Recap of OceanTalk — Special AMA with Co-Founder & CEO Sunny Lu
Questions collected in advance
Whale: What are your views about the next killer DApp area for blockchain? What will be your prime focus for mass adoption like Gaming, DeFi, supply chain or something?
Sunny: We are confident that business adoption is going to be the main driver of blockchain mass adoption. other than traditional business applications like traceability or food safety and etc, if we are looking at the crypto space, NFT gaming seems to be the next very promising application. VeChainThor is very well suited for this kind of use case. We welcome projects to come build on VeChainThor and take advantage of our unique and advanced protocols.
Whale: There are many projects that are considered big competitors of VET. Why should users choose VET for the best choice? In your opinion, what are the biggest differences and advantages that VET brings when compared to others?
Sunny: Firstly, from the beginning, VeChain is built on purpose to be friendly to developers not only technical developers but also business developers. VeChain has many unique features about that like MPP, MTT, conditional TXs and etc.
Secondly, we believe the mass adoptions of blockchain also need more than just blockchain technology itself. It will requires integrations with others like IoT, Internet Applications, Enterprise applications like ERP and etc. VeChain has built ToolChain as an integrated SaaS platform as LOW CODE DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM for more people to ease the adoptions of blockchain technology.
Last but not least, we devoted ourselves to build up professional network with those big players to complete the solution for most of blockchain applications like PwC DNVGL and etc. which is quite essential to transform technology value to business value.
in short, in terms of blockchain adoptions, we are the best with comprehensive offerings.
Whale: How completely decentralized is VeChain. Who will have the final say in decision-making in regards the business and developmental aspects of the project? Will the company have some sort of veto power or will elected representatives also have a say in the decision-making?
Sunny: VeChain is unique in the sense that the blockchain and data are decentralized but we also have a governance model. We call ourselves semi-decentralized, you can read about it in the whitepaper. The steering committee is the governing body of the VeChain Foundation and this is made up of various parties, including different companies such as DNVGL and Deloitte or educational institutions for example. The steering committee can also be voted in by stakeholders. That’s all of token holders. The next election is planned to take place mid-2021 which was actually postponed due to COVID19. We will for sure release detailed information a few months before the elections and you guys will vote in the next steering committee. This means that we all get a say in how things are run.
In short, we believe the balance of decentralization and centralization with proper governance model.
Whale: Will the X-Node pool ever have any VET removed from it, like the economic Node pool?
Sunny: We stick the plan as we announced about X-Node Program for sure.
We also have plans to make X-nodes a more attractive proposal so watch out for that. We will be announcing more details about that in 2021. We also have plans to make X-nodes a more attractive proposal so watch out for that. We will be announcing more details about it. Our community would be excited to hear that.
We stick the plan as we announced about X-Node Program for sure. It means we don’t remove any VET from X-Node pool.
Whale: Since VeChain has some great partnerships with auditing firms (PwC, Deloitte, Grant Thornton), I have the following question. Currently VeChain provides assurance over mainly non-financial information (e.g. supply chains). Do you see a role for VeChain in the future to also contribute to provide assurance over financial information which is included in financial statements of companies (information which is currently assured by for instance Big 4 firms)? Thanks and keep up the great work!
Sunny: For sure these are great partnerships bringing lots of new business to VeChain. PwC are currently building their own digital products on VeChainThor and plan to integrate it in to their service offerings, which will bring a lot more business opportunities to VeChainThor. Incorporating blockchain in to financial auditing processes is definitely possible but there are still many challenges, things like audit procedure adjustment, audit tool development and so on. But it is being worked on by the best in the world. And like I said many times, when we have more business activities on VeChain, the demands of Fin Applications will be natural and we will have the best field for those big or small players to play.
Whale: Should VeChain look at other uses of blockchain rather than Track and Trace? Initially that was the main attraction of the tech, however, other projects are becoming more popular and successful (defi, etc..) what’s next on the VeChain roadmap?
