Thanks again to everyone that participated in the NKN Video AMA with the core team on August 13th. If you missed the event, you can still view the video on-demand on our YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/pfqbOkqIRw4
We have also compiled all of the questions and answers from our AMA and provided them below.
Are there any updates on the partnership with iQIYI? When to expect their first use of NKN network and token? Are there any negotiations with American companies on the use of NKN CDN?
We are doing well with iQIYI in China. We started ramping up our activity in July, which is when we started delivering significant traffic, and this month (August) we will be scaling up to deliver a large amount of commercial traffic for iQIYI. Between April and August there will be 40x more traffic delivered by nCDN which is significant growth over the past few months. Due to the billing cycles from iQIYI we will start to see revenue soon. Overall, this is a healthy business for NKN.
In addition, based on the experience with iQIYI, we can use a similar system for other video providers in our pipeline as well. In fact, we have been testing that the same miners that are helping us to serve iQIYI could also provide content for other video streaming provider services as well on nCDN which could provide additional income for our community. We are in commercial testing with two other video platforms, and hope to close more deals during the remainder of 2020.
Internationally, the CDN industry requires a different business model than in China and we have been working with cloud and network infrastructure providers to identify cost effective hosting solutions that can make nCDN profitable for miners in these markets.
Could you expand a little on the nCDN model that is operating in china at the moment, from hearsay I have gathered that operating such a node is many times more profitable than running a consensus node, while not providing any security or consensus benefits to the nkn blockchain. To me it feels like a select group of chinese miners are currently making profits over the backs of the “westerner” miners which secure the network for little to no reward.
The iQIYI CDN and NKN Full Node are 2 different applications that are run separately on NKN Nodes. In China, some opt to only run the iQIYI software without running NKN Full nodes and some run both. iQIYI uses quite a lot of bandwidth and will not be profitable for NKN nodes running on many of the large cloud providers like Digital Ocean and others. Many who run iQIYI CDN are running those at home on dedicated lines and not with cloud providers because of this. In addition, NKN nodes running iQIYI CDN do not compete with NKN Full node miners in terms of rewards since they are separate applications. iQIYI CDN payout is totally separate from mining rewards.
iQIYI CDN is also good for the economic model as well. Since iQIYI pays NKN in fiat and we in turn buy tokens and distribute to the participating nodes, there is more circulation and more holders of the tokens as well which the community can benefit from.
Hosting iQIYI CDN on NKN nodes is done using our new NKN Commercial software which gives miners the ability to choose which services they would like to host, including NKN Full Node mining, nCDN, and TUNA/dataRide. dataRide is gaining traction with customers (such as NAS vendors) and is yet another way miners could earn more rewards on our platform. Per data byte pricing wise, dataRide is much higher than nCDN.
Will there be a new roadmap?
We are working on it. We have lots of ideas both in technology and commercialization for NKN 3.0 and will be able to share with the community soon.
When will Surge be available?
Surge is being developed by the Rule110 community developer group. According to the team, it should be about 3-4 weeks until the open beta is available.
Will NKN be incorporated into systems and devices such as mobile phones or TVs or routers to become NKN nodes if so are you in talks with any electronics companies such as Sony, Samsung, etc
One opportunity is to run on Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, which is typically a powerful machine with storage, CPU, and bandwidth to host our services. For routers, we already offer NKN Full nodes that run on OpenWRT based WiFi routers as well as offer firmware for the popular N1 router in China as well.
We have not gone into the hardware business yet for a few reasons. Hardware takes a long time to develop, comes with a lot of uncertainties, and does not scale as well as a pure software approach. That’s why our initial focus has been on the software side and hardening our current solutions. However, once we have stabilized our software solutions we will look for opportunities to partner with hardware manufacturers.
We do welcome our community or entrepreneurs to develop hardware that complements are software as well. And there are crowdsourcing models (such as indiegogo and kickstarter) that can derisk the hardware upfront costs.
Theta has a deal with Samsung to deliver their CDN through their smart tvs , is NKN following a similar route?
Our understanding is that Samsung will host the Theta.tv video application, which would give users access to Theta’s content channels from their Samsung TVs. Theta is focusing on live streaming, and the TV provides an additional distribution channel for their content.
For NKN, we are working with device vendors such as Network Attached Storage (NAS) and WiFi router which is a better fit for our network infra.
Any updates on IoT and NKN?
Our specialty is on the connectivity for IoT devices. We consider NAS devices to be connected devices and are working with one of the top 3 vendors in this space to offer secure remote access services. That will be an exciting deal to expand the NKN usage and attracting new dataRide revenue, so our team is working very hard on it.
