot.
But their voting protocol is centralized and OFF blockchain.
Also, you must also know that there can never be any perfect oracle for all use cases…
Many companies can be “Google Cloud Partners” including Vera Protocol in the future. The same goes for “Amazon Web Service Partners”
Basically if you are building your project on Google Cloud and you are promoting their cloud service to your clients you become a Google Cloud Partner. Same thing for Amazon.
So there is actually nothing very special about this. But of course, for those not knowing how this works you can create a PR article to make this sound like a very big deal
If you have a smart contract used to manage a INSURANCE policy worth $50 million USD… vs. a smart contract used to manage a INSURANCE policy for a product worth $5.00
The level of security you need for that contract would be quite different would you agree?
For the $5 product, let’ say the contract can be hacked but it costs $500 to do it. You can say it’s not 100% secure but perhaps the security is sufficient because it will deter 99% of the hackers
So… when we want to build a decentralized oracle platform…
We can never have the 100% in scalability, security, privacy or decentralization. 100% in one area mean sacrifice in another. This is called the blockchain quadrilemma.
That is why Vera Protocol is NOT trying to be the best decentralized general purpose oracle for all use cases.
Vera Protocol is focused on building a decentralized oracle platform to power specific DeFi and Decentralized Commerce (DeComm) use cases.
“If Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer network to allow online payments sent between strangers without relying on a financial institution, then Vera will enable peer-to-peer networks to allow physical goods to be exchanged between parties without relying on a big tech oligopoly.”
In conclusion, Vera will enable DeFi or Blockchain 3.0… which includes DeComm use cases
DeFi 1.0 uses centralized oracles.
DeFi 2.0 need decentralized oracles with high economic security.
DeFi 3.0 will use decentralized oracles that ALSO SUPPORT taking real world data not already online or have API.
Vera will enable DeFi to have many use cases involving physical assets not just digital assets…
Imagine able to buy/sell/loan/rent PHYSICAL THINGS you own to strangers? This is all the future made possible by Vera.
Question 2: How will the integration of wireless RFID & NFC smart tag technology standards help Vera? Can platform users use NFC as a useful means of payment in the future on the Vera platform?
For those that dont know what RFID and NFC technology is, it is the exact same technology used by your smartphone or smart device when you use Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.
Here is some information about NFC/RFID usage in the world:
*90% of mobile handsets will have NFC-enabled by 2020.
* 2.2 billion of NFC-enabled handsets are expected to be shipped by 2020.
* NFC-enabled mobile ticketing for public transportation and mass transit in Asia is the largest growth driver for mobile NFC adoption.
So 9 out of 10 phones support NFC today!
And many Asia countries are already using it to deal with ticketing and payments in Asia.
NFC is actually open source technology
So what this means is that similar to BLUETOOTH (another open source technology and protocol), NFC is considered SECURE and MATURE for many every day consumer applications
Therefore, Vera Protocol will integrate NFC technology into our platform that allows smart devices such as your phone or watch to OBTAIN real world data with this technology and send it to the blockchain using Vera Protocol
Since this is part of the oracle service, how cool would it be to be able to use your smart device to earn rewards? :)
Question 3: What value of economic benefits will Vera bring to the users of the VeraProtocol platform? Attracting Users in the first stage of launching the ecosystem is very important, so with a new direction and model from Vera, how will you do for users to trust and use ?
First, as hinted just earlier… Vera creates opportunity for many people to participate. You do not need any expensive mining machine that uses alot of electricity.
Second, Vera will have a decentralized business model that incentivies participants to stake our tokens to support our network and end rewards.
So we have 2 types of stakers on Vera Protocol:
- Verifiers (the oracle)
I will not go into too much technical detail about the design but basically both stakers will earn rewards when their services are used by a D-App that is powered by Vera
So let’s use an example D-App so you can visualize how this works.
Here is a prototype D-App we are building with our existing partners and customers
Imagine KOL on instagram or tiktok want to sell their own product to their fans…
And they sell it with a Vera D-App.