Sunny: We have done many other than just Track and Trace. Foodsafety, Sustainability, Fighting against COVID19 (e-Healthcode in Cyprus and VeTrust in China) and etc.
Our vision remains the same, creating valuable transactions is our primary objective. Long term sustainable business activity will be the key to growth in the years ahead, we don’t believe in chasing short term trends. Besides the business expansion, we are about to start focusing on developer community expansion in a big way as well. We are going to provide more tools and services including Sync 2, PoA 2.0 and other interesting tools and services. Stay tuned as we will be releasing details about our technical updates in the coming months.
We have our own definition about successful — Creating Value to the real world.
Whale: Why not give the possibility to customize the sending of a transaction from a mobile wallet (or from sync) with add memo or notes or description recorded in blockchain, increasing the consumption of vtho for that transaction? I think the number of transactions would increase, today some other blockchains allow it, thanks.
Sunny: Cool idea! I will have our tech team to look into it. Meanwhile, to any developers, welcome to come to build your own wallets and any other tools!
Whale: You once described blockchain as saying “”I love you”” to someone and having witnesses as proof that you said it. You also said if the witnesses were your buddies, it’s not blockchain but central system within backup. When is the public going to learn any of the authority nodes identities? When are they going to put their reputation on the line in securing the VeChain network?
Sunny: For the record, we always encourage our Authority Masternode holders to reveal their identities. The Foundation openly welcomes enterprise users, blockchain development teams, business and technical development partners, community contributors and academic research partners to join our AM network. There is a very strict identity verification assessment during the onboarding process to ensure the legality of the AM holder’s identity and ensure they can make real contributions to the VeChain ecosystem. At this early stage, the Foundation have decided it is up to the AM holder to disclose their identity to the public. Looking ahead, we will view future AMs more favourably if they are willing to disclose their identity. As the AM program continues to mature, we will continue to work with AMs to provide more transparency about their identity.
I bet you guys all remember what happened to those players when Libra announced their AMs’ identities ….
Once regulation is out, I am sure they will happily reveal.
Whale: How to Get access to the VeChainThor mainnet & testnet without the need to implement a full node?
Sunny: One of our community developers MiRei already built this, with his product called VeBlocks. It provides access to the VeChainThor networks (both mainnet and testnet), supports all developers and gives them full access to the blockchain without the need to be running a full node.
Pretty cool! We are really happy to see community developers that can contribute and build really handy tools
Whale: What happens to the network if 2 or more big contracts start firing at the same time (ie the Walmart contract going off and ubique or dnvgl starts firing)? Can the network handle those or do they need to be aware and timed so they fire separately?
Sunny: The unique consensus of VeChainThor as PoA 2.0 means this will never be an issue as the network grows.
It is the first of its kind dual-consensus mechanism that combines Nakamoto and Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus mechanisms. PoA 2.0 provides higher TPS and faster faster transaction confirmation times whilst delivering uncompromised security. It can prevent 51% attacks with the adoption of the committee slecetion mechanism. This, alongside MPP and MTT, two of our specially designed protocols, makes us very confident we will be able to handle vey high network traffic in the future.
It’s just FASTER and BETTER. haha.
Whale: When should we expect that 1 mln. of transactions per day? You mentioned that a few months ago.
Sunny: Lol, let me put this way. We don’t rest until it happens.
Honestly, COVID19 hits everyone pretty bad and even countries like China recovered pretty well, but the global trading and international collaboration has been impacted badly
We are trying everything we can to catch up this — We are seeing the results of that recently with the growth of transaction volumes.
Unfortunately the EU and US still have a lot of uncertainties. We continue to work closely with our global business partners to explore opportunities, including new and enhanced products and services.
Whale: In the future, should daily VTHO demand/ burn rate exceed token generation, will the fee be adjusted? If so, how would it be managed?
Sunny: Let’s get to some numbers first. in the past week, average daily growth was about 30 million VTHO/day with an average daily burn of around 7 million VTHO/day, around a 23% burning rate. Transaction numbers have been steadily growing from April to October, reaching more than 4 million transactions for the month of October.
