On February 7th, Charles, TOP’s PR director and Technical Writer, along with Taylor, TOP’s CTO, hosted a live AMA. During the AMA, they answered many of the questions the community had about TOP. Here is the recap of the event.
You can also rewatch the AMA here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr3PhHr_3AQ&feature=youtu.be
Question: We are living in the advent of 5G networks, which promise gigabyte speeds. As a decentralized open communication network, how does this support the TOP Network project? While studying, I saw something about storage, and this is also a very big deal, so how does TOP compete against regular and traditional storage solutions like Google drive, Dropbox etc?
5G will be a very important technology going forward. It will enable a revolution in IoT applications, which will cause a big spike in the need for secure data sharing technology. TOP will provide an open IoT framework that allows all of these IoT devices to securely share data machine to machine without servers. This is supported by TOP Chain, which can support high-frequency real-time operations, which is needed for IoT. TOP’s technology can also allow for autonomous machine to machine payments, facilitating an IoT data exchange market.
As for storage, decentralized storage has it’s place amongst the Google Drives and Drop Boxes of the world. The benefit of decentralized storage is privacy and security. When storing data on a centralized cloud storage provider, your information is not private and its freely sellable. This is particularly true for personal web data. With TOP’s decentralized storage, data is always encrypted and not stored in a single location, allowing for increased privacy and security.
Question: What are the advantages of Top Network? and what is your strategy to attract users and investors to your dApp?
One of the advantages that TOP has is that we already have many users on several popular existing Apps that we will be porting to TOP network. The first part of the plan is to jumpstart the ecosystem on our own. In addition to our existing apps, we have several in-house development teams working on things like gaming, and we will be releasing 10 smaller gaming DApps and 2 large-scale games. After this, we will begin actively marketing toward third-party developers. With our service layer frameworks, we can target specific groups of developers, for instance in gaming or communications. Since we will already have many millions of users in the TOP ecosyste at that point, it will help entice developers to build on TOP.
Question: Currently the world has 5G and many services are developing on this. Can you give me 2–3 outstanding features of Top to convince customers to switch to using your platform?
As mentioned before, machine to machine communication via a p2p networking platform has major security benefits, and possibly speed benefits, over centralized solutions. In terms of the blockchain space, TOP is one of the only platforms that can handle massive amounts of data logging and transfer, in addition to high-frequency micro transactions.
Question: There are so many public chains around, how will Top network win the competition?
Question: Why does Top Network have many types of nodes? At the current price of the token, it may not be economically profitable to run a node. This may reduce the number of nodes and will damage decentralization. What will you do to prevent this from happening?
TOP has different types of nodes for several reason. One reason is that since each node only has certain duties, each node does not have to have very expensive hardware to run a node. The reduces the cost of running a node, which aids in increasing decentralization. As of now, running a node produces a high ROI. If it is not profitable to run a node in the future, it is likely possible that reward distribution can be changed democratically via on-chain governance.
Question: You will agree with me that ADOPTION and UTILITY is key to any project’s survival and success. What’s being done to drive global adoption of TOP amidst crypto regulations, legislation and competition?
Adoption and utility are definitely the end goals. Adoption will first come from our large existing userbase and in-house development teams. Once the ecosystem has been jumpstarted, it will be much easier to market and push for more developers to build on TOP.
One of the best ways to deal with these types of regulation challenges is to ensure that the token as utility. TOP is used to pay for communications and other services, in exchange for on-chain resources, and for staking/voting. TOP will have a lot of utility right off the bat since there will be many users, helping to cement TOP as a utility token.
Question: Who are or will be Top Network’s customers?
TOP Network is an open platform that anyone can build on. Developers build apps which then get customers. There are many types of DApps that can be built on TOP. In the beginning, we will focus on communications and gaming. So anyone who uses communications apps like VPNs, or playing online games is a potential user. Users will be attracted to DApps built by TOP, and eventually from third-party developer DApps built on TOP.
Question: What is the next dApp after Dingtone, CoverMe, and SkyVPN? How do you acquire developers and users for these dApps?
The next DApps will be a series of gaming DApps built by our in-house gaming development team. Some of these may start out on the regular App market to acquire users, and then be transferred to TOP Network after. Also, since we will have tens of millions of users actively using the ecosystem, we can cross-market to those users for the new DApps on the platform.
Question: What problem is Top Network is solving? Is it just like every other public chain? In what way is it different?
TOP is not just a public chain. It is a full-stack platform for DApp development. We provide all the tools and frameworks needed to build real-world decentralized applications. By real-world, I mean we have more of a focus on non DeFi applications, like gaming and communications, which sets us apart from many blockchain platforms. In terms of TOP Chain specifically, we have built a new blockchain architecture from the ground up which is designed to handle real-time high-frequency applications. We believe our blockchain architecture will succeed in terms of the scalability trilemma where many other projects have failed.
Question: What’s are the advantages of using three layers and how does it solve the core problems?
I am assuming this question Is referring to the three-layer ledger design.
One of the main problems of blockchain systems is that since all DApps run on a single chain, congestion becomes a big problem. If one DApp is really popular, it can affect the performance of others DApps. Service chains helps to address this by providing each type of DApp a separate chain for service level transactions. This helps to reduce congestion on the main chain. Furthermore, we added off-chain layer-2 solutions like state-channels to increase scalability, and data storage solutions to handle the massive amounts of data created by modern apps. These extra 2 layers in addition to the main chain help to create a system that can scale no matter how many DApps are running in the platform.
Question: As a High Performance Blockchain, the TPS dilemma is at the core of blockchain scalability discussions. What’s the point of having high TPS. Is it to just to boast a greater TPS figure than your rivals?