The product has an NFC smart tag on it.
You have BUYER that pay money to the SELLER (the KOL on tiktok)
Normally the e-commerce marketplace takes a cut for fee… Amazon takes up to 15% for example
Because we are decentralized, it is alot cheaper in fees.
And the % of fee go back to Vera Network, NOT Amazon.
The Verifier and Delegator earn rewards for helping this transaction become successful.
We also have other use cases, but I wont go into it now due to time.
Segment 2: Question Selected from the Twitter:
Question 1: One of the ways to promote the project and attract users is to create local Vera Protocol communities around the world. Does Vera Protocol have any plans for this? At present, I see very few local Vera Protocolcommunities. In 2020, will Vera Protocol promote Marketing? Because MARKETING is the source of almost every project?
We currently have a marketing team that is connected to all the major exchanges and their marketing agencies. We are also beginning to do many AMAs with grassroots networks such as Crypto OLALA so we get our project recognized all around the world.
We just begin our marketing campaign this month.
We are also going to begin announcing many partnerships. For example, we will soon announce if not already in some channels, Vera’s partnership with Quarkchain.
And Matic Network, and many others!
Question 2: Whats the main work of Blockchain technology in Financial services which provided by Vera Protocol ? What role Blockchain plays in Vera Protocol services??
Vera is a layer 2 and 3 blockchain solution that consists of a decentralized oracle network, application tools, and IoT connectivity platform
So basically if a smart contract want data from real world… Vera will GET that data and verify it thru the decentralized oracle network, so that the D-App can use that data
Question 3: What oracles will the Vera Protocol use to obtain accurate data? What are the strategies for creating an economical, scalable and secure decentralized oracle system?
Vera Protocol will build our own decentralized oracle network. We will not be using any 3rd party oracle platforms.
Data obtained from oracles will be sent on-chain to a “Datastore”
a “Service Manager” manages the D-App requests for oracles to obtain real-world data.
As previously explained, we use a decentralized business model to create an economical and scalable system
Verifiers (oracles) and Delegators can stake Vera tokens to earn rewards. In addition all stakers will earn 6% to 20% interest every year
So network supporters are rewarded for their work and trust in our network!
Question 4: Vera uses decentralized blockchain oracles. Why are oracles needed and how are they more trustable than any other 3rd party?
I have explained why oracles are important to the blockchain and use cases like DEFI.
1) We are oracles designed specifically to consumer DeFi and DeComm use cases.
2) Data is stored and managed on chain (not offchain like Chainlink)
3) Our datastore design allows data to be obtained by API, not needing to spend gas or use a blockchain transaction — this makes our oracle solution faster and cheaper than other oracles
4) Our decentralized oracle design has high economic security
Question 5: How does Vera Protocol NFC smart tags technology work? What are the benefits that sellers and brands obtain through the platform? Also, why did you decide to combine Decentralized P2P Retail + Smart Tags? Thank you!
We are not inventing NFC. As explained previously, NFC is already trusted technology used by smart devices and smart watches for payment like Apple Pay. We simply use a trusted and secure technology to obtain data from mobile devices linked to Vera.
We saw a need for DeFi and DeComm use cases after seeing many projects lack the oracle solution we are proposing.
Segment 3: Free Q & A between the community and Vera Protocol.
📍Community members will conduct questions Mr.Denis Lam. Group will proceed to open chat in 70 seconds. We have only 1 round. Mr.Denis Lam will answer questions from the community
Question 1:‘’Centralized oracles are a point of failure’’. What is your opinion about this identify ? Vera Protocol propose Vera as Defi v3.0 cuz it creates a #DECENTRALIZED ORACLE platform. Could you explain basically about the different between CENTRALIZED oracle and DECENTRALIZED oracle?
Centralized oracle systems rely on a single party to get off-chain data and put it on a blockchain. If that party makes a mistake, lies, or cheats or bribed, then the data on the chain cannot be trusted.