And base on the whitepaper, we do have ways to adjust in both ways technically which will involve different operations like contract updates, soft fork or even hard fork.
And we will follow the rules to go through different processes to make decision. For example, the hard fork to change the generation rate will require general voting from every token holder.
Whale: Many blockchain “altcoin” now has been attacked, how can we assure or the investor that our assets are safe in your VeChain (VET) coin?
Sunny: Our upcoming consensus mechanism PoA 2.0 will provide uncompromised security at the protocol level, preventing 51% attacks and making the network relatively fork free. On top of that built-in security, because VeChain is a business network, all our smart contracts are rigorously audited by multiple well-reputed security professionals. The mobile wallet for example, is actually incredibly secure. There has never been a single hack resulting from an exploit. We have implemented a lot of security features to protect your assets.
And we have the most enterprises users to run their business applications on VeChainThor including those reputable big names. Those choices have better proof than thousands of words
Whale: I would like to know what do you think about the NFT?and cooperation with VIMworld may result in NFT tokens from Vechain in the future?
Sunny: I like NFT. NFT is definitely trending out in the crypto space and VeChainThor is perfect for NFT projects with its many features such as MPP, MTT and a stable, low transaction cost for example. It’s also very cheap to mint NFTs on the blockchain. VIMworld is an NFT focused startup that is running their business on the VeChain blockchain. They are one of our core partners, we offer networking, support and help expand each other’s business reach.
On top of that, I met the VIMWorld team in person several times in 2019. It’s a very young, passionate and professional team! They have made lots of progress in the last 12 months despite COVID19 impacts actually. I like them.
Whale: With the growth of the population how is VeChain adjusting its way to help companies deploy better health products?
Sunny: Of course. You have no doubt seen My Care and VeTrust had been deployed to mainnet which is helping improve public sfatey during this pandemic.
VeTrust combines DNV GL’s infection risk management methodology to help businesses start to manage COVID-19 risk factors, beginning with small to medium-scale hotels and extending to more and more public facilities in China like shopping mall, cruise, cienma. Actually more and more governments start to look into this product
VeTrust combines DNV GL’s infection risk management healthcare standards, best practices in risk management, HSE (health, safety, and environment) practices as well as quality management systems and maturity safety rating standards. The integration of blockchain technology streamlines stakeholders across different operational stages, significantly lowering the operation cost, enabling new business in higher volumes.
Whale: Are we planning on conducting events such as Hackathon, or any code events, to increase Vechain’s awareness among developer communities?
Sunny: Yes, with the release of PoA 2.0, Sync 2 and other tools soon to be announced, we will run a series of campaigns and activities for developers and help build awareness. We welcome all developers to come to VeChain’s platform to build and contribute. We have various bounty programs to incentivise builders, including a Foundation grant (up to 30k USD), VTHO payback (50% of your VTHO costs) and VTHO Supercharger (up to 300k VTHO) for dApps.
Call for developers to join us! And don’t hesitate to raise up your voice to ask more. We are here to listen and respond!
Whale: What do you think of overall regulation development globally, and what’s the cryptocurrency market in the next 2 years to come ? How does VET work with the regulators ?
Sunny: Tough questions. As the use cases for cryptocurrencies and blockchain grows, the regulations have to costantly evolve but this is a good thing for our future vision. For example, in the US, cryptocurrencies are not considered as legal tender and crypto exchanges are legal, but regulated differently in each state. In Australia, cryptocurrencies are considered to have the same rights as property and crypto exchnages are legal. In China, the government promotes blockchain technology, invests a lot of money and encourages blockchain innovation wherever it can. Digitalization is critical for the fiuture economy and blockchain is an essential technology for delivering that. I believe there will only be more and more opportunities in the future and we will be ready to grab them and make VeChain even better.
And generally speaking, like what I just mentioned in panel with FCB, the regulation is always behind innovation! We need to be patient and even help regulators to move faster if we can.
Whale: Which area does #VET focus on at the moment? (DeFi, Stake,Dapps..) and your goals for this year?