TPS is not the only issue involved with blockchain scalability, it is an important one. For high-frequency applications such as communications, the platform needs to handle tens of thousands of TPS. This is far higher than any blockchain can currently support. In fact, this is one of the reasons we first decided to build TOP Chain. Reaching a high TPS while remaining decentralized is very challenging. Achieving this goal is not just to boast. It is necessary to support real-time high-frequency applications, which are very pervasive in today’s application ecosystem.
Question: What do you think is the importance of the mainnet?
Launching our main net was a big milestone. It shows that after a long period of research and development, our novel architecture is practical and viable. The main net still needs some work, but it means we are one step closer to a fully developed TOP platform which can start hosting our DApps along with other third-party DApps.
Question: Why did you choose to use pBFT as the consensus algorithm? What are the advantages of pBFT over DAG and other consensus algorithms?
We chose to develop a pBFT inspired algorithm because of it’s potential for high-throughput, low energy consumption, and low confirmation times. However, our consensus algorithm is more than just simple pBFT. While inspired by pBFT, our algorithm is more secure, faster, and support high degree of parallelization. Compared to others like PoW, pBFT is faster and requires less computing power. DAG is not really a consensus algorithm. It’s just a category of data structure. In fact, TOP Chain technically uses DAG data structures in our design, although very different than the DAG structure used in projects like IOTA.
Question: What are the core features that create value on TOP Network? Can you describe a few of the details?
TOP is a platform for decentralized applications. The platform as a whole facilitates the operation of large-scale DApps, which themselves create real-world value. Compared to centralized platforms, TOP can allow for more security, privacy, and facilitate p2p micro-transactions with usually no fee. This can bring about brand new business models. Also, as TOP has developed a very scalable smart contract system, consisting of application layer smart contracts and platform smart contracts. These autonomous running programs can lead to the disintermediation of many industries, meaning TOP as a platform can help remove middle men.
Question: As far as I know, TOP is a utility token, and not a payment currency. However, one of TOP’s partners is Tripio, so what does it mean that Top Token has become a payment method on Tripio?
Actually payment is one utility. Basically, there are two types of tokes: utility tokens and security tokens. The main purpose of utility tokens is to pay for things or services, or to gain some sort of utility. This could be payment for a particular service like Tripio offers, or for example communications services. It could also be as used as collateral for on-chain resources, vote power, staking and so on. Those are all utilities. On the other hand, security tokens are simply used as an investment, like a stock. Sometimes security tokens produce dividends. The main purpose of a security token is not as a payment for services or other utilities.
Question: As a high performance blockchain platform for real-world business, how robust is the platform in terms of handling 21st century business needs? How do you deal with the issues of scalability, security interoperability, speed and privacy plaguing crypto and blockchain technology?
TOP was built specially to handle 21st century business needs. As for as scalability and speed, our team of researchers and developers designed a novel multi-layer scaling paradigm, where we implement scaling solutions in layer-0, layer-1, and layer-2. Layer-0 refers to the underlying p2p network. TOP developed an innovative p2p network architecture that allows for efficient communications between nodes. In short, TOP’s p2p network is similar to the Internet, in that it’s one big p2p network consisting of many sub p2p networks. For our blockchain on layer-1, we opted to tackle the challenge of sharding. With sharding, scaling can keep increasing with the number of nodes. Finally in layer-2, we implement built-in state channels along with service chains for each use case.
Question: Who are Top’s competitors besides Telegram? What are the strengths that will help TOP to overcome these competitors?
Some of TOP’s competitors are Ethereum, EOS, and other DApp platforms. One of TOP’s major advantages is that TOP is a truly full-stack development platform. We have the infrastructure layer, that provides a high-throughput blockchain, service chains, decentralized file storage, and decentralized database functionality. Then there is the service layer, providing developers and abundance of tooling and frameworks, along with flexible application smart contracts. And finally we have the application layer, consisting of an ecosystem of DApps with 100 million users to draw from. Most blockchain platforms only have the blockchain along with smart contracts.
Also TOP is the first to tackle comprehensive sharding, which includes computation, networking, and state sharding. It looks as though TOP may be a few years ahead in terms of this scaling technology.
Question: Twitter CEO said Africa is the future for everything blockchain. What do you think about that? Also, we are living in the age of DAPPS. As a developer, can I build dApps on TOP NETWORK?
Certainly developing countries like those in Africa can benefit a lot from blockchain technology. A lot of people in developing countries don’t have access to financial services. Blockchain allows people to essentially become their own banks, which is very valuable. The remittance industry for example, is ripe for disruption, and blockchains like TOP can enable zero fee money transfers. In addition, things like secure land registry, p2p solar energy systems and other such use cases can be facilitated by blockchain technology.
As for DApps, yes of course you can build DApps on TOP. The main purpose of TOP is to be a full-stack scalable DApp platform. As mentioned before, we will focus more on building and porting our own DApps first, but the platform will be totally open, and so any develop can build their DApp on TOP. We will be providing a lot of easy to use developers tools and frameworks to make it easy to develop.
Question: What are the big achievements Top Network has achieved after the mainnet launch?
The development team has been working hard to improve the main net and fix any bugs. We also launched our cross-chain staking program, which is no easy feat. It is a pretty tricky technical challenge. The main net is running well with 1300 nodes and 4 shards and between 1–2 thousand TPS, which of course will go up as the shards increase.
Question: Can you tell me what the real use cases of TOP Tokens are on TOP Network?
TOP tokens are used for a bunch of different things in the ecosystem. TOP is basically the glue that holds everything together. It’s used to access on-chain resources like CPU and Bandwidth, and also to pay service nodes for things like communications services. It is also used as a deposit to run nodes, and provides stakers with voting power, and can be used for in-app purchases and payments among other things