There is no point in using blockchain if the data on the blockchain cannot be trusted or transparent to the stakeholders. Therefore a decentralized oracle system is needed which ensures higher trust in the data obtained.
The most practical use case for decentralized oracles are to obtain data that is OFFLINE (we call it real-world data). This data is HARDEST to get and often NOT PUBLICLY accessible.
Question 2: Does #VeraProtocol currently have an airdrop or bounty event ??? And where can I get more information about this project ??
veraprotocol.org and our medium
Question 3: Is Vera attention only on Peer-To-Peer (P2P) transactions? Is there nothing else Vera wants to develop? And is the Vera platform suitable for beginner crypto users or advanced crypto users?
P2P transactions is a very broad topic that can have many use cases. The industries we will focus on is DeFi and DeComm. As we continue our development we will narrow down focus on use cases to create traction in the market with these solutions. Any level of crypto users can participate in the network and ecosystem.
Question 4: Do people need to download an app to be able to buy in Vera Protocol or is it possible to buy it just by entering a link?
Vera will be listed in major exchanges initially.
Question 5: Do you have a mechanism that protect buyers from getting scammed ?
How do you resolve such dispute ?
This mechanism depends on the D-App and its business model. If this mechanisms require real world data to make a decision on the smart contract or to help with buyer protection Vera provides this data to that app!
Question 6: How easy is it for someone to start a seller account in the marketplace and list their goods?
Also, do you plan to have a rating or reviews section for consumers to rate sellers?
You are referring to the D-App we want to build as a proof of concept of a DApp powered by Vera Protocol. Yes ideally it would be great to allow the app to be similar to a decentralized Craigslist where anyone can list a product to sell to a stranger.
Question 7:What is the business model of Vera? How Veraproject generates revenue for project development?
This is explained the decentralized biz model image previously
Question 8: How will Vera Protocol track and prevent false data received by oracles?
NFC is a trusted technology used to securely obtain and transmit data. Therefore the chance for false data is minimal.
Question 9: We know that most financial services are appropriate for large merchants, but is your p2p service useful for small merchants too?
We are focused more on inidivudals and small merchant use cases
Question 10: How do you see future markets using the Vera Protocol? Are they small specialty stores or hypermarkets like Walmart?
While any business can use Vera in the future we want to focus on empowering the small business owner or the individual!
Question 11:We are all aware on what happened to $SUSHI, wherein the team dumps their tokens to the investors. How can we make sure that this will not happen to VERA?
Founders and team have long lockups up to 2 years which prevents this dumping from happening.
Question 12: What is VERA roadmap for this year 2020? Are there any new partnerships and interesting upcoming use-cases?
We recently partnered with Quarkchain and Matic Network. More will be announced on our Twitter, Medium, website.
Question 13: Can you tell us the motivation and benefits for investors to hold VERA in a long term investment?
All investment have risks but if you like at comparables, the market has done well for projects like Chainlink so I think we will do great with the interest in our R&D direction!
Question 14: DeFi is one of the hottest topic in the blockchain space right now. Can you share your opinions on DeFi with us? What does Orion Protocol approach towards the DeFi sector?
We arent Orion Protocol
Question 15: Can you list 1 or 3 killer features that make it stand out from its competitors ?? What competitive advantage does your platform have that make you feel the most confident ???
1.Decentralized oracles with high economic security
2. IoT connectivity via NFC
3. Faster and cheaper oracle transactions
Question 16:From the ecosystem I saw I could contribute as VERIFIER or DELEGATOR, can you explain more about these 2 roles in the ecosystem
Both roles stake VERA tokens. Verifier is the oracle which obtains data from a physical data source using NFC. Delegators stake their tokens onto a Verifier so they basically help do due diligence on the Verifier. If the Verifier cheats or is bad, then Delegators get punished along with the Verifier. Rewards going to Verifiers are shared with Delegators. The more delegators investing in a Verifier shows the more people trust that Verifier therefore rewards will multiply.
AMA is ended.