Sunny: I am quite excited about the future of NFT because it will act like a bridge between the real world and the digital world. One thing I learned from my previous career in Louis Vuitton — the next generation of consumers cares more about the uniqueness and exclusiveness of their personal possessions over brands or trends.
NFT technology is definitely born for that kind of world.
In terms of focus, dApps will continue to play a vital role in the ecosystem and we are in the process of delivering more tools and infrastructure to lower the hurdles for developers to build on VeChain.
Our focus remains on carrying real businesses and generating real world value for our clients and partners but this doesn’t exclude us from working with DeFi and actually, we are building some tools to bring some of that to the mainnet. More to come there. When we designed our dual-token system, staking VET to get VTHO for free for GAS fee payment, that was already a kind of DeFi ahead of anybody, lol.
Again, call for developers and builders to join our party to make the Blockchain better and make the world better.
Whale: How many different entities are Authority Nodes (ANs)? Is every AN “already taken” or are there ANs still available? If so, how many remain?
Sunny: AN Program is dynamic actually. People could come and go all the time. We do have process to manage that which requires steering committee to vote for any changes.
In terms of numbers, I don’t have exact number here but not many left. Don’t worry, we welcome any contributor to join and just do send application please
Whale: here comes the final question, also a popular one: We would like you to talk about the Vechain and Defi as well as NFT?
Sunny: Decentralized finance is still finance that has to support business at the end of the day. Jack Ma gave a speech recently talking about Internet, FinTech, Blockchain, Regulation and Innovation. When he talked about cryptocurrencies, he said: “It’s not the time for competing to make standards but for creating real value. That’s the whole idea of innovation and moving the whole world forward. It’s the duty of our generation not only for now, but more importantly for the future.”
Great minds think alike and VeChain has been devoted to making business applications its first priority. Laying the foundations is more important for future business applications. Especially if financial applications or Defi are to be adopted in the mainstream. As I said before, when we designed our dual-token system, staking VET and generating VTHO for free to pay for transaction costs, that already seems like a DeFi concept. It’s an entirely new, decentralised way to create value. There will be more examples to come in the future for sure.
And one more time, call for Defi team to come over VeChainThor build cool Defi Applications!
Q: How will the current and upcoming economic crisis impact VeChain strategy and activities?
A: Every crisis comes with opportunities. Crisis in Chinese actually combined with two words — 危机 which means danger and opportunities. COVID19 speeds up the global digitalization really big and more and more poeple realize the digitalization should be done yesterday not today or tomorrow. It’s definitely chance for Blockchain which cannot be missed in any kinds of digitalization. So, I see opportunities other than risks. For sure, short term the business expansion is impacted but we are working twice hard than before.
Q: What is your plan for global expansion? At present, which market does VECHAIN focus on, or is it focused on building and growing to gain customers, users and partners?
A: We start the operations globally and we do have presence in Paris, Milan, Lux, Silicon Valley, Singpaore, Tokyo and China for sure. But due to COVID19, we have to slow down to wait for uncertainties in some of countries.
Q: Why doesn’t Vechain support OceanEx as the ecosystem exchange?
Vechain never mentions OceanEx on their Social Media, never retweet etc….Why is OceanEx silenced so openly by Vechain? Why no support?
A: I guess you should dig deeper. We do have lots of interactions with OceanEx. We do retweets and we do collaborations.
Q: As a well-known Vechain CEO, what value do you get from the community and how will it help you improve Vechain in the future?
A: Actually, there are many business leads coming from community. And we are calling for more developers to join us to build applications. Stay tune for our tech roadmap and come to find which suits you best.
Q: Have you guys hired a new COO? Considering Kevin has already left Vechain.
A: Kevin’s job has been taken care pretty well by the team. We will definitely welcome any talents to join us all the time.
Q: How big is the chance the COVID vaccine will be traced in VechainThor?
A: Technically we are ready.
Hey guys, I gotta go now. Very glad to be here. I have two more meetings to go for today. Happy weekend fellows!
Whale: Thank you very much Sunny!