We have also been collaborating with Mozilla Foundation and their WebThings Gateway that offers a way to control and manage your IoT devices at home. We also continue to experiment with providing services for webcams and other connected devices as well. However, in these cases, we work with partners that help us complete the solution and offer GTM sales channels in the IoT domain.
Are there any plans for storing NKN on a hardware wallet?
Hardware wallet support is in our plans and we have started the process, However, popular hardware token vendors receive lots of requests for support and because of that, the integration process can take a long time before becoming available.
Will Binance support mainnet ? If yes, what’s the estimated time?
Unfortunately, we cannot provide an estimated time as it’s not under our control. We are working with Binance and in the process of integration for mainnet support.
It seems that more and more web3 ‘competitors’ are popping up and are partnering up with big blockchain projects. ie; orchid with chainlink. Will NKN also seek to provide offchain improvements for existing crypto projects?
We are always looking for new partnering opportunities, however, offering offchain improvements for crypto projects is not an immediate focus at the moment. Non-crypto market has a much larger user base, so partnership with big non-crypto projects and companies can bring much higher value to the system.
We’ve spoken about the NKN website and visuals for a long time, and recently it’s sounded as if it’s getting higher and higher on the list to complete. Do you have any timescales for this to be properly targeted?
Our resources are limited and many of our front end designers have been hard at work on nMobile, nMobile pro, and NAS related projects. We do expect to provide a quick facelift on the main home page soon, but the second level pages may come a bit later once we can dedicate more resources to the effort.
Upon releasing in December last year that you had the NKN Client pushed out to over 35,000 NAS devices with a particular vendor, you had mentioned talking to 2 others at the same time I believe. Did this ever develop further? And if not, is this still a market actively being targeted?
The answer is YES. As we mentioned elsewhere, we are currently working hard on a solution with one of the top three NAS vendors. We believe it will be very exciting both in terms of revenue opportunity as well as technical solution.
Any plans listing on Coinbase?
We have been evaluating all kinds of exchanges for listing. Coinbase and Kraken are the best exchanges in the US and we are working with both and continue to provide regular updates to them. However, these exchanges do not share their listing plans for obvious reasons. Exchanges such as these look for larger token projects that are widely used including real world use cases with lots of adoption. We will continue to focus on growth in these areas as well engaging with exchanges toward new listings.
However, we are not in a rush to add more listings. If you look at our volumes today, they are decent at the moment. We have done the mainnet swap on Upbit, which is already trading our Mainnet and have also been listed on Uniswap to try out the more decentralized exchanges with a different economic model. We are open to exchanges that can give our users a fiat on ramp or that can provide a different economic model for token holders. We prefer to increase the quality not the quantity of exchanges.
The NKN tech is awesome no doubt. But I’m a bit fearful about marketing. We have d-Chat but very few people know this.
We believe nMobile does have the potential to reach wider adoption. However, while nMobile 1.0 is useful, it doesn’t yet have the “wow” effect. We are planning to save our larger marketing push until we have further developed nMobile. In the meantime, we have done some of our own marketing as well as an incentive system coming soon to help increase adoption in the short term.
When will we enter into the gaming industry (TUNA) and agreements with the gaming industry?
If we look at last year’s Google Stadia launch, you can see that many of the problems with providing game streaming is related to the limitations with a gamers own home network connections, and not the cloud infrastructure itself. Until the network infrastructure to the home evolves to support the demands of game streaming it would be difficult to provide such a service at a very high performance level that gamers demand.
There is also the matter of hardware. In order to host game streaming, miners will need more advanced hardware including beefy GPU, processing, and more that can make mining more expensive.
We do have working Proof of Concept, but we believe there are too many limitations including good home connectivity and the availability of miners with high end machines for hosting to ensure gaming performance.
In the past few days, most of the population of Belarus has been without Internet due to blockades by the state. Almost all known popular VPN services, such as TunnelBear, Nord VPN, HotspotShield, Hola, etc., have also been blocked. The only thing that restored at least some access were custom shadowsocks servers, or tools such as Psiphon (which received 2 million downloads from Belarusian users in just two days). This is an example of how the application really performs its tasks and becomes popular in a very short time. Unfortunately, n-mobile did not work in those days (I think, due to the fact that most nodes are located on popular VPS, such as Digital Ocean, AWS, Google, etc., and they are, of course, blocked in such situations). Question: Wouldn’t it be interesting for the team to develop not only towards privacy, but also towards accessibility, perhaps with the help of some additional tools, like special layers of proxy, because the potential for using such applications is really great, and most importantly, such applications are in demand in critical situations?
There are a few community members that are experimenting with NKN tunneling services, as you can observe on our developer’s Discord channel. They might be able to figure out something that could work on this situation. For our team, we have a full plate of activities we have already committed including nMobile, nCDN, dataRide, and more and do not have the bandwidth to tackle such a project. However, we welcome the community to work on it.